Study Group 2


Bruce Finocchio

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AUGUST 2019 ROUND
Title:    Male Western Bluebird Warms And Dries His Feather In The Sunshine
 
Goal:    To capture a Western Bluebird with wet feathers after a bath. 

Equipment / Source:   7D Mark II Camera Body, with a 600 mm IS f4.0 lens at 1/2000 sec f8.0, ISO 1250, Aperture Priority, Evaluative Metering. 

Technique:   Photographing from a bird blind, twenty to thirty feet from a small pond, a water source to attract birds. My bird photography philosophy is to have birds come to you, rather than trying to stalk them with a camera, as a hunter would. The success rate is much greater, and you’re able to control backgrounds much better too. 

Processing:    I worked on the background, darkening really light areas and lightening some of the dark areas, with control points in Nik Viveza. I also reduced the contrast of the entire photo, since the bright light was a bit strong and harsh. Noise reduction with a mask using Nik Dfine software. A slight crop in order to make the bird a bit bigger in the frame.


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:   Black-bellied Bustard Sings Out Its Call
  
Goal:   To Capture A Male Bustard Singing its Mating Call 

Equipment / Source:    7D Mark II camera body, 600 mm IS f4.0 lens, 1/3200 sec at f7.1, ISO 1250, Aperture Priority, Evaluative Metering

Technique:   Taken on the Top of a Land Rover on a Bean Bag while on Safari in the famous Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania, East Africa
 

Processing:   Slight crop for better composition, targeted noise reduction using Nik Define 2, as well as some pre raw sharpening with the Nik sharpening tool. A technique to create mid-tone contrast and a slight lightening of the overall image with a general levels adjustment, for this mid-tone contrast technique has a tendency to darken backgrounds a little too much. All adjustments very subtle. Diffuse light and capture already very good. 

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.
Nature Story – Nice nature story. Good catch. Without the call, it would be just a portrait. N-3

Technical – The bird is sharp and the background and foreground are not distractions. The light is flat so he is a little dull. Brighten him up a little to make him stand out more, but be careful to not blow out the white on his shoulder and neck. T-2

Pictorial Quality – Crop up from the bottom about half way to the bird to get rid of some of the grass, and flip him so he is facing to the left. When we come into the image from the left, we see his back first. Better to see his head and neck first. P-2

N3, T2, P2 = 7


Review by Ken W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice image of a bustard singing

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good sharpness and exposure, and color

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good compposition. nature story could have more impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Gang Z.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Although the picture has been cut, the clarity of the picture is very high. Field shooting requires good physical strength and patience. I don't find this picture difficult to take. Although it is screaming, the story is not rich. If you dive down in the air, or catch an insect. It 'll be more powerful.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Normal exposure, accurate white balance. Focus clear.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 3-Excellent 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 7


Review by Prasad D.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Lovely image of a Black-bellied Bustard, very crisp with nice bokeh in the background.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Could have lowered the ISO by lowering the Shutter Speed marginally.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Could have left more space over the head.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is a beautiful portrait of the bustard but for me, even with the mouth open it does not rise above the level of portrait as I do not feel the story line carries much impact.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The relatively high ISO indicated that this was taken near the end (or beginning) of the day in challenging light conditions. Raising the aperture to f7.1 prevented that donut focus ring so common in extremely long lens exposures at wide open apertures. Your choice worked quite well. Under the existing conditions the color is adequate and the image is quite sharp, almost too sharp.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your careful processing and the fact that you did not overdo any of it greatly enhances the image. The cropping works subtle adjustments to the background worked quite well. As you noted the diffused lighting worked in your favor.
Overall a very nice image.


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Isabella Z.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The picture said it's "mating call", however I don't see what's special, it can be all other kinds of "call" made by the bird.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
sharp and the color is naturally beautiful.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Hattie S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great capture of the behavior of the bird.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very nice technic to capture perfect DOF and clarity of the bird. Simple backgroud, minimal distraction.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice sharp and balanced lighting and color.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Linda C.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Average nature shot.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice exposure and balance. Really liked sharpness of patterns of bird feathers.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Low impact due to muted colors and slight action of bird's mouth

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Charlie Y.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
nice capture, good straight up body posture.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
sharp details on feathers, not as sharp on eyes?

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
good frame, simple background, no complication. love it.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by MJ Springett
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I love the story of this image, great work and well done

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Every feather is sharp and background diffuse

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In the middle but room for movement

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Sylvia W.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice capture of a bird doing its thing. Complementary colours are very pleasing.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is a nice portrait, with excellent depth of field. I particularly like the way that some of the grasses have just a hint of depth to them. Sharpness is exactly where it needs to be.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
With space all around the bird you have given the subject room to breathe. I don’t mind that it’s almost in the middle of the picture as I feel it has great visual impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8

I am a wildlife, nature, and scenic photographer. I now live in San Mateo, after spending most of my adult life in Millbrae. I previously worked full-time for Applied Biosystems and Life Technologies as a senior business analyst. I left this position a few years ago to concentrate on my true passion of nature photography. My Dad was a deer hunter and bought some property in Monterey County, so he could have a place of his own to go deer hunting. We have owned this property since 1946. I grew up spending my summers down there, following in my father's footsteps, hunting quail, dove, and black tailed deer--using a b-b gun, graduating up to a powerful hunting rifle. When I was eighteen I had to kill a black-tailed buck up close shooting him in the neck, since my first shot from afar had only wounded him. I saw death up close and personal, deciding from that moment on I didn't not want to be part of death, but to cherish life instead.

My friends and I do a lot of bird photography at my ranch in rural Monterey County, using photo blinds extensively; and recently we have built a few permanent ponds to attract wildlife.

I was a Minolta user, but switched to Canon in 2001. I used to shoot extensively with slide film; now I strictly use digital camera bodies, specifically the Canon 7D and 40D bodies, previously the Canon D1 Mark II and as backup the Canon 20D. I primarily use RAW capture, and process the images in Photoshop. I recently upgraded to CS5, and also have many external hard drives to store my raw files.


Check out Bruce's nature blog at www.brucefinocchio.wordpress.com and his website at www.dreamcatcherimages.net