Study Group 2


Larry Treadwell (D)

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NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE JUNE ROUND










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JUNE 2020 ROUND

Title:       
   
Goal:     

Equipment/Source:      
 
Technique:     

Processing:     

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

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


 



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MAY 2020 ROUND
Title:     Skimming the Surface
 
   
Goal:   The goal was to capture an image of a Black Skimmer fishing in the surf.   


Equipment/Source:    Nikon D850 with 200-400mm lens, tc1.4. ISO 360, f7.1, 1/2000. Auto ISO in manual mode using burst shooting. This is image 3 of 5 in the burst.
Image from Nikon RAW file. This is an almost full frame image utilizing 7986 pixels of width of a possible 8200.

Technique:  The image was taken at the Sabastian Inlet in northern Florida at daybreak. The extremely flat and shallow tidal pool traps thousands of tiny fish that are barely an inch in length. Since the water is so shallow the Black Skimmer at full speed, glides over the surface while extending his lower jaw to cut the water surface. The fish are not so much caught in the traditional sense as they are scooped and swallowed as the bird glides over the surface. I wanted to the capture the bird coming toward the rising sun and so I was laying in the water at the edge of pool and simply waited for the several dozen skimmers to make their individual runs. I was able to use single point focus and located the point on the eye of the bird. Because the bird was coming directly toward the came grabbing an eye was relatively easy. The tidal pool was quite extensive coming from the sea toward shore. The birds did not come very close to the shore so I was required to move out into the still water of the tidal pool to get within range of the birds. This angle kept the sun on their face and let me be at eye level with my subject. The camera, wearing a Lenscoat raincoat, was mounted on a tripod with a Wimberly Gimbal head and positioned several inches above the surface of the water. I was able to pan and use the zoom feature of the lens to obtain the largest image possible.  

Processing:  Post work included slight crop on the left to balance the image and a slight crop from the bottom.The shadows on the bird’s back caused by the wing position were opened and sharpening was added. The fine wing feathers look a bit soft because they are wet and their fuzzy appearance is caused by the way they stick together.

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

Reading your story is just as enjoyable as the image itself.  Your capture was worth the effort you put into taking the image.  The action is clear and easy to interpret, giving you a strong nature story.  I am giving you a 3 for your nature story.

Technically your overall exposure and sharpness is good. Due to the lighting conditions reflections off the water are giving the skimmer a slight cyan cast that can be easily corrected.  The direction of the ripples in the tide pool creates a slight feeling of the image being tilted.  That feeling can be corrected.  I used the crop tool to rotate it counter clockwise in the attached example. I was limited on how much I could rotate it to prevent clipping the skimmer’s wing.  The color-cast has resulted in a technical score of 2.

Pictorially the image is well composed.  Personally I like it better flipped horizontal but since that is a personal preference and not a necessity I am keeping a pictorial rating of 3.

N3, T2, P3, E0, Total 8


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great effort. This is a difficult shot. When I think of a image of a skimmer i always remember a shot of it flying over a mirror like still flat water with only its beak in the water creating a wake. I have tried that unsuccessfully. This image is striking.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Unfortunately, the only part of the bird in focus is its beak. You also have a very narrow depth of field judging wy the focus on the water beneath. IMO the only way to get a good image of a fast moving subject is to use an aperture priority of at least 11,a high ISO and a fast speed. If you camera can shoot more than 10 fps you will have a good chance of getting what you want.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A bit central.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Larry, the timing of this frame is probably perfectas the beak is just breaking the surface of the water. Well done. As such, the story is enough to be a 3 I think, but I have the benefit of your narrative explaining how this type of bird fishes. Not all viewers will understand exactly what is going on just from looking at the image.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically I can not fault the image. Yes there is strong lighting but you have handled that well. Not all the bird is sharp and that part that is (head) i s a tiny fraction of the image). That affects the Pictorial part of my review rather than technical

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
With a relatively small part of the bird sharp and there being nothing else in the image to look at and enjoy, I don't find the image particularly interesting I'm afraid.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Lovely Image

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The Tele Converter creates some shallow effect may be.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Lovely Composition

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Capturing the beak in water and water drops is for me a good natural story. I like the bird flying toward the camera.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Sharp beak and head, a circle of sharp water inside DOF is perfect. Wings on blurred water are well seen. Dark wing should be dodged a little bit.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Perfect low position above the water. Adopted format should be cropped a little bit on the uppe r and right side.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
A fish would add an extra point.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 0

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 9


Review by Saswati C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A decisive moment well captured, that too a Black Skimmer perfectly frozen in time, hence definitely a Strong Nature Story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The picture is technically sound and very well executed.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The picture captures a moment perfectly frozen in time, and the water splash, the sha rp red b eak, the catch eye, all being the key ingredients of this beautiful presentation.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
picture perfect Larry. What nature story you brought out! indeed it demands a 3.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
perfect point of view. excellent exposure triads applied. The picture settings described in details clearly shows why you needed to go manual. Auto ISO working brilliantly for you.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I was a bit skeptic about the wet & fuzzy wings but after your careful explanatio ns I am thrilled to review a masterpiece. As if I am there with you shooting side by side.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
the way you handled the skimmer running into you as well as the sun to keep in focus while gliding.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 10


Review by Nirmalya B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nature story is very strong (though I must say I had no idea unless it was written how a Black Skimmer capture fish from surface water).

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically I have no better idea than what has been adopted here except that fact, at f 7.1 the shallow depth of field appears to me little confusing! The eye and the beaks are reasonably sharp so do a part of the front water wave but not the same is true for the wings as well as the adjacent water body. In my opinion, as it is almos t a full frame shot, shadow details in the right wing could have been further exposed through RAW correction filer.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
From pictorial point of view the frame is well balanced and centrally weighted

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE: 7


Review by Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hi Larry. This is a very good shot that embodies the proverb that “luck is when opportunity meets preparation.” Well done.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your technique quality is excellent! There is a slight blur on the wing tips but that does not detract from the overall quality.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice job right down the eye’s catch light. There is enough of a slight angle to get a better picture than a totally straight on look would give. I like the crop, leaving room in the direction of the bird’s head.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

I am retired and living the good life in south Florida.  I have always had a love affair with the wilderness and the natural world.  This naturally lead to an interest in photography to bring home memories from my adventures in the wilderness.  I have thus been involved in photography for more than 40 years and have worked as a semi-professional including work for the PGA and LPGA as well as shooting sports for various local colleges. 

My favorite photographic locations are Everglades National Park (the hardest place I’ve ever found to photograph), the Great Smoky Mountains and Rocky Mountain National Park.  That said, I will go anywhere to get a good image.  I enjoy shooting the Milky Way and the night sky, a real challenge, and I enjoy using long exposures.  

I have taught photography on the college level, belong to several local camera groups and have served as a photo judge at local clubs and for other local competitions.  Since retiring I have had several photographic exhibits in south Florida.

I am member of the online group called The Nikonians and shoot Nikon cameras currently using a D800 and D810.  While I have a collection of Nikon only lenses my favorites are my 24-70 and my baby, a 200-400 f4 beast that weighs 7.3 pounds.   My hiking buddy is my tripod that goes everywhere I do.