Study Group 2


Adrian Binney, QPSA, LRPS

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AUGUST 2020 ROUND

Title:   Bison in Yellowstone 
   
Goal:   To end up with an image which demonstrates the challenge wildlife have in surviving Yellowstone's harsh winter season. This was taken during an exhilarating 8 day trip to Yellowstone during winter - February 2012.
 
Equipment/Source:    Canon 5D mkii + 24-105 f4 lens
Settings - 93mm, ISO100, 1/50 & f14
 
Technique:    Timing was the only focus - watching the early morning light on the trees plus waiting for a few of the bison to be looking up. 

Processing: 
I processed this (in Lightroom only) in B&W as I felt this helped to emphasise the cold conditions and the steam coming off the bison's coats as the sun melts the hoarfrost.

Score this image: YES 

  

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

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


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JULY 2020 ROUND
Title:    Most got away
     
Goal:   Capture the fight for survival during the Migration in Kenya

Equipment/Source:   My older Olympus gear - E-M1 maki with Lumix 100-300 at 300 (so 600 FF) 1/800 f8.0, ISO400

Technique:    Handheld. Timing the shot when as much of the crocodile as possible was visible. The safe wildebeest were trapped by a cliff.

Processing:   Not a huge amount after cropping about 1/3 from left and bottom out. Just Lightroom texture and contrast added locally.

Score this image: YES  


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

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

Review by commentator J.D. McClung
Nature Story (N): This photograph has one of the best nature stories this commentator has ever seen and the photographer is to be complimented to the highest level. Wow! (Score 3)

Technical Quality (T): Using the nature “gold standard” camera settings of F8-1/800-ISO400 produced a fine technical photograph that probably only took a minimal amount of work to finish it. I would refer to this photograph as “clean”. Tonal ranges are good, depth of field is excellent, “sharp as a tac”, and low noise. Score: 3

Pictorial Quality (P): At best, because of the water between the photographer and the subjects, this was a difficult photo to take. Simply by moving back a few steps and changing the angle of the shot, it possible would have made the photograph more dramatic. (Don’t have dead feet!) (Suggestion: this photograph might be medal worthy if entered in Nature print exhibition if printed in the largest size.) Score: 3

Exceptional (E): Of course this photograph is getting the extra point! It deserves it! Bravo!

Scores: N 3 / T 3 / P 3 / E 1 / Total = 10


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Well, this certainly tells a story. I think wildebeest must feed the majority of animals in Africa. I imagine the timing of this image was tricky as well. I think image had the potential to be an excellent image, but I had to enlarge it to see what was really happening. Also, you can't see that the rest of the animals are trapped on the shore so without your narrative, the image looses impact.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is well exposed, DoF and shutter speed are good to maintain sharpness throughout.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the composition with the subject in the foreground and the "supporting actors" in the mid ground and background. I just wish that the subject was a bit larger and that I could see it's face better.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
good capture! Though, brutal.
Wonder if there's another image that shows the face of captured one, eye? angle was good to depict the overall, but not a close up on the main actors.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
How far is the shot?
color is ok, image seems clear. don't have much suggestion here.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
would suggest even tighter crop to focus on the story, even one row of other animals on land will be suffice for the environment.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 6


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
wonderful action-packed nature shot; well-timed

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
every animal is tack-sharp (why would you buy new gear with this perfect shot?), excellent timing, crock is very clear.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
very moving story and great impact.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT< /strong> 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 9


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is one of those images that rewards the viewer for looking carefully. When the eye finally falls single doomed wildebeest the impact of the story is completed almost with a bit of a shock. This does a good job of keeping the viewer engaged in the process.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
My first reaction is that you patience was rewarded as you were able to get the “business’ end of the croc to be visible and also able to get the all important eye in the image. All of the camera setting used paid off i n either freezing action, providing enough DOF to keep the herd crisp and the final quality at a superior level. No need to apologize for using older gear if it is able to get the job done and in this instance it clearly was.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Clearly your photographic skills dealing with exposure were superior enough to capture an image that did not need much processing. Part of this is surely due to the quality of the light but that is not the important part What is important is that the image clearly works.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 9


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This story is explained in the description, had it not, I would have missed the alligator,

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
sharp and well exposed

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think you could have cropped more to highlight the action taking place

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No e xtra poi nt

TOTAL SCORE 6


Review by Susan N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very strong nature story. I had to look again to see the crocodile after reading your description and then understood.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
nicely focused, good lighting

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
perhaps a focal highlighting on the crocodile would make it stand out more.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact
TOTAL SCORE 9

I am retired (64 as at 2018) and keen to devote more time to photography and travelling. My photography started 40 years ago with a home darkroom and like many, was kickstarted again with digital SLR’s becoming affordable.
I was a Canon man - 5 and 7 bodies, with many L series lenses, but sold the whole lot in 2015 due to weight issues. I now use an Olympus EM1 Mkii with many of their Pro series lenses and don’t regret the move. My core wildlife lens is a 300 f4 prime, which is razor sharp. Used with a 1.4 converter gives a Full Frame equivalent of 840mm - in a recent trip to Costa Rica 80% of my shots were at this reach (birds there are small and other wildlife are very high in the canopy!).
When at home in the UK, I enjoy visiting zoos and bird protection areas, as well as trying to photograph insects in gardens etc. I also travel abroad to enjoy wildlife experiences - Africa and Costa Rica mostly.
I am Secretary and Committee Member at a large Camera Club (Winchester, Hampshire) and enjoy helping to run a large club (200 members). I continue learning a lot from the many excellent photographers (particularly in use of Lightroom and what makes a good image). I don’t use Photoshop. In December I was awarded LRPS - the first distinction level of three awarded by The Royal Photographic Society.