Study Group 2


Dennis Argo - A

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SEPTEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:   Acadia NP stream 
     
Goal:    To capture the wonders of Acadia NP. A place we really enjoy visiting. 

Equipment/Source:   Canon 6D, ISO 50, lens 24-105 at 24mm, 1/4second

Technique:    This is a trail I have hiked several times. However, his time it had been raining so I decided to skip walking on wet rocks and just take its picture. I set up my light-weight backpacking tripod, locked up the mirror and used a 10second delay.

Processing:    Lightroom CC, HDR merging of 3 photos 1.5 stops apart, added a little clarity, a little vibrance and desaturated a few clicks.


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

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

 


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AUGUST 2019 ROUND

Title:      Humpback fluke
   
Goal:    To take pics of landscape/nature while on a boat exploring the inside passage of southeast Alaska. 
 
Equipment/Source:    Canon 6D with 100-400MM @ 400MM. F5.6, ISO 400 1/2000 SEC
 
Technique:   Waking up early every morning around daybreak for sunrise pictures or anything else that presented itself while cruising to our next stop. There were 4-5 of us that got up this early. We would call out to the others if a photo op presented itself. I have lots of pics of flukes, but this is the only one that was going directly away from me.

Processing:   
Used Lightroom Classic CC, cropped, sharpened and tweaks of clarity.

  

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.

I feel you have captured this classic Humpback swimming action well. Ideally, perhaps, the timing might have waited just a moment to get the tail tips separated from the water, but this is very close. There is a nature story and this does show behavior. That said, the story is one of common activity and lacks the added interest and impact of situations involving more vigorous activity or interactions. On that basis, this is more in the realm of what I classify as an environmental portrait and I would rate the nature value as a 2.

The one thing that popped out at me when first viewing the image was that there is a fair amount of color noise. That is the red and green speckling that you can see, particularly in the smoother dark areas on the flukes. That surprised me because I felt the noise qualities of the 6D were good enough that virtually no noise should show at iso 400. By any chance did you have an underexposure situation where you had to lighten the image by more than 1 stop? I’m guessing here but when you say daybreak and 1/2000 for a shutter that seems a stretch at iso 400. Anyway, the noise does detract from the image and should be offset in post processing. There are many ways to do that. The color noise reduction in Lightroom is very good and will typically not affect sharpness unlike the Luminosity noise reduction. Primary focus looks good and the image has reasonable sharpness and DOF (depth of field) for the subject as depicted. The color noise is an issue and keeps the technical rating to a 2.

Compositionally we are centered and therefor static. Typically, we would want to crop to place the subject out of the center in post processing (since the goal is to get the capture initially). For this subject and with the flukes in this position, I would say the normal crop would be to trim about half off the bottom leaving room for the flukes to move up in the frame at the top. If the flukes had been in the upright position and the beginning of the descent, then the opposite would be true. You are a little tight on the sides, but I know that the “get in close” and “crop tight” mantras have been in force for so long that this is often a reflex. Don’t be afraid to give your subjects room to breathe. The contrast level is reasonable and the image has good impact. As I noted previously, this is a common behavior of a relatively common subject and so the interest value (“staying power” that keeps a viewer with it or wanting to see it again) is only average. I do feel the composition is a little too static for the subject and condition and this and the average interest value holds the image pictorial rating to a 2.

N-2, T-2, P-2 = 6 (see the adjusted version relative to eliminating the color noise)


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
perfectly timed as the fluke exited the water - bravo!

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent color and exposure; very sharp fluke, however, it seems like the top edge of fluke was a little too heavily sharpened.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 3-Excellent exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
wonderful; wish I was there.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Natalie M

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Welcome, Dennis. This is a great action shot, it's what these humpbacks do. I'm hoping to get a similar shot when I go out next week.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
When I zoom in on the shot there appears to be a lot of digital noise. I'm not sure if it's due to heavy cropping, or an underexposed image that has been brightened up in post-processing. I wouldn't have expected 400iso to be that noisy on the 6D. I like that you have used a fast shutter speed to freeze the action, but maybe we don't need 1/2000: https://www.flickr.com/photos/154794953@N05/48355300012/in/faves-59300342@N03/

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 1-Inadequate exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The simple composition works for me.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Andy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
It's difficult to get a scale for this image without something else as a reference. There is a story but it's weak, in my view.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good strong subject and the image caught at a good moment. I think that depth of field/aperture or focus point is an issue here as the image is not sharp where it needs to be. There is a lot of colour noise in the image.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 2-Average exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You have placed the subject on the third which helps but I would have waited for the fin to rise into the vertical for a more impactful image. Might suit a panorama crop.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good nature image of whale displaying flukes.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image appears soft even using 1/2000 sec and a little over-exposed on my monitor.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 2-Average exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel image could be enhanced by cropping the top of the image. Good try.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by William S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I am not clear on the nature story of this humpback whale. It is obvious that it has re entered the water with its fluke (tail) extended but for me a more impactful action would be the initial jump out of the water or the blowing of bubbles to lure fish for food.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The photograph seems very flat due to a lack of complimentary or contrasting colors. The clarity of the image would be improved greatly by processing in black and white. I viewed the file in several Nik Vivesa presets and thought that the results were much better.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 2-Average exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the texture of the water, it is much more realistic that the silky look. Of course a slow shutter speed would have ruined the sharpness of the whale. Still the photograph does not hold my attention.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 1-Inadequate composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is a well done image showing that tail action. Having just tried to take a similar shot from a boat, I know how difficult this can be. Well done. That said, I think that this is typical behavior.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically this was well executed. It is very diffitul to get this kind of a shot, lined up and in postition when you are on a boat. The image is sharp, good color balance, nice shutter speed to capture the water flowing off the tail. Well done.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 3-Excellent exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is a nice image, challenging to capture, but not dramatic impact. The compostion is excelent.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Martin P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Certainly a striking and typical behavior pose for this type of creature

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image is certainly frozen from the fast shutter. I am noticing a large amount of noize in the tail. I wonder if this was under exposed then brightened in post hence increasing the present noise. Sharpness and depth of field appear appropriate for this type of image

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 1-Inadequate exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Tightly cropped and filling the frame works well, but I do wonder if a little more space would have helped the composition. The water streaming from the tail certainly adds to the impact of the image. I know its difficult with this type of image but I miss some sense of size or enormousness of the tail

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6






I think my interest in photography started many years ago when an uncle handed me a Brownie camera.  I was amazed at how it could seamingly capture an instant of time. My first “real” camera was a Konica T3, which I still have. I spent many enjoyable hours in my darkroom developing the negatives and then dodging, burning and playing with different color filters to produce the prints.  I now use Canon cameras and lens, while the darkroom has been replaced with lightroom/photoshop. I enjoy hiking/backpacking, traveling to national parks and photographing nature/landscape/wildlife.