Study Group 2


Martin Patten, QPSA (B)

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AUGUST 2019 ROUND

Title:  Puffin with Sandeels   
 

Goal:   I wanted to catch a puffin coming back from sea with sand eels in the beak for its chick

Equipment/Source:   1dx 2 with 300 2.8 with 1.4 converter. 

Technique:   Hot at 1/1250 F5.6 at iso 160. Shot taken hand held. I positioned myself in such a position to capture the puffins landing into the wind. 

Processing: 
 Slight crop, curves/white/black points, added clarity and texture in LR, sharpened

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

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














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JULY 2019 ROUND
Title:  Nest Building Puffin
 
   
Goal:  To document the puffins of Skomer landing with nest building material 
  

Equipment/Source:   1dx2 300 + 1.4 shot at 1/1250, F5.6

Technique:   Shot whilst the bird was landing into the wind giving us the characteristic shape

Processing: Slight crop, curves, sharpening

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

Your story is strong and easy to see, even by a less well informed person.

Pictorially I find the image stronger flipped horizontal. Compositionally it puts the puffin in a stronger position, at least for occidental viewers, and emotionally allows the viewer to better interact with the subject.  Admittedly it is a personal choice but you should consider it. The issue is not strong enough to reduce the Pictorial score but did prevent me from giving the one point for exceptional.  Some people might suggest cropping out some of the negative space so you can make the puffin larger but in this case I feel the negative space adds to the story.

Technically you have good exposure and sharpness.  The background is blurred sufficiently to allow the puffin to stand out.

N3, T3, P3, E0, Total 9


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This image is a fine capture of a Puffin returning to the nest site. The classic raised wings and the branch in the beak all contribute to the storyline. Even thought there is no actual nest in sight the viewer understands the situation. The result is a super clean image with pleasing, uncluttered background.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure and camera settings are more than adequate. The slight blur to the wing tips I feel adds to the image rather than detracting. The blur shows motion. Additionally you have no blown whites and have created a beautiful and complementary background. The image is certainly sharp. Your camera mastery has made a what could be a difficult shot look masterful.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In terms of composition you appear to have done everything right. I like the placement of the bird on the left fixation points. The processing is done well with nothing being over saturated. If I have any thoughts, I would suggest that you slightly darken the green in the lower right corner.

This is well done.


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Robert D.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great nature moment. The Puma’s expression talks.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The exposure is very flat and monotonous. This should be improved with more exposure and contrast so that the puma stands out more and dominates the picture. You could do this selectively on the puma’s head and the prey.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This shot does draw instant attention

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Adrian B.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice image Martin! Interesting material in its mouth helps the interest and story. A 3 from me.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the movement still visible in the wings, with sharp body etc (Ive been reading the comments on your foxes!)

I am torn with the green area bottom right, whether that is a distraction, or whether it represents the landing target. On balance, I would crop from the right to remove much of it and possibly (therefore) a small amount from the left, leaving a landscape shaped image with enough on the right to fly into.
The whites in its body seem to be well handled.
The area just above his head and body is a little distracting and could be darkened a tad.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The green area takes away some of the pleasure

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Bruce F.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The carrying of nesting material in its beak increases the nature storytelling impact. It’s doing more than just flying. This helps add interest to the image and increases the storytelling component.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The blurring of the wings is acceptable to me since they convey flight and motion. Good front lighting on the bird. However, the catch light in the eye is missing, so I would add one in post-processing. The background has too many light bokeh circles for my taste. I would darken the light ones above the puffin’s head. Overall, for the background, I would reduce the contrast, lighten the darker areas slightly, and darken the yellow-green bottom right-hand corner, toning down the saturation a bit too.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The background sometimes is just as important as the subject. Herewith some cleanup of the background: removing or blurring out some of the bokeh circles, reducing the contrast and eliminating the bright lime green color in the lower right corner, would help all the pictorial elements and make them come together in a more pleasing way.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Bogdan B.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I like these birds, although I've seen them just on photos. Nesting material adds to the photo.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Bird is very sharp. I like to see the wings moving.
Background is well blurred. I would just darken three bright circles behind the bird's head and desaturate green leaves on the bottom right.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good position of the bird. I would just make a slight crop on the right to get the bird in one third.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Linda C.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great capture.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Mostly sharp except for moving wing. Color balanced. I feel too much empty space on right side.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
High impact with cropping.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


I started out with my photography as a teenager. I studied photography at school shooting with a fully manual camera and doing all my own processing of my B&W images in my school dark room.   Once I left school I only dabbled in photography as I had lost access to the dark room so my photography took a back seat whilst work took over.

In 2009 my Daughter went to University and when inquiring what I was going to do with all my spare time I was told "Get a hobby Dad" so I went out and bought my first digital SLR.  From the first time i looked at my images on the back of my camera I was hooked.

I am a get it right in camera kinda guy who shoots all types of images from wildlife to landscape and street to portraiture trying to deliver quality natural images with very little editing.

I live close to London which makes it difficult to get access to exotic wildlife, but I do my best in the country I live in.

As a photographer I felt I wanted some goals to aim for so completed my LRPS. my CPAGB and started entering the British Photographic Exhibitions and have recently achieved my BPE2* (50 accepted entries) and am well on the way to achieving my BPE3 (100 Accepted)

I recently (November 2018) started my FIAP and PSA journey and am very pleased with my progress so far having already won various medals and my proudest moment winning the FIAP blue badge for 23/24 acceptances in a recent salon.