My top 20 wildlife images

Verdict: Could do better...

Yours truly...

Yours truly...

I recently joined the Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers (SINWP), and one of the first things I did was to apply to join their mentoring programme. The criteria they use to rate the images are as follows:

  1. Impact
  2. Creativity and style
  3. Composition
  4. Image or print presentation
  5. Centre of interest
  6. Lighting
  7. Colour balance
  8. Technical excellence
  9. Photographic technique
  10. Story telling and subject matter

I submitted my top 20 images, and this is the feedback I received. I've made all the suggested changes (where possible), so these images are the new and improved versions!

01: Close-up of giraffe silhouetted against black background Verdict: Love this image, Nick

01: Close-up of giraffe silhouetted against black background
Verdict: Love this image, Nick

02: Close-up of right eye of Grevy zebra Verdict: Again, a lovely image, you just need to remove yourself from the eye

02: Close-up of right eye of Grevy zebra
Verdict: Again, a lovely image, you just need to remove yourself from the eye

03: Brown bear lying relaxed on rocky outcrop Verdict: The image just needs to be a little darker as it's a bit wishy washy

03: Brown bear lying relaxed on rocky outcrop
Verdict: The image just needs to be a little darker as it's a bit wishy washy

04: Intermediate egret wading through lake in sunshine Verdict: Like it, just watch the highlights on the back of the stork as the detail is being lost

04: Intermediate egret wading through lake in sunshine
Verdict: Like it, just watch the highlights on the back of the stork as the detail is being lost

05: Bengal tiger with catchlight in water hole Verdict: Great shot, shame there is movement in the head, making the image look unsharp

05: Bengal tiger with catchlight in water hole
Verdict: Great shot, shame there is movement in the head, making the image look unsharp

06: Malachite kingfisher on dead branch facing camera Verdict: If you can, tone down the background highlights a little more as they are distracting

06: Malachite kingfisher on dead branch facing camera
Verdict: If you can, tone down the background highlights a little more as they are distracting

07: Elephant giving itself dust bath on hillside Verdict: Love it, great capture, good movement in the image

07: Elephant giving itself dust bath on hillside
Verdict: Love it, great capture, good movement in the image

08: Lilac-breasted roller perched on dead tree stump Again, a lovely image. In my mind, there is too much tree stump, try cropping to just below the branch (about 25mm).

08: Lilac-breasted roller perched on dead tree stump
Again, a lovely image. In my mind, there is too much tree stump, try cropping to just below the branch (about 25mm).

09: Adelie penguin jumping between two ice floes Verdict: Another cracking shot, good use of movement and D of F

09: Adelie penguin jumping between two ice floes
Verdict: Another cracking shot, good use of movement and D of F

10: King penguin stepping over rock with another Verdict: Like it, but if you can take the snow / water down a little in the background that would stop the eye from wandering

10: King penguin stepping over rock with another
Verdict: Like it, but if you can take the snow / water down a little in the background that would stop the eye from wandering

11: Juvenile dolphin gull walks on sandy beach Verdict: The image is too light and needs adjustment, also the head of the bird doesn't look as sharp as it should be

11: Juvenile dolphin gull walks on sandy beach
Verdict: The image is too light and needs adjustment, also the head of the bird doesn't look as sharp as it should be

12: Close-up of Chilean flamingo head in mono Verdict: Like the shot, but would like to see it in colour. You also have a ghost line just appearing on the top of the bird's head.

12: Close-up of Chilean flamingo head in mono
Verdict: Like the shot, but would like to see it in colour. You also have a ghost line just appearing on the top of the bird's head.

13: Marine iguana among roots staring at camera Again, a great capture, just tone down the highlights and the background a little, would again stop the eye wandering from the main subject

13: Marine iguana among roots staring at camera
Again, a great capture, just tone down the highlights and the background a little, would again stop the eye wandering from the main subject

14: Bear about to catch salmon in mouth Verdict: Cracking shot, but the image appears too light and looks washed out

14: Bear about to catch salmon in mouth
Verdict: Cracking shot, but the image appears too light and looks washed out

15: Brown bear about to catch a salmon Verdict: Prefer 14, but the image appears too light and looks washed out

15: Brown bear about to catch a salmon
Verdict: Prefer 14, but the image appears too light and looks washed out

16: Close-up of golden eagle head with catchlight Verdict: Yes, good head shot. Not mind-blowing and not one of your strongest images.

16: Close-up of golden eagle head with catchlight
Verdict: Yes, good head shot. Not mind-blowing and not one of your strongest images.

17: Male azure hawker dragonfly flying through undergrowth Verdict: Put the image back into Photoshop and go to levels and add 27. The image then jumps off the page.

17: Male azure hawker dragonfly flying through undergrowth
Verdict: Put the image back into Photoshop and go to levels and add 27. The image then jumps off the page.

18: Pig peeping out from behind wall Verdict: Ha ha. Love it. The image again is too light. Go to levels again, also darken the background to stop the pillars being a distraction.

18: Pig peeping out from behind wall
Verdict: Ha ha. Love it. The image again is too light. Go to levels again, also darken the background to stop the pillars being a distraction.

19: Baby spotted owlet close-up Verdict: There is camera movement in the image. Again, as above.

19: Baby spotted owlet close-up
Verdict: There is camera movement in the image. Again, as above.

20: Grevy's zebra watercolour
Verdict: Like the shot, but not the effect. Also watch the horizon line and you also have a dead pixelated line around the head, which is noticeable in the dark area of the image.

Comments: Hi, Nick, you have some brilliant images here, just watch the camera movement and put them back into Photoshop and play with the density a little more to give the images more depth. But keep up the good work.