Study Group 2


Robert Davis, QPSA (A)

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DECEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:    A snack for you

Goal:   Exploring the Texas shore for birds and came across these courting terns with the male offering a snack he had just caught

Equipment/Source:    Canon 5d 1/500 f8 ISO 125 Wimberly head. Canon 500 + 1.4 extender

Technique:    Placed tripod in beach sand. Remote shutter trip (wired)

Processing: 
  !0% crop. Photoshop 2019. Sharpening and increased contrast


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

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











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NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:    Gathering pollen
 
   
Goal:   While looking for flower subjects, I encountered to find this bee for a second
  

Equipment/Source:    SONYA7R3, 90mm,1/250 sec f5.6 ISO 2500 Aperture priority.

Technique:  Handheld. Just started with new camera and shooting with the macro lens. It was very overcast and I was not familiar with the performance of my equipment, so I started with aperture priority 5.6 mainly because the circumstances did not allow use of a tripod and I di not want to use a slow speed. I set the lens at 1-1 and moved in and out exposing as soon as the bee snapped into focus. This is difficult stuff but the image underscores shooting at high ISO with Sony mirrorless cameras.

Processing:   Slight crop about 15% off original. Mild sharpening and increased contrast in PS

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.
A nice shot of a Hoverfly gathering pollen. While a side angle may have made the connection of the fly and flower more explicit, I feel there is enough implicit information in the image to warrant a rating of 3 for nature story. Interestingly, the Hoverfly shows clearly as the dominant subject and as such reduces any question of whether the flower is a cultivar to one of whether this is showing “adaptive behavior” (natural subjects altering their behavior to adapt to man made changes in their environment).

The primary focus looks good. Depth of field is reasonable for a close-up / macro shot and the head and thorax areas retain good sharpness. The camera handled the iso 2500 well, though there is a little residual noise that could be cleaned up. The exposure is reasonable for the lighting present, though I did note that the Blue channel shows a fair amount of clipping. I suspect it was not enough for any exposure warnings (blinkies) to show on the camera. The technical elements are rated as a 3.

The composition is structured effectively for the subject and habitat as depicted. I feel that the reds are overly saturated to the extent that they actually detract from the image by competing with the subject for attention. Remember that we tend to go to warm colors, particularly reds, very quickly in an image, so if they are not part of the primary subject itself, it is often better to keep them at saturation levels that will not allow them to be a distraction from the subject. There is also a flaw or water drop on the petal below the subject right at the lower edge of the frame. This does catch the eye and as such is a weakness. The pictorial rating is 2.

N-3, T-3, P-2 = 8


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
While the action of pollen gathering is understood it is not seen from this angle. This reduces the image to more of a portrait style rather than an action of gathering pollen image.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is demonstrates a high degree of technical expertise. The 90mm macro lens allowed for enough distance between subject and camera to leave the subject undisturbed. The shutter speed and aperture were satisfactory to capture the image. You have achieved good detail with such a high ISO. Color saturation is excellent

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is strong and the positioning of the subject on the slight diagonal adds a bit of action and reduces the static fell this type of image could have.

I will award an extra point for the technique of moving in and out while attempting to obtain focus Using this technique on a subject that is likely to depart takes a bit of skill to master.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 9


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is a strong image of a bea on a flower. I would like to know what flower the bee is on - is it wild or hybrid? This the bee a yellow jacket? Just curious.

Shows how the bees gathers pollen - though a view from the side might have ben more educational

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image of the bee is very sharp, the image is well exposed. The soft flower does not bother me as it is nearly impossible to have that much DOF.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Top of the bee is interesting but a view from the side would be more interesting - showing how the bees interacts with the flower.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Andy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
There is a story, insect gathering pollen, but I feel it could be stronger.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
New camera, still experimenting so I'll not be too hard. I think you've done well to capture this insect and the important parts are acceptably sharp. These images have to be spot on or they just don't work. Look at the hairs on the abdomen, they are soft. Lower wing is soft. Your DOF, in this case, is a matter of mm. Right technique given that you couldn't use a tripod. There's more noise than I would have expected with the Sony.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image has impact and composition is OK.
When I first saw this image I thought I would have score it higher but cant see where I could add a point.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
wonderful nature photo; too bad bee was caught from the rear

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the technical qualities of this image was superb in color, sharpness, bokeh etc

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
composition was wonderful; eyes were well-placed; background emphasized the bee, etc

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good nature study of bee on flower.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
As I don't shoot macro images it's hard for me to comment on this image but it appears a little grainy.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image has impact.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Natalie M

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is a nice environmental portrait. If the bee was in flight, thus allowing me to see collected pollen, there would be 3 points.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Generally the image is a little soft, and I'm not sure if this is due to ISO noise or cropping. Colour seems accurate. I would suggest that an ISO of 2500 is too hight for a macro image, where fine detail is critical. Look to adding in a diffused flash to improve depth of field at a lower ISO.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice composition focusing on the main subject. Perhaps the water droplet at the bottom of the shot could be cropped out because it appears to me to be more of a distraction.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Todd G

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
What a great capture of a nature image. Love your title as well, as it truly captures the essence of the bee and it impact on the natural world.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nicely captured with a new camera. The settings seem to be spot on and you have captured many facets of the criteria. Although the petals appear a bit grainy and not sharp, the bee is sharp and the reflections in the thorax with blue sky is a great feature. You have also captured wonderful light pastel type tones with the petals and stamen of the flower with very nice contrasting colors and light. The translucency of the wings allows the reflection of the petals from underneath and again, the reflection of the sky above seen from the wings. The small water droplet in the lower right corner is an added feature. The colors of the bees antenna’s and legs plus the black eyes and gold body are crisp with color.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Compositionally, this is a great image. Placing the bee in the center is what the focus is and it definitely shows. From an impactful stance, this is typical bee behavior . Cropping this down gave this photo justice in my mind. Very nicely done Robert

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
The photo itself is very nicely composed and delineates a clear image of nature in the wild. It has a very nice compositional value.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 9


Review by Malena K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good story of the bee surviving

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure and focus are great. Great job hand holding

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition good

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7

Bob Davis was born in Johannesburg South Africa and educated there and in London, Edinburgh and New York. He has retired from being a surgeon in Houston Texas for many years. After the busy years of hard work, he joined the Houston Photographic Society and is now its President. He is fascinated by all forms of photography especially nature. He mainly utilizes Canon equipment and is trying hard to keep up with recent software advances.