Study Group 2

Manu Reghurajan

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Title:  Spider and prey
Goal:  to capture the image of the Garden spider in action

Equipment/Source:   cannon 5D Mark III, 180mm Macro lens

Technique: Camera on Tripod and waited for the action

Processing:   Cropped and basic adjustments in contrast

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

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

Review by Andy H.
Achieved your goal, another good insect shot. You haven't given us settings so difficult to critique. Nice and sharp where needed. The RHS and main body is a little out of focus. Background well diffused. Like the web lines.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8
Review by Dennis H.
Very good nature story of spider with prey. Good colour and detail on spider. Background accentuates image.
Well captured.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, total-8
Review by Bogdan B.
I don't see the prey very good, but spiders eyes and front legs are perfect clear. The background is blured enough. 
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9
Review by Maria K
You got everything here.
Strong nature story, excellent dof, nice background.
Placement of the spider is very good and diagonal lines of web make interesting image.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9
Review by Bruce F.
Excellent nature story and a superb macro image. I would try to identify the spider. Nature images should be educational. If you want to submit it in the future to competitions, you’ll need to name the spider. Composition is very good. I like the off center placement—low and to the right. I might have tried to use a golden spiral overlay to see if moving the spider just a tiny bit even lower and to the right more would give more power to the composition. Love the light! The background is diffused and has pleasing colors. I would adjust the darker green spot down, above and to the right, a small amount by reducing contrast. Small adjustments can have powerful visual effects.

You don’t share your camera settings, thus, I might have used a slightly smaller aperture. This would bring in focus most of the spider web strands on the left side into sharper focus. You need to becareful with this not to sharpen up the background.
Overall, one of your best nature macro shots.  
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9
Review by commentator Dan C.

I have a fond weakness for Spider images.  You did a good job with this Argiope.  The leg markings indicate this is the Banded Garden Spider, not the more common Black and Yellow Garden Spider.  The underbodies of both appear very similar so the leg markings are key.  Your capture clearly shows the spider wrapping the prey by pulling silk from its spinnerets with its two hind legs.  The web shows nicely and the out of focus background is clean of any distractions.

While the capture you have is excellent, the story can be made even stronger by cropping and resizing the image.  The loss of some of the web does not hurt the story but the activity of pulling silk from the spinnerets to wrap the prey becomes more obvious.  That would have gotten you the extra point.

N3, T3, P3, E0, Total 9

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Title:   Nymph

Goal:   To capture the image of the Nymph of grass hopper along with dew drops
Equipment/Source:    Cannon 5D Mark III, 180 mm macro lens

 Camera on Tripod and moved to adjust the compo.
Processing:  Cropped. Basic

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

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

Review by Mike P.
I think you are a master at macro photography. Your work opens up new worlds for us to see, observe and enjoy. I like the way the green leave leads across the page, drawing the eye to the insect. Its long antenna stretching upward is especially arresting. Your exposure and focus were perfect. I can't see a way to improve this one.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-1, Total-10

Review by Butch S.
This image has a high Nature value as it gives the viewer an opportunity to see and appreciate the wee bugs. the image is sharp for the main subject. Also, to my eye there is some noise in the background. The image has real nice Bokeh and noise reduction would make for an even better background. I would like a crop of the image so that we get a closer view of the insect. Colors look authentic. The water on the plant leaf adds to the image.  
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7

Review by Louise H.
I really like the lighting on the grasshopper. The image is very sharp and well composed. 
N-2, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by commentator Rick C.

I think you nailed this one pretty much as well as it could be done. We could debate a bit about whether the composition might be stronger reversed so that the lighter grass leads the eye in while the darker portion of the blade acts as a blocking diagonal to hold the eye in. We could even debate whether selectively opening up the detail on the nymph’s side has value or whether a very mild vignette might control the viewer’s eye in a positive manner. (Although I suspect you have done a little burning in as it is.) In the end this is an excellent image and the rest are viewer preferential items. For the way you do have it composed I would burin in that light underside of the grass blade a touch more. Well done.

N-2, T-3, P-3, E-1 = 9 (N-2 Still a portrait although the sub-adult stage does add interest. E-1 This is strong enough to warrant the bonus in my opinion. I would expect it to do well in an interclub or international competition. I also think it has merits relative to publication in something like Ranger Rick.)

Review by Eran P. 3-31
I definitely need a macro lens! You have captured the tiny world that goes on around us that few people ever see or care about.
N-2, T-3, P-3, E-1, Total-9

I am a Civil Engineer working in the construction field in the United Arab Emirates since 1995. I am passionate about photography and actively pursuing it since 2012. Photography has opened my eyes into the beautiful world of nature. The interest in nature led me to research more on the natural history of insects.

I spent my days amidst nature during my young days in my native place in Kerala, India. I believe my love for nature stems from the fact that in my growing years I was surrounded by nature and I am able to share my vision through the art of photography.

I use Canon 5D Mark III, a 180mm f2.8 macro lens and 100-400mm f4-5.6 lens for nature photography. I use photoshop for the post processing.