Study Group 2


Rick Dandridge (B)

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JULY 2020 ROUND
Title:      Tenaya Creek 

Goal:   My wife and I were hiking to Mirror Lake for some "reflective" photos and were taken by the beauty of this creek along the trail. 

Equipment/Source:    This image came from my archives. At the time it was taken, I was shooting a Canon Rebel XT, with a 28-135 Canon lens. 

Technique:    This was taken hand held. The settings were 1/4 sec f/11 ISO 200.

Processing:     Some minor adjustments (highlights, saturation and luminance sliders) were made in LRC.

Score this image: YES

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

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JUNE 2020 ROUND

Title:    Little Green Heron on Stump
   
Goal:     After learning of the location of a Little Green Heron family, I set out hoping to find some activity without having to approach the nest. I do not like the possibility of disturbing either the chicks or the adults. Fortunately, I found exactly what I hoped. This fledging heron was on this stump and was obviously contemplating a flight attempt. After getting a few shots, the bird dropped off the backside of the stump and took wing. Naturally, all I got of the take off was a pair of wings framing the stump! But I came away happy with what I had captured.
 
Equipment/Source:   Canon 7D MK 2 with Canon EF 100-400 lens
 
Technique:   1/250 sec f/5.6 ISO 199 hand held 

Processing:   
I made a small crop and some minor adjustments in LR. I cloned out 2 small, distracting branches in PS.

Score this image: YES 

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

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Review by commentator Rick C.
Nature story - Irrespective of the potential debate over the old cut stump the fledgling is on your comment that you cloned out something shows the image is in violation of the PSA rules for nature images. You could use this version in PID, but not in Nature. The story is enhanced by the fluff still existing in the fledgling’s plumage. The behavioral aspect isn’t strong enough to elevate it above an environmental portrait, albeit a good one.

Technical quality – I note the cloning issue above. There are some repetitive streaks in the lower left, which may or may not be where you cloned, but which are consistent enough to catch a viewer’s eye. Exposure, focus and ODF all look to be handled well. I might push a little more luminosity into the mid tones, but that is optional.

Pictorial quality – While the subject is not in the center of the frame, I feel that you could enhance the visual strength by cropping the left side right up to the stump as that eliminates some of the remaining branches and works given the pose and orientation of the young Green. It would also eliminate those repetitive lines. The background is handled well.

On its own merits a good 8 but with consideration of the cloning violation it drops to a 6.


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is an good image showing a heron chick about to take flight or jump into the water. It provides a bit more than portrait shoot showing some behavior.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The exposure and color is very good. The eye heron chick looks sharp. I am a bit surprised at our DOF for F5.6. The image is not overly saturated. Well done.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
First of all, I like that heron chick is looking to the right of the frame. not sure if you flipped the picture or decided to leave it this way or perhaps did not e ven cons ider flipping it. But it works.
If there were a non-nature shot I would have expected some the sticks in front of the stump to be cloned. However in nature there are overly demanding rules which make this "illegal".

SCORE 8


Review by Dave F.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I can see the anticipation of the Heron and as he is looking to see what is next - nice

SCORE N (Nature) 3


TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure is very good, but it appears that the downy feathers around the head are a bit soft.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 2


PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very nice image

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 3


SCORE 8


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
If anything a portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very sharp and well exposed.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would crop out most of the stump and only use the top 1/3 of the image. Your main subject needs to dominate the image and the lower 2/3 comprising the tree stump dominates

SCORE 6


Review by Todd G

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The anticipation of this little fledgling taking flight is perfect. I can feel the anticipation and can see the intensity in its eye. This is a story of life and learning to fly. It is focused on something and contemplating the decision.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very nicely cropped and captured. The light is not harsh and the bokah in the background is just right. You have captured significant clarity and sharpness with the subject and the foreground stump and twigs, let alone the fledgling. Crisp fine feather to the beak. Your focus on the eye is absolutel y tact s harp. There is strong detail and dynamic range as well. I appreciate your stance on not wanting to disturb the nest or adults and I feel your approach is spot on.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A very nice composition of this little fledgling getting ready to take flight. There is impact to this story in that nature works in ways we sometimes do not see. We need to protect our natural resources. I could see this in a nature magazine about conservation.

SCORE 9


Review by Saswati C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good Nature Story, effectively capturing the moment before the little Heron is about to jump.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Subject is in perfect focus, exposure is good. Beautiful catch eye.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Color balance is good. Although the sharp branches and tree stump occupies 2/3rd of the canvas and the subject, which is the little Heron, occupies a mere 1/3rd of the canvas.

SCORE 7


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Based on the feather pattern and plumage, this appears to be a recent fledgling. Body pose is interesting and does suggest preparing for flight. The face and eye are well shown. This information adds to the nature story or elevates it above a standard portrait. In nature category the rules do prohibit cloning out of items. Dodging them down is permissible.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image has little noise and the dabbled lighting is well handled. I would have toned down the branches around the stump. I would have also lighted the dark gre en areas in the right top background. Melt or the tone down this area and darken the light green background areas so your color and tone are similar. The darkness of the green is so prominent it takes the mind away and distracts from your bird subject. Overall goal, making local adjustments to even out the lighting and reduce its harshness, especially on the branches.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I wondering if a horizontal framing would have worked better and emphasized the bird and the given more room for flight, enhancing the flight story. Especially since the bird is leaning out with its rump up, and the way the feet are gripping the stump all suggest ready and preparing to fly. The vertical framing of the image emphasizes the tree stump instead. My choice would have been to choose a horizontal framing and composition rather than the vertical framing presented. It would have simplified the image by including less of the stump and the disturbing branches .
SCORE 7



I am an amateur photographer, with a background of fine art (oil and watercolor.) I enjoy backpacking and travels with my wife. Most of our trips have been to the great American west.

I live in Summerville, South Carolina, near to the coast. This area's natural beauty and rich history provide ample opportunities for varied photographic subjects. I joined PSA in order to improve my skill and to share my work with a variety of people.