Study Group 2


MJ Springett (C)

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JULY 2019 ROUND
Title:    Bedraggled Rose
 
   
Goal:  Photographing wildflowers of Crex Meadows after a torrential downpour, this particular bloom of wild rose was a bit out of shape, because the color was a bit washed out, I used LAB color space to enhance what color was left
  

Equipment/Source:    Canon 70D with 150-600mm Tamron Lens 

Technique:   f/8 at 1/3000 sec iso 800
aperture priority spot metering mode

Processing:    Used LAB color space to enhance what color was left in this bloom, otherwise basic exposure, cropping, and sharpening

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:   Common loon nesting   
 
Goal:     To capture a clear view of a nesting loon

Equipment/Source:   Canon 70D with 150-600mm lens fully extended f/8 1/1000 with iso 2000 
 
Technique:    This nest was located along a busy road so short sessions were necessary to avoid blocking traffic and revealing this nest site 

Processing:   
Basic adjustments in Photoshop and sharpened in Sharpen A1 by Topaz in the Stabilizing Mode, thanks to
Rick C for the tip  

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.

The nature story is solid and clear. I would say it shows enough behavioral aspects to warrant a 3 level, though other might go with a strong 2. Had the chicks hatched and been visible it would be stronger.

The exposure looks good to me given the lighting. Focus is good and sharpness excellent. The background is reasonably non-competitive relative to the detail present. There is an element I will comment on under pictorial. The lone strand of grass in the lower right is a visual distraction, but that too is more a pictorial issue.

When darkening an element be sure to drop both the saturation and contrast on that element. I have a sense that you dropped the luminosity on those background reeds, which is good, but look at the green reeds and how they now appear over saturated. The same gradient you use to drop the exposure in that area could also be used to decrease saturation and contrast as well. If you use a separate layer for dodging and burning, then just add a HSL adjustment and clip it to the masked dodge/burn layer. The add a Brightness Contrast adjustment and clip that to the HSL layer.

The strand is a bit more problematic. We can’t clone it out under nature rules. What we can do is add an HSL layer and drop the yellow and green saturation until the strand visually blends in with the surrounding water (or at least blends better than now). The rest of the image will look awful, but just invert the layer mask and then paint (white) it back in where you need it to be.

N-3, T-3, P-2 = 8 (P-2 over saturation in greens in background and small visual distraction from strand in lower right.)


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I feel this is a perfect Audubon image of a loon on a nest. The story line is simply the nesting process and this aspect is well portrayed. For me, the story line feels quite ordinary and does not have impact. The image is well done for what it is, a loon on a nest.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The choice of gear and the settings certainly allowed you to capture the image. I realize that putting a polarizer on that lens may not be a option, but I still find the highlights in the water at the bottom of the image to draw my eye especially since they are bright. Perhaps waiting for a passing cloud to dull these bright spots would help. You indicate an ISO of 2000 which other than a slight lack of sharpness (particularly in the eye) is not terribly noticeable. I am assuming that this was handheld and thus the high shutter speed. Since this bird is sitting quietly on her nest I would think that a slightly lower shutter speed, with the matching reduction in ISO may make the image a bit sharper. This may also require the need for a tripod. When viewed at full size there does seem to be some color banding in the lowest black section of the bird’s neck. This is perhaps the result of the high ISO and the opening of the shadowed area.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
By way of composition you have situated the bird in the vertical center of the image. Perhaps moving it downward a bit would remove that dead center feel and have the added effect of removing some of those bright spots in the foreground.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Ken W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice story of loon sitting on nest.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nicely focussed loon, good details, good exposure,

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice portrait of loon on nest, there is a distracting blade of grass on the right lower side of the photo. Would it have been possible to have moved to the left to avoid the grass?

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by William S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The nesting loon is clearly a nature story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The bird is reasonably sharp but detail in the dark areas is lacking especially around the eye. Brightening the image slightly (more on the eye) and adding a little contrast might improve the overall image.


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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Moving the loon to the left of center and/or reversing the image horizonally and moving it to the right of center would improve the composition and add more impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The nesting loon is clearly a nature story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The bird is reasonably sharp but detail in the dark areas is lacking especially around the eye. Brightening the image slightly (more on the eye) and adding a little contrast might improve the overall image.


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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Moving the loon to the left of center and/or reversing the image horizonally and moving it to the right of center would improve the composition and add more impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Hattie S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice discover of the nest. Definitely a strong nature story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Noticed a f/8 being used, which resulted in a higher ISO and more clear foreground, in my opinion. A step down aperture might be good. I would suggest to burn the water at the front to have the eyes keep on the subject.

Feels like the wood chips are sharper than the bird for some reason.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Sylvia W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I like that you have managed to get down to eye level to capture this image, putting the viewer on the same level as the bird. Allowing space to the right of the Loon gives it room to breathe.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice depth of field throughout the image with it being sharp where it needs to be. I would have like the eye area of the bird to stand out a bit more - possibly lightening a little

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would crop some of the water off the bottom of the picture as there are quite a few light patches which are distracting to the eye.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7
















Photography has always been my go-to activity when I have had spare time. My work as a cell biologist meant that data was recorded on film, developed and printed in a darkroom, and delivered to a principal research scientist. With the advent of digital photography the darkroom work was replaced by Photoshop but little else changed. Upon retirement, I now have time to pursue wildlife, landscape, and especially birds as my photographic subjects. We moved 100 miles north to be near a wildlife refuge that represents the glacial lakes and pine barrens of Wisconsin. We also enjoy the badlands of North Dakota and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.