Study Group 2


Andrew Hayes, PPSA, ARPS, EFIAP/b, DPAGB· - (B)

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FEBRUARY 2020 ROUND
Title:    Cheetahs marking territory  

Goal:     On this day I decided to follow the Fast Five for a while to see if they were ready to hunt.
I found them in a fairly remote area and they were just starting to get up and head out. I followed them for several miles through open plains, scrub and across a shallow river. While travelling they would stop and mark a tree or bush. I decided to try to catch them at the next tree and caught one spraying and the other scratching a large tree.
    
Equipment / Source:     Canon 1DXMkII
200-400mm X 1.4ext f/4
ISO 400
400mm
f/8.0
1/1000sec (anticipating move action)
Always happy to sacrifice ISO for shutter speed.
Handheld
Conditions were good 
 
Technique: 
   Followed until the group were heading for an obvious tree and drove ahead to wait for them to approach the tree.
They duly came to the tree and each in turn sprayed the tree. Captured several images of individuals, pairs and groups around the tree. Particularly liked this one with the two doing different actions.

Processing:    
LR Classic CC
Auto tone with some tweaks, added a little texture, clarity, dehaze and sharpening.
Cropped to square format.

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JANUARY 2020 ROUND
Title:  Lion Pride Affection
   
Goal:    This was an early morning run (06:00) to catch up with a large pride of about 20 lions and cubs. It was still dark as we headed from camp to where we thought the pride was. We found them on an open plain above Double Cross. The goal was to try to capture some images of interaction between cubs and adults and some play action between the cubs.
 
Equipment / Source:   Canon 1DX MkII
EF 200-400 f/4 1.4x
ISO 500
400mm
f/8
1/400 sec
Handheld

Technique:   After arriving at the location we positioned ourselves with the sun to one side. The sun came up very quickly after we arrived and working manually had to watch exposure. Watched the group for a few minutes and spotted these females with varying numbers of cubs. Repositioned again and waited for the cubs to interact with the adults. Fired off a few shots.
Suddenly there was a lot of commotion and several adults came close to us and stared down the hill. The cubs shot off in the opposite direction. The adults were watching a hyena that had taken a young hartebeest. One female shot off hotly pursued by us. She caught up with the hyena and stole the hartebeest. As she walked towards us a large male was following her intent on a meal. She soon put him in his place. We returned to the cubs up the hill for my fun.

Processing:    LR Classic
Cropped in, I like the letterbox format for these types of shots. It removes a lot of distractions and concentrates on the subject.
Auto tone with tweaks, texture and clarity added along with some sharpening

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

This brings back fond memories of my various trips to Africa.  I find the family life of the lions provide just as much story value as lions on a kill, maybe even more.  You captured excellent interaction between the lionesses and the cubs.

Technically it appears slightly overexposed, causing the light areas on the lions’ bellied to appear washed out and loose the texture of the fur in those areas, especially on the main female.  I recommend a slight decrease of brightness, approximately 12%, on the four lions.

Pictorially I like your decision to panel the image.  It works very well.

N3, T2, P3, E0, Total 8


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature moment, Not much action. The narrative is interesting but the image should tell the story

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good exposure and sharpness. The letterbox cropping is too severe for a nature image IMO

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Pleasing image except for the severe crop

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Lovely moment captured. The relaxed pride with the cubs having a gala time and feeling content is nicely captured.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically a sound image.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Lovely composition with the cub distributing the balance of the frame.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good photo of lion family. Nice capture of their interactions.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
To me it as little too bright. Maybe a stop too much, for the white fur of the lions looks blown out.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good framing. DOF is centered on the lions nicely.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A pleasing image Andy! But, in my view not a strong one. The story line would be stronger if the viewer could see the mother's tongue.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think the timing of your shot has let this down and timing is so important for nature shots (assuming the mothers' action of licking ended high enough to see her tongue over the cub). I too like your letterbox shape. Otherwise sharp and clear.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not that interesting for the reasons said above

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice scene with cubs playing.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The whole image is too bright and with lack of contrast an colors. It seems, that autocorrections were not good enough.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Crop is good for this scene.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
the fond love between the cubs and the mother is worth a 3. a true nature story. love it.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
highlights seem to be brighter ( may be due to my monitor). however a bit pulling back of the highlights slider would greatly affect the end result. DOF is good and so is the separation.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
pictorially the other cub is hindering the visual flow. but there is not enough space to cut it out.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Beautiful picture of laid-back lions.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Would have liked a little more saturation but otherwise sharpness was good.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The scene was very nice, showing affectionate by a lion and then a cub close by but on his/her own.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8



Biography

I was born in Prestwick, Scotland and travelled to many parts of the world with my father who was in the Royal Air Force. Now living in historic village of Fettercairn in Kincardineshire, Scotland with my wife Hilary and 'Smokey' the cat. Semi retired construction industry owner and business consultant. Grampian representative of the Royal Photographic Society, member of Brechin Photographic Society. (Est 1888), Dundee Photographic Society, a Scottish Photographic Federation Judge & Speaker and PSA Scottish Liaison Officer and Membership Director. Much of my photography was aviation photography but about 15 years ago I returned to Wildlife photography, mostly in Scotland, but with annual trips to Kenya and India.