Study Group 2


Hattie Stamer (C)

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JUNE 2019 ROUND
Title:   Chilling
 
   
Goal:   The penguin was standing there seem half asleep. I like his side profile, pairing with the background with another one face him.  
 

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D850, 1/640, f/4, 300mm, ISO 100 

Technique:    

Processing:    Tried first time with DxO Photo Lab 2. Used the Smart lighting, selective tone, DxO Clearview Plus, Lens sharpness. Used brush to darken harsh brightness lighting on the rocks, a different bush on the main penguin to bring up the shadow. Export to Lightroom as a 16 bit tif file so I can export with resizing to 1024 image. 

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

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

 




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FEBRUARY 2019 ROUND

Title:    Green iguana
   
Goal:    Taken at Grand Cayman Island. First time saw these green iguanas up close and personal. It's just a side portrait, not much of other. Forgive me being so excited seeing them and had to take pictures! Was told these are not native of the island (Blue iguana is)

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D850, f/4, 1/1000, ISO 560, -0.7step, 300mm (300mm f/4 fixed lens). 
 
Technique:   He was right at a walking path, not too afraid of people. Just put my big lens on, and get low and take shots.   

Processing: 
LR basic adjustment on hightlight/shadows/whites/blacks. Use a brush to up more shadow on it's head area. Darken the ground and top brighter background area. Add some clarity, sharpening. Add a little dehaze and vibrance. I never use saturation in my photo processing, but always wondering whether "dehaze" will add saturation or not.  

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

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

Review by commentator Dan Charbonnet

This is nicely done and does have some story about habitat but it is still essentially a “Here I am” shot.  You did hold exposure in the rocks very well and the iguana itself is well handled and sharp.

This is one of the few times I do not recommend flipping horizontal.  Yes, it does increase the feeling of confrontation but the strength of the head makes it harder to enjoy the rest of the details of the iguana. 

I do feel you do not need as much space above the iguana and recommend cropping it down.  I would also crop a little from the rear but not any of the rear claw.

N1, T3, P2, E0, Total 6


Review by Robert D.
Unusual Capture Unfortunately the dark background dominates the picture especially with the overexposed foreground. It would take some work in post-processing to improve this image, but I think that it can be done. Exposure extremes can be limited either by several exposures at different levels and then HDR processing. You could try Aurora 2019 for a single image JHDR process. Then you could use Camera raw to use a graduated density filter for above and below the iguana. Taking oictures of lizards is hard because one inevitably cuts off the tail. If this happens you might try cropping just below the upper limbs. Old adage – fill the space with the image. Dead space does not help here.
N-2, T-1, P-1, E-0, Total-4


Review by Rich F.
This is a strong image of the green iguana. It is well exposed and processed. The iguana is position well in the frame with the eye along a power point line. the light rock in the foreground is a bit distracting, you could either crop it out (though may not be able to crop enough) or darken it. Also this image would be alot strong if it were cropped into a pan (remove background from the top). Lastly I always try my images flipped horizontally - so the animal is looking to the left. May not work as well as presented, but worth checking.   
N-2, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-8


Review by Larry T.
The Nature Study Group specifies that there must be a story line associated with the image. With this photo of the green iguana I cannot detect any type of story other than documenting the creatures existence.

Your settings indicate that you made correct choices for the type of show presented. The f4, combined with the side view of the iguana kept the entire animal in focus and allowed for a beautiful blurred background the easily separates the animal from the background. This is well done. The slightly high ISO indicates either a cloudy day of most probably early evening. In any case, it eliminated highlight from the animals skin creating a more pleasing image.

Iguanas posed sideways always create a photographic problem. Most often their long tail gets chopped of making the animal look somewhat broken. It would be nice if they curled their tails, but unfortunately they do not. I feel that this is just a photo showing an iguana and there is nothing creative or interesting about the pose. If you were capturing a portrait perhaps a crop right behind the elbow creating a head and shoulders view or even a more frontal view would create more interest. Both your iguana and the background are nearly a matching shade of green and this creates little visual separation. Also the light grey or off white highlights at the top of the background could be cropped off the top of the image. This would draw more attention to the iguana itself.
N-2, T-1, P-3, E-0, Total-6


Review by Dennis H.
Good capture of active green iguana. Nice colour and detail on iguana. I feel image could be improved by darkening lower area of rock. Nice background.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8


Review by Robert D.
Unusual Capture Unfortunately the dark background dominates the picture especially with the overexposed foreground. It would take some work in post-processing to improve this image, but I think that it can be done. Exposure extremes can be limited either by several exposures at different levels and then HDR processing. You could try Aurora 2019 for a single image JHDR process. Then you could use Camera raw to use a graduated density filter for above and below the iguana. Taking oictures of lizards is hard because one inevitably cuts off the tail. If this happens you might try cropping just below the upper limbs. Old adage – fill the space with the image. Dead space does not help here.
N-2, T-1, P-1, E-0, Total-4


Review by Natalie M.
This is a nice portrait. I think it would benefit from a lift in the overall exposure while darkening the foreground as this is the brighter area and is a bit of a distraction. The low angle has given you a nice clear background and created a more imposing subject. I would be excited to see them too.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7


Review by Robert D.
Unusual Capture Unfortunately the dark background dominates the picture especially with the overexposed foreground. It would take some work in post-processing to improve this image, but I think that it can be done. Exposure extremes can be limited either by several exposures at different levels and then HDR processing. You could try Aurora 2019 for a single image JHDR process. Then you could use Camera raw to use a graduated density filter for above and below the iguana. Taking oictures of lizards is hard because one inevitably cuts off the tail. If this happens you might try cropping just below the upper limbs. Old adage – fill the space with the image. Dead space does not help here.
N-2, T-1, P-1, E-0, Total-4


Review by Omar P.

Great capture of a green iguana. I like the angle of the shot and composition of the image. The iguana seems to be a little underexposed given the bright rocks. I am guessing it was a cloudy day or the subject was in shade? Possibly because of the narrow depth of field the eye doesn’t seem to be as good in focus as the middle (belly) section of the image. Better lighting and a smaller aperture might of helped bring out more of the iguana’s detail. 
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, total-8


Review by Andy H.
Nice subject and well exposed. Good use of aperture to defuse background but needed a little more open to get the front foot sharp. Rest of image sharp. I might have lightened the eye a little to make it stand out. I like the composition but would have taken some off the top to improve the balance and to remove the bright areas. The green background is causing the iguana to blend in need to find a way to make it more dominant, but it does have impact.
N-2, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-7


Review by Bogdan B.
Very beautiful animal! Darkening of background is good. Photo is very sharp except of the rock in foreground.
The only thing I don't like is missing tail. I know the unpleasant situation, when you have fixed lens and you are too near. That's why I always use zoom lenses.
Perhaps here you have enough pixels to make a tighter crop. I would crop out more then half of body and some rock in front, thus getting a real portrait.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7


Review by Valentin D.
Beautiful portrait of the iguana. Personally, I would crop a little tighter. I like the sharpness and the bokeh behind. It isolate the subject beautifully. 
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9


Review by Prasad D.

The image is sharp and taken at a nice low angle. But fail to see a reason for such high shutter speed. 
N-1, T-1, P-2, E-0 Total 4
Review by Suman B.
Missing the action here and so I am not sure how to term it but it lacks the impact of a nature story. Pictorially well handled – just a below crop needed. Technically good but may be due to my monitor colours are not showing proper and exposure a little down. The more of the species can be had from this link - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_iguana. It will help you to a behavioural study of the species which upon study will enable you to be able to capture good nature shot of the green iguana. Their eating behaviours, mating behaviour as well as possibility of getting a fight can only be had from that study.
N-1, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-5










I fell in love photography when I was probably 7, but never had a chance to learn or get my hands on a camera. I got my very first film SLR camera back in 2004, had some great time with it for a little while, then life took over.  Recently (late last year) I decided to devote more time and get serious about photography because it's my passion and I owe it to myself. 

Started self learning by surfing the web, read books, participate seminars, looking at others' work, etc.  Just joined PSA and believe it can help me grow.  My photography interests are pretty wide ranging but mostly shoot whatever I have access to (two young kids and pets keep me very busy).  My current editing tool is mainly Lightroom with Nik and trying to learn Photoshop. You can tell I'm way behind and have lots to catch up.

I'm looking forward to participate and learn from you all.