Study Group 2

Belinda Keller

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Title:  Wild Chicory and Bee

Goal:  To capture closeup of wild chicory flower, focusing on stamens.

Source:  Panasonic Lumix G1, Aperture mode, 1/1300s, f/5.6, ISO 400, WB cloudy, matrix metering

Technique:  Moved low around plant waiting for light to change because of clouds. Standing to the side offered filtered side light and some depth. Focused on stamens closest to me. The small bee landed as I was ready to take a shot, so I tried to quickly refocus to include it and hoped I would get it and some of the stamens.

Processing:  Picasa3: cropped, applied a feathered neutral graduated tint across right corner bud to reduce brightness, minimal sharpening.

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

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Review by Lisa A., 12-13-2014
Belinda, the image is lovely, the colors pleasing to the eye. The stamens are sharp. The bee is a bit small and hard to see. I tried to cropping tighter which gave clear stamens and bee and more of a view.
N=3, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=7

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Title:  Dragonfly

Goal:  To capture close-up of dragonfly’s head to show colors and smile.

Source:  Panasonic Lumix G1, Program mode, 1/100s, f/5.6, ISO 100, WB auto, matrix metering

Technique:  Carefully moved around dragonfly hoping it would not fly away. It seemed curious about my movements and turned its head as if watching me. The day was a mix of clouds and sun; dragonfly was in shaded spot, and wind was a problem. Tried shielding it with my body, but couldn’t do it well enough to capture the entire insect in focus. Wings kept blowing. I decided to concentrate on the area around the head. I waited for its head to stop moving and took several shots. I like this one because it seems to be smiling.

Processing:  Picasa3: cropped, slightly increased color saturation, applied a feathered graduated tint across image, slightly sharpened.

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
What a fun shot. Dragonflies have interesting faces. I like the wings of your dragonfly. I can see right through them to you good soft background. Whatever the fly has landed on gives good contrast to the background and helps show off the dragonfly’s feet. I wonder if a faster shutter speed would have helped make the body sharper.
N=3, T=2, P=3, E=0, Total=8
Review by Butch S., 11-22-2014
Dragon flies are one of my favorite photo subjects. Your is real nice since the full extent of the insect is in excellent to good focus. I agree with you that it is hard to zoom in on these guys with an opened up aperture and still keep all in focus. The background is a bit busy. The white in the right upper corner could be toned down a bit. Your image raises a question that may be of general interest to the Group and is not a comment on your image specifically. It looks like this dfly is on a pipe, lawn furniture etc. Is this a problem with Nature's the hand of man? The more I read on the Nature requirements the more questions and doubt come to mind. What say you Rick C? To my mind, dflies live in both wild and domesticated areas and thus can rest on things found in either wild or domesticated areas. More generally, the question is: When wildlife is resting on things made by the hand of man, say, in the case of birds, a bird feeder, is that OK in Nature? I wish there was a way for all to weigh in, back and forth, on this via this Group
N=2, T=3, P=3, E=0, Total=8
Response by Belinda K., 11-26-2014
Butch, I think I already know the answer to your question re: and-of-man in nature shots. Rick, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe this would qualify for competitions due to the piece of metal in the scene.

Review by Rick C., 12-7-2014
Excellent exposure, good primary focus and nice wing position. I think the depth of field is reasonable for what you are attempting to do with this subject. The Background is well handled, though I would be inclined to darken the lighter area in the upper right corner. The fundamental issue is that the object that the subject is on is definitively the “hand of man” and as such it invalidates the image for nature under PSA rules. Note, I’m not saying it is not a good shot. It is that. It is not a usable nature shot within the context of the PSA definition. There is a difference. You could always use it in PID. We need to make the distinction because while you are trying to develop and hone your skills in capturing subjects like this you should continue to do exactly what you have done and make the image wherever the subject presents itself. Once the skills are honed, then you can worry about getting the subject in the proper environment.

N-0, P-3, T-3 = 6 ( N-0 because it would be DQ’d under the nature rules – As you already noted in your comment to Butch)

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.