Action Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Action Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments

You Be The Judge: Blur/Voting Still Open

If you have not yet voted on the images in the Blur category you can do so here.

Action Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments

Totals of the Judges’ Votes (each of 5 judges awarded each image 1-5 points):

1-Siskins Fighting, David Pattyn: 21
2-Common Tern feeding chick, Vladimir Kogan: 20
3-Galahs battling, Jan Wegener: 19
T4-Snowy Egrets midair combat, Cheryl Molennor: 18
T4-Great-Crested Grebe displaying, David Pattyn: 18
T6-Roseate Spoonbills squabbling, Richard Bohnet-: 17
T6-Bald Eagle face off, Clemens van der Werf: 17
T6-Upside down Bald Eagle fight, Clemens van der Werf: 17
9-American Oystercather chicks chasing, Marina Scarr: 16
10-Bald Eagle ground warfare, Clemens van der Werf: 14
11-Dalmatian Pelican fish grab, David Pattyn: 13
12-Long Billed Curlew flapping after bath, Gaurav Mittal: 12

Public Voting Totals (each of you was asked to vote your five favorite images 1-5 points with 5 being your favorite):

1-Roseate Spoonbills squabbling: Richard Bohnet: 143
2-Siskins Fighting, David Pattyn 140
3-Common Tern feeding chick, Vladimir Kogan: 137
4-Great-Crested Grebe displaying, David Pattyn: 98
5-American Oystercather chicks chasing, Marina Scarr: 75
6-Bald Eagle face off, Clemens van der Werf: 64
7-Upside down Bald Eagle fight, Clemens van der Werf: 56
8-Snowy Egrets midair combat, Cheryl Molennor: 45
T9-Galahs battling, Jan Wegener: 39
T9-Dalmatian Pelican fish grab, David Pattyn: 39
T9-Bald Eagle ground warfare, Clemens van der Werf: 39
12-Long Billed Curlew flapping after bath, Gaurav Mittal: 10

Analysis of the Voting

Action was another popular category with 445 images submitted. 15 images were sent to the five judges. Three images were disqualified after we received the RAW files, 2 of those for cropping more than 75%, that is, more than 50% of the length and the width.

Thanks as always to Darrell, Chris, Julie, and Tim. And a big time thanks also to Peter Kes and Denise Ippolito for pitching in during the first rounds of image selection. We worked very hard for nearly three full days to get from more than 5500 images down to the final 163.

Correlation between the judges panel and the public vote was relatively high with Siskins Fighting coming in 1/2 and Common Tern feeding chick finishing up 2/3. Probably the biggest mismatches were the Galahs battling at 3/9 and the Roseate Spoonbills squabbling at 6/1. Kudos to David Pattyn who placed 3 images in the top 11 and to Clemens van der Werf who had three eagle images in the top 10.

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Congratulations David Pattyn of The Netherlands. His image, Siskins Fighting” was awarded first prize in the Action category of the BIRDS AS ART 1st Annual Bird Photography Competition. Click on the image to see a larger, even more spectacular version. Tripod-mounted Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS lens with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 1600: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode.

Siskins Fighting, David Pattyn

Photographing songbirds in flight or in action is a huge, huge challenge. Here, the fabulous interaction between the two birds, the spectacular pose of the lower bird, the feet and claws of the upper bird, and the remarkable sharpness made this image a winner. Amazingly, it is only a small crop from the RAW file. Spectacular as this one is, had the bird on the left raised its wings fully this image would have been ever stronger.

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Congratulations Vladimir Kogan of Israel. His image, Common Tern feeding chick, was awarded second place in the Action category of the BIRDS AS ART 1st Annual Bird Photography Competition. Click on the image to see a larger, even more spectacular version. Nikon D3, AF Nikkor 200-400 mm f4 G VR (at 400mm) + AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II, 1/320; f7.1; ISO 500, GT5541LS Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs; Arca-Swiss Monoball Z1 dp.

Common Tern feeding chick, Vladimir Kogan

What’s to like? Soft yellow light, a beautiful arrangement of the three birds, the chick and the guarding parent razor sharp, a perfect exposure, killer reflections, still, still water, and the shutter button pushed at the exact right instant. In other words, a lot! Note, however, that with the incomplete reflection a nice crop from the bottom might have moved this fine image up one spot.

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Congratulations to Jan Wegener of Melbourne, Australia. His image, Galahs battling, was awarded third place in the Action category of the BIRDS AS ART 1st Annual Bird Photography Competition. Click on the image to see a larger, even more spectacular version. Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, 600 f/4L IS, ISO 800. 1/2500 sec. at f/7.1

Galahs battling, Jan Wegener

Start with a nice low angle, add in two attractive red birds with raised pink crests, and throw in two perfect head angles and a killer face to face fighting pose. Have one birds talons grabbing he breast of the other as the victim screams in protest. What to you wind up with? One very fine action image.

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Snowy Egrets midair combat, Cheryl Molennor

A strong image with a good exposure and two sharp birds battling it out. The wing position and the hanging feet of the bird on our left are quite appealing.

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Great-Crested Grebe displaying, David Pattyn.

The sharpness, the raised crest, the open bill, and the flying spray all contribute to the success of this very strong image.

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Bald Eagle face off, Clemens van der Werf

Part of the problem for Clemens here was that he had three excellent images competing against each other. During the initial rounds of judging there were many,many excellent eagle images. We picked the three strongest. I for one never imagined that they were all made by the same photographer. With two good head angles and both birds with their wings swept back this was an obvious selection for the final round.

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Upside down Bald Eagle fight, Clemens van der Werf

With one bird on its back and the upper bird reaching down with out-stretched talons this one was the strongest of the three eagle images for me.

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Roseate Spoonbills squabbling, Richard Bohnet

Excellent exposure control in a difficult situation, excellent sharpness, a killer interaction with the rear bird on the attack with its wings raised, and a great splash make this one special. Had the bird on our right had it’s wings raised fully this one would surely have placed higher. The bill of the bird on our left is slightly lost in the black background.

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American Oystercather chicks chasing, Marina Scarr

Cuter than cute with great action. And everybody loves chicks. The two poses and the interaction are superb. Problems here include the head of the front chick turned away, a bit of motion blur, and the rear foot of the lead bird being hidden behind a small pebble. Kudos to marina for achieving sharp focus and firing the shutter at just the right moment.

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Bald Eagle ground warfare, Clemens van der Werf

A spectacular image in its own right with one wing buried in the snow, the right hand bird screaming with the underwing detail in the near wing revealed beautifully, and the left hand bird on the attack with talons at the ready.

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Dalmatian Pelican fish grab, David Pattyn

Dramatic action and skies and some nice reflections make this one special. The clipped tail of the left-most bird and the two birds in the background on the right are both problematic. Eliminating those two birds would have been both relatively easy and permitted under the rules.

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Long Billed Curlew flapping after bath, Gaurav Mittal

Despite the gentleman who commented that this image was not sharp, its extreme sharpness is quite remarkable. The raised wings, the one raised foot, the lovely framing, and the complementary background colors make this a very strong last place/last place image.

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8 comments to Action Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments

  • avatar Jan Luit

    About the Curlew.
    You say it’s sharpness is quite remarkable.
    On my screen i do not see that the head seems to miss scharpness.
    Also the photo does not enlarge when i click on it.
    So the small one is all i can go by.:)
    Also i wonder if one of the criteria was that the bird should have open wings.
    As 11 out of the 12 have birds with open wings.
    Surely there is more behavior then a bird with flapping wings?

    • avatar Jan Luit

      Note:
      Behaivior should be action.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Jan, I have been photographing for 2 years. The image in question is sharp. Either you need glasses or a new screen. The photo enlarges when I click on it. The category here is action not behavior though open wings work for both. The judges like what the judges like.

      Both of your recent comments here have been quite negative. Maybe you need to look in the mirror and smile.

      • avatar Jan Luit

        Oh i am smiling 🙂

        I just gave my opinion thats all.
        I enjoyed participating in the contest and there are very nice images that we get to see.
        I enjoy the way you show them,All the ones that went to final judging.
        Gives a little bit of inside to how the final judging goes.

        🙂 Jan

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Best AF for accuracy and ease of use right now for my money is the 5D Mark III. It is pretty much too new to have found extensive use for this contest. Not sure which camera you meant by the Mk III….

  • avatar Allan Warner

    I have been noting the cameras and lenses used by contest participants, especially Canon ones. The 1 D Mk IV predominates, despite what we are hearing or heard earlier about super autofocus with the 7 D and the 5 D Mk II or Mk III.

    Aside from sensor size and other facxtors affecting use, which camera now has the best autofocus, in your opinion?