Study Group 2


Charlie Yang (C)

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NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:      Fallen Maple Leaf on Evergreen Bush
 
Goal:    Fall scene, while I'm hampered with eye surgery, can't get far. So settle on around the house, happen to see a few maple leaves landed on evergreen bushes. soft light of afternoon, cast back light and shadow.

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D810, 105mm f2.8 lens, @f/16, ISO 64, 1/60s, on tripod. 
   
Technique:   during a short session, while the leaf rest on bush, move and sway from occasional breeze, I have quite a few different poses, angles, shooting parameters, but I like this one the best.

Processing:   minor crop in LR, then burn a few very bright spots. 

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

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

Review by commentator Dan Charbonnet

While the image is a valid nature image, it is weak with very little story value.

Technically the sharpness is adequate but the exposure looks muddy. You need to increase the overall brightness some then give a bit more brightness selectively to the leaf. Be careful not to over process so it looks unnatural.

Pictorially the composition is static. You could add more interest by increasing the contrast go give the shadows of the evergreen more definition.

N1, T2, P2, E0, Total 5


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I find this an interesting study of a back-lit leaf in autumn. I like the red veins. It is the shadows on the back that distract too much for me. Nothing you could have done - but it remains an "interesting" image.
There is a sort of autumn story - but not very strong, Hope your eyes get sorted soon!

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It is just sharp enough - to my eyes! The backlighting has been well handled and the shadow areas are not too dark.I think it would improve the image if you darkened slightly the bright areas around the outside of the leaf (negative white slider in LRused selectively)

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It is an interesting try to something different, bot will I think have limited appeal.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I like the image, however, I am puzzled regarding how the picture was taken.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Color, exposure and sharpness appropriate for photo.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Unique photo.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice contrived shot.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Well focused but the lack of deta9il IN THE DARK AREA MAKES IT NOT BELIEVABLE AS A NATURE SHOT

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good try at an old subject. Nature shots must look natural even though th photogra-pher controls everything

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice fall pic of a maple leaf. Would make a good card cover.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Everything is sharp. There is detail missing in the shadows, but my guess is that this is on purpose.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
My guess is that this leaf was up off the ground in a cedar tree. Nice framing.

Hope your eye surgery was successful.


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Although, the leaf is the golden-brown color of fall. The backlit approach is more artistic, and less of a nature story theme. I really like this approach, backlighting some subject through a leaf or other translucent subject. However, the juniper branches don’t provide a clean and elegant graphic design. The silhouette is busy and visually confusing, and this applies to the background as well. I like the concept a lot, but the execution or result with the juniper branches isn’t pleasing or striking to the mind.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Using a macro lens doesn’t give you much depth of field, as a result, the ends of the leaves, the top ones, the sharpness falls off. Personally, I would have tried to uncurl the tips, and make the subject as close to parallel to the frame as possible.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Since the leaf is loose, I would have placed elsewhere where you still could create a silhouette. Find a more graphic and simply subject to have the backlit light shine through the leaf, and have a simpler background surrounding the leaf. I see what attracted you to this leaf and the backlit silhouette situation, but it’s doesn’t have the simple pictorial elements to create a strong attractive image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
More pictorial photo.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The leaf is not enough sharp.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the color of the leaf.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good attempt though being impaired due to eyesight.Salute your resolve to photograph this image.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Could have shot from a distance. Leaf seems soft on the edges to me.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Tight Crop.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Sorry about your eye issues, hope they will be resolved for the better soon.

While this is an interesting and creative image, I do not find this exhibits strong nature storyline. If the story line is simply autumn I think there needs to be more.


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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In that so much of the image is dark, the choice of a low ISO helped prevent noise in the many shadow areas. Using Nikon’s excellent 105 macro lens at a high aperture setting allowed you to keep both the leaf and the shadow sharp. The back light effect was a fine creative choice.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The creative nature of the image, allow me to excuse the general centering of the subject. The diagonal position of the leaf and the shadows help to add a feeling of action (tension) to the image and the upward angle was a good choice. The softer saturation and color make the image more believable

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
not much of a story in there showing the uniqueness of the image. however considering your eye surgery this is a good one.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
technicals are superb. good choice of the triad,

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
pictorially marvellous. loved to see the scene again and again citing the impact of the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7






Upload Next Round's Image and Description
SEPTEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:   The Flowering Spurge and its seeds pod  
 
Goal:    After notice flowering spurge on wild flowers on scene and read more about it, try to take a photo of its male/female flowers on the same plant, and its seeds reproduction mechanism. Notice the greenish glob on some of the flowers, that's female, 3-celled capsules of seeds. 
 

Equipment/Source:   NIKON D500, 28-300mm @82mm, f/16, 1/200, ISO 1600.
  
Technique:    walk around vast state park looking for a suitable plant, mature enough will have what I looking for. handheld,

Processing:   LR crop to focus on objects, noise reduction, sharpen a bit,  


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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.
The plant is well positioned in the frame, but the plant is simply not sharp. You didn’t mention what lens setting you used so if it were 300mm then 1/200 isn’t fast enough to get sharp images when hand held. The less than sharp spurge doesn’t stand out from the out of focus background as much as it should. I tried sharpening it, but couldn’t do it enough to make it acceptable. The light appears to be pretty dull so the spurge could stand more contrast, but be careful to not increase contrast on the background which would be a big distraction.
N-2, T-1, P-2 Total = 5
Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Evaluating an image like this present several difficulties beginning with the Nature storyline required by this forum. While you describe a viable storyline, when looking at the image it is not something that is immediately visible. Thus this image takes on the feeling of merely a photo of a clump of flowers. I do not feel that it presents a strong nature story and I struggle to rate it even a 2. I would not be surprised if several raters awarded only a one.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
When looking at the image the entire photo generally appears to be soft. I am going to attribute most of this to the high ISO of 1600. Since this image features a subject that is not going anywhere in the immediate future I feel that a better image could have been obtained by waiting for better light. For example, if this was early morning waiting for the sun to rise a bit more would brighten the light and you could therefore have been able to lower the ISO thus sharpening the image. I also question the need for F16. You are already shooting with limited light and a relatively slow shutter of 1/200. Lowering the aperture even a little bit would allow you to increase the shutter speed and most likely sharpen the image. While you are only using the lens at 82mm you are still holding a 300mm lens. There is a general rule that shutter speed should equal the length of the lens. Thus this should be shot at least at 1/300. Additionally, the use of a high aperture helps to keep your background in focus and this gives a feeling of clutter to the total image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The visual impact of the image is mostly ordinary. While the subject is bright (white flowers) their lack of sharpness hinders their impact. The composition centers the subject making it feel quite static while the relatively visible background provides clutter and weakens the clarity of the subject. The image appears to be quite flat. Perhaps adjusting both the white and black points may give the image a bit more punch.

While I was not there to see the subject up close my general feeling to improve the image might be to try to isolate a single flower and its “greenish glob”. By isolating the flower in this way the viewer might better be able to see exactly what you are trying to show and you would also be able to render the background in a more blurred fashion. Finally, I was not there and it is your image. Thus the choice of how you show the subject is yours. However I do not feel that this image conveys the story you describe in your write up.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Ken W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice portrait of a flower

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Overall average sharpness, good exposure.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Flowers photos look best to me when the flowers are isolated from their backgrounds. The background in this photo was a little busy. I find the flower itself interesting. I would have tried to isolate an individual flower in good condition.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
don't see a very clear story about this work. Although you described a lot.

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

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

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 2-Average 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) 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by William S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Interesting nature story about plant reproduction. It is difficult to produce a strong nature story with a plant portrait but I like the idea you present.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is not sharp which suggests a focusing issue, handheld movement or the wind blowing. Did you use a tripod? The exposure is acceptable. I would suggest cropping to show a close up of the different parts that you describe.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Using a smaller f-stop like f8 and cropping closer would create a little better separation between the background and the subject and place the flower at the center of attention. Moving the subject slightly off center to the right would improve the composition. The softness and un-sharp petals of the flower create a distraction.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Group portrait, story has to be told, not as evident in photo

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A group of flowers is difficult to isolate against the background, depth of field at f/16 is adequate for most of blooms

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Middle composition and no emphasis on male and female parts, I think maybe two blooms would illustrate your point better

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6




I love to travel, and travels bring back pictures and memories, that’s one of the reasons I join PSA, to take better pictures and learn what to adjust afterwards. Just start to learn the capabilities of LR and PS, and things some of my club friends can do with them just simply amaze me. 

Nikon D5300, D810 are my main camera, and still learning what they can do, and it's fun to walk around to take different pictures at different time and under different light. 

My other pastime is golf. Hope to play out 50 states PGA courses. 

I live in Schaumburg, Chicago suburb, looking forward to get some fun experiences with Nature.