Photo: Grand Designs

Photographer: Bob Carter

Pentax K-500, 100mm, 1/250sec at f/2.8, ISO 400

Photo Appraisal

Before – The bird’s eye is beautifully sharp, and even has a catchlight. Photo by Bob Carter

I’m rather in awe of anyone who can get good photographs of these fidgeting little creatures. Either you need the responses of a ninja, because by the time you notice the bird has settled somewhere it has gone again, or you need the patience of a saint to wait for it to return to a favoured perch. And even when these birds are perching, their bodies twitch and turn, flit and twist, as if they are trying to make themselves a difficult target for a sniper.

Bob’s shot gets my admiration, not only because it has the whole blue tit in the frame and it isn’t about to fly off, but also because the bird is doing something more than just sitting there. The bundle of nesting material clasped in its beak makes for some great added interest, and by some miracle Bob has that as well as the bird’s eye in crisp, sharp focus.

Photo Appraisal

After – A tighter crop draws our attention into the frame more effectively. Photo by Bob Carter

My only criticism of Bob’s shot is the framing, as our friend seems a little lost among that great expanse of green background. I’ve made a 4:3 crop to make the bird bigger and more significant in the frame, so we can begin to appreciate all the detail that Bob has captured. As the edges of the frame are quite bright, they allow our attention to drift off, so I’ve also applied a moderate amount of vignetting to concentrate the brain on the middle of the frame.

This is a lovely picture, Bob. Well done.

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Send up to six prints, slides or images on CD (please include the original files from the camera along with your submitted versions on your CD). Tell us a little about the pictures and, if you can, include details of equipment used and exposure settings. Send your photographs to ‘Appraisal’ at our address on the Contact Us page. Please enclose an SAE if you would like them returned. You can also email up to six low res images to Please remember to include your name, address and daytime telephone number.