Study Group 2


Richard Fisher· (B)

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DECEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:   Fox Fight   
   
Goal:     I had these two foxes placed on an island and they were running around, interacting and eventually got into what appeared to be a fight dominance. It was very enjoyable to see this interaction and I wanted to capture it.

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D850 with motor drive which was smoking from all images I captured. I wish Nikon had upgraded the camera to CF Express so I would not have occasionally filled the buffer. Lens was an 80-400 (that was all I had). 
   
Technique:   I hand held this camera and followed the action.Since everything was basically midtones, I took a quick meter reading, set the ISO to 2500, F6.3, and locked in a shutter speed of 1/1600 to freeze the action.

Processing:      
I processed the image first in the develop module of LR and then imported it into PS. I used the first two steps of the 3 step sharpening process (I find that the find process the 3rd step creates over sharp image in IMO so I skip it), I darken some bright areas in the water, applied luminous masks to the image to give it "punch" and slightly lighten the foxes.

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

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NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:    Gray Screech Owl
 
   
Goal:  Capture owl on beautiful perch with out of focus autumn follage
  

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D850 with 180-400 lens. ISO 640, 1/100 second, F11 to maintain sharpness on owl, at 400mm. Obviously on tripod (rig was heavy)
  

Technique:  I waited for the bird to open its eyes (only occasionally did this) and look at me. 

Processing:   Light room to adjust color temp, white and black points, highlights and shadows, vibrance, saturation, .. In PS luminosity masks, brightened eyes, sharpened, cropped, converted sRGB

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

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


 Review by commentator Tom Savage

 Technically, this is a very nice image.  Everything that should be sharp is and the background is out of focus and not too bright so is not a distraction.  Also, good exposure. Good work.  However, its eyes are partially open.  Obviously, it would be better if the eyes were wide open.  The fungus on the tree really adds to the image but the white tree trunk on the left is a distraction, but if you flip the image horizontally so the owl is on the left and the tree trunk is on the right, the white trunk isn’t a distraction.  It is a nice portrait but doesn’t have a nature story.  See my adjusted image.

 N-2, T-3, P-2   Total = 7


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
First, from a purely visually standpoint, I really like this image. That said, with a Nature Storyline threat hanging over the image I find this to be lacking. For all the beauty of the image, it is still just an owl on a branch. Only the squinting eyes offer any story line and I just don’t feel that is enough.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The technique and gear used all seem more than adequate. The image is sharp, colors are properly saturated and the exposure is perfectly on. This owl was nicely located since even with an f11 the background is nicely thrown out of focus.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Although you have no control over this, the various fungi on the branch add a very unique touch to the image. This is something you generally do not see. The composition, while mimicking a portrait is still weighted to the left providing the illusion of use of the rule of thirds, and I like the fact that you raised the eyes to the upper third of the image. As noted the background is properly blurred and acts as the perfect foil to the owl and branch. The color it provides helps the owl to stand out.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE

I will award the extra point simply because I feel the image is stunning and unusual (due to the fungi)

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 9


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Gorgeous portrait of the screech owl with nteresting facial expression.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
very good choice of Dof to make owl sharp but blur background. On my monitor feathers look slightly soft. I wonder if a higher shutter speed would have improved this. Color balance is good.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is a well executed image with the overall tones in the environment complimenting but not overpowering the subject. The fungus on the tree added to the interest of the image. Your composition is good and the owl is well placed in the frame. I really like this image a lot.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE


SCORE E (Exceptional)

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 7


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I saw the owl's eyes staring back at me. It was a successful snap, but I didn't see the story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure normal, focus clear. The depth of field control is reasonable.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The picture is reasonable. The main body is prominent. After the proper handling.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Ken W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very nice portrait of a screech owl.It would have been nice if the owls pupil would have been more visible in the left eye.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Excellent focus and nice blurred color in background

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nicely composed photo with good framing of owl by tree and branch,

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Sylvia W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
An owl sleeping during the day - doin.g what an owl does on a branch. Nice capture

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The autumn foliage is nicely blurred in the background which ensures that the owl stands out. Nicely sharp where it needs to be.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the framing of the owl with the branch down the side. The added detail of the bracket fungi on the tree give this image impact. The use of your depth of field adds a nice softness to the overall image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A perched bird in natural habitat, no action but nicely done

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Love the blurred background and owl half eyes sharp

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would hang this on my wall, well done overall

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
A rare opportunity and you were ready

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 9


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Lovely owl! interesting to see owl with different size of pupils, do they adjust the size base on light?

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Sharp around owl, nicely done. not sure what distance with the owl, but feel with top glass of 180-400 f4, @f4, even f4, would give you plenty DOF for the subject, which would give you better ISO value at f/8, or even lower.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
would suggest crop out left tree trunk, or dial down HL, since you've used PS luminosity masks, might as well take out some distraction,

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6

Rich could be described as a modern-day Renaissance man. Though now retired from Kraft Foods (2012), he is trained in the sciences with a PhD from UCLA in Molecular Biology and has earned an MBA from the University of Chicago where he specialized in Finance, Marketing and Statistics. In addition to his analytic side, Rich is artistic as demonstrated from his photography. 

During his tenure at Kraft Foods his career spanned such diverse areas from Physical Chemistry and computer simulation to Marketing Analytic (last brand positions were Director of Analytics for the Cheese & Dairy Business Unit and The Pizza Company). As head of Analytics Rich was responsible for forecasting volumetric and financial impact of changes in marketing spending and price changes. 

Rich has been a member of the Garden Photographic Society (GPS) since 1997 and the Riverwood Nature Photographic Society (RNPS) since 2002. In GPS he has held numerous positions such as newsletter editor, president, competition chair, DPI coordinator and Treasurer. In RNPS he has been Outing and Program Chairs, and Vice President of Competition. Rich has been on the board of CACCA, Chicago Area Camera Club Association, since 1999 and Rich has been Treasurer for most of his tenure on the board except during his term as president, 2014-16. In addition, he has been additional roles as the information manager and coordinator of speakers and judges. 

On a personal note, Rich lives outside Chicago with his wife Jane and their delightful Golden Retriever, Denali. Both Rich and Jane love to travel and are planning their 23rd trip Africa.