Study Group 2

Bogdan Bricelj, GMPSA, EFIAP/p

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Title:    Fly on Thistle
Goal:   Capturing insects in interesting enviroment.   

Equipment/Source:  Panasonic FZ-50 with macro adapter, ISO100, 300mm, F5, 1/640 s handheld.  

Technique: Flies are commonly not very popular by people and also not at juries. But when you look at them from a short distance, they are quite interesting with red eyes and antenna on its head. This I have captured on a thistle, which is an interesting enviroment for insects.  

Processing:    crop, contrast improvement with levels and curves in Photoshop Elements. 

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

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



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Title:    Seagull with Fish

Goal:   Capturing water Birds.   
Equipment/Source:  Nikon P900, ISO100, 650mm, F5,6, 1/400 s handheld. 

Technique:   Seagulls are often considered to eat mostly waste. It's hard to see seagull with a fish, especially a big one. This we have noticed at a a walk along the coast. It was eating the fish for some minutes. Then it left it to another seagull.

Processing:    crop, contrast improvement with levels and curves in Photoshop Elements. 

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.

OK, so we all do it. I am as guilty as the next person, but there is no such thing as a Seagull. There are many Gulls, but no Seagulls. Just Gulls of different species that we find near the shores. Based on the red and black spot on the bill and the yellow legs this could be an Armenian Gull or a Yellow-legged Gull. It’s hard to be more certain without the size and a different angle.

The exposure looks good for the lighting you had. The flat lighting takes away much of the potential impact. Capturing it with a fish adds a lot to the strength of the nature story. Primary focus looks OK to me, but I feel sharpness could be improved. I suspect you have cropped in to this level. The current composition s on the static side with it in the central region. I would recommend altering the composition to move the Gull to the left some even though that will leave more open space to the right as it will still improve the visual tension in the image.

N-3, T-2, P-2 = 7 (N-3 The behavior with the fish adds to the strength of the nature story. T-2 Lacks the fine detail one would normally expect. P-2 Central composition is relatively static. Flat lighting has reduced impact.)

Review by Larry T.
As you noted gulls generally eat carrion and in this rare instance you have captured one with the entire fish. I doubt he caught this himself and more likely it washed up dead, but the story you tell is one of the gull with an entire fish so I feel you have completed the story telling aspect quite well.

In the enlarged version the entire bird and prey look to be extremely soft and lack detail. While you state the image is cropped, I do not feel the softness is due to the crop but rather to the shutter speed. A general rule says that the shutter speed should always be 1/focal length at a minimum. Thus, with a focal length of 650mm your shutter speed should be at least 1/700 (rounded up). In general, since birds tend to be twitchy I would suggest at least 1/1000 and since your ISO is quite low you could have easily raised the ISO to have achieved a better shutter speed. As a note—if your camera/lens has image stabilization you might check to be certain that it is turned on.

To help move the bird out of the dead center of the image I would suggest cropping EITHER some from the top or the bottom. My preference would be some from the top so that the rocks at the bottom do not become so reduced that they appear to be accidentally placed in the image. You also might try some sharpening to attempt to bring some detail back into the bird. I fear the whites in his head are badly blown out
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Janice R.
compelling image, blurred background and dark foreground kept attention on subject. Something other than a "bullseye" placement of the bird would improve the composition. There is good detail in the fish but not much detail on the white feathers. Nice focus on the eye of the bird. Great job in capturing this moment.
N3/ T2 P/2 E/1

Review by MJ Springett
I like the story of this image, but would have moved the subject off center to the right and the highlights on top of the head are blown out (overexposed)
N-2, T-1, P-2, E-0, Total-5

Review by Martin P.
Nature, Red in tooth and claw.
N = I am certainly feeling the raw nature of this image on first view. I do feel for the poor fish 😊
T = I feel like the Gull is not pin sharp. I feel that the gull is well exposed but, has slight hints of a burnout on top of the head as I feel I am losing feather detail.
P = Overall I feel that whilst this image is certainly arresting it could be improved. The gull feels a little central in the frame overall so a crop of the left hand edge to put the bird off centre might give a different look. I also feel that the image feels a little flat/dull overall and could potentially be improved with some levels and curves to improve the punch/contrast of the image.
N-3, T-1, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Sylvia W.
Firstly I would say that seagull is a generic term - I’m not an expert on water birds so unsure which specific species this is. You’re right that you don’t normally see them with a whole fish - possibly this was leftovers from a fisherman. I like that you have got the bird looking directly at you as if to say “You’re disturbing my dinner”. The whole image feels a little flat overall with the grey of the bird blending into the water. Birds are so tricky to photograph, but a joy when you get it correct.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Charlie Y.
Nice shot, eyes are sharp, quite a big fish, compare to the bird.
I'm not sure what can be done to make it an exceptional picture..
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by William S.
I agree that it is unusual to see a gull with a fish this large except where professional fishermen unload their catch. The bird’s head/eye is sharp and the overall balance is good. The fish looks a little soft. I found that rotating the horizon improved the visual impact.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, total-8

Review by Hattie S.
The photo captured the nature of the behavior. It could use a bit cropping on the left and top to place the subject at better position. The lighting is a bit flat due to the weather.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Ken W.
Nice nature story with seagull and fish, good exposure, sharp, the composition is too centered for me, I would have preferred the birds head to be a little to the left of center and closer to the top.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7



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.