Study Group 2


Bogdan Bricelj, GMPSA, EFIAP/p

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FEBRUARY 2021 ROUND
Title:     Far Storm

Goal:   Capturing special light on the sea.

Equipment/Source:   Nikon P950, built in lens at 80mm, ISO 100, F8, 1/640s Shutter priority, handheld.

Technique:   Coming on the beach I've seen a beautiful light of far storm lighted by the sun. A gull was flying over the light. 

Processing:   crop, contrast improvement with levels and curves in Photoshop Elements, noise reduction with Nik Dfine2, selective dodge and BW conversion. 

Score this image: YES


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

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

Review by commentator J.D.
Nature Story (N): What we have here is an excellent seascape photo which almost had a fine nature story but was hurt by the bird in the center of the photo appearing more as a spec than a bird. Possibly, cropping tighter might have made the bird appear more like a bird and that would have enhanced the nature significantly. Regardless, it is a fine and beautiful photograph and the nature story is definitely enhance by the light on the waves which was the goal of the author. Score: 2

Technical Quality (T): The camera settings were spot on in this photograph which enabled converting to black and white very successfully. Score: 3

Pictorial Quality (P): The cropping in this photograph was less than exceptional and by tightening in more it would would have reduced so much darkness on the outside edges of the sides of the photograph. On the flip side, converting to Black & White was a wise decision by the author that resulted in a very nice photograph. Score: 2
Exceptional (E): Although this photograph does not rise to the standard of exceptional, it was close. Score: 0

Scores: N 2 T 3/ P 2/ E 0/ Score = 7


This Review is written by: Diana R.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I find the nature story rather limited. Perhaps there is a distant storm, but what I see is light filtering through clouds.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Excellent. Wonderful black and white photo. Exposure is good, photo is sharp, good depth of field.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Beautiful composition.

NATURE SCORE 1-Nature story minimal or contains unrelated hand of man

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL S CORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Jodi S.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I see light in the midst of the storm. Landscape and sunset pictures can be challenging as storytelling images, but as one who just lived through the Texas power and water shortages the past week,this picture spoke to me as a word of hope in the midst of the storm.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The black and white treatment is fascinating for this image. There is no clear focal point or area that holds sharpness or clarity. That may be intentional

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The sea gull was distracting to me. I initially thought it was a smudge on my screen.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6


This Review is written by: Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I feel the window effect bringing me to the eye of the storm creates a valid nature story. The composition and the light add greatly to the “eye of the storm” effect and provide impact that can be clearly felt by the viewer.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A camera is merely a tool that allows the handler to create an image showing what their mind’s eye beholds. That said, I feel this image works. The shutter speed has left a slight chop on the water that enhances the fee of the storm. The DOF allows the water to look real and the storm to show through the clouds. This just works.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Some may feel the crop leaves took much sky but I like way it makes me feel that I stand in the pathway of the storm . The ominous clouds show the strength of the storm and the capture preserves both the light rays and the storm itself. I would suggest perhaps making the clouds just a tiny bit lighter and adding contrast to bring out the textures as well.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 8


This Review is written by: Wayne S.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The use of black & white in this image was a good choice, It created the drama and tension between the oncoming storm and the calm water.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would have liked to see less contrast in this image. On each side of the picture it is very dark and that, combined with the bright sunshine creates a harsh contrast with I found distracting.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Powerful image. To highlight the calm before the storm, rather than using contrast to give strength to the image I wonder if a long exposure would have been more effective. This would calm the water which would be a contrast to the storm in the background.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 6


This Review is written by: Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
average beautiful nature portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
maybe it is not possible, but farthest waters and clouds were not in focus, but all nearer waters were very well focused.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the mood and story was very impactful; loved the composition.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Edward X.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great story, but I cannot see a gull flying by.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not so clear, strongly suggest you buy a DX format Nikon at least, a Nikon D7500, I used D750 and now Z6, much more picture resolution.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not bad, good capture

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6


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JANUARY 2021 ROUND
Title:  Gulls quarrel

Goal:  Exploring gull's life.

Equipment/Source:    Nikon P950, built in lens at 350mm, ISO 100, F5, 1/640s Shutter priority, handheld.

Technique:    On the beach I was observing gulls. One was on the rock near the sea. The other rushed there. I've just pressed the shutter with motor drive and one of images is quite interesting. 

Processing:   crop, contrast improvement with levels and curves, in Photoshop Elements, noise reduction with Nik Dfine2 and sharpening with Nik Sharpener.

Score this image: YES

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.

The interaction you captured between these two Mediterranean Gulls does reflect a nature story though we are left to provide our own interpretation for the reason they are behaving in this manner. The ability to interpret the interaction is hindered by the exposure, which was likely biased by the light reflecting off the water. As a result, the primary subjects are largely under exposed. This is holding the nature story value at a 2.

As noted above, the light reflecting off the water appears to have biased the exposure on the under exposed side. While the shutter speed you used was enough to largely freeze the wings, there also seems to be some motion blur that is impacting the finer detail. The technical rating is a 1.

The composition is understandable but still somewhat centered and static. Given the upward direction of the implied motion. I would be inclined to crop a bit more off on the bottom. The under exposure is also causing the image flat overall. The pictorial rating is a 2.

N-2, T-1, P-2 = 5 (I made a modified version of the image in which I tried rebalancing the tonality within the image adding a bit of corrective sharpening for the motion blur aspect, and making that small crop on the bottom.)


This Review is written by: Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hi Bogdan. Your preparation and timing enabled you to capture this fight scene. As you probably know, such squabbles are very common among gulls. Perhaps more than most other bird species.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Often, photographers will use settings that intentionally blur the wing movement to denote action. I am not sure if this was your goal. Regardless, the gulls’ heads appear to be in focus. The darks are too dark for my taste.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE< br>I wonder if this shot needed a rather large crop and if that is the reason for so much water remaining in the scene. I feel a tighter crop would have reduced the distracting ripples, especially the bright ones which tend to draw the eye away from the darker subjects. Again, lightening the darks would reveal more texture in the rock and gulls. I believe a tighter crop would increase impact.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 5


This Review is written by: Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hello. There is a story here. Your gulls are clearly having a fight and you have captured this well. So fine for a story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
These bright situations are often frustrating. The background is still very bright and the gulls are in their own shadow. You need to do more in post processing to lighten the gulls (only). I think they are sharp

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The above situation and the overall greyness does not excite I am afraid. A well timed shot tho ugh, you just need to find a situation like this again when the light isn't against you.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: LC B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I think this is an interesting nature story: but I wish there was more to it such as a visible reason for the bickering.


TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The subjects are very blurry and based on your camera settings (and I did some reading on your make/model) you can combat this next time next time by upping your ISO slightly. The P950 doesn’t start losing clarity and color until you go past 400. This would allow you to still shoot Shutter Priority but with faster results. In general moving birds want 1/1500s or higher, so you’ll end up with a wider aperture as well. I think this image would benefit from a bit of post work to mask down the water glow in the upper third.


PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
To me this image suffers compositionally because of the watery distractions in both the foreground and background. Consider changing your aspect ration to landscape in such instances.


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

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 4


This Review is written by: Alex C.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
There is definitely a bit of a story here based on the way the gulls are approaching each other. Probably fighting for their spot on the top of the rock.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The focus doesn't seem to really pinpoint the birds as there is a great deal of grain in there. There's really not a crisp focal point.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the layout of this image. I'd maybe crop so they aren't quite centered, maybe a bit lower on the frame, but that's more of an op inion

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 0-No points

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6


This Review is written by: Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Territorial conflict between birds for domination of food zone or female mating rights is good nature story which is apparent from this image

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
this image is soft, low on sharpness also ISO clutter showing.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
a horizontal flip is better. you may try that.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Avera ge compo sition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6






Biography

Bogdan Bricelj was born in the year 1958 in town Jesenice, Slovenia. He graduated at Faculty of electrical engineering in Ljubljana. He was working for 9 years in steel factory as service engineer. Since the year 1990 He’s manager and co-owner of a computer company.

He was learning the art of photography and developing of black and white photos in the photo school in primary school. After that he passed over to slides. In 1973 his first slide was accepted on a state exhibition. More than thirty years he had an ordinary Praktica without any electronics on all his journeys. 

He bought his first digital camera in the year 2004. All these years he uses compact cameras with large zoom. In his opinion photographer is more important then the camera like driver is more important than the car. Although digital photography allows a lot of possibilities of photo modifying, his photos are as much as possible pure representation of the moments captured. He prefers to make photos of nature: animals, flowers and landscape. He also likes macro and underwater photography. His other preferred theme is sports, especially outdoor sports like skiing, ski jumping, kayak and swimming. Mostly he goes photographing together with his wife Danila. 

In the year 2005 he joined to the photographic club Fotografsko drustvo Jesenice. He’s sending his photos to many exhibitions worldwide. Until the end of the year 2018 he has got 226 awards. Until now he has made 29 exhibitions of his own. In the year 2018 he has got title EFIAP/p and in 2019 GMPSA as the first Slovenian photographer. 

He was the president of photographic club since 2009 to 2017. In these years the club was first or second most successful club in Slovenia.

His photographs were published in many Slovenian and foreign books, magazines and other publications. He has written also four articles for PSA Journal. He’s especially proud, that also National Geographic has published his photos.