October 31st, 2014

Tales of Palms: 7DII ISO 4000 Image & Bird Bill Mystery Revealed. And Blessed...

The Streak Continues: 335

As far as laptops are concerned, yesterday was a day of whatever can go wrong will go wrong…. I cannot figure out my new Mac and my new ASUS has been totally destroyed by a virus;I am hoping that Jen can scrub it today and re-install WIndows 8…. And though I downloaded and successfully installed DPP v4.01.0 onto my old, dependable HP PC, when I attempt to open the program a DPP 4 box pops up that says, “Not all screen elements can be shown under the computer’s current display size settings. Before use, reduce the display size.” I tried lowering the resolution but I get the same warning. I even rebooted. Same thing. Any help would of course be greatly appreciated.

Today’s blog post, the 335th in a row, took me about 2 hours to prepare. It was published just after 6:00am from my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL.

Please Help Support My Work on the BAA Blog

Thanks a Stack! October was a Great Month.

Without the numerous EOS-7D Mark II sales made with our BAA Affiliate links, October was a very rewarding month. Thanks a stack to all who used our B&H links for purchases large and small.

To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we ask, as always, that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H Is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.



If what you learned here on my blog about the Canon EOS-7D Mark II has inspired you to purchase this great new camera body, please consider using the logo link above to support our efforts here in bringing you the latest, greatest educational materials on daily basis.


cabbage-palm-_36a8025-indian-lake-estates-fl

This image just before sunrise on the clear morning of 28 October down by the lake near my home. I used the BLUBB-supported/hand held Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 229mm) and a beta version of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II . ISO 4000. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops as framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/4.5 in Av mode. AWB.

Focus was set with Central sensor only Rear Focus/AI Servo AF on the center of the palm fronds and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Persistence

I have been working hard at getting ready for two huge back to back road trips, the 26-day at Bosque trip with a one day stop in Washington, DC on 13 NOV, and then, after being home for 3 whole days, the 30-day trip to the bottom of South America and beyond for the Cheesemans’ Antarctica/The Extended Expedition Voyage to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and Antarctic Peninsula, December 13, 2014 to January 10, 201.

In spite of that and in spite of working hard to keep the streak alive, I have been getting down to the lake most mornings to create at least a few images with the 7D II. Today I head over to Fort DeSoto for more of the same with a private client who has hired me for 3 sessions this weekend.

Exposure

With the image above, I pushed the exposure way to the right until there were significant blinkies on the upper half of the sky. Those were easily recovered by moving both the Brightness slider and the Highlight slider to -1 in DPP v4.01.0. Why expose so far to the right? To maximize detail in the dark vegetation and to minimize the ISO 4000 noise. Interestingly enough, I could not rely on Arash’s NR tables as I need to get him a slew of high ISO 7D II images in the coming week. What to do? Working at 200% in Before and after comparison preview I worked out my own settings for both Luminance and Chrominance noise on the Adjust image detail tab. As I do not have a great eye for fine detail it is difficult to tell what is to much NR and what is not enough….

The DPP 4 eGuide

The RAW file for this image was converted in the original DPP 4. DPP v4.01.0 now supports the 1D X, the 5D III, the 6D, and the soon to be shipped 7D Mark II. It is a totally new program, far more sophisticated and complex than the various iterations of DPP 3. Thus, Arash and I created a new, stand-alone eGuide for DPP 4, one that really simplifies things. As so much work and effort went into the creation of the DPP 4 eGuide, it does require a separate purchase. Learn more about this great new guide by clicking here, or purchase a copy here.

Those using older Canon camera bodies like the 1D Mark IV, the 7D, the 50D, the 40D, the various Rebels (not recommended for serious nature photography), are directed to the original DPP RAW Conversion Guide click here. DPP 3 (the latest version is DPP v3.14.41.0) does a fine job of converting images from the older camera bodies. I used it for several years.

DPP 4 eGuide Kudoa via e-mail from Melvin Grey

Artie, Thank you very much for creating and sending the superb new guide and for the excellent service.THANK YOU and ARASH, once again, for an invaluable guide and THANK YOU for your continuing educational blogs. Melvin


cabbage-palm-200-pct-_36a8025-indian-lake-estates-fl

This is a crop of the unsharpened 200% view of today’s ISO 4000 featured image.

Creating the 200% View

To create the crop of the unsharpened 200% view of today’s ISO 4000 featured image that you see immediately above, I first double-clicked on the Zoom Tool to get to 100%. Then I clicked once more with the Zoom Tool on the image itself. This brought us to 200%. Then I used the Rectangular Marquee Tool set to Fixed Ratio 3X2, made my selection, and hit Image > Crop.

As always, if you are used to viewing your high ISO images at 200%, feel free to comment on the noise (and the amount of fine detail) in this image. If not, mums the word :).


36a1254-indian-lake-estates-fl

This image was created with the hand held Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens and a beta version of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II . ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1 stop as framed: 1/1250 sec. at f/4 in Av mode. AWB.

Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Bird Bill Mystery Revealed

In the blog post of October 22, 2014 here, I wrote:

Canon EOS-7D Mark II Mystery Image

What does this look like to you? Is it the bill of a tropical bird? If so, what family? What species? If not, what is it? >

While the image was reminiscent of a bird’s bill and one thought that it was a crab’s claw, most folks surmised that it was a close-up of some part of a plant. Good fried “Bug” Bob Allen wrote Sure looks like the tip of a leaf of a monocot such as a palm. The parallel veins show nicely in this image. Art Buesing nailed it when he wrote, My WAG (wild-ass guess) is palmetto leaf.

The image features the backlit leaf of a Saw Palmetto. A bit of research here revealed that differentiating Saw Palmetto and very young Cabbage Palms these palms is difficult: the saw palmetto has sharp, saw-tooth spines along its stem; the cabbage palm has a smooth stem. Since the small plant, about 2 1/2 feet tall, was right in front of my home, I went out and checked the stem; it was a Saw Palmetto for sure.

Blessed

As you look at the images in the various IPT cards below, do consider how blessed I have been since leaving the New York City school system in 1993. I have been privileged to visit many of the great photographic locations on the planet…. Please do not think for one moment that I ever forget how lucky I have been….

Used Photography Gear Listings

If you are looking for some great used cameras and lenses that are priced to sell you can see all of the listings here.

New Used Gear Listing

Used EOS-1D Mark IV Digital Camera Body

IPT veteran Brent Thompson is offering a used EOS-1D Mark IV digital camera body in excellent condition for $2449. The sale includes the RRS L-plate, the charger and battery, and all the manuals and cables that came in the box, the camera strap, the original box, and insured ground shipping to continental US addresses only. Your camera will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Brent via e-mail, by phone at 650-857-8695, or on his cell at 408-219-5023 (Pacific time).

Two Mark IVs served as my workhorse bodies for more than three years.

Mark IV Prices Reduced

Used EOS-1D Mark IV Digital Camera Body

Price reduced $249 on 10/30/2014!

Multiple IPT veteran and good friend Monte Brown is offering a used EOS-1D Mark IV digital camera body in excellent condition (with about 22,000 shutter actuations) for $2200. The sale includes the charger and an extra battery, the original box, cables, software, manuals, and insured ground shipping to US addresses only. Your camera will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Monte via e-mail or by phone at 765-744-1421 (Eastern time).

Two Mark IVs served as my workhorse bodies for more than three years.

Used EOS-1D Mark IV Digital Camera Body

Price reduced $299 on 10/30/2014!

Marc Lombardi is offering a used EOS-1D Mark IV digital camera body in excellent condition with 57800 actuations for $2400. The body has one minor cosmetic scratch on top. The sale includes the charger and two batteries, a RRS plate, and insured ground shipping to US addresses only. Your camera will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Marc via e-mail or by phone at 610-585-3500 (Eastern time).

Two Mark IVs served as my workhorse bodies for more than three years.


morro-bay-card-layers

Morro Bay offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects in a variety of attractive settings.

2015 Morro Bay 5-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT): MAR 14 thru MAR 18, 2015: $1999 (Limit: 8.)

Meet and Greet after dinner on your own at 8:00pm on MAR 13.

Join me in one of the most beautiful and scenic places on the planet to photograph a large variety of birds of the sea and shore. As above, the star of the show will be Long-billed Curlew. There will be lots of Marbled Godwits and Willets as well as lots of the smaller shorebird species. Black Oystercatcher is likely and we should get to photograph large flocks of Western Sandpipers in flight over the bay. With any luck we should enjoy some great sunrise and sunset photography. There are lots of gulls including Western, California, and Mew. There is one good location where we should get to photograph Western, Clarke’s, Eared, and Pied-billed Grebe, Lesser Scaup, and Common Loon. We may get to photograph some passerines including Anna’s Hummingbird, Brewer’s Blackbird, and White-crowned Sparrow. And we have a chance for several species of raptors. Yikes, I almost forgot California Poppy. And California Ground Squirrel. Sea Otters are also possible.

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, five 2 1/2 hour afternoon sessions, five lunches, after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions, and of course tons of great in-the-field instruction and photographic instruction. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility.

A $499 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to use at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 12/1//2014. If the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.


japan-2016-card

Consider joining us in Japan in February, 2016; the world’s best Japan in Winter workshop. Click on the card to enjoy the spectacular larger version.

Japan In Winter IPT. February 9-24, 2016: $13,999/double occupancy. Limit 7: Openings: 3.

Needs five to run; just 1 more to go. All lodging including Tokyo hotel on 9 FEB, all breakfasts & dinners, ground transport and transfers including bus to the monkey park hotel, and all entrance fees and in-country flights are included. Not included: international flights, all lunches–most are on the run, and alcoholic beverages.

This trip is one day longer than the 2014 trip to allow for more flexibility, more time with the cranes, and most importantly, more time for landscape photography. Hokkaido is gorgeous. Three great leaders plus the world’s best Japan in winter Japanese photography guide: the amazingly creative Denise Ippolito, multiple award winning photographer Paul McKenzie and yours truly. Tons of trip planning and gear advice, in-the-field instruction and guidance, at-the-lodge Photoshop and image review sessions in addition to short introductory slide programs for each of the amazing locations.


japan-2016-a-card

Amazing subjects. Beautiful settings. Nonstop action and unlimited opportunities. Join us.

The Leader’s Favorites

Paul McKenzie’s great love is for the Whooper Swans. Like me, Denise’s favorites are the Red-crowned Cranes and the sea eagles–there are two species, the huge Steller’s and the smaller white-tailed. And all three of us love the adorable Snow Monkeys. It is not too soon for you to join this trip of a lifetime and choose your favorite. If you want to hone your flight photography skills, this is the trip for you Everything flies but the Snow Monkeys. But come to think of it we did photograph them jumping across the stream on our last trip…. And do know that images from Hokkaido have been honored in most every BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition for several decades. Three great leaders, the best lodge, the best guide, great food, superb organization, and a wealth of incredible subjects in awe-inspiring settings. What more could you ask for?


japan-2016-card-b

Life is short. Hop on the merry-go-round.

The Itinerary

Arrive Tokyo: 9 FEB 2016 the latest. 8 FEB is safer and gives you a day to get acclimated to the time change. Your hotel room for the night of the 9th is covered.

Travel to Monkey Park Hotel: 10 FEB: Short 1/2 DAY of Monkey photography possible depending on our travel time….

Full Day snow monkeys: FEB 11.

Full Day snow monkeys: FEB 12.

13 FEB: Full travel day to Hokkaido/arrive at our lodge in the late afternoon. The lodge is wonderful. All the rooms at the lodge have beds. Bring your warm pajamas. Local onsen (hot springs bath and tubs) is available for $5 each day before dinner–when you are cold, it is the best thing since sliced bread. Smile emoticon The home cooked meals at the lodge are to die for.

FEB 14-23: Red-crowned Crane, raptors in flight, Whooper Swans, and scenic photography. Ural Owl possible. One 2-night trip to Rausu for Steller’s and White Tailed Sea Eagles on the tourists boats dependent on sea ice conditions. Only our trip offers complete flexibility in this area. It saved us this year. One afternoon of duck photography in the harbor is a strong possibility in Rausu. 2-3 boat trips. In addition, few if any tours offer at least one afternoon boat trip….

Lodging notes: bring your long johns for sleeping in the lodge. In Rausu and the snow monkey park, the hotel the rooms are Japanese-style. You sleep on comfortable mats on the floor. Wi-fi is available every day of the trip.

FEB 24. Fly back to Tokyo for transfer to your airport if you are flying home that night, or, to your hotel if you are overnighting. If you need that room it is on you.

To save your spot, please send your $5,000 non-refundable deposit check made out to “Arthur Morris to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. We do hope that you can join us for this trip of a lifetime. Do e-mail

BAA Instructional Photo-Tour INFO

Most IPTs are either sold out or nearly full. For complete IPT info and info on related programs please visit the IPT page here.


hooptie-card-shadle-aa

Images courtesy of and copyright Captain James Shadle (aka Froggie). All of the images here were created at Alafia Banks. Card creation and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Hooptie Deux/Roseate Spoonbills and More Instructional Photo-Tour via pontoon boat. 4 1/2 DAYs: $3200. SUN FEB 22 thru lunch on THUR FEB 26, 2015/Strict Limit: 6 photographers/Sold Out.

You can see the complete details by scrolling down in the blog post post here. Please e-mail if you would like your name placed on the mailing list.


bosque-2014-ipt-card

Join Denise Ippolito and me for four great days of photography and learning at one of our soul places. Please click on the card to enjoy a larger version.

Bosque del Apache 2014 BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT). NOV 29 (afternoon photo session)-DEC 3 (morning session), 2014. Totaling 4 FULL-DAYS: $1449. Leaders: Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Saturday 11/29. Limit 16/Openings: 2

Be sure to check out the Festival of the Cranes-related programs by scrolling down here.


bosque-creative-card-2014-1200-wide

Join Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris for two great days of photography, fun, and learning at one of our favorite soul places. We will surely be taking you out of the box on this workshop. Please click on the card to enjoy a larger version.

Bosque del Apache 2014 A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART “Creative Photography Instructional Photo-Tour.” (IPT). NOV 24-25, 2014. 2-FULL DAYS: $729. Leaders: Denise Ippolito & Arthur Morris. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Sunday 11/23.

Be sure to check out the Festival of the Cranes-related programs by scrolling down here.


san-diego-ipt-card-layers

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

2015 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT): FEB 1 thru the morning of FEB 5, 2015: $1799 (Limit: 8/Sold Out)

Please e-mail if you would like your name placed on the mailing list.


palouse-2015-cardE

Card and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Palouse A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) #2/Eastern Washington State. June 5-9, 2015/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12 photographers/Openings 2.


uk-puffins-card-ii-layers

Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The 2015 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

June 29 through July 5, 2015: $5499: Limit 10 photographers/Openings 2. Two great leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris.


galapagos-composite

Do consider joining me for a once in a lifetime trip to the Galapagos archipelago in July, 2015.

GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 14-28, 2015 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $12,499. Limit 14 including the leader:/Openings: 5.

My two-week Galapagos Photo-Cruises are without equal. The world’s best guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), and the best leader with eight Galapagos cruises under his belt. Pre-trip and pre-landing location-specific gear advice. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea!

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

October 30th, 2014

Stars of the Show/Announcing the March 2015 Morro Bay IPT

The Streak Continues: 334

Yesterday was another day of trying to deal with the challenges of transitioning from a PC to a MAC while at the same time dealing with a nasty Trojan horse virus on my ASUS PC. This blog post, the 334rd in a row, took me about 3 hours to prepare. It was published at about 7:15am from my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL.

Congrats to both the San Francisco Giants and the Kansas City Royals for a great World Series. The whole MLB post season was wonderfully exciting, and Joe Buck was superb. His Dad, the legendary broadcaster, the late Jack Buck, would have been quite proud of him.

Please help us out…

To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we ask that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H Is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.



If what you learned here on my blog about the Canon EOS-7D Mark II has inspired you to purchase this great new camera body, please consider using the logo link above to support our efforts here in bringing you the latest, greatest educational materials on daily basis.


long-billed-curlew-silh-w-sand-crab-_d4i2111-morro-bay-cac

This image was created at sunset on January 12, 2009 with the Gitzo 3530 LS CF tripod (since replaced by the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod), the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens and the EOS-1D Mark III (now replaced by the Canon EOS-1D X.) ISO 400. Evaluative metering plus 2/3 stop: 1/320 sec. at f/5.6 in Av Mode. AWB.

Both sensors above the central sensor were active at the moment of exposure with shutter button/AI Servo AF as framed. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Stars of the Show

The target species for nearly all avian photographers visiting bird-rich Morro Bay, CA is North America’s largest most spectacular shorebird, Long-billed Curlew. With their long decurved bills, these birds are adept at crabbing sand crabs on the edge of the surf (as above) and probing deep into wet sand and mud to extract fiddler crabs from their burrows. The bills of the females, which often exceed nine inches in length, are longer than the bills of the males.

At Morro Bay they are fairly common and are often easily approached.


long-billed-curlew-from-ground-level-_a1c1886-morro-bay-ca

This image was created on the clear morning of April 2, 2012 with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III . ISO 400. Evaluative metering plus 2/3 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual. AWB.

Two sensors to the right and two rows above the central sensor/Rear Focus/AI Servo Surround AF on the bottom of the bird’s neck as framed. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Sit or Lie Flat

When photographing shorebirds, it is almost always best to sit down behind your lowered tripod or to lie flat down on the sand or mud. If the latter, you can splay the legs of your tripod or mount you lens on either a Panning Ground Pod or a Skimmer Ground Pod II. I prefer the former for gravel or fairly firm mud and the latter for soft sand.

In general, images made while you are lying flat will be more intimate with more pleasing backgrounds. But most folks including me will not be able to easily follow walking or running shorebirds. And photographing an incoming bird in flight while prone is pretty much impossible for all but the most skilled photographers. Those tasks are relatively simple when you are sitting behind your lowered tripod.

Assuming a constant subject size, remember that the longer your equivalent focal length, the farther you will be from the bird, and the lower your angle of declination to the bird will be. That will usually yield a more pleasing image. Score another one for the 7D II….


long-billed-curlew-last-rays-of-sunset-_mg_0824-morro-bay-cac

This image was created just before sunset on January 10, 2009 with the hand held Canon EF 400mm f/4 IS DO lens (now replaced by the Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens) and the EOS-50D (now replaced by the Canon EOS 7D Mark II ). ISO 800. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/4 in Av mode. AWB.

Central sensor/AI Servo shutter button AF on the bird’s breast as framed was active at the moment of exposure. Click on the image to see a larger version.

400 DO II/7D II Combo a Deadly One…

Several folks have pre-ordered this combo using our BAA B&H affiliate links, Many thanks there. Expected availability for the new 400 DO is November 2014. Hey, that’s soon.

Either 400 DO with a 7D Mark II will give you an equivalent focal length of 640mm in an easily hand holdable package that will produce sharp, high quality image files when in competent hands. 640 hand held will be perfect for the crane pool flight outs at Bosque… Add a 1.4X TC and that gets you to 896mm. Again, easily hand holdable for most, but you will need to employ excellent sharpness techniques (as detailed in ABP II). Put the lens on a tripod with a Mongoose M3.6 and you will be at 1280mm with the 2X III TC where the need for perfect on-a-tripod sharpness techniques will be even greater.


long-billed-curlew-sunset-birdscape-_mg_3507-morro-bay-cac

This image was created just after sunset on January 16, 2009 with the tripod mounted Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens and the EOS-50D (now replaced by the Canon EOS 7D Mark II ). ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/4 in Av mode. AWB.

Central sensor/One Shot shutter button AF on the bird and re-compose. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Sunrises, Sunsets, and Image Design Principles

Pink/purple/blue earth shadow sunrises (see the middle image on the Morro Bay card below) and red/orange/yellow sunset (and sunrises) are fairly commonplace at Morro Bay. And there is a great variety of silhouette-able subjects ranging from single shorebirds, flocks of shorebirds both in flight and on distant mudflats, ducks and egrets and gulls and pelcans, and flocks of cormorants.

Note how I placed the curlew in the lower right of the frame to balance the knight-shaped rock in the upper left. Learn more about advanced composition and image design in The Art of Bird Photography II. ABP II: 916 pages on CD only.


morro-bay-card-layers

Morro Bay offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects in a variety of attractive settings.

2015 Morro Bay 5-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT): MAR 14 thru MAR 18, 2015: $1999 (Limit: 8.)

Meet and Greet after dinner on your own at 8:00pm on MAR 13.

Join me in one of the most beautiful and scenic places on the planet to photograph a large variety of birds of the sea and shore. As above, the star of the show will be Long-billed Curlew. There will be lots of Marbled Godwits and Willets as well as lots of the smaller shorebird species. Black Oystercatcher is likely and we should get to photograph large flocks of Western Sandpipers in flight over the bay. With any luck we should enjoy some great sunrise and sunset photography. There are lots of gulls including Western, California, and Mew. There is one good location where we should get to photograph Western, Clarke’s, Eared, and Pied-billed Grebe, Lesser Scaup, and Common Loon. We may get to photograph some passerines including Anna’s Hummingbird, Brewer’s Blackbird, and White-crowned Sparrow. And we have a chance for several species of raptors. Yikes, I almost forgot California Poppy. And California Ground Squirrel. Sea Otters are also possible.

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, five 2 1/2 hour afternoon sessions, five lunches, after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions, and of course tons of great in-the-field instruction and photographic instruction. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility.

A $499 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to use at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 12/1//2014. If the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

Used Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM Lens

Mike Stevens is offering a used Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM lens in like-new condition (used just once) for a ridiculously low $7999. The sale includes the front leather hood, the rear dust cap, the original case, a Wimberley P-50 lens plate, and insured shipping to US addresses only. Your lens will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made; Paypal is an option.

Please contact Mike via e-mail, by phone at 951-260-2507, or on his cell at 951-821-1600.

The 800 was my go-to super-telephoto lens for about 4 years.

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

October 29th, 2014

3-Camera Quality ID Answers and More & Painstaking? Yes.

The Streak Continues: 333

Yesterday was a day of trying to deal with the challenges of transitioning from a PC to a MAC after a lifetime of the former…. This blog post, the 333rd in a row, took me about 2 1/2 hours to prepare. It was published at about 7:15am from my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL.

After getting back from a morning photo session down by the lake Jim informed me that this was the first blog post inadvertently published without a title. That was rectified at 8:37am :)

Please help us out…

To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we ask that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H Is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.



If what you learned here on my blog about the Canon EOS-7D Mark II has inspired you to purchase this great new camera body, please consider using the logo link above to support our efforts here in bringing you the latest, greatest educational materials on daily basis.


aaa

Image A

Image A

Image A was created with the EOS-1D X.


bbb

Image B

Image B

Image B was created with a beta version EOS-7D Mark II.


ccc

Image C

Image C

Image C was created with the EOS-5D Mark III.

Thoughts

If the premise that the images from the 3 camera bodies cropped to the same subject size would be easily distinguishable with the 5D III image showing the best image quality and the greatest detail and the 7D II image showing the worst image quality the rankings would have unanimously looked like this:

A: 1D X
B: 7D II
C: 5D III

Having seen the converted RAW files I would have rated image C as best by a slim margin with images A and B pretty much equal. Even at that, to my eye all three JPEGs looked pretty darned good.

Results

Amazingly, to me at least, eleven folks nailed the test, whatever it was worth, rating image C–from the 5D III–as best, image A–the 1D X image–as next best, and image B–from the 7D II–as the worst of the lot. That said, six folks thought that image C was the “worst” by assigning it to the 7D II. Several folks felt that the images were either very close or virtually indistinguishable. All of the above of course assuming that folks understood the issues involved….

Nick, commenting on a similar post here, stated that the “test” (my quotation marks) made no sense nor could it provide any valid information. I have no clue as to whether he is right or wrong but he seemed to know what he is talking about.

Conclusions

#1: As I have stated here many times, I simply do not have a good eye for fine detail. Why do I say that? Many folks in addition to the nine who nailed the test clearly identified the 7D II image as having the poorest quality.
#2: With more than a few folks feeling as I did that the images were quite close in quality, the 7D II is a seriously good, reasonably priced digital camera body that produces quality images while offering great reach via its 1.6X crop factor sensor.
#3: Bogus or not, the test was lots of fun and led to a wonderful exchange of ideas. Flawed or not, I will look for a way to repeat it with a cooperative avian subject.
4: For the most part, I will go back to doing what I do best: make good images. And my plan for the immediate future is to continue using the 7D II for nearly all of my photography. Those who see me as a shill for all things Canon need to ask themselves, “Would he be choosing and using the 7D II while keeping his 5D III and his two 1D X bodies in the bag?”


galapagos-storm-petrel-_09u8964-north-seymour-galapagos

This image was created on the 2013 Galapagos Photo-Cruise with the hand held the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the internal TC engaged at 560mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops off the light blue water: 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode was about 1/2 stop too dark. AWB.

Central Sensor/AI Servo-Surround/Rear Focus AF barely caught the petrel’s right wing as originally framed and was of course active at the moment of exposure. Learn everything there is to know about the 1D X and 5D III AF systems including how to manage the various AF Area Selection Modes, when to use which one, and several ways to move the AF sensor around in my 1D X AF Guide and the 5D Mark III User’s Guide. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version. .

Galapagos Storm Petrel dip feeding

Painstaking, or Not?

In the “Painstaking or Not?” blog post here, I wrote:

Did this image take 8 minutes to optimize? Or one hour and eight minutes to optimize? Is there any evidence that major Photoshop “fowl” play or is this pretty much straight out of camera with a fairly large crop? If the former, what did I do?


09u8964-north-seymour-galapagos

This JPEG represents the original capture from which the optimized storm petrel image was created.

Painstaking?

Yes, the image optimization, which took one hour eight minutes, was painstakingly done. I worked large and carefully. It was a relatively large crop. Best of all, nobody detected any evidence of Photoshop hanky panky.

The Image Optimization

After converting the 1D X RAW file in DPP 4 I brought the image into Photoshop. The unfortunate 2nd bird that merged with my primary subject was removed using a variety of techniques and tools that included Divide and Conquer cloning, the Clone Stamp Tool, the Patch Tool, several Quick Masks, and Denise Ippolito protective cloning on a Layer, the latter two fine tuned of course using Regular Layer Masks. Then some NIK 50/50 work, some Eye Doctor work, and some selective sharpening of the face via a Contrast Mask. Voila.

The DPP 4 eGuide

The RAW file for this image was converted in the original DPP 4. DPP v4.01.0 now supports the 1D X, the 5D III, the 6D, and the soon to be shipped 7D Mark II. It is a totally new program, far more sophisticated and complex than the various iterations of DPP 3. Thus, Arash and I created a new, stand-alone eGuide for DPP 4, one that really simplifies things. As so much work and effort went into the creation of the DPP 4 eGuide, it does require a separate purchase. Learn more about this great new guide by clicking here, or purchase a copy here.

Those using older Canon camera bodies like the 1D Mark IV, the 7D, the 50D, the 40D, the various Rebels (not recommended for serious nature photography), are directed to the original DPP RAW Conversion Guide click here. DPP 3 (the latest version is DPP v3.14.41.0) does a fine job of converting images from the older camera bodies. I used it for several years.

DPP 4 eGuide Kudoa via e-mail from Melvin Grey

Artie, Thank you very much for creating and sending the superb new guide and for the excellent service.THANK YOU and ARASH, once again, for an invaluable guide and THANK YOU for your continuing educational blogs. Melvin

Digital Basics

Everything that I did to optimize today’s images is covered in detail in my Digital Basics File–written in my easy-to-follow, easy-to-understand style. Are you tired of making your images look worse in Photoshop? Digital Basics File is an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips (including the recommended Surface Blur settings as taught to me by Denise Ippolito), details on using all of my image clean-up tools, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro basics, Contrast Masks, Digital Eye Doctor, using Gaussian Blurs, Tim Grey Dodge and Burn, a variety of ways to make selections, how to create time-saving actions, and tons more.

APTATS I & II

Learn the details of advanced Quick Masking techniques in APTATS I. Learn Advanced Layer Masking Techniques in APTATS II. Mention this blog post and apply a $5 discount to either with phone orders only. Buy both APTATS I and APTATS II and we will be glad to apply at $15 discount with phone orders only. Please call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 weekdays to order.

New Used Photo Gear Listing

You can see the complete and right now extensive listings here. The highlights include a mint Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and two Canon Tilt Shift lenses.

Used Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM Lens

Kathleen Graff is offering a used Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS (Image Stabilizer) USM lens in very good to excellent condition for $4799. The sale includes the front leather hood, the rear dust cap, the original case with keys, a Lens Coat, a 4th GD Custom Lens Adapter Plate CP-51, the lens manual, and insured shipping to US addresses only. Photos available. Your lens will be shipped only after your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Kathleen via e-mail with a copy sent here. Alternatively, you can try her by phone at 262-797-2530 or 262-389-7998.

The old five was at one time the world’s most popular telephoto lens. It still makes great images with both TCs.

IPT Updates

Most IPTs are either sold out or nearly full. For complete IPT info and info on related programs please visit the IPT page here.


hooptie-card-shadle-aa

Images courtesy of and copyright Captain James Shadle (aka Froggie). All of the images here were created at Alafia Banks. Card creation and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Hooptie Deux/Roseate Spoonbills and More Instructional Photo-Tour via pontoon boat. 4 1/2 DAYs: $3200. SUN FEB 22 thru lunch on THUR FEB 26, 2015/Strict Limit: 6 photographers/Sold Out.

You can see the complete details by scrolling down in the blog post post here. Please e-mail if you would like your name placed on the mailing list.


bosque-2014-ipt-card

Join Denise Ippolito and me for four great days of photography and learning at one of our soul places. Please click on the card to enjoy a larger version.

Bosque del Apache 2014 BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT). NOV 29 (afternoon photo session)-DEC 3 (morning session), 2014. Totaling 4 FULL-DAYS: $1449. Leaders: Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Saturday 11/29. Limit 16/Openings: 2

Be sure to check out the Festival of the Cranes-related programs by scrolling down here.


bosque-creative-card-2014-1200-wide

Join Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris for two great days of photography, fun, and learning at one of our favorite soul places. We will surely be taking you out of the box on this workshop. Please click on the card to enjoy a larger version.

Bosque del Apache 2014 A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART “Creative Photography Instructional Photo-Tour.” (IPT). NOV 24-25, 2014. 2-FULL DAYS: $729. Leaders: Denise Ippolito & Arthur Morris. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Sunday 11/23.

Be sure to check out the Festival of the Cranes-related programs by scrolling down here.


san-diego-ipt-card-layers

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

2015 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT): FEB 1 thru the morning of FEB 5, 2015: $1799 (Limit: 8/Sold Out)

Please e-mail if you would like your name placed on the mailing list.


palouse-2015-cardE

Card and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Palouse A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) #2/Eastern Washington State. June 5-9, 2015/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12 photographers/Openings 2.


uk-puffins-card-ii-layers

Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The 2015 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

June 29 through July 5, 2015: $5499: Limit 10 photographers/Openings 2. Two great leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris.


galapagos-composite

Do consider joining me for a once in a lifetime trip to the Galapagos archipelago in July, 2015.

GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 14-28, 2015 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $12,499. Limit 14 including the leader:/Openings: 5.

My two-week Galapagos Photo-Cruises are without equal. The world’s best guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), and the best leader with eight Galapagos cruises under his belt. Pre-trip and pre-landing location-specific gear advice. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea!

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).