Study Group 2

Les Lincke, PPSA

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Title:   Mom and Dad
Goal:  The Burrowing Owls are in their nests in SW Florida in January and early February. They leave in March but return in April. I was hoping to get a pair with their chicks but all I saw was Moms & Dads. This picture shows how well they blend in with their environment. 

Equipment / Source:   Nikon D500 w/ 70-200 mm lens and tripod. 
Technique:   Shot at 1/180 at f4.8 at ISO 800 at dusk.

Processing:     Burned the background to make the owls stand out more.

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

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

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Title:   Horned Owl Chick

Goal:    I finally found a family of owls.

Equipment / Source:  
  Nikon D-500 w/ 150-600 mm lens at 600 mm. ISO 800. f 8 2 1/90.

Technique:   Hand held

Processing:     Normal Lightroom

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 Great Horned Owl chick itself looks good to me. I think you did very well for a handheld shot. I like the profile body position with the head turned back toward us. I think your exposure was biased by the blue sky behind and that you could boost the exposure on the chick by a stop without risking any detail. It looks very warm to me, which may well be the light you had. If that is the case or you like it warm okay. Otherwise I would shift the white balance to something more neutral. I see a fair amount of chromatic aberration along the hard edges. It is the cyan edging you can see on the tree branches. You can correct that with a lens profile, or do it manually if need be, in either Lightroom or ACR. The composition is good. You can’t do much about the clutter. Most GHO nests are in a tight area. I would shift the relative lighting to the chick by lightening it and darkening the background.

N-2, T-2, P-2 = 6 (A good nature portrait. T-2 Correct chromatic aberration and slight under exposure. P-2 Shift luminosity balance to chick by dodging it and burning in the background a bit more.)

Review by Dorothy P-R
Owls are wonderful birds to capture. I do believe this is a portrait of the owl. I am drawn to the eyes. I wonder if you could have maybe had them stand out more. The owls details are good. I am not sure if you wanted but the front branch is out of focus Do you think a higher aperture would have the front focused. It is hard to capture any animal in nature. Glad you finally were able to photograph an owl
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Mike P.
A nice portrait of the owl. Perfect exposure and focus. I also like how the branch he was on drew a diagonal line across the image, which in turn helped draw the eye across the photo. Nice work!
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9

Review by Manu R.
Capturing the image of an owl it self is an achievement (I was never able to find one to shoot). Bce pose withe owl staring at you and eyes fairly visible and in focus. Then on the other hand the back ground is disturbing and details on the feathers didn't come out well. With Shutter speed at 1/90 and at focal length at 600mm , it is extremely difficult to achieve clarity. 
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Butch S.
This is a very nice portrait image. The feather detail is easily seen. The colors looks alive and natural .

I wonder if you had chosen a larger aperture the depth of field would be shallower thereby giving a less busy background. The owl would probably be well within the depth of field and still in great focus.

The image does not show action but is rather a portrait. Thus, I did not give the highest Nature value.
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.