© 2017 by  Motueka Camera Club

Natural History

Prints:

Acceptance:

Gary Stowell Acanthoxyla prasina.jpg These prickly stick insects are pretty cool but weird at the same time. I like your composition with the placement of the insect diagonally across the frame. The fact you are pretty much parallel to the subject has meant that it is nicely in focus. I feel that the shadows created from the sun are a little distracting and wonder if in future you could consider a diffuser to reduce these.

Rebecca Bowater Speargrass Aciphylla dobsonii.jpg To me you have exposed the image well and shown the plant off well. It is obvious to me where the subject grows which is an important factor in natural history. In my opinion, your focus is good and the image is sharp where it needs to be. While I am finding that the middle flower is getting a little lost in the rock behind, I understand and appreciate that sometimes this is a tradeoff to showing the full subject within the frame.

Merit:

Gary Stowell Ardea Modesta.jpg A lovely moment of interaction that you have captured between the two chicks. This is a nicely exposed image with good detail in the feathers and breeding plumes in my opinion. I can clearly see what the nest is made of and the area that these birds nest in. The eyes are clear and sharp and to me the image is cropped well with the right amount of space around the subject.

Rebecca Bowater Haastia sinclairii var. sinclairii.jpgA lovely capture showing the conditions these plants have to put up with to survive. In my opinion, this is a well exposed image with good detail on the subject. I feel the square frame suits the composition and that the perspective you have chosen shows off the plant reasonably well. For me, there are there good tones in this well exposed image and I like the fact you have postioned yourself to show the light plants against the darker stones which shows up the texture well I think. 

Honours:

Iain Galloway Juvenile Black Fronted Tern.jpg I feel that a very appropriately selected depth of field has been used and isolated the subject while throwing the background well out of focus. The tern is nicely in focus in my opinion and well positioned within the frame giving it plenty of space to fly into. To me, the detail in the feathers has been caught well and the overall exposure of the image is good.

Ruedi Mosimann Kea chasing Sandfly.jpg For me, the choices you have made with your depth of field are pretty spot on and the focus is great. The areas that need to be sharp are sharp and the details in the feathers and the feet are very clear. The out of focus area at the bottom almost gives an arty feel to this image for me where the top is very much a clear natural history image. I love the composition and in my opinion the choice of paper compliments the overall presentation of the image Top Print & winner of the Webber Memorial Natural History Trophy

Not Accepted:

Fungi Trametesversicolor.jpg image not supplied 

Bellbird (Anthornis melamira).jpgI feel that the subject is well positioned within the frame and I like the simplicity of the image with just the stich and the bird within the frame. The eye is sharp and well lit with a catchlight which for me gives life to the image. The fine feathers around the back and neck are lacking some fine of the fine detail I would expect to see which for me is a shame.

Freedom ( in wrong category )The first thing I will say is that in natural history it is important to use scientific names or common names for the subjects in your images and not titles such as you have here. While I can see the fin and the back of the subject, I am lost to see what specific species of dolphin that I am looking at. I can see the environment that they live in and the exposure of the image has been handled well in my opinion. I feel you have positioned the dolphin nicely within the frame with space for it to move into. The subject is not quite sharp which is a shame. 

Mycena species.jpeg For me, the square crop works well with this image. I can see where these fungi grow which is an important thing in natural history. In my opinion, the overall image is lacking sharpness which leaves me wondering if a bit of camera shake has occurred rather than a focus issue. You have exposed the image well, so it it a shame that the sharpness has let you down.

 

Nature Projected:

Accepted

Bron McKenzie Clematis Paniculata.jpg For me, this is a well exposed image with detail in the white petals. While you have shown the environment well, I feel that the flowers are a bit too small within the frame and wonder if concentrating a little more on the main focal point of the image, along with a slight change in view to eliminate the flax in the background, which for me is a distraction, may also have given a stronger composition.

Dayaram Ganda Dingo.jpg A well exposed image that for me shows good detail and tones in the dingo's fur. In my opinion, the action has been captured well, with the placement of the paws as it jumps off the ledge. I would have liked to see a bit more space at the bottom of the image to see where the dingo was going to and a little more of its environment if that was possible. Not too much, but a little more. The background is very busy and the bright green foliage tends to pull my eye away from the dingo. While a different depth of field may have achieved a less distracting background, I understand that it may not have been possible.

Joy Brehaut Epilobium pycnostachyum _.jpg A well exposed image showing the colour and detail of the plant off nicely. While the surrounding environment has been shown which gives me an idea of where to find it, I feel the the image is a little to tightly cropped. From this image, I can't see if this is on a mountainside or a flat area, so I would have liked to see a little more of the scree surrounding area to help determine this.

Andy Rae Hygrocybe Stevensoniae.jpg For me, the depth of field is very good and has isolated the subject from the background while still having enough detail to show the environment. I am finding that the image is a little noisy and wonder if you had your ISO a bit high. These guys won't run away, so a tripod with a really low ISO is a good option as this may eliminate some of the noise. I think that you have positioned the fungi well within the frame and it works nicely to give a good composition.

Trish Brown Juvenile Tui with bee.jpg A lovely capture. This is not a normal photograph of a Tui that we see. I like that you have got it doing somethng other than drinking the nectar or pollen as it shows me the variety in the birds diet. The image is nice and sharp and you have managed a catchlight in the eye. I can see and area on the left below the flax flower that looks like it has been cloned. If this is the case and you haven't altered the story, try using the healing brush or a softer edge to avoid the edges that I can see here.

Linton Brown Kaka.jpg Known as the forest parrot, these guys are so cheeky and I feel you have captured an almost cheeky look here. The lovely catchlight in the eye gives the bird some life which is important to me. The colours in the feathers are shown nicely. There is a lack of sharp detail in the feathers in my opinion. While I know that you can't tell the kaka where to stand, I am finding the beak is getting a little lost in the background. I wonder if waiting just a little bit may have given that separation needed to see the beak better.

Jean Willis Kea.jpg I like the way you have waited until the Kea has lifted its wings so it is displaying the colour underneath. This for me is a great characteristic of the bird and lovely to show off. I feel the Kea is well positioned within the frame with space to move into. In my opinion, the image appears a little over sharpened and there is a slightly lighter, un-natural looking patch under the wing which could be a result of trying to bring up the shadow in that area. You have nicely separated the Kea from the background with a well nicely selected depth of field.

 

Heather Knapp Leucistic South Island Pied Oystercatcher-Haematopus ostralegus finschi_.jpg The different tones of brown in the feathers has been showcased well in my opinion and I like that you have waited until the oyster-catcher is doing something rather than standing and posing. I am finding the image a little bit noisy especially in the darker areas of the bird behind. I'm not sure if this is a result of a high ISO or not. You don't generally need a high ISO on a bright day such as this one. Wells spotted though and well captured.

Dayaram Ganda Pelican.jpg To me, these guys look so ungainly I wonder how they can actually get off the ground. I like how you have managed to get the tip of the wing feathers splayed as it shows the strength that must be pushing through the wings at the time. The sun is high and bright but you have still got some nice detail in the feathers and in the shadows. While it is a shame that the pelican is facing away and we can't see the front of the bird, I can appreciate that this may have been the only opportunity you got to see this lovely bird.

Chris Beech Penwiper, Notothlaspi rosulatum.jpg I don't think of plants as having camouflage but this one certainly does as it blends into the stones. You have photographed the different stages showing the flowers and the buds. I can see that you have photographed this on an overcast day which I feel has been a good choice. For me, I would have liked to see a little more of a straight on view of the plant rather than a side view of the two flower clusters while still seeing the stoney environment. I think this would have shown more detail and may have given a more pleasing environment for me.

Ross Beech Royal Spoonbills, Platalea regia.jpg You have three birds, a diagonal and the birds in different stages of feeding all in one image which to me are all strong compositional elements so well done. It is a shame though that you have lost the detail of their eyes. While I understand that rivers and water ways are not always clear looking, I am finding that this image appears a little muddy (excuse the pun) and I wonder if a little boost in contrast might improve this.

Eunice Belk Silvereye in Blossom.jpg I like the colour contrasts of the bird, the blossom and the sky in this image. The Silvereye looks rather relaxed and not fussed that you are photographing it which to me means it is not stressed. I feel that the composition has been thought about with the branch coming diagonally across the frame. I can see quite a bit of noise in the sky and the overall image appears a little too oversharpened. Just dial it back a little and in my opinion you would have nailed it.

Linton Brown Southern Royal Albatross.jpg A great action shot which to me shows much more about the bird than one with a standing portrait. The outstretched wings show lovely feather detail and tones against the water. It is unfortunate that the white feathers on the back of the head and body have become overexposed and therefore lack detail. You have positioned the albatross well within the frame with plenty of room for it to move into and to me the right amount of water has been left around the subject.

Ruedi Mosimann Weka feeding on Tree Weta.jpg What a great thing to see. You have selected a lovely depth of field that has isolated the subject well in my opinion and you have your focus pretty well spot on. I can see good detail in the feathers and even the pupil and iris in the eye. While I can appreciate that you can't tell the bird to take a step to the side and avoid the bit of wood in the way, your depth of field has meant that it is not sharp and therefore too annoying. I feel you could almost crop to just left of the neck to remove the debris and still have a strong story to tell.

Linton Brown White-capped albatross landing.jpg I love this time just before landing as the birds look almost suspended for a just a moment before they splash in. The reflection has created an interesting abstract in my opinion which for me adds some interest to the image. While the focus is nicely on the bird, I feel that the image isn't as sharp as I would like as it lacks details in the feathers. I can see that you have thought about the placement of the bird within the frame with plenty of room for it to move into.

 

Merit:

Gaile Douglas Blue Damselfly (Austrolestes colenonis).jpgI love the balancing act they portray when 'perched' on the ends of plants as I feel it seems impossible to achieve. Well done for getting parallel to the subject to gain the most out of your focal plane. The eye closest to the viewer is not quite as sharp as I would like it because for me, having a sharp eye is an important factor in natural history.

Ritchie White Botaurus poiciloptilus.jpg The bittern looks rather bedraggled in this image with its wet feathers. To me, the photographer has balanced the subject nicely between the reeds allowing us to as much of the bird as possible. The inclusion of the catch in its beak adds to the overall picture and story showing us what it eats, which I feel is an important characteristic to include if you can.

Eunice Belk Crucibulum laeve sp (Birdsnest fungus).jpg Good timing on capturing this little fungi. Any later, and you would have risked seeing the cup not so full of its seeds. Well placed within the image and to me you have shown the wet moss environment nicely. There are a couple of highlights on the tops of a few of the seeds which, while they enhance the wet environment, do act as a distraction for me. Holding something up to diffuse the light might be worth trying next time.

Ritchie White Egretta novaehollandiae.jpg The feather detail in the heron is well caught and the exposure of the image has been well done in my opinion. The angle of the wood adds an interesting angle which then allows the bird to perch and stretch which to me shows off the feather tones and details well. The eye is nice and sharp with a real look of intent shown.

Chris Beech Haastia sinclairii.jpg A well composed image in my opinion with the three flowers contained within the bigger stones . While I know you didn't position them this way, I commend you for photographing it the way you did. You have shown the environment well by using the perspective of looking down on a slight angle on the flowers that I feel you have captured at the right time, showing the colour and texture off well. A well exposed image with good tones throughout.

Roger Thwaites Helmet Fungi group (Mycena Species).jpg I know these are only small and I think you have done well to capture them the way you have with a depth of field that shows the helmets off well. I can see where they grow and where they attach to the surface of the wood which for me is important. I would have liked to see a little bit of the structure underneath showing the gills off. Maybe a slightly lower perspective may have allowed you to show that structure while still keeping the tops visible as well.

Irene Callaghan Morepork. Ninox novaeseelandiae.jpg While we don't often see a black and white nature image, I think you have chosen the right option here as we are allowed to completely focus on the subject and not be distracted by the colour. The owl is positioned well within the frame for me, and the interaction with the subject is obvious with those big eyes staring at the viewer. The subject is sharp and I think you have selected an appropriate depth of field allowing the owl to be well isolated from the surrounding foliage.

Linton Brown Mt Cook Buttercup.jpg A well exposed image in my opinion showing the lovely delicate detail in the petals of the buttercup. Captured at a time when the bloom was at its best is always a challenge for me and you have done that well. My eye is a little distracted by the petals of the second flower in the left corner, and while I appreciate that may have included this to show me that they grow in groups and not as a singular flower, I wonder if a slightly different perspective to either include more of the flower or eliminate it may have given a stronger, and less distrating composition for me.

Rebecca Bowater Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli. jpgI like the panoramic crop for your image because I feel it helps accentuate the expanse of the wings of the petrel. The sun has shown the tones in the feathers and given a catchlight in the eye. The bird is lovely and sharp and for me the tilt of the wing indicates that the petrel is cruising on the winds of the sea. While the sea is nicely shown as the environment that the bird frequents, for me it is a shame that there is nothing in the image to show size perspective for someone who doesn't know how big these birds can be.

Sara Varenne pied shag.jpg A well selected depth of field has separatorted the shag from the background while still giving enough detail to show the environment well in my opinion. To me your image is well exposed and there is detail in the lighter and darker areas of the feathers. I like the crop as there is plenty of space in front of the bird for it to move into. The fact that you have shown a characteristic of this bird with the wings out, rather than a static portrait adds a bit more interest to the image for me.

Roger Ball Spotted Shag - Stictocarbo punctatus.jpg Great feather detail throughout the body and to me a well chosen depth of field that has isolated the subject from the background nicely while still showing the environment well. I like the square crop and feel it works nicely with this image. The diagonal line of the waters edge adds to the composition in my opinion. If you had captured just a hint of a catchlight in the eye I feel you would given a bit of extra life to the bird.

Linton Brown Yellow-brown woodtuft.jpg The tonal range in the subject is subtle but you you have shown it well. It intriques me that things can grow in what seems to be weird places at times. While you have captured the lovely detail on the underside of these fungi with your low angle of view, I would have liked to see what the tops looked like as well. The composition is well thought about in my opinion with nothing in the image that doesn't need to be there and I like the square crop.

 

Honours:
Sara Varenne juvenile chaffinch.jpg This image made me laugh, not because of anything the photographer has done, but it was the crazy little feathers on it's head. You captured them well against the background and the detail of the feathers has been shown well in the rest of the image as well in my opinion. The position within the frame has been thought about with the bird having space to look into. The narrower depth of field has isolated the chaffinch and you have a lovely catchlight in the eye.

Heather Knapp NZ Falcon-Falco novaeseelandiae_.jpgFor me this is a well exposed image with a nicely chosen depth of field that has isolated the falcon nicely from the background. The tones in the feathers are lovely and I can see from the colours in the stones that the bird is sitting on that it is well camouflaged from a passing eye. I do find that the crop is maybe a little tight for me and it gives a boxed in feel so if the original frame allows, perhaps a little more space in front of the falcon could be an option.

Andy Rae Roosting Kea.jpg For me you have used an appropriate depth of field that has shown enough of the environment while still allowing the subject to be separated from the background. I feel that the feathers colours are clear and the focus on the kea is spot on. The placement within the frame has been given some thought with more room in front of the subject than behind which to me helps create a lovely composition. In my opinion, the inclusion of the eye adds a bit of interest as I feel that I am being watched.

Linton Brown Rose waxgill.jpg A good example of these fungi which I feel have been photographed at their best. They have a subtle colour which to me is nicely contrasted and isolated from the background with a well selected depth of field. I like to see where fungi grow from, what they grow on as well as under hood and the top which you have managed to do here. You have even shown a small spiders web coming from the right.

Ruedi Mosimann Tui on Mountain Flax.jpg For me, this is a well exposed image with detail in the white feathers both under the head and around the neck.You have shown the environment well, and the type of flowers that these birds eat. I like the pollen on the on the top of the beak as it shows me that the Tui likes to bury its head inside the flowers. For me, the panoramic crop works well as it compliments the shape of the bird. The narrower depth of field selected has thrown the background out of focus nicely.

Trish Brown White-capped albatross pair.jpg To me the interaction you captured here with these two birds speaks so much but does leave me wondering if this is a friendly bill tap or a moment captured before a full on fight happens. Even though the day is bright, the exposure is good with details seen in the feathers. The focus is good and the iris and pupil can be seen in the left bird. There is no doubt as to the birds environment and there is nothing extra in the image.

Trish Brown Mycena austrororida.jpg A lovely cluster of mycena with even a little fly included to add size perspective. The position you have chosen to take this image has, for me, been thought about as you have shown me where the subject grows from, what it grows on as well as what it looks like from the underside and a little view of the top of the fungi too. A well exposed image in my opinion which shows the details of the jelly covering the stems well and even the fine spiders webs on the far left and far right fungi. Top Projected Image

 

Not Accepted:
Black scree daisy, Leptinella atrata ssp luteola.jpgFor me, you have captured these daisies at the right time with the blooms at their best. The appropriate depth of field has enabled the viewer to see the detail in the flower without the distraction of the background while still seeing the environment that this species grows in. The diagonal placement adds interest in my opinion. There is a rather sudden out of focus band in the bottom right that detracts my eye as I would expect to see from a gradual focal shift not a sudden one.

Cave weta - Gymnoplectron acanthocera.jpgI like the detail you have achieved in the head showing the armour-like plates well. The eyes are nice and sharp and as the focus fades off we can still see the shape of the weta which for me is important as it completes the subject. While you have missed the front foot and not included it in the frame, there is enough missing from the others aswell to indicate that it may not have been a mistake. The image is a little noisey in the shadows and I am a distracted by th out of focus line crossing the image in the lower middle area which doesn't appear to be a leg.

Egretta Alba.jpgFor me, these birds appear so elegant when they they are flying which is hard to believe for their size. The light coming through the far away wing has been caught nicely and shows the detail off well in my opinion. As the closest wing has caught the light, it has become over exposed and therefore lost all detail. There also apperas to be a halo around the legs which for me is unatural.

Flower stalks of Aciphylla ferox.jpgThese plants have lovely colour and you have captured that well. While I can appreciate that you have shown the plants environment, I do find the foreground rather distracting and wonder if a different point of view may have helped make a stronger composition. By capturing them on a misty day, this has helped isolate the stalks from the background which for me was a good choice.

Flowers of Wahlenbergia albomarginata.jpgYou have captured lovely suttle detail in the petals of these flowers in my opinion, and I commend you for that considering that the image was taken in full sunlight based on the shadows on the stone behind. There appears to be some unnatural sharp patches in the out of focus area above the lower flower on the right, which once I saw them, I found hard to ignore. Be aware that any allowable adjustments shouldn't be able to be seen. For me, the square composition suits the image and I like the angle that you have captured this little flower on.

Giraffe and Buffalo.jpgFor me, this image shows how different species can live in what appears to be quite close proximity in such a vast area. I can see by the shadows that this was taken when the sun was quite high and as a result I feel that the image has a slightly over-exposed appearance. The buffalo on the left has a shadow with very little detail on it's neck which is a shame. The angle of the plants in the background gives me a feeling that the image is going downhill to the left and because you don't have a horizon, I feel you could easily adjust the level to accommodate this which may give a stronger composition to the image.

Good Catch (NZ Kotuku).jpgGreat timing. A case of being there at the right time with a lot of patience. I feel that the position of the heron within the frame has been thought about with space for it to move into. I am finding that there is very little detail in the feathers which for me is a shame. Also watch your title. It should be more scientific .. for example you could use Ardea alba (NZ White Heron) with Catch.

Leptinella atrata subsp luteola sp.jpgNice birds eye view showing the different stages of flowering and the environment. Because of this view, and the depth of field chosen, the background has just as much detail as the subject which I feel is a shame. For me, it is nice to have a little separation of the subject from the background. In my opinion, the square crop has been well chosen and suits the image.

Magnolia stellata.jpgThese flowers have always intriqued me that they appear before the leaves on the tree. I can see that this image has been captured on a bright day which unfortunately has meant that some of the whites have become blown out and lost all of their detail. This for me is such a a shame as the delicate petals have a lovely texture when exposed correctly. Maybe the use of a diffuser next time to filter the light and remove the harshness may be an option if the opportunity arose or retake the image on an overcast day.

Moeraki concretions.jpgYou have shown the boulders in their different states which ranges from intact to completely broken. I can see from the shadows that you have taken this image when the sun was quite high. In my opinion, this has meant the texture that is present isn't shown to its full potential and that's a bit of a shame. I also think that you have tried to include a bit too much in your frame and I feel that cropping in a little and focussing on less may have given a more pleasing composition while still showing enough of the surrounding environment.

Morus serrator.jpgFor me, the inclusion of the three gannets gives a pleasing composition and allows the viewers eyes to gently go from one to the other to the next. Unfortunately the image was taken on a bright day and as a result the white feathers on their fronts have become over exposed and lack any detail. The image isn't quite sharp enough for me either which is a shame as there is some potential in here. White birds on a darker background are sometimes tricky to get exposed well and one of the things I suggest, which works for me, is to use spot metering rather than matrix and see if that helps you.

Mycena epipterygius.jpgA well seen trio of mycena that I think you photographed with a good depth of field as the stems and the hoods are nicely in focus. The environment is shown nicely and leaves me in no doubt where to find this species. I can see in the background at the top that you have done a bit of cloning. While you are allowed to clone a little as long as the story isn't altered, it should be done so that the viewer can't see that you have done it. By using a healing brush or a really soft clone brush, I feel that you would more than likely have avoided the lines that we can see in your image. Ask someone to help you if you don't quite understand, I'm sure there is someone who would be happy to help you out. A shame because to me, the subject of your image was good.

Petroica Australis.jpgA great wee example of the robin looking rather comfortable in its environment. The side profile shows off the beak well and the catchlight in the eye has been well captured. The feather detail is lacking particularly in the wing area which is a shame because the robins have such fine feathers. While you have shown the Robin in it's environment, I wonder if a slightly narrower depth of field to isolate the bird a little more and giving some separation from the background may have given a slightly better composition for me.

Phalacrocorax Varius.jpgI like the side profile that you have captured here that shows the hook of the bill off nicely. While the detail in the white feathers has been shown well, I feel that the darker areas lack a lot of detail and appear like blocks of colour rather than showing the feathers. To me, by zooming in to show the detail of the head, you have eliminated a lot of the surrounding area which would have shown me the environment of the bird you have photographed.

Pied Stilt Preening (Himantopus leucocephalus).jpgWhat an interesting pose you have captured here. To me the feathers appear very soft and I am struggling to find any sharp detail in them. Sometimes this can happen when you have cropped in a bit too far and then over sharpened the image or used denoise a bit too much. In my opinion, the inclusion of the reflection and the ripples in the water add some interest to the image.

Pied Stilt.jpgYou have managed to capture such a lovely curve in the wings of the stilt. I wonder if the beak is open tellling you off for getting too close. In my opinion you have positioned the bird nicely within the frame and by having it on an angle adds a little but of a dynamic composition. It has been taken on a bright day leading to an overexposed section on the white feathers with very little detail unfortunately. I can also see a sensor spot below the feet which for me is a big over sight.

Pukeko Chick (Porphyrio porphyrio {Rallidae}).jpgWhat a wee fluff-ball and a lovely find for you. This chick is well positioned within the frame and for me I like that you have photographed it on a similar plane to the bird rather than looking down on it. The inclusion of the catchlight is important to me as I feel it adds life to the subject. While there is some sharpness in the white tufts around the head and neck, and I aprreciate that the down around the bottom area is soft and doesn't have any specific detail, I am not sure what has created the blocks of black in this area. I can see that this chick is little as you have included the grass which in my opinion gives good size perspective.

Rainbow's from the cloud.jpgA moody sky with the very strong rainbow and just a hint of a second one coming in has been spotted at the right time in my opinion. I like that you have thought about the composition and placed the main one coming from the top left corner. I am finding the sky rather noisey and I can see sensor spots scattered in the image which I fell should have been seen and dealt with.

Ranunculus insignis.jpgTo me you have focused the flowers well and chosen an appropriate depth of field which has helped separate them from the background while still showing the environment. I can see that you have taken these lovely flowers on a brights day which unfortunately has resulted on some bright highlights that keep drawing my eye away from exploring the image as a whole. Maybe the use of a defuser could be an option if you have the chance to see these again. I do like that you included a small portion of the greenery to show the rest of the plant for identification perposes

Tui on Flax (Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae).jpgThis image is to me what I picture when you say Tui. The diagonal position of the bird reaching for the flax flower has given an intrest to the composition I think. I wonder if you have over exposed the image a little as there are no details in the white feathers on the neck. Perhaps a little tweak of your contrast may help this which would boost the colours a little as well. The Tui is nice and sharp and I love the intense look and catchlight in the eye.

Wandering Albatross Diomedia exulans.jpgYou have positioned the albatross well within the frame and I like that you have waited until the tip of the wing was free from the mountains in the background giving separation from them. The feathers have detail throughout which for me is a big plus. I don't feel that the image is quite as sharp as it could be and I can see quite a bit of noise in the sky area. On a day such as this, you should be able to use a lower ISO which may have eliminated some of the noise. Great capture though, just not sharp enough.

Wharariki - Mountain Flax.jpgThe flax has been placed centrally within the frame which for me doesn't do any favours for its composition. While you have included the entire flax plant with the surrounding grasses, the angle of view you have chosen doesn't do the subject any justice nor show it to its potential in my opinion. I wonder if a lower perspective with a bit more of the surrounding area in the background may have given a stronger overall image.