Study Group 2


Charlie Yang (C)

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AUGUST 2019 ROUND
Title:    Bee at work
 
Goal:   was out looking for native wild flowers, but found flying bees on flowers, figure will give it a try  

Equipment/Source:    NIkon D500, 28-300mm lens @300mm, f/8, 1/300s, ISO 450, burst mode.
   
Technique:  look for a group of flowers that bees have not visited, hand held and prime the focus on one of the flowers, waiting for it to come visit, burst a few shoots. Bees are a lot more active and random on its movement, than butterflies etc. very challenge. any help/tips here will be appreciated.  

Processing:  only post proc in LR, crop and minor adjustment on light, contrast, and burn/dodge some bright areas around bee. 

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:     Bio-diversity 
 
Goal:    Looking to take a photo of a biodiversity track of nature preserve, after found a vast display of Coreopsis, and had been out couple days in a row to try it.  
 

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D500, 10-20mm@20mm, f/18, 1/50s, ISO 3200, hand held. (on slope, wasn't able to tripod it).
  
Technique:    Although on this hazy day, didn't get the light I want it, kid of disappointed, walking back, and realize, down there was a perfect picture of 'biodiversity'. Right there, was the leftover of the yesterday's hero of wood betony (few months back), and the current flora of prairie coreopsis, lead plant, daisy fleabane, prairie dock, and others I can’t name. All in this small plot of land.

Processing:     LR cropped, minor adjust of exposure, shadow, texture, clarity. Looking for wide shot improvement, during low lighting..


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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.
While I would agree that the image definitely shows a good spectrum of botanical subjects and so echoes your title, I do not feel the nature story as such is stronger than the 1 level (minimal). In part that has to do with the very general nature of the content and in part it has to do with the lack of a strong central subject. A second negative was the presence of buildings (hand of man) at the top of the frame. Since this is unrelated to the story, we will want to crop those out even though it eliminates the sky area.

At 200% I found the image to be generally soft. This is likely due to the fact that you had to handhold the shot at 1/50th even with an iso of 3200. Using the Stabilize option of Topaz Sharpen Ai, I was able to achieve a significant improvement in overall sharpness. An alternative would be to try using Shake Reduction under the Filter > Sharpen menu in Photoshop. The exposure looked fine for the lighting present.

Pictorially, the composition is reasonable for the material you have included. The Coreopsis draws the eye because of its tonality and color, but that one flower mid to lower right isn’t enough to carry the role of center of interest. The betony is actually better placed for that purpose. Impact could be improved by adding some additional contrast, particularly in the mid tones.

I think you have a good idea. What we need to do is isolate one star for the story and let it be the clear center of interest and then work the environment from there to broaden the story line relative to habitat and the things that share that habitat with it.

N-1, T-2, P-2 = 5 (N-1 Minimal nature story and inclusion of unrelated hand of man elements. T-2 general lack of sharpness. P-2 Lack of dominant center of interest.)


Review by Janice R.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Without reading your description, I'm not sure what the nature story is.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good color balance and DoF. The cone-like flowers and coreopsis in the foreground are not sharp.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
While this is clearly a meadow, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be looking at and my eye just wanders through the image looking for a place to land.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Andy H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Welcome Charlie. I always struggle with landscape and some degree environmental shots, just not my area.
I struggle to see a story in this image but that could be down to my inexperience.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your settings have given you a reasonably sharp image front to back but I would have expected it to be sharper. Perhaps try a faster shutter speed next time as it could be movement that has caused the softness. Colours and tones look fine.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition of the image is not in balance for me. I would have shot the image either with more horizon or less. Image lacks impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by William S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I struggle to get the nature point of your story from the image. I understand your statement of biodiversity but fail to clearly see it in your photograph.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is soft in terms of focus/sharpness and contrast. The different plants do not stand out from the green that dominates. At f 18 it would seem that a large part of the image would be sharp and in focus. Also I am unable to connect a relationship between the very top area and the remainder of your photograph.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The visual impact is low for landscape photography. If this were cropped down from the top and submitted as an impressionistic fine art photograph it might have some merit.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Isabella Z.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I think this is just a basic shot of some grass with flowers. I cannot really tell what's the story behind it.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think the flowers are not sharp enough.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Natalie M.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I'm really just seeing an assortment of plants in a grassy field, so it's a difficult story to portray.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
While you have selected a small aperture to obtain a good depth of field, I'm not sure why you couldn't use a tripod to reduce your shutter speed and ISO. They usually have adjustable legs for the purpose of use on sloping ground.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The main problem here that I see is a lack of real focal point of interest. The small amount of sky at the top doesn't really contribute to the shot as you have cut off the top of some of the grasses.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Louis P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
totally fits the definition of nature

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
very nice capture under what was described as mediocre lighting; I had a hard time focusing my attention to any one area, so perhaps if author zoomed in or cropped tighter it would strengthened the image; also, not sure that image is tack sharp.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
very pleasant image of a nice scene. To me it had only average impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Dennis H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature depiction of flowers in a nature reserve.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your camera settings have given you a good depth of field. Good exposure with nice colour balance showing flowers against background.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think the image could be enhanced by removing the sky.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A strong image always has a powerful subject that will focus the eye of the viewer. In this image I just don’t know where to look. Do I look at the brown flowers or the yellow ones? Since I really do not know where to look and what to look at I can’t find the storyline. For me, I simply can’t identify a strong nature story and as such the image does not work.

SCORE N (Nature) 1-does not fit Nature definition

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
From your description you are using a super wide angle lens with a minimum focus distance of .7 feet when used at 10mm. You state you used it at 20 mm. Had you moved this lens in close to which ever flower you wanted the viewer to look at it would have enlarged that flower as well and picking up the environment due to the wide angle nature of the lens. This may have created a stronger image. With an ISO of 3200 the light must have been really low which does not add to image quality. I question why this could not have been taken a bit earlier in the day when there was more light.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Pictorially this composition could easily have eliminated the entire visible sky area as it is adding nothing to the over all image. I feel bringing it down to a square format would still show the environment but help to focus the eye on what you want the viewer to see.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Martin P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Certainly, a different take on the nature story. I am not really a botanist so struggle to know how rare or important the species within your shot are.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Well exposed and with a good depth of field all the subjects are well displayed.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Pleasing tones of green dominate the image but I feel do provide a good backdrop for the other plant species. I am wondering if we really need the sky in the final image as I don’t feel it adds to the image, especially as the horizon slopes. I am sure someone who understand the species involved would really enjoy this image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5



I love to travel, and travels bring back pictures and memories, that’s one of the reasons I join PSA, to take better pictures and learn what to adjust afterwards. Just start to learn the capabilities of LR and PS, and things some of my club friends can do with them just simply amaze me. 

Nikon D5300, D810 are my main camera, and still learning what they can do, and it's fun to walk around to take different pictures at different time and under different light. 

My other pastime is golf. Hope to play out 50 states PGA courses. 

I live in Schaumburg, Chicago suburb, looking forward to get some fun experiences with Nature.