Study Group 2

Les Lincke

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Title:  Frog and Prey

Goal:   I have reviewed the nature photography definition particularly relating to "human elements shall not be present except to enhance the nature story".
These Tree Frogs come out in the hot Florida weather but are impossible to find in their natural setting at night. They are attracted to lights where they dine on bugs and where they can be photographed. them.
I am interested to learn whether our advisors find this an acceptable photo?

Equipment / Source:    Nikon 810 w/ Tamron 90mm macro lens

Technique:   Hand held at 1/180 sec. at f11. ISO 1600

Processing:    Cropped and sharpened

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

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


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Title:   Family Quarrel

Goal:   I was interested in capturing some interesting photos at the rookery in Venice, FL

Equipment / Source:  Nikon 810 w/ Tamron 150-600 mm lens and polarizer.
Technique:    Shot at 1/3000 at f 6.7 at ISO 800 at 600 mm. using a tripod. The egrets were quite active

Processing:    Lightened, sharpened birds, burned foreground and blurred area around birds.

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

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

Review by Jerry S.
A rookery usually provides an excellent opportunity to capture interaction which you achieved with your image. The focus is a little soft on the birds Colors are good and the contrast between the shrub and birds creates a compelling image. The downside is your image has two many birds. The bird in the foreground does not contribute to the action and partially obscures the bird behind it. It would have been a better image with just the two birds having the dispute. Getting an unobstructed shot is difficult in the rookery but you found a good angle to show the birds with only minimal interference from the shrubs.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8
Review by Butch S.
This is a great image! I shoot rookeries every year and you caught very interesting behavior. Technically I have no complaints. Likewise, the Pictorial award of 3 is well deserved.

One point, you state you blurred the background. I seem to remember a mentor saying that you cannot blur a background and be in compliance with the Nature division. Could our mentor inform us on this situation.

Whenever I want to do something that is outside of Nature I will have two copies, one for Nature and one for PID. This works well when the Nature image is strong for scoring. It looks to me that this is a perfect situation for this strategy. If all you did was a little blurring that is what I would do. I bet your original pre-blurring is an outstanding image for Nature.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-1, Total-10
Review by Azim R.
Greatly capture, Nice composition.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8
Review by commentator Rick C.
You captured a nice nest action shot. The squabbling among the young is very common in all of the egrets and herons. The exposure looks fine. Primary focus and depth of field also look good. You mention blurring areas. As tempting as it may be, blurring, even the use of negative Clarity, is not currently allowed for Nature images. Blurring would push the shot over into the realm of PID. Our sole options currently are either cropping or some form of dodging or burning in. The latter can be done using the Dodge and Burn tools, a layer of 50% gray set to a Blend mode of Overlay or Soft Light on which you paint with white to lighten (dodge) or black to darken (burn in). (Any color lighter than 50% gray lightens and any color or tone darker than 50% gray darkens.), the use of two curves layers with opposite masking to create a "custom" vignette. There are probably a few others like the History brush set to screen or multiply that I am not going to chase. Compositionally the scene shows wonderful habitat and feels natural, however the offset from the edge is just about the same on the left, right, and bottom (based on the adult's feet). To avoid any sense of a static arrangement I would recommend making those distances different. The visual perception is then that the subject is not centered even if it is near the center of the frame. ((A bit of visual trickery.)

N-0, T-3, P-3 = 6 (N-0 as blurring is not allowed in nature images currently otherwise it would be N-3).

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.