KEN'S PHOTO TIPS
BACKGROUND IS CRUCIAL, especially when you can choose between a background of sky or one of something below horizon. These two pictures pretty much tell the story. The only difference between them was that for the first I was sitting in a safari vehicle, whereas in the second one, I stood up and photographed out of the top of the vehicle. Same bird, same light, only instants apart, but a world of difference in terms of how the photos look. The second photo has the further advantage of being closer to Eye Level.
Paying more attention to backgrounds is one of the top couple of things that many people neglect, but which can drastically improve your photograpy.
Minor detail: these two photos are cropped, but otherwise, completely un-Photoshopped.