Study Group 2


Sylvia Wallis (C)

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NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:    Golden Dawn
 
   
Goal:    To photograph the rocks as the first rays of sun hit them. At this particular spot they are known for changing to an Orange colour - but this only happens during the first light of day.
  
Equipment/Source:    Nikon D7000  10-20mm f/4.0-5.6 lens @ 10mm  Tripod  Graduated Filter ISO 100 1sec @ f/11

Technique:    I used a 1 second exposure to ensure that the sea had a hint of silkiness to it which counteracts the sharp angles in the rocks. Using a tripod I tried several angles over the 1/2 hour to find the most appealing. I like that there is a hint of rocks under the water. This hangs as a 30" x 40" framed picture in my house - a favourite of mine.

Processing:   Cropping, Colour balance, contrast, tonal balance, brightening

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:  Nap Time   
 

Goal:  To capture a baby wallaby asleep in its mothers pouch. This morning I was lucky to get several photos of the young wallaby napping. Lucky for the mother she was lying down as I'm sure the baby was almost as big as she was. I liked this image as it shows the edges of the pouch and how the young one has to contort itself to fit in.

Equipment/Source:    Olympus OMD EM1 Mkii
Panasonic Lumix 100-400mm f4.0-6.3@350mm
Handheld
1/125sec @f10

Technique:  I sat quietly observing a mob of wallabies before moving slowly closer so as not to disturb the mother. I then sat for a little longer to let the animals get used to me before taking a series of photos.

Processing:   
Selected dodging and burning and a little detail sharpening.

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 there, but without your explanation I do not feel they typical viewer would understand what they were looking at. Take heart, that is not as uncommon as you might think. It just means that were you to enter it in a competition or exhibition and it scores low, it wasn’t the capture, it was the inability to interpret what they were looking at in the short time allotted for scoring an image. Since we have the luxury of an explanation and the time to appreciate the capture, I will score this a 3 for story value.

The basic technical elements look good to me. Focus seems fine and sharpness adequate for the joey and pouch area. The exposure looks reasonable based on the ears and lighting on the mother’s fur. The darkening in the corners is excessive and unnatural, but I suspect this is a pictorial issue potentially related to the use of a vignette.

Pictorially, I feel the image works pretty much as you have it framed. It is a little centered, but I don’t see any practical way to do something “dynamic” with this subject in this position. As noted above, the edges of the image are dark and appear unnatural. Having any adjustment retain a realistic, natural appearance is a requirement under nature rules. I suspect this is due to the use of a vignette and once again I will caution against using vignettes unless they are extremely subtle, read that as undetectable. In a nature exhibition or competition the judges would almost certainly score down for the unnatural edge darkening. The pictorial value is limited to 2 as a result.

N-3, T-3, P-2 = 8


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is a very interesting nature image. The subject is foreign to me it took me a brief time to figure out what I was looking at. There was more of the parent the image would have been clearer to me.

Even with the difficulty understand the image, the image is strong and desiring of a 3.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is well exposed and sharp. Depth of field works well in this image. There are a few dark areas towards the bottom that could be brighten a bit.,

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the composition of the image is good but a bit tight. Again including more of the parent would have helped explain the image. Unless someone is very familar with the subject matter, the point of the image may have been lost if not explained.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Natalie M

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice story, tucked up safe and sound. And you have certainly captured the contortionist pose by the baby.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Sharp, well exposed and colour looks accurate.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Perhaps including more of the abdomen would have given a sense of scale? Mum's face in the shot would have added to both the story and the impact of the shot.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The nature story of the joey curled up in the mother’s pouch is good. It could be very powerful if the joey was facing the other way, out towards the viewer. Even if the joey’s eyes were closed, seeing the face rather than the back of the head would have more engaging to the viewer and making the story more dramatic and impactful! I don’t know if they always face inward when in the pouch if so, the dramatic and decisive moment would be when it turned around to exit the pouch. This requires much patience by the photographer, however, it could take this image from good to great.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not sure what ISO you used because you don’t say. However, I would have probably raised my ISO a couple of stops to increase the shutter speed to 1/500 or 1/1000 of sec, especially because 1/125 sometimes isn’t fast enough to get a really crisp focused image while handholding. Based on the light level, I believe this would have been possible.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The tight framing around the pouch opening works well, and gives the viewer a good closeup of the joey in the pouch. I would darken down the two green grass blades on the bottom of the frame, being bright green in the sunlight, distract the mind a bit away from the joey in the pouch subject.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Robert D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Without the description would not have been able to identify what was going on. Reading made it clear. In my opinion, a nature image should stand on its own without a descriptive title and tell its own story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Average technique. Would have taken out the distracting bright blades of grass in the foreground.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Abstract image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature image of joey in female's pouch. A pity the joey's face couldn't be seen.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good definition and colour on pouch and joey. Not sure on your f/10 aperture, maybe f/7.1 would be adequate.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I believe cropping the dark area at the bottom would enhance the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
definitely a very interesting nature photo

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent composure, exposure, color and sharpness

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think that this image would have been improved if it included a little more of the mother; as is, without Sylvia's description, I would never have been able to guess what the subject of photo was.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8
















Hi, new member Sylvia here. Photography is my creative outlet and I enjoy many aspects of this discipline including landscape, street, travel and nature - especially chasing down our feathered friends. I am looking to learn, enhance and improve my thought processes on what it takes to take a great nature shot through this group.