Sandhill Cranes in flight

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Here are two shots of Sandhill Cranes in flight, taken on the Platte River near Kearney Nebraska. The first is what I consider to be a more "traditional" bird in flight image. The second is more experimental, for me at least. I was trying to get some sense of motion in the wings. Do you think it was successful? Do you prefer one over the other, and if so why?

I'm planning to enter them in a local wildlife print contest this weekend, and fully realize that it will be a crap shoot. I appreciate all thoughts.

Mike in Portland
Crane in flight-1.jpg
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Crane in flight-2.jpg
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I agree, both are well done. Personally I really like #2 because of the sharp focus of the face with the “motion “ of the wings. It’s a real winner! Good luck and let us know!
 
Thanks to all for the feedback and encouragement. I have printed and mounted both for the NPPNW print contest this weekend. There is very strong competition in this group, so I'm uncertain of my chances.

I wish I were skilled enough to take the credit, but handheld at 1000mm equivalent wide open with a shutter speed of 1/100 sec, most of the credit must go to my equipment. The Olympus OM1 plus 150-400 PRO provides the image stabilization to give me confidence to try shots like this.
 
The face, body, and legs in #2 aren't as sharp as in #1 but that's to be expected with a much slower s.s. I think that with the sharpness it does have, along with the wing blur, it would stand a good chance of winning in the contest. GL!.
 
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