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Snowy Sentinel

Snowy Sentinel
Photo Information
Copyright: David Robert (Dave) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 503 W: 43 N: 657] (2178)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-01-31
Categories: Birds
Camera: NikonD200, AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm ED
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/160 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2007-01-31 18:36
Viewed: 8023
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 69
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis
This male cardinal kept a stoic watch of my feeders as the snow fell and many other birds stayed active visiting the feeders on this cold day.

Animal Diversity Web Info
Wikipedia Info

Exposure Time = 1/160"
F Number = F5.6
Exposure Program = Shutter priority
ISO Speed Ratings = 1600
Date Time Original = 2007-01-31 16:16:48
Focal Length = 400mm

Thanks for lookin! Sorry I've not been around much lately. Life seems to get busy with a multitude of concerns sometimes where it just seems kind of hard to stop and smell the roses.

Adanac, zenitlady, cedryk, jeanpaul, lovenature, manyee, anel, coasties, scottevers7, horia, fiyo, bobair, marhowie, tiklod, Liliane, touristdidi has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To eserrano: Your message is very much appreaciated.Dave 1 10-06 21:16
To trinko: WorkshopsDave 1 02-01 22:44
To trinko: desaturatingDave 1 01-31 22:59
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Critiques [Translate]

Oh man! I want cardinals here in Oregon!! Would you transplant some here please! : ) This is a stunning composition with that wonderful bird in the snowy setting. I'm jealous.

Evelynn : )

Hello Dave! Perfect background for a wonderful composition! Cardinals are at their best photogenically when they are all fluffed up like this one. This shot would make a beautiful Christmas card. You have a very good eye! Well done! Thank you, Linda

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2007-01-31 19:08]

Hello Dave,

Great POV and wonderful contrast between the cardinal and the rest of the picture - it's almost like allegory of life and death... Vivid, alive bird in dead, unfriendly and frozen world. At least that's my impression. Very strong and effective shot.
Best greetings,

Salut Dave
Elle est très Intéressante cette composition avec un contraste marqué entre la boule de plumes rouge de l'oiseau et les branches grises environnantes. Félicitations et au revoir...JP

A picture postcard is what your capture looks like.
This picture of the Northern Cardinal is just wonderful David.
The red really stand out nicely and I really feel the cold by the way the snow if falling. (I'm having the same type of day here...blowing snow, 70 kph winds with a wind chill of -25)
TFS Janice

great composition but the bird could use some sharpening. have you thought about desaturating everything but the bird?

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  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-02-01 0:11]

A wonderful winter scene, Dave.
The red in the cardinal is brilliant against the white snow.
The pine cones and needles make a lovely background.
Great shot and TFS. : )

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  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2007-02-01 0:54]

Hi David,

well captured in this snowwy weather,nice color contrast,a pity of the cones in the FG,but sometimes you cannot have it all,well done and TFS


Hi David,
Very aesthetic image....
Nicely composed picture.
Great shot.

Ben Lakitan

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-02-01 3:30]

Hi David,
That's a wonderful shot. Perfect composition, amazing colour-contrast, a lucky shot.
How beautiful these birds are!
Best regards

Hi David

Good colours and well composed shot. The snow falling is an added bonus. Nice camera work. TFS.

Hi Dave,
I really like this shot. The Cardinal is very vivid and sharp. The very subtle colors of the surrounding only accent his bright color so much more. This really looks good!

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  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-02-01 6:57]

Hi Dave

What a fantstic capture!
At first, when i looked at the thimbnail, it thought it's one of those photos where the subject is the only colored element and everything else is b&w...well i wasn't to much far off :))
But that simple fact that the cardinal here is so vividly colored and the rest is so pale makes it such a slpendid shot!
The POV is nice and the DOF is great.
Also the exposure is excellent and the presentation lovely.
I think the only nit here is the OOF branch in front of the bird...if it weren't for that, it would be a smashing composition!
But even so, it's a great post!
Bravo and TFS

Hi Dave,
Look at that bird standing out from the grey and snowy surrounding. It makes him even more beautiful. A great sneak peak composition with, considering the high ISO, good control on the exposure and the noise level.

Hello David, excllent composed and capture photo excllent details very crisp perfect composed and capture post card

TFS Kyle

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  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-02-01 18:14]

Hi Dave,
Good to see you around hope things are well. Your posting today is wonderful, a beautiful cardinal in a snow storm, that has great composition, clarity and color, thanks for sharing and take care.

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  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-02-01 22:53]

Hello David

I really like the contrast in this image.The shot almost looks desaturated,but the sombre day aids in the effect,and the lovely red colour of the cardinal just sings.Very good focus and details.Nicely composed too.TFS


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  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-02-02 7:47]

Very pleasant and wild composition Dave with the bird amid their snowy environment.

Composition: *****
Sharpness: ****
Color: *****
Lighting: *****
Background: ****
Framing: *****
DOF: *****
Focus: *****
POV: ****
Frame: *****
Note: ***

A different presentation with great aesthetic sense.
Thank you and regards... Ricardo

Hi Dave,
wonderful shot of this cardinal.We unfortunately do not have these birds here in Alberta or I would go shutter crazy on them.The scarlet of its' feathers and the green of the pine needles work well together,and that hazy look of the BG due to the falling snow caps it off nicely. Bob

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  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2007-02-02 22:50]

Excellente composition et bravo pour le contraste de couleurs.
Merci Dave!

A great snowy cardinal shot. The out of focus pinecone is a distraction - otherwise shows the color and they way birds puff up their feathers against the cold perfectly.

Hu Dave real great capture of the great cardinal,great colours in trough the pine, real good focus on the bird great compo.

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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2007-03-21 20:11]

Very good one Dave, I like it a lot. Very sharp, well composed and great artistic treatment. Thanks !


This is beautiful and looks like a Christmas card! We feel the mood of this harsh but fantasist winter. Tones of colors, details, environment and composition are just lovely!

Great effect with snow falling through the frame Dave. The bold colors of the cardinal really jump in this setting also.
Nice detail, exposure, and DOF. Now if the OOF branch/pine cones in front were absent :)
Still very good work mf.

Lovely, lovely image. The cardinal is so bright against the gray background. I love the snow falling and the general appearance of winter. Very nice. You might consider trying to clone out that blurry branch in the foreground.

-Dave Shaw

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  • tiklod Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 290 W: 74 N: 875] (3397)
  • [2007-10-02 18:45]

Hi David,
A REALLY BEAUTIFUL BIRD! Excellent details and sharpness. This picture reminds me Christmas hollidays!!! Very nice shot!
Thanks for sharing,


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  • LBO Silver Star Critiquer [C: 18 W: 0 N: 3] (143)
  • [2007-10-03 10:45]

Hi Dave

We have cardinals here in Quebec from a few year now, even during the (so cold) winter. But I never succeeded to obtain a so wonderful picture.


Awesome shot of a beautiful creature. I wish you the best with all the changes taking place in your life. Look up to God and seek His guidance. He'll see through the maze and bring you out to open spaces. He's got a good plan for you. God bless you!

Lovely composition, lovely pose, lovely colour of the bird, everything is like a perfect Natures Christmas greeting.

Awesome image! It reminds me of Christmas time as you often see such a depiction on Christmas cards - and your image would make a super card! Unfortunately Christmas in New Zealand is in our summer season but I always think of scenes like this as being the real Christmas. The colour of the bird contrasts well with the snowy backdrop and I like the inclusion of the boughs, pine cones and needles to set the scene. Awesome!

Bonjour David,

Très très jolie photo... J'adore ! Le cadrage est parfait, et ce paysage de neige magnifique.

Merci et bravo !


So Christmas card perfect, it seems nothing can be that beautiful! Really, just fantastic!

Hi Dave. Fantastic shot. I love the colour contrast. The focus was very difficult but you have done it. Great shot!

beautiful pic, almost like a painting, TFS Ori

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