Study Group 2


Ken Warning· (C)

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SEPTEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:     Little Blue Heron 
   
Goal:    On my first trip to Lake Apopka Wildlife Area in Florida, I found numerous bird activity. I saw this Little Blue Heron catch something (not sure what it is) and captured this shot
 
Equipment/Source:    Nikon D500, Nikor lens 200-500, hand held

Technique:   1/1600 sec, F8, Iso 1000 (Auto Iso), 280/570mm

Processing:  
Tone adjustments in LR, I reversed image in LR

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

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

 Review by commentator Tom S.
Nice image of a Little Blue Heron that is well positioned in the frame and sharp with good exposure. He is holding a crawfish, but it is very small in the frame and while the nature story is good, it is too small to be interesting. So, the solution is to severely crop it to emphasize the story. Here is what I did but you need to do it with a much higher resolution image, since the one I worked with is pretty low resolution. You might try cropping even more to make the crawfish bigger.

N-2, T-3, P2   Total = 7


Review by Larry T.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This image of a Little Blue Heron holding its meal demonstrates a valid nature story. The bird is shown in its preferred environment which enhances the quality of the story. My issue with this story is that the meal is hard to see. While this is not a direct fault of the photographer it still impacts the image. By reference I will note the photo you submitted last month where the snail was clearly visible and thus added emphasis to the visual impact of the story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The gear you selected is appropriate to capture this image. The use of f8 on that lens is justified as it is known to be sharper at that aperture. The Auto ISO also works well for the changing light angles in that particular wildlife reserve.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You have position the subject well in the frame using the particularly favored PSA position of facing to the left. Additionally you gave the bird room to move by allowing space to the left of the bird. For me the image lacks overall impact due to the fact that the prey is so small and some what hidden in the grasses of the background.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Although the moment of predation was photographed, the picture is still not telling the story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure normal, focus clear. The depth of field control is reasonable

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 2-Average 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) 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by William S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The photo shows the heron capturing a meal which qualifies as a natural act.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is sharp with a good exposure. However processing the image to improve the color and contrast would be an improvement. I used curves in Photoshop to even out the levels between the darkest and lightest areas and saw improvement in color and contrast (pop). I will try and attach the image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is good and reversing the image is a visual plus. The colors are muted and reduce the visual impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Feeding behavior, pretty common

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Love the feather detail and non-competing background, although detailed, does not detract

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Bird makes a nice diagonal line

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
nice catch,

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
sharp image, background would not add points, if anything, that'll be what to choose next time.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
nice light, but background less desirable. well

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6

 

 







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AUGUST 2019 ROUND
Title:   Limpkin Feeding on Snail

Goal:   I was photographing birds in flight when I noticed 2 limpkins by the shore. I started photographing the limpkins and was able to capture one with a snail.

 
Equipment/Source:   Nikon D500 on a tripod, Nikon lens 200-500mm  
  
Technique:   I was setup for birds in flight and forget to change settings ISO 400, 1/2000 sec at F5.6

Processing:   Tone adjustments LR, Smart sharpening in PS

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

The snail in the limpkin’s bill successfully gives this image a good nature story instead of being just a “Hear I am” shot of the limpkin.  The ripples in the water add to the story by showing it is a recent catch.  So do the wet feathers on the limpkin’s head and neck and trapped between the nail and the bill.

Pictorially the composition is good.  As usual for me, I did look at it reversed horizontal and do like it better that way.  As presented, the body is heavy and dominant.  Reversed I find more emphasis placed on the snail and the weight of the body helps keep me in the image.  I admit that feeling is due to the way I look at an image, entering on the left and scanning right.  A person entering right and scanning left could have a different feeling.  Which is best could actually depend on the target audience.

Technically the image is adequately sharp and properly exposed. 

N3, T2, P3, E0, Total 8


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The shell in the beak is better than usual feeding. You can hardly believe, how the bird can crush it in such long beak.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Whole bird is quite sharp due to proper DOF and the backgroun is blurred and steady.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good composition axcept of format, which is a little bit strange - not 3:2, not 4:3 and not 1:!.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very good nature shot reflecting natural behavior.
Very good exposure and sharpness. Good eye,


SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great equipment and settings

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Pleasing image , almost exceptional

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Image tells a story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice color and sharpness. Would have liked to see total shadow and a little more cropping on top.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice picture but fairly common.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Ken - A nice image. The shape of the snail is very clear, with a good gap in the Limkin's beak.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
How honest! But your image hasn't suffered through using 'birds in flight' settings. The main subset seems well lit and sharp. I like the clean background, but with other interest in front of the bird.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The lighting and sharpness adds to the quality to my eye. But not quite strong enough for the extra mark.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A nature/wildlife picture. There is a story here, but I would not know what it is without the description.


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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice and sharp. A smaller DOF would help though.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
For me I would like to see the complete reflection the bird in the water. I also wonder if it would work better if it was flipped vertically.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
limpkins feeding on apple snails is a good nature story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
did you used flash? I presume so. good segregation from background and good ahrp image caught with action. also catchlight in eyes is good. excellent

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
except the fact that an action is recorded do not find pictorialy beautiful.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very strong nature story value with the snail in the beak of the Limpkin. Water with vegetation slightly above the water helps set the environment.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technical execution perfect and flawless, sharpness excellent, exposure and light handled brilliantly from a technical aspect. Great and beautiful selective focus by blurring the background water.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Square frame format works well, and is an excellent choice. For the subject, more space within the frame to look out, rather than behind the bird adds to the pictorial values. Overall, a beautiful well executed nature image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
No flaws...

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 10

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.