Study Group 2


Hattie Stamer (C)

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SEPTEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:   Prey 
   
Goal:     Catch the lizard going after a fly 

Equipment/Source:    D850 f/5.6 1/250 ISO-500 300mm 
 
Technique:    Try to get as low as I can but without disturbing the lizard 

Processing:  
LR basic adjustment, Nik define to reduce noise. In PS, sharpen the image.

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

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













 

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AUGUST 2019 ROUND
Title:     I got your back
 
   
Goal:   In a zoo watching penguins. Saw two turned their back to me and one put its hand around the other. I want to capture this moment which showing their behavior, like what human would do too  
 

Equipment/Source:   D850 300mm 1/5.6. 1/800. ISO 1400

Technique:    Handheld

Processing:    Lightroom basic adjustment, Dodge and burn. The ground and surrounding was very bright, not sure how much burn I can do so it won't look too unnatural

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

Based on the markings I can see, the feather coloration, and the shape of the bill, I am guessing this is the Humboldt penguin.  While not strong, it does show an appealing aspect of their behavior and provides a clue that they generally mate for life.  I consider the red band on the left penguin’s flipper as scientific banding which is an allowed human element.  Zoo shots are allowed as long an the zoo setting is not obvious and while suspected, it is not obvious here.  The zoo did well by you by using granite instead of concrete for the enclosure.

Technically you have proper focus on the main subject and the exposure looks correct.

Pictorially it is a balancing act.  It would definitely be better to see the fronts of the penguins but then it would be harder to see the story of the interaction.  While the nature definition does say the nature story should be weighed stronger than the pictorial quality, is the story strong enough to overcome just seeing the backs.  Unfortunately that will depend a lot on the person viewing the image and in a competitive situation, the majority of viewers will say no.  A second issue is the out of focus penguin in the background.  It is a distraction.  Pay closer attention to the edges of your images when capturing not just the main subject.  Moving slightly to the right may have let you get the same story with a less distracting background to pull attention away from the story.

N2, T3, P2, E0, Total 7


Review by Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
You have catched the right moment. I've given N3 although the red bend is perhaps hand of man.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image seems not to be sharp enough, perhaps due to high ISO. Uper part of background is burned enough, but large white spot seems to be overexposed or at least distractive

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
composition is good. I would prefere to see both faces.
On the right it seems to be one penquin cut to half. If you have enough space, let it more.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Cute Picture but the backs of the animals are not interesting and in places the dark bodies blend into the dark background. Cannot see the eyes which should be an important component.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is flat and maybe increasing saturation and contrast may help. The crop is too tight. They need more room to move.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not very interesting

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 4


Review by Linda C

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Image doesn't really reflect interest.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Wondering if the one flapper should be blue. Also, what is red item. Contrast on top of picture dark while the bottom is light. Might suggest crop more of the bottom.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Does not inspire interest.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hattie - I'm not convinced the story here is strong enough, partially because the right penguins is looking away!

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The two main characters are sharp and well exposed etc. There is also DOF space behind them with the rocks out of focus. But I do find the two a little lost within this background - they don't stand out enough for me.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
As said above, the subjects are somewhat lost in the grey rocks and of course, we are looking at their backs

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Dennis A.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice pic with a story. However, being in a zoo may disqualify it from being called wildlife. I’m assuming the red band on the wing is ok.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Well done. Sharp and narrow DOF. Nothing blown out or clipped

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good cropping, but the top of the penquins seem to blend into the background and the red band is distracting.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
good sighting and quick reflex to be applauded

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
highlights are blown in the background. need to lighten the shadows in the left top head area.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
nothing attracted me except the radio collar put on the arms but that's okay from the nature point of view.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The only significant nature story item is the flipper appearing to scratch the back of one of the penguins. Don’t believe this element is strong enough alone to highly rate the nature story. The environment with the stone-like appearance isn’t so much different than the rocky environment where they live. Thus, the tight crop minimizes the zoo look and feel.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The overall sharpness of the birds’ feathers is adequate. The light and bright area on the lower right side can be reduced with a target adjustment in Lightroom, with Viveza, or just with a mask in Photoshop quite easily. The mind is drawn to this area, darkening it would improve the overall pictorial qualities.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think assessing the background, subject, and their relative positions are critical factors in obtaining the best capture. I would have stepped to the right and removed the third penguin in the background; the one seemly in an alcove within the rocks. This penguin on the right edge of the frame is a distraction. Also, by moving to the right the back-scratching penguin face and eyes would be more in view adding to the nature story value by providing eye contact with the subject. The title is a cutesy phrase. For future nature competitions, I would mention back-scratching in the title to emphasise the visual nature behavior.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5

 





I fell in love photography when I was probably 7, but never had a chance to learn or get my hands on a camera. I got my very first film SLR camera back in 2004, had some great time with it for a little while, then life took over.  Recently (late last year) I decided to devote more time and get serious about photography because it's my passion and I owe it to myself. 

Started self learning by surfing the web, read books, participate seminars, looking at others' work, etc.  Just joined PSA and believe it can help me grow.  My photography interests are pretty wide ranging but mostly shoot whatever I have access to (two young kids and pets keep me very busy).  My current editing tool is mainly Lightroom with Nik and trying to learn Photoshop. You can tell I'm way behind and have lots to catch up.

I'm looking forward to participate and learn from you all.