Again, I think you make a a number of assumptions here...
>Absolutely it would be improved. His head wouldn't be nearly >chopped off. He wasn't supposed to suddenly stand up, but he >did. Is it that hard to visualize? Do I have to cut and >paste this thing in Photoshop to make the point?
I have absolutely NO IDEA what makes a great bird image. In fact, the shots you've posted here all look calendar worthy to my untrained eye. For this image in particular, I had no idea anything was wrong until you just pointed out that the bird's head was too close to the frame. Based on what my clients want for the images I shoot, this image would not be cropped enough.
>There is more to life than filling a frame, edge to edge, with >a bird. That's just a documentary image.
Yes. And I shoot editorially, and that is what is expected of me. That is what pays the bills in my line of work. In fact, it is desired in many cases in both sports and fashion photography to not only fill the frame, but to have the subject bleed off 3-4 edges of the frame.
>A great bird image >- a fine art image - has great habitat too. It is a rare >image but it is the wall hanger image, and the most saleable >image. When that rare thing happens, I would like to have FX. > And I don't want to have to have the aim of a military >marksman to get it.
I understand that. Our needs in imagery are 180 degrees apart. And perhaps that is why you are having such a difficult time understanding what I am after.
> It's not rocket science.
Perhaps not. But a fundamental understanding of what the end product needs to be is paramount to understanding the nature of the problem.
>My offer stands. I'll trade my D300 for any D800. Not a D3s. > Love to own the camera but not for this.
I have no need for a D300. However, I will likely be trading my D3s for a D400 should it materialize. My D800 won't be going anywhere for a good while yet.