American Kestrel



The smallest falcon in North America. Howell Nature Center, Howell, Michigan.

The smallest falcon in North America. Howell Nature Center, Howell, Michigan.
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20803

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Awards

Legendary Award
Top Shot Award
Contest Finalist in My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 2
Contest Finalist in Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 1
Featured
Contest Finalist in Covers Photo Contest Vol 29
Contest Finalist in The Beauty Of Nature Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Animals Are Beautiful Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in 850 Birds On Branches Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in PhotographyTalk Photo Contest Volume 2
Featured
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Superb Composition
Peer Award
Absolute Masterpiece
Top Choice
Magnificent Capture
Outstanding Creativity
Superior Skill
All Star
siddharthagupta Maadhatter embas WildSidePhotography JayneBug julie_cavell MicHojas +74
Jaw Dropping
terikimbro shawnnewman annharris CRamsay Saberofheart millicentfenn ckraft +51
Exceptional Contrast
savedbygrace10506 Proudfoot morbidmahmud jawid_nazir patricecarle AJLittleBigPics chandlerbridges +11
Genius
Eddieuuu071 Pjerry Sakina2018 grandmaof7 marielouisepearson SVPhotos clemdx3 +9
Great Find
marthaklatt jbos BrantLavery Steve_Webster staceestracnerseverino bresciaterra Atka +4
Virtuoso
Martina_Prielozna sandrarust robmcallister chuckmyer Argentiere Oceanskyphotography chiphendershot +1
One Of A Kind
LynnsPhoto Teo_Antunovic Crystal3d ettaiannaccone

Emotions

Impressed
wgpennington richarddoney carincchambers lyndellanne Antoniobarrios davidmcglynn pattybrennan +82
Happy
ninaininiwiiskwew ArjunBasandrai chuckmyer Argentiere shermaneng nadezhda_gribanova karenwillenbucher +4
Sad
ronnylemmens

Top Ranks

Colors In Nature Photo Contest 2022Top 10 rank
Colors In Nature Photo Contest 2022Top 10 rank week 1
Wings And Feathers Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Wings And Feathers Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol13Top 10 rank
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol13Top 10 rank week 1
My Best Capture Photo Contest vol2Top 10 rank
My Best Capture Photo Contest vol2Top 10 rank week 1
The Collection ProjectTop 10 rank
The Collection ProjectTop 10 rank week 1
The Collection ProjectTop 10 rank week 1
The ViewBug ProjectTop 20 rank
The ViewBug ProjectTop 20 rank week 1
My Best Capture Photo ContestTop 10 rank
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Feathers And Wings Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Feathers And Wings Photo ContestTop 10 rank week 1
ViewBug Homepage Photo ContestTop 20 rank
ViewBug Homepage Photo ContestTop 20 rank week 1
Inspired By The World Photo ContestTop 10 rank
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The Contributors ProjectTop 10 rank
The Contributors ProjectTop 10 rank week 1
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol11Top 10 rank
My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol11Top 20 rank week 1
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Earth Day Every Day Photo ContestTop 10 rank
Around The World Photo Contest Digital Camera WorldTop 10 rank
photographyawards2019Top 10 rank
photographyawards2019Top 10 rank week 2
photographyawards2019Top 10 rank week 1
Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 6Top 10 rank
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Anything Animals Photo ContestTop 10 rank
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Change Of Seasons Photo ContestTop 10 rank
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Wildlife Speed Series Photo ContestTop 10 rank
The Swag ProjectTop 10 rank
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ViewBug Photography Awards 2018Top 10 rank
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My Best Shot Photo Contest Vol 6Top 10 rank
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Covers Photo Contest Vol 49Top 10 rank
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World Photography Day Photo Contest 2018Top 10 rank
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Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 4Top 20 rank
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Celebrating Nature Photo Contest Vol 4Top 10 rank week 1
Everything Nature Photo ContestTop 10 rank
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Trey Ratcliffs Put Your Best Foot Forward Photo ContestTop 10 rank
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Categories


168 Comments | Report
MegAshley
 
MegAshley October 20, 2013
amazing!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thanks, Meg! -- Richard
Snappin-shots
 
Snappin-shots October 23, 2013
awesome shot!! I would award you twice if it would let me!! :)
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you, Teri! -- Richard
NikonMetz Platinum
 
NikonMetz October 24, 2013
Amazing capture! The complementary colors and action bring the eye straight to this photo!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thanks, Lee!
NikonMetz Platinum
 
NikonMetz October 26, 2013
This is a wall hanger!
onyanita PRO+
 
onyanita October 29, 2013
brilliant capture...wonderful detail and color
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you, Sonja! -- Richard
fernandoamato
 
fernandoamato January 01, 2014
Nice capture
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you, Fernando! -- Richard
snowdon PRO
 
snowdon March 14, 2014
Amazing, congratulations on your feature
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thanks, David! -- Richard
Wanda713
 
Wanda713 March 14, 2014
Absolutely Beautiful!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you, Wanda! -- Richard
stephenholdsworth
 
stephenholdsworth March 14, 2014
Magnificent shot :)
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thanks, Stephen! -- Richard
TammyN
 
TammyN March 14, 2014
What a beauty! Wonderful image
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you, Tammy! -- Richard
kasper Platinum
 
kasper March 14, 2014
Congrats on the feature. Nice shot.
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thanks, Johanna! -- Richard
jenniferkrieble_5126
 
jenniferkrieble_5126 March 14, 2014
thats a wonderful picture..
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thanks, Jennifer! -- Richard
AlanJakarta PRO+
 
AlanJakarta March 14, 2014
Terrific shot with beautiful colors. Congratulations.
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you, Alan! -- Richard
WileKyK Platinum
 
WileKyK March 14, 2014
Great timing and composition. Congratulations on your Feature!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thanks, WileKyK! -- Richard
LindaDLester
 
LindaDLester March 14, 2014
Outstanding capture! Congratulations!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you Linda! -- Richard
catini
 
catini March 14, 2014
Great composition and sharpness, congrats on your feature!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you, catini! -- Richard
justkim1106 PRO+
 
justkim1106 March 14, 2014
What a beautiful photo. Really shows off the markings and colors on the kestrel, the tree and berries make a wonderful compostion. Congratulations on the feature.
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thanks, Kim! -- Richard
Behind-the-Fire-Scene PRO+
 
Behind-the-Fire-Scene March 14, 2014
Fabulous photograph. Love the vibrance of the colour and the clarity. Wonderful :-)
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you, Louise! -- Richard
lindywalker
 
lindywalker March 14, 2014
Fantastic image!! Congrats
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you, Lindy! -- Richard
FrankSomma PRO
 
FrankSomma March 14, 2014
Bingo!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thanks!
LauraKimberlyPhotography
 
LauraKimberlyPhotography March 14, 2014
Great capture!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thank you, Laura! -- Richard
iceman2
 
iceman2 March 14, 2014
Beautiful capture.Congrats!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Thanks, Iceman! -- Richard
GBloniarz PRO+
 
GBloniarz March 14, 2014
Perfection personified! I can imagine this on the cover of countless nature mags! Congrats!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 22, 2014
Wow, thanks Jerry! -- Richard
CozmicKarol PRO
 
CozmicKarol March 14, 2014
Amazing & beautiful capture!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 28, 2014
Thank you Michael! -- Richard --
tmlakshmi PRO
 
tmlakshmi March 14, 2014
awesome
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 28, 2014
Thanks Tmlashmi! -- Richard --
Taketwocrbphotography Platinum
 
Taketwocrbphotography March 14, 2014
A Wow shot!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 28, 2014
Thank you, Char! -- Richard --
Thimbee
 
Thimbee March 14, 2014
Beautiful capture and bird. Congra
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye March 28, 2014
Thanks, Barb! -- Richard --
cilla8 PRO+
 
cilla8 March 14, 2014
Gorgeous!!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 09, 2014
Thank you, Priscilla! --Richard--
animals
 
animals March 14, 2014
Beautiful
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 09, 2014
Thanks, Vikki! --Richard--
SarahKeates
 
SarahKeates March 14, 2014
Awesome capture! Congrats!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 09, 2014
Thank you, Sarah! --Richard
SusiStroud PRO+
 
SusiStroud March 14, 2014
Excellent Capture. Congratulations on your Feature.
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 09, 2014
Thanks a lot, Susi! --Richard--
markaament
 
markaament March 14, 2014
Beautiful photo, congrats on the home page feature!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 09, 2014
Thanks, Mark! --Richard--
RanSen
 
RanSen March 14, 2014
what a great capture
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thank you very much! --Richard--
hwishnick Ultimate
 
hwishnick March 14, 2014
Absolutely beautiful.
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thank you, Harris! --Richard--
nitti
 
nitti March 14, 2014
Excellent work....congrats
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thanks, nitty! You have outstanding macros in your gallery! --Richard--
stephaniebenjamin_3793
 
stephaniebenjamin_3793 March 15, 2014
Fabulous capture!!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thanks, Stephanie! --Richard--
ThompsonsPhotography
 
ThompsonsPhotography March 15, 2014
Great shot Congrats
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thank you, Thompsons! --Richard--
Photofine Platinum
 
Photofine March 17, 2014
Such a lovely Photograph he or she is soooooooooooooo cute the photograph is lovely
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thanks, Sandra! --Richard--
gopalakrishnan
 
gopalakrishnan March 17, 2014
excellent capture !!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thank you very much! --Richard--
DEBBIEDUCHEK Platinum
 
DEBBIEDUCHEK March 17, 2014
WONDERFUL SHOT!!! CONGRATS! :)
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thank you, Debbie! --Richard--
BowmanLifeStudios
 
BowmanLifeStudios March 17, 2014
Very cool Capture, great timing and stop action! Love the colors and the composition, really well done!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thanks, Robert! --Richard--
carolyns
 
carolyns March 18, 2014
What a photo! Beautiful capture!
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thank you, Carolyn! --Richard--
Soozee
 
Soozee March 21, 2014
I LOVE this photo! Magnificent capture! :)
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye April 23, 2014
Thank you very much, Suzanne! --Richard--
rmr731 Platinum
 
rmr731 March 21, 2014
That is a wow shot! Beautiful capture! Congrats!
Davehook Platinum
 
Davehook March 22, 2014
great sharpness and light
louiseporter
 
louiseporter March 23, 2014
Wonderful capture
gwenoder
 
gwenoder March 24, 2014
Stunning image.
tmlakshmi PRO
 
tmlakshmi March 27, 2014
beautiful
lorraine04
 
lorraine04 March 27, 2014
This is such a beautiful photo. Well done on your award.
steephy
 
steephy March 28, 2014
this is amazing!
teens13
 
teens13 March 31, 2014
Stunning! Love it !
PSJPhotography
 
PSJPhotography March 31, 2014
Fantastic!
phyllisjmorrow PRO+
 
phyllisjmorrow March 31, 2014
Outstanding!
Cecirene Premium
 
Cecirene April 01, 2014
Absolute Masterpiece! Simply amazing capture! Kudos on the 'Feature', well deserved!
debrarote PRO+
 
debrarote April 03, 2014
GREAT SHOT
petelaw7 PRO+
 
petelaw7 April 04, 2014
Fantastic shot!
johnmwills Platinum
 
johnmwills April 04, 2014
Love the action and color.
aleksandar29
 
aleksandar29 April 07, 2014
great
AliAlzuhair
 
AliAlzuhair April 08, 2014
Pretty shot!
fabiocucchi
 
fabiocucchi April 09, 2014
Wonderful
davidsimons
 
davidsimons April 09, 2014
Excellent capture!
LCdutch
 
LCdutch April 10, 2014
Incredible shot. The eye makes the shot outstanding. Good shooting.
animals
 
animals April 10, 2014
Beautiful --so beautiful!
perrybailey
 
perrybailey April 16, 2014
I am a huge raptor fan, and this is a magnificent capture of this Kestrel.
littlecritters
 
littlecritters April 16, 2014
Gorgeous capture and composition!
lito
 
lito April 24, 2014
Congratulations!
KayM
 
KayM April 28, 2014
Brilliant photography
niharpradhan
 
niharpradhan April 30, 2014
Classically Majestic Shot...
bsturgis2
 
bsturgis2 May 08, 2014
Beautiful..
Eduardbetz Platinum
 
Eduardbetz May 12, 2014
Its posing for you ! Fantastic !
ArtQ
 
ArtQ May 12, 2014
Congrats on your Peoples Choice Award.
dianemac
 
dianemac May 12, 2014
Amazing, Beautiful, Great Shot.
patrick9x9 PRO
 
patrick9x9 May 12, 2014
Wonderful capture, congrats
diporzio
 
diporzio May 13, 2014
so cute
Dacemac PRO+
 
Dacemac May 13, 2014
Superb! Congratulations!
birdlover54
 
birdlover54 May 13, 2014
Congrats on being a finalist! Best Wishes for a Win! Absolutely stunning capture! I couldn't be more perfect than what you have right here. AMAZING! American Kestrel on my bucket list of birds to capture. The composition is just perfect. Did you ask him to pose?
Beautiful-Breeze Platinum
 
Beautiful-Breeze May 13, 2014
Absolutely beautiful!!!! Thank you so much for sharing you work with us. This is amazing!!!!!
LindaT
 
LindaT May 13, 2014
Awesome great job!b
Seby
 
Seby May 14, 2014
Stunning bird and colour!
p_eileenbaltz Platinum
 
p_eileenbaltz May 14, 2014
Breathtaking!!! Congratulations on being chosen a finalist.:) Good luck.
cara53
 
cara53 May 17, 2014
Awesome capture.
Flicka
 
Flicka May 20, 2014
This is just precious. :)
brittanyb76
 
brittanyb76 May 25, 2014
Photography at its finest!!!!
lynneellis
 
lynneellis May 26, 2014
JUST BEAUTIFUL
gondmagdi Premium
 
gondmagdi July 12, 2014
great capture !
Margarita_Tsvikevich
 
Margarita_Tsvikevich July 13, 2014
Wonderful!
333KimmySue
 
333KimmySue July 14, 2014
Absolutely beautiful!
tmlakshmi PRO
 
tmlakshmi July 20, 2014
wow!! vtd. good luck
JulieDoherty PRO
 
JulieDoherty July 26, 2014
Great Photo. Voted
mauropremi
 
mauropremi July 31, 2014
complimenti per la fotografia!!!! mai visto un falco così, dov'è stata scattata la fotografia?
onyanita PRO+
 
onyanita August 08, 2014
superb...congrats!
LucyLoo PRO+
 
LucyLoo November 22, 2014
Truly Stunning Capture
sydneyosbourne
 
sydneyosbourne November 29, 2014
Brilliant...
KatieMcKinneyPhotography PRO
 
KatieMcKinneyPhotography December 08, 2014
I love this shot! It would be perfect for my new photo challenge "Birds of a feather" ...very nice capture!
nancycarney
 
nancycarney December 26, 2014
Beautiful!
cbetts
 
cbetts January 03, 2015
I love this shot. Love the colors. Carrol
jerryb
 
jerryb January 07, 2015
Superb
walksinthewoods
 
walksinthewoods January 14, 2015
great shot
phtowomyn
 
phtowomyn February 15, 2015
absolutely stunning
jds183
 
jds183 February 19, 2015
Incredible! Excellent shot, DeadEye.
nikonmonkie
 
nikonmonkie February 27, 2015
WOW!!!
tranini Platinum
 
tranini March 05, 2015
wonder boy
jmakaapix
 
jmakaapix March 05, 2015
Truly awesome shot!
jmakaapix
 
jmakaapix March 05, 2015
Truly awesome shot!
jmakaapix
 
jmakaapix March 05, 2015
Truly awesome shot!
JillBJones PRO+
 
JillBJones March 06, 2015
Beautiful colors and great catch of the bird. Love it!
clownsonvelvet PRO
 
clownsonvelvet March 06, 2015
Amazing...LOVE IT!
Coshooter PRO+
 
Coshooter March 07, 2015
Wow! Beautiful color & pose on this Kestrel!
Never knew they came in blue, the Colorado Kestrels are all brown!
BrendaCrawford
 
BrendaCrawford March 16, 2015
So beautiful..
thunderlake PRO+
 
thunderlake March 17, 2015
What a capture! Beautiful
LRock
 
LRock April 01, 2015
Wow! Amazing capture!!!
Vitta
 
Vitta April 09, 2015
Amazing piece!!!
DanielOrfano
 
DanielOrfano April 13, 2015
Excelente!!!
Edyta_Pelc
 
Edyta_Pelc April 13, 2015
very elegant pose,lovely capture and beautiful clean background
1quietlady
 
1quietlady April 21, 2015
Congratulations! Beautiful capture!
richardtempleton
 
richardtempleton April 21, 2015
Absolutely stunning capture! One of my favourites I've seen. Congratulations.
claudia_lothering_1704
 
claudia_lothering_1704 April 22, 2015
Absolutely beautiful! Love the composition and the colours. Well done!!
susantayloredens
 
susantayloredens April 25, 2015
Fantastic capture!
iamtherie PRO+
 
iamtherie April 27, 2015
Nice shot!
morg
 
morg April 28, 2015
Stunning!!
faw67
 
faw67 May 01, 2015
beautiful
MaRock
 
MaRock May 01, 2015
Great Shot....
ReneeBlake PRO+
 
ReneeBlake May 16, 2015
Wonderful shot ! I have been to Howell Nature Center ~ great place !
raviramakrishnappa
 
raviramakrishnappa May 25, 2015
Absolute masterpiece!!!!
kirsty123
 
kirsty123 June 02, 2015
Fantastic shot
rosemarylang
 
rosemarylang June 20, 2015
Wow Beautiful photo.
jenniferfranke
 
jenniferfranke July 22, 2015
Love the colors!! So clear!!!
BTay01
 
BTay01 August 01, 2015
Wow. Such a great shot!
girishacf
 
girishacf August 02, 2015
excellent frame!!!
TioBill
 
TioBill August 06, 2015
Perfect timing. Absolutely gorgeous!
retofuerst
 
retofuerst August 23, 2015
great photo
GBloniarz PRO+
 
GBloniarz August 30, 2015
Excellent! Congrats!
JDLifeshots
 
JDLifeshots August 31, 2015
Amazing shot! Congrats.
hobbielancie
 
hobbielancie March 28, 2016
Just stunningly beautiful.
EnaEna
 
EnaEna July 14, 2016
amazing
jettahlily008 Platinum
 
jettahlily008 August 08, 2016
Wowww, beautiful capture & composition!!! :)
Adam_Pritchard75 PRO+
 
Adam_Pritchard75 August 23, 2016
Wow great shot!
Vanismile Platinum
 
Vanismile October 25, 2016
Congrats on nature contest ;) Magnificent capture:)
nornots Platinum
 
nornots January 31, 2017
Fantastic shot
WholesomeJoy
 
WholesomeJoy April 29, 2017
Beautiful bird and amazing capture!
Lesabre1954 Platinum
 
Lesabre1954 May 02, 2017
Nature at it's finest! Great capture.
tolgacagatay
 
tolgacagatay May 03, 2017
You are a God blessed photographer. Impossible luck and amazing work. Breathtaking...
Susandelisi
 
Susandelisi May 27, 2017
Stunning!! Beautiful gallery!!
elfridoX
 
elfridoX March 22, 2018
Beautiful
patricianielsen
 
patricianielsen August 24, 2018
Absolutely amazing shot
Doodlebeary Platinum
 
Doodlebeary September 28, 2018
What a great shot with beautiful colors!
kscotch
 
kscotch October 05, 2018
Wow..would be a perfect cover forBirds and Bloom magazine
eliotkay
 
eliotkay November 09, 2018
Excellent
mjdalamie
 
mjdalamie December 18, 2018
Beautiful
michaelakrempelhoward PRO+
 
michaelakrempelhoward December 21, 2018
Great timing - great composition. Patience does pay off. Congrats!
Whitt0wl Platinum
 
Whitt0wl February 03, 2019
Beautiful
ValerieAHagler PRO
 
ValerieAHagler March 03, 2019
Lovely
janvanpoortvliet PRO+
 
janvanpoortvliet October 17, 2019
Well timed shot! Cool
grandmaof7 PRO
 
grandmaof7 November 18, 2019
This image is the most beautiful, colorful photo I have ever seen. Congratulations on your awards.
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye November 18, 2019
Thank you, Jill! --Richard--
VLJ_PHOTOGRAPHY Platinum
 
VLJ_PHOTOGRAPHY December 24, 2019
Fabulous shot.
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye December 24, 2019
Thank you, Lee! --Richard--
Byronfairphotography PRO+
 
Byronfairphotography December 27, 2019
Awesome capture. / Voted
DeadEye Platinum
DeadEye December 28, 2019
Thank you, Byron! --Richard--
videofilm PRO+
 
videofilm January 19, 2020
Oops, I wanted to add a comment but apparently erased my previous. Love these guys and have raised quite a few as Wildlife Rehabilitator.
debasish_pal
 
debasish_pal February 28, 2020
simply fabulous shot
RickL PRO+
 
RickL March 19, 2020
Beautiful composition,good use of color and light,you are a fantastic photographer. Stay safe as well
texaaronpueschel Platinum
 
texaaronpueschel March 24, 2020
This picture would make a fine 4th of July card.
yungchung
 
yungchung May 22, 2020
Wow !
yungchung
 
yungchung May 22, 2020
Wow !
CURUTCHET
 
CURUTCHET June 13, 2020
beautiful photo
s.awasthi0744
 
s.awasthi0744 October 25, 2020
great picture
PGibson
 
PGibson October 25, 2020
Love this capture! Beautiful!!
rickeyculclasure PRO+
 
rickeyculclasure January 06, 2021
A beautiful capture
margitulstrup PRO+
 
margitulstrup January 06, 2021
Congratulations
HuaweiP30Lite
 
HuaweiP30Lite May 15
Is that a sort of Sparrow Hawk?

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken at the Howell Nature Center in Howell, Michigan.
Time
Professional nature photographer Steve Gettle had put on a workshop for photographers late in the morning of the day of the photo.This photo was probably taken around 1:00 pm.
Lighting
We were lucky as it was a mostly overcast mid-October day, so the natural lighting was perfect for outdoor photography.
Equipment
The photo was taken with a Canon 5D Mark ii camera; Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L lens; carbon fiber tripod with ball head, and a circular polarizer.
Inspiration
Following Steve Gettle's workshop on nature photography, about 40 photographers from beginners to professionals were let loose on the grounds of the Howell Nature Center. I was just getting set up when this perfect photo op occurred. Not having much time, I was lucky to get the settings (f5.6, ISO 200, 1/500 sec, 400 mm) correct on the first try. The grounds of the nature center are beautiful and a perfect setting for nature/wildlife photography.
Editing
I always shoot in RAW and use LightRoom for post processing. The combination of a Canon 5D Mark ii and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L lens almost always give sharp, vibrant results, so this photo didn't require much in the way of post processing. It was mostly a small amount of of clarity, and vibrance/saturation adjustments. I think what makes the photo as popular as it has been on ViewBug are the complimentary colors of the Kestrel Falcon (blue/orange) and the fall colors of the out of focus background.
In my camera bag
A year ago I upgraded my camera to a Canon 5DS R, so the 5D Mark ii is now my backup. I also upgraded my main wild life lens to the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L II. I have Canon L-series lenses in 17-40 mm and 24-105 mm. I have 50mm and 90mm macro lenses. I sometimes use a Canon 2X teleconverter. I use a carbon fiber tripod with one of 3 types of heads - ball, 3-way pan, or a gimbal type head - depending on the type of shooting I'll be doing. I have many filters, but mostly use either a circular polarizer or an ND filter. Also spare batteries and SD and CF cards. A remote wireless shutter release is invaluable in getting sharp photos.
Feedback
Know your camera and how to use it's settings. I mostly shoot in Aperture Mode although lately I've been using Manual mode more often. Be patient, and be very aware of the background as that can make or break a successful photo. Also, I have to give a lot of thanks to Steve Gettle and the Howell Nature Center. Steve donates his time to the nature center several times a year to put on successful photography workshops. He takes the time to see that the participants have a memorable shoot, and wanders around offering advice and answering questions. He leads nature photography workshops all over the world. Mostly, to improve your photography skills, get out and practice as much as possible.

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