Study Group 2


Suman Bhattacharyya, MPSA, ARPS, EFIAP/b·

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SEPTEMBER 2021 ROUND
Title:   Green Bee-eater with Catch
     
Goal:   went birding in a hide. Aim was to capture a picture with nature story line and at par technicalities. found a bee eater with catch. picture perfect when viewed in monitor.

Equipment/Source:     Nikon D500 with 200-500 at 310 mm. shot at 1/640 at f/5.6 with 180 ISO. Spot metering used.

Technique:   Nikon D500 for its capbility to fire in quick bursts with 200-500 at 310 mm. shot at 1/640 to arrest the movement on a cloudy day at f/5.6 to get the background nicely defocussed with 180 ISO to minimise ISO clutter. Spot metering used for getting the narrow exposure range.

Processing:    used PS CC for opening the shadows and cropped close to the bird catching the prey.

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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JULY 2021 ROUND

Title: The Gatherer
  
Goal:   the red ants are known for their predatory skills and they are also on gathering mode always. You will find them always busy. Remember the ant and grasshopper cartoon! well my aim was to get a good close of the gathering shot with nice blur background where one of the f's taken care of. 
 
Equipment/Source:   Nikon 3100 + 90 mm 2.8, 1/200, f20, ISO 720, shot manual with spot metering strobe flash used. 
 
Technique:  with my strobe flash attached waited to find the perfect one who is busy tasking. found the one and taken this shot. just want to point out another fact and that is they were moving up the tree birch so literally I had to skew nearly 45 degrees rightwards to shoot. later I corrected the horizon in PS.

Processing:   
 after getting the shot processed through the noise processing software added just a bit of unsharp mask, probably too much!

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 Tom S.
Whenever a mammal, bird, or insect is gathering food, it is always a strong nature story. In this case, the ant has collected a beetle. N3

Technically well done. The color and exposure are good and everything that should be sharp is sharp. The depth of field of macro shots is always small and in this case the ant’s body and most of the beetle are within the depth of field. Good work. T3

No distracting background so the center of interest is just the ant and beetle. P3

This image deserves an extra point. E1

N3, T3, P3, E1 = 10


This Review is written by: Rick D.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Hello Suman. You have shared a very interesting photo! It certainly stands apart from the usual wildlife photograph seen in this study! There is good impact here. However, as we all know, hunting and gathering are very common for ants.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Your planning ahead, setting a goal, camera gear and settings all worked very well! You have good knowledge of your subject and the ability and patience to get the shot you desire.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
In my very limited experience photographing ants, spiders, etc., I find it difficult to get a sharp focus on very appendage of the subject. I see that challenge in this shot. However, it is not every day that one sees a photo such as this. The red ant and the green background really create that impact. I believe the uniqueness and the high impact more than compensate for the sharpness issue. The one minor suggestion is that I would like to see a little more foreground and a little less background. Otherwise, I like this photo very much.

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

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 3-Excellent composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 8


This Review is written by: Rich F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
This is an interesting image of a red ant carrying a beetle (? - I think I see legs in the air).

Not sure if the ant is carrying if prey, eating it, or ...

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Image is sharp and colors look true. the background is well blurred. There are a highlight that could be reduced using a polarizer (most likely could be reduced) or a bit of PS work.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The image works but I feel that there is too much empty space above the ant and prey. A tighter crop would help this image.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 3-Excellent exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

EXTRA POINT 0-No extra point

TOTAL SCORE 8


This Review is written by: Dave F.

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
Good nature story - the ant is clearly at work

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
good exposure and timing of shot. You say that you were using a strobe - ok, was there a soft box a part of the setup? I see a few hot spots on the ant as well as the bug.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
I can only imagine trying to take this shot knowing that this is not the only ant around and as you have shared you were at 45 degrees. Non the less, I think the shot has a good composition but I think you could have been back a bit to have more of the foreground in place.

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: Bruce F

NATURE REVIEW OF THE IMAGE
It’s an incredible nature story. The macro world doesn’t get enough attention as it should. Therefore, the nature story is very strong. I like how you got the subjects parallel to the film plane, helping the depth of field. Always, an issue in macro photography.

TECHNICAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
Speaking of the depth of field and sharpness, when I enlarge the image to full size, I find that the subjects are not quite tack sharp. From your technical description, I believe you did not use a tripod. I can’t really find a point of sharpness within the image. I suspect this was caused by camera movement and a relatively slow shutter speed of 1/200 of sec. I also believe that you need to reduce your strobe strength. The lighting is very strong and there are many flash hot spots on the insects. This is very distracting, and lacking in good technique. Try using a diffuser, or reducing the power of the flash, to something less than full strength, so the lighting isn’t creating hot spots on the subjects.

PICTORIAL REVIEW OF IMAGE
The green background is very pleasant and fits with a forest or jungle environment. I do think the vignetting is a bit overdone, too strong, too noticeable. If you can see the vignetting, then, as a general rule it is too strong. I do like the panoramic format and framing, it matches the subjects and their horizontal positioning.

NATURE SCORE 3-Nature story strong

TECHNICAL SCORE 2-Average exposure

PICTORIAL SCORE 2-Average composition and impact

TOTAL SCORE 7

My name is Suman Bhattacharyya. I've an avid interest in nature & wildlife. I have been taking photos of nature from 2014 but only in 2017 I've taken membership of PSA. I am a member of FIAP (being an EFIAP) as well as RPS (having ARPS). I like all types of nature photos and am willing to commit time to know more about it. Thanks & Regards