Nature Study Group 2


Nick Delany (A)

Click image to enlarge

Upload Next Round's Image and Description
JANUARY 2022 ROUND

Title:      
Bald Eagle Sushi  
 
Goal:    
In Spring, 300 or more Bald Eagles gather in the vincinity of the entrance to Bute Inlet to feast on migrating herring & hake who can be trapped in tidal currents and forced to the surface. I am seeking to tell the nature story in different ways away from the common swoop & capture photos. In this image, I did capture the while bird with good separation from the borders, however, I choose this crop to focus on the story of him swallowing the hake in flight. Feedback on the composition & deliberate accentuation of the vertical light would be appreciated.   
 

Equipment/Source:    
Sony A1 with FE 200-600mm zoom lens
ISO 2500 1/4000s f/6.3 600mm Digital Raw file
  
Technique:      Handheld from a floating platform (Zodiac.) in afternoon sunlight. Tracked using AFC and multiple exposures.

Processing:      
Processed in Capture One. Used layers to correct HDR levels on the eagle. Used a elliptical layer to emphasise light source onto the head.

Score this image:    YES

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

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

 



Upload Next Round's Image and Description
DECEMBER 2021 ROUND
Title:     Bald Eagle in Flight #11
 
Goal:     Looking for new & unique ways to photograph Bald Eagles. This subject is skimming the water just below me allowing slightly overhead shot. While coming towards he is watching another eagle to his left as he begins a turn in the opposite direction. Looking to depict the size and power of these birds. 
 

Equipment/Source:    RAW file , FE 200-600mm zoom F5.6-6.3, Focal length 200mm, ISO 400, Speed 1/4000, f5.6, Exposure comp -1.0

Technique:    Location Bute Inlet in the Discovery Islands BC Canada. Shooting from a Zodiac in fast moving sea rapids where the Bald Eagles are fishing . Needed to adjust for the boat movement and the Bald Eagle flight speed at 50 mph.                          

Processing:   Processed in Raw in Capture One. Adjusted Levels & shadow. Using layers I raised the shadows on the body, enhanced the eye & beak. With layers a re toned down the water and created a front to back light to increase depth perspective.

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 Jan L.
Nature Story:
This is a nice photo of a low-flying eagle. The nature story would be much stronger if the bird had prey in mouth or talons.
One of the first things my eyes went to in this image were the obvious areas of layer manipulation. I am not at all saying that what you did is not legal in Nature: I am saying that you need to be much more careful with your selections. Your image no longer looks natural. On the side of the bird’s high tailfeathers, there are clear selection artifacts all up and down the feathers. This is not acceptable in Nature. I am also not certain that there the selection around the bird’s eye and the water. If I were to notice these effects during a judging, I would ask for this image to be disqualified.

Technical Quality:
I am not going to repeat my comments on the quality of the selection edges.
The very sharp. The light looks natural, and the image is well exposed throughout.

Pictorial Quality:
The composition here makes good use of a difficult subject. Notice that all of the bird is above the horizontal center, the line of the bird in on a slight diagonal, and the head is not in the center of the image. There is just enough distance between each wingtip and the edges of the image to not feel crowded. This gives a very energetic and dynamic feel to the image.

N – 1; T – 2; P – 3 = 6


PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Yang, Charlie
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: nice capture of the bald eagle in flight, especially in a rocking Zodiac,  can't imaging how many image got discarded. 


Though bald eagle in flight, it's getting to be a common behavior, especially in a gliding pattern, it's only a =2 rating. 
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Image is sharp on head, the front of the wing, etc. 

There're some ghost at the tail, back of the wing, should be able to fix it, to make it better. The same goes under the left wing,  
It is more visible in 200% view. 
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: This image as a whole seems to be rather heavy on the top half, and leave a lot of space at the bottom half, Not sure what can you do to make it better, 

like the process on water, "layers a re toned down the water and created a front to back light to increase depth perspective.", Think more work on that to make it natural. 

- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 2 - Average exposure
PICTORIAL SCORE: 2 - Average composition and impact
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
Total score: 6

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Stover, Heide
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE:  I love bald eages and wish we had more in my area.  
The image does show a nature story.  I like that you captured the bird head on and feel that the tilted tail helps add interest to the image.  I think having a fish in its talons would help make the image stronger.

- -: - - - - - - - - - -
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: the bird looks sharp to me.  The eyes and face help to draw me in.
There is one section by the tail that is lighter than the rest of the background.  I think that is a spot you missed
in post processing.
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: I like the composition of the image with the eagle filling the frame.
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 2 - Average exposure
PICTORIAL SCORE: 2 - Average composition and impact
Extra Point awarded: 0 - No extra point
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
Total score: 6

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Roberts, Lillian
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Nice capture under really challenging conditions!  Eagles are powerfully engaging subjects.  In this case, the story is limited - basically a bird in flight, and without a lot of the detail in the wings and tail that tend to fill your frame and give the viewer more information about the subject.  You do have the water as a BG, which adds a story element as well.
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: You did a good job overall in selecting the subject, which kind of makes the mistakes more obvious - check the spots behind the tail and in front of the eye on viewer's right.  There is considerable color noise or artifact on the underside of the bird, presumably a result of excessive shadow/highlight application.  Nice thought on the graduated light, which afaik is perfectly "legal" processing.  Aside from that, your exposure is spot on and the bird is quite sharp and (other than the spots mentioned) your processing is not obvious.
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: The main problem here is the horizontal nature of the bird's position in the image.  Although the outspread wings fill the frame from side to side, he takes up only a small vertical portion of the frame.  The water doesn't hold enough interest or story to warrant giving it so much space in the image.  Also, the bird is looking off-stage, and we can't see what he's looking at.  
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 2 - Average exposure
PICTORIAL SCORE: 1 - Inadequate composition and impact
Extra Point awarded: 0 - No extra point
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
Total score: 5

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Treadwell, Larry
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: When shooting images for use in a PSA Nature category it is of the utmost importance that the photographer remember the nature story is of primary importance.  Everything else is secondary.  While this is a very nice flight shot of a bald eagle it is none the less just a flight shot and as such carries a very minimal story line.  The comments you mention about what the bird is doing or about to do fail to translate into the image.  Although careful observation will show the tail feathers have been tilted to facilitate the up coming banking movement.


- -: - - - - - - - - - -
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: The technical aspect of the capture is quite good.  You have a very sharp eagle (with a great eye) and the angle does show a bit of the bird’s back which is somewhat unusual.  Capturing this from a moving boat with the bird coming toward you took some pretty sophisticated camera work.


- -: - - - - - - - - - -
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: I am pleased to see that you resisted the temptation  to over process and thus the image has a pleasant natural look to it.  That said the crop you have chosen  leaves me feeling that the eagle is flying out of the frame.  Note the bird’s head is past the center point of the frame and the wing tip is nearly brushing the right edge.  It is generally best to leave space for wildlife, either birds or mammals to have space in which to move forward and into.

You mention several times  that you are looking for new ways to capture animal images. I would consider trying some of the following.  First look for dramatic action—eagle combat with another eagle or crow.  Second look and use dramatic light such as directional, back lighting with rim light on  the  fur. Third I would suggest applying the concept that bad weather make for great pictures.  Use snow, rain, sleet and the behavior it takes to live in these elements.


- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 2 - Average composition and impact
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
Total score: 7

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Smith, Jodi
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: I'm impressed you have such clarity and sharpness given the rough ride on the Zodiac and the speed of the eagle. Unfortunately, while a bird in flight is impressive, it only has an average nature story per my understanding of the need for feeding, breeding, etc.
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Excellent capture with impressive detail. The details of the bird really pop against the color and texture of the water.
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: You did a great job captureing  the catch light in the eye while this bird was in flight. It is nicely cropped and the composition looks perfect to me.
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent exposure, color balance and sharpness
PICTORIAL SCORE: 3 - Excellent composition and impact
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
Total score: 8

PERSON WHO WROTE THE REVIEW: Sarkar, Pinaki
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: This is a nature photograph
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
TECHNICAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Beautiful image and sharp from the beak to the wing tips. I love the light on the bird's face.  With focal length 200mm, ISO 400, Speed 1/4000, f5.6 the light must have been decent. Where was the focus point or probably the bird was very near the water as I can see that water is also in focus with f5.6
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
PICTORIAL REVIEW OF THE IMAGE: Love the color tones. The water is little deep blue though; however, the color of the bird is superb. The beak, wing tips and some details of the feather. Just as a suggestion: maybe a better angle would have been better displaying the bird's legs too.
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
NATURE SCORE: 2 - Nature story of average strength (portrait)
TECHNICAL SCORE: 2 - Average exposure
PICTORIAL SCORE: 2 - Average composition and impact
- -: - - - - - - - - - -
Total score: 7

Equipment : Sony A1, 200-600mm zoom lens

Processing : Capture One

Prime interests are in Wildlife & Nature photography in BC Canada looking for new ways of portraying Bald Eagles, Bears and Pacific White side dolphins.