Study Group 2


Adrian Binney, QPSA, LRPS

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FEBRUARY 2020 ROUND

Title:    Just after enjoying a mud bath  
   
Goal:     To capture a young elephant near a waterhole showing character, while in Namibia last September. There was a huge group of elephants enjoying their daily drink during the dry season, most of which spent more time playing than drinking.
 
Equipment/Source:    Olympus 1X Plus 40-150 f2.8 lens + 1.4 converter at 200mm (FF 400). Settings ISO400 1/400 f9
 
Technique:    Was not easy to watch 30 elephants at the same time! I concentrated for a time watching the younger ones and this one was clearly enjoying 'his' time chaperoned all the time by his mother. It was amazing how quickly they dried in the heat of the mid-day sun.
It was a question of getting a clean shot and timing it with the ears out. I don't use motor wind under such circumstances. 

Processing: 
   Crop to square (about 1/3 original image), Lightroom only work adding texture and lighting shadows slightly plus controlling highlights from harsh lighting conditions.

  

Comments/Scores (N, T, P, E, Total)

 Critique Image (only members of Study Group Two may critique this image)

 


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JANUARY 2020 ROUND
Title:    Wolves bonding  
     
Goal:     To capture wolves bonding as a group  

Equipment/Source:    Canon D7 (maki) with Canon 70-200 f2.8 & 1.4 converter. Settings: At 270mm ISO400, 1/1250 f5.6. Taken in February 2012.

Technique:    The wolves are captive in West Yellowstone reserve for wolves and bears where they have got to near human settlements in the wild and have had to be removed. I chose to keep quite tight so not to include things that would detract - then it was down to timing. I didn't need a tripod. I would field this in Nature but not Wildlife Exhibitions.

Processing:    Not much - small crop then texture added and contrast.


Comments/Scores (N, T, P, E, Total)

  Critique Image (only members of Study Group Two may critique this image)

Review by commentator Tom S.

This is strong nature story of the interactions between wolves.  The color and exposure are good, and I like the composition from lower left to upper right.  The depth of field is fairly shallow with only the eyes to the end of their noses sharp, however, since that is the most critical part of the image that tells the story, it is acceptable.  But it would be better to have more of the wolves sharp.  Also, the falling snow flakes are a nice touch that adds to the feel of the image.

 N3, T2, P3  = 8


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Wow, just Wow! What a wonderful capture of an intimate moment among these sanctuary wolves

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Subject on right foreground is tack sharp, good color balance, eye of middle wolf may be a little soft as is wolf on left so another stop or 2 of DoF may have eliminated that (or perhaps you focused the wolf in the foreground on the right). But action is in the tongues and all three of those are sharp. Love the blurred snowfall, really gives a sense of place even though it was a sanctuary.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 2-Average exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Love, love, love this capture of this intimate moment between the wolves. Great job in capturing the feelings of these magnificent animals. The story in this image is exceptional.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The close proximity of the three wolves and the clear interaction they are demonstrations does show a grooming activity and thus carries a valid nature story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically I do find the image (mostly the fur0 to be a bit soft, especially on the two wolves on the left. This image was shot at an aperture of f5.6 and this is more than likely the cause of the softness. Actually I question the sharpness of the entire image as none of the eyes show critical sharpness.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 2-Average exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
By choosing a tight crop you have drawn attention to the wolves. The light snowfall shown in the background creates a feeling of winter as does the grey/white coloration of the wolves themselves. I do like the diagonal line created by the dark noses and the long snout of the wolf on the right. For me the image feels too static and lack the impact to allow me to raise the score.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Martin P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Not being an expect on wolves means I can only tke the image of face value. The 3 individuals do appear to connecting together very strongly.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The whites appear to be well handled with maybe a tiny amount of a lift needing as they are showing a little grey. Without having seen the original fur they may of course be slightly grey. Image sharpness looks acceptable without being outstanding.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 2-Average exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is quite an arresting image both from a behaviour and atmosphere perspective, the inclusion of a hint of the environment works well for me as does the impression of the falling snow. Excellent

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
I feel this image works very well and is visually arresting and works very well

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 9


Review by Natalie M

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The story is there, this is a lovely capture.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The fast shutter speed has captured the action, and f5.6 has nicely softened the background.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 3-Excellent exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The nice tight crop and getting the three together has created a lovely family portrait.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
nice story of wolves bonding. must be pretty close, to get an image like that with just 300mm lens, nice.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
sharp image with details on wolves furs, reasonable image with the gear.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 2-Average exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
tight focus image to express main subject. gj.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Ken W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Excellent photo of wolves interacting with each other.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very good sharpness and exposure.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 3-Excellent exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very well composed photo. The falling snow adds to the photo. There are no human elements in the photo. The impact of all three wolves interacting is excellant.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

I am retired (64 as at 2018) and keen to devote more time to photography and travelling. My photography started 40 years ago with a home darkroom and like many, was kickstarted again with digital SLR’s becoming affordable.
I was a Canon man - 5 and 7 bodies, with many L series lenses, but sold the whole lot in 2015 due to weight issues. I now use an Olympus EM1 Mkii with many of their Pro series lenses and don’t regret the move. My core wildlife lens is a 300 f4 prime, which is razor sharp. Used with a 1.4 converter gives a Full Frame equivalent of 840mm - in a recent trip to Costa Rica 80% of my shots were at this reach (birds there are small and other wildlife are very high in the canopy!).
When at home in the UK, I enjoy visiting zoos and bird protection areas, as well as trying to photograph insects in gardens etc. I also travel abroad to enjoy wildlife experiences - Africa and Costa Rica mostly.
I am Secretary and Committee Member at a large Camera Club (Winchester, Hampshire) and enjoy helping to run a large club (200 members). I continue learning a lot from the many excellent photographers (particularly in use of Lightroom and what makes a good image). I don’t use Photoshop. In December I was awarded LRPS - the first distinction level of three awarded by The Royal Photographic Society.