Study Group 2

Adrian Binney, LRPS

Click image to enlarge

Upload Next Round's Image and Description
Title:   Crocodiles after a wildebeest
Goal:    To capture an action shot during The Migration, Kenya 

Equipment/Source:  Olympus EM! mki with 100-300 lens (since replaced)

Technique:   ISO 400, 1/1000 f5.6 at 286mm.
It all happened quickly, in that 2 crocs suddenly appeared, but the struggle lasted some time. This was quite early in the sequence, so I do have other images more gruesome. I'm not sure how this would be received in Exhibitions. 

Processing:   Cropped and added clarity to the animals and shadow areas. Relatively little done.

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

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



Upload Next Round's Image and Description

Title:   Costa Rican Pelican 
Goal:   To capture a pelican in flight whilst fishing with some additional interest 
Equipment/Source:  Olympus E-M1 mkii + 300 F4 plus 1.4 converter. 
Technique:  Handheld with camera set for speed priority and slow burst mode (with AF maintained). Settings 1/1,600, F5.6 ISO200 (SLR Full Frame equiv 840mm). AF group of 9 spots positioned right third. I positioned myself on the beach so the mid-day sun would be facing the bird. I timed this one with the seagull (which was looking for scraps) to give scale. Taken January 2019.

Lightroom - small crop from the top deliberately leaving some rocks in background. Selected the pelican only to add clarity, control highlights and punch. V little done to rest of image.  


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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

All the pelican is in focus and sharp, and the light parts of the feathers are not blown out.   The eye is in focus and sharp.  Having surf in the background adds context.  However, the small sea bird in the foreground is very distracting.  I keep wondering what it is doing there and how it relates to the pelican.  

N-2, T-3, P-2 = 7

Review by Larry T.
Welcome to the Nature Study group.
You have entered a beautiful photo of a pelican in flight. Unfortunately the Nature category requires that your image demonstrate a storyline that shows something beyond normal animal behavior. I do not feel that a mere flight image fulfills that goal. Perhaps an image of the pelican rising from the water with a fish hanging out of his pouch would demonstrate a better story line.

Camera technique regarding all three parts of the exposure triangle (ISO, Fstoy, shutter speed) all were excellent choices to capture this image. You positioning to make the best use of the sun’s angle was another good choice. Even with themed day light you managed to control the highlights and have no burnouts.

In terms of your composition I do not feel the small bird adds anything to this image. To me it is distracting. I think the pelican can stand alone on its own merit. Likewise, I do not feel that the rocks in the background are necessary and they could be cropped out as well. This would leave you with a landscape format image being quite wide and very small from top to bottom. You would leave the pelican isolated against the be water and the bird would have a more dramatic visual appeal. You have chosen to have the bird fly from right to left which seems to be the preferred direction of travel for PSA images (I’ve learned this the hard way since I joined). The sharpness and detail of your pelican are exceptional.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by MJ Springett

Birds are sharply focused, but I would have straightened the line between rocks and water, and if possible left more space under the birds which would emphasize the flying behavior. 
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8

Review by William S.
I like the Seagull shadowing the pelican although it may be seen as a distraction. I see no evidence of fishing but a bird flying may be considered a nature activity.

The pelican is reasonably sharp but lacks color detail. Leaving space for the bird to fly into helped the composition and cropping the top area would help to focus more on the pelican.

For me the muted colors reduce the pictorial quality of this image.
N-3, T-2,P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Charlie Y.
seems follow all the prep work to position yourself at a viable spot to capture image, light is good, eyes good, I would only suggest crop in tighter, especially front of bird, take in about that much of behind of bird, see if you like it better.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Sylvia W.
Nice depth of field ensuring that the subject stands out from the background. For me the white waves against the background rocks are distracting - possibly crop them out? The smaller bird mimicking the Pelican adds interest to this picture and leaving room on the left allows for the bird moving through the frame. 
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Ken W.
Nice sharp photo, especially eye, of a pelican in flight. Good exposure. I find the seagull more of a distraction than a benefit to the photo. You may want to consider lightening the shadow on the lower part of the beak.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7

I am retired (64 as at 2018) and keen to devote more time to photography and travelling. My photography started 40 years ago with a home darkroom and like many, was kickstarted again with digital SLR’s becoming affordable.
I was a Canon man - 5 and 7 bodies, with many L series lenses, but sold the whole lot in 2015 due to weight issues. I now use an Olympus EM1 Mkii with many of their Pro series lenses and don’t regret the move. My core wildlife lens is a 300 f4 prime, which is razor sharp. Used with a 1.4 converter gives a Full Frame equivalent of 840mm - in a recent trip to Costa Rica 80% of my shots were at this reach (birds there are small and other wildlife are very high in the canopy!).
When at home in the UK, I enjoy visiting zoos and bird protection areas, as well as trying to photograph insects in gardens etc. I also travel abroad to enjoy wildlife experiences - Africa and Costa Rica mostly.
I am Secretary and Committee Member at a large Camera Club (Winchester, Hampshire) and enjoy helping to run a large club (200 members). I continue learning a lot from the many excellent photographers (particularly in use of Lightroom and what makes a good image). I don’t use Photoshop. In December I was awarded LRPS - the first distinction level of three awarded by The Royal Photographic Society.