Study Group 2


Richard Fisher· (B)

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NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE OCTOBER ROUND


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OCTOBER 2021 ROUND
Title:     
 
   
Goal:     

Equipment/Source:     

Technique:  

Processing: 

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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SEPTEMBER 2021 ROUND

Title:      Howling Coyote

Goal:    To capture a coyote in natural activity. When the opportunity came and the coyote started howling, I realized that was a great opportunity.

Equipment/Source:    Nikon D850, 80-400mm lens at 280mm, ISO 1600, 1/640, F8.Hand held. ISO was set so I could have fast shutter speed in case the coyote started to run.
   
Technique:  Hand held, got low to the ground, and stayed still so not to disturb/spook the animal.

Processing: 
 The normal sliders in LR, a bit of color grading to warm the coyote and cool the background, darkened the background by desaturating and reducing luminosity in LR and curves in PS, luminosity masks to add a bit of pop, slight vignetting and spotlighting.

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 Rick C.
The behavior is classic for a coyote telegraph as they communicate over distance. N-3

Even though the average judge would likely not detect it, color grading constitutes manipulation under the existing and soon to be effective 2022 nature definition. As such it would warrant a DQ. The spot lighting is very effective, but also results in a sense that there has been work done on the image because the lighting on the subject is more intense than the shadows to the left and behind the subject or on that rock in the lower right indicate. That could impact scoring. I’m going with a 0 on the use of color grading, though admittedly I probably would not have realized you had done it if you had not said so. Ido find the spot lighting strong enough to feel artificial and would have marked down technical quality because of that.

Tight but understandable on the composition. The impact is there, the back ground trees are annoying visually (for me) because of the way they align with the head. (not that you could do anything about them. P-2.

N-3, T-0, P-2 = 5 (This should do very well in the PID-C sections despite the tree/head positioning as it has strong impact and solid interest values. I won’t say that the color grading would be picked up on by any judges, but it is not allowed under the current rules even if the warm was a color from the image and the cool a second color from the image. I appreciate that this seems to be at odds with the ability to correct white balance, which also shifts hues, but the distinction currently made is that color grading is like adding a color that was not part of the initial observation as opposed to correcting a color capture issue from an incorrect white balance.)


This Review is written by: Kathy H

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Great patience to catch the howl!

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Great DOF and focus on the coyote. Love the detail of his fur, whiskers, and great to see the open eye. But may be cropped to tight.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I like how you have included the entire animal, but I wonder if a different crop may be more dramatic. He seems a bit boxed in.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: LC B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
While howling is a typical behavior, presented alone as in this shot, for me it does not present a compelling nature story and is more along the lines of a portrait.


TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Read how you worked the image and I think you can go further: while your focus is quite sharp the background is very distracting to my eye. I would darken it down further, possibly with a gradient mask on the background and if possible reduce the DoF/blur out the twiggy bush on the right hand side.


PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your current composition impedes the story to my eye. Flipping the image to read better L->R would really alleviate this.


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: Bogdan B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
I believe that coyote doesn't howl all the time, so it could be good ND story.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image is sharp, but the tree in the background is too sharp. I would recommend lower DOF with F5 or similar.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I would like to see more face.

The crop is too tight on the top, but should be croped more on the left.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hello, Richard. Your preparation paid off as you were able to achieve the goal you had set. This is a very nice shot of a coyote doing what coyotes do.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your camera gear, settings and shooting position enabled you to hit your goal.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your composition and technical skills are well shown in this image. Good detail with the teeth and eye. Very nice color.
I feel catching the coyote howling created the needed impact.


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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 8


This Review is written by: Adrian B

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Nicely caught howling wish is fine for me as a story

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
You have good detail showing and your pp has to me left the coyote bright enough against a darker background. I see in the new Nature definition that Nature images must appear natural, so I suspect you have to be careful here. This may be marginal.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Pictorially, the image is spoilt by the messy background

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 7


This Review is written by: Suman B.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
nature story wise its a weak story, the howling of the coyote.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
image is sharp and timely captured. using a lower aperture value would help you to minimise the background impact.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
background needs to be less busy. angle of view is good as it helps to understand the pointing of the coyote towards the sky while howling.

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




Rich could be described as a modern-day Renaissance man. Though now retired from Kraft Foods (2012), he is trained in the sciences with a PhD from UCLA in Molecular Biology and has earned an MBA from the University of Chicago where he specialized in Finance, Marketing and Statistics. In addition to his analytic side, Rich is artistic as demonstrated from his photography. 

During his tenure at Kraft Foods his career spanned such diverse areas from Physical Chemistry and computer simulation to Marketing Analytic (last brand positions were Director of Analytics for the Cheese & Dairy Business Unit and The Pizza Company). As head of Analytics Rich was responsible for forecasting volumetric and financial impact of changes in marketing spending and price changes. 

Rich has been a member of the Garden Photographic Society (GPS) since 1997 and the Riverwood Nature Photographic Society (RNPS) since 2002. In GPS he has held numerous positions such as newsletter editor, president, competition chair, DPI coordinator and Treasurer. In RNPS he has been Outing and Program Chairs, and Vice President of Competition. Rich has been on the board of CACCA, Chicago Area Camera Club Association, since 1999 and Rich has been Treasurer for most of his tenure on the board except during his term as president, 2014-16. In addition, he has been additional roles as the information manager and coordinator of speakers and judges. 

On a personal note, Rich lives outside Chicago with his wife Jane and their delightful Golden Retriever, Denali. Both Rich and Jane love to travel and are planning their 23rd trip Africa.