Study Group 2


Adrian Binney, QPSA, LRPS

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NOVEMBER 2019 ROUND
Title:     Leopard enjoying meal
     
Goal:    To get as clean a shot as possible of a leopard, ideally feeding  

Equipment/Source:   Olympus EM1X with Pro 300 f4 lens +1.4 converter (FF equivalent 840mm) - ISO 6,400 1/125 f5.6

Technique:   We found this leopard soon after it had secured its warthog prize in Namibia last month, just as evening light was fading! I had set Auto ISO to a 6,400 max (due to m4/3 size sensor) so this drove 1/125th - fine with the 6x+ stop image stabilisation, but the leopard had to be materially still. So I timed my shot sequence accordingly (I don't like sequential shooting in these circumstances: I can fire 2 or 3 shots very quickly as needed].

Processing:    Lightroom used only. Not much of a crop needed, just putting it in a letterbox shape. I added localised texture and a bit of clarity to the leopard and darkened slightly the background. I chose not to use noise sliders as I actually didn't think it was necessary. Is there enough story here?

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

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


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OCTOBER 2019 ROUND

Title:    Springbok walking in the desert  
   
Goal:    To use the light being picked up by a group of springbok as they moved towards a waterhole early in the morning
 
Equipment/Source:    Olympus equipment at Full Frame equivalent of 600mm.
 
Technique:   Handheld from a game viewer 1/600 f8 ISO 250. Timing the shot when there seemed a good spread of animals across the frame.  

Processing: 
  In Lightroom - not a huge amount, but 'punch' added to the springbok and contrast generally - after letterboxing the image.

  

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

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

 Review by Tom Savage

Having the Springbok spread across the frame makes it hard to know what to look at but you did do a good job in getting their walking dust backlit.  It would be a much more interesting image if you focus in on the four in the lower right and cropped out everything else and then flipped the image so they are walking to the left.  See my adjusted image.  My image isn’t too good because the image on the web is very low resolution and can’t tolerate that much cropping.  It would also be much better if you could have gotten the water hole in the bottom of the image so the viewer could see why they were walking.  That would tell a nature story, but as it is now, they are just walking.

 N-2, T-2, P-1   Total = 5


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
As a nature story I find this to be rather ordinary. Just the fact that these animals are walking does not show anything out of the ordinary. I have no indication from the image that they are moving toward a water hole and thus this lacks a solid story line.

SCORE N (Nature) 1-Nature story minimal or contains unrelated hand of man

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Even allowing for the fact that this is taken from a “game viewer” this image is quite soft. In the thumbnail version the Springbok are so small as to be little more than vague forms in the frame and when enlarged they completely fall apart. This may be due to the slower shutter speed and vibration of the vehicle or it may be that at 600mm you need a firmer support system.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The first thing that strikes me is the unnecessary band at the top of the image. This is doing nothing to help the story line and as such could be cropped off. This would remove a distracting portion of the image. I also think the image could be strengthened by removing the two animals on the far left. The higher of the two is not moving with the herd and the lower is just too far separated from the others to look like he belongs. I do very much like the trails on the ground behind the animals. Being that they are diagonal they add direction to the image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good equipment ensures that long-distance shooting is clear. The antelope running in the picture is very dynamic. The story is strong.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Exposure normal, focus clear. The depth of field control is reasonable.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The picture is reasonable. The main body is prominent. After the proper handling.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The springboks are too far to be in the range.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Martin P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A interesting environmental study. The creatures have created some interesting patterns in the terrain. It is hard to assign specific behavior as they are ultimately just walking


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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image looks sharp and well exposed.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The antelope do stand out well in the image and are lit nicely from the side which does help highlight them within the frame. I do wonder if we really needed the top strip of vegetation as I don't feel it adds to the image. I also wonder if we needed the 2 animals on the left of the image. I feel a crop would make the remaining animals larger in the frame.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Sylvia W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I feel that the Springbok are soft and out of focus.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Overall a very bland image - the colours are all one tone.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would consider cutting off the top of the picture - the area of only the shrubs. I do like way the trails are a bit lighter which helps the viewer move through the picture.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5

I am retired (64 as at 2018) and keen to devote more time to photography and travelling. My photography started 40 years ago with a home darkroom and like many, was kickstarted again with digital SLR’s becoming affordable.
I was a Canon man - 5 and 7 bodies, with many L series lenses, but sold the whole lot in 2015 due to weight issues. I now use an Olympus EM1 Mkii with many of their Pro series lenses and don’t regret the move. My core wildlife lens is a 300 f4 prime, which is razor sharp. Used with a 1.4 converter gives a Full Frame equivalent of 840mm - in a recent trip to Costa Rica 80% of my shots were at this reach (birds there are small and other wildlife are very high in the canopy!).
When at home in the UK, I enjoy visiting zoos and bird protection areas, as well as trying to photograph insects in gardens etc. I also travel abroad to enjoy wildlife experiences - Africa and Costa Rica mostly.
I am Secretary and Committee Member at a large Camera Club (Winchester, Hampshire) and enjoy helping to run a large club (200 members). I continue learning a lot from the many excellent photographers (particularly in use of Lightroom and what makes a good image). I don’t use Photoshop. In December I was awarded LRPS - the first distinction level of three awarded by The Royal Photographic Society.