Study Group 2

Louise Hesse (B)

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Title:  ring neck duck

Goal:  I didn't have a goal in mind. Just went with my parents to see what type of ducks were at a pond in Boulder City Nevada and came upon this one. 
Equipment/Source:   Canon D60 
Technique:    hand held  

Processing:   cropping 

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

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

Review by Commentator Rick C.

You did well in taking advantage of the situation. I feel this is a good portrait of the subject (adult male Ring-necked Duck). Your exposure, focus and DOF all look good to my eye. I think the composition is effective and like the inward head turn. If you were able to keep shooting you may have one where the head turn was sufficient to clear the body. That would resolve the slight tonal merger between the darker tip of the bill and his back feathers. There looks to be a very slight halo along the back of his head. Try using a layer mask on your sharpening layer and painting out the halos when they crop up along some of the higher contrast edges. There also seems to be a very slight tip to the left based on the ripples in the water. All in all, you captured a portrait that most folks would be happy to have in their files.

N-2, T-3, P-3 = 8 (If the small issues noted in my comment weren’t there and the head turn was a little more complete it could have merited the additional E-1.)

Review by Mike P.
I think this is a pretty image. I like the way the duck is reflected in the water and the gentle wake provides a soothing image. I don't think it carries a strong story element and is best described as a portrait. Your focus on the head and feathers seemed soft.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Les L.
Not the most interesting nature photo but I think the photo has pop because the duck is so prominent. I think you did a fine job with the exposure, focus and color. I like your composition with the duck set off center.
N-2, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by Maria K.
Very good portrait. Colors, Dof, sharpness ,reflection all work here.
For me the image is lucking impact due to angle of your shot.
Probably you did not have much choice if you were not ready to swim but maybe laying down was possible.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Butch S.
This is a very neat portrait. Plenty sharp. The water color compliments the duck very well. The slight bow wave adds just the right amount of a dynamic to the image. The yellow eye draws attention to itself.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8

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Title:   Big horn sheep
Goal:   With no goal in mind just ran into the sheep on my way home from Northern Nevada
Equipment/Source:    cannon D60 
Technique:    Handheld

Cropping with saturation and contrast 

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

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

Review by Andy H.
Its often the way, you come across a subject that you hadn't planned and have to use what you have with the situation given.
I find it difficult to critique given that it was not planned. This is a here I am image with no interaction. The image is soft partly due to the time of day and strong sun. You haven't given us any settings so cant comment much more. The composition is difficult with the front legs and most of the back legs hidden.
N-2, T-2, P-1, E-0, Total-5

Review by Dennis H.
Unusual capture of bighorn sheep. Shadow areas could be lightened to bring out more detail. Image is a little soft, and could use more contrast.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-6

Review by Maria K
I really like composition of the image:sheep pose and yellow flowers are great..
Nature story is for 2 in my opinion.
I would like to see a bit more details,sharpness in the sheep head and body. With this light the only way is to retrieve it in postprocessing (local clarity and sharpness )
N-2, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-7

Review by Bogdan B.
The sheep is interesting to me, because here in Slovenia it's very hard to come close to them. Unfortunately the image is not sharp enough. I also miss the legs.
N-2, T-1, P-2, E-0, Total-5

Review by commentator Dan C.
Your image is interesting. Pictorially it is well composed. I am glad you did not crop tighter with this image when using it as a Nature image. The surrounding area does provide story value to the image by including adequate habitat information. I do not know if it is due to being hidden by a foreground rise but the pose also provides some story action. The way the front legs are hidden, you could say the sheep is getting up from having been lying on the ground. You can improve the texture of the rocks and the sheep’s fur with a touch of the Structure slider in NIK Viveza 2. Your image does come across as a bit soft. It is well within the range of sharpening in your computer. The adjusted version I attached used High Pass sharpening. N2, T2, P3, E0, Total 7

Review by Bruce F.
I’ll say that the environment that you do show in your image helps the nature story. The yellow sage blossoms and the rocky terrain do tell the viewer where this ram lives and what are its environment and habitat. Otherwise, I see some issues. The first is the overall sharpness of the image. It's not tack sharp. Especially, for an image like this, overall sharpness is a necessity. It’s possible that you could have pulled out a tripod from your car before the Bighorn Ram ran away, and shot the image with your camera on the tripod. (Solved the sharpness problem of hand holding and/or a possible focusing issue) Using a bean bag out of the car window could have help here too.
Hiding the lower body in this gully is not very flattering, nor is shooting from above. The shadows hided parts of the face. I would burn this part of the image a bit, with some selective software. The subject is also centered, and this subject placement isn’t the best for me. With the head angle of the ram, I would have placed it in the top right quadrant, so the subject has the rest of the image to look into. Also, I might have even gone wider and show a bit more of the environment. It’s a tweener, between a portrait and an environmental image now.
Not the best lighting at mid-day either, but you could not have changed this because of the serendipity of the sighting. Hopefully, you have a sequence and captured one that was tact sharp. For nature photography, practically all photography, focus, composition, and lighting, are the key ingredients of a great capture. You have none of them.
Also, don’t get caught up in your feelings of the moment; review your images critically and impassively. Show your best work, not the images that bring back special moments. I know I am being critical, yet only with the purpose of helping you become a better photographer. Spelling isn’t my strong suit, however, Canon is spelled with only one “n”. 
N-1, T-1, P-1, E-0, total-3

Hi! My name is Louise Hesse, I live in Las Vegas, NV and really enjoy getting outdoors. 

I love wildlife and nature photography! 

I am looking forward to learning from my fellow photographers.  I have been a member of our local camera club for about 6 years and PSA for 3. 

I really  am in awe of the beautiful images I have seen and aspire to be as good!