Digital images C Grade Set Subject
Anthornus melanura Bellbird on Flax
You had a good subject here, but I believe you missed the "decisive moment" . Had the bird had its head removed from the flax flower and more in a profile stance it would have been a more interesting picture. The pollen on the forehead would still be visible. and may have set the viewers thoughts of what caused the colouration ? The bird is a very small part of the frame, and a crop could help . Then add a slight darkened Curves layer vignette. Draw an oval . Select Inverse, Modify Feather about 100 pixel add Curbes adjustment layer to suit then save.
This is quite a good study of this bird, but a bit more base would have helped. Because of the fresnel focussing screens that lead us to place the subjects so central in our view finders, and because mast cameras have far too many more pixels than is necessary, i is a good practice to allow a bit of space around our subject to allow for later, considered, compositional cropping. You have captured good feather detail, head angle, and outstretched wings, showing the shortening of these appendages insufficient to allow it fly.. The sky is good ut some could be cropped. It would have been helpful to give us the latin name. Phalacrocorax harrisi but better still its more common name Galapagos cormorant.
You have delivered us a good image of this Gannet landing, in a panoramic format, and although my crop deletes the placid birds from the right, I think it delivers a triangular composition that tells the same story.
Kakariki Parrot (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae)
THis image sets off the bird nicely, even though it is pity that part of the branch cuts across the tail. The colour and feathering detail and head profile with eye catchlight are all good. In my version I have used the Oval marquee tool to make a long oval selection, then in Select I transformed the selection to fit the bird diagonally then under select, Inverse, modify, feather about 100 pixels added a Curves adjustment layer to add a darkening vignette to hold the eye within the frame. A technique always used in the darkroom to burn the corners of an image to a darker level, holding the viewers eye within the frame.
New Zealand Grasshopper mating (Phaulacridium marginale )
This is a very interesting study, let down technically by the hind leg, lower left being out of focus
I presume the word Parapara in the title refers to a Geographic location, as the usual Maori name is Piwakawaka the proper latin name would have told us whether it was North or South Island Rhipidura. f. fuliginosa in the South Island, R. f. placabilis in the North Island, NZ Bush birds are difficult to photograph, as their natural predator is the fastest bird in the world namely the NZ Falcon. so they do not sit still for long, as no doubt you noted. . The bird is a little central in the frame . A crop and tilt in Lightroom and some shading in Photoshop could have raised your image to a higher level. The addition of an inverted oval vignette as described above helps too to concentrate on the bird. All these things are allowed in pure Natural History
Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae, Tui on Rata in rain
I like the capture of the water droplets , but in going after them the bird has almost become a secondary part of the picture, a crop a little bit of fill light and clarity in Lightroom, followed by the added oval vignette in Photoshop, improves this image.
Windy Seas East Coast NI
A good capture of this off shore wind , a pity the sky is so bald, a slight tweak to level the horizon is all I can suggest
Digital images B Grade Set Subject
A placid view of this alpine tarn . but is probably more scenic than anything else, and requires even then, something to give scale .
Australasian Harrier Hawk Circus gouldi Kahu.
Ever on the alert theses scary birds are difficult to get going about their normal scavenging business. This bird is a little too wary, and a more decisive moment may have been obtained, when the bird got down to feeding, but you would have had to work from a hide to do this. Sometimes a stationary vehicle can be used, but they have remarkable eye sight and the slightest movement will spoof them. Road kill can be scavenged set up in a suitable location near a hide, and natural shots can be obtained with care, but good nature photography requires abundant time and patience and a supportive family. ( I know )
Bowen Falls South Island New Zealand
A good choice of framing and viewpoint to give us an image full of interest
Danaus plexippus -Monarch
A good study of a recently emerged Monarch Butterfly I would have been tempted to either move camera position or remove the offending leaf, to avoid the body of the butterfly appearing optically to touch the leaf
The harsh back light is difficult to work with, particularly with black feathered birds. I have cropped, added some fill light adjusted contrasts, and cloned out some of the offending spangled high lights. Then I reversed the image for a stronger composition.
In 2005 I had a trip to Macquarrie Island and photographed these quaint birds, an understand the difficulties of isolating a group, getting the dark eyes to stand out against their dark head feathers etc. I like the grouping here, with every bird doing its own thing , against a breaking surf background.
A good study of this Kingfisher with Dragonfly prey. I think the extra branch is unnecessary and divides the viewers attention.
More correctly Mycena interrupta ( 2 r's ) or Pixie's parasol
A good study, you have got down to the level of the mushroom and shown the indented cap and some of the gll formation , the stalk and its habitat
NZ Alpine Grasshopper
A great study , that could only be improved by a bit of a crop
Same as above
The inclusion of the prey in the foreground adds interest to the image which raises a question " have they finished eating the carcase, or were they disturbed ?". A slight crop from right and top helps balance the image.
Digital images A Grade Set Subject
Australasian Gannet and Chick
A good study of these two with great feather detail, and great camera position , a little more action in the image would have heightened the interest.
Austroboletus lacunosus Flecked bolete
Perhaps the subject is slightly left of where it should be in the frame, but there may have been a good reason for that . Cap, Gill and stalk detail captured well in its mossy environment.
A nice grouping of these fungi;. stalk cap and gill detail and its growing environment all shown off well
Or skirt web cap . A good view of the caps but a lower viepoint from about level with the top of the middle one may have revealed more of the nature of the skirt and its relationship with the stalk.
A good study of this fungus showing substrate and gill formation superbly. Unfortunately it is difficult to establish scale from this image.
Crinipellis fungi species on forest litter
This is an interesting study of these fungi growing from the leaf, which unfortunately overpowers the image. Identification of the leaf could have been really useful.
Dusky Dolphin - Lagenorpynchus obscura
A superb action shot of this dolphin which has been captured in profile detail allowing identification
Eleonora’s falcon (Falco eleonorae)
This is a good head detail study of this European falcon. Nothing in the image would indicate that it may have been taken in a raptor park.
Fungi - Crepidotus sp
Another good image showin the gill detail, but once again difficult to establish scale.
Gentoo penguin feeding chick
An excellent study of this Gentoo Adult and chick engaged in activity, totally unconcerned by the nearby Elephant seals
Uou have used selective focus to good effect to isolate this sprig of a quite commonly seen NZ native shrub.
This quaint alpine scree plant has been captured well showing off its flower heads and hairy leaves in its natural habitat
Halcyon sancta vagans -Kotare
Although the subject is somewhat small within the frame, but makes an interesting picture with the crab in its beak. and although the hand of man is visible within the frame, it adds to the story that these birds often utilise man made structures to perch on
Hooded Crow -(Corvus cornix)
A colourful image showing this variety of the crow family as omnivorous and not just a carrion and scrap eating bird. It is a pity the platform is so insistent. The parallel lines across the background and out of focus spangles could be toned down with some afterwork.
It is a pity I think that this image has been reduced to monochrome, as colour may have helped it. However it may have been the bald ( foggy) sky that was your reasoning in the conversion
King Penguin colony incubating eggs (Aptenodytes patagonicus
I think crop would place the focal point in a better position within the frame
Macquarie Island Penguins
Selective focus has isolated one of these adult King penguins, amonst some transitioning juveniles. Penguins Macquarrie island would be a better title. As written it would appear that this is a species of Penguin. Where as there are 3 species of penguin common to Macquarie Island. King, Royal and Gentoo.
Orchid Caladenia sp
One of the white fingered spider orchids. You have photographed the flowering structure well with an exceedingly pleasant background.
Your low angle of view has enabled you to show off this glasswort in its natural environment against the watery background.
Shag with trout
A good study of this bird doing something of interest, the vegetation in the beak possibly indicates the environment in which the fish was captured. A slight crop is the only improvement I would suggest.
Song thrush, Turdus philomelos clarkei
Captured in full song on the dried seed heads of Phormium tenax which are in keeping colourwise, but slightly distracting . Cropping to an vertical is an acceptable alternative
Wandering Albatross- Diomedea antipodensis
Once again you have captured a good image at Macquarie Island of these immature elephant seals indulging in an often pursued pastime. You have framed and composed the picture well, with no distractions
This is a very pleasant grouping of these young swallows. The group is a little too central and a crop weighting the group right of centre makes it stronger . Deepening the blacks in Lightrrom will help strengthen the image
Thelymitra dentata orchid with wolf spider
It is a good study of this sun orchid, but a little difficult to see the spider. I tried increasing the exposure, clarity, and doing a bit of sharpening for my version
Wandering albatross Diomedia antipodensis
I like the attitude of this bird landing down the wave , its wings acting as brakes. Are you sure that this is a wanderer, it looks like a Southern Royal to me.
Whio Family Hymenolaimus malacorhynchos
Your family grouping of this rarish torrent duck, would be improved by a crop from the right, in my opinion.
PRINT images C Grade Set Subject
Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae, Tui on Kowhai
Nicely presented, Itr is a pity that a sprig of kowhai is separating the interaction of the two birds.
Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae, Tui Vocalizing
Once again foliage is hindering the interaction, but I like the attiotude of the birds you have captured.
PRINT images B Grade Set Subject
A pleasant grouping of the three fungi, which unfortunately are all at the same stage of growth. A touch of greenery in the backgrond gives some relief and texture to the background
You have captured the unfurling frond of this ponga well
The flower detail is captured well along with attendant pollinating flies ( perhaps Soldier flies) . Some more leaf detail and environment could perhaps have told us more about this plant.
Selective focus has been well used to isolate this fungus from its environment Yet leaving enough detail to assist the image. Good Cap and stalk detail
PRINT images A Grade Set Subject
Albatross in Cook Strait
I presume I have the correct print on the back this is labelled Salvins, Thalassarche salvini.4 birds, Thalassarche melanophris, Black browed, should be Thalassarche bulleri Bullers albatross, 6 birds and Macronectes halli , Juvenile Giant Nelly. 2 birds
You have captured a lovely radiating pattern of birds around some food object. , but for the uninitiated it would be good if in some way you could indicate which bird is which. It does show a good feeding pattern.
Bellbird at bath time
Differs to what is on the back of the print.
Sharp head detail in this bathing bellbird. Which could have a greater depth of field than shown here. With the modern digital cameras, it is possible, to use smaller apertures by increasing the ISO rating to be used up to and beyond 8000.
Bullers Albatross - Thalassarche bulleri
A somewhat unusual angle to take this picture from , and does not fully display the characteristic beak. and body feathering. , a change of head angle would have been beneficial.
Female Hookers Sea Lions protecting pup
Your image shows the protective nature of the mother, but even more shows trhe danger posed by jealous father's. Good cropping, viewpoint and framing
Flecked Bolete(Austroboletus lacunosus)
A good study of this fungus. Cap gills stalk and environment, and scale gauged from the moss
Your capture here illustrates the harsh conditions under which this plant grows on the Auckland Islands sub Antarctic climate and the stunting of associated vegetation
Hookers Sea Lion with newborn pup
Your isolation of this cow and her calf , and the touching interaction is well captured, and the background provides some valuable information, without being a distraction
Ivory Conch - (Conchomyces bursaeformis )
A good study of the gill detail of this fungus. Scale is difficult to determine. Is it on a punga log ?
male Xanthocnemis zealandica
You have captured a good image of this Red damselfly at rest. However I find the leaf above catching the light to be a distraction . Cropping or burning this deeper would assist. You have done your homework well and correctly identified this as a male . Because these insects move so fast we can't be too pickie about the leaf it chose to alight on.
Your image has captured this collapsed pinnacle of greywacke, returning to the sea from which it originally was formed and from whence it came. and as an up thrust formed the land base of the Wellington ( and much of the Noth Island) region.
Good lighting and an interesting but non conflicting sky help.
A good grouping of these fungi. Showing lovely glossy caps . It is a pity that one unit is lost behind another, a slight shift of viewpoint, would have overcome this. No other distractions in this image
Good flower bud, leaf and stem detail on this Mountain foxglove. Where was it photographed. I am familiar with O.macrophylla, but could not locate lactea. ?
Penwiper, Notothlaspi rosulatum, on basalt scree
Your capture of this alpine scree plant shows off the nature of its growth flowering detail, buds , leaves, and habitat well
Red-crowned kakriki, Cyanoramphus novaezelandii
Although you hav chosen a good bird, and a great pose, on a branch which is not obstructing any of the bird, the out of focus speckled highlights in the background are a great disappointment and make viewing of the bird difficult. A fair bit of burning needs to be done to try and improve it.
A straightforward study of this confiding bird. We do not usually see them against a background so devoid of detail , an a little softening of the harsh blackness would have been of benefit. You have almost lost the detail in the brightest parts of the feathering, and perhaps some more work was needed on the negative, before printing.
Weka - Gallirallus australis
A good stance of this bird has been captured from a great viewpoint. I particularly like the head angle, and the raised foot. A good background, . A simple bold statement which identifies this species well
Not entered on score sheet
A foggy shot showing the nature and forestation of this lake with the Kahikatea Dacrycarpus dacrydioides trees growing in the damp environment along with Phormium tenax (flax) but perhaps it is more of a landscape/lakescape.
A good clear study of this bird , showing it outlined in its environment . With no distractions, an image of interest, and a species I have not often seen appearing in club images.
Crepidotus species no grade on it, and I can not find it on the score sheet
and I believe it is difficult to pin point the variety within this species.
It is a lovely image , with the glistening moisture droplets adding to the image. Beautifully printed and presented with excellent detail rendered.