Study Group 2


Kathryn Engle

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APRIL 2015 ROUND

Title:  Albino Guanaco

Goal:   To capture a rare sight of an albino guanaco. Especially since she had a baby of natural coloring.

Source:  Nikon D750 with 400mm lens. 1/2500 sec at f/8 and ISO 800

Technique:  Slammed on the brakes while travelling in Argentina, grabbed camera and set up at above settings. All handheld and it was extremely windy so tried to stablize the best I could against side of vehicle.

Processing:  I did clone out some fence line which she was standing in front of. Some contrast and d/b added.

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

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

Review by Les L., 4-8-2015
Nice shot of unique animal. I like the way she stands out against the blurred background and the calf adds interest and energy to the image. Nice catch.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Review by Tom B., 4-22-2015
Nice capture. The mom and calf are sharp and crisp and the nursing calf adds to the image. Excellent detail in both animals
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Review by Andy H., 4-23-2015
Well seen image. Clean and sharp. Achieved despite the conditions and being handheld. There is a movement in nature photography to show less of the subject and more of the environment which i do prefer. Would also have liked to have seen more of the calf but appreciate this could take time that was not available.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Review by Butch S., 4-24-2015
The focus on the animals is great. I would prefer to see much more of the calf. You mention that you cloned out fence line. As I understand it, nature photo does not include domesticated animals and does not allow cloning, especially when the cloning changes the context of the photo. Rick C. is best qualified to speak to all of this. I have had a cloning problem with an image submitted for competition. I withdrew the image after I learned of the cloning rules from reading PSA Nature literature and this Nature Group 2.
N-1, T-3, P-1, E-0, Total=5
Review by Bogdan B., 4-26-2015
You succeed to get clear and sharp image of an unusual animal in unusual circumstances. I would prefere to see the whole baby. Have you waited the animals to separate? The grass seems a little bit dark to me. Can you increase satuarition a little bit?
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=8
Review by Manu R., 4-26-2015
Good capture with the mom and calf together of a rare specimen. The central compo appears to make the image static. Cropping from the bottom and wright might improve the composition. Some Catch light on the eye of the mom and a better view of the calf would have made this picture go a long way. A good attempt.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total=7
Review by Rick C., 5-1-2015
The basics on the capture are excellent given the conditions you describe and the lighting. Focus and DOF are both very nice. You could improve the tonality by moving the Highlights end of the curve up to lighten the overall image further. I might be inclined to try a very selective (Adjustment Brush or Masked Shadow Highlight layer) Lightening of the shadows under her belly to see if the youngster’s head would show any better. The main issue is the cloning, which you did well by the way. That makes the image a DQ for nature competitions. If it was unobtrusive, I might try it with the wire in and see what the judges did. Otherwise, use this version in pictorial venues.

N-3, T-3, P-2 = 8 But cloning would DQ for nature – lighten overall tones to bring the P rating up to a 3


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JANUARY 2015 ROUND
Title:  Tierra del Fuego Kings

Goal:   Penguins

Source:  Natural Light

Technique: Propped against sturdy post, faster ISO to catch movement.

Processing:  Photoshop - bring out contrast and try to deal with harsh daylight.

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

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

Review by Butch S., 1-12-2015
Very interesting family photo! These are pretty creatures and you have captured that. Focus and colors look to me to be natural. The one thing that may be worth trying is to do a little dodging on the heads of the three shorter bird so that it would be possible to discern, to a natural degree, the birds facial, eye, etc features.
N-2, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total=7
Review by Lisa A., 1-14-2015
Your subject matter is fun. You did a good job of combatting the harsh light although a bit more white feather detail would improve the shot. The bottom left penguin does have more detail. A softer background would improve the shot as well. I would suggest cropping more of the grass, keeping the image a vertical shot. You did not tell us camera settings so I don’t know which aperture you used. Perhaps a wider one than you used would have given a softer background.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total=7

Review by Les L., 1-15-2015
Image creates strong interest with unique animals. Tack sharp but facial definition needs lightening. Good shot.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total=8
Review by Tom B., 1-24-2015
Wonderful image and I would love to photograph penguins in their natural state. I agree that a tighter crop might help in that you have 4 subjects of different sizes. I think that lightening the head /eye area would help.
N=3, T=2, P=3, E=0, Total=8

Review by Bogdan B., 1-26-2015
Kathryn, I really wish to see these beautiful birds. I just imagine them on snow, not on the grass. This is a little bit distracting in the background.
N=3, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=7
Review by Rick C., 1-25-2015
Kathryn Engle – Tierra del Fuego Kings

You made a very nice capture under the circumstances. The exposure is very reasonable for this harsher lighting and you’ve done a nice job in holding detail in the sun lit sections of the breasts. Primary focus is fine. The DOF is a little more than optimal, but it is understandable where you were trying to capture a group. I think you could safely crop out a little of the foreground to get the grouping out of the center a bit more. As interesting as the grouping is this is a case where I would love to shout “down in front”. Our two near members are actually blocking our view of the courting behavior of the two behind them. There is also a fifth member of the group that we pick up only from the odd flipper on the left. Nothing you could do about it for this capture, but hopefully the other three wandered on and you had a chance to just catch the courting pair alone. I would try using the shadows slider in ACR or Lightroom to open up the facial areas a bit more. It is difficult to get a dark eye to stand out of a dark face, but I believe it can be done without looking artificial. Just add some Clarity in after making the Shadows adjustment.

N-3, T-2, P-3 = 8


I got involved with photography about 5 years ago and purchased a Nikon D200. I started with a few online courses on basic photography. Then one of the instructors on an online class offered us a photography workshop and tour for half price and about half of us decided to take him up on it and met in Tampa, FL. That was just the start.

I come from a computer background having had been a developer in Geographic Information Systems in Idaho and Alaska. I am now retired so have more time to learn about photography and photographic processing. I want to be able to take my photography to the next level and thought PSA would be a great way to help me on that path. I am a member of both the Boise Camera Club and the Camera Club of Eagle. The Boise Camera Club is associated with PSA so that is how I originally heard of the organization.

I love many areas of photography: nature, landscape, cultural, and travel.

I love travelling and I love photography and I am now am trying to incorporate these two favorite past times as much as possible.

Now I have a Nikon D700 and am looking into upgrading that as well. My main lenses at this point are my Nikon 24-120mm, 12-28mm, 28-300mm, 80-400mm, thus I have a fairly wide range.