Study Group 2


Dennis Hill, PPSA (C)

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NOVEMBER 2020 ROUND

Title:  Kangaroo Aggression
  
Goal:    To capture interaction between Eastern Grey Kangaroos at Pound Bend Warrandyte 18 miles N/E of Melbourne .    

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D 7200 Lens Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR Digital Raw File @370mm 1/2500sec f/7.1 ISO 500 WB Auto Matrix Metering Aperture Priority

Technique:    Image taken early morning. A mob of around 50 Kangaroos can usually found grazing on a cleared area before retreating into the forest as the day heats up. Waited till I could see some interaction between a pair. Took many images, thought this one interesting. Hand held.
 
Processing:     
File adjusted in Camera Raw. L.R. Image cropped adjustments in Tone Curve. P.S. Layers for Dodging and Burning. Had difficulty with bright background. 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 interaction is clear and the head position of the smaller Roo helps to define the story captured for the viewer. The Nature story value is a 3 for me.

The primary technical aspects reasonably well handled in my opinion. That said, I do feel the foliage in the background appears unnatural, possibly from being over saturated for the tonal value. The exposure looks fine for the lighting present but, unadjusted it leaves the main Kangaroo’s face shaded. The image would be stronger for me if the background luminosity was dropped further and at least the main Kangaroo’s face was dodged to open it up slightly. The technical value for me is 2.

The composition is tight with the tail of the left Kangaroo clipped off. It is hard to say whether a looser composition may have introduced elements that would be more of an issue than the clipping on the tail. I do find the background bothersome as it pulls my eye off the subjects even when I try to concentrate on them. The pictorial value for me is a 2.

N-3, T-2, P-2 = 7


This Review is written by: Kathleen C.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good nature story showing the kangaroos interacting. Your title suggests they are fighting with the larger one being aggressive.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
As you mentioned the lighting was not perfect so this was a challenging photo. Details and focus would have been improved with better lighting.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I enjoyed seeing this photo of the two kangaroos interacting. I especially love how the individual fingers of the paws are spread out on both of them! I wish I could see more details of their faces too.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hi Dennis. For someone like me living in the South Carolina Lowcountry, seeing a photograph like this is a rare event! We are more likely to photograph egrets and gators! I did an online search for Pound Bend Warrandyte and really liked what I found. Truly a great resource for nature lovers!
As unusual as this image is for me, I found it to lack strong impact.


TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your settings are good. Of course, I was not there. But I wonder if another shooting location could have placed the sunlight on the faces. Many times backlighting enhances wildlife, but in this case the bright background over powers the subjects.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like your subject placement. Although there are two kangaroos, the larger one has more “breathing, or moving” room as it is called. Sometimes when there are more than one animal, it can be confusing to find the right placement. Good job on that! As I noted above, the bright background takes the eye past the subjects rather than to them. I am not sure how much dodging and burning are permitted, but that may help a bit. It may just be the resolution of the submission, but the focus seems a little soft.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE< /strong> 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6


This Review is written by: Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good nature story. I love the way their hands and claws are out and spread open. The way the one kangaroo is bending back its head shows what damaged these weapons can do. Thus, a strong nature demonstrating how kangaroos fight and show dominance.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Yes, the background with the highlights in the leaves is an issue. I used Viveza for these situations. I reduce the contrast with control points; this helps blend and blur the pixels. Or I would select j ust the background and apply an adjustment layer to reduce the overall contrast. I would also darken the bright lime green leaves in the background. Selective contrast control could reduce the brightness of the background. I would also work on the eye of the standing kangaroo, painting with white at low settings of opacity and flow, to add a little more life to the eye. I would also go back into Adobe Raw Converter, and reduce the highlight slider 30 or 40 points, by using the alt key and viewing the black areas for the pixel points that change. If the values are close but not over 255, you’ll be able to reduce the white values to below pure white. Also, you might have considered using a wider f-stop like f5.6, to make the background out more out of focus, but only if f5.6 would give you enough depth of field and sharpness. I would also think about selecting the background and applying a gaussian blur filter to blur out the annoying distractions.

PICTORIAL REVI EW OF IM AGE
I think the vertical framing works well for the upright Kangaroos. Not sure about cutting off the tail of the upright Kangaroo, but I can see that it’s understandable since it sticks out so much, and including it would reduce the size of your subjects and the impact of them.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Very interesting moment.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Flat and out of focus with prominent halo. No detail in shadows and highlights

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not much impact.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 5


This Review is written by: Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Lovely image of the aggression seen hear between the Kangaroos. They go in flight and remain suspended for a while when they are fighting with their two fore hands and legs which are angled like a spring.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image seems a bit overexposed to me as the Sunlight hits the back of the neck and years of the taller Kangaroo. The rim light could have been compensated by a -1 stop or at f/8.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Kangaroos are Cute anima ls and h ence its aggression is also seem very funny to observers.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Dave F.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice interaction of the two Roo’s Story is clear

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the background is too bright and very distracting and takes away from the two Roo’s fighting or playing around

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
For me there is not enough to keep my eye on the image – it does not have a wow factor.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposu re
PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6



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OCTOBER 2020 ROUND
Title:     Masai Mara Elephants

Goal:   To photograph wildlife from hot air balloon over the Masai Mara National Reserve Kenya.

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D7100 Lens Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR. Digital Raw File @280mm 1/400sec f/8 ISO 800 W.B. Auto Matrix Metering Aperture Priority 

Technique:   Image taken just after dawn. Lots of wildlife about, took many images. Thought this one interesting as the balloon tended to make wildlife look up and move along. Hand held. 

Processing:    File adjusted in Camera Raw. L.R. Image cropped, adjustments in Tone Curve. 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 Tom S.

It is an unusual angle but you have to be careful with the composition to be able to make it something that is pleasing and interesting. From what I have seen in the past, looking straight down on animals makes for more interesting images, especially if they are traveling in a line. In this case, it would be better if the lone elephant in the upper left were not there. It just doesn’t fit with the group. The elevated position of the photographer doesn’t help the composition.

It is a portrait of a group of elephants and a weak nature story.

Technically, it is a too bright and flat. Reduce the highlights and darken the shadows a little to increase contrast without blowing out the highlights.

Also, your image does not have an imbedded color space. It needs to have sRGB, which is the standard for the Internet.

N2, T1, P2, E0 = 5


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Interesting picture of a herd of elephants. From the view point it is hard to tell if this is from a hot air balloon or just a cliff overlooking an area below.

In general with hot air balloon images I think they are more effective if you are looking straight down (or mostly straight down)

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is sharp with good use of DOF, the colors seem reasonable but the image seems likely over exposed to me. If it looks good on your monitor, I suggest you monitor is too bright. Best to have your monitor set to around 90 cd/m2.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not sure where to look in this image. In away the image is pan but there is a lone elephant in the background. Is that an aroused bull - looks like it. Is that the story? Or you could crop into a pan and leave the far elephant out.

I find this image more of busy snap shot than a strong image.

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


Review by Haru N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
You are lucky to encounter this scene. I could not detect what those elephants are doing by just lookin the image, I am afraid. And your comments did not provide that information either. So I could not find the information to support high rating on nature story.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the shot taken at golden hour. It gives 3D effect and nice color.
However, a bit loose in sharpness in my eye, although f8 was used in shot. I am not sure why.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is a pictorial beautiful image, however, it lacks "wow" factor in my eyes. I was wondering what move you to take this picture.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 6


Review by Tom K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I find this an average nature story.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In focus, and looks like a good choice of ISO,shutter speed, and fstop.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I think that the crowd shot is difficult as it is hard to isolate and focus attention. The single elephant seems to stand out in the uppper left, but don't see how his isolation fits with the story. 


Review by Andy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
There is a story in the group milling about below the balloon and reacting to each other.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Taking the image from the ballon brings its own problems. You have to go where the ballon takes you and its not possible to set up the shot.The image is well exposed in the early morning light. Its sharp and a good DoF.Shadows are a problem with the high aspect and low sun. Colours are fine.


PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition is a problem when you really have no control over your viewpoint but you've done the best you can with what you had. Its a good record but lacks impact.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 6


Review by Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
what an amazing trip and catch, particularly with the animals looking up, but without interaction, to me this is a wonderful portrait

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent exposure, given the trying conditions image taken from

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
most interesting image; what an unusual vantage point to take this image.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PI CTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


Review by Dave F.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good story showing the elephants from a hot air balloon

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Very nice image – you have a range of elephants in size and age and image shows them well – Image appears sharp and properly exposed but I think I would have taken down the highlights down a bit.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Interesting image perspective especially having thre opportunity to shoot from a hot air balloon.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHN ICAL SCO RE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


Review by Susan N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I typically don't like photos of large groups as they tend not to have a focal point, but this group is nicely arrayed and unusually all looking up to the camera. So it is interesting... not sure what the nature story is so didn't rate high

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Well composed and focused. Nice lighting and caught the detail of the animals.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Nicely framed and cropped. Animals arrayed in an interesting pattern.

NATURE SCORE 2-Nature story of avera ge strength (portrait)

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 8



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.