Study Group 2


Robert Davis, PPSA (A)

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MAY 2020 ROUND
Title:   Rhino roadblock  
 
   
Goal:    Exploring the Kruger National Park to see the Big 5. Came across this crash of rhinos who obviously owned the road. 

Equipment/Source:   Canon 5D3. 24-106. Hand-held. ISO400,f7.1,1/250

Technique:   Handheld 

Processing:   PS Sharpened with slight increase in contrast.

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.
While one could argue that having the rhinos in the road was adaptive behavior since they were there before the road was, the presence of an individual in the image drops it out of the definition of a nature photograph. In this case it would be better suited to either photo-travel or photo-journalism. The nature rating is 0.

Focus is fine, but there is a massive amount of color noise as evidence by the splotchy patterns in the person, seat and rhinos themselves. There is a significant cyan shift in the sky and tree bark and a cyan fringing around the leaves where they meet the sky. This may be uncorrected chromatic aberration. The technical rating is 1.

The composition is reasonable for the scene depicted. There is a merger with the individual’s arm and the horn of the first rhino, but no effective way of avoiding that without endangering yourself. The pictorial rating is 3.

N-0, T-1, P-3 = 4


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is a crash of white rhino on the road. It looks like early morning which may explain why several of the rhinos are lying on the road.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This image looks over processed to me. The colors are oversaturated and look blotchy.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
shooting in a safari vehicle can be difficult but the image would have benefit if the photographer can slide to right to seperate the front rhino from the tracker.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Robert - this is a better travel shot than a Nature one as I do not think one is allowed people in pictures except in exceptional circumstances. I am sure you all had fun when you found this!

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I find your PP work has created what I would call an unbelievable situation. It is far to vivid and Nature shots are supposed to represent what the lighting etc was there at the time

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A fun image

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Kim H.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good story. The person in the photo helps explain the situation.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The enhanced saturation takes away from the realism. There is too much green.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Tom K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Fun shot. Good nature story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It just apppears that the image is in focus, but it is of such low quality that it is abstracted like a water color.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think that this image would do well as a vertical with the person on the left cropped out.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Andy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
What a great opportunity to come across. Its fairly obvious that we have a little more than the Hand of Man in the image! Other people, especially photographers can be a nuisance.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically the image appears to be of very poor quality. Your settings all seem fine so something has happened to the image between taking it and putting it up on the site.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 1-Inadequate exposure color balance and sharpness< br>
< strong>PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Opportunity had great potential.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 3


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Interesting capture of rhinos on track. Unfortunately I believe this image does not comply with the nature definition.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image has noise throughout.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Person on left hand side and noise detract from image.

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

TOTAL BASIC S CORE 4


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
As an image entered in a nature category this does not work. The introduction of “man” to the image takes it out of the true nature story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is sharp and appears to be properly exposed. The colors seem to be over saturated, but that has to do with processing. This gives the image a sort of over cook feeling.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
For me the processing of this just seems to be over done. There seems to be a bit of halo effect around the tree branches. This is most likely the result of over processing (too much contrast). While the hand (or body) of man should not be in the image, the manner in which the man is crammed into the lower left corner feel awkward. Due to the fact that the man is wearing alight blue jacket he seems to be the most dominate object in the frame. The eye is drawn to the brightest part of the image and the blue jacket works like a magnet and pulls the eye away from the rhinos. The excessive contract and what appears to be color saturation certainly makes the sky look over done.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Malena K.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Some may not agree with man being in the photo however I feel it gives the story more impact. It shows the rhinos are in the road and you won't be passing thru quickly.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Color looks like a little too much saturation.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition is good.

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

TOTAL BA SIC SCORE 7


Review by Todd G

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
There does not seem to be much in the nature of this story. Rhinos on the road and in the grass would likely be very typical. The animals do not appear to be demonstrating any significant behavior or attitudes.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
here does not seem to be much in the nature of this story. Rhinos on the road and in the grass would likely be very typical. The animals do not appear to be demonstrating any significant behavior or attitudes. Score: 1

SCORE T (Technical Qualit y)

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Unfortunately, this is not a strong compositional image. The individual in front of your camera is distracting and my eye automatically goes to them every time.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 3


Review by Pamela L.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I like the adding the guy in the picture, complete the story

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
N/A

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Excellent composition and impact

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE: 7


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A good story where the hand of man makes an appearance. Good for a journalism story, but not for a natural nature story. Many animals do use roads to lie down on, within game reserves and national parks, becoming a familiar scene nowadays. With the inclusion of the landrover and the person, I think these items disqualify the image for nature. You might want to check with the rules.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The color of this image is garishly oversaturated. I think you went overboa rd on th e color saturation. These blues are not natural. There are color spots on the rhinos’ hides. The back of the seat has color noise too. Go back and reduce the saturation and the color noise. Also, the image lacks a crisp sharpness. The Canon 5d Mark III is getting a little long in the tooth. However, I think the lack of sharpness is with the lens and the overprocessing. You don’t say the make and model of the lens, older zoom lenses have sharpness issues.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I don’t like the merger of the closest rhino’s horn with the person on the vehicle. It appears to hook right into her body. I would try to notice these type of issue while I am composing the picture. The road creates depth to the image and that’s a good aspect. Personally, I think this is more of a journalistic image than a natural one. Fix th e techni cal issues, and enter it in journalism.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5



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APRIL 2020 ROUND

Title:    Betta fish flaring

Goal:  Studying and recording the behavior of betta splendens otherwise known as a Sianese fighting fish

Equipment/Source:    Sony A7R3. Sony 90 mm macro lens. 1/125 f20 ISO 800. Godox V1 flash with diffusor. manual. Hand held

Technique:   Cleaned aquarium carefully. Place another male in an aquarium so that they could see one another. This results in flaring which is an aggressive display. They are not friendly to one another and can only be kept in their own tanks. Flaring is considered a necessary form of exercise 5 minutes a day. 

Processing:   Int aquarium - cleaned. Post-production blemishes removed in PS and sharpened with Topaz.

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

Robert, while there are wild Bettas, they are dull brown and green with much smaller fins, so your fish is a domesticated Betta and not allowed in nature photography.  But ignoring that, this is a portrait and has no context of why he is flaring his fins.  If the other fish were in the same image, it would add context.  However, the colors are good and it is sharp.  But as I said, it is a domestic fish and not allowed in nature photography.

 N0, T3, P2, E0 = 5


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Because I know a bit about this species of fish the aggressive behavior shown here does create a nature story. I do not think the nature story would be as clear to someone not familiar with the species or without reading your explanation. Nevertheless since I know what I am actually seeing, I will award the higher score.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is bright and colorful, however the colors appear to have a surreal appearance that I feel may be due to the impact of the flash. The image just appears unnatural. There are visible reflections seen to the left of the fish and also some (although not quite as visible) to the right. To me this image is over exposed.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The center weighted composition works for this image, especially since the background appears to be a solid black. I don’t know if you rotated the fish to this position (its head being pointed upward) but I fell it gives the fish an unnatural feel. There are numerous blemished to the background that could have easily been removed since the background is black. I feel that the colors of the fish look to be over saturated and the sharpening with Topaz is just too much. Together these degrade the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
really excellent nature image; paid to clean the tank wall!!

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent exposure, color balance; just a little soft.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
fantastic composition; extremely impactful

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Nock W.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice image

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The overall technical quality is excellent

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very colorful fish

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I think the pains you took to clean the aquarium and displaying the beta was worth the effort

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think the detail was all in the same plane and was sharp, maybe tone down some of the specular highlights

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Centered and very dark background, maybe use a more neutral color for background

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
interesting subject and project, thanks for sharing. Also check on web, that put a mirror in front might just do the same trick for you. Back to the image, the flare was not that visible for me. Or least obvious. but the effort count :)

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
not sure the color and details caused by capture through fish tank water or what. just not what I expected.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
average image, not impactful.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Susan N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice set-up and capture of display.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Topaz can easily over-process a nature shot and need to be used with caution. My immediate reaction was - great colors but a bit oversaturated and a lot of noise. Topaz AI Clear before adding any enhancement typically works well except in low light conditions where DeNoise AI is needed or another good denoise software. When I use Topaz filters, i typically have to choose carefully and always back off of them in the opacity in order to use a bit of enhancement without over doing.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice colors. Crop so there is room at the upper left for the fish to move rather than centering it. Noise and oversaturation decreases what would otherwise be an interesting and colorful image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hi Robert. What a beautiful photograph! A stunning fish is showing his color. I admit, I had to do some research on this subject. Since I am not knowledgeable with this fish or its activity, you were right to include the word “flare” in your comments. Your score increased when I researched it. I learned that stress can induce that reaction. However, I also learned that it can be the betta taking a good stretch as we do at times.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The color is certainly eye catching. Lots of cools and warms. The delicate fins are very sharp. Very nice.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The next thing to catch my eye (after the colors) is the crop. Assuming the fish will continue to swim in the direction he is facing, more room to move should be on the right vertical side. There actually appears to be more room on the left side, which is the side he is leaving. Of course, I was not there to see if there is a reason for the way it is cropped. If there is no reason, a quick fix would be easy in whatever editing program you use.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Martin P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The fish looks interesting, but I am not seeing any particular behavior here. Maybe we needed to see both fish for the story to emerge

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The fish looks a little "flashy" the black background isolates the fish but also removes any natural look to the image. I am also wondering if this a little over sharpened

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The fish "floating" against the black background doesn't work for me. As a technical image I can certainly see the details of the fish, but it is more like an illustration than a photograph. The black background completely removes any feel of the creature being alive.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is a detailed portrait of the fish flaring in an aggressive display.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Fish seems sharp so shutter speed and your choice of DoF seems adequate to illustrate detail of the fins in my opinion. On my monitor, the fish seems to be quite saturated which, to me, overpowering and not believable.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
To me this is a "text book" demonstration of the flaring behavior. I would have enjoyed more context for the fish in the image. In my opinion, this looks like the fish was put on a black background and I don't know if this is a living fish or a specimen.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Haru N.
Beautiful! You capture the moment. I admire your patience and enthusiasm on photography. I am not sure if this is due to lighting effect or dodging effect of postprocessing but It looks unnatural with brilliance to me. It looks flat and this gives me an impression that this is not a live fish but specimen. But I think you chose the right color in the background which match with the color of the main subject, which is good. Overall, this represent "the nature story" and pretty image. 

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This truely demonstrate nature sotry.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice sharpness. I can be improved in tonal range and color balance.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Beautiful image. It would give more impact if this looks natural and three dementional.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7









Bob Davis was born in Johannesburg South Africa and educated there and in London, Edinburgh and New York. He has retired from being a surgeon in Houston Texas for many years. After the busy years of hard work, he joined the Houston Photographic Society and is now its President. He is fascinated by all forms of photography especially nature. He mainly utilizes Canon equipment and is trying hard to keep up with recent software advances.