Study Group 2


MJ Springett (C)

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JUNE 2019 ROUND

Title:   Common loon nesting   
 
Goal:     To capture a clear view of a nesting loon

Equipment/Source:   Canon 70D with 150-600mm lens fully extended f/8 1/1000 with iso 2000 
 
Technique:    This nest was located along a busy road so short sessions were necessary to avoid blocking traffic and revealing this nest site 

Processing:   
Basic adjustments in Photoshop and sharpened in Sharpen A1 by Topaz in the Stabilizing Mode, thanks to
Rick C for the tip  

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

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

 















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MAY 2019 ROUND
Title:   Grouse Face Closeup
 
   
Goal:  Portray the Sharptail Grouse Male in all his spring regalia dancing for the female.Made Closeup to show raided eyebrows and purple sac  
  

Equipment/Source:    Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens f/8 1/320 sec iso 800

Technique:   Telephoto at 400mm with resting on a monopod, no room for tripod  

Processing:    Cropped and sharpened

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

At first glance the image appears to just be a “Here I Am” but it is really more than that.  It does have a good nature story about the breeding of this grouse.  The yellow comb is iconic for this species and becomes much more prominent during the breeding season.  The same is true of the purple throat sacs.  It is one feature that separates the sharp-tail from other prairie grouse.  The fact it is partially inflated is another indication this was taken during the breeding season.  The spread wing adds story value by showing that the grouse is actively dancing on the lek. That behavior becomes even more apparent if you flip the image horizontally.  My Nature score is based on my knowledge.  If I had based my score on the average viewer’s knowledge, I would have given it a 2.

Technically it appears slightly soft when viewed actual size on a large monitor.  Seeing it full size also reveals quite a bit of noise, both in the bird and in the background.  You can selectively sharpen the bird itself and selectively reduce the noise in the wing and grass areas.

Pictorially the composition works either way though I personally stronger when flipped horizontally.  The same may not hold true for an oriental viewer.

N3, T1, P3, E0, Total 7


Review by Adrian B.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hello. I am told that the story telling of a Nature Image is very important. Here, you have cropped in very tightly to achieve (I guess) a high impact of the colours. But by so-doing you don't allow the story requirement to come out.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I am guessing that you have cropped this quite a bit - I say this, as I think you have lost some of the sharpness that I would expect from your lens. The eye and surrounding area do not 'pop' F8 may have been too wide to achieve a wide enough depth of field as most of the feathers and body areas are not in clear focus.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the diagonal position of the bird and the colours are striking and I believe it obvious that the bird is displaying itself to attract a mate.

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

total: 6


Review by Robert D.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice capture. Sharp were it is needed. Do not tell a story on its own

SCORE N (Nature) 1-does not fit Nature definition

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would crop most of the left side of the picture and increase exposure and contrast a little

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Incomplete body capture therefore make it a head and shoulders only

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

total: 4


Review by Suman B.
SCORE N (Nature) 2-basic shot--no nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
searching for feed and actually feeding are way apart.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
while colour balance is good but it lacks the crispness which nature images must have. otherwise they may be applied into open colour section.

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

Total: 5


Review by Rich F.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Image conveys the mating ritual of the grouse and his splendid color well. The close up of the head is an unusual view.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is well expose and the bird is well positioned in the frame - though I would try to flip this left/right. As shown the image flows "down hill" which is more relaxing than if the image were flipped left/right and flowed from the bottom left to the upper right ("up hill") which might add tension to the image.

Head is no truly sharp, perhaps a bit of motion blur due to the 1/320 shutter speed.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is interesting - please not comment at flipping the image on the technical section.

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

Total: 7


Review by Bruce F.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The dramatic movement of the wing and the open mouth of this Male Grouse add to the nature story and take the image beyond a portrait. The action and the moment were captured well, and express the behavior documented in your written narrative.
Where I think the image falls short of excellence is in the technical aspects. It’s just not tack sharp, there is subject movement. Your shutter speed of 1/320 of sec wasn’t fast enough to freeze the motion of the bird. Since I have had and used 7D camera body extensively, I believe you could have used ISO 1600, doubling your shutter speed, without incurring significant image quality issues. Diffuse light allows a greater ISO setting than in harsh light, another reason that higher ISO setting could have been used here.
Regardless, you do need to use a noise reduction software on your image. When I enlarge the image, I can see the noise, particularly in the top left corner and in the grass areas. With Nik Define tool you could selectively remove the noise around the subject. Selective noise reduction should be part of your standard digital workflow, the same as cropping and sharpening.
Not sure why using a tripod wasn’t possible and you used a monopod instead, when possible I favor a tripod for the enhanced stability.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 1-Inadequate exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE

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

total: 7


Review by Prasad D.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The image is very tightly cropped hence it seems a closeup ppicture and hence no story telling.

SCORE N (Nature) 1-does not fit Nature definition

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The cropping might have stretched the pixels. Moreover the a shallow depth of field with a wide Angle of view would have given a better result in this case is what I feel. ISO is high and hence the noise is visible. With a shallow DOF may be you could have reduced the ISO setting.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 1-Inadequate exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Too tight a composition and flipped orientation needed.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 3

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.