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Eye of the Beholder: Goshawk at Sunset

Eye of the Beholder: Goshawk at Sunset
Photo Information
Copyright: Nigel Deacon (Merlin) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 445 W: 267 N: 455] (1713)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon F100, Nikkor AF Micro 105 mm f/2.8, Kodachrome 64
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/125 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2005-09-21 7:37
Viewed: 5837
Favorites: 7 [view]
Points: 37
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Fire reflected in fire..

This is an adult female Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis of German origin. A predator on other birds and mammals in the forests of much of Europe, Asia and North America, this species is now making a strong recovery from extinction in the UK after a series of reintroductions by falconers.

The eye colour changes from grey when very young to yellow, gradually acquiring a distinct orange tinge as the bird gets older. This one is more than twelve years old.

It's like staring into a sun, or perhaps an active volcano...

Focussed manually due to critical DOF and marginal light levels. Scanned from slide, contrast increased slightly. This is probably my favourite shot of thousands taken - the original is, as always, better than the scan.

Many thanks to all who have commented - much appreciated.

marhowie, Mousehill, cedryk, olontur, Fisher, livios, ljsugarnspice, Betty, fthsm, wingle has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To livios: Goshawk at SunsetMerlin 1 03-31 13:14
To Fisher: Composition - I agree ;)Merlin 1 03-07 11:33
To peter_stoeckl: Goshawk..Merlin 1 02-25 14:10
To cedryk: Thanks!Merlin 2 11-25 20:50
To Mousehill: Your wish ..Merlin 2 09-22 04:39
To Pesky_Polecat: Exposure ..Merlin 1 09-21 14:16
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Critiques [Translate]

Very nice macro, Nigel.
For a scanned photo it great. I love the reflection and the colours in the eye.
Well done.

very good timing.Retina with a beautiful landscape.

Challenging shot to pull off, well done. Scan is a little noisey and highlights are burned out, maybe too much contrast?

Great image Nigel, Considering the narrow DOF the focussing is spot on. To me personally the beak at the bottom right corner is a bit distractin of the main subject. I would have considered cropping it away. Still a very strong image with great impact. Thanks for sharing, Mike

Interesting shot Nigel. Very nice scene within the scene. This is a case where "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" takes a two-way street ;-) Thank You!

Absolutly brilliant Nigal, I love this picture. I love the fact you have caught the reflection in her eye as well, very very good shoot. Thanks for sharing.

Wow, amazing shot - the world reflected in the hawk eye - amazing POV. Beautiful effect of a very bright idea!

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2005-11-25 7:50]

This is absolutelly excellent photo Nigel! One of best ideas of photo on TN! Sunset seen in eye of Goshawk - brilliant.

Hello Nigel!
Very beautiful and I guess hard to take shot. I only once saw a Goshawk, flying way high above some wood. And that was a real WOW! Now I can imagine it is to get so close for a shot!

As for the WS, I'm a fan of out of center compositions, thus I like the version you put up better, though I have to agree with Mousehull, that the tiny piece of beak is distracting. Maybe there could be median solution?


Exciting picture, Nigel,
very strong impact. The colour contrast is beautiful and very artistically set into the picture. Very well chosen details. The mirroring in the eye is phantastic. That picture deserves top ranking! Thanks and best regards,

Hi Nigel,

You did well on this capture and composition. Actually, the workshop is too centered. This one is just right and the beak IMO is NOT distracting, it's a nice element to the closeup. Nicely done.


  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-03-28 9:06]

Hi Nigel,
Exciting macro picture.You better watch up he lookc angry.I love the reflection eye.Good POV.
Well done

oh wow...OUTSTANDING detals.....awsome colours....

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2006-03-31 12:44]
  • [+]

Nigel, no doubt this is a great idea and a great image.

I like pov a lot. Great title too.

This is photo is amazing!! the detail in the reflection of the eye... the color and the clarity... just amazing... wow... that's so much for sharing! -laurita

  • Great 
  • fthsm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 172 W: 56 N: 512] (3689)
  • [2006-10-25 2:30]

I can see some red feathers, cause of blood I guess. Goshawk is a special bird for me and it is nice to see a different photo.
TFS Nigel.

Wow, how close did you get to this one?

Hello Nigel,
Love the fiery orange eye with the reflection of the landscape! Original must be even more stunning than this! Thanks for sharing.

Very nice macro, Nigel
Beautiful effect of a very bright idea!


I dont have any words for such a masterpiece other than to thank you for it.

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