Study Group 2


Richard Fisher· (B)

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NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:    Gray Screech Owl
 
   
Goal:  Capture owl on beautiful perch with out of focus autumn follage
  

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D850 with 180-400 lens. ISO 640, 1/100 second, F11 to maintain sharpness on owl, at 400mm. Obviously on tripod (rig was heavy)
  

Technique:  I waited for the bird to open its eyes (only occasionally did this) and look at me. 

Processing:   Light room to adjust color temp, white and black points, highlights and shadows, vibrance, saturation, .. In PS luminosity masks, brightened eyes, sharpened, cropped, converted sRGB

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

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


 


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OCTOBER 2019 ROUND

Title:     Flying Great Horned Owl
   
Goal:    I wanted to capture the owl as it flew out of stump as the mist rolled in

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D850, 180-400, 200mm, 1/1600, F5.6, ISO 2500. Manually spotted metered an area to set exposure. 
   
Technique:   I watched till the owl took flight and then fired a burst hoping to capture a sharp bird with good wing position. 

Processing:     
Basic lightroom adjustments (white and black points, highlights and shadows, contrast, texture, ... I darkened foliage and used luminosity masks to add a bit of pop. 

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

The owl in flight is fine but I have a problem with your “mist”.  I assume you mean fog.  In the image it looks more like smoke than fog because of the fine detail.  Taken as smoke, it could be part of your nature story with the owl trying to escape a nearby fire.  Even if it is actually fog rolling in, a person viewing the image without your write-up would not realize it.  I knocked off one point for nature because of this unclear aspect of the story.

Pictorially I find the image pleasing and well arranged. I like the owl flying towards me instead of away from me.

Technically you have good exposure and sharpness.  The addition of texture mentioned in your processing description may be the reason the fog looks like smoke, it added detail not normally associated with fog.  You might have needed to be a bit more selective on where you applied additional contrast and texture.  You also need to reduce the brightness of the mist at the left edge.  It looks out of character with the rest of the fog.

N2, T3, P2, E0, Total 7


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
At first glance this is quite a striking image. However I do not feel that this is much beyond just a portrait. The nature story would be enhanced if the owl was doing more than just taking off, something it does numerous times each day.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You managed to use your D850 to achieve a near perfect exposure. The general soft light helps to achieve this. The color is well handled and not over done creating a beautiful natural effect. While you needed the high ISO to capture the shot I feel it makes the bird look a bit too pixelated.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
While the composition is quite strong especially the placement of the bird in the frame the image looks to be heavily processed. When enlarged there appears to be a processing edge that follows the outline of the bird. I feel that the processing has given the bird the appearance of being over done. Much of this may be due to the high ISO and the contrast and texture applied but , for me, it adversely impacts the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice picture of an owl. It seems to be missing a story though.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The mist looks more like smoke and competes for my attention. The owl looks overly sharp in areas, almost like this is a composite image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good cropping. I feel the DOF is too big. With a smaller DOF you could have focused more on the owl.


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice action shot of owl, however, fairly common shot.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Would have liked more contrast between owl and tree, especially on the lower half. Mist does not look realistic. Color and sharpness fair.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Fairly common shot.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Lovely takeoff captured.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A Shutter speed of 1/2000 could have given a steady image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Mist disturbs the image and looks more like a shoot.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
It's interesting to capture the flight toward you. I don't see mist as an add on.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Lightning is good but sharpening of the owl seems to aggressive for me.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition is good but pictorially mist is a distraction for me.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Rich - A nice capture! Those eyes! The wings are nicely positioned. So a nice picture of a flying owl in a setting that appears right for its environment. I would say this is more than 'average story'.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Settings look sensible. Owl is sharp and clear. Interesting that there seems to be list in front of the tree, but your owl is very clear.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
For reasons stated above 3 points.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
except for the smoke origination everything looks okay. If the smoke arising out of forest fire it's an wonderful nature story you caught.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
your choice of exposure has mission critical importance. the 5.6 aperture you chose and the 1/1600 shutter speed you have chosen is the reason the end feathers of the wing looks blurry.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
pictorially I couldn't but wonder as to how beautifully the bird camouflaged among the woods. almost an extension of the tree you got there. enough negative space also helps the eye to go right into the yellow eyes. lovely composed. may be you could consider the golden point placement.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8












Rich could be described as a modern-day Renaissance man. Though now retired from Kraft Foods (2012), he is trained in the sciences with a PhD from UCLA in Molecular Biology and has earned an MBA from the University of Chicago where he specialized in Finance, Marketing and Statistics. In addition to his analytic side, Rich is artistic as demonstrated from his photography. 

During his tenure at Kraft Foods his career spanned such diverse areas from Physical Chemistry and computer simulation to Marketing Analytic (last brand positions were Director of Analytics for the Cheese & Dairy Business Unit and The Pizza Company). As head of Analytics Rich was responsible for forecasting volumetric and financial impact of changes in marketing spending and price changes. 

Rich has been a member of the Garden Photographic Society (GPS) since 1997 and the Riverwood Nature Photographic Society (RNPS) since 2002. In GPS he has held numerous positions such as newsletter editor, president, competition chair, DPI coordinator and Treasurer. In RNPS he has been Outing and Program Chairs, and Vice President of Competition. Rich has been on the board of CACCA, Chicago Area Camera Club Association, since 1999 and Rich has been Treasurer for most of his tenure on the board except during his term as president, 2014-16. In addition, he has been additional roles as the information manager and coordinator of speakers and judges. 

On a personal note, Rich lives outside Chicago with his wife Jane and their delightful Golden Retriever, Denali. Both Rich and Jane love to travel and are planning their 23rd trip Africa.