Study Group 2


Linda Chubb - A

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JANUARY 2020 ROUND

Title:     Walk lightly & Carry A Big Stick
   
Goal:    This was actually a spur of the moment shot at the Rookery on Bolivar Island where I was taking pictures of the many birds that were there for their Spring migration.
 
Equipment/Source:     Nikon 750, ISO 800, 1/320, 230 mm, F25
 
Technique:    Hand held

Processing:   
Cropped, lightened a bit and used sharpness although it was fairly sharp.
  

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


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


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DECEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:     Berries for Lunch

Goal:    Photograph Ruby-crowned Kinglet at Brazos Bend State Park. I have other pictures showing his little red crown patch but this was the best one as he has a berry in his mouth.

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D750

Technique:  1/640, ISO 200, F6.3

Processing:     Cropped; enhance yellow color.

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

Your nature story is good.  It would not have anywhere near as strong a story if a berry had not been in the bird’s beak.  It would have been stronger had the kinglet been actively grabbing a berry or going for an insect, its more usual food.  Humor is added to the story by it standing on only one leg.

Technically it it is properly exposed.  It appears adequately sharp at the small size submitted but appears soft when viewed at a reasonable size.

Pictorially I recommend flipping horizontal.  That makes the holding of the berry more obvious and strengthens the story.  Further attention is placed on the kinglet and berry if you crop to more of a panel as I did in the adjusted image I have included.  The sky I cropped out does not add to the nature story so is not really needed.  That places the bird at a third position instead of a central position as on the original version.

N2, T2, P2, E0, Total 6


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice picture of a Ruby-crowned Kinglet. A small bird perched on a branch eating the fruit.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Seems a bit soft.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice composition.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The act of feeding, especially with the berry held in the bill created a nature story line. However, the lack of engagement, or action keep this from rising above an average capture.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The settings indicate that you were shooting on a bright day and were in full sun. I would venture that the lens ( you do not mention which one) was probably focused at infinity thus creating the full DOF shown. While the color appears adequate the focus of the bird is quite soft especially in the expanded view. Shooting little birds, who tend to be in nearly constant motion general requires a faster shutter than 1/640. Since it was a bright day, and your ISO was quite low, you could have increased the shutter speed by raising the ISO and not lost significant quality in your image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You indicate that you cropped the image but not how much. While your subject is properly placed on one of the fixation points the image still have a very static feeling. Positioning the twig in the center of the image lends to this effect. You also might consider cropping in from the left up to the twig sticking out from the tail and also up from the bottom to the lower point of the berries. The great mass of bare twigs in the lower left corner is not contributing in a positive manner to the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A nice image Linda, particularly with the yellow sort of matching the bird and berries. You captured the bird with its beak clear with sky around it, plus a yellow berry! Well done and good enough story IMHO for a 3

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
When I make the image larger, the bird doesn’t look fully sharp, but I am going to assume this is a feature of the small file only. You’ve positioned the bird not quite in the centre. There is scope for cropping some off all round to make the bird larger, whilst still telling the story of the berries etc. You don’t need all that sky and branches. Going back to my sharpness query, I wonder if you’ve already cropped the image a lot. I assume you used your 50-500 lens and assuming with such a small bird, you used the full 500mm. Sometimes it’s best with such large lenses to not use the end 10% for maximum sharpness.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
If the bird was larger in the frame, I think it would have greater impact. A very pleasant picture though.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Berry in the beak is a plus to the normal portrait.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Photo is a little bit soft. I would expect the robin and berries more reddish.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would crop out a little bit on the left and some sky.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A kinglet eating a berry, to me, is not a strong story. It is something that happens often. However, it looks like this fella only has 1 leg. That would be a stronger story. Since you did not mention it I’m not sure if it is actually the case or a side-effect of photo editing.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good DOF with nothing distracting in the background. However, everything looks soft, not sharp. Not sure if this is due to camera shake or aggressive cropping.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
To me the bird could have been a little higher in the frame; less sky.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
the berry in the mouth makes the Ruby-crowned Kinglet stand aside with the lack of catch light in the eye of the bird.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
As you didn't specified the lens used, I assume that the Sigma 50-500 lens is used in capturing this image. use of low f-stop makes the image unsharp a bit. you also didn't mentioned whether you are using a lens support? as without it there is chance of that unsharpness. Another thing I don't find in your commentary is which axis stabilisation you are using? if you are not familiar with these technicalities it's high time you to take note of the benefits provided by the manufacturer which will greatly affect the final result of the image captured.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
would you please try the flipped version as it is pleasing my eye and thus the suggestion. the optical disturbance of the vertical smudged lines behind the bird are slightly disturbing. overall a fine try at birding which is appreciating.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7

I’m a retired Legal Secretary who moved back to Austin, Texas, the first of this year.  I’ve been interested in photography going back to trying to take action shots at my son’s soccer games with a Pentax 35mm camera.

When I retired, I moved to Sun City, in Georgetown, Texas, where there was a great Photography Club.  We entered PSA competitions on a Club basis.  We also had Club competitions and critiques on an individual basis.   I have also participated in a few outside competitions.

I later moved to Galveston, Texas, where I lived for two years before returning to Austin.  While living in Galveston, I took two Birding classes and became very interested in my current interest in “Birds.”  Galveston was a wonderful place to see many bird species.

My present goal is to improve my photography and go on some trips with birding/nature groups to places outside of Texas.  I currently use a Nikon D750.  Taking pictures really excites me….I love this hobby!!!!