Study Group Two

Bogdan Bricelj


Seagull Flying
Goal:   Capturing a seagull flying on a cloudy day. There was not enough light to freeze the bird totaly. I like the moving wings and minimalistic photo with just the sea behind.
Source:  Panasonic FZ-50, built in lens at 420 mm, Shutter Priority, F3,7, 1/320.
Technique: Trying to get an idyllic natural photo.
Crop, contrast corrections.

Study Group Comments and Scores (N, T, P, E, Total)

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

Review by Belinda K., 8-6-2014
Nice composition and great idea for a simplistic image. I especially like the mono tones. Birds are challenging, but in flight they are more challenging. The composition properly places the bird in the frame, and you have given it nice space to ‘fly’. You may have been far away, but for this image I would prefer a closer view of the gull. On my monitor the seagull appears small making it hard to determine what is focused. At a larger size it is probably quite obvious what is focused. To me, the head and tail appear mostly focused, and motion is clearly defined by the wings and lines in water. A closer view would reveal more detail in the wings and, I think, give your image more impact. It may be a shadow from the water, but I am wondering what it is at the tip of the right wing. To me it looks like an odd extension of the wing. Overall, it is artistic and a very creative idea for a serene and calming scene.
N=2, T=3, P=2, E=0, Total=7
Review by Tom B., 8-7-2014
I think you met your goal. I find that there is not enough clarity in the head or tail to tell if it is sharply focused. The blurry wing shows the action of the bird and you have placed it well within the frame.
N=3, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=7
Review by Butch S., 8-11-2014
A pleasing image that accomplishes the look you were after. Maybe you could have been tighter on the gull so that the viewer could see more of the details of the bird. Also, there is a lot of open space.
N=2, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=6
Review by Rick C., 8-20-2014
I think that you largely accomplished what you set out to do. The wings showing motion is a good thing. You have moved it out of the center, which is also good. The conditions for the day weren’t great, so unfortunately we don’t have a lot of tonal separation between the background and the gull. That is one of the things to look for the next time out. At this resolution it is difficult to determine whether the body is full sharp, but it looks reasonable. Remember that if your camera allows for selecting iso speeds independently, you can boost the speed to gain added shutter speed. I am inclined to agree with some of the other comments that a larger in the frame image would be nice. If the distance and the limit on your zoom do not allow for this, try post capture cropping. The FZ-50 is 10 mega pixels so there should be some flexibility there. As a small side note, there is no such thing as a “seagull”. There are only Gulls of various types. In this case based on the tail and reddish feet and bill as well as the pattern on the head I would say you have a Black-headed Gull adult in winter plumage. Don’t take the correction wrong. Everyone, including myself, makes the same naming mistake over and over again. We have become ingrained with it just as we call Canada Geese Canadian Geese. I thought you might want to know in case you ever submit a gull to a nature competition.

N-2, T-3,P-2 = 7


Bogdan Bricelj was born in Jesenice in Slovenia. He graduated at Faculty of electrical engineering in Ljubljana. He was working for 9 years in steel factory Zelezarna Jesenice as service engineer. Since the year 1990 he’s manager and co-owner of computer company 3BM d.o.o. Jesenice.

He took his first photograph when he was five years old. When his parents were away from home, he used his mother’s camera to take a photograph of his younger brother which stood in the middle of the kitchen holding a knife in his hands. After developing of film, his mother wondered when she had taken that picture. He learnt the art of photography and developing of black and white photos in the photo school in the primary school. After that he passed over to diapositives. In 1973 his first diapositive was accepted on State exhibition in Nova Gorica.

More than thirty years he had on all his journeys an ordinary Praktica without any electronics. Gradually he bought a flash, macro rings, one broad-angled objective and two teleobjectives. Most of all he took pictures on trips and mountain tours. Primary he was attracted by small flowers and wild animals. The growing up of his daughter was also one of his favourites themes. When he was young he was experimenting a lot with taking snaps of »moon surface« until his lunar module exploded.

With introduction of digital cameras he started to occupy himself with photography more professional. He bought his first digital camera in the year 2004. He has realised that compact digital cameras have many advantages with respect to classic ones. He has found many new options which were not possible by using classic cameras: sharp photos with perfect depth sharpness, high magnification without objective changing, good macro photography, immediate photographs viewing, faster reviewing and sorting of snaps.

The previous knowledge of photography helps him a lot when testing new cameras and advising, recommending and instructing of their customers how to work with digital cameras. His presentations of digital cameras on Craft-fair in Jesenice and in Photographic clubs were accepted by interest. In the year 2005 he affiliated himself to photographic club Fotografsko drustvo Jesenice. At the end of the year 2008 he acquired the photo title Candidate for Master of Photography from Photographic Society of Slovenia. In the year 2010 he’s got the title PPSA and in the year 2011 he has got the title EPSA. The same year he’s got also the title EFIAP.In the year 2013 he has got title EFIAP/s. He had 17 exhibitions of his own. Since 2009 he’s president of fotographic club Fotografsko drustvo Jesenice.

His photos

Since he has started to take pictures in digital technique, he does not use any other technique. All of his photos are taken with compact digital cameras, mostly with his HP-945 and Panasonic FZ-50. He knows cameras quite good and for that reason he always tries to get out of cameras as much as possible. The knowledge about camera efficiency enables him to get few unsuccessful shots. He expanded the efficiency of his camera by adding teleconverter, macro lenses and filters. Although digital photography allows a lot of possibilities of photo modifying, his photos are as much as possible pure representation of moments captured in the nature. Of course, some of the photos are a little bit beautified by contrast. He makes some cuttings somewhere, especially where he could not approach near by animals. Sometimes it is good to remove disturbing branchlet or reflections of camera¢s lenses from the shot. But it is very strange to him to modify background and various montages. That doesn’t seem to him a real photo.

He prefers making photos of nature: animals (macro, birds, wild animals), flowers and landscape. He captures also underwater photos. The other preferred theme is sports, especially outdoor sports. Compact cameras are there as good as SLRs. His most successful sport photographs are dog’s races and ski jumps.