Beside the story telling in my wildlife photography I like to make photos that are esthetically pleasing. I admit, not every picture that tells a story complies with this criteria. At the other hand, not every photo that is a piece of art tells a story about the critter or the environment it lives in. I guess there is an in between and a demand for either side.

Get it right in camera and be done with it is a high bar that I like to jump but this is quite often easier said than done. Here are three pictures from yesterday’s shooting at the Mississippi. Each was made with a pleasing composition in mind but the outcome required more or less correction.

Focussing on just one Canada Goose and panning with the lens led to this shot. No crop, the bird’s position in the frame tells the story of a direct overflight, and the light reflected from the snow on the ground make for a pleasing picture in my books. I wished it would be always that way 😊.

More geese flying by at the same location. The light is again just great. I tried to capture the typical V-shape of the formation and integrated it as a triangle in my composition. Everything worked out good, except for the fact that one goose was cut by the edge of the photo on the left hand side. There was no remedy for that beside removing the bird in question. I didn’t get it right in camera obviously but this small correction made me keep the image.

Over the years I made thousands of photos with a Bald Eagle in flight and I keep still several hundred in my photo library. So, why another one? The shape of the cloud in the background and the way the eagle holds its wings at that moment make it an esthetically pleasing photo for me. Well, but I missed the composition completely by having the eagle dead center. I would not have a problem with that if the eagle would fill most of the frame, but here the cloud is an important part of the photo. It just didn’t look right to me. A small crop on the right and at the bottom came to my rescue. Again, not right in camera, but the photo is much better balanced after the correction in post process.