Study Group 2

Georges Dormoy (A)

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Title:   Hummerbird

Goal:   The goal was to capture this bird in action infreezing his movement the best way I could. This picture was taken in Peru (the canyon de Colca) in the morning while observing condors.

Nikon D850 with Nikkor 70-300 mm  
Technique:   Since it is generally difficult to take picture of such fast animal, I chose the option of 6 frames per second, with a speed of 1/2000 at f/5.6 and focusing on the head of the bird. I could not use a tripod but chose ISO 800. May be the speed was not fast enough because the sharpness is not 100% perfect. But using a higher ISO would provide some visible grain that would not be desirable.

Processing:   Lightroom for some vignetting

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

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



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Title:   Alti-Planos (Peru)
Goal:    This picture was taken in the Peruvian alti-planos, near Lake Titicaca at nearly 4,000 m altitude. This wild region was particularly interesting for the shape of the mountains and the patterns of the fields around them.
I used a Nikon D850 with my Nikkor 24-70 mm lens, with 1/250 and f/13 (ISO 500) for maximizing the depth of field sa has to have the foreground as well as the background as much in focus as possible.
Equipment/Source:    Nikon D850, 24-70mm lens, 
Technique:  With tripod  

With lightroom, Highlights slider in the left, Shadows slider in the right, slight increase in Clarity.

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

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

Review from commentator Rick C.

As a natural landscape I feel you have made a reasonable capture. The use of the river as a leading line was well planned out. I like the idea of using a foreground element to create depth in the scene, but to some extent the grass is actually blocking the viewer slightly as it disrupts to a small degree that river’s role as that leading line. The sky is captured well. Kudos for not over polarizing which is a real danger at those altitudes. I wouldn’t object to moving the central mesa / mountain group more to the left, but then again, I don’t know what you were excluding on the right side Based on the shadows, the lighting looks to be more toward midday and there for a little flatter and more contrasty. If you want to enhance the relative tonality, you could try tone mapping the image. Just remember to pull back on any saturation introduced in that process to keep the result looking natural.

N-1, T-3, P-2 = 6 (N-1 A nice natural landscape however the erosion present is not dominant enough to elevate the story value in my opinion. P-2 The included foreground elements slightly disrupt the primary visual leading line. The relatively flat lighting is holding back the interest level (drama) in the scene.)

Review by Larry T.
Nature Story: While you have presented a most visually pleasing image I am at a loss to find the “story line.” You only state that you wanted to show the mountains and the fields around them.

Technical: You state that you wanted to maximize the depth of field to keep everything in as much focus as possible yet you settled for an aperture of f/13. Using that 24-70mm lens it is difficult to get a razor sharp foreground and a visually sharp background at f/13. The size of the brush in the foreground indicates that you are fairly close and it appears that you focused on that brush as the field across the stream in the lower left is beginning to look soft and the distant mountains likewise appear soft, especially on the enlarged version. I feel that if you had utilized the hyperfocal technique more carefully (this requires that you do not necessarily focus on the closest object) and increase the f/stop to f/18 or F/20 you would have been better able to achieve your goal of maximum DOF.

I feel you did a good job with the composition. The placement of your horizon, in the upper third, helps to convey your stated goal. The placement of the leading line of the river, especially since it curves, leads the viewer nicely into the image. I also like the use of the brush in the foreground that breaks up the line of the river and demonstrates the ruggedness of the land. Finally, the white clouds draw my eye and force me into the image. The midday light (non golden hour) does create some shadows on the distance hills that adds some interest. I feel the overall tones are fairly even leaving the image void of drama.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Fran M.
That is a beautiful image, but not a lot of story. The composition is wonderful, with the serpentine shape of the watercourse. Good landscape quality, with interest in the foreground, middle ground and background. Technically good too. Well done.
N-1, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-7

Review by Wililam S.
You picked a good day to take this photograph as the clouds in the sky really add to the pictorial quality. There is a very good leading line with the water leading the eye to a curve right across the front of the elevated rock area.

The image seems to be sharp throughout. I wonder if some of the shadow areas are too light robbing the image of some tonal range and pop.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by Hattie S.
The image has a good composition, and the cloud add interest to the image. However it appears very bright (overexposed) and flat. It was taking when the sun high I believe so the lighting is very harsh. By your description about the interesting shapes, patterns, along with bad lighting, I am suggesting try a B&W to see if you can show those characters. Too bad I don't know how to upload visual image (if possible).
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Charlie Y.
not sure what to say about this one, somehow, I'm guessing, that mountain at far is your main interest, then close by grass and water, not really adding to your story. either a different angle, or crop to address that. Just my thought. 
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Ken W.
Nice landscape photo with white clouds in blue sky, and nice curve of the river. Good exposure and focus. It almost looks like this was taken in middle of day. It could be a more interesting photo if it was taken closer to sunrise or sunset.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Valentin D.
The composition looks right. On the technical aspect for landscape photography I always try to stay at ISO 100 specially when I use a tripod. I know D850 handles noise very well but I want to get it all right in camera.
I feel this image will have a greater impact with a B&W conversion (with the blue slider moved to the left). 
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Born in the French Caribbean (Guadeloupe) in 1948 I started photography when I was 10 years old, favouring travel, landscape and nature. My father let me use his Rolleiflex bulky camera, but my very first camera was a Voïglander, and then a Yashica, using 25 ASA Kodachrome films.

When I moved to the USA to live there during 3 years from 1974 to 1976, I was living in Port Washington (Long Island, New York).  My passion for photography led me to be a co-creator of a new camera club in town, named “Port Washington Camera Club” in which I learned a lot in photography, simply by participating in photo contests and discussions with other club members. At that time, I was member of PSA.  I built up my photo equipment in the Nikon brand, starting with the F2, then the F2s.  My favorite subject was abstract pictures and macro photography.  I was also particular fond of the autumn colors of trees in the nice residential areas of Long Island.

After this period, I moved to Geneva (in 1977) for professional reasons and worked there during 20 years.  I joined the camera club named “Société Genevoise de Photography” and participated in many contests, focusing in macrophotography, abstract, nature (the swiss mountains) and travel.  My profession (economist in commercial aviation) led me to visit 68 countries in the world and flying over 3 million kilometres in commercial aircraft, giving me the opportunity to take many pictures.  I continued upgrading my Nikon equipment, acquiring a F3 in 1983 and then an F4 in 1988.  

Then I moved to Montreal (Canada) in 1997, still for professional reasons, and for many years, my photographic activity was reduced due to lack of motivation (in particular the absence of a suitable camera club in the region) as well as intense work in my aviation fields.

I got into my first digital camera (Nikon D90) in 2008 and upgraded regularly to higher camera models (D100, D700, D800 and now D850).

I retired a few years ago and discovered lately a fantastic camera club in the Laurentides named “Club Photo des Pays-d’en-Haut) which gave me again the motivation I needed to continue my passion for photography.  Still focusing on travel photos, macrophotos and nature/landscape.