Study Group 2


Janice Rosner (C)

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NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:    Stupid is as Stupid Does
 
   
Goal:    I realize that this is not a "beautiful" image or something that you would hang on your wall, but when I saw these events unfolding, I wanted to document it in the hopes that this image could be a teaching tool.  
  

Equipment/Source:   Sony a7riii, Sony 100-400 with a 1.4 extension, hand held. Focal length of lens was 560mm

Technique:  We had been watching this sow and her 3 cubs for close to 2 hours, maintaining a 100 yard distance from them. The bears walked down to a shallow river. We stood down river and on the opposite bank watching them. The bears finished at the river and began to walk up the trail to the meadow above. We could see a group of people approaching directly in the bears path. We jumped and waved, motioning them to back up. The group continued to advance on the bears at which time we became quiet and worried as the cubs group was close to the cubs. We watched in disbelief as the group stopped, began taking photos of the bears and then began to approach the bears for selfies. I was personally horrified as this is how people and bears are injured/killed. I made several images of this activity in the hopes of using the image for teaching. I purposefully focused on the people, allowing the bear to be slightly defocused as I wanted to direct attention to the people. 

Processing:   ACR, added a little vibrance and clarity. PS, spot heal and sharpening. 

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

While this image could never be used in an actual nature competition, it is a good commentary on how clueless a large majority of people are about nature when in our many national parks and reserves.  They tend to think of these places as large petting zoos and think of the animals as trained and tame zoo animals instead of wild creatures.  This group of idiots was just lucky they were not between the sow and her cubs.  It would have been the bears that paid the ultimate price, not the people.  While your story is strong, in the contects of a nature image I had to give it a 0.  Even so, thank you for sharing the event.

While not suitable for a nature competition it is excellent for use in a nature essay or as a Photojournalism image.  I do suggest reducing the amount of background area above the dark trees. This area contains almost no information yet occupies  over half the image area.

N0, T3, P2, E1, Total 6


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Janice, you are right that people should not do this. I hope you have passed on your experience to somebody in authority.

The picture is obviously not a nature shot

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It seems OK as far as we can see the bear. Difficult to comment more

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 5


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Appreciate the intent but feel this is not the means to teach something that should be common sense.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Hard to determine as photographer was not striving for good photo.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Hard to tell what is going on.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Snap picture

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Well exposed and sharp

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nothing great

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Todd G

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I see your point in the story and your understanding of the Nature of the Story. However, I do believe Janice you do have a story as I read the entire description. I read more of your Nature Story in your Technique section. It appears to me that you had been observing the bear and her cubs for some time and these idiots (er' people) chose to put their lives in danger with their actions. That is the real story here.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Overall, your capture of the scene appears well balanced. Not over processed in post-production, and the hidden allure of the sow in the foreground makes the photo truly real. I feel that the minimal amount of post is key for this shot. You have good focus on the foreground and the background with the people and the subtleness of the mountains with bokah appears well balanced.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Overall, the impact of this shot is what makes me choose the score over the composition. You were likely in the moment and it doesn't need to be compositionally accurate. As landscape and wildlife photographers, we have to share our story of what we see, and you have done that here. I see this as an average composition, with a strong impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
While I’m not certain that this is the type of image the organizers of this forum had in mind, it is an all to common story that is unfolding as people with the cell phone craze want their 15 minutes of fame with no regard to the safety of the animals. There is a story line in this that needs to be told. I would not give this a 2 or 3 in a photo contest with the rules assigned but as a message image in a closed forum such as this----

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image shows appropriate use of camera skills., it is sharp, the colors adequate and the exposure is handled properly. I do not like the camera angle as the nature subject (the bear) is to difficult to see.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In terms of a composition I feel this would have greater impact if the mountain background were at least cut in half as this would drive the focus more towards the subjects. Good composition is always king and should be applied to enhance the image. While it will not make this image “beautiful” it can be used to drive a necessary point home.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
My son is a physician’s assistant in an emergency room. He often says he will always have a job because of people like this.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Looks sharp and nothing is blown out or lost in the shadows.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good framing. I like the DOF with the people in focus. For me a little higher point of view would have highlighted more the relative position of the bear to the people.


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Yes, many people don’t understand and respect wildlife. I witness some behavior in East Africa with cell phone photographers that was disturbing and completely unethical. Dangerous to both the wild animals and humans where the outcome of this encounter could be tragic like this episode you witnessed. However, I feel this image falls under photojournalism, for it is really about humans and their behavior, and less about nature and wildlife. As a journalism image, the story is strong, the photographer with the camera to his eye and the posing of the two people with the grizzly in the background add lots of impact and message to the image. The inclusion of the environment does set the scene, and the use of a telephoto lens compresses the background nicely, with layers of the different mountain features that recede.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good diffused light and sharp in the foreground area where the story visually enfolds, so the technical aspects are good.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
As mention above, the use of a telephoto lens compresses the scene and renders each layer of the environment more blurred than the preceding one, creating a receding environmental effect. However, the story elements are all in the foreground, and including so much environment does dilute the story elements of the people and the grizzly that’s partially hidden in the foreground grasses. The telephoto lens aspects also distort how far away the people are from the grizzly, having the effect of lessening the impact of the story. These visually effects are a characteristic of the lens choice and your subject distance. Perhaps changing the cropping and lessening the environment elements included would tighten the story and pictorial elements

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
It's now common to find such atrocious behavior from the homo selfiencis species. Around the globe the phenomena is rapidly spreading.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
perhaps the Thanos solution will be the only solution to save this planet.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
as mother nature is failing so would be her retribution.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 3

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
as Gandhi said there is enough for our need but there isn't enough for our greed. I need to shower the elusive 1 on this depiction of probable human-animal conflict. In fact I have one image where a man was killed by a tiger and the lower back portion is eaten by the Tiger but sharing that image would be too gory.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 4


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I understand, that the image is not published for scoring, but for a good school about stupid people.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good sharpness with smaller DOF.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I understand, that you coulden't get the whole sceene from lower possition.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE


SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 5


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good example of a highhandedness of tourists and groups unaware of the consequences of their atrocious act.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Well depicted by concentrating the focus on group activity and also showing the Bear in the foreground defocused.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good story telling. Well composed image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


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AUGUST 2019 ROUND

Title:  Swan escapes puma
   
Goal:   I was standing on the bank of a small lake where I could see a puma in the grass watching a swan in the lake. I knew the puma was going to go after the swan. I watched as the puma left her hiding place and splashed, not very subtly into the water. The puma swam towards the swan who appeared to be unaware of the puma's presence. I was holding my breathe when the puma, in deeper water, lunged for the swan. The puma was unable to grasp the swan and I have a following image of the swan literally "running on water". The young puma swam to the other side of the lake, slowly got out and shook herself off.    

Equipment/Source:   Sony a6500, 100-400 lens at 400mm, tripod with gimbal head  
 
Technique:   I had my camera on "Hi continuous" shooting. For several minutes I just sat waiting for the puma to make a move. Once she did, I had to follow her in the lens and photographed her actions.

Processing:    
ACR, adjust grey pt, exposure, PS crop

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

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

Review by Tom S.
It is rare for anyone to see and photograph a puma in the wild actually hunting something, so congratulations. You must have many images of the action from beginning to end, so do you have one that shows the front or side of the Puma? I can only see the back of the head of the Puma, and actually, I wouldn’t know it was a Puma without reading your comments. You need an image taken from some other angle that would show what the animal was and shows more of the Swan.

You didn’t mention the shutter speed you were using but there appears to be slight motion blur, since the animals aren’t quite sharp enough. The swan is bright but not blown out. Good. But the darker area could be lightened a little but be careful and don’t blow out the white areas of the Swan.

It needs to be straightened slightly. It is tilted to the left. Also, you could crop some off the top and left and right side to make the action larger in the frame, but leave room on the right for them to move into. Don’t put them in the middle.

N3, T2, P1, R0 Total=6


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I can see the scene from your description. It's really rare.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The picture is not clear and the color is too flat.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It may be that due to the distance, the main element is not prominent enough. Plus, post-op wasn't good enough. The shutter speed is a little slow.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
As a Nature storyline goes you are not going to get something much better than this. The drama presented by this activity is about as good as it gets. The story line could only be made stronger if the animals were not moving directly away from you and the camera position. For a nature study group presentation I’ll award you a 3

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The camera technique appears to be nearly adequate. While the bird seems to have sharp wings the puma seems a bit blurred and soft. You do not state what shutter speed and aperture you were using but from the appearance I feel that either the shutter is too slow (possible not because of the sharp wings) or the aperture is too low and you lack depth of field. Either could be the case or it could be a combination of both. You stated that there was some time lapse while the cat swam toward the bird, this might have provided you with an opportunity to make an adjustment with the aperture and thus get greater DOF for the actual attack.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You have done well in placing the action on the left side of the image and allowing both hunter and prey to have space in which to move. However, in my opinion the entire image appears to be tilted to the left. I think leveling the image would help.

You have been quite fortunate to capture a once in a life time image. Well done.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
seems to be a good nature act. perhaps if the image was captured from a different angle, would tell a stronger nature story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
seems soft on edge in general, and noise. Compare with others photo with action, can tell the differences, didn't see any capture parameters, thus can't suggest what will help to make it better.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
As the puma move toward swan, a good shoot would try to move to either right or left of the contact point, in order to get a clear view of the attack. Though it shows two objects are close, and some water splash, it's not as depicting as it could be, just my thought.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Ken W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good nature story of puma chasing swan

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
good exposure and average sharpness.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I am not sure if photo is straight. other wise nicely composed.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Hattie S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
It's a great story you've described and I wish I would be able to see something like that in future. The image was shot behind, it didn't quite able to show the story that you described.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Hard to tell where is the focus landed on, maybe up shutter speed also.

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’m primarily a Canon shooter though I have recently started using a Sony a6500 when I hike.  For post processing I use ACR and photoshop.  I also have some Topaz products I use occasionally.