Study Group 2


Malena Kee (C)

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JUNE 2020 ROUND

Title:   Noisy kids  
   
Goal:    To capture the tri colored heron chicks with a parent heron. They were loud and wanted food from mom. It was drizzling rain, which made for some nice clean, wet birds 
 
Equipment/Source:   Canon 7D Mark II
280mm, f5.6, 1/640
 
Technique:    Watching the birds and their behavior to capture them all on the same branch.  

Processing:    
pulled down the shadows and added a little texture

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.
The image is a little confusing.  The mother is just standing still looking bored but the two juveniles act as if mom is coming with food.  Too bad mom didn’t have food so you could have had serious action, and a stronger nature story.  But even without food on the way, the juveniles are interesting.  It is good you had an overcast sky because with a bright sky, all the water on the leaves would have caused major problems with exposure from the bright reflections.  The exposure is right on and the colors of the birds are good.  I like the composition of the juveniles at an angle.  All the birds are in focus.  The bright areas on the top left needs to be toned down a little as they attract the eye from the birds.  Nice image but too bad the mom isn’t doing anything. 


Review by Pamela L.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE

Great nature story


TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
a little too dark, perhaps to increase the ISO

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE

Great composition

SCORE 7


Review by Andy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good story with the interaction and wet conditions.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
No ISO shown but the image looks clear of noise so probably quite low.Dull days can help exposure giving a flat light and helping to control blow out in the whites.Lovely and sharp, good DOF. Capturing the rain drops helps explain the conditions.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good composition and the interaction and action creates impact

SCORE 8


Review by Tom K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The two squawking birds are very interesting and a good nature image.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Average separation of the birds from the background. The background is very busy and the upper left needs to be darkened. Good focus and exposure.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The third bird doesn't see to fit the mood. It would have been more interesting with just the two birds.

SCORE 7


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good nature depiction of heron interaction between adult and chicks in rain.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice colour and feather detail on birds with eyes clear.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Birds have impact although a little lost in background.

SCORE 8


Review by Kim H.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great nature story. You really captured the title.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure is good, but a little to busy. The depth of field could have been less. If the foreground were a bit less prominent, it would be easier to draw attention to the birds.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very good framing.

SCORE 8

 


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MAY 2020 ROUND
Title:      Collecting nesting material

Goal:    I was out birding in the evening and was pulling over to have my dinner and noticed this great crested flycatcher. I wanted to show the action of him collecting the grasses for a nest.

Equipment/Source:    Canon 7D Mark II f/6.3, 1/800, ISO 1600. The ISO was higher as the sun was setting 

Technique:    Handheld as I carefully got out of the car in hopes of not scaring him off.

Processing:    pulled the shadows down, cropped the photo, and added slight texture.

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

This has a strong nature story of the bird collecting nesting material.  However, the story is obscured by the bird being much too small in the frame, and the bird is too dark, and the sunlight in the background is much too bright.  I don’t understand why you added texture, since your camera is fairly noisy at ISO 1600 and the noise needs to be remove, not added.  I cropped a lot to make the bird larger, brighten it up, toned down the background the best I could, since some of it is blown out, and flipped the image horizontally so as I enter the frame from the left, I see the bird’s face rather than its tail.   See my adjusted image. Now the nature story is much easier to see and appreciate.  The bird has nice color.

 N3, T1, P1, E0 =  5


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The nature story, while present with the bird holding some nesting material, in my opinion does not rise above average. The whole story revolves around the fact that the bird is holding nesting material. However the bird itself does not even amount to 10 percent of the total image. This reduces the impact of the story. A subject such as this should, at a minimum, comprise around a third of the image.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The over all sharpness of the subject is quite soft. Even when enlarged there is no noticeable detail in the body of the bird. The sharpest part of the image seems to be the brown brush in front of the bird. In that you mention this is hand held, there may be some motion blur that is causing this issue. The high ISO will also contribute to softness as will the shallow aperture.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel the composition while technically correct owing to a general adherence to the rule of thirds does not work. This is largely due to the lack of size of the subject. The bird, while having a bright yellow breast is mostly dark. He additionally sits in the shadows and the brightest part of the image is the sun struck grass behind the bird. The grass is what draws the eye of the viewer. Between the bright grass, the large patch of brown brush and the white area of sand the bird is the last thing I actually look at.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Haru N.
You capture "the moment"! This is good shot! I liked the composition of having space on the right. A bit distracting the light of background and big space of foreground. But overall this is good image to support nature story. 

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Strong nature story of nest-building.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A bid dark on the main subject vs. light background. Reasonably good sharpness.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the composition, having the space on the right. I would reduce foreground to have eyes to focus on the main subject.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
clearly a nature portrait

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
this image looks too much like my "too late into the evening" photos. As a result of dim lighting, the contrast was dull, the bird's detail was limited, etc.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the composition and idea of catching this bird gathering materials for its nest was excellent, but the i mpact wa s limited by the lack of light

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
What a great find! I'm always thrilled when I can see them engaged in nest building.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think that the color balance is good. Probably because of the high ISO, the feather detail seems compromised. Also, my eye goes right to those bright highlights on the grasses which detracts from me noticing the bird. Although the bird is the subject, it is the darkest object in the image and to me is overpowered by the bright greens. This all interferes with the impact of this image.

SCORE T (Techni cal Qual ity) 1-Inadequate exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Because the bird is the subject, I would have enjoyed more of a crop which would make the bird more prominent in the image. The bird is standing on on something bright (cement?) and that is also a detractor from the bird. I would consider burning that area.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Natalie M

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is a well-spotted little encounter. I would have given 3 points for the nature story, however, there appears to be a man made object in the scene, perhaps a slab of concrete?

SCORE N (Nature) 1-Nature story minimal or contains unrelated hand of man

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically the shot appears a little soft, possibly due to cropping, or possibly due to the low light environment.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The compos ition is suited to the shot. The bright area of grass is a little bit of a distraction.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Susan N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice capture of a seasonal activity.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good focus on bird in a tough situation

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would have liked it cropped in a bit more. I had difficulty discerning the bird against the very broad landscape. The patch of sunlight could be toned down more and shadows, texture and contrast could be heightened.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I don't see the story

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Subject is in the shade and too small, could crop and lighten

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This image has a subject that is too small within the image to judge the quality

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE: 4


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
fun capture of a bird with stick for nest.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
capture is ok, viewing this image, shows the lighted area is background and not the bird, I'd pick another background not to be this distractive, or work on dodge the background heavy, and light up the bird, so that the attention can be directed to bird.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
with your title, I'd sugg est crop out more of the image at right, and combine with darken the edge and light up the main actor, for a more enjoyable image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6

I was born in the historical small town of Selma, Alabama, and have lived aboard and several places in the USA due to being a military brat and servicing in the military.  I’ve had a camera in my hand since I was a young girl.   I didn’t get serious about my photography until 2011 after taking a black and white film college course at Minot State University.   

I started out with a Canon Rebel doing family and senior photos.  After purchasing a Canon 60D and moving to Charleston in 2015, I gave up doing people photography and now just do nature photography.

Photography is my muse. I can go out into the world and get lost in all the beauty it provides. There’s wildlife, old abandoned buildings, plant life, sunsets, and sunrises.  The list is endless on what you can find when you just open up your eyes.

I’ve had some work published in Camera in the Wild magazine, South Carolina Picture Project website, and won some awards.  There’s still lots to learn and I enjoy looking back on my work and seeing how I’ve come along and what else I can learn.