Bird Photography · macro photography · nature photography · Photography

Thursday meetings – Competitions at the photographic society

I have been attending my local photographic club, the Bury Photographic Society. There are bi-monthly print and DPI competitions held and this week was the Round 1 of DPI (Digitally Projected Images). Each member is allowed 2 entries in every round. You can see below my two entries this month along with the positive and negative points of it told by the judge, the score given and the lessons learned.

Grey Heron



Positives: The bird is in flight. Good feather detail in the body. The eye and beak are clearly visible.

Negatives: Sharp feathers, almost too sharp making it look static. There should have been sharp detail with just a touch of motion blur showing action. Also, there is shadow in the underside of the feathers.

Score: 16/20

Lesson learned: I need to approach the bird in flight photography at a different time of the day so that the sun in not high up creating shadows in the underside of the bird’s feathers. Also, the shutter speed has to be just right so that there is just a touch of motion blur in the tip of the feathers showing the action. Otherwise the bird looks mannequin-like. Landing or taking off shots would be even better. For getting a better shot, one would always have to know the habits of the bird better and observe it more closely.

Bee on a flower


Positives: sharp detail in the bee and in the flower.

Negatives: The issue with the title that the bee is not actually “on” the flower, but above it. Since I used my standard kit lens to take the photograph, the widest aperture was not enough to sufficiently blur the background and separate it from the subject. The judge said that the hairs on the bee were almost blending with the flowers in the background.

Score: 14/20

Lesson learned: The standard kit lens of 18-55mm is not suitable for macro photography due to its high widest aperture. It does not cause sufficient background separation and the subject blends into the background. I am yet to try my 70-300mm lens for macro photography. I hope the longer focal length will provide enough compression to separate subject from background, but continuous focusing on the bee might be a problem due to the weight of the lens. As they say, you never know till you try!

Any feedback, comments, suggestion you have on this type of photography is most welcome. Have you clicked similar photographs? How would you improve these? Do you attend photography clubs? What is included in your syllabus? Do you enjoy submitting to competitions and hearing the judges’ critique on your photographs? Please do tell me in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!


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