I spent most of the morning ironing out final details and info letters for two sold out IPTs: Namibia and the UK Puffins and Gannets trips. I still have lots of work to do on both of those. I have just started packing for the big Japan trip. I skipped my swim with right shoulder pain; it had been feeling great for two weeks… The ice bath was great.
This Just In!
You can learn about the Southern Ocean Photography Guide (SOPG) here.
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Selling Your Used Gear Through BIRDS AS ART
Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar above.
To say that sales during the last two weeks of January have been brisk, would be a big understatement:
- Erik Hagstrom sold his Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens in excellent condition for a ridiculously low $1275 in late January.
- Patrick Sparkman also sold his Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens (in excellent condition) on Feb 2k 2016 for $849 two days after it was listed.
- Multiple IPT veteran Patrick Sparkman sold his EOS 7D Mark II in like-new condition for the full asking price on day 1: $1149.
- Don Mullaney sold his Canon 600mm f/4L IS II lens in mint condition for $9499, the full asking price, on February 1, 2016.
- Gregg Hunt sold his 7D Mark II sold for $999, the full asking price, on January 31, 2016.
- Mark Hodgson sold his Canon 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens in mint condition $7499 within days of listing at the end of January, 2016.
- Mark Hodgson also sold his Canon 5D Mark III the Canon BG-E11 battery grip and two Canon batteries for $1899 in very January, 2016.
- And his mint Series III TC set to me for $558 before it was even listed.
- Sash Dias sold his Nikon D4 body in excellent condition for $2399 the day after it was listed in late January, 2016.
- Bill Fraser sold his 1D Mark IV body in excellent condition for $1299 at the end of January, 2016.
- Multiple IPT veteran Brent Bridges sold his used Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent condition for $4599 in late January, 2016.
- Saul Pleeter sold his Sony Alpha a7R Mirrorless Digital Camera in near-new condition for $799 on the first day it was listed in late January 2016.
- Mark Hodgson sold his Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens in very good plus condition for $599 within a day of listing in late January 2016.
- Bill Condon sold his Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM lens in near-mint condition for $4199 on the first day it was listed in late January 2016.
- Walt Thomas sold his used Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens in mint condition for $749 in late January.
There are still lots of great items listed. Again, you can see all of these great buys by clicking here.
Canon EOS 1D-X Professional dSLR
As I predicted, this one sold on Day 1 for the full asking price.
Multiple IPT veteran Steve Leimberg is offering a used EOS 1D-X Professional dSLR in excellent plus condition for $2999. The sale includes an extra battery, the battery charger, the front cap, the original box, and insured shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.
Please contact Steve by e-mail.
Two 1D X bodies served me well as my workhorse dSLRs since their introduction in March 2012. I always appreciated their ruggedness, the great AF system, and the powerful battery that drove AF quickly even with the 2X III TC in place. artie
Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR
Multiple IPT veteran Steve Leimberg is also offering a used Canon EOS 7D Mark II dSLR in like-new condition for $1049. The sale includes the body, the charger, the original box, the front cap, the original box, and insured shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.
Please contact Steve by e-mail.
Simply put, the 7D II with its fine image quality, fast frame rate, and superb AF system is the greatest value ever in a dSLR. artie
This image was created at La Jolla, CA the day after the IPT ended by BPN member Adhika Lie with the hand held Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD Lens for Nikon (at 500mm) and the Nikon D750. ISO 2000. Center-weighted average metering -2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/6.3.
Image courtesy of and copyright 2016 Adhika Lie.
The Original Post
The image above was featured in Wednesday’s blog post. Kudos to the 17 folks who left critiques. Some folks loved the image as I did, others were way less excited by it. But everyone shared their thoughts honestly and politely. Just like on BPN most of the time With the tremendous interest in learning to pick your own keepers and in critiquing the work of others we will be doing lots more of both in the future.
The Back Story
I posted this critique in Pane #2:
I like it a lot. Especially the mood. I would like to see a repost with the curve pulled up a bit for lighter overall. a
In Pane #4 Adhika commented as follows:
Artie and Adrian, Thanks so much for the comments. After another look at the image, your assessments on the darker tone are right. Thanks for the kind words on the composition. Here is a revision after bringing up that curve.
Hi repost was well done.
Arash Hazeghi is one of BPN’s top Avian Moderators, posted this in Pane #6:
The OP (original post) was a bit underexposed as pointed out by Artie. Repost is better. I think this image has more potential if you crop it tighter to eliminate parts of the left wing. I would also consider cleaning up the perch a little bit.
In Pane #7 Adhika wrote:
Even though the OP is underexposed overall, I think it brings out the best in the feet which was my original intention. But I do agree that it might create unnecessary mood (which could be detracting).
Arash, can you elaborate a little more about ‘cleaning up the perch’ part?
Arash responded in Pane #8:
It means cleaning, i.e. cloning, the droppings.
This is my repost of the image that opened this blog post.
Image courtesy of and copyright 2016 Adhika Lie.
In Pane #9, I went to work; my repost is immediately above.
First off, I love the ” patinated copper sculpture” comment by Glennie Passier in Pane 5. (Note: one of the great things about BPN is that we have members from all over the world; Glennie is from Australia.)
Second, while I love the “dark” mood, the image as originally presented was simply too dark. The repost was good.
Third, and this is major, if you want to produce the highest quality files with the most information, you need to expose to the right so that the highlight data is well into the right-most histogram box, aka ETTR (expose to the right). When properly captured this image should have looked a bit washed out on the rear LCD. Then, you can darken it for mood or as needed in Photoshop.
Fourth: I cleaned up pretty much all of the whitewash on the rocks as Arash suggested. I used all of my usual clean-up tools primarily the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch Tool. They both blend rather than clone… In addition I did use the Clone Stamp a bit.
Fifth: I worked a bit to tone down the brighter whitish area below the tail.
Sixth: Everything in 4 and 5 above is covered in detail in my https://store.birdsasart.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=252https://store.birdsasart.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=252. Along with dozens of other great Photoshop tips.
Seventh: At first I dismissed Arash’s suggestion as far as a small crop from the right. But after I gave it some thought, I tried it. And liked it.
Eighth: Let me know what you think of my repost.
Ninth: May I have your permission to use this image in an educational blog post on my blog at www.BIRDSASART-Blog.com?
Tenth: We look forward to your joining our membership ranks
Eleventh: The more I look at the image the more I like it.
Twelfth: Was this at La Jolla?
In Pane 10 Adhika shared a Lightroom screen capture.
In Pane 11 he uploaded his second repost along with this:
Artie, I like the tighter crop. I played with Arash’s input yesterday and incorporated a few of your inputs as well. This is what I have come up with. I used the content aware fill to “clean up after these birds’ mess” and I think it was very similar to yours. I am a little bothered by the breast here that showed slightly lack of contrast/hazy (not sure why). But the pelican was preening so it could be natural.
I didn’t like the white wash close the the pelican’s tail as well and I played a little bit with content aware fill to make that happen.
What do you think?
Go ahead and use it at the blog. I have benefited reading your blogs in the past six months I started delving into bird photography and I hope many others would learn from this exchanges as well. I really appreciate your kind words. Hearing that you like the image is an honor, sir. I attended your talk at the NAT and I actually shot this the day after at the cove.
Note: he stole my crop right down to the pixel; smart man!
In Pane #12 & 13 I responded:
Howdy Adhika, I don’t know from LR but it is good that the image looks brighter in the LR screen cap than when it was originally presented. The histogram looks OK. Do know that on your Flickr site most of the stuff as presented is way too dark
Hi Again, The repost in Pane 11 looks great, including the breast. a
Everything that I did to optimize the repost is covered in detail in my Digital Basics File.
If you have read the exchanges above carefully, you have already learned a ton. If you read my responses to the comments below the original post here, you will learn a lot more. And again, the group as a whole did a great job with the critiquing. I learned more than a bit by reading the comments. You can see Adhika’s second repost and read the additional comments by various BPN members by clicking here. If you are impressed by what you see, do consider joining BPN. You can learn more or sign up here.
You do not need a $6,000 camera and a $9,000 lens to create some very good images. Adhika’s rig cost just a bit more than $3K.
Patrick Sparkman’s comment got me to realize something that I had missed, thus, the image question below.
How could Adhika have eliminated most or all of the bothersome whitish tones to our left of the bird’s tail while he was in the field?
The Two Best Things About Critiquing
#1: Though opinions differ widely, nobody is wrong.
#2: Everyone learns.
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