This is one of those shots that is tough to critique because it breaks the "textbook" rules of photography but does so to create an amazing composition. This is a combination of a Sky shot and a wildlife shot. With a Sky shot generally the rule is not to have any thing in the shot that can distract from the sky, i.e. birds or aircraft. In a wildlife shot the subject should be the focus and easily identifiable. The lighting through the feathers of the bird creates a dynamic effect. The light rays from lead the viewers eyes from the sun to the bird or vice-versa. The only improvement that I can think of is to have a little more room in front of the bird.
Overall this shot proves that artistic rules are more like guidelines, sometimes breaking the rules can create a better shot than following them.
This will be my first crit so bear with me.. Though this image can be viewed as a spiritual piece you have to wonder if you saw this yourself where would your imagination take you too?I love the simplicity of this photo, how the the suns rays illuminate the bird enough especially coming through its wings. The Shadowed bird is balanced out by the suns rays and the different values of the clouds. You have to wonder how close to the heavens this creature is. A very imaginative and whimsy piece that can be very though provoking or serene at the same time.