Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
January 15th, 2018

Success with Action

Stuff

I got to the cliffs early on Sunday morning and enjoyed another great morning. Although I am sure that they had not, it seemed that everyone had; all of the photographers stayed well back and to the right for the first hour. Heck, it was the nicest, friendliest group of photographers I have ever run into at La Jolla. It was great also to see Patrick Sparkman. Condolences to him and to Robin to his Mom and the rest of the family on the recent loss of Patrick’s Dad.

I meet the first San Diego IPT group at 7pm on Sunday night.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred sixty-eight days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 90 minutes to prepare including the time spent optimizing the image. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

Featured Listing

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

BAA Record-Low, Shock-the-world priced

Walt Anderson is offering a barely used EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens in mint to like-new condition with extras for the BAA record low price of $9395.00. The sale includes the LensCoat that has protected his 600 since day one, a RRS stuff foot (installed), the original foot, the lens trunk, the original box and everything that came in it: front cover, rear cap, manuals, & the rest, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your personal of certified check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Walt via e-mail or by phone at 1-847-721-8319 (Central time).

WMD: Weapon of Mass Destruction!

Walt, a long time BAA friend and an IPT veteran as well, is the inventor of the Better Beamer Flash Extender, the very first BAA mail order item. When it comes to taking care of his gear, Walt is fastidious.
The 600 II is the state of the art super-telephoto for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports. If I can get it to a location, it is my go-to weapon. It is fast and sharp and deadly alone or with either TC. With a new one going for $11,499, you can save a cool $2,005.00 by grabbing Walt’s might-as-well-be-new lens right now.
artie



Booking.Com

Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

More on the 1DX II and Me Questions

Lots of folks have been asking what happened to my 5D Mark IV bodies 🙂

Mark Harrington
January 13, 2018 at 10:45 am

Artie, are you giving up on the 5D Mk IV?

Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
January 13, 2018 at 3:11 pm

Hi Mark, Good question but not at all. Canon replaced my oil spattered 1DX II with a new one. I had my first oil spatter on the brand new body after 18 frames … I want to use it to see how bad it gets. There is, however, no denying the killer AF. And the frame rate is addictive … But the 5D Mark IV image files are clearly superior. Lots more on the 1DX II soon.

with love, artie

Via e-mail from Hossam Sadak:

Happy New year and hope all is well.I have been following your blog for a long time, and am a big fan. I noticed your comments re: oil spatter on sensor of your 1DX II, and your switch to the 5DIV (two for the price of one 1DxII!). I recently traded in my 1DX and bought my second 5DIV during the holiday sales because I found oil spatter issues with my 1DX and after four tries with Canon, I was not happy with the results.

I now see that you are posting images with 1DX II on the blog. Are you back to the 1DxII? What about the 5DIV?

Thanks
Hossam

My Revised Reply

Hi Hossam, Thanks for writing. I had heard of oil spatter problems with some 1DX bodies but fortunately never experienced it myself. Canon replaced my badly oil spattered 1DX II with a new one. I had my what I assumed to be the first oil spatter on the brand new body after 18 frames … I want to keep using it to see how bad it gets. There is, however, no denying the killer AF and with what I understand to be more battery power allotted to AF, the AF system does perform superbly. And the frame rate is addictive … But the 5D Mark IV image files are clearly superior. Lots more on the 1DX II soon.

with love, artie

Brown-Pelican-Pacific-race-head-throw-_J1I9886--La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created on morning of Saturday, January 13 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 328mm), and the blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/10. AWB at 8:37am on a clear morning.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: +2.

The AF Area Selection Mode for this image is classified information. You can likely figure it out if you study the DPP 4 screen capture below.

Brown Pelican, Pacific race in pre-breeding plumage, head throw

Success with Action

Saturday was a great morning for heads throws so I concentrated on them. With only a few birds up top, things were easier than normal; isolating single birds was a snap and you did not have to guess which one out of 25 was gonna do a head throw next; there were only three or four candidates. 🙂

DPP-4-head-throw

DPP 4 Screen Capture for Brown Pelican head throw

Be sure to click on the image to see the larger size with more histogram detail.

The DPP 4 Screen Capture for Today’s Featured Image

Note the pretty darned good early morning light histogram, again reflected in the red-rich RGB values: R=241, G=232, B=215. The active AF points are illuminated in red. Lastly, note that I cropped with the 2X3 proportion pre-set from the bottom right to the upper left to tighten up the image design.

The Image Optimization

After converting the image in DPP 4 I brought the TIF into Photoshop and and executed the 2X3 crop mentioned above. I have rarely been using my Nik Color Efex Pro Detail Extractor/Tonal Contrast recipes lately but this image needed it; my 30/30 recipe did a good job with the darker tones of the bill pouch and the inside of the bill pouch. The WHITEs got a bit dark so I erased the effect there with the addition of a Regular Layer Mask.

DBII-cover

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II) will teach you an efficient Mac or PC/Photo Mechanic/Photoshop workflow that will make it easy for you to make your images better in Photoshop (rather than worse). That true whether you convert your images in DPP 4 or ACR. See the blog post here to learn lots more and to read a free excerpt.

You can order your copy from the BAA Online Store here, by sending a Paypal for $40 here, or by calling Jim or Jennifer weekdays at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II)

Your guessed it, everything mentioned above (and tons more) is covered in detail in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. Learn more and check out the free excerpt in the blog post here. While the new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow, folks using a PC and/or BreezeBrowser will also benefit greatly by studying the material on DB II. Do note that you will find the RGB Curves Adjustment Color Balancing tutorial only in the new e-guide. Note: folks working on a PC and/or those who do not want to miss anything Photoshop may wish to purchase the original Digital Basics along with DB II while saving $15 by clicking here to buy the DB Bundle.

The two most recent and many of the older MP4 Photoshop Tutorial videos releases go hand and hand with the information in DB II):

  • The Wingtip Repairs MP4 Video here.
  • The MP4 Crow Cleanup Video here.

Folks who learn well by following along rather than by reading can check out the complete collection of MP 4 Photoshop Tutorial Videos by clicking here.

You can learn how and why I and other discerning Canon shooters convert nearly all of their Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here. And you can learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair. Folks can learn sophisticated sharpening and (NeatImage) Noise Reduction techniques in the The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.






Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, 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 please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

Facebook

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

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 :).

January 14th, 2018

La Jolla Photography Cautions and Lessons. And Another Perfect, Boring Vertical Pelican Portrait, This One Made with the Hand Held 100-400 II, the 1.4X III TC, and the Canon 1DX II

Stuff

After a very long day on Friday I managed to stay awake until 9:30pm Pacific time. I slept until a bit after four. I am getting more efficient with my 8 Postural Restoration exercises; they took only 48 minutes early on Saturday morning. I had a great morning with the pelicans — La Jolla is one of my favorite places in the world to photograph. Then I walked from the cliffs to the Green Patch and back up the hill, about 1 1/2 miles in all. Then back to the room for lunch, more exercise, working on photos and blog posts, and answering e-mails. One NFL playoff game down, three to go. I meet the first San Diego IPT group on Sunday evening. There is still an opening or two on the 2nd San Diego IPT.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred sixty-seven days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 90 minutes to prepare including the time spent optimizing the image. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.



Booking.Com

Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

1DX II and Me Question

Lots of folks have been asking what happened to my 5D Mark IV bodies 🙂

Mark Harrington
January 13, 2018 at 10:45 am

Artie, are you giving up on the 5D Mk IV?

Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
January 13, 2018 at 3:11 pm

Hi Mark, Good question but not at all. Canon replaced my oil spattered 1DX II with a new one. I had my first oil spatter on the brand new body after 18 frames … I want to use it to see how bad it gets. There is, however, no denying the killer AF. And the frame rate is addictive … But the 5D Mark IV image files are clearly superior. Lots more on the 1DX II soon.

with love, artie

Brown-Pelican-Pacific-race-pre-breeding_J1I9658--La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created on morning of Saturday, January 13 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 560mm), and the blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 250. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/320 sec. at f/9. AWB at 7:47am on a clear morning.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: +5.

Upper Large Zone/AI Servo/Surround/Shutter button AF as framed; the system performed perfectly by activating an array of four AF points centered on the red of the bill pouch, right on the same plane as the bird’s eye. As seen in the DPP 4 screen capture below

Brown Pelican, Pacific race in pre-breeding plumage

La Jolla Photography Cautions and Lessons

As you approach the pelicans before the sun comes over the big hill to your right, you must stay to the right side of the cliff. You must move very slowly. You must carry your tripod in front of you not on your shoulder. If you opt not to follow these cautions, you will usually scare all or most of the roosting pelicans. If you are working the birds on the lower cliff, everything above goes double when you get to the right hand edge of the upper cliff. Whatever you do, be sure to stay to your right until about 7:30 or so. This will leave lots of room for incoming pelicans to land. In short order, you can practically pet the birds. Unless you have scared them all away by being careless.

On my first morning in San Diego this year, I was halfway down to the lower cliffs trying to isolate single pelicans from a crowd of about 15 birds when suddenly most of them flew away. A photographer who I have seen before but did not know had come walking down the cliff as if she were in a big hurry. With her tripod on her shoulder … When I explained to her that she had just scared most of the birds away by approaching too quickly she said, “The pelicans were very tame the other day.” I explained that folks need to take extreme care when approaching the birds early in the day. I continued to work the remaining pelicans on the low cliff and ten minutes later when I turned around the cliff was overrun with photographers none of who had stayed to the right. I was lucky in that there were a few good looking, nicely positioned pelicans up top; I had a great morning.

Note that my 600II, my 500 II, and my 400 DO II were all safely in the trunk of my rental car while I went with the 100-400 II. Working without a tripod allows me to move around easily on the cliffs and to to stay low and get close. With the 1.4TC in place I have full frame range of from 140 to 560mm. And in the low light before the sun hits the bird the four-stop IS works well allowing me to create sharp images at 560mm with shutter speeds down to 1/60 second. I am working on a great new head throw AF technique and created many nice ones in that category. But the boring image above was my favorite from the session. Keep reading to learn why.

Another Perfect, Boring Vertical Pelican Portrait

The possibility of creating images like this has been bringing me (and countless others) to San Diego in winter for about three decades.

Your Thoughts?

Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on this image, the good and the bad.

My Thoughts

I love this image. It excites me. I especially love the rich, warm light, and the gorgeous white-naped bird. I love that I was working right on sun angle; this allowed the bird to be evenly lit. I love the framing and the sharpness. I love the distant Pacific-blue background. And I love the perfect head angle, two degrees toward us. What’s not to love? Actually, not a lot. On an ideal day, however, the ocean would have been calmer; this would likely have eliminated the darker water in the lower fifth of the frame, that a result of swells growing in size as waves approached the cliff.

Super Fine-Point Question …

Is there a possible way that I could have eliminated the darker water at the bottom of the frame in the field? Actually there are two ways ..

DPP-4-Br-Pelican-white-neck-VERT

DPP 4 Screen Capture for Brown Pelican, Pacific race in pre-breeding plumage

The DPP 4 Screen Capture for Today’s Featured Image

Note the perfect early morning light histogram reflected in the red-rich RGB values: R=241, G=232, B=215. And note why I love Large Zone AF for verticals.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.






Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, 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 please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

Facebook

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

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 :).

January 13th, 2018

More Mist, and a Nice Relationship With a Tiny Tree

Stuff

I woke at 2:56am Mountain time on Friday, finished yesterday’s blog post, did my Postural Restoration exercises for 1 hour, 14 minutes, threw all of my stuff in the car half packed, grabbed some breakfast, and headed back to the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch for sunrise and arrived a bit late at 7:00am. I finished up by 8:30am, packed my Think Tank bag in the parking lot at the preserve, filled the tank of my rental car, re-packed my two checked bags in the parking lot at Desert Hand Therapy, and was early to my last-for-now therapy session.

After my session with Amy and John I headed to the PHX Rental Car Center. I was amazed that folks flying Southwest can check their bags on the main floor of the facility without having to lug them on the rental car shuttle bus! How convenient; just another reason to love SW.

I did have time during my long and busy Friday to reply to all of the comments left at yesterday’s A Perfect Dramatic Fire in the Mist Image. Made With Lots Of Skill, Vision, and Creativity. And Even More Luck! … blog post here.

I started work on this blog post at the gate for my 3:15 flight to San Diego. And finished it early Saturday morning in San Diego.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred sixty-six days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about an hour to prepare including the time spent optimizing the image. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.



Booking.Com

Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

Great-Blue-Heron-and-tiny-mesquiute-tree-_J1I9300--Gilbert-Water-Ranch,-Phoenix,-AZ

This image was created on morning of Friday, January 12 at the Gilbert Water Ranch in Phoenix, AZ. I used the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/1250 sec. at f/9. K7500 at 7:50am shooting into backlit mist.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -3.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Surround/Rear button AF on the base of the heron’s bill and release. Click here to see the last version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see the spectacular larger version.

Great Blue Heron and tiny mesquite tree

More Mist, and a Nice Relationship With a Tiny Tree

When I got to my Water Ranch sunrise location, there was no ground fog on the water as their had been the day before, despite the cool temps. As the sun rose it warmed the atmosphere things got very sweet with the backlit mist that developed as the sun rose behind the distant trees. I made lots of lovely silhouetted images of the Canada Geese and of this GBH but it took a while for the mist to develop and turn things orange-red and that dramatic lighting did not last very long.

For whatever reason or reasons, this bird had some sort of connection to the tree seedling as it stood in close proximity to it for well more than 45 minutes. (I was unsure that I used the word seedling correctly so I checked on line and found this at Merriam Webster.com this: a young tree before it becomes a sapling.) It was remarkable that the bird stood at right angles to the back of the camera on the exact same plane as what I believe to be a tiny mesquite for more than 15 minutes. The framing at 840mm was perfect but I did need to back away as far as I could from where I originally stood behind the bullrushes.

In this case f/9 was not leftover from having used the TC; I stopped down four clicks from wide open (f/5.6) for a bit more depth-of-field.

Your Thoughts?

  • 1-Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on this image, the good and the bad.
  • 2-Standing in the exact same spot with the same gear and using Rear button focus might there be an alternate image design?

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.






Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, 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 please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

Facebook

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

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 :).