Study Group 2


MJ Springett (C)

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AUGUST 2019 ROUND

Title:   Mallard with Chicks   
 
Goal:    To illustrate the proactive instinct of a female mallard duck toward her chicks  

Equipment/Source:   Canon 70D Tamron 150-600mm lens at 600mm, f/6.3 at1/250", ISO400, Spot metered Aperture priority 
 
Technique:    Sitting in vehicle as a blind, and focusing on female beak,  

Processing:    
Cropped, desaturated background, and sharpened with Topaz SharpenA1 in Stabilizing mode

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

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


















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JULY 2019 ROUND
Title:    Bedraggled Rose
 
   
Goal:  Photographing wildflowers of Crex Meadows after a torrential downpour, this particular bloom of wild rose was a bit out of shape, because the color was a bit washed out, I used LAB color space to enhance what color was left
  

Equipment/Source:    Canon 70D with 150-600mm Tamron Lens 

Technique:   f/8 at 1/3000 sec iso 800
aperture priority spot metering mode

Processing:    Used LAB color space to enhance what color was left in this bloom, otherwise basic exposure, cropping, and sharpening

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.

As a nature image this is a reasonable environmental portrait. It does have a story value to it in the sense that it conveys information relative to the physical characteristics of the subject. Lacking multiple stages to show the cycle of the plant or interaction with another species, such as an insect, to show pollination, use as food, etc.) it does not have a value beyond a 2. Some may see it as a 1 due to the condition of the subject, but I find enough there to warrant a 2 in my opinion.

The technical aspects of focus and depth of field look good to me. Exposure based on the way the image shows and the way it looks when I correct for color shift, is approximately 1 full stop on the under side. 

Pictorially, while I think you may have achieved the feeling you were looking for, the push into Lab to intensify the colors has actually left it over saturated in my estimation. When I neutralized what I feel is the under exposure and a slight cast due to the Lab move, I felt the image showed much more naturally. You don’t mention applying a vignette, but there does seem to be some added darkening around the edges that feels “off”. I’m not completely familiar with the light fall off in the corners of the Tamron 150-600, but this seems extreme for it to be just a lens artifact. We also have several touch mergers at the top and upper left. Again, this may be something you elected to do for pictorial purposes, but such mergers will typically be more of a visual disruption than an asset and that is the case here.

I noted that the image is only 416 x 312. It is difficult for us to provide good feedback on images this small. If possible, please send in images that are at least 768 high. 1050 is even better. 

N-2, T-2, P-2 = 6 (N-2 environmental portrait. T-2 under exposure and slight color cast, P-2 excessive saturation and touch mergers.) Keep in mind that the comments are relative to the image as a nature image. The added saturation works well from a pictorial perspective, but in nature we should stay as close to realistic as possible. See the adjusted version for what I feel are more “natural” (realistic) colors.


Review by Natalie M.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I feel the water, age, and wear and tear on the flower contribute to a na true story. Not always easy to achieve with flora.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It does appear a little bit soft and a little bit dark in general. If you have selectively darkened the surrounding foliage this has worked well to lift the main subject.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The colour creates the impact, however I think the very tight crop, particularly at the top, makes the image look cramped.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 1-Inadequate composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Andy H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Is there a story here I don't actually know, could the ran drops give the image a story?

SCORE N (Nature) 2-basic shot--no nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I quite like images of plants and even animals with water droplets on them. Your image is quite strong and stands out against the dark background. The image is soft. Your settings intrigue me, 1/3000 sec shutter speed seems quite fast and has resulted in a higher than necessary ISO at 800. Was this because you chose f/8 on an overcast day?

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
For me, while it has some good colour the composition is not right, too high in the image and it lacks real impact

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 1-Inadequate composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Janice R.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Shows flower which has experienced a rain storm.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Color balance and exposure ok. Nice that background is darker and doesn't compete with the rose. Rose itself is not sharp and top petals are cut off. Focus is sharpest on the petals on the left. Image would be improved if that level of focus was in the center, which is where the eye goes 1st. Foreground of flower is dark. Petals on side are crowded.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
composition impacted by the lack of focus and the petals being cut off at the top and crowded on the side.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 1-Inadequate composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by William S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is a nice image of a flower after a rain but your nature story is weak.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-basic shot--no nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You do not offer information about exposure but I can see that you have a shallow depth of field. The petals and rain drops are sharp but the center area seems a little soft. I like how you brought out the color in the petals and kept the background dark.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is good with the clipped petals at the top. The softness of the center is the one negative that reduces the visual impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Isabella Z.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I think this is just a basic shot with dew on it. It's a very well done macro picture but I don't see the story of it.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-basic shot--no nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the way that the picture was brightened in the middle and darkened on the edge. It makes the flower popped out

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Louis P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
appropriate

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
color, detail, texture were great

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
very interesting, droplets add a nice touch

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Dennis H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
You've captured a nice nature image of a wild rose after rain.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-basic shot--no nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not sure why you would use f/8 & 1/3000 sec to photograph flower. Good colours on flower showing rain drops, nice tonal range.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Dark background helps highlight rose. Nice composition.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
In terms of a nature story I feel this lacks impact. While flowers do age and are rendered a bit out of shape by the weather I don’t feel that this represents a strong nature storyline.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-basic shot--no nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your technique of capturing these flowers seems spot on. I like the large water drops that I feel add a great deal to the image. The use of LAB color seems to have worked well to enhance the colors of the flower. Unfortunately this image does not really expand when I tried to enlarge it to check for sharpness but I feel the general appearance of the flower’s center seems a bit muddy and could be sharper. Since I can’t really see for sure, I’ll not deduct for the muddy look.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your description mentions that you cropped the image. However I feel you probably cropped to much. The top edge of the flow is clipped on both sides and the right and left side feel crammed into the frame. I feel that the left, right and top all need more room. To me it also appears the you have over exposed the highlight on the water drop and they look a little bit burned.
Note for future reference: I see you are using a telephoto lens for macro work and then cropping down to get the close up. You will probably get a sharper image using a dedicated macro lens.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Martin P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I am not reading a particular nature story with this image

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I am wondering why you used the settings you used. I am not sure we really needed 1/3000 a slower shutter speed would have allowed a lower ISO.
However, the image does appear to be reasonably well exposed and sharp


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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel that the colours in this image are very striking and work very well. I enjoy the water drops and do feel that they add to the image. I do wonder if the image could have been better framed to either give us all of the flower or less as I am feeling that the composition is a little awkward.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5

Photography has always been my go-to activity when I have had spare time. My work as a cell biologist meant that data was recorded on film, developed and printed in a darkroom, and delivered to a principal research scientist. With the advent of digital photography the darkroom work was replaced by Photoshop but little else changed. Upon retirement, I now have time to pursue wildlife, landscape, and especially birds as my photographic subjects. We moved 100 miles north to be near a wildlife refuge that represents the glacial lakes and pine barrens of Wisconsin. We also enjoy the badlands of North Dakota and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.