Study Group 2


Charlie Yang (D)

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NOVEMBER 2020 ROUND
Title:      Wood Pecker

Goal:     As midwest states went into covid 2nd wave, we're in lock down. This limit my usual shooting to backyard only.
With tree leaves falling, birds are easier to spot. This is my recent focus, wood pecker, they are not shy, seems very focus on tasks on hand, not as skittish as other smaller birds, and allow me to get closer.
This is pretty much my only nature study at this time.

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D500, 28-300mm @300mm, 1/1250, f/5.6, ISO auto @1400.
Handheld, so that I can keep moving and follow the bird. 
   
Technique:   when I spot it on my pear tree and crap apple tree, just grab the gear, with prepared setting, spot focus on eye, burst mode in 2 or 3.
So far I haven't caught its pecking speed to freeze the movement. sorry, I tried.

Processing:  LR exposure adjustment, shadow, texture, and then I tried Topaz deNoise AI, to see if that helps, thus might be able to up my ISO setting later. looking for some comments from Topaz users too.

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.
This is a bird portrait so a weak nature story.  If you get the woodpecker with a worm it found in a tree then it would be a strong nature story.

The exposure is close.  The highlights are a little blown out, but not too bad. The big problem is most of the image isn’t as sharp as it should be.  The sharpest part of the bird is the lower left.  

The cropping is OK so the bird is positioned properly in the frame but most of the bird is hidden by the tree trunk and branch.

N2, T1, P2, E0 = 5

This Review is written by: Haru N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This would be a difficult shot to capture the right angle, since birds are quick to fly. I like the composition to see the birds from the branches, however, in terms of nature story, this ends up being a bird resting on the branch and does not demonstrate strong nature story, I am afraid.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like blurredness of the background with beautiful color. This makes viewer's eye to focus on the main subject. In that sense it is successful.
However, I expect better sharpness on the birds, currently it is a bit loose in my view.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It is pictorially beautiful image. I would expect some uniqueness on the image, which standout from other images of birds.

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
This Review is written by: Andy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
We are all suffering a bit of cabin fever with these lockdowns but the garden can give us some relief. Without some interaction or action the story is weak.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Settings appear to be fine with the exception of the high ISO. I might have been tempted to drop the shutter speed as the bird is often stationary.DoF is inadequate. The branch in from is a nuisance but I would make sure it was in focus, Close the aperture to get more DoF, it could also help lower the ISO. Th e bird i tself is soft and part of the chest overexposed.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Suits square format but lacks impact.

NATURE SCORE 1-Nature story minimal or contains unrelated hand of man

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 4
This Review is written by: Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I know your problem as we have also been in lockdown. You have done well to capture this Woodpecker in your backyard.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Bird has catchlight in eye, feather detail and colour look alright. Image looks a little soft.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image has impact, but I think it could be improved by cropping top and L/H side. Large trunk needs cropping which is overpowering the bird. Try and take your bird photos without branches obscuring parts of the bir d. Nice try.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6
This Review is written by: Natalie M

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The story is there, you just weren't able to capture it on this occasion. Keep going back for another go and eventually you will get your shot.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is a little soft, perhaps from subtle movement of the bird or, perhaps from cropping.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the way the bird's head is framed within the branches.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE< /strong> 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 6

This Review is written by: Louis P

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
excellent portrait of a beautiful bird; in Maryland I have not seen one like this.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
excellent exposure, tack sharp and very well focused

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
loved the framing you did with the branch and main trunk of tree; quite moving and realistic.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SC ORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 8

This Review is written by: Susan N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice portrait. Not a strong nature story.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Well captured for exposure, framing and detail.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The side branch in front of the bird is distracting and detracts from the overall appreciation of the bird.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and i mpact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 6


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OCTOBER 2020 ROUND
Title:  Gull by the shore

Goal:   drive up to see possible fall color, and one of the quick stop by the shore, and having our sandwiches, see a couple sea gull fly around, I grab my Camera, kneel down, and scan for possible images. While one gull just pop around the rocks, peeking and eating whatever was there. as I get closer and closer, This one just stand there and survey what's around, I see the frame, some tree behind, and small plant in front. Hope to capture when he's into some action. but no more, I burst a few shots, One of the shot caught a wave splash right onto the rocks, behind the bird.
 

Equipment/Source:   Nikon D500, 28-300mm @300mm, f/5.6, 1/500S, ISO 100, Hand held. 
  
Technique:   My plan was to spot a potential frame, with rock, tree, vegetation, and best to catch some gull interaction or socialize. but not, only one left, and not eating either. So I got a stationary bird, standing, duh.
Kneel down, hand held, make sure spot focus is on bird's head. 

Processing:  LR minor crop, and try to fit bird in a non-center position. can't have them all.
LR minor exposure, shadow, textual, b/w adjustment.
Although it's close, but found out closer it get, the harder to get it framed right.

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 J.D.
Nature Story (N): A bird sitting on the ground versus a bird flying (since that is what birds do) leaves a lot to be desired for a nature story. However, when the bird is a sea bird and you have waves crashing on the shore and the mist flying, that changes every thing dramatically. Score: 2

Technical Quality (T): The camera settings on this shot were good in most respects but the depth of field would have been helped and improved the photo by going to F8 to f11. With an ISO of 100 it could have been raised easily to ISO 400 using the Nikon D500 which does very good with noise. (You have a wonderful camera!) Score: 2

Pictorial Quality (P) The pictorial quality seems to have been hurt by being too wide open shooting a white bird and water which was busting against the shore. As stated earlier, an Fstop of f11 would have helped. However, the color in this photo was very good and that results from having a good camera setup to begin with. The crop in this photo was not bad considering this would be a difficult photograph to crop under any circumstances. Score: 2

Exceptional (E): This photo did not move into the exceptional category so is undeserving of the extra point. Score: 0

Scores: N 2/ T 2 / P 2/ E 0/ Score = 6


Review by Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I'm not sure what the nature story is in this image, the gull or the wave.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your DoF seems adequate but the gull isn't sharp. Actually, I didn't find anything in the image that was sharp. I see that your shutter speed was 1/500 but that you were handholding. I'm wondering if you weren't stable on the rocks? I like the yellow color in his eye and bill with is especially nice next to the blue water. However, there is a large shadow covering the middle of the bird which made the exposure tricky and his neck ap pears to be blown out.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the diagonal line of the rocks and the small tree on the right. I think it provides good balance with the rocks and sticks on the left. If the subject of this image is the gull, he is only a small part of the image and he is overpowered by the bright, white water with which he is merged and doesn't adequately stand out.

NATURE SCORE 1-Nature story minimal or contains unrelated hand of man

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 3


Review by Diana R.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nature story seems weak- a gull with waves crashing behind it.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
To me the image is well exposed. The gull is fairly sharp and the water behind it seems frozen in place.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image seems fairly well composed.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6


Review by Kishore S.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Showing the the gull just standing on the shore, deprives the image of a strong impact.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image lacks sharpness which was probably due to shooting at f5.6 or probably caused by camera shake.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image comprises of too many distractions, leading to average composition.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadeq uate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 4


Review by Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This image of a gull standing on shore rocks puts the gull in his native environment, but the stationary position makes this little more than a gull portrait and in my opinion does not elevate it to being a compelling image.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is properly exposed and the gull is rendered sharp. The lower camera angle does make the image more intimate and interesting and I feel that is the strong point of the technical aspects of this image.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In my opinion the overall comp osition does not work well for this image. The bird appears to be positioned more to the left of center (the direction it is facing) and this imparts the feeling that the bird is moving out of the image. As presented there is a great deal of empty space behind the bird about half of which could be easily cropped off. That large bare rock just draws to much attention to an empty place. At the same time I feel you could crop some of the sky from the top without hurting the impact of the image.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6


Review by MJ S

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
No story just a portrait of seagull

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
eye of bird is sharp but some whites are blown

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like the wave but don't need the tree

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 5


Review by Kathleen T.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Charlie sorry this is late my first critiques and I appreciate your following your instincts to look for the shot of the Gull and wait for what might emerge. The joy of the hunt for a good subject.


TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The gull is in fair focus the settings seem good for this shot fast enough to freeze the spray.. but the spray behind took away my attention. His head does blow out because he is white . I wonder if a polarizing filter might have given you deeper blue water for contrast?

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
It is hard for me to know where comments should go. But the last idea I have is that as far as composition and your crop you also might have tried to flip the image to have the gull facing the other direction, increasing the darkness of the rocks if that was possible..

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 3, 6


Review by Susan N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice nature story with gull in front of splashing waves.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
well focused on bird and developed for detail

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Could be good if cropped so bird is in lower right of image - that means cropping out the pine tree, which is interesting for color, but pulls the bird to a non-interest portion of the image.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7

I love to travel, and travels bring back pictures and memories, that’s one of the reasons I join PSA, to take better pictures and learn what to adjust afterwards. Just start to learn the capabilities of LR and PS, and things some of my club friends can do with them just simply amaze me. 

Nikon D5300, D810 are my main camera, and still learning what they can do, and it's fun to walk around to take different pictures at different time and under different light. 

My other pastime is golf. Hope to play out 50 states PGA courses. 

I live in Schaumburg, Chicago suburb, looking forward to get some fun experiences with Nature.