Study Group 2


Ken Warning· (C)

Click image to enlarge


Upload Next Round's Image and Description
NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:   Beaver Eating Vegatation

Goal:   Driving Seney NWR auto tour road looking for Sunset location when we saw beaver in pond eating vegetation, beaver was busy eating and allowed us to get out of car and photograph it.
 
Equipment/Source:   Nikon D500, Nikor 200-500mm lens
  
Technique:  Photographed handheld, 1/500sec, F8, Iso 400 at 200mm

Processing:   Photo was taken to include entire length of beaver, but ended up cropping to include head only, toning done in LR, some darkening of specular highlights on face and hands.

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.
I like the nature story you captured here. It is not quite as strong as a story showing a beaver chewing down a tree to working on its dam but it definitely shows another aspect of beaver live other than just here I am.

Pictorially your cropping to concentrate the viewer on the beaver’s head while eating was a good choice. In the adjustment I included I cropped some of the water as well to further focus on the beaver’s head. The cropping at the top also eliminated a red distraction near the edge. 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 eating behavior. 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, T3, P2, E0, Total 8


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Story is fine - clearly eating and seemingly enjoying doing so! You must have been quite close which must have been very enjoyable.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The important parts of the image are nicely sharp and well handled. The wet fur is clear and not dark. I would be inclined to crop about a quarter of the water below the beaver, crating more of a landscape shaped image. I would also darken the water a small about: it is very bright.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It is a pleasing image with a clear story. At the moment there is a lot of water in the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I had a hard time identifying the face and other parts of the Beaver.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I am wondering if the Beaver could have been lightened so that I could recognize the parts of the Beaver.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Taking from another angle and sharpening Beaver may have improved picture.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Average nature shot

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Half of the animal is in the middle of the picture and hard to identtify

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not much

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good pic of a beaver. However, I don’t think it is a strong nature pic.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Looks flat to me and not very sharp, almost like the focal point was a little in front of the beaver.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Every time I’ve come across a beaver, I would have the wrong lens or the beaver would see me and take off. I agree with cropping in on the head. However, I would have removed more of the water/lillies at the bottom.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Strong nature story, because the viewer can see the beaver’s paws holding a branch and one of the leaves is going into the mouth. This elevates the story over just a picture of a swimming beaver. I don’t mind that the entire beaver isn’t shown. Your crop is intentional, and the closer view of a larger subject within the frame gives the viewer a closer, more intimate, and clearer view of the subject.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The toning down of the specular highlights is well done, and not noticeable, thus, a successful adjustment. However, the one technical deficiency is the overall sharpness. The image is slight blurry. I suspect that the 1/500 second shutter speed wasn’t fast enough to capture the swimming beaver. If I was handholding a moving subject, I would have wanted at least 1/1000 of a second or better yet, 1/2000 of a second or faster. Since you used only 400 ISO, you had plenty of room to increase the ISO and give yourself a safer margin to capture a sharp image of a moving subject. I personally only use ISO 400 now for landscape images taken on a tripod.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Just thinking that rather than cropping to almost a square format, maybe a 16 x 9 panoramic frame would have allowed you to capture the motion and flow of a swimming beaver, while still including some of the vegetation in the water. This format would still provide the benefits of a larger subject within the frame mentioned above, and this way you would include the entire beaver.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Beavers are pretty with their long teeth and hands holding food.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Weak sharpnes at this crop.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
There's too much water in front.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE


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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Purely as a nature story this is one of the better images I have seen of a beaver feeding in the wild. The open mouth, the “hand” gripping the food and the bright color of the food itself help to sell this image.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The choice of gear and settings worked well to complete this capture. You have achieved this with no hot spots and the glare on the water is negligible. The image is sharp and the colors are well handled. I general prefer a true eye level angle of view for wildlife, but this angle displays the food to advantage to it works.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You indicate this is cropped by I have no idea how much. I note this because while you have formatted this as an 8x10 and then positioned the beaver on the upper (both left and right) fixation points I still feel as a nature story it lacks some impact. This is because the food morsel is quite small. So if this is not already severely cropped, then I would crop some of the water off the bottom and then enlarge the beaver and his food drawing more attention to it. I do approve of your choice of crop on the body of the beaver. Perhaps to avoid centering the beaver itself it ay work better if you copped a small amount from the top and then a larger amount from the bottom it would then retain the rule of thirds feel to the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
appears as a portrait shot. although it is quite rare to get a good glimpse of the beaver. so a 2 for your photo this time.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the only thing I would put a comment on is the angle of the shot. need to bend down and get a straight shot. really would be charming that way.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the blue dominating the entire scene.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Upload Next Round's Image and Description
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

 

 





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.