Study Group 2

Suman Bhattacharyya, MPSA, ARPS, EFIAP/b·

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Title:  Yellow beetle on path
Goal:   it was a cloudy day at my recent visit to GHUM, the highest altitude hill station where I searched for some macro wildlife. found a very beautiful yellow beetle poised against the blue orchids moving. I intended to capture the beetle with the blue orchid to depict the inherent beauty lying within nature.  
Equipment/Source:  used my trusted NIKON D750 along with the 90 mm. 2.8 tamron macro lens without flash.
Technique:   used f5.6 with 1/320 shutter speed. ISO was 640 as it was cloudy with occasional clouds floating in. the aperture I chose for getting a differential in depth between the blue orchids and the yellow beetle. and the shutter speed I chose to capture the movement of the beetle arrested in time.

no processing just only converted from RAW to jpeg and uploaded.  


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

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Title:   Africa View
Goal:   my goal was to capture the beautiful and landscape of Africa with the natural beasts amongst.  

Equipment/Source:    My trusted Nikon D750 along with the freshly bought 200-500. From Raw to Jpeg.

Technique:    shot at 270 mm. with 1/2000 sec. (shutter priority) and 800 ISO. Opted for 270 mm to cover much ground with the giraffes in it. Since there was ample light ( the evening light was getting low albeit) so reduced the ISO and f/14 was chosen for getting maximum depth-of-field. Centre weighted average metering I chose to use the D750's highlight centered metering benefits. 

Processing:    processed in monochrome as it appeals to me better than that of colour.

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

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Review by commentator Tom S.

Lots of noise in the sky and several dust spots.  Looking at the back of the giraffe in the foreground isn’t good.  Wait until he gets to the tree next to the other one. It would be better if the giraffes were not so dark.  The far giraffe and the tree are just silhouettes.  Not much of a nature story.

N-2, T-2, P-2 = 6 

Review by Adrian B.
I believe your goal has been achieved Suman, with a landscape including giraffes within that landscape. I very much like your timing, with the front animal nicely leading the eye from left into the image and the right one conveniently looking to its right too, with good separation from the tree. I'm sure B&W works.
Three observations:
A) I wonder if the bottom part of the left giraffe is a tad too dark and would benefit from some lightening,
B) I was taught for landscapes, ideally the bottom should be darker, rather than light: I wonder therefore whether you should crop the small bit of light foreground out.
C) I think there a number of dusts post that need removing in the sky area.

A nice image.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by Larry T.
I feel this is an iconic image of Africa with a strong environmental element. The vertical format with the extremely low horizon line creates a feeling of space and vastness. While there appears to be a nature story line with the giraffe in the foreground moving toward the solitary tree I do not feel that it is exceptionally powerful

Technically, I applaud the use of f14 to coax as much DOF as possible out of the 270mm focal length. At least to my eye both the giraffe in the foreground and the one under the tree (along with the tree) appear to be acceptably sharp. While I’m not deducting for this I think you could have lowered the shutter speed to around 1/1000 since there is no fast action visible and this would have allowed you to reduce the ISO to provide more clarity, of even to raise the fstop to provide greater depth of field, which ever you choose.

Pictorially the first thing I noticed was the at least 4 sensor dust spots that show throughout the sky. These could have easily been cleaned out in what ever processing program you are using. I feel these greatly degrade the image quality. I also believe that the choice to render this image in monochrome helps to create a feeling of timelessness that increases the power of the image. I have debated with myself over the amount of sky in the image. While the high sky that you chose helps to create a feeling of vastness and also allows you to retain the clouds I still fell it may be too much. Maybe cropping down to the cloud level would suffice.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, total-8

Review by William S.
I understand that this is submitted as a landscape that includes animals and possibly featuring the tree but the tonal range in black and white seems narrow.

The image looks a little soft throughout
The leading line between the giraffes and the tree is a plus in the composition. However I would suggest cropping the top making it a horizontal composition eliminating the clouds that don’t seem to add anything.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Charlie Y.
there're a lot of empty space up there, just two cloud, not really add value to you image. wonder where's your focus point at, the closer Giraffe, or further out? IQ wasn't there to make an impact. mono doesn't have the rich of grey scale. while colorful spot on the giraffes might be a better choice. I can't tell from here. Evening light should offer some shadow and soft light, but I didn't see them in the picture.
N-2, T-1, P-1, E-0, Total-4

Review by Sylvia W.
I like the portrait orientation of this picture and the black and white conversion works. A couple of things to note - be aware that you have dust spots on your sensor and these are showing up in the picture when viewing as a larger image. Also the processing has done something to the giraffe in the background and it looks un-natural. The front giraffe has large areas of black/shadows which have no definition in them. I like the separation of the 3 subjects in the picture giving each their own space.
N-2, T-1j, P-3, E-0, Total-6

Review by MJ Springett
The story is not clear to me, there is a halo around the treetop and the neck on the far giraffe is distracting, doesnt look thick enough. the front giraffe is facing away from the camera. 
N-2, T-1, P-1, E-0, Total-4

Review by Ken W.
Nice scene, but there are a couple of things that might be helpful, If possible lighten the dark shadows on the giraffes, and there is some sensor dust that could be removed. I am not sure if black and white is the best option for this photo.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6


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