Study Group 2

Les Lincke

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Upload Image and Description
Title:   Ol' Blue Eyes

Goal:  To take bird photos which will achieve an Acceptance in competition.

Equipment / Source:   Nikon with 150-600 mm lens at 600 mm; 1/400 sec.; f 6.3; ISO 2800.

Technique:   Hand held

Processing:  Cropped and sharpened.

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

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

Review by Andy H.m 6-13-2015
Thats some eye! Exposure good, nice colour, sharp, DOF - I would have liked to have seen the wing nearest us in focus. Could you have stepped up the f number and sacrificed the ISO or speed? Tripod?
Could you have given a little more space on the RHS. Acceptance level, not my call, I'm sure Rick will advise.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=7
Review by Butch S., 6-16-2015
Nice clean headshot. Shows off the birds beautiful eye and interesting bill. Nice Bokeh. I do wonder what are the white things at the end of the bill? Looks like feathers. I agree with Andy in that I would like to see the shoulder in focus but understand that could be difficult if the wings are outstretched as they are oftentimes with cormorants.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=7
Review by Dawn C., 6-20-2015
Nice portrait of a cormorant. The blurred right shoulder is a bit distracting, but you kept the entire head and long bill in nice focus. By the feathers on his bill he apparently was doing some preening. Capturing that action would increase the story value for nature competitions.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=7
Review by Bogdan B., 6-20-2015
Les, I'm sure, that you will rich your goal with acceptances. The photo is sharp, properly exposed and with blurred background. You have very calm hands to capture 600 mm handheld at 1/400 s. Yes, the feathers are on the beak.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8
Review by Tom B., 6-25-2015
Good head shot. The upper 2/3 are really right on with clarity and detail. I also find the blurred wing distracting. The feathers on the end of the beak do not bother me as I find that most cormorants out of water appear to have those fine feather on the beak from preening.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=8
Review by Rick C., 6-26-2015
This is an excellent portrait of a Double Crested Cormorant with breeding color in the eye. All of the basic technical aspects look good. The pose is fine. The feathers stuck to the beak from preening add to the interest value. The main nit is that the near shoulder is a mild distraction where it is out of focus. It is still an excellent study.
N-2, T-3, P-3 = 8

Upload Image and Description

Title:   Nine Cubs With Dinner

Goal:   To capture images suitable for competition. I want to thank everyone for last month's critique. I re-cropped and it improved the image.

Equipment / Source:   Nikon 7000 w/ 18-300 mm lens at 300 mm

Technique:   Shot on safari

Processing:   Sharpened, cropped

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

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

Review by Tom B., 5-21-2015
Nice image, looks like you had a wonderful safari from your last two images. I am a little jealous. I think this tells a wonderful story but I have some concerns. I know that you can't choose location for images like this but I find the tall thicket grasses in the back ground somewhat distracting. I also think that the four cubs on the right need to be better defined and highlighted from out of the shadows.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-1, Total=8
Review by Dawn C., 5-24-2015
What a wonderful find; you must have been thrilled. There's a lot going on in this image. The nature story and composition might be stronger if cropped tighter to Mom and cub with the four on the right intently interested in what is going on.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=7

Review by Andy H., 5-23-2015
I love the simplicity of this shot. Always difficult to compose with out loosing an arm or leg! These are shots where, if you can, you sit and wait for that 'moment'.
I'm not sure if there is another, better, image in this picture. The detail has been affected by the bright light and its difficult to recover. I try to under expose and recover later but doesn't suit everyone. Difficult to see if the DOF has kept the cubs sharp.
Great image considering the conditions.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total=7
Review by Rick C., 5-23-2015
You caught an excellent nature story in this image. This younger looking lioness may have nursery duty as I have never heard of a single mother with that many cubs. I can understand the wide framing given the dispersion of the cubs, although I do wish they had been grouped a little tighter to allow us to concentrate on them more. If they had been a little older they wouldn’t be sitting back that way. I think your exposure is good for the lighting condition. Earlier or later light and the shadows wouldn’t be quite as harsh, but you take what you find on safari. Focus and DOF are good. I would crop top and bottom to more of a panel. This will emphasize them a bit more as well. I would also try a little selective dodging and burning in to see if we wouldn’t open up the shadows a bit to show the cubs there better and darken some of the grasses to let those cubs stand out. Unfortunately the very coloration that helps to keep them safer at this age also lets them blend into their surroundings in a picture.
N-3, T-3, P-2 = 8 (see adjusted version for illustration of what I was talking about)

Review by Bogdan B., 6-3-2015
It's nice to see a lion with nine cubs. I agree with others, that it's hard to find all of them. They are all arround. Some are hard to see in shaddow. I prefere Les's crop to eliminate more distracting background.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7

I live in Ft. Myers, FL. and Blowing Rock, NC. I am a retired business executive who travels extensively and enjoys photography as one of my many hobbies. I also participate in the PSA Travel Study Group. I look forward to being involved in this nature group.