Study Group 2

Les Lincke, PPSA

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Title:   Hoodoo At Bryce Canyon-1

Goal:    Seeking acceptable images while in Utah. 

Equipment / Source:  
  Nikon 810 w/ 28-300 mm lens. 

Technique:   1/125 @ f 16; ISO 800

Processing:     Cropped, sharpened, noise reduction

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

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

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Title:   Irritated Mockingbird

Goal: I like this closeup even though it does not have a real nature story.

Equipment / Source:   Nikon D500 w/ 150-600 mm. F 8.0 @ 1/350. ISO 800
Technique:  Handheld

Processing:   Crop and sharpen

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

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

Review by Butch S.
I noticed that you cropped the image. Why did you crop parts of the bird out of the image? To my eye, it appears that the back and tail feathers have a bluish tint. The bird is nice and sharp. The background is nicely blurred to yield a good Bokeh. I agree with you that the Nature score will not bee high.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Bogdan B.
I like this bird, but I miss legs and tail. If you wanted just a portrait, the crop should be even closer.
The eye is sharp, but feathers on wings are not sharp. The image also has some noise in the background.
N-2, T-2, P-1, E-0, Total-5

Review by Andy H.
As you say the image is of an irritated mockingbird, which makes me feel uncomfortable. The exposure is fine but the colours seem unnatural to me. There are signs of detail loss and noise, possibly due to trying to recover detail. The crop doesn't work, for me, I would like to have seen the crop show the whole bird or more tightly cropped as a close up.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Bruce F.
I disagree. This image does have a nature story. The story is the action of the open beak, implying that the bird is calling or crying out. Mockingbirds are great singers and mimics so the action and story tie together. Is it the strongest nature story, perhaps not? What really concerns me as an image is the way the bird legs and tail are cut off. As an image the composition to me is poor and distracts away from the energized head with the open mouth. I would also cropped off some and get tighter eliminating the legs and the one bothersome wing tip.

Also, the subject could use a bit of lightening, especially the mouth area. Its nature photography, and the nature story might be the most important factor, but you can’t ignore the pictorial elements that give an image power, and the characteristics that draw viewers back to view the image again and again.
Crop tighter and lighten, or fine another image in the sequence or go back and try again.
Positively, you have a good clean background with a light/dark effect. A good nature story with an open mouth and implicit action going for you.  
N-2, T-2, P-1, E-0, Total-5

Review by commentator Dan C.

The calling and attitude do give this some story value.  I agree that the attitude shown makes for an interesting image. 

I am bothered by the blue cast I see on this image.  Most mockingbirds are grey with some browns.  There is a blue mockingbird but it is uniformly blue without the white breast and underbelly.  The blue may be reflected light coming off some nearby surface.

I have no problem with cropping out parts of the bird but feel it needs to be more extreme, completely eliminating the tail and legs instead of only part of them.  You should also eliminate or at least reduce the digital noise in the background.  You can also make the background more interesting without being intrusive by selectively darkening it.

N2, T2, P2, E0, Total 6

Review by Dennis H.
Good capture of agitated mocking bird. I feel bird needs a tighter crop to remove legs and tail. Also bird appears to lack detail.
Nice background.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7
Review by Maria K
There is nature story here, maybe not for 3 but open bick is a main subject here.
Crop could be tighter in my opinion.
what distract me is some noise and a bit not natural color.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

I live in Ft. Myers, FL. and Blowing Rock, NC. I am a retired business executive who travels extensively and enjoys photography as one of my many hobbies. I also participate in the PSA Travel Study Group. I look forward to being involved in this nature group.