Study Group 2


Saswati Chakraborty (B)

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JULY 2020 ROUND
Title:   The Kill  
 
Goal:    We were on safari at Masai Mara in the early morning hour. We were lucky to witness a buffalo kill by the Talek River pride females just on the bank of the river near Hippo pull. After the kiss of death the feast began. By that time the leading hunters took a break allowing the other members to test the flesh.Unfortunate death of the grazing buffalo influenced my emotion on the other hand the full pride had stomach full of lunch was very satisfying. 
 

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D 500, Nikon 200-500mm,   
  
Technique:    Handheld shot at f:7.1, s:1/320 Sec, ISO 800, F:240mm 

Processing:   Slightly cropped, adjusted shadow and highlights, contrast and sharpness selectively through PScc 2020 

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

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

 



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JUNE 2020 ROUND

Title:     The Snatcher
 
Goal:    During safari at Pench Tiger Reserve I was lucky to spot this black backed jackal with a fawn in in's mouth. The fawn was killed definitely by a large predator and the opportunist jackal were the ultimate winner to grab it's prized share. I had hardly any time to change my camera setting and tried a panning shot with existing set up,   
 

Equipment/Source:     Nikon D 80, Nikon 18-135mm
   
Technique:   f:5.6, S: 1/60s, ISO: 360, F: 135mm, Exp Com: +0.7 stop 

Processing:    Cropped, corrected shadow and highlights, increased sharpness partially in Photoshop. 

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 Rick C.
Nature story – The story is clear and effective in showing interspecies behavior associated with predator (or scavenger) / prey relationships.

Technical quality – For the circumstances under which you made the image I feel you did a commendable job. Primary focus looks entirely reasonable and the pan has been handled well. The head and rear section of the Jackal do have a feel of being slightly over sharpened. All things considered, you have a very credible rendering.

Pictorial quality. The central placement makes absolute sense for the capture, but it can be improved on in post. You have enough room in front to allow for motion. Rather than risk the eternal debate about virtual feet, I would crop the top and right side slightly to improve the visual dynamics of the composition.

Well done Score is 9


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good image depicting the struggle of life and death.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
With the relatively slow shutter speed the image was captured via panning. This worked well as the eye of both the jackal and fawn are relatively sharp. The exposure is good and the color are well balanced. The processing is done well.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The jackal is centered left/right. I would have rather seen it (perhaps via a crop) moved to the right side of the image. Also IMO there is too much negative space above the jackal and bit too much below. A pan cropped would have helped.

SCORE 8


Review by Maitham A

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
amazing story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
loved the motion style using a lower shutter with the jackal speed move

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the subject in the middle of the photo and I would recommend to work more on the tree branch and remove it to give a clear look

SCORE 9


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good story. The words convey what happened better than the image

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Lots of motion blur due to the slow speed even though a pan technique was used. This detracts from the image.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not a great nature image

SCORE 5


Review by Todd G

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A great capture of nature in motion. The nature story is clearly present here with the Jackal and fawn and the connection with survival. The motion blur adds a bit more in the sense of it leaving with the prize.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your attempt to capture this shot without changing settings is applauded. Exposure time is slow and you recognized that. I feel your DOF is well done and the exp. Compensation does not appear to cause any additional whitewash. Colors are blended well. The motion blue is nice for the forward movement/panning. Generally, with pan ning the subject is usually sharp with a blurred background. Here, everything is blurred.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is well presented. There is a strong impact to the story here related to survival in the wild.

SCORE 7


Review by Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very nice shot! It is a fine portrayal of animals in their natural state.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You did a very fine job of shooting with the settings you had! I really like the motion evident in this photo! Maybe this time, being hurried worked better than planning the shot. Great job!

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I cannot find anything in this photo not to like. I especially like your crop as you left “room to move” on the left side. That this shot was taken with an 18-135 lens also speaks well of your abili ty. How close was the subject? Were you in a vehicle? Was it stationary or moving? How close was your subject? Your panning effort was spot on!

SCORE 10


Review by LC B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I think this image tells a definite story but that the story is hampered by the technical issues and composition.
 3

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I know you were dealing with camera settings changes when taking this image per your statement. That said, in my mind, the lack of focus on the main meat of the image is an issue. I think that because for me the tail portion of the jackal is partly in focus while the rest is not, this technical issue then crimps the story telling. I also think that while it would be great to have the focus fixed on the jackal’s face and dead fa wn, you want to work with what you got. 1


PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel that that by centering the subject in the middle of the image more attention is drawn to the technical focus issue. So to work with the image you did get, I think one option to play with is using your cropping/composition to help accentuate the sense of movement. Even going so far as to shift the entire image so it looks like the jackal is about to leave the frame might just give you a stronger image and story. 1

SCORE 5


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A strong nature story with the jackal running with the partial fawn deer within its mouth. I believe it would be a stronger image if the jackal’s head and the fawn deer were sharply rendered. However, the blurred image doesn’t reduce the nature story value completely. The image is more artistic presented this way, than scientific.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Generally, blurs are more acceptable if the main subject or part of the main subject is sharp. The image has little noise. Exposure could be ½ stop brighter. ISO 360 is very low for modern digital cameras. I would have considered using a higher ISO like 1600. Then, I would have been able to shoot the jackal at a shutter speed three or four stops faster than 1/60 of a second, perhaps getting a sharp capture.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The subject placed well within the frame. There is slightly more room in front than behind. The shutter speed chosen render a more artistic appearance--less factual and more dream like. Overall, a pleasing nature blur with a strong nature story.

SCORE 8


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
it's a good nature story. Always big kills are often being stolen by jackals and other smaller predators. Your shot reminded me of that.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
technically you need to keep in mind panning shots needed to be within 1/30s. and always use a tripod or bean bag to help you reduce jerks. this one is jerky. if you have shot it with 1/20 or less with a bean bag in support it would turn out beautifully. need to control your highlights saswati (it would have been better had you reduced that Exp. Comp). technical's often reduce a good shot value. aperture is way too low to shoot such a marvelous opportunity. did you used shake reduction filter in ps? improves your shot by a mile!

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would suggest a 16:9 crop heavy on top side and light on the bottoms. Increase the subjects visual representation in the whole frame. It would help it.

SCORE 6


Review by Dave F.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice capture as the Jackal runs away – story is solid.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
you alluded that you didn’t have time to make adjustments. Yes the shutter speed is slow and the image is not tack sharp, but you did get the shot and that is good.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You have a lot going on and again you at least got the shot. There is room in front for movement and a good story

SCORE 8

Photography was my hobby since childhood but it turned into a passion since I had my first analogue SLR in 1993, a Vivitar. Then I upgraded to a second hand Canon FTB in 1998, and then got my first Digital SLR the Nikon D80 in the year 2008, which marked the onset of my photographic exploration. Currently I am a proud and religious Nikon user, owning the D850, D750 and D500 cameras. 

I was mostly inclined towards capturing people and places of my country India, which provides a wide diversity in ethnicity, culture and livelihood of people to work on.

I have ventured in almost every genre of photographic expression, be it people and portrait photography and recently even wildlife for the last three years, exclusively capturing Indian and African wildlife sanctuaries.

I have completed EFIAP through participation in international salons across 59 countries with more than 150 international awards in between 2014-2016. I was also awarded BPSA in the year 2019.

My work "ESCAPE VELOCITY" received Gold Medal in EGYPT INTERNATIONAL PHOTO CONTEST in 2015.

My series “FLOWERS THAT NEVER BLOOM" received Silver in Editorial/Photo Essay, Gold in People/Children, and 2nd Place winner in People in TIFA 2017.