Study Group 2

Bogdan Bricelj, GMPSA, EFIAP/p

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Title:   Unusual Feeding 2  
Goal:   Capturing nuthatch feeding the chicks.  

Equipment/Source:   Nikon P900, ISO100, 450mm, F5, 1/320 s handheld.

Technique:  My wife and I have found a nuthatch's nest in a hollow. Nuthatch is one of the rare birds, that can climb the trees downward.

Both parents were bringing the food: caterpillars, insects and grains to the chicks. Sometimes they also feed the chicks with head down.

Waiting on a distance we were capturing them. Unfortunately it was cloudy and the tree makes the shade.

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:    Black-winged Stilt Flying

Goal:   Capturing flying birds. 
Equipment/Source:  Panasonic FZ-50, ISO100, 420mm, F7,1, 1/1000 s handheld.

Technique:   One summer photo. Birds Black-winged Stilt live in Slovenian Natural park Secovlje. Birds are very nice to see from a distance. But when you come near, they are attacking flying toward people and chatter. They fly fast and it’s not easy to capture them. This is one of rare successful photos. I like it, because the bird has opened beak due to chattering.

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

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

Since ISO is only 100, I suspect it is overly enlarged because it has a lot of color noise and looks grainy.  The black feathers are blocked up.  The light is nothing special, but it is in focus, except for the wing tips.  It would be better if you were not looking up at the bird and could capture it at your level, although I know that is hard to do. With nothing but open sky in the background, there is no context for the bird.  Also, flip it to have it flying the other way. The open bill is a plus. 

N-2, T-1, P-2 = 5

Review by Robert D.
Nice capture of this stilt with an open beak. Unfortunately the featureless pale blue background of the sky dominates the image. There is not much detail in the bird. It is located plumb in the center. So I would try to position the bird using the rule of thirds and crop much closer. One needs to draw attention to your main subject and therefore it needs to occupy most of the space. I am not sure that there is enough detail in the bird’s body for this but if there is then you can try to bring out detail in the dark areas.
N-2, T-1, P-2, E-0, total-5

Review by Larry T.
The Nature category with its requirement for a story line requires more than a photo simply showing an animal going about its normal activity. Birds fly, and this image merely shows a bird in flight which I do not feel develops an adequate story line. If the bird were “doing” something (carrying food, carrying nest building material) while in flight it might reach the level of developing a story line.

Your camera setting indicate that this was a fairly bright day to allow you a fast shutter speed, a very low ISO and a md range aperture. The light appears to be coming from the left as the back of the bird seems a bit overexposed. The front portion of the bird appears to have been captured in deep shadow, as shown by the extremely black underside of the wings. While you successfully captured the motion of the bird in flight the dark shadows degrade the image (please see the section below)

The crop of the image I feel puts the subject in proper position within the frame. Additionally the open bill adds interest to the subject. The major issue with the image is the display of artifacts on the white portion of the body of the bird. In the expanded mode there are visible blues and purples should not be present. These demonstrate photographic noise. Noise is frequently found in shadow areas (note the underside of the wing). As I noted above the harsh light is coming from the left side of the image this put the front [portions of the bird in deep shadow. When you opened these shadows you exposed the noise and the resulting artifacts. Also when you made the deep crop of this image you softened the entire bird as noted by the complete lack of detail throughout the body of the bird and the pixelated appearance of the wings as shown in the expanded view.
N-2, T-2, P-1, E-0, Total-5

Review by William S.
I like birds in flight but think that the probable expectations of this nature group is that the bird should be transporting food or nest building material to qualify as a natural action. Although capturing a stilt in flight is difficult I would love to see a photograph of this bird in attack mode.

The image seems reasonably sharp with good overall exposure. A little less clarity or micro contrast would make the colors appear cleaner.

Reversing the horizon to have the bird fly in the opposite direction would help the visual appearance.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Charlie Y.
a nice capture of a bird in flight, that's it, plain back ground, not much to show for, I'd suggest crop it tighter to show case the bird. On that note, the most visible feature of the bird features, like eyes, beak, are in shade. I would prefer work on some other better candidate photos, just my two cents.
N-2, T-2, P-1, E-0, Total-5

Review by Sylvia W.
Using a faster shutter speed you have captured a nice image of a bird in flight - but that’s it. Where’s the story? You say that you’ve cropped this image and it shows when viewing it larger as there is a lack of detail in the bird itself. Nothing appears sharp in the image and you have artefacts present in the body of the stilt.
N-2, T-2, P-1, E-0, Total-5

Review by MJ Springett
The story is there, but I think you could crop closer. Nice flight shot of this bird and doing something while flying.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Ken W.
Nice photo of black neck stilt in flight. Overall sharpness and exposure good. You may want to see if you can lighten the black feathers. There is no detail in the black feathers. 
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6



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.