Study Group 2


Adrian Binney, QPSA, LRPS

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OCTOBER 2019 ROUND

Title:    Springbok walking in the desert  
   
Goal:    To use the light being picked up by a group of springbok as they moved towards a waterhole early in the morning
 
Equipment/Source:    Olympus equipment at Full Frame equivalent of 600mm.
 
Technique:   Handheld from a game viewer 1/600 f8 ISO 250. Timing the shot when there seemed a good spread of animals across the frame.  

Processing: 
  In Lightroom - not a huge amount, but 'punch' added to the springbok and contrast generally - after letterboxing the image.

  

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

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

 


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SEPTEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:    Wildebeest and crocodile
     
Goal:  To capture the fight to survive of a migrating wildebeest   

Equipment/Source:   Olympus equipment as owned in 2015 (since upgraded lens). EM1 body, 100-300 lens.
At 300mm (equivalent to 600mm)
ISO400, 1/800 and f10
Taken from vehicle handheld.

Technique:   The Pro for the group encouraged us to fix settings in manual once sun fully up and leave the settings there all day. On this occasion, the animals were in a shadow area, so the image was underexposed. No real disadvantage here with a RAW file.
Timed when the croc had surfaced. 

Processing:    Lightroom, crop, lighten significantly, then local adjustments to the croc. Sharpening added.

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

This image not only has a very strong nature story, it has an unusual nature story.  It looks like this is actually the second bite to this wildebeest because of the entrails that can be seen in the crocodile’s mouth.

Technically your exposure is good.  Your sharpness is also good with an appropriate depth of field.

Pictorially I would prefer a bit less space between the wildebeest and the left of the image and a bit more space behind the crocodile.  The preference is not strong enough for me do knock a point off the pictorial score but is the reason I did not give the Exceptional point.

N3, T3, P3, E0, Total 9


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Clearly you have captured a life and death struggle and a truly compelling nature story. I could itemize all the elements but why---I’m sure you already know them all. This is a photo with a clear WOW factor.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Camera settings, and gear choice all worked well together. The instructions given by the Pro were clearly ones that worked and you got your image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the composition including the powerful lancing diagonal line formed by the croc as he attacked the wildebeest. The clearly fatal wound with its near red color helps to fix the viewer’s eye on the situation and explains everything. Even though you do not have a clear visual of either animal’s eye the angles and action as compelling enough to carry the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
I could be petty and claim that without either animal’s eye something is lacking but I won’t. In a major contest it might matter but for me, not in this forum.

Congratulations and well done.!

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 10


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Terrific nature animal shot.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very sharp and good depth of field especially hand held.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The subject may fit better in a conventional 2-3 format so that you could crop out a lot of the uninteresting water on the left. I would always try to fill the image with the subject. This will maKE SURE THAT THE VIEWERS ATTENTION IS HELD ON THE SUBJECT.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great capture.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Sharp, color and exposure good.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Interesting photo. Would have liked to see the attacked animal from a different vantage point.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
good nature story when wildebeasts cross the mara and talek river to come from Serengeti are often being prayed by the large river crocs who have feast this time of the year.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
good sharp image. nice timing too.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
pictorially I flipped the image horizontally and did a crop of excess part from towards the face of the beast. also made some adjustment in the form of darken center from nik software which enhances the picture.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
the placidity of the life threatening situation brought the emotions and thus 1 is awarded

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 9


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A deadly moment captured. Wildee Beest is a easy pray during the migration in Kenya.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It would have been good if the wildee Beest was facing towards the camera.

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 6


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Right moment of capturing, when crocodile attacked.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Sharp image, large DOF, enough lighted.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The wildebeest is possitioned nearly on the middle. Image could be cropped more from left side and not so tight on the right. I would prefere sight from front and not backside.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Clearly a nature picture with a strong story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nothing is blown out or lost in the shadows. However, the image looks flat and not very sharp. Maybe try the technique described in the tips section to create separation between the water and the animals.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The picture would have been better if you were at a lower angle, almost at water level. Also, I would have moved the animals more to the left to get them off center. If you could have captured the fight from the other side where you could see both animal’s face/eyes, it would have more impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7

I am retired (64 as at 2018) and keen to devote more time to photography and travelling. My photography started 40 years ago with a home darkroom and like many, was kickstarted again with digital SLR’s becoming affordable.
I was a Canon man - 5 and 7 bodies, with many L series lenses, but sold the whole lot in 2015 due to weight issues. I now use an Olympus EM1 Mkii with many of their Pro series lenses and don’t regret the move. My core wildlife lens is a 300 f4 prime, which is razor sharp. Used with a 1.4 converter gives a Full Frame equivalent of 840mm - in a recent trip to Costa Rica 80% of my shots were at this reach (birds there are small and other wildlife are very high in the canopy!).
When at home in the UK, I enjoy visiting zoos and bird protection areas, as well as trying to photograph insects in gardens etc. I also travel abroad to enjoy wildlife experiences - Africa and Costa Rica mostly.
I am Secretary and Committee Member at a large Camera Club (Winchester, Hampshire) and enjoy helping to run a large club (200 members). I continue learning a lot from the many excellent photographers (particularly in use of Lightroom and what makes a good image). I don’t use Photoshop. In December I was awarded LRPS - the first distinction level of three awarded by The Royal Photographic Society.