Study Group 2


Suman Bhattacharyya, MPSA, ARPS, EFIAP/b·

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APRIL 2019 ROUND
Title:   tiger tiger burning bright
     
Goal:   in the sweltering heat (110F) in the Tadoba Tiger reserve I went on to find the ferocity of the tigers. but due to such heat and almost no water present in the forest as every water body dried up, I came back with the beautiful tiger busking in the end of days light  

Equipment/Source:  used my D750 with Nikon 200-500 lens from my safari vehicle to look for the closest portrait possible  

Technique:   chose the lowest angle of view possible in the safari vehicle. used a f9 aperture with 1/4000 shutter and a 640 ISO. wanted to bring out the sudden movement of the mighty beast in flicker of a second. used the f9 aperture to keep details with a tad background in focus as well as a bit high ISO to keep up to the falling light of the evening. 

Processing:   just processed the raw image with a subtle clarity levels


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

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MAY 2019 ROUND

Title:  Yellow beetle on path
   
Goal:   it was a cloudy day at my recent visit to GHUM, the highest altitude hill station where I searched for some macro wildlife. found a very beautiful yellow beetle poised against the blue orchids moving. I intended to capture the beetle with the blue orchid to depict the inherent beauty lying within nature.  
 
Equipment/Source:  used my trusted NIKON D750 along with the 90 mm. 2.8 tamron macro lens without flash.
 
Technique:   used f5.6 with 1/320 shutter speed. ISO was 640 as it was cloudy with occasional clouds floating in. the aperture I chose for getting a differential in depth between the blue orchids and the yellow beetle. and the shutter speed I chose to capture the movement of the beetle arrested in time.

Processing:   
no processing just only converted from RAW to jpeg and uploaded.  

  

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


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

Review by commentator Rick C.

Based on your stated goal I think you largely achieved what you set out to do.

While there is an inherent nature story in the beetle’s journey, within the context of what we can see the image is more of an environmental portrait. If taken from a different angle and clearly showing the beetle either eating the plant or laying eggs on it the story would rise to the 3 level.

Technical aspects all seem to be largely on the money to my eye. The shallow depth of field leaves little of the “orchids” showing sharpness (they would appear to be more what we would consider the fruit remaining after the flower has passed), but this is intentional and within reason. The background is well controlled. The weakness is see is that the beetle’s head is, for all intents, in a tonal merger with the dark orchid under it.

The image has good initial impact. Pictorially I feel the centered composition is a bit too static. The lighter spots upper left and lower right do catch the eye, but I don’t feel you can darken them much without looking odd. The color differential between the stem to the left of the beetle and that to its right causes me to spend too much time wondering why which means I’m not paying attention to the subject. The one single shift that could heighten viewer interest would be a slight drop in your elevation at time of capture to show the beetle more from the side. That would allow its legs to provide the spacing needed to separate it from the orchids.

N-2, T-3, P-2 = 7


Review by Andy H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I looked for a story, possibly the action between the heads and the beetle, 2.5 if it were possible.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically good, most of the beetle is sharp with good detail.Good exposure, chi;d have done with some more light on the lower part. Good DOF.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition may have improved with the beetle higher in the image, on top of the flowers with the lighter background.Not enough separation between the beetle and the background.

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

Total: 7


Review by Rich F.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The image does show the beetle on the orchid bugs. I would like to know more about the insect and the flower - does the beetle eat the buds, lay eggs. The image simply shows the beetle on the buds but fails to let me know anything else. I could have scored this either a 2 or 3

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the image is well exposed and the slight back lighting gives a glow to under side of the beetle - noticeable on the bottom right area. I am not sure that the shallow DOF helps you, the buds are out of focus and the one the beetles antenna is hidden by a bud. perhaps a side view of the beetle would have let it stand out more.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The beetle is bulls eyed and there is a lot of background green above the branch. Cropping to a pan might helped.

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

Total: 6


Review by Janice R.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I'm not sure what the nature story is but I'm going to assume that the beetle is interacting with the berry in some way.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Focus was on back of beetle and not head where the action is. Thus the viewer can only assume what's happening. That said, the color balance and DoF both are appropriate. The back of the beetle is in focus and I like the iridescent colors in the beetle.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
nice composition.

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

Total: 7


Review by Natalie M.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Lovely environmental portrait. While I acknowledge that the beetle was most likely moving on the plant, it's a difficult story to portray in a photo.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I really like the isolation of the subject from the background, however I wonder if a slightly faster shutter speed and/or smaller aperture would have increased the sharpness of the beetle.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think the letterbox ratio suits this image well, I feel the image would have more impact if the beetle was shot as a side view while walking on the top side of the twig. This is a tough ask, I know, however it would make the subject more obvious in the frame.

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

Total: 6


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
In order to have a strong nature storyline the subject must be clearly doing something beyond ordinary behavior. In this case, having this very beautiful beetle just waling along the branch does not, in my opinion, produce a strong story line.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The single most difficult part of macro photography is simply getting the entire subject to be sharp. You mention using an aperture setting of only 5.6 which will not produce a great enough DOF when considering the length of the beetle legs and position of the antennae. Some of the legs and one of the antennae are clearly out of focus and I feel this takes away from the quality of the image. A higher ISO setting or perhaps better a diffused strobe unit would have allowed for a higher aperture setting and thus a sharper image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is a quite pleasing composition with the very soft light, and the wonderfully soft and diffused background. I like the curve to the branch rather than a sharp diagonal as to me it seems more in character with the non-aggressive nature of the beetle. One minor note for future reference, the color of the beetle’s legs and the plant it is walking across make it hard to pick out the legs. Perhaps the afore mentions strobe may help with this but certainly changing your camera angle so that you would be shooting more of a profile of the beetle as opposed to a top view might make the legs standout a bit more and thus improve the image.

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

Total: 6


Review by Martin P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I am not seeing any particular behaviour in this shot which is a shame but understandable as they are hard enough to find let alone capture behaviour

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I always find it difficult to shoot shiny bugs like this as you often end up with some difficult highlights as I feel you have here on the top of the creature. Depth of field probably needed to be a little deeper as I am feeling like f5.6 was not narrow enough as we have completely lost one antenna

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Always lovely to see some Macro work. Nice colours and an interesting creature as well. I am struggling a little with the 2 bright patches top left and bottom right in the background. I am enjoying the letterbox format though even though I am wondering if a jaunty angle might have helped with a little more energy

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

total: 5

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