Study Group 2

Mike Patterson

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Title:   Canada Geese Flotilla

Goal:    Capture birds at sunrise at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Canon T2i, Tamron 200-500 mm lens, tripod. Shot at 329mm at f6.3, 1/1000 second to stop the movement and ISO 800 

Arrived before dawn in freezing weather at Bosque del Apache. Set up camera on tripod and waited for sun to rise. As sun hit water, I watched a flock of Canada Geese swim across lake toward sunlight striking water. As soon as they hit the sunlight reflecting in the water, I snapped the shot, getting them backlit against the glowing reflecting of the sun. 

Processing:   Cropping and minor adjustments in Lightroom

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

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Title:   Hoodoo sunrise
Goal:  To capture the first sunlight hitting the red gravel pillars at Bryce Canyon National Park. I was very impressed by the drama and beauty of the first light. This particular scene attracted me because the sun hitting the lighter colored formations make it appear as if it is glowing.

Equipment/Source:  Canon t2i, canon kit lens

Technique:   Set up tripod and shot at 96 mm at f8, 1/320 second, iso 800.  

Processing:   Minimal adjustments in Lightroom

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

    Critique Image or respond to a critique (only members of Study Group Two may critique this image)

Review by Andy H.
Beautiful scene. You achieved your goal. The colours do look like the rocks are glowing. I might have reduced the ISO as you had spare shutter speed. I don't know what else is around this image but I would like to open up the image to see more. The top crop is a little tight and the crop on the left should either move back away from the stack or trim into the stack.Technically looks fine to me.
N-2, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-7

Review by Dennis H.
I like the way you've captured the sunlight illuminating some of the pillars. Nice detail and colours.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by Maria K
Very nice image. good exposure and composition with lighter part framed by darker. To me photo appears to be a bit soft. Maybe you can fix it in post by local contrast and sharpness.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by Bogdan B.
I like these glowing pillars too. You really caught the right moment and place. I would prefer a little bit wider view (not so central) and some more DOF. With tripod you should set smaller aperture and ISO and decrease shutter speed.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by commentator Dan C.

I often say it is not easy providing a good nature story with landscape images but the dramatic sunrise lighting do provide that story here.

Your sharpness and composition are good.  The lighting does appear a bit redder than natural but sunrise and sunset lighting is an uncontrolled variable.  I admit I am basing my comment on the color on my own sunrises at Bryce but also admit that under the right conditions the colors could be very accurate.  I did use the Auto Color adjustment as a “What If” and have included it for comparison.  Either rendition could be true and valid so I see no real reason to change your version.  

N2, T3, P3, E0, Total 8

Review by Bruce F.
This is a powerful and interesting landscape image, created with a mid-range lens zoom setting. It’s funny or maybe just a factor of Byrce Canyon. I also have a translucent hoodoo image taken way back in 1992 on slide film. It was captured during the evening at Swamp Canyon with a lone dead juniper tree in the middle of translucent hoodoo towers. With your title, I would explain the geological forces that cause this unique translucence. You’ll need a nature title if you want to submit this image to nature competitions.
Center composition works very well. The translucence on the lower right leads you into the image and your eye circles around to the center. I might dark that one little hoodoo on the right side. Located on the edge for it stops or hinders the eye a bit from visually circulating around to the center. Well done! This image could be entered in pictorial too. One nick pick, I would have included a bit more on top, because the second tower on the top is touching the edge. I feel that it’s a bit too tight here. 
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8

I am happily retired after a career in journalism and the non-profit sector. I reside in San Antonio but spend about half my time at our family’s small ranch in the Texas Hill Country where we raise angora goats, sheep and rocks. We have ample whitetail deer, wild turkey, a variety of songbirds, an occasional coyote or two and many wildflowers and native grasses to photograph.

I’ve been photographing most of my life but am finally able to devote more time to increasing my skill. A lot of my photography is of ranch and livestock scenes. However, I’m interested in pure nature photography, especially landscapes, and these are the shots I’ll be posting to this study group.

My wife and I travel a bit, primarily to the Southwest and West, which is where I especially enjoy shooting. My equipment is definitely on the budget end – a Canon Rebel and several different Canon lenses and filters. I process everything in Lightroom.

The study group can be very beneficial to me by seeing and learning from the excellent work of others as well as the insightful comments and critiques about my own photos.