Conowingo Eagles Are…”Awesome”


Now if every photo is “Awesome”, then none are, it seems that way to me. That is the problem with photos on the web. Every photo is awesome, yet as you probably have figured out, many are subjectively so. The word has lost its true meaning and impact when it is used with such abandon. And there is so much more we can say. Why don’t we do that then?

It is funny too that some really great photos that really are awesome don’t get people’s admiration. Why you ask? I ask that too. I would love to understand why when commenting, the word is thrown around so often and not always were it belongs.

I am very appreciative when getting a comment, because someone took the time to write it. Don’t get me wrong, I love the acknowledgement. I just think in certain forums like some photography groups, it is much more important to say why the image is so compelling. There certainly are reasons why one is drawn to a photograph.

So you might actually think a photograph is awesome, but why? Is it about the light, the composition, or the subject’s relationship to surrounding elements or unique background?


How about choices the photographer made? Like using one lens instead of another. Maybe a slow shutter speed helped make that photo interesting. Maybe it is the difficulty in getting or finding that wildlife. Figure out what made the photo special or even how it was made. There maybe a useful question, compliment or comment to say. A purposely blurred image often creates intrigue and mood. Say so.

Many times I add something to show I actually analyzed or studied the photo when commenting in photography groups. If it is awesome, I will say so, but I add why many times.

If an image is for documentation or journalistic submission, then a crisp, clear, true-color image is expected. If the goal is artist expression, then all the better for something that might excite the senses.


Photographs that have a stunning sense of place and scale can give so much story in a photo. Maybe they have the animal very small in the frame which makes the relationship of scenery and the animal all that more important. The photo is emotive. It shows where the animal lives, a very useful element of the animal’s existence and story.


At local camera clubs, images are juried. The club invites a judge to critique member photos. It is meant to improve the member’s way of “seeing” the image and increase the ability to improve their photography. Very rarely will a judge ever just remark an image as awesome. They may say the word, but they always add why.

Using Facebook for gathering accolades by seeking approval from your family and friends, you will be getting that warm tummy rub of their adulation, but it is likely a hollow compliment. They have to say they like it or risk hurting your feelings. It really is funny how we put such faith in the gesture of “likening” an image.

On blogs, commenting is much different from photo groups because the images are not compared to others. They stand alone and there is no reason to explain why you like a photo, just that you do. I suppose since I participate in many groups, I am quick to see this difference. Some groups are based on making friends and comradeliness, while others seem to benefit from comments of greater value.

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11 Responses to Conowingo Eagles Are…”Awesome”

  1. I don’t always know why your photos are so good. For me, it’s an emotional and visceral thing. I guess I’m more of a fan than a critic.

    • donna213 says:

      Thanks Connie for the comment. I really made a huge mistake on my scheduling of posts. This post was not to be until next year in January and I forgot to change the year. I went looking for it wondering what happened to it. Then I clicked on your comment which said the date. Thanks for the comment. I know it went out to email subscribers and now you must have gotten it twice.

  2. Denzil says:

    Not being a photographer, I can’t comment on technical issues, but looking at that top photo, I feel like I could reach out and stroke those wing feathers and feel their softness. So I won’t say it’s awesome, but I am deeply in awe at such a magnificent bird.

    • donna213 says:

      Thank you Denzil. That is such a nice thing to say. I would not want to stroke an eagle though. They can be rather testy with those talons. I appreciate your comment. And sorry you might be getting this post twice. I scheduled it wrong and had to change the date to today’s date.

  3. aussiebirder says:

    Well said Donna, it is much more appreciated when comments give reason for the appreciation and not just use popular words like ‘awesome’ which really is not the correct usage of this word considering its meaning. One appreciates comment with thought and consideration for particular aspects of the photograph. As you rightly stated the subjectivity of assessment looses the true appreciation of each individual frame. Yes, the aspect of level of difficulty in acquiring the shot, the unique aspect of the subject, the lighting etc are all the artistry of making the photo uniquely beautiful in its own right. I concur with your discussion, and thank you for sharing your impressive shots of these eagles.

    • donna213 says:

      Thank you so much Ashley. You are very kind. I started noticing how much that word is used. I even saw it in a commercial today for a phone company this afternoon. I want to apologize though, this post was scheduled incorrectly and you might get two email notifications since I had to change the date from 16 Jan 2016 to today’s date.

  4. Mike Bizeau says:

    Beautiful photos and experiences the just look downright fun.

  5. alesiablogs says:

    I am probably one of those who would give a quick awesome remark, but Iusually mean it when I say it or write it. I know it seems it would be great to give reasons for why one appreciates a picture . If I have time , I would try to. These shots of the eagles are why I enjoy your technique, style, and love of photography . Your work stands out. Anyway- hope you are well and the snow isn’t too bad there!

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