Study Group 2


Pinaki Sarkar (D)

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SEPTEMBER 2021 ROUND
Title:    Morning at YellowStone National Park

Goal:    Not to Tell a story but to just capture the beauty of the place and the steam emanating from the river.
 

Equipment/Source:    Nikon Z6 II, 24-70mm lens, 1/160,f13,ISO 3200, 70mm. 

Technique:     Photo taken handheld. Thought of taking with a stand (to reduce ISO) but there was a Bison herd nearby so did not dare...by the time they went the light changed...so I have this handheld version. 

Processing:    Post processing in Lightroom with ND graduated filter. No noise reduction. 


Score this image:    YES

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

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



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AUGUST 2021 ROUND

Title:     Fighting over a fish 
 
Goal:      This image was shot at the sea beach of Dhanushkodi, India. It was a beautiful day, in the afternoon . As I was walking around and feeling the warm waters of Indian Ocean on my feet I saw a boat, some fisherman nearby and also these birds.   

Equipment/Source:    D750, 1/640,ISO 500, 20mm at F/14
   
Technique:  Hand held shot taken on a bright day.

Processing:  Not much. A little bit of cropping

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 image captures the story just before conflict, rather than in the midst of it – usually things happen too fast to catch this moment. This is a good nature story.

Technical Quality:

The image could be sharper, and there is a lot of noise. I don’t know what sort of processing software you use, but there are excellent sharpening and denoising software out there that do not harm the nature look of the image. You could also do a little lightening on the head of the bird with the fish. The colors are very flat with no true whites and blacks.

Pictorial Quality:

There is a good story here, but this image does not have a lot of impact. It just does pop. This might get accepted in some nature sections, but I suspect that it would not in a pictorial section.

N – 2, T – 1, P – 2 = 5


This Review is written by: Larry T

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
The mantra of a nature study image is the need for a strong story line. For me, while there is a story line in what you describe as fighting for a fish I’m going to suggest that this is not shown as a strong storyline. First, while there are two birds shown the bird in the background is exactly that—in the background and not truly sharp. The earn a higher score I would want to see the two birds closer together and showing some real interaction. As shown here the two birds are just landing and I’m not convin ced that there will be a “fight”. Just a word of advice for the future. You will obtain higher nature score if you have a story line that an 8-10 year old child can look at an image and explain to you without being prompted. The story line has to be clear, simply and very obvious. Thus the score is a 2

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Technically your setting are pretty close to perfect. You indicate a focal length of 20mm and I’m going to assume that this was actually shot at 200mm because had this been show at 20mm with that amount of foreground the properties of the lens would have made the birds much smaller. I will strongly suggest that when shooting birds in heavy action that you use a much higher shutter speed, especially if you are hand holding, if you desire truly sharp images. I suggest 1/1500 or preferably 1/2000. You indicate a aperture of f14 and an ISO of 500. Your D750 is a fine camera that will easily accommodate ISO setting of 800 and higher without noticeable noise. Such a setting will allow for the necessary faster shutter speed. Additionally, you have selected an aperture of f14. Even at that lofty of a setting you will not be able to get both of those birds tack sharp when they are that far apart (the bird in the rear is easily 6 or more feet away) you will not have enough DOf to keep both birds sharp. In my comment on the story line I mentions that I would have preferred more interaction between the birds. Having the birds closer together with the needed interaction would have had the additional effect of keeping both sharp. Finally your camera position is back lighting the birds (their shadow is in front of them). You will obtain far better quality images if you keep the sun behind you or no more than 45 degrees to either side. Your light will be better and you will have fewer distracting shadows. The technical quality is a 2

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE< br>Pictorially the image feel crowded. The bird in the background is nearly touching both the top of the frame and the right edge. You should have allowed more breathing round on those edges. Nothing will fully repair the composition, but as shown I would suggest cropping half of the foreground since it is completely blank. Such a crop will draw more attention to the birds . Pictorial quality is a 2

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 6


This Review is written by: Janice R

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This experience with the two competing egrets has potential but what we have is one egret with a fish and one egret jumping and without your explanation that thet there was a fight, I wouldn't know that.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In my opinion your exposure was appropriate as both birds are fairly sharp and you stopped the jumping action. I like the backlight you captured on the wings. In my opinion, the shadow on the chest and head of the foreground egret needs to be reduced. The light seems to be ver y harsh which created the sharp shadows that also cut through the bird in the foreground. I know that these instances happen quickly but I'm wondering if you could have had the opportunity to change your pov?

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I enjoy the jumping egret and that you got him midair. Good job! I think this image could be stronger were it cropped to reduce the left third as there is not much going on there. The biggest issue I have with the composition is that the fish isn't readily apparent since it intersects the wing and the egrets head is shaded. There's just not enough contrast to make the fish stand out.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 6


This Review is written by: Jodi S.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Excellent capture of feeding behavior. I like the light touch of the feet coming down on the sand.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Overall, the shot is excellent, though it seems a bit blown out. I am also confused by the purple hues in the shadows of the first bird. I wondered if the saturation had been changed.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The composition is excellent though the second bird is a bit too close to the upper part of the frame. It seems you were quite close to th ese birds at 20 mm and may not have had enough space to move but you did note you did a bit of cropping.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Charlie Y

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
image show two birds, one with fish on hand, though one shows movement, but not sure the 'fighting' part is clearly demonstrated. Thus, award a 2, is proper.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
during a bright day, contrasty is unavoidable, thus strong shadow in the image is evident. select an early morning or late afternoon, might give you a less contrasty image.
That said, image seems to be ok in sharpness,

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
the image position the bird with fish in the middle of the frame, thus doesn't give much room for the second bird in the frame. Overall the image framing is not the best. should leave some more space behind the 2nd bird.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 1-Inadequate composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 5

I am an engineer by profession and an amateur photographer ( I not make money out of photos). I love travelling around the world and going out in general with my camera and taking pictures. My Insta handle is pinaki.sarkar5. Usually I post my photos there. . .