Study Group 2


Hattie Stamer (C)

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JULY 2019 ROUND

Title:    Alone 
   
Goal:     Spot he stayed in between tree branches just observing others playing/chasing/fighting. Want to capture his mood

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D80 f/4.5 1/1000, ISO 25600, 300mm
 
Technique:    Need to keep shallower DOF because the lighting, to avoid too much noise

Processing:  
Lightroom basic adjustment, noise reduction, Nik convert to B/W, add some structure, burning/dodging.

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

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

 










 

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JUNE 2019 ROUND
Title:   Chilling
 
   
Goal:   The penguin was standing there seem half asleep. I like his side profile, pairing with the background with another one face him.  
 

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D850, 1/640, f/4, 300mm, ISO 100 

Technique:    

Processing:    Tried first time with DxO Photo Lab 2. Used the Smart lighting, selective tone, DxO Clearview Plus, Lens sharpness. Used brush to darken harsh brightness lighting on the rocks, a different bush on the main penguin to bring up the shadow. Export to Lightroom as a 16 bit tif file so I can export with resizing to 1024 image. 

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 they are facing toward one another, the difference in sharpness makes it quickly apparent that they are not literally face to face. That lowers the potential consideration of any actual interaction or behavior involving the two. As such I feel this is more in the realm of a portrait. The nature of the surroundings suggests this was not taken in the wild, which is fine, but also why I didn’t classify it as an environmental portrait.

Primary focus on the closer penguin is good and sharpness on that main subject is excellent. The secondary subject is clear enough for recognition, but soft enough to be a non-factor. The relatively shallow depth of field is sufficient to allow the main subject to separate from the background. I feel the exposure is good for the main subject, however that does bring some of the lighter background areas into play as visual elements.

Pictorially, I feel your composition is reasonable. As noted above, the relatively shallow depth of field helps the main subject separate. I would say your efforts at darkening some of the surroundings were largely handled well. That said, the lighter areas in the background still remain an issue as they do pull at the eye. I don’t see an effective way to darken them enough to no longer be a factor and keep things looking realistic. I would therefore say that you have done well in realizing the potential for this particular image. 

N-2,T-3, P-2 = 7 ( N-2 Lacks the behavioral aspects needed for level 3. P-2 Bright areas in background remain a visual weakness.)


 Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I believe the title is most appropriate as these penguins are just standing there making this image little more than a photo of record. I do not seen a discernable storyline.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This extremely cute image would have much greater appeal if it were sharper. The penguin on the left I feel is the first major problem. His physical location (further away from the camera than the bird on the right) makes it difficult to get both birds in focus. The depth of field of the lens at that setting (f4) is not adequate to achieve this. In that the left and bird is nearly as large as the one on the right you basically have twin subject and since the bird on the left is out of focus it diminishes the image. The bird on the right is also slightly out of focus and just lacks general sharpness. I’m guess that the camera was handheld (no tripod is mentioned) and perhaps this contributes to the softness. To me it appears that the focus point is just missed. The exposure does seem to be adequate.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 1-Inadequate exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is balanced for the twin subjects and the processing also seems adequate. The previously noted soft capture of the image makes it difficult to save by processing.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Ken W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Not much of a nature story, more of a portrait. The birds don't seem to be looking directly at each other, which could have made a better story if they were looking at each other.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The penguin on the left is slightly out of focus, especially the beak, the bird on the right has good sharpness, and good exposure.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The bird on the left does not have an eye visible in the photo. I think that the penguin on the right would have made a better portrait by itself.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by William S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I am unable to see the nature story in this image as they are just standing.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The penguins seem to lack sharpness especially the one on the left. Keeping the rocks lighter might add more contrast and separation from the main subject *see my attempt below). The color balance looks acceptable.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The visual impact is low as the animals need to stand out more from the background. Cropping closer from the left side might help the composition.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Sylvia W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
As the penguin is just standing there, it doesn't appear to be much of a nature story. There is no interaction between either of the birds.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Overall a flat image with not much contrast applied. Those white areas on the background rocks distract the viewer from the subject.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The choice of depth of field has helped to separate your subject from the other elements in the picture. You could apply a crop down the right hand side to eliminate some of the dead area in the picture.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by MJ Springett
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
No real nature story other than an interaction between two birds, but the back bird is fuzzy so story is also blurred

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Focus is sharp on right hand bird, but left hand bird being blurred detracts from the technical message

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6

 





I fell in love photography when I was probably 7, but never had a chance to learn or get my hands on a camera. I got my very first film SLR camera back in 2004, had some great time with it for a little while, then life took over.  Recently (late last year) I decided to devote more time and get serious about photography because it's my passion and I owe it to myself. 

Started self learning by surfing the web, read books, participate seminars, looking at others' work, etc.  Just joined PSA and believe it can help me grow.  My photography interests are pretty wide ranging but mostly shoot whatever I have access to (two young kids and pets keep me very busy).  My current editing tool is mainly Lightroom with Nik and trying to learn Photoshop. You can tell I'm way behind and have lots to catch up.

I'm looking forward to participate and learn from you all.