Study Group 2


Dennis Hill, PPSA (C)

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JUNE 2021 ROUND
Title:     Snow Leopard Cub

Goal:   To photograph Snow Leopards at Melbourne Zoo.

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D80 Lens Nikon 200-400mm f/4 VR Digital jpeg image @400mm 1/60 sec ISO 200 f/5.6 WB Auto Matrix metering Aperture priority.  

Technique:  This image was taken some years ago when I was using jpeg instead of raw. Melbourne zoo is participating in a breeding program for this vulnerable species, with estimates of only 4000/6500 left in the wild. Unfortunately this male cub succumbed to an infection 18 months later. Hard to get good images at this zoo. This image taken mid morning through a chain mesh fence. Monopod used.

Processing:    Image processed in LR cropped and adjustments to tone curve. PS image processed in camera raw. 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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MAY 2021 ROUND

Title:  Elephants Amboseli N.P.
  
Goal:    To photograph Elephants in Amboseli N P Kenya

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D7100 Lens Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 V.R. Digital Raw file @ 80mm 1/400sec ISO 640 F/8 WB Auto Matrix Metering Aperture priority

Technique:    Image taken mid afternoon from safari vehicle on road. Some areas of Amboseli were quite wet, whilst other parts had areas of dry alkaline dust. Took lots of images, difficult to get an image with good separation between animals. Hand held.
 
Processing:     
File adjusted in Camera Raw. Image cropped and adjustments to levels in L.R. P.S. 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.

The image is a little on the small size at only 1040 on the long side rather than 1400. Probably a typo when doing your sizing. The feeding behavior is clear and enhanced a little by the wet lines on the bodies showing they were wading while feeding in this area. While the nature story may be more effectively conveyed by focusing in on one or two individuals and the egrets looking to poach a few bugs as a by-product, I feel there is enough shown to warrant the 3 rating.

Technical quality is reasonable for the lighting and handheld shooting. I did note that sharpness on the near herd members improved noticeably by using the Shake Reduction sharpening option in Photoshop. On that basis I am only assigning a 2 on technical.

Trying to get separation on all members of a herd can be daunting. I feel you have done a commendable job in getting as much as you did. The composition is tight, but with no strong action heading out of the frame I felt it was reasonable. The cow on the right raising grass into her mouth was strong enough to act as a primary anchor point for me. The pictorial rating is 3.

N-3, T-2, P-3 = 8


This Review is written by: Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hi Dennis. I admit I am a bit envious as I would love the opportunity to photograph those wonderful elephants! This is a very nice shot of a number of them grazing.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Thanks for the technique details you employed on getting this fine capture. That is one way we can educate one another.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the pano crop on this image. The photo is sharp and well composed. I cannot think of anything to do differently. Well done!

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 8


This Review is written by: Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I like this as showing a classic group go elephants doing what they do. To me this non-close up tells a story well.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I find the elephants a tad too bright with little detail visible in that part of them, its fine in the wet areas. A bit more PP work is required I believe.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like your timing with the large elephant on the left looking directly to you with its ears out, which always helps. A very pleasing image with plenty to enjoy throu ghout the image.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 8


This Review is written by: Nirmalya B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The Title says the shot was taken at Amboseli but the photograph is cropped in such a manner that the amboseli part is missing. It is showing elephants in a swamp grazing for food.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Contrast is missing in the over all frame with dominating yellowish tone which need correction. Critical sharpness is also missing specially with the highlighted ares of the subjects.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In my opinion, during shootin g of a big animal it is better to avoid top down approach(shooting from top angle) as it minimises the magnanimity of the subject.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 4


This Review is written by: LC B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice clear shot of lots of elephants, but no clear nature story . A crop to remove the elephant on the RH side might help create more of a tale, as the viewer could then infer a relationship between the youngster and elephant on the LH side.


TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The primary subjects (the three elephants in the foreground) of the shot are well focussed and crisp, but the exposure levels are incredibly bright and the finer details of their hides are lost. Adjusting mid-tones (contrast/brightness) or simply ducking down the overall exposure might help this issue.


PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
While there are a lot of animals in the image there’s no clear interactions or relationships between them to help tell a story. Coupe that with overall super-brightness of the image and the composition just becomes a jumble of shapes with no clear story or through-line to draw the viewer’s eye.


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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 5


This Review is written by: Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
the bush elephants that reside at the Amboseli NP is the largest of the mamals which you recorded in that nice light. the feeding frenzy is observed and the right side one reminds me of the great ECHO. the little calf with the cow are eating which is a nature story although not of higher value.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
technically you have managed a reasonably sharp picture of the herd. I find the extreme right one to be great interest as it is belly diving in the Amboseli water logged swamp. You would be lucky if you caught that one separately.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
a slight reduction in haze is required.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 5

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.