Study Group 2


Natalie Murray (B)

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JUNE 2019 ROUND
Title:   Musk Lorikeet feeding on Eucalypt flowers
    
Goal:   In Australia we are blessed with an abundance of brightly coloured parrots, lorikeets and rosellas. And I always get excited when I spot one I haven't seen before. The aim here was to captiue the bird feeding on the flowers in early light.  
  

Equipment/Source:   Canon 6D2, 100-400mm lens@400mm, f6.3, 1/1250, ISO 1250(auto).

Technique:  Hand-held. Spot focus and spot metering. Difficult conditions with shadows and speedy bird movement. 

Processing:  Basic lightroom processing including cropping, highlights, shadows, saturation, and local exposure adjustments to minimize bright areas.

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:   Eastern Osprey with Fish
  
Goal:    Approximately 90 minutes south of where I live is a pair of ospreys with a nest next to the mouth of a coastal creek. According to the locals they have been there for many years and bred numerous offspring.
My goal was to capture an action shot of an osprey fishing in the creek.  

Equipment/Source:   Canon 6D2, 100-400mm ii lens @320mm, f7.1, 1/2500sec, ISO 400.

Technique: Firstly, I was able to establish the location of a tree branch that the birds returned to before each fishing attempt, a launch pad so to speak. I was able to position myself on rocks near the creek to achieve a lowish angle of the action. This is a juvenile bird that in this instance was unable to lift this fish out of the water and instead had to abandon the prize in order to fly off, so unfortunately I don't have a better shot of the fish. Otherwise, I'm pretty happy with the opportunity to get this shot at my first visit to this spot. On the camera I used AI servo with back button focus, auto selection auto focus (largest zone), partial metering, hand held. The conditions were intermittently overcast, so in this shot there was no exposure compensation used. As a result I have some blown highlights on the head.  

Processing:   
Lightroom cropping, tonal adjustment, saturation, sharpening.

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

Nature Story – Nice angle and great action.  A good nature story but unfortunately the fish is unrecognizable.  If the prey had looked like a fish you would have earned an extra point but nice try anyway.  Now that you know where the bird fishes, keep trying.  N3

Technical – Good color and contrast for the body and left wing, but the right wing is too bright and needs more contrast.  Also the white on the head is blown out.  The eye is in focus.  Good work, but the image could stand some sharpening especially the right-wing tip.  See my adjusted image.  T2

Pictorial Quality – The bird isn’t cramped in the image and has room to move in the frame, and it helps that it is moving to the left.  P3

N3, T2, P3 = 8


NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
As shown the image of an osprey catching a fish demonstrates a strong story line with nearly peak action. You did well to capture this. While I will not deduct from the score in this instance I would not be willing to give this top marks in a competition as the fish remains largely invisible. It is still a strong image, and one you should be quite hay with, just not a stellar image.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It would appear that you attempted to do everything right as you set up your gear to capture this image. All of the camera settings appear to be right as was your technique. However I find two issues with the image. The whites on the bird’s head and wings are a bit over exposed and lack detail. They are not dramatically over exposed yet they are still off. I am not sure of the terminology on a Canon but Nikon calls it Exposure Composition. Since you stated that you where able to get there, take up a position before the bird took flight I would suggest taking several “practice” shots and check to see if your exposure is on target. If not, you could adjust it and take another practice. Once you get the Exposure compensation dialed in you would be set for the rest of your shooting in that position or direction. The other issue is the in the enlarged mode the bird appears to be slightly out of focus. This is often the case where everything is moving fast and the camera has just not quite caught up as yet. For reference sake I will note that I’ve found this issue more common when the subject is wet or when you are shooting a white subject in fast motion (like the wings.)

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is well set up with the bird in a proper position and the water is clear of distractions. My personal preference would be to bring the final exposure down just a bit as I think it would add a bit of punch to the image. Perhaps you should lower the highlights.

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

TOTAL SCORE_____ 7


Review by Sylvia W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Wings up, eye contact and that straining through the Osprey's shoulders allows us to feel the effort that is being put into getting the fish out of the water.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The choice of shutter speed has allowed you to freeze the action. This also allows all those beads of water coming off the back of the Osprey to add to the story. Slightly overexposed which has meant details lost in both the head and the back wing.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice use of space in this picture allowing the Osprey to move into the frame. Your depth of field is spot on.

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

TOTAL SCORE_____ 8


Review by Ken W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature story of an Osprey catching a good size fish.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The focus is good as can be seen in the beak and the eye, and was taken at a fast shutter speed. I think that the photo is a little over exposed, in the one longer wing, head, and water. I think that a little darkening would have helped, and may even provide a little more feather detail.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The photo is well composed, but the color is a little lacking in water due to overexposure

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

TOTAL SCORE_____ 7


Review by Prasad D.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
An excellent attempt to capture the osprey in action. I would reduce the highlights over the wings. The fish should have been sharp. The eye of the Osprey do the talking.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I wish the Aperture 5.6 would have been good enough and the ISO 250 would have done the trick. In PP try to increase the Grey in color correction. This could bring out more details.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The Proportion and composition of the image could be improved.

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

TOTAL SCORE_____ 7


Review by Charlie Y.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
try and try again, will get better result

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
notice you're at 320mm/400mm, not fully extended. why? out of frame? hope the image didn't get cropped down a lot

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE

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

TOTAL SCORE_____ 6


Review by MJ Springett
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great story, big fish for young bird. Biting off more than he can chew

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A little overexposed but sharp I think the bird is well placed within the frame and moving into the photo space and struggling with the fish

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the bird placement and moving into the photo space, clean background, little distractions

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

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
Difficult situation but great job

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

TOTAL SCORE_____ 9













Hello.  I'm Natalie. I live in Brisbane, Australia and have been interested in nature photography for approx 8 years.

Last year I joined my local camera club.  They are a very supportive bunch and I was immediately encouraged to enter club, national, and international competitions.  I am lucky to have a diverse range of birds that live locally or a short drive away, and I also enjoy looking out for the smaller creatures in our botanic gardens.  I shoot primarily with a Canon 6D2 and 100-400mm zoom or 100mm macro lens and edit in Adobe Lightroom.