Study Group 2


Gang Zheng - C

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SEPTEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:   Acting alone  
   
Goal:    In February 2013, I caught this interesting picture by the lake at the Beijing Zoo.
 
Equipment/Source:    Nikon D90, NIKKOR 18—300mm´╝îhandheld lens
 
Technique:   F/8, 1/1000 seconds, ISO-640, exposure compensation-0.3, focal length: 260mm, evaluation photometry

Processing:   
Pscs6, image clipping

  

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


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


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NEXT 2019 ROUND
Title:    A wild duck in the water
     
Goal:     In February 2018, I filmed two wild ducks about to slide into the water at Beijing Yuanmingyuan Park.

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D500, NIKKOR 18 ¬ ¬ -300mm, handheld lens

Technique:    F / 5.6, 1/1250 seconds, iso-320, focal length: 280mm, evaluated photometric

Processing:   Pscc 2017, Image Cut, Saturation, Sharpness 

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

While not strong, this image does have an adequate nature story since it shows action instead of being static.  Try to start learning more about the subject you photograph instead of being so generic. That knowledge can open up other opportunities to capture strong nature stories.  While most contests, including exhibitions, do not read titles, try to be a little more specific about what the image is showing.  Here a stronger title would be MALLARD PAIR LANDING.

Technically this image does have some problems.  Even though you indicated you did some sharpening, the mallards are still out of focus.  Various methods cold make the female (hen) adequately sharp but nothing could make the male (drake) sharp and keep the image looking natural.  An even bigger problem is the dynamic range.  The lighting conditions caused you to loose all detail in the male mallard’s head and at the same time blow out all details in the highlights on the underside of his wing.  You can partially recover the missing shadow and highlight details working with your raw image.  Make two copies of the raw image.  Save one 50 percent over exposed (equivalent to one stop over exposed) and the other at 50 percent under exposed (equivalent to one stop under exposed).  Combine the three exposures in an HDR program set for a realistic rendition.  HDR techniques are allowed in Nature provided the results are realistic.  I had limited success with this technique using your jpeg image.  You should have more success working from a raw image.

Pictorially, the composition can be improved by some additional cropping from the right to place the two ducks at the left third and eliminating some of the light area at the top and the open water at the bottom

N2, T1, P2, E0, Total 5


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Interesting to cakch two ducks landin.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Right wing of male duck is overexposed. Both dusks are a little bit unsharp.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
There's too much empty space on the right. I would rather crop it in portrait format.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature capture.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The birds are too small in the frame and it is difficult to see the bird in the water very clearly. The composition is distracting and my eye is directed to the bright blue water at the top. The slant of the water is also distracting. A tighter crop may help some.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Needs some work.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Tells a story.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not quite sharp. Longer lens would have captured action and eyes? Cropping would also have helped to see detailing of the birds.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Could be more interesting if you could get a closer look at the birds.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
You did well capturing two birds landing in the water and I like to closeness of the two birds. I also like very much the colours in your image. So the story part of your image is fine for me, but not a 3, as ducks land in the water all the time. I think you need a little more.

SCORE N (Nature) common behavior

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The birds don't take up enough in your image. I don't know how much you have cropped the original, but to be a strong image the birds need to be much larger.

I would crop a little from the left, then make it portrait shaped, thus removing a lot of the right which simply isn't needed.

You had a good speed at 1/1250 and exposure looks good.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Because of the small proportion of the image taken up by the birds, it isn't strong enough for me.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
A nature/wildlife picture. The story is not clear.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image isn’t very sharp. It also looks like some details are blown out in the highlights and lost in the shadows.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think a tighter crop would have been better. Also, a faster shutter speed would help sharpen up the feathers and water ripples.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
finding two birds on move and settling on water is a good choice of subject for an action shot planned. nature shot wise average. you needed to go closer.

SCORE N (Nature) common behavior

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
shadows are wanted and highlights are blown. you need to adjust the image before submitting in editing programme. shutter speed needs to be increased to freeze the splashing of water and your metering needs to be highlight based.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
not much to say. if you could go up close may be it would have fared better.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The female actually splashing and hitting the water adds to the decisive moment and to the nature story values of the image. Her wings tucked in at the moment of impact and the Male’s wings opening preparing to land sets up a nice contrast and juxtaposition.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is where the image falls down and apart. It’s just not sharp! I don’t believe it’s because of the lens. The Nikkor 18- 300 mm lens is very good glass. The 1/1250 sec should have been fast enough to freeze the subjects. This leaves focusing and hand-holding as possible causes. Being that I cannot find a zone of sharpness in the image, I believe the focusing issue is the source of the error. Perhaps, you saw the scene out of the corner of your eye and swung the camera to capture the moment. However, the movement of the camera wasn’t completely still enough to render the capture sharp.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The golden water tones are very pleasing. For me, the subjects are a bit small in the frame, and I personally would have zoom in by adding a 1.4 x teleconverter. Then, I could remove the blue color on top of the frame, simplifying the composition and placing the subject only against the gold tone water. The blue element adds a secondary source for the mind to flow too, distracting from the landing scene below. Overall, the subjects are too small in the frame, and the lack of focus spoils what potential could have been a solid image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4



I am an amateur photographer who likes photography. After work, I take pictures of people and still life around me. I find pleasure in photography. Hope to join the study group to get more guidance and help.