Looks good Duade. the head-turn/eye contact with viewer allows for a tighter/more intimate crop – something that I’ll have to keep in mind for future compositionsTony has touched on a point that I believe is worth exploring and sharing. When taking photos of birds I am trying to create a link between the viewer and the bird. I always try to get good eye contact, it is this eye contact which I believe helps to create an intimate picture. When we talk about eye contact it often goes hand in hand with the head angle of the bird. That is the angle of the head in relation to the camera sensor. For most shots I get the light angle coming over my shoulder then I attempt to get the sensor parallel to the bird. This places the light over the length of the bird and gives maximum coverage. Next I hope the bird turns slightly towards me and looks in my direction. It is probably easiest to show an example. Here are three shots all taken within seconds of each other of a Rainbow Bee-eater that was posing nicely for me. All three shots are in focus with nice light and detail. The only thing separating them is the Head Angle. The head angle on the left bird is angled away from the sensor. Whilst we can see the eye it is not looking at us and fails to engage, this is an instant delete for me. The head angle on the middle bird is possibly exactly parallel with the sensor creating the perfect Field ID shot. For me this is ok but it lacks the intimacy I am after and it looks like the bird is looking away from us. The bird on the right has what I believe is a good head angle, that is a few degrees towards the camera sensor. The bird is now looking towards me and there is great eye contact, this is the image I would use. I took this shot of an Australian Wood Duck recently. It received this comment from Ray Walker which is bang on.
You would get another point or two if he had of turned towards you a tad more..It didn’t really matter that the light, detail and low angle were strong. Simply having the wrong angle will always let the shot down. In comparison I took this shot of a Pacific Golden Plover which also has good light and detail. The difference here is the bird angle is parallel to the camera and there is a very small head turn towards me creating good eye contact. This image to me is engaging and successful. And one last example of good HA. The bird is turned slightly towards the camera sensor and it looks like the bird is staring straight at me creating a strong connection.