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Ken Warning· (D)

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NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE FEBRUARY, MARCH, APRIL, OR MAY ROUNDS


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FEBRUARY 2020 ROUND

Title:    
   
Goal:   
 
Equipment/Source:    

Technique:   

Processing: 

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

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







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JANUARY 2020 ROUND
Title:    Red Head Ducks Waves

Goal:    Capture Photos of Red Head Ducks at Horicon Marsh. I was reviewing some older photos and came across this photo of red head ducks. I like the waves created by the movement of the ducks.
 
Equipment/Source:    Nikon D7100, lens Nikor 500mm F4, 
  
Technique:   I was in my car using a bean bag to stabilize lens, 1/1000sec, F8, Iso 800

Processing:    Cropped image and reversed image, tone adjustments in LR

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.
The nature story here is largely that of an environmental portrait. The presence of both the Drake and Hen of the Red Head does add to the story. The action adds interest to the image, but does not significantly enhance the story itself. I do not feel the behavior shown is strong enough to elevate this beyond a strong 2 environmental portrait.

The timing on the shot is nice as it captures the waves crated as the ducks moved. Focus looks reasonable, but there does seem to be a lack of critical sharpness on both ducks. That may well be motion related despite the 1/1000th shutter speed used. Depth of field looks OK to me. The exposure seems to be on the under exposed side as I see the image on my monitor. There is also a slight blue cast to the image. Both the tonal issue and the color cast can be addressed by using a curves layer with the white eye dropper on the white water drop just under the Drake’s bill and the black eye dropper in the Hen’s eye. This will push the water color towards a light blue / cyan which may be something you were trying to avoid in the first place. I am rating the technical quality as a 2.

Given the inclusion of the reflections I feel the composition works fairly well as shown. There is a very slight tip down toward the left based on the line between the Hen’s eye and the reflection of it, but nothing I feel is significant enough to worry about. The lack of contrast will be addressed if the curve I mentioned above is applied. I am rating the pictorial quality as a 3 because I do not feel the technical flaws should also cost points in the pictorial rating in this case.

N-2, T-2, P-3 = 7 See the adjusted image I am sending along.


Review by Andy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
There is a story but not a strong one. Need to see them interacting, mating, feeding.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your setting seem fine for the image taken. The fast shutter speed freezing the water beautifully.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image, in my view, lacks real impact and the composition is basic although I do like the reflections in the water.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The image shows a pair (mating?) of red heads together. The splash is interesting - it almost looks like the male head emerged from a dive but its position relative to the female makes this unlikely? Perhaps it just swam very quickly? Not sure what the nature story is - good picture of the red heads together. If I knew more about their behaviour ...

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is well exposed and sharp. There is sufficient DOF to keep the both red heads sharp (though the bill of the female is slightly soft). The shutter speed was sufficient to stop the water's motion which looks very interesting.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The red heads are well positioned in the frame and I prefer this orientation (swimming towards to the left side of the frame). That way I see the head of the bird before the body.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Todd G

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice capture of ducks in the water with movement. Being in the water is large part of a their natural world. You captured the pair in movement and froze that movement well.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Light, color, dof, tones, and pov are all very detailed. You have captured the eye of the drake well and it is very sharp along with the head and bill. The female is bit dark due to shadowing, but you still captured the eye.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Compositionally, you have captured this image well. The water has many colors and gradations and I really love the water droplet along the back of the mallard. The capture of the frozen water with your exposure time is awesome. I love the curves and rings it captures in frozen time.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The motion of the water around the ducks implies movement, especially true of the male whose movement cause a bigger wake. This element of motion adds to the nature story and takes it beyond just a portrait of these ducks. The reflections add to the story too, although perhaps they are more valuable to the pictorial aspects of the image.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not sure how much you cropped, but for a digital image the sharpness is slightly less than ideal. With this fast movement, I think the water isn’t crisp, even with the 1/1000 sec shutter speed selection. My preference would have been to use a faster shutter speed, perhaps increase my ISO up to 1600, so I could render the water droplets crisp and sharp. I do like the diffused light, and the color of the water is very pleasing. I might think about a 1/3 or ½ stop more exposure in post processing, slightly more contrast might enhance the subjects and brighten the overall scene a little bit. To my eye, the image is slightly underexposed.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like your choice of cropping. The ducks have room to move and yet there are large enough within the frame to see their expressions and feel their life force. Also, flipping the image helps the viewer read left to right as we do in the Western World. As noted above, the reflections add to the pictorial value.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature depiction of ducks in natural setting showing movement.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your technical settings look good. Nice colour on ducks. Image appears a little soft.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Interesting composition with waves surrounding ducks.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Tom K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I enjoyed the playful image of two ducks. I'm not sure it is a great story, but a good one.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The choice of f stop, and shutter speed was perfect. Excellent exposure and colors.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the reflection of the ducks in the water. I don't find the composition overly appealing. It just comes across as an average shot to me.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Malena K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The image tells the story of the redheads coming up out of the water.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good shot to be taking it from your car. Looks like you were shooting eye level.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition, color, and exposure are good.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7

I live in Menomonee Falls, WI, and have recently retired. I have been actively photographing for over 12 years.  I started by taking field trips to photograph waterfalls in the upper peninsula of Michigan that was being offered by the University of Wisconsin in Waukesha, WI. I still enjoy photographing waterfalls in Michigan, and along the North Shore of Minnesota.  I also enjoy bird photography.  I live less than 60 miles from Horicon Marsh, which is a popular birding area in Wisconsin.  I also try to get to Florida every other year for bird photography.  I will also do some sports, city, and winter photography.

I am a member of 2 local camera clubs, the PSA Wisconsin Chapter, and a board member of the Wisconsin Area Camera Club Organization.