Study Group 2


Sylvia Wallis (C)

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OCTOBER 2019 ROUND

Title:  Nap Time   
 

Goal:  To capture a baby wallaby asleep in its mothers pouch. This morning I was lucky to get several photos of the young wallaby napping. Lucky for the mother she was lying down as I'm sure the baby was almost as big as she was. I liked this image as it shows the edges of the pouch and how the young one has to contort itself to fit in.

Equipment/Source:    Olympus OMD EM1 Mkii
Panasonic Lumix 100-400mm f4.0-6.3@350mm
Handheld
1/125sec @f10

Technique:  I sat quietly observing a mob of wallabies before moving slowly closer so as not to disturb the mother. I then sat for a little longer to let the animals get used to me before taking a series of photos.

Processing:   
Selected dodging and burning and a little detail sharpening.

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

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
















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JULY 2019 ROUND
Title:    Fly with prey
 
   
Goal:    I went out with a friend one day with only a macro lens as an exercise in attempting macro shots - something which I always struggle with - maybe a lack of patience on my behalf. As you start focusing in on the smaller aspects of life, you start noticing many interesting things. I initially was drawn to this fly due to its colour, however when I was taking the photos I noticed that it had some sort of prey and was rolling it around and wrapping it up. A very fun day was had with frogs, bees, flies, plants and flowers. 
  
Equipment/Source:    Olympus OMD-EM1 Mkii
Olympus m.60 f/2.8 macro lens@ 60mm
ISO 200 @ f/8.0 - 1/100s
Handheld

Technique:   I focused using back button focusing and then waited for the fly to stop moving before taking the shot. I used the burst mode on my camera to take a series of images. 

Processing:    Cropping and small exposure adjustments

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.

A defined nature story is present. I my opinion, it would be stronger with a lower angle of view so that we could see more into the facial area to better see the interaction with the prey. That said, I feel the story is clear enough to warrant a 3. The fly is most likely one of the group classified as “long legged flies”. There are quite a few variants and a specialist is often needed to refine an ID beyond that general group classification. They are predatory as we can see from your shot.

Technically primary focus looks to be in the area, but is not optimal on the fly itself when I view it at 200%. That doesn’t surprise me given the F8 aperture and the fact that you were hand holding. A very satisfactory correction can be had by using the newer Topaz Sharpen AI program with a Focus correction setting. The exposure is handled well for the lighting present. There is enough texture in the leaf to provide a realistic background without becoming competitive with the subject in any way.

Pictorially, I feel the composition works as you have shown it. I did find it slightly stronger for me when flipping the image horizontally placing the subject in the lower right quadrant. Some may prefer a slightly tighter crop. I found the spacing quite comfortable. The presence of the shadow is a visual and pictorial plus and improves the interest value of the image. There may be a tendency to want a little more contrast so that it is stronger, but I do not feel that this is necessary personally. The yellow / brownish dot just above the prey is a visual distraction that can be lessened to a degree by burning it in and desaturating it slightly.

N-3, T-2, P-2 = 7 (T-2 slight lack of critical focus on fly thorax and head. P-2 Probably seems harsh, but the spot above the prey is disruptive enough in the context of the image that I feel it does weaken the image.)


Review by Andy H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The eating of the prey takes this from a basic shot to a shot with a story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your explanation of your technique all sounds right. There are some focusing issues with the image. The front wing is not in focus and draws my eye. Like you I struggle with Macro. Have you tried extension tubes? Another approach is to use auto focus to get into range then switch to manual focus, easy with the clutch arrangement on the EM1 MkII, then move in and out to get the focus spot on. Background green to heavy saturated try to tone down.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Like the juxtaposition of the fly and the shadow beneath the fly. Crop top and RHS. Try 3/4 view 5 or 7 o'clock and a little lower.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Natalie M.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
An action shot in the tiny world of insects is a good find.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It seems as though you have used a radial filter in Lightroom to lighten the area around the fly an in this case it has shown up because of the plain background. I would have preferred a larger depth of field to get the leading edge of the wing sharp. Colour looks good, I know how iridescent green these flies actually are.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition is good, a closer view of the prey would create more impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by William S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Although it is difficult to see what the fly has captured this seems to be a nature event.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It is very difficult to capture a macro image of an animated fly because macro lens have very shallow depth of field even at f8. You don’t indicate what software you used to process the image but I would suggest reducing the highlights for better detail especially in the wings. There also seems to be a vignette around the fly which does seem to direct the eye to the subject.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is good. I think that reversing the image horizontally and reducing the highlights would add more impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Isabella Z.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Even I read the description, however I could hardly tell this fly has a prey in his hand/mouth. If that's the case I feel this is just a basic shot.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I love the color and how you brightened up the fly to make it popped out.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I am a fan of "rule of 1/3" so the composition makes me comfortable.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Louis P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
fits the bill very well

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
wonderful shot; good detail. in my opinion you are well on your way to becoming an expert macro photographer. However, I was distracted by the yellow "ball" in front of fly; seems like image would be improved by: a little more contrast between insect and leaf, by shooting (if possible) towards the face, and by catching the eyes.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
wonderful, impactful image

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Dennis H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good nature image of fly rolling up its prey.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The fly shows good colour and definition on head, top wing and legs and also prey. Appears to have a halo surrounding fly.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The shadow detracts somewhat from the image. Also the fly could be enhanced by cropping more from the righthand side.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
While we all have seen a fly a doubt many look this closely. This beautiful image of a fly with prey certain demonstrates a solid nature story

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You camera technique is well chosen. The image is sharp and has good colors. The depth of field is enough to capture the fly without any blue. I don’t know what you used for a background but it work quite well. The show stealer is the wonderful beam of light and the shadow below the fly. In my opinion it is the shadow that makes the image. I feel you used light to create impact This is well done. The one flaw in the image is the glare on the wing. A CPR filter would have eliminated that problem.

Have you removed the glare I would have given this a 10.


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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition, with the fly on the lower left fixation point works well as the negative space throughout the image. There is simply nothing to distract the eye so you have forced the viewer to see just the fly.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
The composition, with the fly on the lower left fixation point works well as the negative space throughout the image. There is simply nothing to distract the eye so you have forced the viewer to see just the fly.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 9


Review by Martin P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This image certainly highlights the struggle in nature to survive and flourish even down to creatures of this size. I feel this creates a strong nature element to this image

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Whilst mostly sharp and well exposed I feel there are a couple of issues which reduce the overall impact of the image. A narrower aperture would have given more depth of field which I feel would really improve the image. The large highlights on the front wing do draw the eye away from the head.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The large expanse of neutral green I feel works very well as a backdrop for the image. I do wonder if removing some of the green on the right would have made the creature larger in the frame and thus increased its impact. I am also not sue what the yellow round shape is just in front of the prey is. Still a strong image and the iridescent body comes across very well.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Janice R.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice capture of the puffin during nest building

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Sharp image with good DoF. The head, eye and body of the bird are sharp while the wings are blurred showing the motion. Nice, pleasing and non distracting background blur.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is a very nice image of the gathering part of the next building behavior sequence.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

Hi, new member Sylvia here. Photography is my creative outlet and I enjoy many aspects of this discipline including landscape, street, travel and nature - especially chasing down our feathered friends. I am looking to learn, enhance and improve my thought processes on what it takes to take a great nature shot through this group.