Study Group 2


Andrew Hayes, ARPS, EFIAP/b, DPAGB - (B)

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JUNE 2019 ROUND
Title:  Golden Eagle and Chick 
   
Goal:    I am about to revisit these eagles and it remained me of a couple of images taken in past years. My goal was to capture an image of a Golden Eagle at the nest with chicks. On this occasion I was very fortunate to gain access to a hide that was only about 30m from the nest and in an elevated position. The nest contained two chicks about 4 months old and the parents were kept busy bringing in hares for the chicks to eat. The nest was covered with partially eaten hares and one of the parents spent time on each visit tidying up the carnage.

I have tried this image in Salons developed in various ways but it has not been very successful, not sure why, perhaps someone can help.

Equipment / Source:   Canon 1DX
400mm f/2-8 IS II USM + Ext 1.4x III
ISO 3200
560mm
f/4
1/640sec 

Technique:  I entered the hide at about 4:30pm, after a 30min drive and 15 min climb through the forest. The hide was very small and didn't leave much room for my set up. I put up two tripods, one with the stills set up and another with another camera set for video. I run the video set up for periods of a minute or so, every so often, on the off chance of capturing something. It usually works and did in this case.

I set everything up and checked settings, due to the failing light settings are checked every 10 mins.
Then it's a matter of waiting. I was very lucky and both parents came in on four visits to the nest. They don't stay long, average time about 2 to 3 mins and there gone to find more hares. After about five hours the activity dies down and the light has faded so I pack up and head down to the Land Rover. 

Processing:  Lightroom Classic. Usual sharpening and exposure changes. I've had to isolate the pair by lightening the subject and toning down the busy background. Difficult to make the birds stand out with such a busy background/  

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

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

 


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MAY ROUND

Title:   
Siblings Grooming

Goal:   Had been tracking the mother and two mature cubs for a few hours and waiting for something to happen. Caught these two cubs grooming each other while we waited for the mother to start a hunt. Looking for some interaction.
    
Equipment / Source:   Canon EOS 1DX MkII
EF 200-400mm f/4 IS USM EXT
!SO 1000
560mm
f/6.3
1/640 sec
Handheld 
 
Technique: 
  Tracked the location of these three and sat with them for a few hours waiting to see if they would hunt. Found the best angle and got down as low as I could. Waited for some interaction and took a few shots with different results.

Processing:    
LR Classic CC
Used auto tone and then some finer adjustments.

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

Nature Story – Good interaction between the cubs so it is a good nature story.  N3

Technical – Both cubs are in focus.  However, the light is flat and the image is flat.  It needs more contrast and a little more color.  See my adjusted image.  In Lightroom you can improve it by using the new Texture slider along with a little more Saturation. T2

Pictorial Quality – The cubs form a triangle shape and the background is out of focus so as not to be a distraction.  P-3

N2, T3, P3 = 8


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This perfectly balance image showing a pair of cheetahs grooming (both having their tongues out) clearly shows a strong nature story line.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The gear selection and settings is more than adequate for the capture. The fstop of 6.3 (raised above the base f4) allows for enough DOF to keep both animals entirely sharp. The relatively even and soft light guarantee to hot spots and allow for a more even exposure that also keeps the image soft. The high ISO of 1000 is not really noticeable and noise does not show.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel in this case that the square format and the almost centering of the animals in the center of the frame works quite well. The background is well diffused which allows for the animals to stand out from the image.

Overall I feel the image is well done and presentable. I am not awarding an extra point simply because the image lacks for me what is the “WOW” factor. What you present is well done and worthy of exhibition.

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

TOTAL SCORE_____ 9


Review by Sylvia W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice capture showing the bond between the cubs.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice portrait and the choice of aperture has ensured that the background is nicely blurred and not distracting to the viewer. The colour tones work well throughout the image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like that fact that you got down low so as to be eye level with the animal. Having the patience to wait for interaction has paid off. I would have liked to have eye contact with one of the cubs.

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

TOTAL SCORE_____ 9


Review by Ken W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature story with the two cubs grooming each other

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice exposure, good sharpness in fur, natural color, nice blur in distance

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice compositin and impact

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

TOTAL SCORE_____ 8


Review by Prasad D.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice Sharp shot of these Cubs indulging in mutual cleaning activity by playfully licking.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Love your patience and the low level angle has got its result.

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 SCORE_____ 9


Review by Charlie Y.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
interesting image, as both shows licking motion. well done.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE

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

TOTAL SCORE_____ 7


Review by MJ Springett
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great story, mutual grooming

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Looks sharp to me and maybe a bit overexposed, but that is a personal opinion

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would have cropped in tighter on the interaction between the two heads for more impact

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

TOTAL SCORE_____ 7







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Biography

I was born in Prestwick, Scotland and travelled to many parts of the world with my father who was in the Royal Air Force. Now living in historic village of Fettercairn in Kincardineshire, Scotland with my wife Hilary and 'Smokey' the cat. Semi retired construction industry owner and business consultant. Grampian representative of the Royal Photographic Society, member of Brechin Photographic Society. (Est 1888), Dundee Photographic Society, a Scottish Photographic Federation Judge & Speaker and PSA Scottish Liaison Officer and Membership Director. Much of my photography was aviation photography but about 15 years ago I returned to Wildlife photography, mostly in Scotland, but with annual trips to Kenya and India.