Study Group 2


Linda Chubb - A

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FEBRUARY 2020 ROUND
Title:   Taking A Big Drink  

Goal:    My goal was to get a good picture of this butterfly in some field on one of my day trips to various small towns.

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D800, Nikon 28-300 Lens

Technique:  Hand Held

Processing:    Cropped and lightened

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

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


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JANUARY 2020 ROUND

Title:     Walk lightly & Carry A Big Stick
   
Goal:    This was actually a spur of the moment shot at the Rookery on Bolivar Island where I was taking pictures of the many birds that were there for their Spring migration.
 
Equipment/Source:     Nikon 750, ISO 800, 1/320, 230 mm, F25
 
Technique:    Hand held

Processing:   
Cropped, lightened a bit and used sharpness although it was fairly sharp.
  

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


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

Review by commentator Tom S.

 Nice nature story of a snowy egret getting a stick for the nest. However, it has several problems that can be fixed and one that can’t be.  First of all, the whites are a little too bright.  Reduce their exposure a little, but not so much as to turn them grey.  There is too much extraneous and distracting stuff in the frame.  The bird needs to be the center of attention, not the rock in front of it nor the plants in back.  Crop them all out, and then flip the image so the bird is facing to the left.  See my adjusted image.  The problem that can’t be fixed is the way the egret is carrying the stick.  It is parallel to the beak and hard to see plus the end looks like it is sticking out of its head.  Do you have any shots with the stick in a different position?

 N3, T2, P1  =  6


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Beautiful capture of nest building activity. Love how enough of the environment is included to give a sense of place.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Gorgeous light on a gorgeous bird. Color balance is good, focus on subject is good, good choice of DoF

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is a really beautiful image of this Snowy Egret. The color tones are soft and beautiful, the pose of the bird is nice and the composition overall is quite pleasing.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Pictures is a snowy egret carrying a stick. Presumably this is for nest building but this fact is not displayed clearly in the image. Under these circumstances I do not feel this is a strong nature subject.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A first glance the technical aspects of this image appear to be well handled. However, careful observation I see three major issues. First, note the position of the bird’s shadow. The harsh mid day light cast the the sun being directly overhead had rendered the top of the white bird overexposed. Snowy Egrets have fine feathers, especially when they are in breeding plumage This bird shows the breeding plumage on its head but the rest is overexposed and thus invisible. Secondly, the position of the stick held by the bird blends it into the bill and makes it difficult to see. While the position of the stick is not your fault, you are the one who took the photo thus making it your responsibility to either get a different bird or a different angle. This leads to the third point. The angle you chose for this image has you shooting DOWN from on top of the bird. A better angle would be for you to shoot at eye level of your subject. Such an angle may have also solved the issue with the position of the stick.

While there is not deduction for this I would note that from this angle there was no need to use an aperture of f25. With the amount of sunlight available when this was shot, you could easily drop the ISO and even raise the shutter speed. Generally it is better to shoot birds with shutter speeds at or near 1/1000. Especially Snowy Egrets becasue they tend to be jerky in movement and are very quick. Although he did not do this while you were shooting this image.

I would encourage you to conduct a Youtube search for Photographer David Yarrow and watch his video’s on shooting wildlife. He produces images that are acclaimed world wide and explains how he does this. He offers some interesting advice.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Over all the composition is fairly interesting. You have left space for the bird to move into the image and have more or less place it on the left hand fixation points. However the green leaves on the far left do little to help the image. Merely by waiting for the bird to take one more step he would walk past those leaves and thus they would not be in the image. If you shot this in burst mode, you just may have such an image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Martin P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The Egret appears to be walking along with a stick ? I guess we have to assume it is gathering nesting materials which is a strong story

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The bird appears to have lost detail in the white / feather areas which is a shame. I am not sure why this was shot at F25, the depth of field doesn't appear to be that deep. The sharpness appears to be acceptable if not excellent

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The angle on the bird shot from above leads to a fairly dominant looking position which doesn't feel right. The yellow of the mud feels rather nasty and doesn't provide a good background due to the angle. There are also a few distracting elements such as the stick behind the head and the foliage in the bottom left corner

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Natalie M

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Well spotted and great reflexes to catch the action. Definitely a bird on a mission.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image appears a little soft, which could be blamed on the slow shutter speed. I find that at least 1/1000 is needed for action shots. There also appears to be an area of lost feather detail across the back of the bird, but I think you've done well in what looks to be a tricky environment.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The view from above has created a nice uncluttered background, but I find these shots have more impact when taken at eye level with the bird.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 7


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
lucky you, be able to get so close with 200mm plus extender, lovely picture.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
sharp and details,

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
framed nice and focus on . not much to comment.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
very nice capture of a nature story,
look at the meta data 230mm of 300mm, you could have easily shot it at 300mm and get a image of better resolution instead, just a suggestion.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
reasonable sharp and clear. Is there reason why this image was taken at f/25? at f/16 or so, might be able to get ISO down further, thus rid of some noise. just a thought

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
a pleasing image, would darken the edges a bit, to stand out the bird, main focus.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Ken W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice image of a snowy egret carry a stick.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Feather detail and eye is sharp. Exposure is a little overexposed on top of the birds body. (Lack of some feather detail) It looks like the sun may have been high in the sky, earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon are usually better times for photography.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The bird is composed well with enough room in front of bird.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6

I’m a retired Legal Secretary who moved back to Austin, Texas, the first of this year.  I’ve been interested in photography going back to trying to take action shots at my son’s soccer games with a Pentax 35mm camera.

When I retired, I moved to Sun City, in Georgetown, Texas, where there was a great Photography Club.  We entered PSA competitions on a Club basis.  We also had Club competitions and critiques on an individual basis.   I have also participated in a few outside competitions.

I later moved to Galveston, Texas, where I lived for two years before returning to Austin.  While living in Galveston, I took two Birding classes and became very interested in my current interest in “Birds.”  Galveston was a wonderful place to see many bird species.

My present goal is to improve my photography and go on some trips with birding/nature groups to places outside of Texas.  I currently use a Nikon D750.  Taking pictures really excites me….I love this hobby!!!!