Here are three photos of sanderlings on Sable Island
This photo has an appeal to me because the birds look like and are acting like people, walking out to sea. I was going to crop more of the sea but I think the sky above the sea adds to the feeling of vastness.
This photo has an appeal because of the intricacy that is offered by being close to the birds and the details (colour and form) in the wavelets. I also like the shadows of the birds and the single direction of travel.
This photo has an appeal because of the haphazard nature of the birds and their shadows.
The three photos had the same settings:
1/500th, f 8.0, exposure bias +0.67, ISO 200, focal length 300; RAW, Adobe RGB
Most of adjustments were made in Camera RAW.