Study Group 2


MJ Springett (C)

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FEBRUARY 2020 ROUND
Title:     Rembrandt lighting
 
   
Goal:    To document young whitetail in early fall after losing their spots
  

Equipment/Source:   1/200" @f8, iso 160
Canon 70D with 150-600mm Tamron lens  

Technique:   Shooting from a vehicle blind in a place where the deer regularly cross the road

Processing:    Cropped stabilized and sharpened with Photoshop and Topaz Sharpen A1

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

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


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DECEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:      Crane Attack
 
Goal:     In the fall, I relentlessly pursue the Great Sandhill Cranes as they migrate through our area on their way south. I love to record the various interactions between birds. 

Equipment/Source:    canon 70D with 150-600 mm Tamron Lens at 600 mm, f/8 at 1/500" ISO 800 Aperture Priority on a cloudy day 
 
Technique:    Photographing from a vehicle blind I wait for outside birds to join a flock on the ground, this often leads to confrontations like this one

Processing:    
Cropped, sharpened, dodged and burned in Photoshop CC

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

Very nice interaction between the cranes.  Their heads and eyes are very sharp, which is critical for birds or animals.  The crane on the right having its beak open makes the image.  Without that, it would be just two cranes looking at each other.  The background is sufficiently out of focus and dark so as to not be a distraction.  But the very bright and out of focus wing is a huge distraction.  That dominates the image.  I tried darkening it and sharpening it a lot but while that helped a little, it simply wasn’t enough to make it acceptable.  You were shooting at f8 but apparently were close enough to the birds that there wasn’t enough depth of field to have the wing sharp.

 N3, T2, P2  = 7


Review by Sylvia W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good shot of bird behaviours.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel that your shutter speed is on the slow side which has made the main bird slightly out of focus all over, except the head, due to movement. In a situation like this you would need either a faster shutter speed to freeze movement or possibly a slower speed to exaggerate the movement. From your portable bird hide you've managed to get a mostly clean shot of the action, but those few stray grasses are quite distracting.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The angle of the shot portrays the dominance by the main bird which I like.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The clearly aggressive action shown in this “attack” present an interesting nature story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Shutter and aperture were adequate to capture this “action” but more important is the lower angle of view which effectively puts the viewer into the scene. I feel it is this angle of viewer that really makes the image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
For me the image is sharp enough and the dodging is not visible so that makes it work as well. However, what I really like is the close up crop that eliminates all distractions. It creates a feeling of intimacy. I also like that the “victim” appears small and diminutive which in turn makes the aggressor appear even more dominate. The wing position creates the feeling of a wrestler reaching out to grapple with the victim. This creates power and drama.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Glad that someone else was out there chasing these bid birds, most entertaining, seems interacting, not sure what's the conversations are about, but seems one is pretty upset and angry, while feathers on neck all stand-up. nice catch.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
sharp image on main characters, good crop and composition to depict only relevant elements.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
good crop and composition to depict only relevant elements.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Ken W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice story of crane landing in field near another crane. I rated it strong because I thought it was a little better than average.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good exposure, eyes very sharp which is always desirable.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I thought that the photo was well composed, and I liked the tall grass with curves that the cranes were in.

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


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
wonderful nature image; capture likely took a lot of waiting time

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent technically, given the conditions (cloudy, likely aperture limitation of lens), moving birds, and weeds in foreground), all resulting in slightly soft subject heads and distracting background

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
here the image excelled with its high impact and great composition

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


















Photography has always been my go-to activity when I have had spare time. My work as a cell biologist meant that data was recorded on film, developed and printed in a darkroom, and delivered to a principal research scientist. With the advent of digital photography the darkroom work was replaced by Photoshop but little else changed. Upon retirement, I now have time to pursue wildlife, landscape, and especially birds as my photographic subjects. We moved 100 miles north to be near a wildlife refuge that represents the glacial lakes and pine barrens of Wisconsin. We also enjoy the badlands of North Dakota and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.