Study Group 2


Natalie Murray (B)

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SEPTEMBER 2019 ROUND

Title:    In a World of Trouble
  
Goal:    There is a spot about an hour's drive from home where egrets and herons can be photographed at close range. They have become used to human company thanks to fishermen and photographers. I made the early morning drive in the hope of getting some action shots. After an hour of no birds I was about to pack up when the tide changed direction in the river. Suddenly the birds started to appear.

Unfortunately the sky clouded over, making high speed shutter images a little challenging, so I'm keen to go back for another go.

Equipment/Source:    Canon 6D2, 100-400mm ii lens @ 400mm, 1/2000, f8, ISO 1000, (-2/3 exp comp).

Technique:   Sitting quietly I was able to observe the fishing behaviour of the egrets. It was then a matter of experimenting with the camera settings, in particular adjusting exposure compensation for the white bird.

Processing: 
 Lightroom for saturation, sharpening, crop, noise reduction, tone adjustments. 


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:   Kingscliff Beachscape
    
Goal:   Landscapes are not something I attempt very often, however I discovered these beautiful mossy rocks while on the hunt for osprey. I returned the next morning armed with a more suitable lens and a tripod to make the most of this lovely scene. 
  

Equipment/Source:   Canon 6D2, Canon 24-105mm lens @ 32mm, f14, 4sec, ISO 400.

Technique:  I looked at composing the shot to use the sand patterns as leading lines. To capture the movement of the waves I used a tripod and 10 stop ND filter. I experimented with a few different shutter speed combinations, this one was my favourite.

Processing:  Cropping, tone and saturation adjustments,sharpening in Lightroom.


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 pleasant scene, Natalie. And yes, you captured the pretty color of the moss and got good leading lines in the sand, but the water the lines lead to isn’t strong enough. In my opinion, there is too much froth so it looks like there isn’t anything there. The light is pretty flat and combined with your 4 second exposure, the ocean has lost impact. If you increase the contrast, the leading lines become stronger and the waves become more pronounced. The water then gets more texture. More contrast also helps the sky, especially in the sunset colors on the left. Check some of your other exposures that were less than 4 seconds and see if they have more impact. This is what I got by increasing contrast a little.

N2, T2, P2, E0 Total = 6


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
It can be difficult to develop a story line in a landscape photo, though not impossible. Lava rushing out of a volcano and covering the land is one example that would work. I would suggest checking out other landscape images posted for this group and see what storylines they develop to help you solve this problem in the future.

There may be a story attached to the tide waters withdrawing and leaving the eroded sand, but for me this is a weak storyline.


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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The use of the ND filter certainly allowed for slowing the movement of the water and creating a soft appearance which I like. Your selected shutter speed worked well. The image appears to lose sharpness once you get to the mid-ground area and it certainly looses sharpness in the background. It appears to me that you have simply out shot your hyperfocal DOF. Since you like the 4 second exposure time, maybe a 6 stop filter would have been a better choice as that would have allowed you to adjust the aperture. Another choice might have been to use a GND filter which would have darkened the upper third of the image and then you could have changed the fstop to increase the DOF.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
For me your composition draws me to the sand which you state you wanted to use as leading lines. When looking at a composition the eye is naturally draw to the light and the bright portion of the image. In this case it is the sandy area and the almost white portion of the sand in the center of the image. No matter how many times I look at this I am drawn to this area. While the sand may have been quite interesting when you were there, I do not feel it comes across in a powerful way. If you want the sand to be dominant perhaps a lower camera angle, which would compress the sand area and also allow you to move the camera closer to it to capture more of the texture and nuances of the sand patterns would be better. I also feel that the sky area is a bit washed out especially in the highlights on the right. I feel there is a powerful image in this scene, one that just has not be brought out with this composition.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 5


Review by Gang Z

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
It's a great view, natural harmony.

SCORE N (Nature) 3-nature story strong

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

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is reasonable. The landscape choice is excellent, and the post-processing is suitable.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 9

IF APPLICABLE, WHY DESERVING OF EXTRA POINT FOR EXCELLENCE
Excellent picture composition and color processing. The slow door is skillfully controlled.

SCORE E (Exceptional) 1

GRAND TOTAL WITH EXTRA POINT 10


Review by Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
a peaceful image, pleasing color rendition, not over saturated.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
decent capture of the scene, good exposure. not easy in the limited time frame.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
overall a very nice composition, line, moss, pattern. However, I fell that the moss especially the left/front one might be a bit too much contrast, over power compare with near sand, that could use a little more to present a more balance near, mid, far view of the picture. then will be a stronger image.

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 6


Review by Ken W

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice photo of a scenic beach.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nicely exposed and sharp scene.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nice composition, I like that you used a ND filter to slow the water motion. I like the green moss, and sand with structure. Nice clouds. A sunrise or sunset with a little color could have added something to the photo

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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8


Review by Hattie S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I found myself mesmerized with the scene. There are nice seperation between close/middle/far rocks/land. Created very nice layers and depth. Feels there are stories here.

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

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
While everything on the ground level looks fluffy, soft, I found the cloud on the sky is more "harsh", in comparison. Feel like I would like to see more soft and fluffy cloud too, then I can imaging myself floating.

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

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE


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

TOTAL BASIC SCORE 8




Hello.  I'm Natalie. I live in Brisbane, Australia and have been interested in nature photography for approx 8 years.

Last year I joined my local camera club.  They are a very supportive bunch and I was immediately encouraged to enter club, national, and international competitions.  I am lucky to have a diverse range of birds that live locally or a short drive away, and I also enjoy looking out for the smaller creatures in our botanic gardens.  I shoot primarily with a Canon 6D2 and 100-400mm zoom or 100mm macro lens and edit in Adobe Lightroom.