Study Group 2

Eran Perkins (B)

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

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Title:    Paired for Life

Goal:   Winter in the North Woods of Wisconsin is prime time for viewing Bald Eagles. I never get tired of observing them. This pair were a little obstructed by some high line wires, and I wasn't too crazy about the angle of the image. At any rate I wasn't going to miss an opportunity to capture them so close.

Equipment/Source:    Hand held. Nikon D3400 70-300MM Landscape. Still working on how to utilize f-stop 

Technique:  It was a fairly clear day and I was able to get really close to the Eagles without them moving too much or taking flight. They were perched right in town, and obviously conditioned to human traffic. 

Processing:  I did not enhance this image

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

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

Review by Mike P.
This is the best way any of us can improve our own images: When you get a chance, snap the shutter. I'm glad you captured the beautiful eagles. I think you had a very sharp focus. If you opened up your f stop more, you could blur or soften the background, which would bring more attention on the eagles. You could try different vantage points. For example, I don't know what the area was but perhaps if you had stepped more to the left, you could get more of a sky backdrop than the tree. While I think the eagles are magnificent, I encourage you to continue to watch them and try for a pose that has more drama or action.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Butch S.
This image, in my opinion, is majority tree and a little about the eagles. I would crop a lot closer to the eagles. The eagles seem to be under exposed on their side opposite the direction of the light shining on them. In addition, the right side eagle its in a position such that most of the head's features are hidden.
N-2, T-2, P-1, E-0, Total-5

Review by Louise H.
Love eagles. You captured a nice image of these two. sometimes you don't have a choice about the angle of a shot it might be the only chance you get. very nice hand held shot. 
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Manu R.
Pair of Bald eagles captured together in close range! Great! Other than that the exposure is not up to the mark and the details are lost. Composition is centered 
N-2, T-1, P-2, E-0, Total-5

Review by commentator Rick C.

I think you have a good eye for finding nature subjects. Your exposure is good. A couple of steps to your left, assuming you are not in traffic and can actually move there, would have placed both eagles against the blue sky and allowed them to separate from the background morel cleanly. At that point we could then tighten up on the composition to get them out of the center and more into the upper right improving the visual tension of the image as a result. Beyond that it is hard to say much other than there is a significant pixelization (roughness / coarseness) to the eagles. Since you don’t say whether you shot this as Raw or Jpeg or had to make a significant crop, it is hard to identify the source of the issue.

I do see that your image is only 583 by 388. That is really too small for forums like the study group. Make sure you size your image to at least 1024 on the long side for horizontals or 768 on the long side for verticals. The fact that is was so small may be the issue in and of itself. You don’t say how you are processing your images other than that you find Photoshop still a little overwhelming. If you happen to use the typical e-mail sizing function for a program you will want to indicate that the image should be “large” as opposed to small or medium. The majority of these quick save routines apply significant compression to an image which translates to a significant loss in quality. That could be the source of the coarseness. 

N-2, T-2, P-2 = 6 (N-2 Lacks behavior or some other factor for a 3. T-2 The pixelization is affecting image quality. P-2 Move left to place the subjects against the sky and then recrop to move them out of center.)

This isn't a very long story, but I wanted to start from the beginning. When I was a child my mother was always behind the camera. There are very few pictures of her in the frame. Sooo many pictures of my sister and I! My mother and aunt loved us dearly and it shows in all of the photos that they took. The inspiration was there, but the quality of the equipment was not. My mother and aunt always struggled financially, so an expensive camera was out of the question. Now that I'm an adult and both parents are deceased, I want to carry on the tradition of capturing wonderful moments in time. My sister (who is the best!) bought me a Nikon D3400 for an early Christmas present. I have been up at dawn and going out at dusk to catch the sun in all its glory.