Study Group 2


Bogdan Bricelj, GMPSA, EFIAP/p

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OCTOBER 2019 ROUND
Title:  Bee Eater Feeding    

Goal:  Observing a colony of Bee Eaters.
 
Equipment/Source:   Nikon P900, built-in lens at 800 mm, ISO 100, F5,6, 1/640. 

Technique:   .There's a small National park in Italy Isola della Cona. It's 200 km from my home. There are many water birds. My wife and me go there once or twice a year to make some fresh photos.

This year we have chosen bee eaters. We have got information, when they have chicks. Oh, how many birds! And how many photographers! It was hardly to find position.

Some branches are mounted so, that birds come few meters from the shelter for photographers. Bee eaters catch the insects in the air and come to feed chicks. These are nearly so large as parents. And feeding is so fast, that you can hardly catch the right moment with motor drive 7/s. It's hard to find proper time for feeding and the right light. 

Processing:   crop, selective burn and dodge, contrast improvement with levels and curves everything in Photoshop Elements.

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

Nice nature story of the adult feeding its almost grown chick.  However, it has several technical problems.  The green grass in the background is way too saturated, and the reds on the birds are a little too saturated.  In Photoshop, reduce the yellow saturation, since green is mostly yellow, and lighten both the green and yellow.  That takes care of the background.  Now, reduce the red saturation on the birds very slightly.   Also, the birds eyes need to be visible, so lighten the dark areas around the eyes so their eyes can be seen and then lighten the eyes themselves.  And their heads are not as sharp as their bodies, so sharpen the heads a little.  See my adjusted image.  A big part of the problem is the image was shot in the middle of the day so lots of very bright light and high contrast.

 N-3, T-1, P-2   Total = 6


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
In an interesting picture, two birds are like a pair of intimate companions, one feeding food to the other. Full of human touch.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure normal, focus clear. The depth of field control is reasonable. But it feels like the shutter speed is a little slow. The image was somewhat blurred.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The picture is reasonable. The main body is prominent. After the proper handling.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature feeding shot.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image seems soft and too saturated.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Subject too centered

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Martin P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A strong moment withe adult passing the bug to the chick. A classic moment that might have been improved had the shot been taken just at the point of transfer. I do understand that this would be a very difficult moment to capture but would be fantastic :)

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I am struggling a little with this image as I am feeling that the birds are not sharp, or evenly exposed. The saturation feels too strong with very bright greens that detract from the image. The strong highlights on the branch show just how difficult the lighting conditions you had to deal with were. I would like to have seen a narrower depth of field to blur the background but understand this might not have been possible withe the equipment you were using

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Whilst I feel that the overall composition works well, the colours and technical issues really get in the way of us really enjoying this image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The nature category requires that an image clearly demonstrate a behavioral activity beyond the ordinary. This very static image shows the bird on the left holding food. While this is behavior it is not dramatic . I feel this is especially the case as the birds are just perched. Generally static positions such as this to not lift an image to a higher rating. I’ll award this a 2 but I would not be surprised if other scored this as a 1

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The first requirement of a successful image that it be sharp. When dealing with wildlife the eye absolutely must be sharp. In the case of this image there is simply nothing that is tack sharp. From you description is sounds as if action was pretty hectic and under those conditions using proper long lens technique is of paramount importance. It also appears as it the bird on the left is perched in partial shade and this may have made acquiring a focus more difficult. Additionally the is a considerable amount of over exposed portions of the image. Not the white areas of the branch the birds are perched upon.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The overall feel of the image appears to be a bit over processed especially in terms of saturation. Again, this may be the result of compensation for over exposure of the total image. The position of the branch on a slight diagonal does add of bit of tension to the image and that is good. Diagonal lines are always stronger than level lines.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Sylvia W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Birds - they appear simple but the challenge to get a good shot is always hard. I always enjoy challenge of finding and taking bird photos but many of them end up deleted. Thank goodness for digital cameras.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
That green dominates the picture and overall it appears over saturated..

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nothing is in focus - at least one area of the picture should be in focus - as it stands my eyes don't linger anywhere.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4





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SEPTEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:    Swan's Heart
  
Goal:    Capturing love behavior of swans.

Equipment/Source:   Panasonic FZ-50, built-in lens at 100mm, ISO 100, F7,1, 1/800. 

Technique:   I love love behavior of swan's making shape of heart with their necks. But usually it lasts just few seconds. You must pay attention all the time and you must have fortune to be in right position to see that shape.

Processing:    crop, selective burn of some feathers and other spots on the water, contrast improvement with levels and curves, everything in Photoshop Elements, noise removing with Nik, dodging of some parts of heads. 

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 swans does provide a nice nature story but not a very strong one.  You did meet your intent by capturing the heart pattern created by the two swans’ heads and necks

Technically the image appears to be under exposed.  The amount of under exposure is stronger than can be explained by differences in monitor brightness.  I suggest opening up the dark areas using either the shadow/highlight adjustment in Photoshop or the shadow slider in NIK Viveza.  Opening up the dark areas also adds interest to the image by revealing the legs of the right swan.

Pictorially the image is well composed though you do not need as much water above their heads. 

N2, T2, P2, E0, Total 6


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A truly lovely image Bogdan! I don't know swans well enough to determine wether this is the full courtship behaviour in terms of ruling of feathers etc, but taking your image at face value, I can't fault the story portrayed.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I've been trying to work out how dark the area around the swans were. Judging by the light on the right one and shadows, you took this at the end of the day (or very early) when the sun was low and this creates a lovely atmosphere to your image.You have controlled the light areas well.

You were at a steep angle looking down a lot and I do wonder whether the image would have been stronger if you were nearer to eye level. I won't deduct anything for this, but this stops me giving the extra mark.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A lovely image for the reasons stated above

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Just beautiful portrait of two swans.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The contrast between the bright swans and the almost black background is striking, however I would have liked to se a little detail in the water. This has the appearance of excessive post-production rendering a somewhat artificial look.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice image and composition.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The chemistry of these two swans is reflected in this shot.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The colors are off and the shadows hurt the effectiveness of the interaction between these two swans. It would have been nice if you could see their eyes.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice picture, especially if you like swans.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nature story is hard to find.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A slight opening of the shadows would be appreciated at the beaks

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Excellent idea pictorially. If only a bit of brightness allowed it would turn out to be the swan song

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
Excellent observations deserve the extra mark

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 9


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very elegant capture and a moment.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The light seems harsh. Metering should have been average.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Closer crop would help.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice photo of swan behavior.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Everything looks sharp. It looks dark though, maybe 1 stop under exposed. It would have been nice to see more of the reflections in the water.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the cropping and the composition. For me a slightly lower angle would have helped.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6





 






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.