Study Group 2

Bogdan Bricelj, EPSA, EFIAP/g

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Title:  Compass Jellyfish

Goal:    Getting some more photos of jellyfish.

Equipment/Source:    Panasonic TZ-35 in underwater housing, 25 mm on built in lens, ISO 100, F4, 1/320 s Auto exposure on underwater program, WB underwater.

Technique:   This summer it was the first time, that I've seen small Compass Jellyfish. There were just two specimens. They were 2 – 3 cms large. The see moves them quickly, so they are wery hard to capture and still harder to make good photos. In next visits I couldn't find any.

Processing:  Contrast correction with highlights, levels and curves, removing some reflexes with spot healing brush, everything in Photoshop Elements. 

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

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

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Title:  Two Herons Looking for Food
Goal:     Getting some more interesting birds for exhibitions.

Equipment/Source:  Panasonic FZ-50, 420 mm on built in lens and aditionally 1,6x teleconverter handheld, ISO 100, F8, 1/500 s Manual exposure, WB auto.
Technique:   I like making photos of birds. Herons seem very interesting to me. But it's a hard work. They are very shy and escape as soon as we get closer. On the other side their feathers are so white, that it's hard to get the right exposure. Very easily they get overexposed. But with the right exposure all the enviroment gets dark. Anyway I like this photo because it's so minimalistic and the statue of both birds are so similar.   

Processing:   Contrast correction with highlights, levels and curves, sharpening, everything in Photoshop Elements. 

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

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

Review by Mike P.
A striking image that conveys an almost ghost-like, or even serene feel. The white birds against the nearly black background is especially attractive and certainly makes the beautiful birds stand out. Although you do have quite a bit of vacant space around them, especially to the left, I like it. This darkness sure provides a nice frame for them.
N-3, P-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9
Review by Butch S.
This is an interesting image with the two egrets and their near perfect reflections. I understand what you are trying to do. However, I think that you have too much "dead" space. I think that the image could have more impact if there was cropping so that the birds take up much more space. Did you get the underexposure for everything but the birds by camera adjustments or was the underexposure achieved in post processing?

In my opinion this image is a portrait for the Nature scores the two birds are not engaged in behavior other walking to discover food.

The Technical Quality is average because, in my mind, the two birds are so small that feather detail, lore color and beak color are barely discernible.   
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6
Review by Gregory L.
Nice composition of your egrets. While the birds are in a great position there is a lot of negative space around the birds. Cropping them in would help. It is hard to get close to them. The story is a bit weak as they are just looking foe a fish to grab. catching them grabbing one would make a great story. 
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7
Review by Louise H.
I agree Herons are very difficult to capture related to their shyness. I like that you were able to get as close as you did! The focus could have been sharper on the faces, with more definition in the feathers. You picked a difficult bird to capture and did a good job!
N-2, T-1, P-3, E-0, Total-6
Review by commentator Rick C.
To me this has the feel of "nature as art" more than that of an exhibition shot. I think you are correct in saying it has a minimalistic feel. Focus looks to be good and the Egrets (they don't appear to be the white phase of the Great Blue) look to have detail. At this size, I don't see the need to try to discern more. The composition is a little centered, but balanced. I do think you could strengthen the image pictorially by tightening it up (cropping a bit all around to more of a panel) but that gets back to the feel you want. Since we have very little in the way of color, I would go to a full monochrome and rely on the design of the image to carry it.

N-2, T-3, P-2 = 7 (N-2 shows behavior but at this size the story loses something, P-2 I would convert to BW and tighten the cropping up.)

Review by Manu R. 12-27-16
White herons in the black back ground Gives it an artistic impression. How ever the details are lost both in the subjects and environment.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6


Bogdan Bricelj, EPSA, EFIAP/g, was born in Jesenice in Slovenia. He graduated at Faculty of electrical engineering in Ljubljana. He was working for 9 years in steel factory Zelezarna Jesenice as service engineer. Since the year 1990 he’s manager and co-owner of computer company 3BM d.o.o. Jesenice.

He took his first photograph when he was five years old. When his parents were away from home, he used his mother’s camera to take a photograph of his younger brother which stood in the middle of the kitchen holding a knife in his hands. After developing of film, his mother wondered when she had taken that picture. He learnt the art of photography and developing of black and white photos in the photo school in the primary school. After that he passed over to diapositives. In 1973 his first diapositive was accepted on State exhibition in Nova Gorica.

More than thirty years he had on all his journeys an ordinary Praktica without any electronics. Gradually he bought a flash, macro rings, one broad-angled objective and two teleobjectives. Most of all he took pictures on trips and mountain tours. Primary he was attracted by small flowers and wild animals. The growing up of his daughter was also one of his favourites themes. When he was young he was experimenting a lot with taking snaps of »moon surface« until his lunar module exploded.

With introduction of digital cameras he started to occupy himself with photography more professional. He bought his first digital camera in the year 2004. He has realised that compact digital cameras have many advantages with respect to classic ones. He has found many new options which were not possible by using classic cameras: sharp photos with perfect depth sharpness, high magnification without objective changing, good macro photography, immediate photographs viewing, faster reviewing and sorting of snaps.

The previous knowledge of photography helps him a lot when testing new cameras and advising, recommending and instructing of their customers how to work with digital cameras. His presentations of digital cameras on Craft-fair in Jesenice and in Photographic clubs were accepted by interest. In the year 2005 he affiliated himself to photographic club Fotografsko drustvo Jesenice. At the end of the year 2008 he acquired the photo title Candidate for Master of Photography from Photographic Society of Slovenia. In the year 2010 he’s got the title PPSA and in the year 2011 he has got the title EPSA. The same year he’s got also the title EFIAP. In the year 2013 he received the title EFIAP/s and in the year 2015, his EFIAP/g. He had 17 exhibitions of his own. Since 2009 he’s been president of fotographic club Fotografsko drustvo Jesenice.

His photos

Since he has started to take pictures in digital technique, he does not use any other technique. All of his photos are taken with compact digital cameras, mostly with his HP-945 and Panasonic FZ-50. He knows cameras quite good and for that reason he always tries to get out of cameras as much as possible. The knowledge about camera efficiency enables him to get few unsuccessful shots. He expanded the efficiency of his camera by adding teleconverter, macro lenses and filters. Although digital photography allows a lot of possibilities of photo modifying, his photos are as much as possible pure representation of moments captured in the nature. Of course, some of the photos are a little bit beautified by contrast. He makes some cuttings somewhere, especially where he could not approach near by animals. Sometimes it is good to remove disturbing branchlet or reflections of camera¢s lenses from the shot. But it is very strange to him to modify background and various montages. That doesn’t seem to him a real photo.

He prefers making photos of nature: animals (macro, birds, wild animals), flowers and landscape. He captures also underwater photos. The other preferred theme is sports, especially outdoor sports. Compact cameras are there as good as SLRs. His most successful sport photographs are dog’s races and ski jumps.