Study Group 2

Maria Korab-Laskowska

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Title:   Common tern with fish

Goal:    I was sitting on the rock and tried to capture some action. That was very good situation becouse birds were coming back to exactly this same spot to catch the fish. It was no way to sit on the level of the bird in this rocky rapids area.

Equipment / Source:   Canon 7D with canon 70-200 f4 lens, handhold

Technique:   iso 400 , f 6.3, ss 1/2000 Ex- 0.67

Processing:   cropped from the back of the bird,
locally on bird increased clarity and sharpen.
The water was freezed so much that I was losing the bird so I choose local adjustment. Actually I also decreased clarity of the water but I am not sure if this was the right move.

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

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

Review by Manu R.
Good capture. Bird in full action with the fish on it's beak! Good lighting! Catch light in the eyes! Frozen water splash around! Sharpness! Everything add to the beauty of the image. I think compo could be improved with a tighter crop eliminating the negative space from the bottom of frame
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-1, Total-9
Review by Les L.
I think you got the tern at a very good angle. Good job of getting the bird in focus. The water is out of focus which makes the tern stand out. You might burn the white water some to make him stand out more.
Good job.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9
Review by Dawn C.
Strong nature story, it really shows the difficult conditions this tern was fishing in. Suggest you play with the cropping to get the bird out of the center. I'd crop from the top. Nice exposure, catch light in the eye and freezing of the action. The bird's wing position beautifully frame the face and fish in his beak. A brief moment in time, beautifully captured.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8
Review by Andy H.
Nice image, well captured an well Sen.
The bird stands out well from the water and the fish in the beak is a bonus,. Well done!
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9
Review by Jerry S.
A bird successfully fishing is a good nature story. The angle of the shot captures the feather detail on the wings and tail. The eye, beak, and prey are all well focused. Colors appear realistic. The churn of the water provides a sense of action. I would suggest a horizontal rotation so the bird is not flying out of the image.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8

Review by Cindy M
Nice sharp image. The eyes look alive. The sun was in the right place to light up the head nicely. I think what you did to the water looks good. The bird is sharp so it draws my attention there and not the water. I probably would have cropped out some of the top and bottom so the bird was bigger in the image and also tightened up the space in back of the bird a little so it looked like he had more space in front to fly into.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9

Review by Rick C
Your capture technique is excellent. I think your choices for aperture and shutter speed were well thought out given the environment and subject. Exposure looks to be good. Focus is right on the money and DOF is fine for the subject and conditions. Your hesitation on using negative clarity is well placed. At this time negative Clarity has not been approved for nature images even though positive Clarity is allowed. This has to do with the philosophical distinction of making an already sharp edge more distinct (positive Clarity) as opposed to making a sharp edge less distinct (in the case of negative Clarity de-emphasizing, but we see similar issues with the application of a blur). The only point I might like to revisit is your choice on composition. The image shown is almost square which suggests you may have more to the original. If that extra is space in front of the tern I would add some of that back in and crop more from the top, Adding space on the right gives the tern room in the direction it is already moving in. Cropping from the top will move it up out of the center.

N-3, T-3, P-2 = 8 (Crop top and add more room on right if possible.)

Review by Bogdan B, 9-25-2015
I like your image. Perfectly sharp and catched in the rigth moment with fish. I would also make a landscape shape of image, croping most from the top and a little bit from the bottom.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-1, Total-9

Upload Image and Description

Title:   Seagull

Goal:  To capture seagull in action

Equipment / Source:  Canon 7D , f6.3 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, f300mm, 2x,

Technique:  Photo taken from rocks where I was waiting for whales. Burst of few shots, hand held, tracking action

Processing:  Processed raw image : clarity, highlights

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

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

Review by Bruce F., 7-20-2015
The image has excellent exposure, clean without distractions, sharp, and peak flying action as the gull takes off. Reasonably good nature image, sound and well executed. However, nothing dramatic or extraordinary about it.

Two ways I think could improve the image, is getting lower, so you’re at the water level. I think by being on the rocks above the water, the gull visually isn’t flattering since you’re shooting down on it. Not the most exciting view, by getting lower you allowing the viewer to see what is it like for the gull, seeing the world through its eyes, or almost. Check out other images where the maker shot at the water or eye level, the images have more impact and excitement.
This is something that I am working at with my photography as well. I bought a ball or trip mount on a disk so I can slide my trip gimbal Wimberely head with the camera and lens on the ground, getting down to eye level for water birds.

A second situation is to wait for a better time, when the light is softer, later or early in the day, a lower sun angle. Maybe, use backlighting, to emphasize shape. Something to increase the drama, to separate it from the thousands of other gull images taken in a similar way at a similar time.

I do think that the frontal lighting shows the feather detail well. And I especially like that the front wing appears to be touching the water, makes the story a little bit different, a little stronger. I also like the way the water shows waves and even swell. Pictorially, you might crop a little off the top down to the edge of the dark blue swell, making the frame long and skinny, placing the emphasis on the horizontal flight movement of the bird.

Be a naturalist, identify the gull, what kind of gull is it? Teach me something.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-7
Review by Butch S., 7-21-2015
A nice sharp bird in flight image. Pleasant to the eye, but I do not see a strong nature story as the gull is not interacting with food, other gulls, etc. but rather is simply flying. I agree with Bruce the impact of the image would be improved by shooting at a lower angle. The rocks may not have made possible a lower angle, but if possible, a climb further down the rocks closer to the water level may have given you a position that would have been well rewarded.
N-2, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total=7
Review by Rick C., 7-23-2015
You captured a nice bit of action in this one. All of the technical aspects look well handled. Focus and DOF are both good as well. The issue I see is in the composition. For me, this is too centered with our Gull to close to the right edge (visually) given the strength of the motion toward the right. Even though it will eventually go up, I would be inclined to crop top and left to move the Gull to the upper left quadrant. This will preserve the reflection which, while not detailed, adds a balancing element. Both Bruce and Butch have noted the benefits of getting a lower vantage point. Try to avoid shooting down on a subject as much as possible, but never pass up a shot just because of a downward angle.
N-2, T-3, P-2 = 7 (It needs something to strengthen the nature story – but would be good as a pictorial. Cropping will strengthen it pictorially. It is a Herring Gull. Technically there are no “seagulls” only Gulls. It is a bad habit we all have just as calling a Bison a Buffalo.)
Review by Andy H., 7-24-2015
You achieved what you set out to do. Clean, sharp well captured image. There's not really a story here, for me. Technically all seems fine, a little movement in the tips of the wings but I like that. Could crop off some of the upper part of the image as the water adds little. The lower part contains the reflection. Would have liked to see more room on the right and less on the left.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=7
Review by Dawn C., 7-29-2015
Great capture of the bird taking off from the surface of the water. Nice action shot, but needs more story for that extra point. Beautiful detail and tone. Spot-on technical aspects. Recommend cropping so that there is more room in front of the bird for him to figuratively fly into, vice above and behind.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=7
Review by Bogdan B., 8-1-2015
I know, it's much harder to capture an eagle then a gull. But this photo is technically excelent. It's sharp and properly exposed. I like the blue sea and the yellow beak. Cropping up and left will make it better.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8
Review by Les L., 8-4-2015
I think you have a nice picture here but it lacks action or a sense of purpose i.e.., the Gull has to be doing something. you did a nice job of exposure and focus.
N-2, T-2, P-3, E-0, total=7


My photographic interests started in Maryland, 2002, when I joined the National Institute of Health Camera Club. After moving back to Montreal in 2004, I joined Lakeshore Camera Club.

I am using a Canon 7D camera and the following Canon lenses: 24-100L IS f4, 70-200 L IS f 4, macro 100 L2.8, 17-35L f2.8, 300L IS f2.8, extenders 1.4 and 2.0. My post processing workflow includes Bridge or Lightroom, Photoshop CS5 and NIK and Photomatix software.

I came into photography with a love for nature and a passion for the outdoors. My photographic interests started in 2002, and since then I photographed many subjects, ranging from environment and architecture to animals and sports. In 2009 I graduated from a Commercial Photography Program at Dawson College in Montreal. I organize photo tours and workshops and enjoy sharing my regional knowledge and passion for photography.