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Emerald Eyes

Emerald Eyes
Photo Information
Copyright: Pieter van der Horst (sAner) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-04-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma AF 100-300/f4.0 EX APO, B+W 82mm UV-HAZE
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: A day at Avifauna!
Theme(s): Animal Portraits II [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-04-27 14:09
Viewed: 5063
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 76
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Even though Cormorants are fairly common where I live (I live on the shores of the IJssellake, the biggest lake in NL and there are a lot of Cormorants living there), I had never had the opportunity to capture one properly. That Saturday in Avifauna in Alphen aan den Rijn, I saw a free Cormorant sitting on the shore of the Pelican pool, trying to catch a fish which was being fed to the Pelicans. I could come close and made this portrait. I hope you like it. I love his Emerald Eyes.



The family of Phalacrocoracidae can be divided into two groups: the Cormorants and the Shags. The division into these two groups is based on ecological, behavioral and physiological characteristics (Johnsgard, 1993). All Cormorants, Shags and Darters have a small bone at the back of the skull, the occipital style. This bone is flexibly attached to the skull and is supposed to have a function for the grasping ability of these birds.

The ramphotecal coating of the bills of the cormorants are divided in plates, very much like those of the tubenoses, without visible nostrils.

There are seventeen species of the ‘true’ cormorants of the genus Phalacrocorax. Formerly there were several different genera such as: Phalacrocorax, Microcarbo, Hypoleucus and Compsohalieus, but presently only the single genus Phalacorcorax. (Johnsgard, 1993) is recognized.

Cormorants can be found on inland and coastal waters and vary very much in size, from the small Long-tailed to the very large, but extinct Pallas’ Cormorant.

The Cormorant in the picture is, I believe, a Eurasian Cormorant (native to the Netherlands, northern Central Europe to China). Please correct me if I am wrong. Info from: http://www.soldaat.com/edward/seabirds_skulls/cormorants_phalacrocoracidae.htm
Hit me where it hurts! Seriously; write what you think. I can use the lesson and I can really take the criticism. Thank you very much for taking the time to look at and criticize my photo. It is highly appreciated!

Shutter Speed: 1/500
F-stop: f/7.1
Focal length: 250mm
Tripod: no
Flash: no

This was picture nr 2 in the Avifauna series by sAner.

liquidsunshine, Fisher, thistle, Runnerduck, NitzanCK, Esox, AndyB, Luc, red45, Janice, PDP, marhowie, dew77, TAZ, carper, Toni, Mazer, scottevers7, extramundi, JeanMichel has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To gerhardt: About 10 metressAner 2 05-02 13:21
To carper: TN rocks!sAner 1 04-28 14:02
To Fisher: heya Mike!sAner 2 04-27 15:00
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Critiques [Translate]

Great shot Pieter!
Always when I see photos of this birds I can't believe that this eye colour is really so beautiful. It looks like a jewel.
The photo is very good, though the nice haircut of this fellow is a bit OOF.
I really like it.
Well done!

Double crested cormorant, is it not?

Excelent portrait of this fish eating bird. Well done on the composition. Great details. Excelent work, Pieter.

A controversial issue here on Manitoulin Island and Ontario. This bird is a pest and a destructive one.


Very good portrait, Pieter.
The eye is great. Good details, colours and composition.
As Monika mention the hair is bit OOF and you got a small halo around the sharp edges from the sharpening.
Very well done.

Wow, the eye is incredible, such a strong colour. Very well captured. Great detail on the bird, brilliant portrait shot. Good bg too. Well done and thanks for posting.

Great portrait Pieter!
Very good colours, comopsition and details. Very intresting eye, incredible shot.

Superb work, well done!

  • Great 
  • Esox Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 20 N: 344] (972)
  • [2005-04-27 14:54]

Very sharp portrait of this cormoran!
Great composition, high level details.
I especialy like the aqua blue eye.
A success, thanks.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-04-27 15:42]

Agree with you Pieter - emerald eyes are best! Very good portrait, sharp and detailed. With erected feathers bird looks like brave pirate ;-) Great post.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2005-04-27 16:18]

Wow Pieter, the emerald eye is tops. But I also especially like the golden colour below the eye, and how the black and gold blend in together. He looks so steady and confident and ready for anything! Great capture. A good job well done!

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2005-04-27 17:09]

Hello Pieter, very ncie work. Very good details where it counts and a very good composition. Great shot.

beautiful eyes! so clear and sharp!

  • Great 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2005-04-27 23:27]

Wow Pieter, I love portraits and this one is stunning. Incredible eye detail here. The exposure needs special mention as well.

Very well done and thanks for posting

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2005-04-27 23:32]

Pieter, this is simply another great shot by you.

Excellent mug shot, excellent composition.

And, of course the green eye. A fantastic shot.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-04-28 2:10]

Great shot of the cormorant, Pieter. I love his emerald eyes also, and the feathers sticking up on his head. Very beautiful portrait. Very sharp details and gorgeous colors. Bravo!

Step closer so I can hit harder....

Great portrait and sharp where it matters. Lovely colours and composition. TFS. Tim

  • Great 
  • AndyB Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1366 W: 32 N: 1351] (3982)
  • [2005-04-28 3:29]

A beautiful portrait.
Very sharp detail.
The eye is amazing,like a shining jewel.
Excellent work,very well done.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-04-28 3:40]

WONDERFUL portrait Pieter!
Blue eyes are great.Simple BG,sharpness,DoF are excellent.
Very nice work.TFS....:-)

Hi Pieter!
This is a superb portrait.Details,DOF and BG are wonderful.
Very well done!Thanks for sharing.

Hello Pieter, Excellent sharpness and detail of the face and beak..Amazing green eye colors and with that small patch of gold beneath it a real stunner!! Very good job!

super kop Pieter,
en dat meen ik. Ook bij jou zie ik progressie in je foto's. Dat vind ik nou zo mooi in deze site. Mensen gaan experimenteren en doen dingen die ze voordien nooit deden. Prachtige kop in pov, schitterende details, die ogen geven licht, prachtige kleurem, zeer goed werk.
gr. Jaap

An absolute cracker Pieter,
I love the eye. Excellent detail, colours, sharpness and clarity.
Wonderful capture, Thanks for posting.

Splendide portrait Pieter.
Le fond uni fait bien ressortir le sujet principal.

  • Great 
  • Toni Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 403 W: 2 N: 316] (2034)
  • [2005-04-28 17:45]

Great portrait. Like his emerald eye and curved beak. Looks a bit cheeky. Well done.
Regards Toni

The eye really do have it.
Great shot of the eye and bill, but it looks to me like the head feathers are not sharp, windy perhaps?

  • Great 
  • Mazer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 65 W: 3 N: 34] (104)
  • [2005-04-29 3:15]

Stunning capture, good crisp detail and the eye is an amazing colour. Well done and thanks for sharing :)

Wow.... awesome sharpness, detail and subject. The eye colour is amazing. Just like a jewel. I particularly like the detail of the hook on the end of the beak. That would inflict a nasty injury to his victim. Nice portrait Pieter. Well done on this awesome shot. Thanks

Nice portrait, great eye colours, good POV and framing.
I have a similar one in my gallerie.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • Luc Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1835 W: 301 N: 4287] (14767)
  • [2005-04-29 21:36]

Personal assessment of the photo: more than great, almost excellent. First time I see such an eye!
Very strong visual impact.
Aptness of the photo for the site: excellent.
Personal assessment of the note: complete.
Thank you very very much Pieter.

Excellent portrait on this Cormorant. Clors and detail are great. That eye color really makes this one stand out.Nice Work.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-04-30 3:58]

Très beau et intéressant portrait pour cette superbe oiseau. Jolies couleurs et très bonne netteté.
Very Well Done !

  • Great 
  • olger Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 0 N: 138] (744)
  • [2005-04-30 4:57]

Prachtige plaat pieter.. ! Heel mooi die kleur van de ogen van deze vogel! Grappig dat je hem daar trof..! Ik ga binnenkort eens naar zon observatiehut op het naardermeer.. Heel mooi scherp, al had er naar mijn idee nog wel iets meer scherptediepte in gemogen.. Probeer eens diafragma voorkeuze F 10 als je dit mooie weer hebt.. Voor de rest superplaat! Nice and good picture, lovely eyes!

It really looks like an emerald!
You have very good details on the face, and a nice composition too. Is a pity the punky crest is not on focus, although is not the important part of the shot. Great too see this one. Thanks.

  • Great 
  • optic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 322 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2005-05-01 20:39]

What a beautifull photo Pieter, great composition & details, sharpness & dof are perfect. The emerald eyes are superb !

Very well done!


WOW Pieter, your work keeps on improving. Very well done on this capture. I love hte eye details. The DOF is a bit shallow but F7.1 should have been enough... how close where you to the subject?

Erg goed gedaan, Pieter.

Their eyes are so amazingly colored that this shag really deserved a good portrait!
You did it... and very well. Did you know that cormorants were known for smuggling emerald stones from Brazil :-). You've got one!

Hi Pieter,

Great Shot.
Very nice colours and détails.

Hi Pieter,
This portrait of this Cormorant is really nice. You can very clearly see how beautiful this bird is, also when she just finish her diving exercises.
When you see them flying they all look black, but look at this colorful head! Sharpness is on the right place, the eye and the beak. Compliments!

Hi Pieter
I've not critiqued this one yet because Although it's a stunning image, I must nit pick. But I owe you one, so... Subject is gorgeous, composition and exposure great, but why is the back of the head out of focus? Looking at the F stop it should have been OK but it's a shame you didn't check and re-take it.

This shot is an eye opener coz i never knew they have emerald eyes! I feel sorry to overlook them whenever i go to the near by dam. next time i will surely take a close up. TFS!

Calibration Check