Study Group 2

Bogdan Bricelj, EPSA, EFIAP/g

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Title:   Milky Stream in the Forest
Goal:    Trying something different - capturing some landscape nature photo. Landscape photos are not very usual accepted in ND division exhibitions.

Equipment/Source:    Panasonic FZ-50, built in lens at 35 mm, ISO 100, F8, 1 s Manual exposure, grey filter, tripod.

Technique:    I visited a beautiful stream in our Triglav National Park. Capturing with long shutter to make water milky.

Processing:  Crop, increasing contrast with curves in Photoshop Elements.

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

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

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Title:   Colorful Caterpillar  

Goal:     Looking for interesting insects for macro photography last spring.

Equipment/Source:     Panasonic FZ-50, 150 mm on built in lens + macro converter, ISO 100, F9, 1/500 s Manual, daylight in shadow + flash, hand held.

Technique:    I've found one of the most beautiful and colorful caterpillar. Daylight was a little bit dim, so I used flash to make colours brighter and make possible smaller aperture. That also made possible to naturally darken the background.

Processing:    Increasing contrast with levels and curves, remove some little distractions with spot healing in Photoshop Elements.

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

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

Review by Jerry S.
A nice portrait of a colorful subject. Focus, DOF, and colors are good. The shadow detail is inadequate and makes the highlights above the back appear to float in the air. The small segment of blossom is distracting. Perhaps a crop that allows more space beyond the head would include enough blossom detail to add interest to the image.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7
Review by Mike P.
Great shot and composition. Excellent focus and lighting. Since it's just sitting there, it seems to lack a bit of action or "story telling." Otherwise, a very nice shot.
N-2, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=8
Review by Santford O.
I love the specimen and the background enhances the image.Resolution is very good and your macro is a success. You indeed have a beautiful specimen and would make an excellent addition to an insect compendium.
N-2, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-8
Review by Gregory L.
A good portrait of a caterpillar. The technical quality of the photo is great. Not a good nature story or composition for me. The brightness in the top right pulls my eye away from the caterpillar. If you could of put the caterpillar down the stem away from the whorl of twigs/leaves it would of been a better composition, with just the caterpillar and the stem imho.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7
Review by Butch S.
This image has high Technical Quality as the focus is perfect and the colors seem real. I just question the pure black background. Was that natural or manipulated? I will assume that it is natural in my scoring. The Pictorial Quality is a 3 for me. So is Nature.

You mentioned that you used the "spot healing" brush. That brush removes and replaces pixels. My understanding is that this is not permitted in Nature. The Image would definitely be considered in the PID division. Mentor comments on this please?
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9

Review by Azim R.
Nice framing but i think sharpness is soft.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8

Review by commentator Rick C.
Finding a nice subject, particularly a new one, is always fun. This looks very similar to the larva of an anise swallowtail, though normally I would expect more green in the body. Your primary focus and depth of field are good. The flash exposure has been handled reasonably. The issue is that while the black background does provide an offset, it also makes it either obviously flashed or to appear nocturnal. Since the subject is not nocturnal, we want to have some color or detail in the background to provide a natural depiction. In cases like this try metering the general environment including the background and then set your shutter to underexpose the background by one to one and a third stops. In most instances this will yield a shutter speed that is within the sync range of your camera. Use the flash to properly expose the subject. The technique is called Synchro Daylight. The underexposed background will still offset the subject but will also have sufficient color to look natural. The current composition is a little tight, though I know we are always saying get closer. In this case I would be inclined to show a little more of the food plant as it will add to the nature story. As the image stands try burning in the light upper corner a bit more to keep a viewer's eye from going there too quickly.

N-2, T-2, P-3 = 7 ( N-2 as it is more of a portrait than feeding activity, T-2 as we need to use something like synchro daylight for a more natural feel)


Bogdan Bricelj, EPSA, EFIAP/g, 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 received the title EFIAP/s and in the year 2015, his EFIAP/g. He had 17 exhibitions of his own. Since 2009 he’s been 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.