I don't read Audubon or any other nature mags so I can't compare your shot to that, but it works for me - well done.
Bonus points for getting it on a PHD camera as well..
Hi David, and thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it
I had no idea my post would incite such heated discussion in here, but thank you to all who chose to comment -- I appreciate any and all remarks, no matter how they are worded. I really like the fact that the community here maintains high-standards for anything shared, since if you can maintain a thick enough skin to take what's offered in response to heart, I think the shared knowledge and experience found here can be an invaluable tool for helping to hone one's skills.
FWIW, I didn't read howie's note as anything other than honest and to-the-point critique. It's a fact that the highlights are distracting, just as much as it's a fact that they were basically impossible to eliminate at the time I took the shot (next time I will take Kate's advice and pack some SuperGlue in the day-bag ). I'm a hobbyist, not a pro, so I'm perfectly comfortable making photos with flaws if that means not missing a shot.
I've gone back and forth on how to crop that one, since I know
that a tighter crop presents the bird better, but when I tighten it up, there are still some distracting highlights in the frame, and it ends up feeling a bit forced and claustrophobic to me. Or maybe a better way to describe the effect is that it becomes overly 'sanitized' IMO.. especially given the fact that a close crop doesn't really eliminate some of the 'problems' the image has. It just seems to lose any sense of context when tightened up (then again, maybe that's because I'm the only one who can still remember the context at the time I shot it).
In the end, I decided that it's simply an 'ok' shot of a hummingbird caught doing something that I haven't personally witnessed all that often (I don't read Audubon either) and decided to share it with the rest of you to get some much needed feedback. As I mentioned in my original post, it really was just a grab-shot with a P&S.. qucik and dirty -- I still had a wad of crépe in my mouth, for Pete's sake!
That said, I really do appreciate people taking time to look at the photo and offer some critique. Here's a revised crop.. any better?