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MAY 2019 ROUND
Title: A Perched Male Crowned Woodnymph Sticks Out Its White Tongue
Goal: During my first trip to Costa Rica, I had a chance to photograph many new species hummingbirds. Costa Rica is an interesting country and more mountainous than you would think of Central America. I went on a week-long workshop, run by a former president of NANPA that I have known for quite a while. One of the lodges we visited was Rancho Naturalista, in the Caribbean foothills/highlands in the southern part of the country. They had many feeders up along their second-story balcony attracting many species of hummingbirds. This Male Crowned Woodnymph hummingbird seems to favor this perch. I used my new Canon 100–400 mm II lens, with fill flash to capture this brilliant and colorful hummingbird. In fact, I kind of went crazy photographing all the different hummingbirds on this trip.
Equipment / Source: Canon 7D Mark II body, EF100--400mm f4.5-f5.6 IS Mark II lens, at ISO 1000, 1/80 of sec, at f/8 aperture, Evaluative metering,
Technique: Gitzo Tripod with a Wimberley gimbal type head, waiting and watching the hummingbird land and waiting for some behavior like sticking its tongue out, or even preening, to separate the capture for just a portrait. Using the flash to freeze motion or action.
Processing: I cropped the image from the top and right slightly. I used Nik Dfine 2 on the green background to remove noise, and Viveza on the hummingbird's body to brighten that area up a bit. Targeted sharpening only the hummingbird with Nik Raw Sharpener
Comments/Scores (N,T,P,E,Total)Critique Image (only members of Study Group Two may critique this image)
APRIL 2019 ROUND
Title: Leopard climbs down tree
Goal: My goal was to capture was to capture a leopard climbing down a tree. During my January 2015 trip, I captured a leopard going down a tree, but because my 600 mm lens was previously damaged and the connection to the camera didn’t lock. These images weren’t recorded. It’s a long story how my lens connection got damaged, so I won’t go into detail here. Therefore, I was really excited that the first full day in Tarangire National Park (February 2019), I got the image that I missed in 2015.
Equipment / Source: Canon D7II Body, 600 mm IS f4.0 lens, at 600 mm, shutter speed of 1/640 at f8, ISO 1600, Evaluative Metering, no Flash.
Technique: 600 mm lens f4.0 lens rested on a bean bag on the top of a safari vehicle.
Processing: Selective Noise Reduction with Nik Define, as well as, selective sharpening also with Nik Raw Sharpening I cropped a bit off the top, so the leopard had more room on the downward side. Some saturation reduction of the bright yellow in the background, and a little brightness and contrast added to the Leopard’s face and body.
Comments/Scores (N,T,P,E, Total)Critique Image (only members of Study Group Two may critique this image)
Review by commentator Tom S.
The leopard is nice and sharp and the bright background is not too bright. The leopard could be a little brighter, but the big problem is he is partially hidden behind the tree trunk. It looks like he is stuck between the trunk and the limb. All wildlife images are better if the viewer can see their eyes.
N-3, T-3, P-2 = 8
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I am a wildlife, nature, and scenic photographer. I now live in San Mateo, after spending most of my adult life in Millbrae. I previously worked full-time for Applied Biosystems and Life Technologies as a senior business analyst. I left this position a few years ago to concentrate on my true passion of nature photography. My Dad was a deer hunter and bought some property in Monterey County, so he could have a place of his own to go deer hunting. We have owned this property since 1946. I grew up spending my summers down there, following in my father's footsteps, hunting quail, dove, and black tailed deer--using a b-b gun, graduating up to a powerful hunting rifle. When I was eighteen I had to kill a black-tailed buck up close shooting him in the neck, since my first shot from afar had only wounded him. I saw death up close and personal, deciding from that moment on I didn't not want to be part of death, but to cherish life instead.
My friends and I do a lot of bird photography at my ranch in rural Monterey County, using photo blinds extensively; and recently we have built a few permanent ponds to attract wildlife.
I was a Minolta user, but switched to Canon in 2001. I used to shoot extensively with slide film; now I strictly use digital camera bodies, specifically the Canon 7D and 40D bodies, previously the Canon D1 Mark II and as backup the Canon 20D. I primarily use RAW capture, and process the images in Photoshop. I recently upgraded to CS5, and also have many external hard drives to store my raw files.