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Ectopistes Migratorius (Passenger Pigeon)
Ectopistes Migratorius (Passenger Pigeon)

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Pigeons (Advanced Editing VII*)
Camera: Sony DSLR-a200K
Lens: Sony DT 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical ED Zoom Lens for Sony Alpha
Location: University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
Date: Jul 21, 2009
Aperture: f/5.6
ISO: 400
Shutter: 1/100
Galleries: Nature, Birds
Date Uploaded: Jul 21, 2009

I bet my submission is the only one with an extinct species.

I didn't have any luck with live pigeons (they are skitish and my lens is not very long) so I thought I would try out the Museum of Natural History in Iowa City. They have a whole wing with several thousand preserved birds including many extinct birds (Dodos are pretty funny looking). I hope that it isn't obvious that this bird isn't alive (other than the fact that the species is extinct).

I did a little research about these guys and it is pretty interesting. Passenger Pigeon on Wikipedia

Place: 12 out of 61
Avg (all users): 6.0000
Avg (commenters): 6.4000
Avg (participants): 5.7143
Avg (non-participants): 6.0565
Views since voting: 2176
Views during voting: 379
Votes: 212
Comments: 17
Favorites: 0

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09/23/2009 01:33:58 AM
I remember giving this image a high score. I really liked the way the bird tilted his head, wish both wings on a diagonal. The upper left part is brighter and distracts a bit from his head. This was an advanced editing challenge, so I would have smoothed the image a bit (carefully leaving the important parts sharp). Due to the high ISO it does have a bit of grain. Now that might be your preference, so again, it's personal choice.

The eye of the bird is amazing. It's sharp and colourful. Becuase it is so attractive, I would have tried to compose the shot so the eye would land in the upper right third of the image. Your positioning is not bad, but cropping a bit from the right side would have strenghen the compo.

The colours are quite pleasing, maybe a bit of contrast to make them pop even more. Other than that, I really like this one.

P.S. I didn't realize the bird was dead. You made him look alive!

Message edited by author 2009-09-23 01:35:59.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/22/2009 03:40:54 PM
I to had no idea this was a "model"! I to am no expert, but I like it. It looks like its peeking out from the darkness. I think you did a great job.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
09/09/2009 02:26:16 PM

I would never have known the bird was not alive...nice! I like the photo. I guess since you asked for critique I can only say what I may have done different if it were my photo. Keep in mind I am by no means an expert and actually think it looks good already. The only thing I would have done was used a noise recuding software and sharpened the eye after.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/22/2009 03:02:43 AM
I had no idea it was either dead or extinct. Nice job! Beat the crap outta my live pigeon. :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/29/2009 02:45:59 PM
Greetings from the Critique Club and congratulations on your new personal best!

For a second I really thought it was a live bird! I really like how the lighting, DOF and the camera angle draw attention to the eye of the pigeon.

While the square crop works well here, I think a tighter crop might have worked a little better. I like the dark color but the light spots in the background are a somewhat distracting. Given that it was an advanced editing challenge, you could spot edit and tone them down. The grain from high ISO is also most noticeable in those areas.

I think a pass of sharpening on the head would have brought out more details and enhanced this wonderful image.

If you have any questions about this critique, please feel free to PM me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/29/2009 04:07:43 AM
Nice one Dan but yes, extinct. Despite Wikipedia (everyones bible) new evidence supports that hunting alone is not the sole cause of it's extinction, but habitat destruction has played as large a role, as is even the case of the Dodo which dissapeared due to dogs and macaques being introduced to Mauritius by man. So all those "conservation" groups are starting to duck thier heads in their offices and mansions and SUV's...just because they don't "hunt" doesn't mean they themselves aren't also contributing to species demise, and if they own a cat...Enough of the lecture...

Well done on your 12th, you got my 8.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/29/2009 01:24:55 AM
Takes me back....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
07/28/2009 08:50:08 PM
Poor wittle fing!!! AWWWWW Looks like it hasn't moved in Ages!! ;)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/28/2009 10:53:16 AM
Nice pic, very soft and gentle. But not "Passenger Pigeon", as that species is extinct, since 1914. eta: ...unless this one is stuffed, that is...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/28/2009 04:43:33 AM
Beautiful photo. Hope you do well with this one. I thought they were extinct!?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/26/2009 04:42:48 PM
Unfortunately hunted-to-extinction ... :-(
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/26/2009 09:15:04 AM
I like the lighting on the head. That eye looks like it's staring straight at me.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/23/2009 02:21:07 PM
Little grainy and dark. But i like the close feel to the pigeons face.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2009 01:48:54 PM
I like how the bird seems to be leaning back at us --ohh, passenger pigeon? Is this a stuffed bird? Interesting how alive it seems as it appears to look back.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2009 11:38:44 AM
Beautiful lighting and wonderful detail! The browns are perfect! 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2009 10:44:15 AM
Normally I don't like harsh lighting that creates abrupt shadows like this, but here, somehow it just works really well... I also love that square crop!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/22/2009 04:02:55 AM
Awww - sweet close-up! Very nice detail in the beak - and a different sort of beak than I'm used to with my street pigeons.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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