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Colin Bradshaw, PPSA, AFIAP (A)

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DECEMBER 2021 ROUND
Title:   
Kestrel on post with mouse

Goal:   
To photograph Kestrels that I had seen in the area.

Equipment/Source:    
This shot was taken using my seat hide using a Nikon D500 with a Sigma 500 f4 prime, 1.4 converter.
Shutter speed 1/320, f5, ISO 100 focal length 750 mm, plus 1 compensation, it was a fairly dull day so no problem with highlights, There had been a pair of kestrels in the area for some time and I had seen them land on this fence post, they were fairly active and I think they must have had young nearby, I set up the hide and waited and was fortunate to get this shot.

Technique:   
One man seat hide with tripod.

Processing:  Processed in photoshop, I used two separate levels layers, one for the background and one for the subject, the eye was quite dull so I brightened it a tad.

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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NOVEMBER 2021 ROUND
Title:   Brown Hare on the run

Goal:   capture the hare in action

Equipment/Source:    Model NIKON D500
Lens Nikon 200-500
EXIF
Exposure Time 1/1000 s
FNumber F7.1
Exposure Aperture priority
ISO Speed 200

Technique:   One person seat hide to get as low as possible 

Processing:  loaded into Lightroom with lens correction the exported to photoshop and used levels to enhance the image

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.
While the level of behavior is not truly special, you angle of view and the fact that all four feet are off the ground are strong enough aspects for it to rate a 3 for me.

You need to watch your sizing. Try to give us the full allowed size as it makes evaluation much easier and more effective. For what I can see in this size, all technical aspects look to be solid. T-3

The centered framing is understandable for capture but it would be more effective pictorially to crop to much more of a vertical format. If you want to add some visual tension, have different spacing from the subject to the edges of the frame on the right and left. P-2

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


PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Binney, Adrian
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Hello 'fellow brit' Colin! Well done in your DPAGB - not easy (I am hoping to obtain my CPAGB next w/e!) A well timed shot, with all feet off the ground, clearly running straight at you. As captured so well, a clear story of a running hare.
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: I love the direct eye contact and its pin sharp. There is nice low side light, but the right side is not too dark (probably good post processing).
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: A good image - may well work well in mono also.
NATURE SCORE: 3 - Nature story strong
TECHNICAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent composition and impact
Extra Point awarded: 0 - No extra point
Total score: 9

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Bodart, Marion
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Oh my! Everything about this image is wonderful - it packs a punch!
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Well exposed, sharp, great background - from the great focus on the eyes to all feet being off the ground at once - well done.
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: The viewer can really connect with the hare. The eye contact is amazing. This image makes me want to know more. Why was it running, what did it do when it realized you were nearby?
NATURE SCORE: 3 - Nature story strong
TECHNICAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent composition and impact
Extra Point awarded: 1 - Exceptional
Total score: 10

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Dandridge, Rick
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Hi Colin. Wow! What an exciting photograph! A hare running may be a rather routine nature story, but here you have managed to capture a truly strong impact! TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Your technique and gear/settings worked very well! What I would like to know is how much you studied the subject’s habits. What caused it to run straight towards the camera? How much familiarity with it do you have? Were you shooting handheld? The more information we provide, the more we educate one another.
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: This is really fine photograph, as I am sure you know. To capture the run with all feet off the ground is impressive. And how often do we see catch lights in both eyes? There is very good texture and a strong impact. At first glance, I judged that a portrait crop is called for, but upon further reflection, I came to feel that the square crop is perfect. And the subject being fully in the center greatly illustrates that so-called rules (rule of thirds, in this case) are actually guides, meant to be overlooked in the proper conditions. This is one portrait that earns the exceptional point!
NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent composition and impact
Extra Point awarded: 1 - Exceptional
Total score: 9

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Finocchio, Bruce
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: I think that having the hare running straight towards you, and catching the moment it was off the ground make this image’s nature story, powerful. Its eyes are clear and engaging. Very close to eye level, sitting in a blind made this possible. Therefore, an engaging and intimate view, by seeing the world from the hare's eyes, enhances the nature story even further.
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: I don’t see any major technical deficiencies. The soft light is beautiful. The subject is sharp and in focus where it needs to be. If the image were mine, I would select the subject creating a mask, invert the mask, so the background would be selected. Then, I would apply an adjustment layer and reduce the contrast of the background. This technique has the effect of blurring the background a bit, making it recede further away. For the little green circles to my mind is a bit of a distraction, blurring them by reducing the contrast of this area, would make them fade away. Improving the quality of the image.
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: I like the square format and the center placement of the subject. This is an image where the rule of thirds and the advice of not placing a subject dead center is successfully broken.
NATURE SCORE: 3 - Nature story strong
TECHNICAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent composition and impact
Total score: 9

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Bhattacharyya, Suman
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Catching a brown hare on the run face up is a good show although a weaker nature story.
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Technically perfect as both eyes seem tack sharp and you caught it on the run too. Congratulations for the good capture. Extra point added for getting a perfectly symmetrical shot.
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Centrally divided picture , I would have liked a closer crop
NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 2 - Average composition and impact
Extra Point awarded: 1 - Exceptional
Total score: 8

I live near Peterborough UK, I started with a Box Brownie in the 1960s then a 110 film camera and never really took anything other than snapshots, then my Daughter came along and the first few pictures I took were really disappointing so I got a Petri film SLR in 1976 buying various lenses and filters but never taking it that seriously and stayed with film until the dawn of Digital, I then brought an early Kodak Digital from a friend, this was very low pixel count so quickly moved on to point and shoots, these were fine until the Grandchildren came along when they were just too slow, I then got a Nikon D50 and stayed with Nikon to this day with a D850 and two D500s.

In 2011 I joined a Camera club which opened me up to competitions, at first not at all successful however the critique of some good judges soon pointed me in the right direction.

I was asked to join a club specifically set up to achieve accreditations and now have achieved PPSA, BPE 5*, AFIAP and gained my DPAGB. My main passion is Nature / Wildlife photography.