Study Group 2


Bogdan Bricelj, GMPSA, EFIAP/p

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MAY 2020 ROUND
Title:     Flamingos' Heart

Goal:   Observing behaviour of flamingos.

Equipment/Source:    Nikon P900, built-in lens at 1000 mm, ISO 100, F5,6, 1/640, tripod.

Technique:    This is the last photo in the sequence of loving scenes between two flamingos. I've got the time of complete hart. Then they went a little bit more apart.

Other circumstances I've described in previous months.

Processing:    crop, selective highlights, de-saturation of blue, contrast improvement with levels everything in Photoshop Elements, noise removing and sharpening with Nik.


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 nice behavioral shot showing the interaction in a courting ritual. The nature rating is 3.

While the exposure is protecting the highlights it also leaves the middle tones flat. The heads also appear to be slightly soft. Given the lens and camera I don’t find that surprising, but it could mean that a selection of the subject is needed to apply some additional sharpening there. The technical rating is 2

The basic composition is pleasing and the heart formed by the subjects adds to the interest value. The overall lack of contrast reduces the impact of the image. The pictorial rating is 2.

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


Review by Kim H.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure is flat.

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 BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Tom K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This has a nice interaction between the two birds.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure and color seem good.


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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It was taken so late in the day that it is turning into a monochrome image which makes for a muted image.


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Andy H.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
There is a story but its fairly common behaviour.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The subjects were some way off and the light look very low making this a difficult exposure for you. The DOF is good but the calm bit of water cut by the necks is distracting.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think the composition could have been better and the image lacks any impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
While you have captured a nearly perfect “heart” created by the two flamingos I seriously doubt that Mr and Mrs Flamingo are intentionally creating the perfect Valentine’ Day pose. While the image may represent a strong “human” emotion I do not feel this is a suitable nature story.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image lacks life. It is flat and dull. It was clearly taken late in the day with the nature light almost completely gone. Both birds stand in near complete shadow and wha t light hits them is low and completely misses their heads. Both birds appear to be soft and lack sharp focus. There is little detail that shows in their feathers.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The vertical format works well. However the darker toned water at the top of the image does not work well with the lighter toned water at the bottom If the entire bodies of the birds were in the lighter toned water it would help a great deal. You state the image was cropped so I do not know how much more you could crop it without completely losing any semblance of sharpness but I would prefer the image if both the top and bottom were cropped to bring more attention to the birds.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature image of flamingo behaviour.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Birds appear soft and lack feather detail.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Birds have impact with nice background.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This image shows 2 flamingos interacting. Not sure what the behavior is.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The exposure is done well with details in the white feathers. The birds are sharp.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The head of the first front is turned to side and I can see the eye.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 2-Average composition and impact
TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Malena K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice capture of the flamingos affection.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image is dark around the heads and doesn't look sharp

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition is good.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Todd G

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I couldn’t have named the image any better! Strong nature shot, showing emotion, passion, love, and how it works in the natural world.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Based on your previous submission in April, and comparing the two images, this is a winner. The detail is still blurred in the bodies of the birds. When the image is enhanced there is not clarity to the feathers and the heads and necks are not sharp. The tripod is your saving grace, especially in the low light. Use it to your advantage. At f/5.6, the lightin g is nic e, but the image is blurry. Utilizing another 1-2 stops down and making adjustments to the exposure time, may have enhanced the birds more. The image is a bit dark and this is due to your ISO being at 100. Making slight adjustments in the exposure triangle, (ISO – Aperture – Exposure Time) and in the end, it is all about what you want to capture. Increasing ISO to 200 or decreasing your exposure time to 1/500 would have added a little more light. You can always do this in post as well with RAW images.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice composition overall. Your position to the birds helped make the image impactful by being able to capture the Heart shape with their heads and necks.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Pamela L.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Excellent story

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Sharp and crisp

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Excellent composition and impact

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The positioning of the flamingos is good here. The beak touching shows a connection between the individual birds. All good factors adding to the nature story.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically, this image is soft, and the sharpness level isn’t acceptable. This all has to do with your Nikon P900 camera and the fixed zoom lens that’s attached to it. Read a review of this camera. It’s known for poor image quality, especially as you zoom out to higher telephoto m agnifica tions. Really, if you want better pictures, you need to get a better camera. Bottom line this camera does not produce quality images.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Vertical framing works with these long-necked birds. Nice side lighting helps give definition to the bird's shapes without clipping the highlights. Water patterns are attractive

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5







Upload Image and Description for next round


APRIL 2020 ROUND
Title:    Flamingos Cuddling

Goal:    Observing behaviour of flamingos.
 
Equipment/Source:   Nikon P900, built-in lens at 1000 mm, ISO 100, F5,6, 1/640, tripod.

Technique:   I've called «Cuddling» the third photo in the sequence of loving scenes between two flamingos. I think it doesn't need any other comments.

Other circumstances I've described in previous months.

Processing:    crop, selective highlights, desaturation of blue, contrast improvement with levels everything in Photoshop Elements, noise removing and sharpening with Nik.

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

Interesting pose and good side lighting.  The interaction between the two birds is good and makes for a nice nature story.  There is an odd blooming of light at the touching of the two necks, which I can’t figure out.  The body of the bird on the left is out of focus, and the beak on top looks like it is poking into the eye of the other bird.

 N3, T1, P2, E0 = 6


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I so enjoy flamingos and think they are such beautiful birds. I can see why you have made this series. I think this is a sweet moment though for me, the technical issues of this image impact the nature review. Having watched flamingos, I think this is a typical behavior.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
On my monitor the heads of the birds are dark and detail is difficult to make out. In fact, in my opinion, the exposure is a bit low throughout the image. DoF seems adequate for the to keep most of the subjects in focus. The taller head does not seem to be sharp but this may be due to the low exposure.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I believe that the action between the birds has potential for a really nice nature image, but the low lighting on the birds interferes with the overall pictorial quality.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I feel your nature story is about on par with the image from last month. The intertwined necks show intimacy and that produces the

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This image looks soft. The heads of the birds and even the body plumage just lacks detail. The bird on the right may appear slightly sharped but this is only due to the light that strikes it. The image looks a bit bright, not sharp. The image also appears muddy and dull image carries a blue/grey cast to it. This with the lack of sharpness degrades the image. I feel the image is still a bit under exposed.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The overall composition works for the image. The birds are slightly off center, honoring the rule of thirds. You could have increased the exposure in post and brought a bit of life to the image. As it is, it just appears flat.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Haru N.
This image delivers the story well as you mentioned. It has mood which match with the story line, supported by the nice warm lighting. It could be improved if the background/water had been smoothed. The white line of water around the flamingo head is distracting in my view. But overall, it is well done. 

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is definitely reflecting a nature story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Excelent rackign lighting which add mood to the image.
Can improve in sharpness.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The white water line around the head of flamingo reduces the impact of the image in my view.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
very good nature image, unique

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
quite dark, would have expected a little more color; not sharp enough

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
very nice idea; good composition and impact

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Nock W.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
2 flamingos have the same interaction in last month image

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is flat. Need more sharpening and increase contrast.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Tighter crop will make the image more interesting

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I think the story is there, but underexposed a bit reduces the impact

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A little soft, and most of left bird in shade, reduces details

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition very centered, like the interloping of two birds

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
if just view the image without some comments and comment and images from before, it's not obvious what's the nature behavior. that said,

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
soft light is what help this image. good captue.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
nice balance image, with soft tone on edge, and good amount of shadow. while the empty water front, offer little other impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Susan N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature story. Strong in that this behavior only occurs in a short period of yearly time.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Faces seem out of focus - a bit soft. Also the low light exacerbates the soft focus, so that I cannot really see the faces. Beak of one bird appears to obscure the eye of the one in the background.... just a split second of timing and/or multiple rapid shots would have made a difference in this.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Colors are pleasing with soft greys and pinks. If the focus had been better on faces this would have made a very strong image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Martin P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The 2 birds are close but don't appear to be interacting strongly.

SCORE N (Nature) 2-Nature story of average strength (portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image doesn't appear to be sharp on the birds and the lighting on the birds is very inconsistent.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Central composition works with the 2 tall birds but the lighting and lack of sharpness don't help the image. I do find the ripples distracting

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5

Biography

Bogdan Bricelj was born in the year 1958 in town Jesenice, Slovenia. He graduated at Faculty of electrical engineering in Ljubljana. He was working for 9 years in steel factory as service engineer. Since the year 1990 He’s manager and co-owner of a computer company.

He was learning the art of photography and developing of black and white photos in the photo school in primary school. After that he passed over to slides. In 1973 his first slide was accepted on a state exhibition. More than thirty years he had an ordinary Praktica without any electronics on all his journeys. 

He bought his first digital camera in the year 2004. All these years he uses compact cameras with large zoom. In his opinion photographer is more important then the camera like driver is more important than the car. Although digital photography allows a lot of possibilities of photo modifying, his photos are as much as possible pure representation of the moments captured. He prefers to make photos of nature: animals, flowers and landscape. He also likes macro and underwater photography. His other preferred theme is sports, especially outdoor sports like skiing, ski jumping, kayak and swimming. Mostly he goes photographing together with his wife Danila. 

In the year 2005 he joined to the photographic club Fotografsko drustvo Jesenice. He’s sending his photos to many exhibitions worldwide. Until the end of the year 2018 he has got 226 awards. Until now he has made 29 exhibitions of his own. In the year 2018 he has got title EFIAP/p and in 2019 GMPSA as the first Slovenian photographer. 

He was the president of photographic club since 2009 to 2017. In these years the club was first or second most successful club in Slovenia.

His photographs were published in many Slovenian and foreign books, magazines and other publications. He has written also four articles for PSA Journal. He’s especially proud, that also National Geographic has published his photos.