Study Group 2


Nirmalya Bhattacharya (A)

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FEBRUARY 2021 ROUND
Title:    Black headed Ibis with catch 

Goal:    I have seen several shot from Mangalajodi(famous wetland at Northan Chilika of Odisha State,India) that Black headed Ibis is preying on water snakes. We had a chance to visit the place during January 2021 and waited for the precious moment on boat in the famous wetland.

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D750,Nikon 500mm f5.6 

Technique:    Hand held shot from boat taken at a distance from 300 yards(apx)with f:5.6, s:1/2500S, ISO 640 and F 500mm.  

Processing:    Cropped the photograph, adjusted shadows and highlights  

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 J.D. 
Nature Story (N): Wonderful catch. Anytime a photographer catches any bird with a snake in his beak he is very fortunate indeed. Score: 3

Technical Quality (T): Upon looking at this photograph I sensed something wrong. And yes, there was. It was the problem that all nature and wildlife photographers dread the most – distance. At 300 yards, even with the light coming directly over the shoulder and straight at the subject, rarely does the photograph work out well. In this case, because the settings were so wonderfully done, this photograph turned out quiet well. Score: 3

Pictorial Quality (P): The “distance” issue really affected the pictorial quality of this wonderful photograph. Although, it would be easy to score down this photograph that is the opposite of what I am doing. I am scoring the photograph up because the photographer didn’t make the mistake of attempting to do too much cropping, trying to mess with the exposure too much, trying to remove too much noise, etc. Sometimes it is just best to take what the shot offers and move on. Score: 3

Exceptional (E): This shot is truly exceptional! 300 yards! Wow! Score: 1

Scores: N 3/ T 3 / P 3 / E 1 / Score = 10


This Review is written by: Diana R.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
An ibis catching a snake is a great nature story. The coiling of the snake adds to it.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Excellent depth of field and exposure with details in whites and blacks. The photo appears pretty sharp given that the image was taken at quite a distance.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Pictorially, the dark spot behind the head of the ibis is distracting. I presume that is a bird flying by. If you have a frame without that bird, I believe it would make a stronger photo. Image is very noisy. This could easily be reduced to produce a stronger image

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The image demonstrates a clear and strong nature story with the ibis showing its ctch held firmly in its bill. I will note you did well to have both the eye of the bird and the head ofthe snake both visible in the frame.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The first thing that stands out to me is the general lack of critical sharpness throughout the frame. The bird lack detail in the feathers and the eye is just not sharp. The displayed image clearly show the shallow depth of field as there is a “cl assic donut” unsharp ring surrounding the bird. Reviewing your setting and description several things stand out. First I note that shooting at f5.6 creates the least area of sharpness possible and that has some affect. However I feel that there are three things impacting the sharpness. First, I do not feel the lens had time to fully obtain focus since nothing is truly sharp, but more than likely the biggest culprit is the fact that this was hand held while in a boat. While the shutter speed is fast, a rocking boat, hand held and the lower light mean that there were a number of moving parts (likely in different directions) that all came into play.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition works quite well with the bird having room to move in the frame, and also being placed nicely on a fixation point. The brightness of the snake contrasts well with the background and quite clearly the white birds also stands out. I find the black spot in the background annoying, but this cannot be removed in a nature image. Perhaps just being aware of its presence would have allow you to bend over a bit and be lower thus hiding the object behind the bird. While the image is a capture of peak action, the image is lacking in overall impact.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Jodi S.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Fascinating image of both the snake and the Ibis. The snake coiled in the mouth in a near knot suggests the intensity of the struggle.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Boat photography and handheld combine to force active exposure and sharpness issues.
there is a lot of noise in the picture, and a lack of sharpness, but the catchlight in the eye looks good.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I found the grass reaching around the belly of the Ibis distracting, but otherwise, thought the image waswas well composed.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 8


This Review is written by: Wayne S.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Image shows the bird with it’s catch in it’s natural habitat. Creates good interest in viewing the image, especially with the very interesting catch

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image appears a bit soft which could have been caused by low depth of field or the amount of cropping that was done. May have been too difficult to get closer to the subject.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition is good however with the head of the bird bei ng block the feathers and eyes do not stand out very well. Perhaps using a radial filter would assist in lightening the head of the bird to show off it’s eyes and head a bit better.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
very strong nature image; excellent timing of bird holding snake

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the catch-light in the bird's eye is excellent; however, except for the eye and beak, the image seems a little out of focus, and most of the bird's feathers are blown out.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
very good composition, and excellent impact because of the wriggling snake being held by the Ibis.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong< br>
TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Predator with prey, a perfect nature story. What adds value according to me is the prey which was once the predator. So in a nutshell it’s a epitomised biosphere.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically if we disregard the hidden legs (as you cannot do anything about it, you are presented with it) still the ISO clutter is disturbing which, as I tried with your submitted jpeg, is easily removable with normal noise reducing agents. and your picture improves with it.
The catch light in the eye is very delicately exposed. Adds value. Light being on top the glowing eye must be a result of the reflection of the plumage.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Pictorially the dominant triangles being broken with the circular movement of the snake is appreciable.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 1-Exceptional

TOTAL SCORE 8


This Review is written by: Edward X.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
No man-made element, great capture with great eyes.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great bokeh with hand held D750(I used the same body before and now using a Z6. )

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great composition, no complain.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 9



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DECEMBER 2020 ROUND

Title:     Patrolling Queen 
   
Goal:     This is a habitat shot of Bengal Tiger and my first exposure to this magnificent animal at Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, Rajasthan. Bengal Tiger being illusive by nature because of it's instinct and body colour are always at it's charm when found in front of lens. They are solitary, shy and most powerful cat in the animal kingdom. My whole objective was to capture the animal with it's mysticism and dominance as a powerful ambient portrait. 
 
Equipment/Source:      Nikon D7200, Nikon 24-120mm, f:4, S: 1/320s, ISO: 1100, F:85mm
 
Technique:    Handheld from Safari vehicle.

Processing:    
Adjusted shadow and highlights, contrast and cropped slightly to maintain balance between the subject and ambiance.

Score this image:   YES
  

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

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I always liked photography since childhood but the curiosity turned into passion during 2011-12, when I had my first DSLR. I went through the photography course at National Academy of Photography, Kolkata, India during 2012. Then started participating in National and International salons and competitions from 2013. I was active participant till 2016 and by that time completed EFIAP with more than 1700 international acceptance and 159 awards from across 56 countries through salon participation. My works were also recognised at 2014 Monochrome award, 2015 Sony World Photography Award as Commendable one and during 2017 Olympus International photography competition.

My area of core competence were always people and fine art photography. I developed a liking towards Nature and wildlife photography when for the first time I had a chance to visit Kaziranga, the world heritage sanctuary in eastern India. Last 3 years I have mostly focused on wildlife and visited Indian forests and Africa several times. I am at 52 now and by profession in sales and marketing job promoting organic concepts of agriculture in India.