Study Group 2

Les Lincke

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Upload Image and Description

Title:    Bald eagle

Goal:    It isn't often that we have an eagle visiting our home in Florida so when we did i followed him around until I got this shot. I like it because it fits well in the family den.

Equipment / Source:    Nikon 810 w/ 150-600 mm lens @ 600mm. 1/6000 @f 6.3; ISO 400

Technique:    Handheld

Processing:    Cropped, sharpened.

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

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

Review by Mike P.
The good points about this shot was that it was very sharp and great exposure. Otherwise, I found it rather ho-hum. There just wasn't enough there to make me want to take a look -- a bald eagle but it was simply sitting on a limb. There wasn't the nature story, involvement or action to distinguish this from the hundreds of bald eagle photos I've seen. As a suggestion, I'd like to see something that really makes me want to take a double-take or something more than sitting on a limb that is really striking about such a magnificent bird.
N-2, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=7
Review by Jerry S.
The nature story is basically "look at me" because the eagle is just perched on a limb. Florida has a good population of eagles so there are opportunities for more active nature behaviors. Focus is good and the colors look very natural. Reducing the facial shadow cast by the beak might improve the image slightly.
N-2, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=8
Review by Bogdan B.
You have got the eagle on the clear blue sky. Sharpnes and exposure are good also on the white feathers. Perhaps the tree was so high, that you couldn't capture it from more the same level. I would just crop some lower and right branches.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9
Review by Andy H.
Lucky to have these birds in your back yard. Well captured image Exposure is fine, a little difficulty with the bright parts on the head. Sharpness around the body and tail is spot on but there is some softness in the beak and eye.DOF good. Composition is nice. I would have tried a square crop to remove some of the tree and marks at high level on the right hand side.
N-2, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total=6

Review by Mary W.
Wow, what a great picture of bald eagle. The bald eagle is sharply focused with great detail on it eye, and feathers. The depth of field is perfect, bald eagle and branches are in focus and cloud and sky are out of focus. Especially, I like the light and contrast of this picture, they are just right, it did not lose any detail to the shadows. The eagle was calling, I almost can hear its voice :). You did a great job to capture bald eagle with a strong story.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Review by Cindy M.
Very nice shot of an eagle. Color looks good and good composition. Nice and sharp for that focal length and being handheld The fast shutter speed probably helped that. The eye to me is not quite in focus. It looks like the sun was in a position that caused the head side facing you to be in the shadow. Lightening the shadow on the head would have helped.
N-2, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total=7
Review by Bruce F.
Like this image a lot, sharp, beautiful setting with tree, eye very discernable, open beak helps the story a bit. However, this image is stronger as a pictorial, the nature story is of a perched bird. No wing in the air, no landing, no nest action, so the nature story is a bit weak.
Also, the angle of view is from far below and not the best. I think if you got a better head position where the head wasn’t in the shade that might help—waited for the moment when the bird looked down. If possible, I would have also try to back up a bit and get an angle that would have put the bird more on the photographer’s level.
The right corner seems to have some cloning issues, where you might have clone out some of the branches in this corner. You can see where you swiped with the cloning brush. Good technique is to not to paint, but click from multiple sources. The blue sky is a bit pixelated and could use a bit of noise reduction, a small amount, just selectively using a mask on the sky only.
Overall, a good capture for a hand held image. Excellent light on the feathers, and a good setting in this tree with an open canopy. I just wish for a better head angle, and a little more action for a better nature story.
N-2, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-7
I think you accomplished what you set out to. All of the technical aspects look fine to me. I like the added contrast and the relative side lighting. I think you may be close to clipping some of the whites in the throat feathers, but it is a small enough area that I don't find it bothersome. The open beak is a plus as is the mottled nature of the sky behind the subject. Your composition is very nice. It may not have the strongest nature story, but it should definitely make a great print for the den wall. I suspect it would also do pretty well in a pictorial (PID) type of competition.

N-2, T-3, P-3 = 8 (It needs a little more going on to get the N value up.)

Upload Image and Description
Title: Half Way Down

Goal:    To capture a wildlife action shot.

Equipment / Source: Raw; 810 w/ 150-600mm lens at 600 mm. 11000 sec. at f 8. ISO 1250
Technique:    Hand held

Processing:    Cropped, dodged and burned, sharpened.

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

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

Review by Dawn C.
Very strong nature story with great detail in the feathers and fish. The background is very busy and a bit distracting. If you had dropped the ISO, you could have opened the aperture and decreased the depth of field. A little more room at the top would be good, if available.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7
Review by Butch S.
Great shot. Good Nature story. Image is nice and sharp, exposure looks good. Well done.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9
Review by Manu R.
Your goal is met in style- A great wild life action shot! Back ground is a bit crowded and lighting is not helpful.
N-3, T-2, P-2, E-0, Total-7
Review by Andy H.
You achieved what you set out to do! Clean, sharp, well exposed and good DOF.
N-2, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-8
Review by Mike P.
This is an excellent capture in which you definitely achieved your goal of grabbing a wildlife action shot. The focus was great and the timing was perfect. Although this was out of your control, the dark fish against the dark background made it hard to make out what the bird was swallowing. As a suggestion for future shots, look for a background that more clearly contrasts with your subject. Simply because of the difficulty in clearly distinguishing the subject is why I gave you a 2 for pictorial quality instead of a 3. But again, in this shot, it was what it was and sometimes we make the best with what we have to work with. Nice job!
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8
Review by Jerry S.
Good nature story that accomplishes your goal. I usually see commorants eat while in the water but I can't tell if this bird is in the water or on the shore. Would suggest a horizontal flip to keep eyes from leaving the page.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8
Review by Mary W
Wow, what a great image! I really appreciate that you captured all the details. The image is nicely focused and lighting is perfect. The bird eye, feather and even the fish are all in focus. This image is very strong. It tells a great story. Without seeing your photo, I won’t believe the bird can sallow such large fish. It is amazing photo. Job well done!
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-9

Review by Bruce F
A powerful nature story with fish going down the gullet this bird. Having said that, I would like the angle of the bird and fish to be facing us, rather than looking slightly away. A slight point, and sometimes you aren’t lucky, but proper positioning, knowing where to be is an underappreciated aspect of nature photography. Not the perfect head angle, as Artie Morris would say. However, if you provide some local adjustment in the eye, lightening it a bit and adding more contrast that would help.
Also, there is noise in the background due to the higher ISO. You could reduce this noise by using Nik’s Define noise reduction software, or other comparable third party noise reduction software. One that allows noise reduction to be apply just to the background, because you don’t want to reduce the sharpness of the bird and fish.
Or when applying sharpening, apply it locally, where you want, by the use of masks, so only the bird and fish gets the sharpening, and not the background where the noise will be increase by global sharpening.
N-3, T-2, P-3, E-0, Total-8
Review by Dan C.

You captured a strong nature story with this image.  I find the story even stronger and the image pictorially more pleasing with the image flipped horizontal.  A win-win proposition that makes the fish a stronger element in the image.

One step you can perform to make the fish even stronger is to selectively use Viveza to slightly open up the dark areas and bring more texture to the fish scales.

You do have some digital noise in the background that can easily be reduced using NIK Define in the brush mode just on the background.  If you used Define globally you would soften the cormorant’s feathers and weaken the part of the story that shows the cormorant just came out of the water.

N3, P2, T3, E0, Total 8

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.