Study Group 2


Prasad Dalvi , PPSA (A)

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NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:    Parakeets

Goal:  On my 1st visit to Bharatpur was keen on shooting migratory birds. But to my surprise observed these Parakeets in a hollow of a tree peeping in and out. Probably there were two hollow openings and the rose ring necked Parakeet suddenly peeped out while I was concentrating on shooting the feral Parakeet in focus. The lovely morning light enticed me to capture this image. 

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D850, f/6.3, 1/640sec, ISO 100, 200-600mm Lens 
 
Technique:  Used Spot metering as was concentrating on the Parakeet coming out of the hallow surrounded by textured tree with lot of wilderness in the background. 

Processing:    
Minor corrections in shadows and the colors in Photoshop.
 

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.
This image presents some interesting issues. You note that the primary subject is a feral parakeet. If that means a parakeet that does exists somewhere in the wild but was captured and escaped or was introduced to this area and now lives as a wild species in this area, the question is open relative to the Nature rules disallowance of a feral subject. However, if it means that the subject is a species that had been hybridized by man from a wild stock and which had subsequently escaped and was now living wild, it would not be a valid nature subject under the current rules. Interestingly, the ring-necked parakeet in the background is native to India and is a valid subject. The lighting makes the “feral” parakeet the dominant element and so the image hangs on the question of domestication / hybridization for that bird. While there may be a story in the relationship between the birds, it is not clear enough from this image to rate strongly enough as behavioral to warrant the 3. Without knowing if the primary subject is a hybrid feral, I will go with the benefit of the doubt and rate the nature story as an environmental portrait and score it a 2. If it is a hybrid, the score would be 0. Interestingly, if the lighting were reversed and the ring-necked was the dominant subject, the image would remain valid even if the secondary bird was a hybrid as the dominant element would be a valid subject.

The core technical elements for the image all look good. The exposure on the primary subject is fine as are the primary focus and depth of field. The background is relatively unobtrusive for the most part, though there is some odd patterning stretching diagonally between the two subjects. I’m assuming that it is just an oddity in the way the out of focus branches are rendering and not an indication of any healing or cloning which would be contrary to the nature rules. It is odd enough that it might raise a question in a nature competition. The technical quality is rated as a 3.

The composition as shown is effective with the tree acting as a physical blocking diagonal and the visual line between the two birds as a subliminal one. Emphasis is clearly on the lit subject; however, the secondary subject is placed so that it not only helps the upper left portion of the frame to work, but also adds an additional point of interest for the viewer to explore. The pictorial rating is 3.

N-2, T-3, P-3 = 8 (On the assumptions that the lit subject is not a hybrid and the odd blurring diagonal area between the birds is not the result of healing or cloning.)


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
While I am not well versed on the behavior of parakeets the “action” shown here, at least to me, is not very dramatic nor do I see compelling behavior. This may be due to several things including the lack of compelling action and the overall composition. While the birds may be popping in and out of the holes in the tree that “action” is not shown in a single image. Maybe a scene in which there were many birds all extending from the holes would create more interest.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
If your intended target was the lower bird then you successfully captured that bird. However the submitted image presents two birds. The fact that the upper bird is in shadow compromises the impact of the image. If you want the lower bird then a major cropping is necessary or you have to get closer to the subject which mean moving your feet or using a longer lens. Unfortunately the f6.3 aperture does not do you any favors in the manner it handles the background. I’m left with the feeling that a tight crop on the lower bird would make for a better image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
As I noted throughout this review the composition impacts much of this image. As submitted the bird in the shadows creates an awkward feel to the image. I would at least crop the image in half and position the lower bird on the right fixation point.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This image shows two different species of parakeets (thanks for the ID) on the same tree. I could have accepted a story that this was a breeding pair. I would like to believe that there is a good story for these birds but not sure what it is. I am not birder but enjoy photographing birds.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
well exposed and the good compromise on the aperture. The front parakeet is well exposed and the soft light on the rear parakeet is interesting. a bit of fill flash (off camera) might have helped light the rear parakeet but would be hard unless the birds did the behavior repeatedly. Alternatively you could use a mask in PS to brighten the rear parakeet.

There is a slight structure to the background which i find annoying. Perhaps if you darkened the background and desaturated it a bit.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The position of the two parakeet is works well with diagonal of the tree trunk. The lightening works against the image, bright bird in front, dim bird behind, and brigher background in different areas.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Andy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
There is a story but it could be stronger.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Settings seem fine for what you wanted to achieve. Good DOF giving a good blurred background. Not sure I would have gone for spot metering but you've handled it well. I would like to see more detail in the textures of the tree and possibly lighten the other bird to make it more prominent. Have you darkened the background? The subject is acceptably sharp.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Could have been stronger with interaction between the two birds. Has impact but could be stronger. I would have cropped a little off the base.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
all nature in this photo; strong story

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent photo, considering the shade, but could have used a bit more lighting and contrast would have made this, in my opinion a stronger photo; very sharp around subject bird's eyes, but lost sharpness from head and back

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the photo was very well placed and had a strong impact

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Interesting capture of parakeets appearing from tree hollows.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Unusual image with one parakeet in shade and other well lit. Feathers lack a little detail.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Lower parakeet certainly has impact. I think the top parakeet and tree area surrounding it could be lightened to enhance image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Natalie M

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice environmental portrait of the 2 birds.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
f6.3 has perhaps left the bird at the back little soft, but given you weren't expecting the second bird its still a pretty good shot.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the diagonal branch across the image, it just lacks maximum impact because one bird is in the shade, and the background is a little busy.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Todd G

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very nice capture of the subjects and a great perspective with natural light. The clearly meets the criteria of a nature image

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is very nicely exposed and you have processed well with strong colors and tones. The multiple contrasts from light to dark and the variations of the greens in the birds to the bohka in the background appear well balanced. The upper right side of the branch appears to have a bit of a purple’ish hue to it and not sure if increasing the shadow a bit or black sliders would offset this. The crop factor is balanced and these parakeets look well placed in the center and slight off set to the left as with the top bird.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Compositionally, this is a very nice image and the impact of the birds in the wild seems to attest to their survival. Wondering if a tighter crop would be beneficial by raising the crop from the bottom just to where the branch leaves the image, allowing to really showcase the parakeets.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Malena K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Story is good as can see lower parakeet coming out of the hole in trunk.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
focus good
exposure-maybe tone down the light in the bottom or the darkness in the top to even it out.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
would like to see more of the trunk to see the holes more.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


 















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OCTOBER 2019 ROUND
Title:   Longhorn Beetle Mating
 
   
Goal:    Capture Beetles Mating

Equipment/Source:  Nikon D5300, 35mm Prime 1.8 lens, No flash

Technique:   f 5.6, 1/80 sec, ISO 250

Processing:   Color correction

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

 Very nice capture of mating beetles and very strong nature story.  The beetles are sharp and separated from the soft background.  The exposure is good, and their position in the frame is good.  The angled branch they are on makes it more interesting than a horizontal branch would be.  Good work.

 N-3, T-3, P-3, E-1   Total = 10


Review by Martin P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A well captured image of the critical moment between 2 fascinating creatures.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Whilst the creatures are well exposed and mostly sharp I can't help but feel that a narrower aperture would have given you a greater depth of field thus giving you more in focus.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I am enjoying the angle of the branch and the position in the frame of the creatures works very well to create a nice overall image. I am struggling with the powerful and distracting green blobs in the background. I am wondering if these were created in the colour correction process

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The act of mating is clearly an animal behavior that is beyond normal activity and thus qualifies as a solid subject for this category. The “action” feeling is increased by the position of the upper beetle and gives a more dramatic feel than if both creatures had been in a horizontal position. The positioning of the antennae adds to this feeling. While you are not responsible for these positions you were the one who captured them and that works for this image.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Clearly your camera settings worked fine for this image. I would have been tempted to increase any or all of the settings. The 5.6 seems shallow for DOF but it worked the same can be said for the 1/80 second but apparently the action was not fast and furious so it worked. The same can be said for the ISO. Clearly you know your gear and beetles and what you used worked. Colors are nicely saturated and your background is adequately out of focus. The 35 mm lens did very well in handling the background.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like your choice of crop but may have moved the subjects slightly to the left. Having them positioned against the green helps the subjects to pop out of the image and add drama. I do not know if you angled the camera or rotated the image in post but the diagonal line of the branch adds a great deal of drama to the image as diagonal lines are more dramatic than horizontal.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Sylvia W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The added bonus - those two little eggs that you can see between the two bodies. This really adds to the story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It appears a little out of focus - this could be because your shutter speed is quite low - only 1/80s. A possible increase in ISO would have delivered a faster shutter speed and possibly eliminated this problem.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good use of depth of field and situating yourself to allow for no distractions in the background or foreground. This allows our eyes to focus on the subject of the photo and not wander.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
an outright winner this one. shot in ambient light conditions is always tough but you produced a winner this time. an excellent nature story. however I felt the lack of a story line in your submission is reducing the warmth of the image. We can't be everywhere but the story provided in your submission helps us to gauge the situation better.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Excellent technical approach this time showing your grasp of the subject. Perfect positioning parallel to the plane of the subject and good crisp focus thus obtained. Finishing is also at par. Only thing I am confused with is the two spots on the egg being laid the rear of the mating beetles. Contour lights nicely controlled which gives good effects too. Another thing for you to notice is the top-right corner of the branch which is out of focus whereas the below-left branch is well into focus. Overall excellent approach.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
pictorially very impressive. Left to Right approach, beautiful subdued green spots in the background, nice balance as well as colour tones achieved. Good Effort

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
I was keen to give you the elusive 1 yet the two anomalies sighted are the cause I couldn't award that.


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The picture is vivid and the image is strong.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

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

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 3-Excellent 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) 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

I am a committee member of on of the Oldest Photographic Society known as "The Photographic Society of India" and am actively involved in promoting Photography through Training, Photowalks, and Conducting Photography Tours. My major interest is Nature Photography and specifically Macro and Birding. Academically I have an Engineering background and have working experience in the Information Technology field for 2 decades. However, I have committed myself to Photography which is my passion and am pursuing it. 
   
Given an opportunity, I would be glad to be the part of the Study Group and would like to submit my images for critique. I also will provide healthy and productive, positive critiques if needed and be willing to put in the time and follow the deadlines.