Study Group 2


Prasad Dalvi (A)

Click image to enlarge

Upload Next Round's Image and Description
JUNE 2019 ROUND

Title:    Greater Cormorant with Catfish
 
Goal:    To capture the Greater Cormorant while catching a fish. Its difficult to judge where this bird will come up from with his booty. And as he comes up he will gulp the fish in no time. There is no time to think or adjust your shot and parameters. The hydra on the bird shows how difficult it is for the bird to clean its prey before it gulps it. That was the opportunity when I could click this shot. Poor fella...before it could clean its booty another cormorant sitting on the edge flicked the catfish from this birds mouth.

Equipment/Source:   D850, Nikkor 200-500mm Lens, Handheld.
 
Technique:  f/5.6, 1/500sec, ISo-64, Spot Metering.

Processing:   
Opened up some shadows on the fish. increased the vibrance and dodged the cormorants eye in PS CC.
 

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

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















Upload Next Round's Image and Description
MAY 2019 ROUND
Title:   Loving Red
 
   
Goal:   To capture the mating action of these longhorn beetles.
  

Equipment/Source:  D5300,910 Flash with diffuser dome, Tripod. 

Technique:   Shot during monsoon. Used Spot metering as the Subject was Macro. 90 mm Macro Lens Tamron used and a tripod with flash as wanted to darken background with subject highlighted...Had to sit down and lower the tripod as the subject was on the lower bush. F/8, 1/125, ISO-100.   

Processing:   Color correction and cropping in PS.

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 nature story is clear and shows the behavioral interaction we look for in a level 3 image.

The use of flash to separate a subject from the background is a good technique and one that is often very effective when working with macro subjects. Typically, we would look to set the shutter speed to under expose the background by 1 to 1 ½ stops and then using the flash as the main light for the subject.  I think the technique was useful here, but watch the extent to which you allow the background to go dark. Given the beetle’s black carapace and antennae you are close to losing the separation in a tonal merger. Focus looks OK. I think there is room for a little more sharpening. The exposure on the female beetle is good. We aren’t getting quite enough light into the black carapace and head of the male and so we lose some of the separation we should have there.

Your composition is effective. I feel you should consider possible burning in on the leaf below the beetles to control those hot spots a bit more effectively. There is something very odd going on down at the base of the leaf (See the areas circled in red on the adjusted image.) Were you trying to do something with a mask relative to background control? Areas such as these would definitely cost points in an exhibition.

N-3, T-2, P-2 = 7 (Exposure and separation of black carapace and head on male is a technical aspect. The odd areas at the base of the leaf is a pictorial flaw.)


Review by Rich F.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Insect "PORN". Okay mating behaviour. Great story.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is well exposed and the bugs are sharp. Great job keeping the beetles in the plane of focus. The highlights/ reflections could have removed by a polarizing filter. Your ISO was very low so you could compensate for the lose of light by increasing the ISO.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition works very well and the background is out of focus and dark. I would have have seen the leaf bud coming out of the side of image, not the corner but that is personal choice.

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

Total: 8


Review by Larry T.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
In terms of presenting a clear nature story this image of the mating process presents all that is necessary. It is clearly something that few people will see in the wild.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The technical merits of the image show expertise with the gear used and also show forethought and planning in the creation of the image. The use of flash, with diffuser certainly worked wonders with the background, the overall sharpness and DOF.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Although there is a slight bit of softness in the antennae that are furthest away, it is not objectionable. The use of the strong diagonal line adds drama and interest to the image and the eye popping color certainly arrests the eye of the viewer. Finally, the perfectly neutral background removes any distractions and puts the finishing touches on perfect image.

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

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
One additional point is awards for the expertise shown in gear selection and use. This is clearly the work of someone who knows exactly what they want to accomplish and how to do it correctly. Well done.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

Total: 10


Review by Janice R.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very nice capture with good composition.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good color balance, focus, and sharpness throughout the image. I like how all of the detail of the beetles are distinct, this makes for an interesting image that holds the viewers attention. My only criticism is that the bright spots on the leaf seem a bit hot and are slightly distracting.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Well placed elements, nice diagonal, good impact

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

total: 9


Review by Andy H.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Full marks great story

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice clean sharp and well exposed image. looks like some fill in flash was used to good effect.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like this image a lot. It is composed well the diagonal stem and profile of the beetles. The background is good. A lighter background would have helped.

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

total: 9


Review by Natalie M.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Definitely no doubt about the presence of a nature story here.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The use of flash has frozen the action to give a nice sharp image, and the orange colour against the soft green background looks great.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is spot on, and the colour with the clear background creates impact. However I'm unsure how it would be received in a nature competition because you have created an almost studio-like setting with nothing in the background. So I wonder if the image would do better in an Open category.

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

total: 9


Review by Martin P.
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
You certainly caught the moment in this image, Nature at its finest 😉

SCORE N (Nature) 3-positive nature story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Overall the image looks a little soft but once again this could be down to the small size of the image. Overall exposure looks reasonable, but I think the flash has left us with quite a few distracting highlights.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Action is position nicely within the frame, background is pleasing and not distracting and I like the position of the stalk coming out of the bottom corner of the frame

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

Total: 7

I am a committee member of on of the Oldest Photographic Society known as "The Photographic Society of India" and am actively involved in promoting Photography through Training, Photowalks, and Conducting Photography Tours. My major interest is Nature Photography and specifically Macro and Birding. Academically I have an Engineering background and have working experience in the Information Technology field for 2 decades. However, I have committed myself to Photography which is my passion and am pursuing it. 
   
Given an opportunity, I would be glad to be the part of the Study Group and would like to submit my images for critique. I also will provide healthy and productive, positive critiques if needed and be willing to put in the time and follow the deadlines.