Study Group 2


Ken Warning· (C)

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JULY 2019 ROUND

Title:     Snowy Egret With Stick
   
Goal:    To capture a snowy egret as it was bringing sticks back to its nest. I had several shots that I liked but I choose this one over the water.
 
Equipment/Source:   Nikon D500, Lens 200-500 
 
Technique:   lens at 250mm, F9, 1/1600, ISO 400, handheld

Processing:  
Tonal Adjustments LR, Sharpening PS, Darkened bright area in water PS

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:  Great Egret Feeding Chick
  
Goal:   Capture Great Egret behavior at nest in Florida. 
 
Equipment/Source:   Nikon D500, Lens Nikon 200-500, tripod
  
Technique:   Photo taken at F5.6, 1/500sec, ISO 500

Processing:   Photo Cropped, tonal adjustments in LR, darkened highlights in Egrets head, and some background light areas.

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.

I feel the nature story is clear and shows sufficient behavioral elements to warrant the 3 level. The main action, of course, is the chick preparing to tug the adult’s bill in order to initiate the regurgitation of food to the young. The chick’s somewhat bedraggled feathers add information on skin coloration, etc. The younger chick almost in a preening posture provides a secondary, balancing, element and additional behavioral information.

Primary focus looks good to me. I do feel there is room for some additional sharpening on the egrets, but it would be a case where you would need to invert the layer mask (black It out) and then paint the sharpening in only where you wanted it. That is more of a finishing touch than a technical defect. The exposure looks reasonable for the lighting. You mention dropping the luminosity of the highlights on the egrets. I might actually consider tone mapping the image to bring out a bit more of the feather structure and then balancing that adjustment (which will drop the overall luminosity of the highlights) with a modest boost to values between 180 and 240 (which can be controlled using the Blend If functions in Photoshop). Again, I see this as a finishing tough to optimize the image rather than a technical defect in the image as presented.

Pictorially, I find the composition on the tight side, but I also understand the desire to eliminate as much of a cluttered surrounding environment as possible. I feel there is a nice degree of visual tension in the arrangement and positions of the three main elements and that enhances the overall level of interest in the image. I do not find the branch projecting in from the lower right to be a significant visual distraction. Yes, you see it, but quickly dismiss it due to the visual strength of the lighter subjects.

N-3,T-3, P-3 = 9


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This well done image of a Great Egret “dealing” with parenthood issues caused by two juveniles who are certainly being “brats” creates for me a strong story line.



SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Camera gear and settings made this capture look easy. I am pleased to note that you used a tripod. It would appear that you handled the highlights quite well on these hard to shoot white birds.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
These birds nest in a very busy environment yet your image of these white birds appears to minimalize these distractions. Perhaps it is the nature of the white birds that draw the eye and the fact that you darkened some background areas, but what ever you did certainly works.

It may not be your doing, but the very ratty appearance of the juveniles adds greatly to the final image. I only have one suggestion to offer and it is minor. The eye of the juvenile on the right, while sharp, is a bit dull. I would suggest using a brush to lighten the eye and also to had some yellow to it thus making it more visible.

It might not be a contest winner, but I fell you have an excellent image with a bit of humor. Well done.


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by William S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I think that you met your nature goal in this image. There is a lot of action focused on the middle bird.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image seems sharp and the colors are good.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I starred at this photo for a long period trying to understand what seemed to be lacking and finally concluded that it was lacking in contrast after making some trial adjustments in Photoshop. This made the egrets stand out more from the background.
Adding contrast to the image will give it a greater visual impact. This is a very good shot.


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Hattie S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great nature story

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
There are unavoidable distraction in the foreground and background.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Sylvia W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE

The interactions between the parent and two chicks tells us a story of life in the nest. While the parent is feeding one the other one is demanding attention from the parent.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The difference between the white of the birds and the balance of the picture has been well controlled. Depth of field is spot on.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Having the birds centered in the picture works well in this instance as it give us a well rounded view into life in the branches of a tree. The branches in the background frame the subjects nicely.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by MJ Springett
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE

Great nature story

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure is good with little overexposure of the white values

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would hang this on my wall

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
Good moment in time, great work

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 10

I live in Menomonee Falls, WI, and have recently retired. I have been actively photographing for over 12 years.  I started by taking field trips to photograph waterfalls in the upper peninsula of Michigan that was being offered by the University of Wisconsin in Waukesha, WI. I still enjoy photographing waterfalls in Michigan, and along the North Shore of Minnesota.  I also enjoy bird photography.  I live less than 60 miles from Horicon Marsh, which is a popular birding area in Wisconsin.  I also try to get to Florida every other year for bird photography.  I will also do some sports, city, and winter photography.

I am a member of 2 local camera clubs, the PSA Wisconsin Chapter, and a board member of the Wisconsin Area Camera Club Organization.