Study Group 2


Gang Zheng - C

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NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:    Tiger in the mountains
   
Goal:    On October 4,2015, I photographed this tiger resting on a hill while visiting the Beijing Wildlife Park.
 
Equipment/Source:    Nikon D800, , nikkor70-200 mm, Hand Lens
 
Technique:  F4,1/500 seconds,, ISO 1250, exposure compensation: 0, focal length: 200 mm, evaluation photometry

Processing:   
PSCS6

  

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


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


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OCTOBER 2019 ROUND
Title:    Lazy monkey 
     
Goal:   On October 4, 2015, I filmed a lazy monkey resting in a tree at the Beijing Wildlife Park.  

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D800, NIKKOR 70-200mm, handheld lens 

Technique:   F/4, 1/250 seconds, ISO :400, focal length: 200mm

Processing:   Pscs6, image clipping

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.
While the pose is relatively interesting, the image is fundamentally a portrait of the subject. I am not familiar with the Beijing Wildlife Park, but I am very concerned with the background, which does not appear natural in any way. If this is the true background for the enclosure, I would venture that images here are better suited to pictorial rather than nature use. Because it is fundamentally a portrait and the background is not remotely natural I am awarding a nature story value of only 1.

The core technical aspects look reasonable to me. Primary focus looks good and the sharpness is reasonable for the subject. The face looks good to me from that perspective. While I fell the image could be brighter, the exposure looks reasonable for flat, even illumination from the 10 to 11 o’clock position as indicated by the weak shadows under the subject. Zooming in to 200% there appears to be a bleed of the background coloration into some of the fine hairs. This would seem to indicate that a sophisticated mask was used to substitute the back ground. Color the is reflected into fur looks different. If the background was substituted, it would be a violation of the nature rules. I am not sure what the rules are for this wildlife park. Some bar the use of flash. As we can see, the subject’s face is relatively dark compared to the body and the eyes have blocked up. If flash was allowed, a fill light would likely have fixed that. If flash is not allowed, the darkness of the facial area can be addressed in post processing by carefully dodging the face and eyes. Since I cannot be definitive on the background, I will score technical quality as a 2 relating to the lack of luminosity in the facial area which is a critical element in nature images.

I’m including an adjusted image in which I have dodged the facial area with emphasis on opening up the eyes so that you get a better sense of what I am referring to.

The composition is good pictorially. I do not find the cutting off of the tail to be a significant issue as the story that is present is more in the face and body of the subject. Those elements that are out of the effective DOF are well controlled. The background once again comes into play relative to evaluating this from a nature perspective. It is not natural in appearance. For a pictorial image it might be fine, but in even the general open section of an exhibition you might find the judges had a difficult time accepting it. Because of the background I do not feel ai can score higher than 2 for pictorial quality.

Greg, apologies in advance if this is the background you had to work with at the wildlife park. It just does not appear natural and so images from this enclosure, at least, should be used only for a non-nature section. If you did happen to do a background substitution and forgot to mention that in your description, I have to remind you that removing or adding things to the actual situation as observed at the time of capture other than by cropping it prohibited under PSA-FIAP Nature rules.

N-1, T-2, P-2 = 5


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is excellent portrait of the monkey (what is the species?). There is not much of story (behaviour) shown here, though it is possible that this behaviour is an important part of the monkey's life (sitting sentry) - I just don't know.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is well exposed and is sharp, When I enlarge it I loose some sharpness (not surprising).

The color of the background looks off to me (it seems like a color I would not find in nature) but when I look closely at the monkey hair there does not seem to be any signs of masking the monkey out of the background. Was the background color adjusted?

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
From a pictorial POV the image is strong. The monkey is well positioned in the frame, though very slightly tight on the top. The crop of the tail bothers me but i also find it acceptable.

The sole item that I find "objectionable" is the background color (which I previously mentioned).

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Natalie M

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I'm not sure that you can imply that a monkey is lazy just because it is perched on a branch. The colour of the wall in the background appears unnatural, man made.

SCORE N (Nature) 1-Nature story minimal or contains unrelated hand of man

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
There is good fur detail, however the area of the face appears a little soft. Image looks well exposed.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Generally the composition is good. Lacks impact because of the artificial looking background. I would have also preferred to see the full length of the tail.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
In order to achieve a high score in the Nature category you must show behavior that is beyond normal activity. This image of a monkey sitting on a branch does not go beyond normal activity.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The setting shown work nicely to achieve these results. The use of f4, plus the fact that the background is a fair distance from the subject allowed for a beautiful, soft background that makes the subject pop from the background. The image is quite sharp as shown by the fine fur edges of the monkey. Color saturation is realistic.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The overall image is appealing as far a showing a portrait of a monkey. However, in my opinion, for an image in a wildlife category the fact that it is just a portrait does not move the image to a higher score. I am looking for something that shows expertise and camera skills beyond capturing a stationary subject.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Portrait image where the story is the monkey itself. What kind of monkey? Please educate the viewer by including the species name in the title. I don’t necessarily mark down portraits down for a lack of a nature story. The nature story is the animal itself. Nature scoring depends on how well the portrait is executed.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure perfect. Diffused lightening adds to the pictorial value! Sharpness very good, except for the face and a patch on the forehead. It might be that the skin has less detail than the fur and its hairs, so it appears less sharp in comparison.
The hue of the background, being close to cyan gives the feel of captivity. By a selection or mask, I would have changed the hue to a more natural green, more fitting to the monkey’s home in the jungle. Since color is interpreted when converting the raw file, I believe this is permissible under the PSA nature rules after reviewing them

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Well positioned within the frame. I don’t minded most of the tail not included in the composition, because the large amount of cropping was intentional by the photographer. The trade-off of including the tail is now we have a much larger subject within the frame to view.
The eyes are the windows into the soul and the very essence of a great portrait. I would have worked with a target adjustment to add some brightness to the eyes. They are very dark and give a lifeless feel to the image. Add a little more contrast and brighten to the face also, so the mind follow the flow and would further be drawn to the face and eyes instead of the white fur areas.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Simple photography of a monkey

SCORE N (Nature) 1-Nature story minimal or contains unrelated hand of man

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Well exposed and fairly sharp would have removed branch on the right side going out of the picture

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Average record shot

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good capture of resting monkey.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good colour and definition on monkey's body. Head appears a little soft and eyes need lightening up.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice composition and background giving the subject impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
very good, but not inspiring image

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent exposure, color and sharpness

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent image, but I did not award it top rating because it was fairly dark around its eyes and the eyes did not have a catch light; over all it had a good impact, but not a very strong one.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7



I am an amateur photographer who likes photography. After work, I take pictures of people and still life around me. I find pleasure in photography. Hope to join the study group to get more guidance and help.