Study Group 2


Malena Kee (B)

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NOVEMBER ROUND

Title:    Eagle Owl Flying
   
Goal:    To get the owl in flight and in focus
 
Equipment/Source:     Canon 60D, 150-600mm Sigma Lens
 
Technique:    This was at a Birds of Prey Rehab Center. I was hand holding my camera as they were flying for educational demonstration.

Processing: 
  Used lightroom to tone down the highlights as this was in the mid morning light.
  

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

Welcome, Malena.  Glad to have you with us. 

You did a great job getting the birds head in focus but his wings not so much.  Don’t know what shutter speed you were using so it may be some motion blur.  Most birds look better with their wings up rather than down so do you have any images with the wings up?  It is cropped much to tightly in the front.  Give them room to move otherwise, they look cramped.  And if the image is flipped horizontally, when we enter the image from the left, we see the head first rather than the tail.  I suggest you crop out a lot of the unnecessary empty space above and below the bird.  And the owl could stand to have the contrast increased a little.  I made all those changes except for more space in the front.  See my adjusted image.   Flying is a normal bird activity so isn’t a nature story.

 N2, T1, P2   Total = 5


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The Nature story line requirement demands that wildlife are shown doing more than ordinary activity. Birds fly, it is a given, and as such is seen as ordinary activity. Activities such as carrying prey, or nest building material or engaging in defense of territory all show out of the ordinary behavior and will receive higher scores.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your stated goal of capturing a bird in flight and in focus shows that you understand what is required but this image does not meet that requirement.. While wings can be blurred for effect this image does not appear to be trying to do that. The wings are simply out of focus. It would have been better if you had shown your ISO, Shutter and Aperture settings but without them I would guess that your DOF (aperture) was not adequate. You were probably shooting your lens wide open and for a bird of this size unless your aperture was f8 to f11 (perhaps even more) you would have have the necessary DOF. I would hope that your shutter speed was set to at least 1/1000 or higher. In the expanded image, even the fact of the owl is soft. My feeling is that you never did acquire true focus. Your image also seems to be a bit over exposed.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel that this composition really does not fit the subject. There is much unnecessary space to both the top and bottom of the image and the owl appears “stuff” into the frame. You should provide space for the owl to fly into in front of his path of flight.. You should also bring down the exposure of the entire image. You might help the image by increasing the sharpness but in the end you can’t truly sharpen what is not in focus.

I am not deducting for this but the jesses used to secure the owl on a perch are showing behind the bird. It is the black object shown rising above the bird’s tail. This is the hand of man and should not be in a nature image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I love the wing position which reveals the head and eye. You can see that the bird is intent on hunting.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is a great attempt at a flying bird which is a difficult subject. However, it seems like your shutter speed was too slow as the owl is blurred and the whole image seems overexposed. This image may have worked better as a horizontal because the head and the tail of the bird are crowded and there is much area in the foreground and top of the image that doesn't add to the story.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I really like this composition and your timing of catching that wing position and clear view of the head.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is just a picture of an owl in flight, but I don't see the story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The exposure is normal and the focus is a little blurry. Reasonable depth of field control.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It's a good frame. Main Body protrusion.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Ken W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature story of an captive eagle owl in flight

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The focus is a little soft, exposure is good

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would have preferred this as a horizontal, the position of the bird is a little too centered and too tightly cropped.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Sylvia W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I can detect the lead that is attached to the birds foot trailing out behind it. This

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I can never get birds in flight in focus, so well done for giving it a go. For me this doesn't work as the bird appears to be soft all over - the face is kind of in focus and as you haven't given any camera settings I can't tell if this is just from movement of too slow of a shutter speed.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Those background trees are quite distracting - maybe consider a horizontal crop to get rid of areas that are not needed in the bottom and top of the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good story

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Soft owl, eye is weak

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Centered

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
thank you for sharing, never see one like this,

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Although didn't mention the shooting parameters, the image feel soft, perhaps faster shuttle speed is necessary to improve on that.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
was it shoot in landscape or portrait frame? suggest a landscape is better to present the flight of birds, since vast display of tree and grass did not add values to the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


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I was born in the historical small town of Selma, Alabama, and have lived aboard and several places in the USA due to being a military brat and servicing in the military.  I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was a young girl.   I didn’t get serious about my photography until 2011 after taking a black and white film college course at Minot State University.   

I started out with a Canon Rebel doing family and senior photos.  After purchasing a Canon 60D and moving to Charleston in 2015, I gave up doing people photography and now just do nature photography.

Photography is my muse. I can go out into the world and get lost in all the beauty it provides. There’s wildlife, old abandoned buildings, plant life, sunsets, and sunrises.  The list is endless on what you can find when you just open up your eyes.

I’ve had some work published in Camera in the Wild magazine, South Carolina Picture Project website, and won some awards.  There’s still lots to learn and I enjoy looking back on my work and seeing how I’ve come along and what else I can learn.