Study Group 2

Connie Lubben

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

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October 2016 ROUND
Title:    Life in the garden 

Goal:   To capture the raw elements of nature.

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D7200, Nikon lens 18-300 at 300mm F8, 1/160 ISO 2000, CPL filter, Manual mode

Technique:    Hand held

Processing:  Processed in camera raw with some contrast, highlights, blacks, clarity, vibrance.

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

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

Review by Alan L.
That is raw nature at work. This is a great record shot of a rare find.
Even though it's a sharp image, something is a bit off in its presentation. Possibly the contrast or the color palette. This could work better as a BW.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8
Review by Mike P.
That's one unlucky frog! You definitely achieved your goal of capturing the "raw" forces of nature. You did a fine job of getting the exposure and focus just right. I also liked the compositon -- the curving of the snake and the frog created a nice arch through the photo. There was a lot of brush in the background but that comes with the territory of such a shot. You did a nice job.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9
Review by Gregory L.
fantastic shot of this snake swallowing a toad. A great nature story and position of the subjects, though flipped horizontally would lead the toad right in the snakes mouth. The background is a little busy but not much you can do about that, it also has some bright spots in it. Darkening the bright areas would improve it. Good sharpness. 
N-3, T-3 P-3, E-0, Total-9
Review by Louise H.
Hi Connie, welcome! You are fortunate to have all that nature in your backyard. You sure met you goal with this shot. The focus is perfect of the snake and it's prey. The composition is well done. The only suggestion I would make would be adjusting the depth of field to make the background blur, other than that a great nature shot!  
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8
Review by Butch S.
A raw image indeed, but c'est la vie! The image is technically acceptable . I have no complaints with focus, color, etc. However, in my opinion, there is considerable light reflection off of the leaves etc. that makes the image less attractive. Such reflection may be may be attenuated by a polarizing filter depending on light direction. In my opinion, the composition is not top of the line because there is so much in the foreground and the background to distract from the main subject of the image. I understand that such distractions are just what this image has innately. Not much you can do about that. However, the image is what it is and, in my opinion, it suffers in technical value for it. There is definitely a good nature story here. 
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7
Review by Azim R.
Good moment. But have some noise and disturb.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6
Review by Commentator Rick C.
Welcome to the group!

The nature story is clear and strong. The image quality is very good for iso 2000. You may have been able to get away with a lower iso without the CPL filter. The trade off depends on how much specular reflection was coming off the surrounding vegetation. Primary focus is good and the depth of field covers what we need to get sharp to convey the story. The composition is effective with the predator and prey acting as a blocking diagonal to keep us involved in the story. The brighter greens in the upper right and lower left could be burned in a bit to lessen their presence. More importantly I would take the time to urn in the light leaf behind the snake's head and running along the toad's foreleg. That is the more important adjustment to improve the staying power of the image. If you want, you could also dodge the snake's eye slightly to let it show more clearly. That and the darkening of the greens are just niceties.

N-3, T-3, P-2 = 8 (P-2 burn in the leaf behind the snake and toad foreleg to improve visual separation in that key area.)

Review by Manu R.
This is an image with strong nature story at the peak of action! Good clarity where it is necessary. though there are distractions the nature story takes over!!!
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9

Hello my name is Connie Bess Lubben. I live in Michigan with my husband and 10 dogs on a hobby farm. Our home is less than 30 minutes’ drive from Lake Michigan, numerous hiking trails, small lakes and scenic rivers. The woods and fields surrounding our farm are filled with deer, raccoon, coyotes, owls and bald eagles, which makes nature photography a natural fit.

I became serious about photography in 2012 after taking a class at our local college. Since then I have taken video and on line classes. I have also attended several seminars and workshops.

I am currently shooting with a Nikon D7200, my primary lens is Nikon 18-300mm. Post processing would be done in PSCS6.

November 2015 is when I became a PSA member. I am excited to join your study group.