Study Group 2

Suman Bhattacharyya, MPSA, ARPS, EFIAP/b·

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Title:   Africa View
Goal:   my goal was to capture the beautiful and landscape of Africa with the natural beasts amongst.  

Equipment/Source:    My trusted Nikon D750 along with the freshly bought 200-500. From Raw to Jpeg.

Technique:    shot at 270 mm. with 1/2000 sec. (shutter priority) and 800 ISO. Opted for 270 mm to cover much ground with the giraffes in it. Since there was ample light ( the evening light was getting low albeit) so reduced the ISO and f/14 was chosen for getting maximum depth-of-field. Centre weighted average metering I chose to use the D750's highlight centered metering benefits. 

Processing:    processed in monochrome as it appeals to me better than that of colour.

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

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



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Title:   oriental white eyes fight   
Goal:   while shooting birds is another step I considered as I travelled from Macro to Wildlife to birding. My goal was to get some unique actions of the colourful birds.
Equipment/Source:  keeping in mind advise of my fellow nature group members this time I loaned a tripod from a friend with a gimble head on top along with my Nikon D750 with the Nikon 200-500 lens 
Technique:  waited for the birds for quite some time in a camouflaged bird tent and when they arrived concentrated on actions between them. used a high shutter speed of 1/2000 parts of a second with 640 ISO and 7.1 aperture setting. used a highlight metering mode gives me a wider choice of exposure value. 

 processed using PS raw and then added some extra-light sharpness in the frame with the help of shake reduction filter in PS. 


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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

The interaction between the two White Eyes gives you a much stronger story than if you just had one bird flying in.  Good timing.

Technically it appears pretty good but you needed a bit more depth of field to the landing bird’s foot was sharp.  You were stuck between having a high enough shutter speed to freeze the motion and a small enough aperture so the depth of field covered all the bird.  I can accept your choice.  During the study group we have time to dissect the image.  At a live judging, the selectors do not have that option and need to make a snap decision.

Pictorially the lines of direction of the branch and the flying bird all work together to keep the viewer in the scene.

N3, T2, P3, E0, Total 8

Review by Georges D.
Excellent picture! Nice sharp birds combined with soft background. This is an exceptional photo that could win contests.
I have nothing negative to say about it
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-1, Total-10

Review by Andy H.
Full nature story and well caught. Patience is a great thing and often pays off. Good choice of settings. I might have pushed up there shutter speed and sacrificed the ISO a little to get a crisper shot, there's a little movement in the legs of the flying bird. Rest of the image sharp. DOF is good and gives a nice soft diffused background. Nice catchlight in the bird on the branch. Good composition and has impact.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by Robert D.
These birds are spectacular. Great capture at the perfect moment. I like the diagonal direction of the branch. The interaction between the birds is spot on. If I could add anything, the color of the wings, the background and the branch are all shades of grey. Perhaps some tweaking of the shapeless background would help. The eye of the bird flying could be a little brighter and have a highlight. It’s leg is blurred even though it was a fast shutter speed. The background is so even that it makes me think of a grey scale card.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, total-7

Review by Larry T.
This month I think you really nailed the Nature Storyline part of the project. The angle of the left bird’s head along with the open beak suggests a defensive posture when paired with the open talons, open beak and the “about to pounce” posture of the bird on the right you have certainly created a valid storyline of a battle. All that is missing is the blood. Well done!

You state you used a tripod and gimble head and the improvement shows in the sharpness of the branch and the left hand bird’s talons gripping the branch which are all sharp enough. (I’ll also note that you caught a catch light in the eye of the left bird—good job) While your shutter speed should have been fast enough stop all the action I’ll note the talons of the right bird are badly blurred. In conjunction with the position of the right bird’s shadow on the branch my guess it that the bird is slightly behind the branch and thus a bit too far away to be captured in your limited depth of field. The D750 is a fine camera as far as handling noise so my suggestion would be to raise the ISO to 800 or even 1000. This would allow you to increase the depth of field to f8 or f9. That much may have been enough to sharpen up the right hand bird a bit more. Over all, both birds are a bit soft.

You really have a quite pleasing composition in this image. First, your rendering of the background is perfect. The absolutely clean background and the pleasing color tonality are all that could be asked for. This is excellent. The diagonal position of the branch adds a dramatic touch to the image and this is also well done. You have achieved adequate detail in both the highlights and shadows thus your processing appear to be well done. The overall action increases the appeal of the image.

Additional note: While typing this response and constantly looking at the image a thought occurred to be. This is not meant as a deduction or a criticism of the image, just a thought. You are the maker of the image, and no one other than you as seen the original. Thus I wonder if you had rotated the image to the right and slightly level out the branch so it is straighter. If you do this, the angle of the right hand bird will become one in which the feet will appear to be aggressively reaching forward toward the bird on the left. This position might make the story line even stronger. Anyway, it is just a thought.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by Dennis H.
Good nature story with interaction between birds. Nice colour on birds with high shutter speed stopping wing blur. Would crop more from left hand side of image. Nice background. Birds appear slightly soft.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Natalie M.
Fabulous capture of two birds interacting. The birds are well isolated from the background, with the fast shutter speed freezing the action. Both eyes are sharp and well focused, the processing seems well handled and natural. Your setup and patience paid off.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8

Review by Bogdan B.
Colorful birds in action. Fine blurred background and relative sharp birds. I would selective sharpen the eyes more.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9

My name is Suman Bhattacharyya. I've an avid interest in nature & wildlife. I have been taking photos of nature from 2014 but only in 2017 I've taken membership of PSA. I am a member of FIAP (being an EFIAP) as well as RPS (having ARPS). I like all types of nature photos and am willing to commit time to know more about it. Thanks & Regards