Study Group 2

Tom Brott

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Title:    Burrowing Owl Chicks

Goal:    Capture an image of Burrowing Owl chicks

Equipment Used:    Canon 7D Mark II, f9, 1/1250 sec, ISO 640, 400mm, WB= Sunny, Hand held

Technique:    Finding a burrow with the chicks outside without a sign or perch in the picture.

Processing:   PS CC, I lessoned the shadows, used Color Efex 4 to bring out more details and cropped

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

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

Review by Manu R., 6-15-2015
Beautiful image with the impact. Rare specimens!Light is a bit harsh affecting the back ground. Wish you had more space to the wright rather than the left. But it doesn't matter as the nature value of the image is high!!! Great effort..
N=3, T=3, P=2, E=0, Total=8
Review by Andy H., 6-13-2015
Birds with attitude! I like this subject. Well exposed, sharp good DOF. The grass is a little over saturated for me. I would have liked to have seen the owls positioned to the left but I don't know if this was possible.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total-8
Review by Butch S., 6-15-2015
Love the sharpness, great detail--could almost touch these guys. I like the turn of the heads. The one thing I would like to see and it concerns the background. The background has a yellow hue and tonal value that competes with the birds and does not let the birds be quickly seen in the wonderful detail that you captured.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E=0, Total=8
Review by Dawn C., 6-20-2015
Love the detail and interaction of the two birds. Would be better if they were framed to the left of the image so there was 'room' in the image for the birds to be looking. The direction of their gaze leads the viewer out of the image. Excellent depth of field. You may want to bring down the highlights in the background to make them less distracting.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=8
Review by Bogdan B., 6-20-2015
Tom, your chicks are really pretty.Image is very sharp and exposed. You can selectively darkend the chicks just a little to be more visible on the background.The main disadvantage are sights pointed outside the picture. If you don't have any space on the right, you can make upright panorama (more narrow image). The space on the left should be smaller then on the right. That way you will also get rid of green branches on the right.
N-3, T-3, P-2, E-0, Total=8
Review by Les L., 6-17-2015
Great shot of Borrowing Owls! Technically excellent with good exposure, colorant framing. I like your arrangement following the rule of thirds. Image has feeling.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Review by Rick C., 6-26-2015
You have some cute subjects here. The primary focus is good. The depth of field (DOF) is reasonable. Depending on your distance from them, F8 or even F5.6 might have allowed you to blur it even more while retaining the sharpness in the chicks. As it stands, I would be inclined to darken (burn in) the background and foreground a little to try to separate the chicks out even more. The surroundings are on the bright side and so compete with the chicks, particularly around the legs and feet. Be careful on what you do in Color Efex. Using Tonal Contrast or the Detail Extractor is OK as those are based on algorithms that deal only with contrast adjustments. Any of the other filters might potentially be considered to change the image (that is, constitute manipulation) and push it out of nature. A minor nit is that they are looking out of the frame, but I don’t see that as a significant impediment to the success of the image. N-3, T-3, P-2 = 8

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Title:   Peregrine Falcon

Goal:   To capture a good in flight image of a peregrine falcon from the back of our cruise ship

Equipment Used:    Canon 7D II, f5.6, 1/1250 sec, ISO 640, 400mm, WB cloudy, Hand Held

Technique:   Waiting on the balcony of our room for the falcons to fly by in range of the camera

Processed in LR5 adjusting some of the sliders and then took the image to PS6 to adjust some of the blue and yellow hues. Highlighted details with ColorEfex4 and some noise reduction with Imagenomics. Cropped the image

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

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

Review by Butch S., 5-18-2015
I really like the in-flight aspect. Technical very good. Nice sharpness, Nature story a bit weak.
N-2, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=8
Review by Dawn C., 5-24-2015
Excellent capture - love the upswept wings while calling. Beautifully sharp. Well done.
N-3, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=9
Review by Andy H., 5-23-2015
Well captured shot. Sharp, clean and well exposed. No real story for me.
N-2, T-3, P-3, E-0, Total=8
Review by Rick C., 5-23-2015
This is a nice flight shot on one of our more attractive raptors. The up stroke wing position and open beak add interest. The tucked foot position adds to the nature story and allows the viewer to have a better appreciation for the aerodynamics of one of the fastest fliers out there. The exposure is good. The primary focus looks to be OK, though the eye seems a tad soft. That may just be motion or panning related, but it would be worth touching it up with the sharpening tool. There seems to be a halo along the lower half of the back wing edge and a smaller one along the upper tail. Both of these should be addressed. My suggestion would be to go back to the layer on which you added any sharpening and mask those two areas out with a fine line. Keep in mind that it may just be a capture contrast situation. If the halos appear in the raw image, just try to minimize the build up in any processing steps.
N-3, T- 2, P-3 = 8 (eliminate halos and sharpen eye a bit T-3)
Review by Bogdan B., 6-3-2015
Excelent image of the bird in flight. Very sharp and good exposed.
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.