Study Group 2


Louis Paley - B

Click image to enlarge

Upload Next Round's Image and Description
NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:     Canadian Goose Taking Off
   
Goal:    My goal was to capture a sharp image of a goose taking off or landing a sharp and lighted eye. 
 
Equipment/Source:     Sony (APC-S) a6500 with a Sigma 150-600mm lens mounted on a gimbal mount and tripod
 
Technique:   took hundreds of shots of these birds taking off and landing in a nearby pond; panned the flight with the following settings: lens at 388mm, camera at ISO 1250, multi-segment, 0 EV, 1/640sec and F=9.

Processing:   
use Lightroom 6 to crop, adjust lighting, etc.

  

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


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

Review by commentator Tom S.

Good action shot Louis.  The goose is sharp, it is traveling to the left so we see the head first, and there is plenty of room in front of it.  It is not cramped.  However, it is much too bright.  Open the image in Photoshop then open the Levels adjustment and then slide the middle pointer to the right until it looks good to you.  The whole image will be darker and have more contrast.  Also, to remove some of the distraction of the bright vegetation on the far bank, I would crop down from the top to the water line and crop up a little up from the bottom until the goose’s head is on the bottom third grid.  See my adjusted image.

 N3, T1, P2    Total = 6


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This image showing the take off runoff the Canadian Goose I feel qualifies as a nature storyline. While it is not the most dramatic event, it is certainly a valid one.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
With the settings indicated you were clearly shooting in less than optimal conditions. However, even when taking this into consideration they do not work. First the goose is certainly over exposed and second it is not frozen in time. The shutter speed of 1/640 is simply not fast enough to freeze this action. I believe you would need a shutter of at least 1/1000 and possibly even faster if you wanted true stop action. You might be able to reduce the aperture to f8 and still have enough DOF for the entire bird but you would also have to raise the ISO.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Since you have chosen to take this from a standing position and are shooting down on the bird I feel the composition would be improved if you removed the background clutter at the top of the image. However I also feel that had you chosen a lower angle, one which would place you at eye level with the goose you would have a more dynamic image. Additionally bringing the aperture down to f8 would help to blur the background. And isolate the subject even more.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Canada goose running on water. A challenging image to get.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Color balance seems good though on my monitor, image appears to be overexposed. There is a loss of highlight detail in the bright areas of the bird and in some of the splashes on the water. These bright areas on the tail and the water compete with the head of the bird because they are brighter. DoF seems appropriate and although your shutter speed was high, bird is not sharp. It is apparent that you focused on the head and did a good job getting the light in the eye, it's just that the feathers appear blurred. Excellent attempt.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A good attempt at a bird moving across the water. Splashes from birds feet add interest as does the reflection. However, these details also compete with the bird (subject) and affect the impact of the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The geese that take off from the water have to wait a long time to be photographed, with a telephoto Lens that makes the subject stand out. The faster shutter froze the moment.

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) 3-Excellent exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It's a good frame. Main Body protrusion. But we should add some contrast later on

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Ken W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice story of goose taking off in water.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Focus on head is a little soft and the exposure of the goose is a little bright

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would recommend that the water line be leveled, and possibly a little more space be given in front of goose.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Sylvia W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Birds are one of my favourite things to photograph so I know how time consuming it can be and how difficult it is to get everything lined up for a great shot. The water drops adds a great dynamic to this picture.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The whole image appears to be soft - even those water drops. There also appears to be some blown highlights on the ducks bottom.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The reeds in the background are distracting - try cropping them out - this will ensure you are just focused on the goose.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Migration bound

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think the bird is a little soft

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Moving into the frame

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
nice capture! good start. look ok, but show soft on big screen,

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
would suggest use faster shutter speed to freeze action, thus sharper image. and a lens of 600mm not push to max, the cropped image not have image quality as it could have.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
seems you're only use 388 of 600mm range of lens.
image could crop in more on the right side, to show one group of water splash is enough to show take off.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
nice capture, seems bit soft in general, would suggest shuttle speed to 1/2000s, then see if got sharper image.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
suggest increase shuttle speed to 1/2000, or 1/1600. Also, use only 388/600mm range, could yield better image quality.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
given faster shuttle speed, and take full range of lens, better image quality, could affort crop into more on right and on bottom.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6

 


Upload Next Round's Image and Description
OCTOBER 2019 ROUND
Title:   8 Point Buck 
     
Goal:     I was surprised to find this beautiful 8 pt buck so late in the season (mid-December. As a result I did not have my good camera and lens with me. However, I just could not pass the opportunity to try to get a good photo of this animal.

Equipment/Source:   Sony compact camera DSC-WX300 in AUTO, (4.3-86mm, F3.5-6.5); speed 1/50, F6.3, I=800, Metering mode-multi-segment, no exposure bias, focal length of 75mm.

Technique:    Hand-held camera at about 25 ft.

Processing:    Lightroom 6 used to crop, adjust colors, contrast, etc.

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 buck is definitely a magnificent fellow but as presented, the nature story is weak.  The iag is essentially a “here I am” shot. 

Pictorially, the composition works.  I do not object to the body and legs being cropped out.  The cropping is obviously deliberate and does help the viewer focus on the head and rack.  Pictorially I would have preferred a shallower depth of field so the background tree trunks do not compete with the buck.

Technically, you appear slightly overexposed but this could be due to a difference in the brightness settings of your monitor and my monitor.  Remember to take advantage of the greyscale available in the Nature Study Groups page on the website.  The white on the buck’s neck is definitely washed out but you should be able to bring out the details on your original version.  The attached adjustment recovers some of the detail in this area but had limited pixels to work with.  I also did some brightness adjustment and addition of texture on the buck.

N1, T2, P2, E0, Total 5


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I would have taken a full image of he 8 pt Buck with the surrounding environment.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The background seems very cluttered.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Should have not cropped the frame.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
To qualify as a valid nature story the image must show animal behavior that is beyond ordinary. In this case you have an image that is just a portrait of the 8 point buck. The animal would have to be doing more than just standing or walking by to receive a higher score.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Over all this is a rather cluttered portrait of a buck. While your camera captured the portrait the settings did little to separate the buck from his background and thus the clutter feeling. A longer lens or a wider aperture would have helped. As you noted you didn’t have your “good” camera with you but in this case you had the best camera available to capture the image. In the end you have an image you would not have had without your trust Sony compact camera.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your processing techniques are adequate for the image. The image is a bit soft (note the fur in the ears and body) This is probably connected to the slow shutter speed. I do not know what you cropped but as shown the image is quite crowded. I feel you should have left more room in front of the buck to allow him to move into the image. As it is if you had cropped from the right up to the shoulder and made this a vertical image it would have more impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good nature pic. However, no story that I can detect.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The DOF is good. It looks reasonably sharp, but the whites look blown out, e.g. the neck.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I live next to a state forest, so I have deer walking through my yard all the time. In fact, every winter I have to setup up fencing to protect my shrubs. If I don’t, the deer chew on them making them look like some weird Disney character. So, a pic of a deer, even an 8 point, just standing around does not grab my attention.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Common shot; does not tell story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Color and sharpness satisfactory. Antlers blend with background of trees. Not enough of deer showing without something else in picture to make interesting.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Average impact; interest of subject commonly seen.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Portrait of beautiful animal.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image is not perfectly sharp, but good enough for such long shutter and large zoom.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It would be better to leave more space on the left (in front of the animal) instead of capturing it's tail.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Louise - Not enough of a story here. Its a nice buck, but there is nothing going on.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your composition or crop doesn't work for you. You could try a portrait, removing the right 1/3 and if you have any taken space in from of the back to the left, that would help. You need space for it to look into.

Also, the trees are distracting for the fine antlers.

You have captured a sharp image - I suggest next time, position the head to the right (not centre) if it's looking left.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
For reasons stated above, its not right for a Nature image, but taking a portrait crop from this will give you a nice capture for your memories.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
lacks nature story value. seems more of a portrait and that too lacks impact

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
need to show the entirety of the animal.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
not separated from its background makes the eyes wonder. also the truncation the animal makes it less attractive.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4

 

I am a retired environmental engineer and worked for the US EPA for over 25 years.  For the past seven years my wife and I have lived in a retirement community in Silver Spring, MD, USA.  Upon moving here I took a basic digital photo class and fell in love with photography as a hobby.  After three years I decided to up my game by purchasing my first DSLR , long lenses, etc. and began concentrating on USA wildlife photography, primarily birds.

I now use two 24 megapixel Sony mirrorless cameras (a6000 & a6500); multiple zoom lenses (Sony 18-200; Sigma 18-300 macro, 100-400C & 150-600C); and tripod with gimbal head, etc.  

I shoot only in RAW format and use Windows PCs with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 and Photoshop Elements 10 for editing and cataloguing approximately 8,000 images.