Study Group 2


Edward Xu (C)

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FEBRUARY 2021 ROUND
Title:     Hawk

Goal:   To show a flying hawk
 

Equipment/Source:    Nikon Z6 FTZ converter, Nikkor200-500mm 
  
Technique:  1/1000second to freeze the flying of the hawk

Processing:   2018 Winter, I shoot it in Jones Beach, although we were looking for another bird which is very difficult to find:snowy owl---I only able to shoot one next year 2019.  

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 Tom S.
You have a good image of a flying hawk, and because flying is a common practice for a bird, a weak nature story.  It is essentially a portrait.  N2

Technically the image is very good.  Well exposed, very good contrast, and the bird is very sharp.  The light on the tail and back of the wings is very nice.  Well done.  T3

Pictorially, it would be better if the hawk were flying toward the camera rather than away, however, I can still see the eye, which is critical for a living critter.   It is positioned well in the frame so there is room in front for it to fly into.  The bird really stands out from the light background, which has texture so as not to be bland.  P3

A nice but not exceptional image.  E0

N2, T3, P3, E0 = 8


This Review is written by: Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
this images shows a hawking flying slightly away from us. The background is nondescript (could be water, snow, or highly reflective sand) and does not add to the nature story.

Overall I would say this is image has a average nature story.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The exposure on the bird is very good and the image is sharp. The background is a bit hot for my taste but that may be want it really looked like. great job of getting a bird in flight.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
As I mentioned before the bird is flying slightly away from us. This give a mixed feeling, as it appears that the hawk has just lifted off, the feet are not tucked all the way in and this could be wing position just post lift off.

Ideally I would like to have seen the bird flying either across the image or towards us, not away.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Haru N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I admire you captured this! Well done. This would be a difficult shot.
The hawk is flying and you captured the head, wing, and paw nicely.
But when it comes to "nature story", it does not tell a strong "nature story". And I could not find any description to support it.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good sharpness on the main subject, good degree of blurriness of the background.
You might want to be a bit careful of edge of the image. You have something in left bottom for cropping out.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition is good, having a good space in left side. I fell that you cropped too tight in bottom - I guess you have some other things in the photo so you cropped tight.
This is pictorial beautiful image.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good capture of a flying hawk in a winter setting.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good colours on bird, image appears a little soft lacking detail.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel the image could be improved by dodging black spots along bottom of image.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL S CORE 6


This Review is written by: Natalie M

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A bird in flight is always a great capture, but unless there is something else going on, like carrying prey or nesting material, the story is not strong.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is a little soft. I'm not quite sure if it's due to cropping, or perhaps you needed a faster shutter speed.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is good because the bird is flying into the frame. I would suggest that you always check the edges of your images, because that small b lack area on the bottom left could be cropped out as it does not add to the story.

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: Dave F.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is a nice nature shot of a flying hawk - not a strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image does not appear tack sharp maybe due to camera shake, exposure is well done

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is a nice image a typical image of a flying hawk

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 5


This Review is written by: Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Typical raptor in-flight image with wings down, basically telling the story of flight and illuminating the flight feathers and their structure. Thus, the nature story is only modest and not exceptional as if including a captured mouse or vole in its talons.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel that the image lacks sharpness, and isn’t at an acceptable level. The image is soft. Your camera body and lens combination is new enough to produce sharp images. The lack of sharpness is about technique an d acquiring focus. When possible I am using 1/8000 of sec for birds in flight, so 1/1000 of sec is inadequate to freeze motion even with this large bird. You don’t list aperture or ISO settings in your written description, I would have used the highest ISO I could without generating noise issues.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Having a bird looking away from the viewer is never desirable. In this situation, I would try to position myself so that I would at least have the bird’s head perpendicular to the frame. Watch your borders, the little piece of rock on the bottom left is an edge of frame distraction for the mind.

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: Susan N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice capture of hawk in flight. Is a good nature story. He looks very graceful.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nicely composed with room in front of flight. Colors appear over-saturated, perhaps in processing. Yellows on legs/feet and the blue shadow on the beak are specific points, but feathers also somewhat.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Would be beautiful if colors toned down to represent a more natural portrait.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story stro ng

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE: 7



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DECEMBER 2020 ROUND

Title:     Snowy Owl
 
Goal:     Last Christmas Day, my friend called me suddenly and told me his friend spot one snowy owl at the beach of Long Island. So we drove there and search for a moment, at last we spot this owl. I shoot this when she was jumping up.

Equipment/Source:     Nikon Z6 FTZ Convertor Nikkor 200-500mm F5.6 on tripod
   
Technique:   F5.6 1/800s ISO100

Processing:    A little bit Lightroom CC

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 snowy itself is captured well. The concrete structure, while minimized, will raise questions associated with an element that is human in origin and whether the subject’s behavior relative to that object falls under the adaptive behavior allowance. In this case where it sems obvious that the Snowy plans on landing on it I would say yes, but recognize that the image would be stronger with a nature perch. This is basic behavior and lacks the interaction associated with the higher nature story values. As such it is more of a portrait and scores a 2 for nature story.

The core technical elements are all solid. The technical rating is 3.

The framing and composition are understandable. Having the far wing in line with the head and the head largely turned away from us as viewers (because it was focusing on its landing spot) are regrettable aspects that weaken the interest value from a nature story perspective. The nature pictorial rating is 1. Because the pictorial strength of the image in this specialty is tied so closely to the nature story relatively small flaws, such as a head turned away from the viewer, can have a significant influence on the overall interest value of the image and the associated pictorial rating.

N-2, T-3, P-1 = 6


This Review is written by: Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hi Edward. What a wonderful Christmas present you friend gave you by telling you about this wonderful owl’s presence in your area! Could this be a once in a lifetime shot for you? It is a very nice portrait of a beautiful bird.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
At first look, this image appears to be slightly over exposed. However, a closer look shows that all the tones are well represented. This is evident in the great detail in the feathers. The fact that the wing tips are blurred just enou gh to sh ow motion while the body of the bird is tack sharp speaks highly of your ability. This knowledge of yours rates a point for excellence! Well done!

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The story is plainly and simply told (the best way to do so) by the photograph itself. A landing is about to occur. The beauty and rarity (for most people!) of the owl creates impact. The feathers and rocks provide good texture. The one issue is the device that is apparently mounted on the rocks. The bright colors distract the viewer’s eye away from the subject, the owl. In order to tell the story, it is unavoidable to include it. Perhaps it’s impact could be reduced somewhat in LR or PS. Nevertheless, this is a truly wonderful photograph.


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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 1-Exceptional

TOTAL SCORE 9


This Review is written by: Alex C.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Since there's not much more in this image aside from the owl and what appears to be a part of a pier, it's hard to establish a story, though you can tell that the owl is going to land.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I love that the focus on the owls face is strong and solid yet you can see the birds wings moving. I wish the angle showed the face a bit more, but technically speaking very well done.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It's hard to figure out what the owl is going to land on since you can only see a small piece of the concrete on the side. Perhaps zoomed out a bit and/or not cropped in so tight it would be more visible. I also wish the owls face could be seen more. Otherwise I like seeing the entire wingspan of the owl and the movement in the wings.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6


This Review is written by: Adrian B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Welcome Edward if the is your first round.

A owl flying is lovely to see and photograph and you have captured this one quite well I feel. It is sharp where needed. I think though that you will be marked down (re Nature story) for the fact that your bird is flying to a man made post or something - clear hand of man.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think your camera settings and timing were fine/ I would see if in Lightroom you can darken the blue and generally try to make the sky more interesting with more detail - as you present a white bird against a white sky!

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
To be a good interesting image one would prefer to be able to see more of its face - this is too side on. Thank you for sharing.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 5


This Review is written by: LC B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Overall a good capture of an owl about to land. Not being able to see its face is a minor issue. For me the big distraction is the blue bits on the post. A selective mask to dampen that down a bit might help.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think this image is overexposed and as such not only is it very bright but detail is lost and the wing movement is excessively blurry. At that f-stop, upping the shutter speed significantly might solve such problems in the future. (I tend to shoot birds with shutter/time priority at anywhere from 1/2000 to 1/3200.)

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I’m partial to using negative space for a moving bird/animal to enter (or leave depending on the story) and thus the viewer’s eye will follow adding to the perceived story. You don’t mention that you cropped this image, but I think even shaving off some of the space on the right and along the bottom edge would make the composition stronger.

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: Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I know, it's not easy to find snow owl and beside that jumping. I can't imagine, what's in the low left edge. But red and blue bands I'm sure, that they are made by people. That's why N1.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is not sharp enough. I could accept blurred wings, but not the whole body. I can't explain, why the image is so white. If there was enough light, you could capture with 1/1200, getting more color, contrast and sharpness.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
So white imag e would need a thin black or brown frame. Now right and bottom edge are nearly undefined. It seems, that the owl is quite central.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE
1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE
2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT
0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 4


This Review is written by: Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
rather a portrait of the snowy owl. is a portrait of weak nature value.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
histogram shows highlight values missing. need to be shot with higher shutter speeds as wings edge remains blurred.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
need more information o the white sky otherwise a below average pictorial value

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

TECHNICAL SCORE
1-Inadequate exposure
PICTORIAL SCORE
1-Inadequate composition and impact

EXTRA POINT
0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE
3

  • 1985-1986 Manager of Amature photographic group in Guangzhou Institute of Foreign Languages, Guangzhou, China
  • 2015-now group leader of North American Photographic  Association (NAPA) Wechat group 6th group(500 People)
  • 2017-now founder of Wide Angle Photographic Group (Wechat group)
  • 2017-2018 Member of Taiwan Photographic Association in Greater New York
  • 2017 Won trophy for photographic competition of Dragon Boat Festival hosted by Sing Tao Newspaper(New York)
  • 2018 Won trophy for photographic competition of Dragon  Boat Festival hosted by Sing Tao Newspaper(New York)
  • 2018 Won trophy for photographic competition with a theme "What Lunar New Year Meant to You" hosted by Queens NY
  • 2017-now Member of Flushing Camera Club
  • 2019 Third Place of the picture of the year from Flushing  Camera Club(Group B)
  • 2020 Second Place of the picture of the year from Flushing  Camera Club(Group A)
  • 2017-now Member of PSA.
  • 2019 My picture "Bald Eagle" is "Accepted" in the  competition hosted by Rising Star Photographic Association  in New Jersey