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    Wildlife in Minnesota in Fall Colors
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Select Your Best Photos to Post Process

Consider these elements when culling thru your images to select those to process.

4-Legged Mammals

  • Eyes are tack sharp
  • Catch light in eyes
  • The whites of the eyes are showing
  • Shot is at eye level or below with the animal (not above eye level)
  • No blown-out white highlights on the animal, unless it’s rim light
  • Ears up and facing in the same direction the animal is looking
  • For frontal straight-on shots, the nose is sharp in addition to tack sharp eyes.
  • There is separation between the 4 legs, no merges with the legs. Easy to see 4 distinctive legs. 9. No appendages clipped (e.g., ears, tail, feet).
  • Background landscape lines don’t go directly through or merge with the animal’s head. This includes horizon lines, trees branches, rocks… any background line.
  • No vertical lines intersecting or merging with the animal’s head or body
  • Outer front leg (furthest from you) is up and bent to show forward motion
  • The tail is up or out from the body and visible
  • The animal is looking into the frame and is off center in the frame
  • For full body shots, the feet are in view
  • If the feet are behind something and not in view, the frame includes the blocked area so that the viewer can visualize that the feet would be visible if not blocked
  • There is nice tonal contrast between the head and background
  • For reflection shots, the body vs reflection is not symmetrical. For example, 1/3 top of the frame is the animal, 2/3 bottom of the frame is the reflection; not half and half.
  • Claws are visible
  • If close up with vertical trees, ideally is a vertical composition
  • For multiple animal shots, there are no intersections or mergers with the animals, unless it’s compositionally great with the merger
  • No crops on a joint (e.g., elbows, knees, etc.)

Bird Photos

  • Eye(s) tack sharp
  • Body and wings are not clipped in the frame
  • White areas not blown out to white
  • Membrane is not over the eye
  • Talons (for raptors) tack sharp if showing
  • Both wings visible and extended
  • No landscape lines intersecting the eagles body or wings
  • Contrasting background behind the bird

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