Study Group 2

Les Lincke

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Title:  Brown Anole

Goal:  To capture a sharp, close-up image of a Brown Anole with dewlap.

Source:  This photo was taken with a Coolpix 520 at ISO 400 at 1/640 sec. at f5.1 at 134mm.

Technique:  These lizards originated in Cuba and the Bahamas. They change color and show the males show their dewlap to ward off predators and attract females. These animals are timid and the trick was to get close enough to capture the image at the time his dewlap was showing.

Processing:  Shot in jpeg with limited LR5 modifications.

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

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

Review by Butch S., 1-13-2015
This is really cool! Great texture everywhere. Looks like you used spot light metering. Seems to be some chromatic fringing in the background. But otherwise, I have nothing else to say but good job.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Review by Lisa A., 1-14-2015
This is interesting. The scales on the lizard are clear. He is looking at the camera, and his dewlap is sharp. When I enlarged image I could see little slits on the lizard’s back which adds interest. The majority of the background is soft and natural. There is one highlighted area to the right of the lizard’s face. If you crop a bit off the right side that area will be less noticeable, and there will be more focus on the lizard’s face.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=8
Review by Tom B., 1-24-2015
Nice image, I think that you achieved your goal. The lizard is sharp as well as the foreground rock. I think I would try to darken the background rocks more as they tend to distract.
N=3, T=2, P=3, E=0, Total=8
Review by Bogdan B., 1-26-2015
There should be a good trick to come so close to the lizard. Beside technical quality I like diagonal composition.
N=3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Review by Rick C., 1-25-2015
You did exactly what you set out to and did it nicely. The exposure is good for the lighting. In this case I think the even lighting was a plus as it kept the contrast range on the shot within reason. The extended dewlap shows nicely. Focus and DOF are well handled. The partial head turn improves a sense of eye contact even though it made you task in handling the dewlap a little tougher . The pose on the Anole is nice as is your final composition. Two small nits. We’re very close to the tail touching at the lower left. If you have a little more on the bottom I’d add that back in. The second is that the two lighter BG rocks show gray as if darkened too much. I suspect you did have to burn them in, but it looks overdone. It is always a trade off, but in this case I would try to keep it looking natural even at the cost of them being a little brighter. Remember that when you darken something you need to pull back on both saturation and contrast at the same time.

N-3, T-3, P-3 = 9

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Title:   Flying Eagle

Goal:  To capture action photos of animals.

Source:   Nikon 810 with a Tamron 150-600 mm lens fully extended w/o tripod.

Technique:   Photo taken near my home in Ft. Myers, FL.

Processing:   Lightroom 5

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

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

Review by Lisa A., 12-13-2014
What you have captured of the eagle is sharp. You have good detail in the feathers. You have captured the talons well. However, I want to see more of the bird’s body. I see more sky and tree than eagle. Perhaps a wider shot would have given you that. In post processing I would also target the eagle’s eyes to make them pop just a bit. A curves adjustment might help.
N=2, T=2, P=2, E=0, Total=6
Review by Rick C., 12-8-2014
The basics for the image all look solid. The primary focus is good and depth of field looks fine for the subject and conditions. Your choice of shutter speed was solid for freezing the flying eagle. I’d like to know if you have more room in the original and why you chose this particular crop. While I appreciate leaving room in front of the eagle to allow it freedom to move, the strong crop on the right side eliminates much of the subject without, to my mind, improving the story. The issue to me, is that the image is about the flight of the eagle and so I want to see the entire eagle, as opposed to other images, such as Butch’s egret from November, where the story was about the capture and feeding behavior and so the extreme crop was appropriate. The slight clip on the raised wing may be an edge of the frame issue rather than a post capture cropping decision. I find that I am always better off if I use the center focus point and frame loose when trying to capture moving subjects. They are dead center on the initial capture, but the modern sensor density typically makes it a simple matter to crop post capture to something more pleasing. An additional benefit is that the central focusing point is almost always the most sensitive as far as tracking and speed of focus goes, so my percentage of sharp shots goes up as well. The trick is to keep that center point on the face when the subject is moving towards you and on the neck or an area of shoulder in about the same plane as the head when the subject moves across your field of view. Of course, use Tracking, Servo or whatever mode the camera has for follow focus on a moving target. As a minor point, watch the whites carefully. You are actually clipping on several points on the eagle’s head. In LR you will want to keep the brightest whites at 95% or lower. I recommend 93% or lower. In Elements or Photoshop it would equate to keeping the color values at 248,248,248 or lower (95.5% in LR) with 242,242,242 often safer (95.1% in LR). The detail in the dark feathers is excellent. Given the gray sky you had, you did a very commendable job on the overall exposure.
N=2, T=3, P=2, E=0, Total=7
Review by Butch S., 12-17-2014
This a cool eagle shot. Nice and sharp. That is a hard thing to do with a fully extended 600 mm lens hand-held and a moving subject. The one thing that I wish is that we could see more of the eagle. If we could see as much of the right wing as we can see of the left, this would be a fantastic shot.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total=7
Review by Tom B., 12-28-2014
Nice image. I would like to see more of the wimg on the right side having a full frame eagle. Also the background could use some more definition
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total=7
Review by Bogdan B., 1-11-2015
Les, you are really lucky to have such birds in neighbourhood. I beleive, you didn't crop the wing intentionally. I know the situation, when you capture the bird on the branch, but in the moment it flies. The wings are to large to get in photo. That's the main disadvantage.
N-2, T-3, P-1, E-0, Total=6

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.