Study Group 2


Suman Bhattacharyya, MPSA, ARPS, EFIAP/b·

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MAY 2020 ROUND

Title:  Bulbul with fruit
  
Goal:     In a hide all you can pray for is to catch the action with 500 mm focal length to put a separation between your subject and background. My initial goal was a catch a decent bird shot with catch light.
 
Equipment/Source:    Shot with my d750 & 200-500 combo and a basic tripod (as I did not had the Gimbal Heads then). used ball heads for support. 
 
Technique:    Shot Manual with 1/2000, f7.1 & ISO 640 (no flash). metering is highlight based spot.

Processing:   
  Used nik details to bring out some parts of the bulbul's tail and finished with noiseware to minimise noise.

  

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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.

Nicely handled. The fact that we have a berry in the mouth raises the story from being implicit by being near food, to being explicit and clear that it is feeding. That is a significant difference as it raises the value from an environmental portrait to true feeding behavior. The nature rating is 3.

All fundamental technical elements look to be handled well. Watch the sharpening added as there is a halo showing around the leaves and a weaker one along the back of the crest. We don’t need any added sharpness there so mask it out in both places on the sharpening layer. In spite of that I still feel the technical side is strong enough to warrant a rating of 3.

The composition is solid and places the near the upper left quadrant intersection. That said, I find it is even stronger with the image flipped horizontally as we come into the subject’s front and the body and posture create a blocking diagonal the helps to hold us in the frame. The pictorial rating is a 3, but the less than optimal composition cost the extra E point.

N-3, T-3, P-3 = 9


Review by Rich F.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
nice shot of a Bulbul eating a grape or berry. Not sure how unique this behavior is - I imagine that these birds each these berries frequently. If I could give it a 2 1/2 points i would.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure is very good and the good look natural. The background is well out of focus and pleasing. My only nit is that the tail is rather soft. I am very familiar with the D750 but I think you could have pushed the ISO a bit more to get greater depth of field . Also 1/2000 is a fast shutter speed a portrait image though you said you wanted to capture action so perhaps that is why you choose that shutter speed. I would have opted for F11 (or perhaps even f16 and focussed in the middle of the back for beak to tail (or most of the tail) sharpness.

Regardless of my comments - great job.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image positions the bird on the left side of the frame with a diagonal line sloping up (left to right). The sloping line suggest tension, perhaps appropriate for a bird sitting on a branch out in the open. If the image were to be flipped left / right the branch would slope downward, suggesting a more relaxed image. Just a thought ..

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The story is obvious. Everything needed to tell the story is in sharp focus while the background is nearly solid.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
It could a lmost be a painting. Composition & balance are excellent.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 10


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
There is a valid nature story with the bird holding the berry in his beak.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The first thing that struck me was the simple elegance of the image. This was created through the use of analogous colors that work with the background, the bird and the majority of the berries. The use of the soft light complements these colors. For me the bird is sharp and the saturation is not overdone. I am a bit surprised at the softness of the background with the use of f71. But as you state this was take n from a hide I am assuming that the background was far enough away that the whole thing was able to come together nicely

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Much of the composition is created by the light. I do enjoy the long, strong diagonal line created by the leaves and the body of the bird. It is fortunate that there are only a few red berries. Had there been more I feel it would ruin the mood of the image. The direction the bird faces also complements the branch.

Everything works well in this frame.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Tom K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I think the image does a good job telling a food story about the species.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The head is well exposed. The body seems a bit soft and could benefit from more depth of field.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
As a pictorial image, I like the colors and the blurred background. If the green leaves were taken out (which you can't do as a nature shot), it would simplify the image. Perhaps y ou could try this in the PID category.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Andy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good story with the bird looking alert and harvesting the fruit.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good strong DOF creating a stand out subject. Exposure good, but here appears to be some localised darkening on the whites that's showing grey. The sharpness is exactly where you want it on the eye and head. The wing and body is softer possibly due to bird movement.

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

PICTORIAL REV IEW OF I MAGE
Pictorially I like the composition and the image has impact. The capture with the fruit is a bonus and worth waiting for.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Excellent nature image of bulbul feeding.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good colour and detail on bird's head and upper body. Eye clear and sharp..

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Bird has good impact. I feel composition could be improved by cropping lower part of image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8  


Review by Malena K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The story is strong as it tells us the bird is eating and the extra berries on the limb lets us know its from a tree.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
sharpness and color is excellent. there's no distraction in the background

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The rule of thirds was used and the bird has plenty of room on the right.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 3-Excel lent com position and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Todd G

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very nice capture of this Bulbul. I have never seen one, so it is an interesting image. Birds have to eat, and I think you have captured the nature story here with an abundance of food supply, along with the berry in the beak.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your utilization of the blind is elemental in capturing wildlife in their natural environment. Patience is also key and you have captured that here. Light, exposure, color, DOF and POV are all clean and well balanced. Very nice detail with the bird balanced at the end of t he branch with a nice diagonal line leading left to right, and the hanging fruit to add balance. Nice bokah effect with the long lens. Subtle changes in post are perfect and you have captured the Catch Light in the eye. There is a little fuzziness to the leading edge of the feathers and tail feathers, and the hanging berries as well. Wondering if a focus radial slider here would help enhance with sharpness.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great composition of the bird in its natural environment. No evidence of Hand of man, so the impact is even greater knowing that these birds have a great place to live.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Pamela L.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Excellent story~

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Sharp and crisp

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Excellent composition and impact

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE: 9


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I think this is a beautiful image with a great nature story. It shows how having birds come to you in a hide or blind has its advantages over chasing and hunting them down. The berries and the catching one between its beak are significant and separate this image from many others. You captured this bird’s behavior beautifully.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Although in full sunlight, there is no harsh shadow interfering with our enjoyment of viewing this image. Very sharp with excellent exposure, beauty d etail in the feathers, and you capture the light of life in the eye, and the face is clear and sharp, technical aspects handled well. Tail slightly soft and out of the film plane, I would have considered increasing the ISO up so I could have a smaller aperture like f8, f9, or f11, perhaps rendering the tail sharp. It doesn’t bother me enough because the depth of field is inherently small for large telephoto lenses.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Vertical format works well. More room in front, so the bird isn’t looking out of the frame. Like the diagonal flow of the branch; it adds dynamic tension helping the mind flow to the subject.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9







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APRIL 2020 ROUND
Title:     Panic Rush
     
Goal:    At the end of the safari from the Mara Triangle we were stopped by a large herd of wilder beasts, who clearly are the tail of the migration. they were moving in faster pace seeing the safari vehicle approaching. and when one of the herd leaders suddenly rushed to cross the field in panic and that panic soon engulfed the entire herd. That day I really understood the meaning of STAMPEDE. a whirlwind of beast followed for 10 to 15 minutes with sound of hoofs and dust everywhere. I always try to capture a different nature story albeit in the same vehicle with the my friends the fellow wild lifers so I chose to capture the panic rush with motion blur.

Equipment/Source:   Shot with D 750 & 200-500 at 500 mm. length. 1/30 sec in shutter priority mode with F 32 aperture and 800 ISO. metering was highlight based centered weighted average. My Goal was capture a unique shot which shows the madness with which the wilder beasts run during migration time.  

Technique:    Turned to Shutter priority and reduced the shutter speed to 1/30 part of a second and to get a higher DOF increased the ISO to 800 in broad day light. My thinking was the scene would be so dust ridden that the colour noise won't make much of a difference. Rested the lens barrel atop the railing of the safari vehicle to reduce shake and panned as per the direction of the herd movement. Captured in short bursts of 10-15 shots as at that time I didn't had faster SD cards.  

Processing:   processed in PS and increased clarity and afterwards increased the warmth of the shot with NIK. at the end as Rick suggested finally processed with noiceware and finalised.

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

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

Review by commentator Tom S.

You did a good job panning with the running wildebeest to show motion, but it would be a much stronger nature image if you had captured a bunch of the wildebeest running to show a real stampede.  The head is blurry but the rear is relatively sharp.  Also, I think it would be a stronger image if it were flipped horizontally so it is running to the left.  As it is now, the rear of the wildebeest is the sharpest part of the animal and that is the first thing I see when I enter the image from the left. The exposure and color are good.

 N2, T2, P3, E0 = 7


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I just returned from Africa and I have several intentional blurs that I made of the wildebeests running. In my experience, this is a common behavior of this animal and I noted that will run for no apparent reason. One will start to run and the others will follow. Definitely a herd mentality.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In my opinion your shutter speed was appropriate to preserve some detail on the animal while still creating the blur. Your color balance and DoF were adequate although in my experience you could have reduced the Dof. I know how difficult it can be to get the correct settings coordinated with the speed of the animal and I think you did a good job with that in this image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You definitely conveyed your goal of illustrating the running wildebeest. I love how the tail is flying out behind the animal and how the motion of the feet is visible. I'm wondering if you had thought about changing his position in the frame so that there was more room in front of him than behind?

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This image can be viewed in a variety of way. It can be seen as part of the migration or as a single beast trying to escape to name several. Any way it is viewed the story of speed, desperation, or flight clearly come to the forefront. After being part of this group for over a year this is a style of photography that is seldom seen. I feel this is a powerful and dramatic story

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The beautiful and well created background is one element of technical expertise. The panning technique is well handled and unique. It shows technical know-how and a high degree of skill. Additionally you have achieved good separation between subject and background.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Although the composition is centered weighted the intense action still carries the day. There is very minimally a bit more space in front of the wildebeast. Generally when panning there needs to be something that remains sharp to ground the eye. In this image the rump appears sharpest. Had this tiny bit of sharpness been in area of the eye or the head I would have given the image a 10. For me, that little bit of sharpness would make this image a contest winner. As is, this is an outstanding image and you did a fantastic job especially under the stated conditions

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Haru N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
It demonstrate strong nature story. I was wondering how to delver the element of "panic" here.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I am not sure that selection of 1/30 sec in shutter speed with F 32 aperture was the right answer but I wish to see the head part a bit more clearer.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition was good enough to show the movement

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Story is minimal

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would like to see part of animal sharp with only moving parts blurred and background

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Subject is centered and very motion blurred, although this was your intent, I think overdone

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
excellent nature image; unusual

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
very well done

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent composition; great impact

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Nock W.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good panning shot

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The focal point is not sharp on my monitor.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
May try different shutter speed to get sharper subject.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
applaud your effort to do so, pan with 1/30.
a difficult shot.
However, a rough and blur image not really able to see what's going on, not really transparent with 'panic rush'.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
in order to get what you looking for, the image must have some solid and clear image part, such as head, eye, etc. and leg can show motion blur to depict your intent. I'm sorry, this is not happening here. good try.

SCORE T (Technical Quality) 1-Inadequate exposure color balance and sharpness

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
not a pleasant image to view.

SCORE P (Pictorial Quality) 1-Inadequate composition and impact

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Susan N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great nature story - unusual animal, panning shot captures the story of the fleeing motion, enhanced by photographer's description of scene.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great capture of the intent and showing rapid, fleeing motion. Soft, moving image of the beast is part of the story yet still reveals what the animal is.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Color and motion are well captured. I would have liked it much better if the animal was not in the exact center vertically & horizontally, but rather a bit off-centered to the lower left. That would have given space above the animal, thus grounding it and space in front of the animal for it to run into.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
Exceptional nature story captured with solid technological capability.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 9


Review by Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hi Suman. This is a strong nature story of a panicked wildebeest. Wonderfull action!

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You nailed the exposure and used great technique. The strength of the composition more than makes up for the general earth tone of the image, in this case. The proper use of shutter speed raises this past being just another shot of a running animal.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I feel you captured the true emotion of the moment with the right amount of blur. I can almost feel the turbulence and taste the dust!

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
This powerful action shot makes a strong impact and rates the point for excellence.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 10


Review by Martin P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I am not sure you can really apply a nature score as the creature is just running. The single creature doesn't show the stampede

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nothing sharp in the image but who cares :) well exposed and great movement captured with the shutter speed. Puzzled by the ISO 800 and F32 not sure why we needed such a narrow aperture as it adds nothing to the image, I will give it 3 for the creativity

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great fun different image. Nothing sharp and no context of the rest of the herd, but the image does have lots of energy and does convey the movement very well. I do feel it is a bit central in the frame and needs a little more space in front for the creature to move into which would have lifted it to a 3

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
An extra point added for the creativity and trying to do something different

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 8

My name is Suman Bhattacharyya. I've an avid interest in nature & wildlife. I have been taking photos of nature from 2014 but only in 2017 I've taken membership of PSA. I am a member of FIAP (being an EFIAP) as well as RPS (having ARPS). I like all types of nature photos and am willing to commit time to know more about it. Thanks & Regards