Study Group 2


Louis Paley - (C)

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NOVEMBER 2020 ROUND
Title:   Cobweb with Droplets
     
Goal:   I was searching for interesting insects to shoot when I saw this cobweb with early morning water droplets on it.

Equipment/Source:   I used my Sony mirrorless cropped camera (a6000), mounted on a tripod with settings: 0.2 sec, F5.6,ISO 100, EV 0.3, 54 mm effective focal length, using a Sony 16-50mm lens, Aperture Priority, multi segment.

Technique:   camera mounted on a tripod shot at various speeds and the 0.2 seconds shot gave me the best results

Processing:    I used LR 6 to crop and slightly adjusted the lighting and sharpness.

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.

Louis Paley - Cobweb with Droplets

Comments by Rick C.

I feel you captured what you set out to reasonably well. While dew / rain attaching to the web is a common source of water for spiders (and yes, they do drink water) the lack of a spider interacting with the droplets leaves the nature story back in the 1 rating area.

The basic technical aspects of the capture are handled reasonably well in my opinion. The Technical rating is a 3.

While your composition for the web and water drops is entirely reasonable, the background elements are so close that they do not allow the primary elements to separate well visually. Further, the strong color and brightness of the leaves and other detritus pulls the eye away from focusing on the droplets and the way they are suspended in the web. The Pictorial rating is a 1 for these reasons.

N-1, T-3, P-1 = 5


This Review is written by: Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hi Louis. Kudos to you for finding a way to keep shooting despite your aliment! Also, I admire your willingness to step out of the box and photograph what would normally be overlooked by others. But I must confess that I find this particular photograph to be overly busy. There is no one main subject for which the eye to be drawn. It is surely a nature shot, albeit a very weak one.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I find your settings to be fine. The issue to me seems to be that although the s cattered drops seem to be the main subject, a large number of them are not in focus. Perhaps shooting tighter into the scene would help. That way perhaps fewer drops would all on the same focal distance.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I hope you will continue to experiment with your subjects. Even so, I would caution you always seek to use good composition “rules.” Although they can be broken, the so called “rules” are not there to hamper, but to aid us in our art. A clearly defined subject, leading lines, proper placement of that subject, etc. allow the viewer to better understand and appreciate our photography. To create some drama with this photograph, have you considered a conversion to B/W? You may find that will bring some unity to this image.

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


This Review is written by: Kathleen C.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I find cobwebs to be very interesting and it is an amazing feat that spiders can spin these webs . Water droplets on them are fascinating . Too bad you did not catch a spider along with this to make it more exciting.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The busy background is a little distracting . Not sure if you could have found less busy / focused one to make the droplets pop more. Sharper focus on the actual webbing details and drops with a solid background is my suggestion although that mig ht not h ave been your goal.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
This is a photo that Is yours and something you found interesting. A photo of the droplets with a pattern of the cobweb would be more pleasing to me.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 5


This Review is written by: Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Yes, there is a nature story here, but the image is so chaotic that it doesn’t present interesting elements or a strong visual impact for a viewer. Here is where all the other considerations for a great nature image come into play. You see, you took a picture. That’s a record shot, recording what there. Photography at the highest level is art.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically, your depth of field is very shallow. That’s OK if you got all the waterdr ops shar p. I don’t think the lighting is helping you here either. The glare on the background objects distracts from the subject.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great photography isolates subjects, provides the mind with lines, shapes, color, to help the viewer see the subject. Here your subjects are too close to the background. Backgrounds are extremely important. Your choice of a subject doesn’t lend itself to a good photograph. When doing macro photography, you need to select a subject where the background is far away, so it’s diffused out. Then, the subject stands out without distractions, and if you are very good at it the image will sing with beauty. Simplify! Less is more! I know this web and dewdrops caught your attention it’s just not a suitable subject for a photograph.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 1-Inadequate exposure

PIC TORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 4


This Review is written by: Robert D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hmmm. Total Chaos with a couple of sharp drops

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A bewildering collection of in and out of focus, circles and lines over and under exposure. I am sure that some would call it abstract

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Not great

NATURE SCORE

TECHNICAL SCORE

PICTORIAL SCORE

TOTAL SCORE no score given


This Review is written by: Prasad D

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nice attempt. Though Should have had a subject matter...probably a tunnel spider below the cobweb would make it interesting.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Good

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Try having a subject in your images.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

EXTRA P OINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 5


This Review is written by: Dave F.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Interesting with the water drops but not much of a story especially with such a busy background.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image of cobwebs and water drops look sharp on the front end but they fade out over on the left and is distracting. Maybe crop to focus on the water droplets that are in focus

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
As I have attempted to take similar images with varying success I find the image way to distracting

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 4




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OCTOBER 2020 ROUND

Title:     Fox Kit with Prey

Goal:   I hoped to catch a fox kit hunting or having caught its prey, in a nature setting.
 
Equipment/Source:      Sony 6500 with Sigma 150-600mm lens on a gimbal and tripod
 
Technique:   with fading light under tree-cover, I shot with the lens on the tripod at an effective 900mm, camera set in Aperture Priority, and: 1/400, f6.3, ISO at 640, Multi-segment, and -0.3EV.

Processing: 
  used a free editor called Faststone viewer to crop and adjust colors, sharpness, etc

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.
Very strong nature story.  Always good to show a predator with prey. Good work!

The fox is sharp and well exposed and with good color.  The background is too bright with several bright, white things and bright leaves.  Tone them all down as well as the bright sky.

The fox is posed well, since it is showing us his catch. 

N3, T2, P3, E1 =  9


Review by Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is an interesting image showing a young fox kit with a prey. The history is not clear - did the kit capture the little (mouse?) itself or did the mother provide a toy for the kit. The image shows the kit carrying the mouse like a prize possession.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image is well exposed and the color is true. The DOF is okay, the background is too close to be out of focus. Also the kit appears slightly soft.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
A couple of things could be done to h elp this picture. First I would flip it left/right and remove some of the tree by the kits head (to the right as we are looking at it now). I would also brighten the eyes a bit, especially since the kit is looking down. Lastly I would dark the tree below the kit and the background, both are distracting.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


Review by Haru N.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
You capture the right moment at right timing.
This is excellent moment to show the nature story. Congratulation! Well done.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Adequate sharpness on the main subject with blurred background. Nice light hitting on the main subject, but not evenly, which create additional 3D outlook of fox.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
No additional input for improving composition. It is simple, good level of impact.
Again well done!

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 8


Review by Tom K

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great capture of a nature story.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The exposure seems good, but there is a softness to the fox that is distracting.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The out of focus tree trunk on the right is very distracting. The background bokeh is very harsh. It might be better to do a 2.5 to 1 crop and try to darken the background.

NATURE SCORE

TECHNICAL SCORE

PICTORIAL SCORE

TOTAL SCORE 8


Review by Andy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good story with the fox and the prey. Would have been stronger if taken at the time of capture.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You've managed to capture a reasonably sharp image given the low shutter speed, well done. Exposure and tones are fine. Eyes are sharp.I would tone down the light background. Tree on RHS distracting.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Composition is fine. I would crop the tree on the RHS and some off the top. No real impact for me.

NATURE SCORE 2-Nature story of a verage s trength (portrait)

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 6


Review by Dennis H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good nature image of Fox Cub with prey.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Young fox has nice colour, eyes clear. Prey a little difficult to see.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image has impact, but I believe would look better flipped. I would also crop out tree trunk on R/H side. Light areas in background could be darkened.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and imp act

TOTAL SCORE
7


Review by Dave F.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
well it appears that when you set out with your goal you met it – nice story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
image is properly exposed and in focus and nice DOF

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
shows a story of the Kit fox as part of a natural environment

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7

I am a retired environmental engineer and worked for the US EPA for over 25 years.  For the past eight years my wife and I have lived in a retirement community in Silver Spring, MD, USA.  Upon moving there I took a basic digital photo class and fell in love with photography as a hobby. 

After three years I decided to up my game by purchasing my first DSLR , long lenses, etc. and began concentrating on USA wildlife photography, primarily birds.  I began using Sony mirrorless cameras (a6000 & a6500); multiple zoom lenses including Sigma 100-400 and 150-600s with tripod with gimbal head, etc.  Then my right should gave out and the doctor told me to lighten the load.  I will now shoot with a Sony “bridge” camera, the Cyber-shot RX10 IV (24-600mm zoom). 

I shoot only in RAW format and use Windows PCs with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6for editing and cataloguing approximately 8,000 images.