Study Group 2

Dennis Hill

Click image to enlarge

Upload Image and Description

Title:   Pacific Black Ducklings

Goal:   To photograph birdlife along the Yarra river 30 kms N/E of Melbourne near Warrandyte.

Equipment/Source:     Nikon D7200 Lens Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR. Digital raw file @210mm f/8 1/640 sec ISO 1000 WB Auto Aperture priority Matrix metering.
Technique: Came across these ducklings which I had seen earlier with the mother. She had apparently left them on this rock in a shallow part of the river near the bank. Waited until some activity took place between the ducklings. Hand held.

File adjusted in Camera Raw PSCC.
Cropped, curves adjustment, layer for dodging & burning. Adjustment layer for luminosity sharpening.

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

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


Upload Image and Description
Title: American Flamingo

Goal:    To photograph Flamingos on Floreana Island in the Galapagos Islands.

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D80 Lens Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR. Digital JPEG file @155mm f/5.6
1/1250sec ISO 100 WB Auto Aperture Priority Matrix Metering.

Technique:   Waited till some activity took place amongst flamingos. The birds where in a brackish lagoon. Hand held.

Processing:     File adjusted in camera raw PSCC.
Cropped, curves adjustment. Layer for dodging and burning. Adjustment layer for luminosity sharpening.

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

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

Review by commentator Dan C.

The pose of the flamingo provides your story here.  It works.  Remember the virtual feet of an animal.  Just because they are hidden by the water does not mean they are not there.  A little more space at the bottom would have left room for those virtual feet.  While it may appear contradictory, I am not bothered by not having enough space at the top for the flamingo to straighten its neck.

Your exposure and sharpness are good.  Your cropping did help the composition but you did not crop enough.  Go to a full vertical presentation instead of the near square presentation you chose.

N3, T2, P2, E0, Total 7

Review by Fran M.
The pose you have shot this flamingo in is quirky. Not how we usually see them. I like the turned over head behaviour. Technically, the image is lovely and sharp with good feather detail. I wonder if it could be improved by depth of field dropping out some of the water detail in the background.  
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by Andy H.
Well seen and waited for that 'moment'. Sharp, DOF a little tight.
For such a stunning bird the image lacks punch. Could be due to the light or dark water. Composition could be improved, the bird seems out of balance and positioning within the frame is not the best.
Another question for Dan.
We are told to leave room for feet, even if we cannot see them. Is that true for this image?
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Bruce F.
Two thoughts I have on this image.
One, I would like more room on the bottom. Looking at the image as is, it feels like the flamingo’s legs are cut off. Visually with the water line cutting the legs off just below the knees, you know there is more of the legs to show, but the close framing cuts off this implied view. Thus, making the composition a bit awkward.
Secondly, the background water appears to being flowing downhill. This is a minor point, but yet again, is noticeable and stands out in the image. Also, I think there is a bit too much room on the right, a closer crop I think would improve the focus on the flamingo subject.
Otherwise, the behavior with the preening is there and adds to the nature story. Colors are saturated and the diffuse light works well in showing them off. Although, the eye is close, it’s clearly shown.
Other than the defects mentioned above the rest of the elements are handled well. 
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Bogdan B.
Oh, how I wish to photograph these beautiful birds!
Otherwise I don't like such action at birds. Cleaning of feathers is very often.
Image is very sharp and proberly exposed. I miss some more water on the bottom. It seems like the legs are cut.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7

I live in Templestowe, a suburb north-east of Melbourne, Australia. I have been interested in photography for many years but only became serious when I joined a local camera club 8 years ago.

My main interests in photography are nature and travel. I use Nikon equipment D7200 and a number of lenses from 16mm-400mm.

My other interests are travel, motor sport and gardening. My goal in joining the nature group is to improve my photography and learn new skills.