Study Group 2


Rick Dandridge (A)

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MARCH 2021 ROUND
Title:     Gotcha'

Goal:  I recently did the unheard of action of purposely doing a “down grade” trade of a Sigma Sport lens to a Sigma Contemporary lens. I have shot the Sport since it was first introduced and it is a wonderful lens. It is also a fairly heavy one. I desire to increase my hand hold technique and decided to try the lighter of the two, which is also a wonderful lens. But in order to judge it for sharpness and overall quality, I first mounted it on a tripod. Once it got past this test, I could be confident that any issues with hand holding will be me and not it. Upon arriving at a local tidal pond, I found this osprey perched across the water and directly facing me. Almost anytime an osprey is present, the goal immediately becomes to catch a strike on a prey. After a wait, the bird made its move and I was able to capture a number of shots, this being what I feel is the best.

Equipment/Source:    I was shooting the Canon 7 D MK2, set at 1/2000 sec, f/8, ISO 400 with a Sigma Contemporary 150-600 lens at 293mm, mounted on an Indura CT- 314 tripod with a R/R BH-55 LR ballhead and an Indura Side Kick.

Technique:   I make it rule when photographing birds of prey to arrive on scene at early light. I like to place the sun on my back. Once spotting the subject, I set the focus and settings, fired a few test shots and waited for the right moment.

Processing:    I cropped it and made some minor color and tone adjustments in LRCC.

Score this image: YES

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

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FEBRUARY 2021 ROUND

Title:    Sunrise in the East
   
Goal:      My goal here was a very simple one-to catch a sunrise at a local beach. I was fortunate that there was a nice cloud show and also that the tide was between high and low. That allowed some nice surf and sand features.
 
Equipment/Source:    My settings were 0.5 sec, f/22, ISO 400 at 22mm. I chose that shutter speed to slow the tide, creating a smooth surface to contrast with the rippled sand. My gear was a Canon 7D MK 2, Canon EF 10-22 lens mounted on a tripod, which was adjusted to the proper height for the desired effect

Technique:   I arrived in the dark before sunrise. I am familiar with the beach so I was able to pre-visualize the scene. Upon arriving, I was pleasantly surprised with the texture of the sand. 

Processing:   
I made some minor adjustments in LR, one of which was flipping the scene for a more pleasing composition. I used Topaz Sharpener AI to sharpen the foreground.

Score this image: YES 

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

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Review by commentator J.D.
Nature Story (N): Nature story? Yessssssssssss! Beautiful nature story? Yessssssssss When I looked at this photograph it immediately made me realize how beautiful sunrises in our country can be, especially when your at the right place at the right time. The excellent crop really made this photograph become more lifelike. Bravo! Score: 3

Technical Quality (T): As someone who has had difficulty shooting sunrises and sunsets I immediately wrote your settings down with a brief description of the photo. Using F22 really enhanced your depth of field. Slowing your shutter speed accomplished your goal exactly. Score: 3
Pictorial Quality (P): There are many things that go into having the highest level of pictorial quality from wise cropping, the right fstop, etc., all the way to standing at exactly the right place. You accomplished all of this in this photo. Score: 3
Exceptional (E): Although this photograph was exceptional in almost all respects, I found one problem that needs to be addressed. I am holding back the extra point because as you said, “I used Topaz Sharpen AI to sharpen the foreground” and looking on my screen with all the time I needed it appeared that the photographer possibly over sharpened the foreground. Regardless, this is a wonderful photograph. Score: 0

Scores: N 3 T 3/ P 3/ E 0/ Score = 9


This Review is written by: Diana R.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Limited nature story.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great exposure, sharpness, depth of field.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Beautiful image with impact. Colorful sky with soft water and detail in sand make a great capture

NATURE SCORE 1-Nature story minimal or contains unrelated hand of man

TECHNICAL SCORE color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Jodi S.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
AS much as I loved this picture, I was not able to give it a higher score on the story. It does speak to me of the activity of the ocean overnight, and I find it peaceful

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
thank you for sharing your technique for getting the details in the sand in the foreground contrasted with a smoothness in the water. The reflection of the clouds on that smooth water provide a nice dimensional addition to this picture. The pink in the clouds seems a little too pink, but I know the first morning light changes rapidly, so this is possible.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The texture of the sand in the foreground is mirrored in the texture of the darker clouds in the sky in the midrange. All of the leading lines of the sand, the clouds, and the light draw the eye to the first morning light.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 1-Exceptional

TOTAL SCORE 9


This Review is written by: Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Every nature landscape photo carries an inherent nature story, the question is just how powerful is the story. In this instance I feel the story is developed by the technical skills on display and the composition that was created to enhance both the scene and the camera skills used to capture it. This is a good example of a created image, not one that is taken.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In this instance I noticed the composition first and then how the camera skills brought the composition into reality. The first thing I noticed was the selection of the elements of the exposure triangle and how each was chosen for a specific purpose. The camera angle was chosen for a purpose, not just a place to set up the tripod. The familiarity with the scene show planning and purposeful intent. These techniques generally lead to success.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition shows an understanding of the elements of art and how to bring them into play to create one’s vision. True horizontal lines create visual blocks that prevent the eye from moving through the image. In this case the horizontal lines were softened by making the rising lines diagonal. This not only eliminates the blocking effect, but adds motion, drama and direction . The position, and mostly the elevation of the lens, exposes the textures in the sand and make the foreground more purposeful by using the lines of the sand to dramatically point toward the horizon. Using the low angle of th e sunlight to create light and shadow (an effect called chiaroscuro shows an understanding of the power of light. Additionally, the complimentary colors of blue and yellow bring a feeling of comfort to the eye of the viewer.
I feel that reducing the amount of sky could be reduced by about ½ removing the bright portion in the upper right corner that tends to draw the eye away from the more dramatic areas of the scene.

Most sunrise images are boring, but this one is well thought out.
It would appear that the maker of this image has learned how to use the elements of photography.


NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 9


This Review is written by: Wayne S.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great image. When I think of a sunrise I think of warmth, calmness and the expected start of a new day. This image gives all of this.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the way you used the foreground, mid area and the background to give depth to your image. With the sand in the foreground being sharp and lite up by the sun it first draws my eye, than takes me to the calm water line and ends with the sun coming through the clouds full of color which is very effective.

PICTO RIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The use of the foreground and the lines of the shoreline to draw your eye into the image is very effective. Well done!

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 1-Exceptional

TOTAL SCORE 10


This Review is written by: Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
wow! I have taken many similar shots, but NEVER as great as this one.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent all around; tack sharp in foreground, middle and distant; great choice of speed; wonderful colors.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
what an image; just makes me want to go to the ocean (Ocean City, MD in my case), wonderful mood and impactful

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Exce llent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 1-Exceptional


This Review is written by: Edward X.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great story, no complain

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very sharp, love it. I love to shoot sunset also.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great composition

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 1-Exceptional

TOTAL SCORE 10




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.