Study Group 2


Tom Brott

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FEBRUARY 2015 ROUND

Title:  Bringing Home the Food

Goal:  To capture action shots of the nesting Osprey.

Equipment Used:  Canon 7D Mark II, f8, 1/1250 Sec, ISO 320, 100 to 400mm lens @ 365mm, Hand Held, White balance sunny.

Technique:  Hanging around nesting area waiting for either bird to take off or land.

Processing:  Used PhotoShop Raw to process. lessoned some shadows on the wings and cropped

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

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

Review by Butch S., 2-14-2015
Real nice!! Very sharp and full of great content. The ospreys are well captured with one bringing food to the nest. I have lots of bird images, but no ospreys yet. Congrats.
N=3, T=3, P=3, E=1, Total=10
Review by Les L., 2-21-2015
Great action shot of Osprey bringing food to the nest. This has all the elements of a good image, a story, tack sharp, composition, lighting. I would give it a 10 if the prey it was carrying was more identifiable. Congratulations.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Review by Rick C., 2-25-2015
Solid technical execution coupled with a good nature story make this a strong image. There may be very minimal clipping on the whites in the lightest areas but that takes nothing away form the shot. The only way to improve it would be to have had the Osprey in the nest facing the incoming parent and reacting to the prospect of food.

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


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JANUARY 2015 ROUND
Title:  Cormorant with catfish

Goal:  To capture nature in action at the Venice (FL) Rookery

Equipment Used:   Canon 7D MarkII, f5.6, 1/2000sec, ISO200, 100-400 lens at 400mm, WB=Cloudy, Hand held

Technique:  It was a very cloudy / overcast afternoon and I was trying to capture some action images. It was a constant battle of the cormorant trying to swallow the catfish. The battle lasted about 20 minutes with the cormorant giving up and releasing the catfish. This is one of the better images of that battle. It was nice to find a catfish that was not all black with no detail.

Processing:  
Photoshop Raw, Lightened and cropped.

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
Great shot! good "action." All looks good to me. You are right, the speckled catfish adds to the interest. The Cormorant's eye is well captured. Nice. I did not give a 1 for Score E because I think that such is reserved for shots of unusual animal behavior and, though not common, Cormorants can be seen in the consumption of fish. Rick, what is the common standard? Tom, how do you like the 7D II? Was the 100-400 the new SI II?
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Tom's reply: 1-24-2015
Note: to answer your question the 7D MarkII is a wonderful camera. I have been using it regularly now and love it. I has become my go to camera.
Review by Lisa A., 1-14-2015
What a great action/nature story. You have captured both bird and fish quite well. I like the main subject but also like the water drops that appear. It is well composed with the blue eye at a power point and the shadow on the water curving around, leading the eye. The only thing I’d like to see is a bit more detail in the neck feathers of the cormorant. Perhaps a slight curves adjustment would give that.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Review by Les L., 1-15-2015
This image meets all my criteria of an excellent nature photo i.e. good light, good compositional arrangement and exceptional subject matter.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-1, Total=10
Review by Bogdan B., 1-26-2015
Tom, when I've seen just the image, I've thought, how could it swallow such a big fish. I'm surprised, that the cormorant hs made a mistake. You had really good chance in so much time to make many good shots. With usual fishes you have just 5 seconds time to shot, before it swallow the fish. Realy good photo in all aspects.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total-=9
Review by Rick C., 1-25-2015
You captured an excellent nature story. Focus and DOF look to be right on the money. The shutter speed kept all moving parts sharp and with a fish of this size that isn’t always the case when it starts whipping that tail around. The composition is nice as presented. In this case I have a sense that the Cloudy WB may be introducing a bit of a warm color cast to the shot. Try running AutoColor on it and see if it seems cleaner. You will have a better feel here as you know how late in the afternoon t was and whether the light was actually getting this warm. I do think the lores and throat are over saturated. The eye color says breeding, but even in full breeding color the lores and throat won’t go this bright (in my experience). Some of that may also be due to the WB, but I would definitely pull back on the orange / red saturation level some. Use reference book showing breeding color as a guide for how much.

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


Review by Kathryn E., 1-30-2015

What a great catch. I love the action and the colors on the cormorant and the fish is an extra bonus. Good focus and composition.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9


My name is Tom Brott and I live in Cape Coral, Florida.  I started taking pictures back in the late 1960’s and have been shooting ever since.  I started to get serious about seven years ago when I fell in love with digital imaging.  Since then I have taken several courses and joined Fort Myers Camera Club, Florida Council of Camera Clubs and PSA.  I feel my photography has improved  with my club affiliations and am seeking to improve even further.

I currently shoot with a Canon 6D and have a wide variety of lenses to accompany the camera.  I shoot in RAW  format, feel comfortable using  the manual mode and primarily use Photoshop from CS6 to edit when needed. I am looking to enhance my Nature Photography as I have many great opportunities living in Southwest Florida and being  so close to the Everglades National Park  and Big Cypress Preserve.