Study Group 2

Bogdan Bricelj

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Title: Fishes in Medusa's Shelter

Goal: Capturing the small fishes under the medusa's hat

Source: Panasonic TZ-3 in underwater housing, 24mm, ISO 100, F3,3, 1/200 s, Auto Exposure

Technique: Getting a closer look at the medusa.

Processing: Crop, contrast corrections with levels and curves, noise reduction and sharpening in Lightroom and Photoshop Elements.

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

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

Review by Lisa A., 12-13-2014
What a very clear shot. You have captured the fish quite well. The eyes of the fish are sharp, and I like the one that is headed toward you. The background water adds to the image without being distracting. I think you achieved your goal. A bit more of the medusa jellyfish would have also been interesting.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E=0, Total=8
Review by Les L., 12-19-2014
I really like this photo. It's interesting, sharp and the color contrast blends nicely. I would have to believe it is difficult capturing a sharp image like this under water.
N=3, T=3, P=3, E=0, Total=9

Review by Butch S., 12-17-2014
This is a real nice image. Shows the relationship between the small fishes using another creature for protection. Nice and sharp, like the colors. Real pleasing. Was this image cropped? The size of the fishes says to me that this was an image taken at a short focal distance. In that case, the size of the medusa may not allow for it to all be included in the frame and you got all you could get.
N=3, T=2, P=3, E=0, Total=8

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Title:  Eye to Eye with Spider

Goal:   Super macro capturing of wasp-spider's head with 6 eyes

Source:  Panasonic FZ-50 +10 macro lens, maximum zoom, ISO 100, F7,1, 1/500 s, Manual Exposure

Technique:  Trying to get full details of spider's head including the hair

Processing:  Crop, contrast corrections with levels and curves in Photoshop Elements.

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

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

Review by Lisa A., 11-23-2014
The top of the head is clear, and I can see white hair and 2 eyes; however that is all I see. I loaded your photo in Photoshop and used the levels slider to see the rest of the head and eyes which were too dark. A slower shutter speed or higher ISO would have given you better light for your subject. I assume you used a tripod since it is a macro shot so either would have been possible.
N=2, T=1, P=2, E=0, Total=5
Review by Butch S., 11-22-2014
Wow, never been that close to a spider's head before and probably will avoid that circumstance if I can! I really don't know how to evaluate your image because of the very limited experience that I have had with macro. But, I do know that macro shots can raise all kinds of issues that have to be handled. But here goes, ignorance and all, your image shows good sharpness at the head but then seems to go rapidly out of focus. The out of focus quality could be just an artifact of the shallow depth of field that is characteristic of macro. There also appears to be some color noise that could be from cropping in real tight. Brave shot!
N=2, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=6
Review by Belinda K., 11-26-2014
This is a little too close for me, but I understand the thrill of macro and getting to see what is normally unseen. Perhaps it was your intent, which is completely your choice, but the macro created an unidentifiable ‘alien’, hairy creature. You captured the spider’s hair, and 2 eyes and are quite sharp. I would try reducing the brightness of the hair. Less macro, and composing from a slightly lower angle might have placed more emphasis on all 6 eyes, the spider’s color and some of the legs grasping the web, making the image more compelling.
N=2, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=6

Review by Rick C., 12-7-2014
Critical focus is right on the mark. The depth of field is a little too shallow to make this a viable competition image (not that it needs to be). The exposure is on the hot side. In the larger view we can see some of the detail in those slivery hairs start to clip out as the fine hairs seem to merge into clumps. The composition you have chosen and the extreme crop are both viable approaches. Try puling the original Raw file back into Camera Raw in Elements and pull back on the whites and highlights sliders. If that restores the detail in the thorax area hair, then push the shadow slider up to see if you can open that facial area up a bit more. If those moves work I would go with that as a starting point for finishing the image. If one or the other works, try opening that version in Elements and then drag it on top of the existing image as a new layer. Use a layer mask on that new layer (filled primarily with black) to hold the effect (darker hairs or lighter face) to only the area where the effect is desired (i.e., Black where you want to block the effect and white where you want to let it through.) Extreme macro is difficult. Stay with it.

N-3, P-2, T-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.