Study Group 2


Louis Paley - B

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SEPTEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:    Heron Flying over Pond
   
Goal:     I tried to capture a great blue heron in flight while carrying a twig to build a nest in a nearby heron rookery. It took me at least 10,000 images over several days to capture this image.
 
Equipment/Source:    Sony a6500 mirrorless APS-C camera with a Sigma F5.6-6.3, 150-600mm superzoom lens mounted on a tripod with a gimbal head.
 
Technique:   I tried to position myself at about the elevation of the tree tops in the rookery, and with the sun at my side, preferably with the bird flying into the sun. (it was not possible to locate myself with the sun at my back). The camera was shot while in burst mode and with the following other settings: 1/4000, F7.1, Equiv focus length=796mm, ISO=1000, Aperture Priority, and Multi-segment metering.

Processing:   
I used Lightroom 6 to crop and adjust coloration, etc.

  

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


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

 


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AUGUST 2019 ROUND
Title:    Snake in Brookside Gardens
     
Goal:     catch the eye clearly in very dim lighting

Equipment/Source:   Sony a6000 mirrorless APS-C camera with Sony
E18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS

Technique:    dropped to ground, cranked up light acceptance in dim light (F6.3, ISO 2000, 1/80 sec, multi-segment Metering; hand-held.

Processing:    cropped, adjusted lighting, sharpness, etc with LR 6.14

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.
This is a portrait of a snake and it is good that you were low to the ground, but looks like you are looking down on the snake. It would be better if you could have gotten even lower so you were at the same level as the snake and be eye to eye. You didn’t mention the focal length of the lens you used but I am guessing it is 200mm. Using a shutter speed of 1/80 with a 200mm lens hand held tends to cause less than sharp images. Or it could be all the grass around the snake fooled the autofocus. In any case, almost nothing in the frame is sharp. The snake’s head, which is the center of interest, is dead center of the frame. The exposure is good.

N2, T2, P1, R0 Total=5


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Plain picture, not to say how good. But it wasn't easy.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The exposure is correct, but the focus is false. Because your shutter speed is too slow.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is not perfect, the snake's body is missing. And the head is too small to account for the screen. Not enough visual impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
In your write up you do not provide a stated nature story line. Having a story line would help with understand what you are trying to accomplish with the image. As it is shown you have demonstrated little more than a partial portrait of a snake in the grass.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your technique of “dropping to the ground “ while you made camera adjustments resulted in a sharp, clear, image of a snake’s head with extended tongue. You did well to stop the motion of the snake with a shutter speed of only 1/80.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
While everything in the image is sharp and clear I do not feel that the composition works well as is. The large leaves in the lower left corner I find to be distracting.
You could minimalize this impact by cropping off about ½ of the foreground area.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
nice layout, a bit soft still when magnify to see the head/eyey,

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
nice layout, a bit soft still when magnify to see the head/eyey, might due to slower shutter or slight movement. I'd suggest faster shuttle speed, would be better.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
would help to get longer reach lens or get closer to get a better/sharper photo on larger area (head, eye, tongue)

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Ken W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice photo of a snake in grass

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nicely exposed photo with sharp eyes and scales of snake.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice composition, glad that you were low and able to capture the tongue.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Hattie S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I'm picturing you how you took the photo while I was reading your description. The whole I'm thinking if I were you, I would be backing away and try to keep my distance as far as I can! This is a portrait of the snack, therefore a 2 with nature story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your shutter speed is slow probably the reason of motion blur showing in the photo. Probably can open up the aperture to help up the speed in this one. The 1/6.3 depth of field likely resulted in pretty clear at the foreground as well. Try to darken the foreground to minimize the attention.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Usually if I took a quick snap on something I spotted and afraid it might go away quickly, I will then check my setting to make sure I got better setting for the situation. However in this situation, I probably won't be brave enough to do so :-)

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6

 

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.