Study Group Two

Belinda Keller

FROM BELINDA: Apologies, looks like the image I posted this time didn't transfer well.
  • Title:  Wild Turkey
  • Goal: To capture as many closeup details as possible, particularly head and color of feathers, without scaring off the turkey. It might be an unreasonable goal because they are easily spooked and I am indoors, but hundreds of turkey photos later, I am still trying :)
  • Source:  Panasonic Lumix G1, aperture priority, 1/640s, f/5.6, ISO 400, WB cloudy, matrix metering
  • Technique: Taken through double-pain thermal window. The window is floor-to-ceiling so I lie down and use my elbows as a tripod. I have to position myself quickly without the turkey noticing. I took several shots as it moved across the yard; waited for it to walk out of shadows. Tried to avoid a busy background and shadows, and I wanted as much iridescence in feathers as possible. Turkeys are regulars here. This one, kicked out of a group, has been arriving alone. I chose this shot because the tree behind the head shows the snood more clearly. It had just ruffled its feathers and I feel lucky to have gotten anything not blurred.
  • Processing:  Picasa3: Slight crop, saturation increased, applied neutral graduated tint, increased highlights, sharpened, slight vignette added.

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

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

Review by Lisa A., 3-16-2014
Belinda, this is a fun nature story, the poor turkey kicked out of its group. You did manage to get the color of the head and feathers. It is not busy.
You used a 400 ISO. Is there a higher ISO on this camera that would not introduce too much noise? The image is a bit dark. I also wonder how far you were away from the turkey. You always try to challenge yourself, so this was another fun exercise for you.
N=3, T-2, P=2, E=0, Total=7

Review by LesL., 3-14-2014
Good image but lacks contract or depth, color differentiation.
N=2, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=6

Response by Belinda: 3-19-2014
Lisa, answering your questions--

I was surprised seeing the poor quality of this uploaded. Not sure what happened, but think alot was lost in transferring, uploading... Yes, I have options for higher ISO, and will try that next time. Thanks :)

I was apprx. 20 ft. from the turkey, but I was inside shooting through double-pane glass.

Review by TomB., 3-25-2014
Belinda, I have tried many times to capture a good image of a turkey and am still trying. You have some fine detail and colors in the feathers and I don't know if it is my monitor but I do not see much iridescence in feathers that you were trying to capture. I think I would try to lessen the darkness of the shadows which seem to be pretty dominant. I also find the front shoulder area a little blown out and somewhat distracting. Overall I feel this is a good picture of a difficult subject and especially being shot through glass.
N=3, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=7

Review by RickC., 4-7-2014

Your approach seems entirely reasonable, though you will have to accept that there will be a drop in sharpness and some light loss going through a window as you are. The composition looks reasonable for the situation you describe. The lighting angle looks good for your goal of bringing out the iridescence in the feathers. Its hard to be certain, since you indicate that the image didn’t transfer well, but as it is, it looks as if something caused your meter reading to be on the under exposed side. This could again be related to shooting through the window. In general, I would look for a neutral tone, like the tree, throw that out of focus and set my exposure manually (so I don’t worry about having to lock it in or set compensation). As long as the turkey is in the same light, the exposure is the same and you don’t have to worry about bright or dark areas in the yard affecting the exposure. Since you know what it looked like on your system, what we need to do is open the side of the turkey up so that we bring out detail in the dark feathers above the legs. While the alignment is purely coincidental, it is almost as if the shadow behind our subject is actually covering that lower section. Compositionally I would make a crop, likely from the top, to move him more out of the center of the image. I suspect you will have more opportunities to capture this guy. Stay with it, you have the right idea.

N-2, T-2, P-2 = 6

PORTRAIT_KELLER_BELINDA-175.jpgI'm from West Virginia but lived most of my life in Washington, DC. I'm now in Southern Maryland at Swan Point with my husband and 15-yr. old dog, Cookie. The natural beauty of wetlands and woods in this area along the Potomac River sparked my interest in photography, and I'm especially fond of the small things in nature. Counter balancing that, I have a fondness for architectural form.

Seven years ago I was given a Canon PowerShot, and with encouragement from a photographer friend, Sandra Thaw, APSA (recently deceased) I started snapping. I now use Panasonic Lumix G1, and Lumix G Vario 14-45mm lens. The lens presents challenges for closeups, but I've been slow to move from my comfort zone into extension tubes and macro lens. For processing, I use Picasa3.

As a novice and PSA member since 2010, I have gained invaluable knowledge from an EID study group. For me, photography equals "forever learning," and I look forward to studying and sharing with this group and hope we can learn from one another to increase our skills.