Do I or don’t I take out the branches and distracting elements in a bird picture? Personally I have a hard time following rules that are imposed on doing any type of art work. This stems from my fine art school days. On one level keeping in all the details of the nature photo capture seems “correct” but on the other hand getting the feeling and beauty of the bird seems most important.
It is really difficult to find some speicies of birds that are not enmeshed in a myriad of leaves and branches.
In the picture of the Red-winged Blackbird, I removed some branches that I felt were distracting. I kept in the blurred out branch in the background because it seemed to balance out the composition. And I do like to represent the fact that Red-winged Blackbirds do perch on and among many branches.