Pied Kingfisher Emerging from the Water

Pied Kingfisher Emerging from the Water

I was watching the Pied Kingfishers fishing the other day. Incredibly quick, they like to hover a few meters above the surface using rapid wing-movement, then dive into the water to grab a fish. This photo shows one emerging from the water with a tiny prize in its beak.

What do I like about this photo? The colors - the Pied Kingfisher is a contrast-y black-and-white, with the background and the water being of other colors, so the Kingfisher stands out. The water splash and droplets add lots of interest to the photo. I used an open aperture (f/6.3 - the most open my lens supports at a focal length of 400mm) to have a shallow depth of field, so the Kingfisher and the water droplets and splashes are in focus, but the rest is blurred out. I used a fast shutter speed (1/2500 of a second) to freeze the action. The pose of the Kingfisher, with the trademarked curved wings, is close to perfect, as well.

What would I want to improve? I would have wanted to be a bit closer, so with less cropping more detail would have been available. A larger catch would also have been nice, as well as eye contact.

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