Self-Critique on a photo I took today

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From a VERY quick walk in this frigid weather.

Instinctively, I critique all of my photos on a technical and compositional basis when I review them.

Sometimes I notice things I couldn’t see through the viewfinder. In this particular shot, the small brown blur towards to the top left is an “error” in my opinion. It’s probably a distant dead leaf, and I feel it detracts a bit from the photo.

I would have removed it physically if I had noticed through the viewfinder. However, I do not like to alter my nature shots in post-processing, and I prefer not to crop. I do my best to present the scene as it was. I did though, move the feather from a pricker bush on the ground, to an elevated and isolated branch to make the shot. It blew away seconds later and I’m lucky I got a shot at all.

I did shoot a few frames at an aperture of F/4 also (presented shot is F/2.8).  The increased aperture brought nice detail into the feather, however I did not like the background elements that starting coming into focus.

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