Study Group 2


Linda Chubb - A

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NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:      Lunchtime on the Beach
   
Goal:   To capture this Heron with the crab he caught in his mouth. I was riding around Galveston trying out my new 50-500 lens when I came upon this young Heron. I took this picture while in the car.  
 
Equipment/Source:    Nikon D750, Sigma 50-500 lens
 
Technique:    Shutter Priority Mode, 1/320 sec., F/7.1, ISO 100, FL 420.0.mm

Processing:   
Lightroom and Corel Paint Shop Pro. I load into Lightroom and then transfer to Corel PSP where I Cropped, used Smart Fix and soft sharpened.
  

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


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


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OCTOBER 2019 ROUND
Title:     Let's get close 
     
Goal:    To take picture of grasshoppers mating. Stopped by a place along the roadside to take a picture of a barn and it must have been mating day as there were hundreds of grasshoppers in the field. I had never seen Yellow grasshoppers before so this was exciting for me. 

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D80 w/28-300 Lens

Technique:  1/250 Sec., F6.3, ISO 125 

Processing:     Paint Shop Pro; cropped image.

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

Sounds like you were in the right place at the right time for a very strong nature story. I have photographed insects many times and know how hard it is to separate them from the plant so they are not hidden or don’t blend in to the foliage. You did a good job finding the grasshoppers away from the foliage, but the light is very flat so the grasshoppers don’t stand out.  Increase contrast with a layer mask so that only the grasshoppers have their contrast increased.  Then use a brush to slightly increase the bright parts of the grasshoppers.  Then slightly sharpen just the insects so they really stand out from the bush they are on.  Finally, flip the image horizontally so the grasshoppers are on the left of the spines on the plant.  That way, when you enter the image from the left, you don’t run into spines first.   Your color and sharpness are good, just flat.  See my adjusted image.

 N-3, T-2, P-2   Total=7 


Review by Martin P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Perfect timing for the critical moment as it were....

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The creatures appear sharp and well exposed with adequate depth of field for them to be sharp front to back which works well. I am guessing the background has been darkened which looks well performed. The image does feel like it has a slight yellow cast which maybe due to white balance

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Whilst the creatures are well executed, there are some issues with out of focus branches and leaves covering parts of the creatures. This together with the strange colour cast make me feel a little disappointed with the image overall.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The mating process of grasshoppers is certain animal behavior beyond the normal range of activity and thus qualifies for this category. Since according to your description you had plenty of subjects to choose from it would appear that you selected a willing pair of exhibitionists!

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Camera, lens and setting appear to be almost adequate. You indicate an extremely low ISO of 125. When I enlarge the image beyond the thumbnail the heads of the grasshoppers, especially the female appear to be a bit soft. You could have easily raised the ISO to even 400 and been able to increase the aperture to even an f8 and the added DOF would have solved the softness issue. Your main background seems to be far enough away that this should not have brought the distant leaves into sharper focus.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Since you indicate that you cropped the image I would suggest moving the subject slightly to the left so as to get subject out of the direct center of the image. Perhaps you could also increase just slightly the amount of space between the bottom of the grasshopper and the lower edge of the image. It feel a bit crowded . You may also want to provide the image with a bit more “pop” by adjusting the white and black points. The displayed color and contrast make the image feel almost 2 dimensional.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Sylvia W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Well done on spotting this behaviour which most people would walk straight past.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel that the focus is more centred on the legs of the front grasshopper rather than on the eye, which appears to be a little soft.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good use of depth of field to isolate the subject from the background.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The picture is vivid and the image is strong.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

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

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 3-Excellent 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) 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

 

I’m a retired Legal Secretary who moved back to Austin, Texas, the first of this year.  I’ve been interested in photography going back to trying to take action shots at my son’s soccer games with a Pentax 35mm camera.

When I retired, I moved to Sun City, in Georgetown, Texas, where there was a great Photography Club.  We entered PSA competitions on a Club basis.  We also had Club competitions and critiques on an individual basis.   I have also participated in a few outside competitions.

I later moved to Galveston, Texas, where I lived for two years before returning to Austin.  While living in Galveston, I took two Birding classes and became very interested in my current interest in “Birds.”  Galveston was a wonderful place to see many bird species.

My present goal is to improve my photography and go on some trips with birding/nature groups to places outside of Texas.  I currently use a Nikon D750.  Taking pictures really excites me….I love this hobby!!!!