Study Group 2


Bogdan Bricelj, GMPSA, EFIAP/p

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JUNE 2019 ROUND
Title:     Killer and Victim 

Goal:   Capturing spider with insect. 
 
Equipment/Source:   Panasonic FZ-50, built-in lens at 420mm, macro adapter, ISO 100, F7,1, 1/500.

Technique:  This spring time is interesting to capture insects and spiders. A little bit harder is finding spider with caught insect. Then you have some technical problems, how to get the biggest DOF and get most of the photo sharp.  

Processing:   rotation, crop, contrast improvement with levels and curves, everything in Photoshop Elements, selective sharpening with Nik.  

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

Crab Spiders are among my favorite subjects and this version has a very strong nature story.  Your image clearly shows the predatory nature of the crab spider and the unlucky fly it has captured.

Pictorially the image is well composed and its background works well.  Your soft background flower helps isolate the spider and fly while upholding the story of the shot.

Technically the image is nicely exposed and sharp where it needs to be sharp.

N3, T3, P3, E0, Total 9


Review by Robert D.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Well captured nature moment. I like the action.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great focus but it looks unbalanced. I would recommend 180 degree flip in both directions. We read from left to right so it will be more comfortable for the viewer. While the background is well out of focus, it draws my attention away from the subject, so suggest crop most of it out. There are a whole bunch of small white specular highlights. These are easily dealt with using the spot healing brush tool. Always do this.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Interesting event

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Adrian B.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
There is certainly a storey here Bogdan! Well done is capturing this! An excellent Nature image.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the fact that you have placed the spider on a diagonal and have kept enough of the flower to guide the viewer as to the type of flower. The spider is sharm and enough of its target also. The flower is visible enough to understand it, but is out of focus the focus attention on the spider,

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the limited colour palette here - its striking! There is interest in the action captured.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
Cant fault the image.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 10


Review by William S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very good macro photography capturing the spider in action.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The spider is sharp and the surrounding colors compliment the main subject. My one suggestion would be to slightly darken the bright edges of the flower petals with a burn tool to focus light more on the spider. I would rate this higher if the spider stood out more from the background.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is very good.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Bruce F.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
: Strong macro image with the spider with its bee or bee fly victim. The spider in particular is lighted well with sunlight and shows off well.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think I would darken all the sunflower petals on the edge of the frame, on the periphery! And then, light the center of the flower and the bee in particular. All by the use of targeted adjustments—subtle target adjustments. This way the light areas aren’t on the edge of the frame, drawing the mind to these bright areas and away from the subject. Use contrast to your advantage, and have the spider and bee the lightest areas of the image. This would increase the focus on the subject and the impact of the overall nature story.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Only suggestion I have is that you are looking down at them, and this isn’t the strongest or most original view. Looking down conveys superiority to the viewer and the photographer, at eye level you are then in their world, seeing from their prospective.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by W. Smiley
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very good macro photography capturing the spider in action.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The spider is sharp and the surrounding colors compliment the main subject. My one suggestion would be to slightly darken the bright edges of the flower petals with a burn tool to focus light more on the spider. I would rate this higher if the spider stood out more from the background.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is very good.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8





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MAY 2019 ROUND
Title:   Unusual Feeding 2  
  
Goal:   Capturing nuthatch feeding the chicks.  

Equipment/Source:   Nikon P900, ISO100, 450mm, F5, 1/320 s handheld.

Technique:  My wife and I have found a nuthatch's nest in a hollow. Nuthatch is one of the rare birds, that can climb the trees downward.

Both parents were bringing the food: caterpillars, insects and grains to the chicks. Sometimes they also feed the chicks with head down.

Waiting on a distance we were capturing them. Unfortunately it was cloudy and the tree makes the shade.

Processing:   crop, contrast improvement with levels and curves in Photoshop Elements.  

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 here is clear, but not as strong as it might be. If the adult had food, or the adult and chick were in closer proximity so that the viewer might assume that feeding had just taken place (given no food in the adult’s bill), the strength would be much better. Still this does show interaction and I would consider it at the 3 level if a weak 3.

The exposure looks reasonable for the conditions you describe. Primary focus looks OK to me however, I feel there is room for additional sharpening of the adult and immediate area around the nest hole.  There is a slight color cast, but I feel it is warm rather than the green I would have anticipated reading about the surrounding foliage. I didn’t find the cast to be problematic.

The composition is a little centered but works as shown. I did find the image mildly stronger with a slight additional crop on the left side to eliminate the lichen upper left and very small additional crop from the top. That was more to place the chicks bill at the lower right rule of thirds intersection. I do not feel that the additional crops provide substantial improvement. Here again the sharpening aspect does affect pictorial strength. I would recommend dodging the adult to help it separate and burning in the edges around the adult and nest hole to help push the viewer in to that area. Just remember to keep those adjustments mild enough to retain a natural look.

N-3, T-3, P-2 = 8 (Sharpening and dodging and burning impact pictorial more than technical. See the adjusted image.)


Review by janice R.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
It is. not easy to capture a nuthatch, they are small birds and this is a great shot with the parent and waiting chick.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
exposure and color balance are good. I love the colors on the parent which are gorgeous on my screen. Image doesn't seem to be sharp.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very nice placement of the parent and chick. The composition is well done. Focus issues interfere with impact for me.

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

Total: 7


Review by Andy H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Full marks for nature story. Well found and well chosen image.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the portrait composition it suits the image. Its a lille under exposed but the shade from the tree won't have helped.A bit more DOF would have bought the chicks beak into focus.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Im going to give it 3 as I found it well composed and has impact.

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

Total: 8


Review by Rich F.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very interesting story showing how the nuthatch brings food to the nest (even if the bird does not a bug in this shot).

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good exposure, over cast may have prevented the image from becoming too contrasty. Focus is good, showing both the parent and the chick.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very interesting image. the crop works.

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

Total: 9


Review by Natalie M.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature story. Well done catching the little beak poking out of the tree.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is a little soft. I find with birds I need at least 1/1000sec to get sharpness with any action in the story.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel the image is well composed, however impact is limited by the similar tones throughout the shot. And unfortunately there is not a lot you can do about that.

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

Total: 7


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This image of a nuthatch climbing DOWN the tree show the unique character and skill set of this species and is thus worthy of a creditable nature story line. In that your title mentions feeding I feel this would be a strong story line if the adult bird were carrying some sort of food to its young. With out the food element I feel the story line, while adequate lacks strength.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
While the image appears to be suitably sharp in the thumbnail version upon enlargement the beak of the little bird appears to be suffering from a bit of motion blur. This is evident by the relatively slow shutter speed of 1/320. In that the ISO was only set at 100 raising this setting would have allowed for the much faster shutter speed needed to keep this image sharp. Additioally, it could also allow for a slightly higher f stop that would provide greater DOF in that the chick is deeper in the hole and not on the same plane as the adult and thus prone to being slightly out of focus.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel the composition is adequate and even adds a bit of humor as it is seldom that a bird is seen climbing upside down on a tree. Positioning the adult bird off center adds to the strength of the composition as does the position of the chick. Color and processing appears to be adequate and retains a natural feeling.

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

Total: 7
Review by Martin P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Lovely position of the male bird in their usual upside down way, good to see the chick calling for food as well. It would have been even better if the adult had had some food in its beak

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I am not convinced this image is quite pin sharp, but that could be the low resolution image. I am also thinking the image/bird is a little orange compared to the specimens I am used to seeing

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A pleasing image I would love to have shot myself, well done !!

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

Total: 7


 






Biography

Bogdan Bricelj was born in the year 1958 in town Jesenice, Slovenia. He graduated at Faculty of electrical engineering in Ljubljana. He was working for 9 years in steel factory as service engineer. Since the year 1990 He’s manager and co-owner of a computer company.

He was learning the art of photography and developing of black and white photos in the photo school in primary school. After that he passed over to slides. In 1973 his first slide was accepted on a state exhibition. More than thirty years he had an ordinary Praktica without any electronics on all his journeys. 

He bought his first digital camera in the year 2004. All these years he uses compact cameras with large zoom. In his opinion photographer is more important then the camera like driver is more important than the car. Although digital photography allows a lot of possibilities of photo modifying, his photos are as much as possible pure representation of the moments captured. He prefers to make photos of nature: animals, flowers and landscape. He also likes macro and underwater photography. His other preferred theme is sports, especially outdoor sports like skiing, ski jumping, kayak and swimming. Mostly he goes photographing together with his wife Danila. 

In the year 2005 he joined to the photographic club Fotografsko drustvo Jesenice. He’s sending his photos to many exhibitions worldwide. Until the end of the year 2018 he has got 226 awards. Until now he has made 29 exhibitions of his own. In the year 2018 he has got title EFIAP/p and in 2019 GMPSA as the first Slovenian photographer. 

He was the president of photographic club since 2009 to 2017. In these years the club was first or second most successful club in Slovenia.

His photographs were published in many Slovenian and foreign books, magazines and other publications. He has written also four articles for PSA Journal. He’s especially proud, that also National Geographic has published his photos.