Nature Study Group 2


Dennis Hill, PPSA (B)

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JANUARY 2022 ROUND

Title:  Mud Bath
  
Goal:   
To photograph Elephants in Tarangiri N.P. Tanzania

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D300 Lens Nikon 200-400mm f/4 V.R.
Digital Raw file @ 200mm ISO 200 1/320sec f/6.3 WB Auto Aperture Priority

Technique:   
Taken mid morning from safari vehicle. Tarangiri has a lot of wildlife and birds. Not many leopards (7) as there is a shooting block next to the park. Thought this image interesting as the adult and calf had just taken a mud bath. Monopod used.

Processing:     
Image processed in LrC. adjustments made to Blacks, Whites, Clarity, Vibrance. P.S. Cropped, layers for Dodging and Burning. Luminosity Layer for sharpening.

Score this image: YES
  

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

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



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DECEMBER 2021 ROUND
Title:    Gentoo Penguin with Chick

Goal:   To photographic Penguins Macquarie Island Sub Antarctic

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D7200 Lens Nikon 80-400 f/4.5-5.6 VR Digital Raw file @ 400mm ISO 1000 1/1250 sec f/7.1 WB Auto Aperture Priority

Technique:  Image taken midmorning, Overcast, light rain and sleet falling. Macquarie Island is an Australian Territory. It has sprawling penguin colonies and large numbers of Elephant Seals. 24 Bird species can also be found. It was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1933. Took many images. Thought this one showed a good nature story. Hand held.

Processing:    Image processed in LrC Adjustments made to Blacks, Whites,Vibrance, and Clarity. PS Cropped, layers for Dodging and Burning. Luminosity layer for sharpening.

Score this image: YES


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

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

Review by commentator Rick C.
With the chick in the nest and visible the nature story value is a solid 3.

Primary focus seems a little on the close side. The chick is reasonably sharp but the adult’s head is not as sharp as the near grasses on the left. It could be a DoF issue based on the actual point of focus or an indication of some motion blur in the adult’s head. Given the relative sharpness of the nest front and grasses I suspect it may be a little of both. The upper breast on the adult is within the 240 range, but checking the Red channel shows a lack of detail in that area, possibly indicating that it clipped in the initial capture and the correction of the highlight values was not able to recover that detail. The technical rating for me is a 1 due mainly to the lack of true sharpness on the adult’s head.

The overall composition is fine. I find the similar head turn on both the adult and chick adds a bit of extra interest. The pictorial rating for me is a 3.

N-3, T-1, P-3 = 7


PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Delany, Nick
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NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: It is a good nature portrait of the Gentoo warily watching the photographer rather than interacting with each other. Recommend waiting (if possible) until the subject get's used to your presence and start focusing on each  other.
Score 2
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TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Exposure and color balance is excellent but there is an focus sharpness problem. Best that I can determine is that there was camera movement or more likely the focus locked on to the foreground grass and the depth of field from the lens was not quite enough. This where a carefully placed spot focus can assist.
Score 1
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PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: The subjects are too central in the photo. The image could be enhanced by the use of the rule of thirds to frame the crop. I would locate the adult'e eye in the top right intersection of the lines. This would lead to a slight reduction of the grass on the right hand side (50%) and bottom.  Consider placing your camera on the ground and look up to create a less dominant interaction.  In this image you are above & they are looking directly at you which in my mind creates a negative tension.
Score 2
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NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 1 - Inadequate exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 2 - Average composition and impact
Extra Point awarded: 0 - No extra point
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Total score: 5

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Dandridge, Rick
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NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Hi, Dennis. This is a very good nature shot taken in somewhat less than desirable conditions. Well done. Although it tells a nature story, as nice as it is, it is a common one.
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TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: I really appreciate your detailed summery of your gear, settings and technique. The more information we share the more other photographers gain valuable knowledge. Everything you listed is right on.
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PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: There is really nothing not to like. The detail and texture are excellent. The subjects are tack sharp and their color works well with the green environment. You allowed “room to breathe” on the proper side which seems to be something commonly overlooked. My only thought is to slightly crop a little off that side, but it is of no real significance. A real wall hanger!
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NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent composition and impact
Extra Point awarded: 0 - No extra point
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Total score: 8

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Bhattacharyya, Suman
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: a well documented nature story. good shot. love to see how it scores in the competitions as I would bet high on this one getting a medal.
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TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: technically except the crop (which I would highly advise) this image have everything including good legit sharpness, timing and mood. 
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PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: I would prefer you to have  a crop. crop the grasses and make the baby more visible and dominant in the image. 
NATURE SCORE: 3 - Nature story strong
TECHNICAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 1 - Inadequate composition and impact
Extra Point awarded: 0 - No extra point
- -: I would have love to allow the extra 1 only not for the crop
Total score: 7

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Bricelj, Bogdan
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NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: ND story is not very strong. It's more like a group portrait. 
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TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Grasses in front of penguin seem more sharp than the animals.
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PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Too much grasses everywhere. I would crop on both sides.
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NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 2 - Average exposure
PICTORIAL SCORE: 2 - Average composition and impact
Extra Point awarded: 0 - No extra point
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Total score: 6

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Ramchandani, Ranjan
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NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Love it. You have captured the beauty of nature here. Like the fact that the mother is guarding the chick and is aware she is being photographed.
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TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Technically very sound and the right settings.
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PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: The composition is perfect given that you have photographed this in the wild. There is not much I can say as just love the image as is.
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NATURE SCORE: 3 - Nature story strong
TECHNICAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent composition and impact
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Total score: 9

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Bodart, Marian
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NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: What a story - a Gentoo penguin and beautiful chick. We often see images of penguins on the ice in So. Georgia Island or on the ice flows around Antarctica, but this photo of the penguin nesting in grass is a great reminder of range of these beautiful birds.
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TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: The focus on the birds is a little soft and it appears that the camera acquired focus on the grass blades instead of the birds. 
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PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: I like the way the bird is nestled in the grass, it really gives a feel for the location. The chick peeking out from under is a great touch, if there had been some eye contact or other interaction between the birds, it would have added to the impact. 
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NATURE SCORE: 3 - Nature story strong
TECHNICAL SCORE: 2 - Average exposure
PICTORIAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent composition and impact
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Total score: 8

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Boros, LC
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NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Nice family relationship story. 
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TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: While the lighting given the time of day is handled well, your focus is only sharp on the foreground grasses which means the parent and chick are on the fuzzy side.

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PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Given the amount of grass surrounding the pair, I think the image would be improved by cropping to a more traditional portrait orientation and thus remove much of the grass.

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NATURE SCORE: 3 - Nature story strong
TECHNICAL SCORE: 1 - Inadequate exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 2 - Average composition and impact
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Total score: 6



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.