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Of course it is a great picture, but I think it is simply one because of placement and timing, and not because of photographic skills or equipment.
f8 and be there.
Placement and timing are photographic skills. Nobody else got that shot. He knew where to be to best illustrate the effect of the storm.
I've seen tons of photos of Yosemite valley taken from the exact viewpoint, but none with the power of Adam's "Winter Storm". A lot of that power comes from timing. Some comes from post processing and some comes from decisions made at capture, not unlike the photo we're discussing here.
Then we agree, the shot is simply because of placement and exact time of the shot, not because of the equipment or even really the photographer. Put any other decent photographer in the same seat of the bird with different equipment, and they would be able to get the shot as well.
Many, many great shots are more timing and placement, and what the photographer brings to the table is how they have set themselves up to get the shot when the time and place is good, and having that mental eye of what looks good. Wrong equipment, not being prepared for the shot, etc are all the responsibility of the photographer, definitely.
It is a great shot absolutely, but it isn't directly because of the person that did the work or the camera, but because of the vantage point and a partial power grid outage that makes for an interesting subject. At least, that is how I feel about the shot.
I have gotten a ton of great comments on this shot below. I am not a skilled photographer that knew to be staged in a way to get this capture. I was sitting in our bedroom shooting the birds flying around, basically screwing around, and one landed right in front of the window, and I aimed and shot. I had decent equipment (7D and 100-400L) so that helped, but I was just plain lucky. The bird was there all of about 2 sec and I happened to be there. I would like to think I could be in heliocopter with my equipment and as we flew around Manhattan, let's say, and I took about 100+ shots, one of those would be a great one. I happen to be a lucky photographer in what I shoot, and much less in the skill and visionary department.
The great thing about this hobby, it is an form of art, and my impressions may not agree with yours, and we could both be correct. I am just thankful there are so many great photographers out there that capture great moments, because it inspires me to try harder in what I shoot.