Study Group 2


Janice Rosner (C)

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JANUARY 2021 ROUND

Title:    Japanese Tit on Icicle   

Goal:   I wanted to catch this bird flying in, facing me, to drink from the icicle. We watched a couple of the Tits for about three hours and I made several images. We positioned ourselves with respect to the background and focused on a couple of icicles the birds were interested in. Unfortunately, one of the icicles melted enough to fall from the tree. Although this image doesn't show the birds face, I liked the view of his wings and the light on the bird in general.  

Equipment/Source:    Sony a9, 200-600mm lens at 600mm, f6.3, 1/2000s, ISO400.  

Technique:    I used a tripod with a gimbal head, prefocused on the icicle and took several test shots checking for the DoF adequacy. It then became a waiting game, photographing the Tits as they came into the icicle.  

Processing:    
I did some basic exposure adjustments in ACR. In PS I cropped and removed a dust spot.  

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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DECEMBER 2020 ROUND
Title:     Weaver bird building nest
  
 
Goal:     We watched this bird coming and going from the nest for about an hour. My goal was to get a clear image of the bird with the nest material.  
  

Equipment/Source:     Sony a9, 200-600 lens at 600mm, f6.3, 1/1000s, ISO 2000

Technique:   This was early am with moderate tree cover thus the ISO 2000. I knew I wanted to keep my shutter speed around 1/1000 and have enough DoF to keep the bird and the nest sharp. There was a female that was also coming in and out which is another reason I wanted to have DoF as they were seldom on the same plane.  

Processing:   initial processing in ACR for exposure & clarity. In PS I cropped and did some burning of the bright plants in the foreground. Also a curves layer on the bird.   

Score this Image: YES

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

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

The nature story is clear and features a nice depiction of Weaver nesting behavior. The nature story rating is 3.

Technical quality is solid. The technical rating is 3.

While well composed the highly saturated flowers and the brighter highlights on the right edge and in the upper right as well as the thorns upper left pull at the eye significantly. It would be stronger with those areas desaturated and darkened slightly. Don’t forget to drop the contrast in the area at the same time. The out of focus grasses in the bottom center a somewhat bothersome as well. That could be desaturated and darkened slightly at the same time as the other adjustments. The pictorial rating is 1.

N3-, T-3, P-1 = 7


This Review is written by: Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hi Janice. This is a very nice photograph! You hit your goal. Although nest building is ordinary bird activity, I believe this shot rates a 3.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your settings and patience worked well for you. I like the fact that the bird’s head is sharp, while the wing tips are slightly blurred, adding a sense of motion to the photo.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The nest adds much texture and the bird and foliage provide good color, making some imp act. That helps to lessen the effect of what I feel is a crop that could be much better. A much tighter crop on the left and bottom, with a smaller crop on the right and top, would greatly increase the impact of this photograph. It would bring the subjects (bird and nest) much closer to the viewer. The excess areas distract from those subjects and leave the eye to wander throughout the photo.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Alex C.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The story for this image is great! It's quite obvious what the weaver is doing on the nest and the image fits the narrative.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The focus seems to key in to the next a bit more than the bird itself. It's very crisp right in the center of the nest where as the face of the bird is a touch out of focus. However, the colors and the wing movement are fantastic.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I love that everything is off to the right, not dead ce nter. W ith the weaver being a bit more in towards the center and the nest pushed off to the right, the crop is great. While the focus seems keyed in to the nest, the composition locks in your interest on the bird. Great shot!

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 8


This Review is written by: Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great capture. I love trying to take images of weaver birds...but in a zoo! You have a great story here, with the grass in mouth, wings flapping and nest clear. Well done

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Cant fault it - notwithstanding the fact that there are yellow flowers which some will deem distracting. You could consider cropping a tad more if you have enough horsepower in your image - that would give the advantage of enlarging the bird in the frame - they are very small!

PICTORIAL R EVIEW OF IMAGE
A tighter crop would help. I have awarded your image a 9 - could be 10, it you are able to crop more tightly, possibly with the bird left of centre.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 1-Exceptional

TOTAL SCORE 9


This Review is written by: Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The right moment to capture the bird with grass in the beak. Good story.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Sharp image, good lightening of the bird. Larger DOF means more busy background. I would burn it selectively.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would prefer tighter landscape crop with less distractive plants around.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composi tion and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: LC B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I think this is a strong nature story: I especially appreciate suspended animation of the bird.


TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I realize you were worried about DoF and as such the very blurry wing. I’m on the fence about if I like the blur when the rest of the image is so sharp. I think the color saturation and clarity overall is good.


PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The plant matter in the foreground which you said you worked on is the big distraction for me: I would crop it out entirely as well as some of the area on the right. I think this would enhance the story telling even more. Not only would it remove the foreground distraction but by shifting the subject placement to be more to the right, the open space on the left coupled with the wing blur would lead my eye to wonder if the next bird might have swerved into that space.


NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 8


This Review is written by: Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
catching the baya weaver in construction mode is a nature story.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the highlights seem to be over although you compensated using a +2/3 EV setting but still the highlights are quite over it seems. Shooting at mid day has its issues which is evident in here. You might want to consider lowering the highlights. Also your image is quite pixelated which is a technical flaw it seems.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
go tight. crop in a square forma t keepin g the bird with the nest being built increased its nature potential.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
getting the baya weaver in construction mode is a nature story that warrants a 3.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
you need to shoot with a spot metering mode here instead of the matrix mode you shot. Matrix metering gets the entire frame lighting calculation and does an average which if you have shot in spot or highlight based metering would have darkened the around area. Secondly shooting with 6.3 f-stop value is the cause why the eye of the bird is slightly off while the nest is in perfect sharpne ss. increase your shutter speed too as shooting at 600 mm, a slight flutter would bring haziness in wings which is not required and can be termed by the jury as potential technical flaw.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
crop hard and go tight. what about a square composition keeping the bird head on the top-left crash point. would increase visual impact.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7

I’m primarily a Canon shooter though I have recently started using a Sony a6500 when I hike.  For post processing I use ACR and photoshop.  I also have some Topaz products I use occasionally.