Study Group 2


Isabella Zhou - C

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AUGUST 2019 ROUND
Title:    Hi Mommy
     
Goal:     It's the breading season of the bisons in Yellowstone National Park. As the curbs grow up, they became really playful and have a lot of interaction with their parents. I caught this image of the baby was trying to bump his head into his mother's to say hi.

Equipment/Source:   Sony a7rII camera with Sony 70-200mm 5.6

Technique:    Shutter priority to make sure the picture is sharp enough

Processing:    Photoshop tp correct the exposure. Sharpening the image and color correction.


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:   Wildlife in Teton 
   
Goal:    I was in Grand Teton National Park and suddenly saw these wild animals. My goal was to capture sharp pictures of them while taking the background (forest and snow mountain) into the picture
 
Equipment/Source:   Sony a7r2 with 70-200 f4.0 oos
 
Technique:  constant focusing

Processing: 
 Photoshop + Nik Collection Color efex

  

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


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

Review by commentator Rick C.

Welcome to the ND 2 study group family.

What you have captured is a small family of Pronghorn Antelope. From what I can see, this is a matriarchal group (no adult males) which is common outside of breeding season. The Pronghorn is the fastest North American mammal. The idea of including habitat to amplify on the nature story being conveyed is a good one. When we speak of “nature story” we are typically referring to images that show behavior in the primary subject(s) that shows how it (they) interact or interrelate to other species or their environment. The grazing behavior here would not normally be considered as “strong” behavior as it is common and so the image would usually be considered to be more of an environmental portrait and as such garner a rating at the 2 level (with ratings ranging from 1 to 3). However, in this instance the inclusion of a fence, which is that “hand of man”, that is unrelated to the actual nature story, further weakens the nature rating to a minimal level or a rating of 1. In general, unless the man-made element or evidence of man (such as a road) is directly a part of the story being show, it should be eliminated from the frame at the time of capture or by cropping after the fact. PSA Nature rules do not allow for any elements to be cloned (or healed) out or into an image.

Primary focus and sharpness both look good to me. The depth of field drops off, but since the background is intended as an indication of habitat rather than a key element, that is perfectly fine. The haze out in the mountains is entirely natural. If you desired more contrast there you could use the Dehaze slider in Camera Raw and mask it to just the mountains.

I think the composition is effective as you have it structured. There is enough room to the left side for the animals to graze into and so for the implied line of motion. The image also has good initial impact. We want better separation of the near doe from the two grazing behind her. Ideally, by waiting for a clearer angle as they graze by or if she should move. Having them over lap does weaken the strength of the image. Here again, the fence comes into play as a barrier and a visual distraction / interruption that keeps the viewer from getting to the subjects and impairs our ability to study them more effectively. As such it weakens the longer-term interest value of the image. The lighting here is not optimal factorially for nature work. In general, we will want to be working either early or later in the day to avoid, to the extent possible, the harsher, more contrasty conditions found closer to midday.

N-1, T-3, P-1 = 5 (N-1 Unrelated hand of man element lowers the nature story value to a 1 (minimal). P-1 Fence is visually disruptive and partially blocks primary subjects. Overlap of key subjects weakens interest value.)


Review by Louis P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
definitely fits criteria

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In my opinion image is very sharp everywhere; also it correctly shows the foreground, middle and background.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In my opinion it is a very nice image of a wonderful park. I wish I could have seen a blow-up of it to study it more thoroughly.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
First, congratulations on having one of your photos chosen by National Geographic for the travel-photo-contest.

A photo in a nature category should not display the hand of man unless it is critical to the understanding of the image. In this case the fence rails add nothing to the photo and in fact detract because they bock the view of the pronghorn antelopes. Additionally, this view of the antelopes demonstrates no unique behavior. It is just animals grazing on the grasses.


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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
When shooting wildlife it is generally advisable to include the eye of the animal. In fact it is frequently stated the critical sharpness of the eye is necessary. In this case most of the antelopes are hidden behind the fence and the one that is not hidden is walking away from the camera position. You are really left with a fine view of the Teton Range.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Pictorially the image needs a strong subject and while my eye wants to seek out the antelopes they are too small and hidden to have impact. I realize that in the viewfinder the antelope probably appeared to be larger but with only a 200mm lens at this distance they are rendered quite small. Your stated goal was to take a sharp picture of the animals while taking the forest and show mountain into the image. The camera requirements to achieve tis would require a wider angle lens and would also require that you get much closer to the antelopes (which they would not have allowed).

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Janice R.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Beautiful spot in the Tetons though I'm not sure what your subject/story is. The one pronghorn in front is walking away and the other 4 are merged with the fence.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good color balance and exposure seems appropriate. On my monitor, only the grass and fence are sharp, everything beyond that isn't.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The lack of sharpness and the pronghorns merging with the fence interferes with the impact and composition of this image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Andy H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Welcome Isabella Zhuo. I have to admit that there is a story here but it's, in my view, quite weak.
Congratulations on your NatGeo success.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
So that we can evaluate your images better in future can you give us full details of your camera settings. The image, for me, is a little soft. Try a smaller f stop f/11 or higher to give you adequate sharpness throughout.


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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image has a dramatic background but is let down by the foreground. The animals are obscured by the fence or facing away. The fence across he image is a visual barrier and stops my eye from travelling through to the trees and mountains. If there was more of the image above the mountains I would add it back to give balance. Keep at it, some of us have been at it for many years and still don't get everything right.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by William S.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
You seem to have two nature stories, the snow on the mountains and the animals grazing. However the fence (hand of man) takes away from the photograph.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The most of the image is acceptably sharp and well exposed. The processing is a little flat.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I was immediately distracted by the fence across the lower third of the photograph which blocks the view of several of the animals. Shooting at a higher angle may have eliminated this.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Dennis H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I believe the fencing material in your image would disadvantage you in a nature competition.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Unfortunately there are no camera settings given so difficult to give accurate assessment.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Unfortunately the fence has detracted from the image by covering most of the animals.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Natalie M.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hello and welcome to nature group. This is a nice scene here, however, unfortunately the photo does not meet the nature requirements due to the inclusion of the fence.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The shot appears to be well exposed, and the colours seem quite natural. There is a softness in the image however. You don't describe your camera settings, but perhaps a higher f stop would have improved the depth of field and sharpness.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
While you have spotted a nice scene here for a photo, unfortunately you needed
to position yourself to compose the shot without the fence, as it has partially obscured your subjects. Nature photography is a wonderful pastime so keep at it and keep trying.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Martin P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I am struggling to see any significant natural behaviour in this image

SCORE N (Nature) 1-Nature story minimal or contains unrelated hand of man

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel this is a very pleasing image overall, but might have had a little more impact with a change of F stop. Depth of field is very subjective and in this case I feel we have a middle ground where I would really like to see more or less sharpness to either create a creamy bokeh of the background but still show the environment, OR show everything in the image sharp.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I am enjoying the framing of the mountains and trees of this image which really provide context and location. I do however feel that the fence has created a large distraction and barrier to enjoying the creatures enjoying the field. I do wonder if waiting or finding a different POV might have helped.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5

I am a self taught photographer who started the journey of photography in late 2015. Currently I'm focused more on Nature (landscape/wildlife/macro) and Travel photography (street/culture/cityscape). I am a contributor of Getty Image (US) and 500px (China).

In 2019, one of my photo was featured on National Geographic Editor's favorite, link below: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/contests/travel-photo-contest-2019/gallery/week-3-cities/1/