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

Tight Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments

Tight Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments

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

1-King Eider head portrait: 21
2-Laysan Albatross head portrait: 19
3-Chestnut teal with wake: 18
T4-Swan head portrait by Steven Mattheis: 17
T4-Pileated Woodpecker detail by Wilbur Hershberger: 17
T4-Black-backed gull flight by Johan Lundberg: 17
T4-Gannet in heaven by Nick Clayton: 17
8-Kori Bustard head and neck by Chris Bower: 16
9-Roseate Spoonbill on green by Clemens van der Werf: 15
T10-Sandhill Crane in grasses by Clemens van der Werf: 18
T10-Raven screaming by David Seibel: 14
T12-Emperor Penguin family by Sue Flood: 13
T12-Cormorant vertical by Tom Rambaut: 13
14-American Bittern head and neck by Jessica Yarnell: 12

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

1-Chestnut teal with wake: 104
2-Pileated Woodpecker detail by Wilbur Hershberger: 90
3-Gannet in heaven by Nick Clayton: 72
4-Kori Bustard head and neck by Chris Bower: 63
5-King Eider head portrait: 53
6-Swan head portrait by Steven Mattheis: 41
7-Sandhill Crane in grasses by Clemens van der Werf: 39
8-Laysan Albatross head portrait: 30
9-Raven screaming by David Seibel: 28
10-Black-backed gull flight by Johan Lundberg: 27
11-Roseate Spoonbill on green by Clemens van der Werf: 24
12-Emperor Penguin family by Sue Flood: 23
13-Cormorant vertical by Tom Rambaut: 15
14-American Bittern head and neck by Jessica Yarnell: 6

Analysis of the Voting

There was lots of correlation between the two votes: Chestnut teal with wake (3/1), Swan head portrait (T4/6), Pileated Woodpecker detail (T4/2), Gannet in heaven (T4/3), and Roseate Spoonbill on green (9/11. Interesting enough the voting for the 12th, 13th, and 14th place images in both votes were identical. That Jessica Yarnell’s superb American Bittern head and neck portrait finished last in both tallies speaks of the great strength of the images in this category. It was one of my very favorite images. I especially love the swirly patterns in the background. Had the foot of the Pileated Woodpecker not been clipped I believe that Wil Hershberger’s otherwise fantastic image would have been the runaway winner here. Kudos to Clemens van der Werf who again had two images sent to the judges.

The images below are presented in the order of finish as per the judge’s voting.

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Congratulations to Judd Patterson of Miami, Florida. His King Eider head portrait image was awarded first place in the Tight category of the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition.

Take a stunningly colorful, almost bizarre subject, add perfect field technique in wet, icy conditions, throw in a dose of technical expertise—the exposure and sharpness are spot-on, and combine all of the above with an intimate perspective and the ideal head angle and you have the recipe for a prize winning image.

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Congratulations to Paul Mckenzie of Hong Kong His image, Laysan Albatross head portrait, was awarded 2nd Place in the Tight category of the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition.

The perfect exposure, the incredible detail, the nice framing with just a bit more room in front of the bird than behind, the perfect head angle, and the beautiful out-of-focus foreground greens all add up to a superb image.

Riding the Wave Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea), Melbourne, AustraliaI found this stunning drake on a cold winter morning on a local lake. It was ensnaring a few females. When the sun came above the horizon, the wind picked up as well and created tiny waves on the lake. I was hiding along the shore line when the drake came very close on its way around the lake. When it pursued one female, it had to swim against the wind, which made the waves splash against its proud breast.

Congrats to Jan Wegener of Melbourne, Australia. His image, Chestnut teal with wake, was awarded 3rd place in the Tight Category of the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition.

Sharpness, a perfect head angle, a good job with the composition, sweet, sweet light, a gorgeous red eye, and that killer bow wave; this image has it all.

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Swan head portrait by Steven Mattheis

A beautiful subject, the perfect head angle, a fine exposure that reveals detail in both the blacks and the whites, superb sharpness, and all those wonderful water droplets combine to make this one very fine image.

v572vyz5zbtqyzdqspy2dqj2bdq7dqymrmjs4ir Dryocopus pileatus, Pileated woodpecker. Woodsong, Berkelely County, WV, USA. I couldn't believe my luck. I was working photographing other birds that were coming into a feeder set up when this male pileated woodpecker landed very close to me. I had to turn a full 90 degrees to my left to get the shot. I was sure that he would fly off as soon as I started to move. No only did he stay put but allowed me to get 6 shots. This is the only shot that was a keeper. I realized a few days later that this was a once in a lifetime gift that I had received on my birthday. I used a little fill flash to bring out some detail in the dark feathers.

Pileated Woodpecker detail by Wilbur Hershberger

This is a truly superb image with incredible sharpness, color, and detail, a great subject with that killer red crest and a perfect head angle; the clipped claw is the fatal flaw.

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Black-backed gull flight by Johan Lundberg

I love the super-sharp eye, the perfect exposure and framing, the fine detail, the perfect exposure, and especially the patterns of the sub-adult tail. Johan, if you see this please let us know which species this is.

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Gannet in heaven by Nick Clayton

Sweet bird, sweet concept, and lovely colors make this image a standout. Placing the subject farther back in the frame would have produced a stronger image design.

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Kori Bustard head and neck by Chris Bower

This wonderful image of a bird in full display with fluffed up neck feathers and raised crest illustrates the typical problems that come with side-light: the shaded side of the bird is somewhat lacking detail while the brightest whites about halfway down the neck on the sunny side are a bit hot.

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Roseate Spoonbill on green by Clemens van der Werf

The a handsome bird, show its fine detail, get the exposure just right along with a perfect head angle, and add in a luscious background and the result is a powerful image.

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Sandhill Crane in grasses by Clemens van der Werf

The out-of-focus foreground grasses are the great strength of this image.

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Raven screaming by David Seibel

This image features a fine exposure revealing lots of detail in the blacks to go with the screaming pose. With the subject angling into the frame from the lower left corner the composition could not be better. The beautiful texture of the neck feathers are the icing on the cake.

v572vyjtdymzssxyrx34 Emperor penguins with young chick at Snow Hill Island rookery, Antarctica. October 2008.

Emperor Penguin family by Sue Flood

I am not sure that this fine photograph fit well into the tight category. As presented, a crop from our right would have have perfected the symmetry.

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Cormorant vertical by Tom Rambaut

A perfect image design, lots of detail in the whites and the darks, and a nice bow wake are strengths of this image. A bit of Eye Doctor work–darkening the pupil and eliminating one of the eye highlights–would have improved this.

American Bittern Close-up

American Bittern head and neck by Jessica Yarnell

Again, this is a superb image with a killer complementary background.

Congrats!

Congrats to the three winning photographers and to those who created the eleven other spectacular images that made it to the final round of judging. Getting a single image to the final round is a great accomplishment. With 413 images entered, this was a popular category.

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14 comments to Tight Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments

  • Sorry, did not see this before just now. 6th: The gull is a Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus). Very inspiring to have a picture with all these great photos!

    regards

    odd johan (my firstname is really Odd Johan)

  • There are reasonable numbers of Puffin at Bempton Artie but they are difficult to photograph as they tend to stay too far down the cliff. A good place to photograph them in the UK are the Farne Islands. I had intended to make my first visit this year but due to one of the wettest summers on record I didn’t get a chance.

  • avatar Greg Payne

    Wonderful images all. I appreciate the comments as it helps to learn to self-evaluate. Congratulations to all the photographers.

    • I totally agree with this Greg, I have tried what is suggested on my Gannet photo and it certainly looks better. Congratulations to all the short listed entries.

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        Hey Nick, Thanks for having an open mind. Where was your image created?

        • I’ve been listening to your good advice for the past couple of years Artie and I don’t intend stopping now! The Gannet image was taken at Bempton Cliffs in East Yorkshire on the east coast of England. It’s the only mainland Gannet colony in the UK and is a cracking site for many seabird species.

          • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

            Thanks for the info Nick. Any puffins there? What is your favorite UK spot for puffins?