September 2nd, 2014

Mommy, Why are Their Bills So Red?

Important “CBS This Morning” News Flash Update

Helen Hayes/Great Island Feature Re-scheduled.

The Helen Hays/Great Gull island feature that was slated to air this morning has–as per the e-mail below from CBS producer Alberto Moya–been tentatively re-scheduled to air tomorrow morning between 8:00 and 9am nationally on the “CBS This Morning” show. I do hope that it airs tomorrow; it will surely be worth waiting for. If it does not my understanding is that it will air this week.

E-mail from Alberto Moya:

Art – I apologize for the late heads up but my bosses have held up our profile of Helen and Gull Island. We’re going to try again for Wednesday’s broadcast. Sorry for the back and forth but that’s the way news works. Will keep u posted again tomorrow. A.

Important Bosque Festival of the Cranes Event Registration Notice

Registration for all Festival of the Cranes workshops, seminars and programs opens today only for Friends of Bosque members at at 9:00am MDT. That is 11:00am EDT. Please click here and read carefully to avoid missing out. Registration will be open to the public tomorrow, Wednesday September 3 at at 9:00am MDT (11:00am EDT). Please do not tarry as we expect all the BAA/A Creative Adventure sessions to sell out quickly, especially the early morning In-the-Field Workshops.

This Just In!

There are huge B&H discounts on most Canon lenses including and especially the super-telephotos. Click here to see the discounts and the amazingly low prices.

Here are some examples:

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens: $1000 off.

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens: $1000 off.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens: $700 off.

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens: $500 off.

Canon Extender EF 1.4X III: $50 off.

Canon Extender EF 2X III: $50 off.

The Streak Continues: 276

This blog was published just before 6:45am from my home in Indian Lake Estates, FL after another great night’s sleep. I will be here for the better part of the next ten weeks with no plane flights on the horizon until I fly to ABQ for a long stretch at Bosque. Then home for four days before heading to the Southern Ocean for a month on another great Cheeseman’s Expedition. Click here for info on this great trip and learn about joining the BAA group. This post, which took me more than 5 hours to prepare, makes 276 in a row.

As always, I would appreciate your using the BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases, using our Amazon logo-link for all of your household purchases, and visiting the BAA Online Store for your tripod, tripod head, LensCoat, miscellaneous, accessories, and eGuide purchases as well.


brown-pelican-scratching-_y7o3301-lajolla-ca

This image was created at 8:11am in full sun on last year’s Short Notice San Diego IPT with the hand held Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X). ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/4000 sec. at f/4.5 in Manual mode.

Central sensor/AI Servo/Surround Rear Focus AF as originally framed (see below) 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. See image next for the original capture.

Mommy, Why are Their Bills So Red?

At the height of breeding plumage, the Pacific race of Brown Pelican sports bright fire-engine red bill pouches with the lower mandible often olive or yellowish green. In short, they are spectacularly beautiful. Creating simple portraits or interesting behavioral studies all with backgrounds of distant Pacific Ocean blue is one photographic opportunity that everyone with a long lens should enjoy once in their lives. I have been photographing San Diego’s pelicans for well more than two decades and can’t wait to get back. If you like to join me see the info on the 2015 San Diego IPT below.

Precious one, the pelican’s bill and pouch colors as well as the dark chocolate feathers on the back of their heads and necks are a result of hormonal changes that take place during the breeding season.


brown-pelican-scratching-orig-_y7o3301-lajolla-ca

This JPEG represents the original image capture after the RAW conversion in DPP 4.0.

The Image Optimization

Image optimization was fairly straightforward. I converted the image in DPP 4.0 and fine-tuned the bill color with both color temperature and image color adjustments. The latter is new to DPP 4.0 and is pretty much identical to the HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminance) tab in Photoshop. Once in CS-6 I toned down the REDs that I had juiced up during the conversion a bit by adding 30 points of CYAN to the REDs via a Selective Color adjustment. A crop from above and left eliminated most of the out-of-focus pelican in the background and the Clone Stamp Tool did the job on the sliver that remained. Next came some Digital Eye Doctor work and the application of a Contrast Mask (Unsharp Mask at 15, 65. 0) on the face only. Then I boosted the saturation and darkened the golden yellow feathers of the top of the head slightly. All selections were made with the Quick Selection Tool. Next I used the Clone Stamp and Patch Tools along with the Spot Healing Brush to clean up some of the whitewash on the rock.

Things were looking good but I realized that I needed a bit more room in front of the bird. To lay the groundwork for doing that I first expanded the canvas in front of the bird with the Crop Tool love handle. Then I selected the area in front of the bill with the seldom-used Rectangular Marquee Tool, put that on its own layer, hit Control T for the Transform Tool, and stretched the selection judiciously. Very judiciously. The last thing that you want to do is ruin the image quality by stretching too few pixels over too large an area. I finished by warping the rock so that it looked more natural.

Image Optimization Question

Would you have cleaned all the whitewash on the rock near the tip of the bill? Why or why not?

Image Creation Questions

#1: Why didn’t I simply point my lens to the right to eliminate the out-of-focus pelican behind the subject and have more room in front of the bird?

#2: Had I been able to get lower, how would have helped the image?

The DPP RAW Conversion Guide

To learn why I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) to convert every image that I work on, click here. Coming soon: The DPP 4.0 RAW Conversion Guide by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris. The more that I use DPP 4.0 for my RAW conversions the more I am impressed with it. I will be putting in several more hours of work today editing and adding to our new eGuide. Note: at present, DPP 4.0 will work only with 1D X and 5D III images.

Digital Basics

Everything that I did to optimize today’s image is detailed 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, details on using all of my killer 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, Digital Eye Doctor, Tim Grey Dodge and Burn, 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 I. 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.


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/Openings: 7)

Meet and Greet after dinner on your own at 7:00pm on JAN 31

Join me in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red bill pouches; Brandt’s and Double-crested Cormorants in breeding plumage with their amazing crests; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Duck; other species possible inluding Lesser Scaup, Redhead, and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semiplamated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lions likely; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice landscape opportunities as well.

Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter?

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, five lunches, after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions, and two fine dinners. 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.


san-diego-card-b

Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings.

San Diego Natural History Museum Program & The Birds of the World Exhibit

On Saturday morning, February 7, 2015 I will be presenting “A Bird Photographer’s Story” at the San Diego Natural History Museum to kick off the Birds of the World photographic exhibit that will feature the images of about a dozen of the world’s top avian photographers. This program,which is being generously sponsored by the Canon Explorers of Light program, will be free and open to the public. I am proud to say that both Denise Ippolito and I will have images hanging in the show. The exhibit opening is scheduled for later that same day, February 7, 2015. (Times TBA).

Folks on the IPT who wish to stay over and attend the program and the exhibit opening on Saturday are invited to join me for a photo session on Friday morning as follows:

Friday Morning Add-on Photo Session: February 6, 2015: $299.

This workshop includes 3 hours of in-the-field pelican photography instruction and brunch with image review and Photoshop instruction. For now, this session is open only to folks attending the IPT.

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, ay, 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, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. :)

September 1st, 2014

Important CBS This Morning News Flash for Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Streak Continues: 275

This blog was published just after 5:30am from my home in Indian Lake Estates, FL after another great night’s sleep. I will be here for the better part of the next ten weeks with no plane flights on the horizon until I fly to ABQ for a long stretch at Bosque. Then home for four days before heading to the Southern Ocean for a month on another great Cheeseman’s Expedition. Click here for info on this great trip and learn about joining the BAA group. This post, which took me more than 2 1/2 hours to prepare, makes 275 in a row.

As always, I would appreciate your using the BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases, using our Amazon logo-link for all of your household purchases, and visiting the BAA Online Store for your tripod, tripod head, LensCoat, miscellaneous, accessories, and eGuide purchases as well.

This Just In!

There are huge B&H discounts on most Canon lenses including and especially the super-telephotos. Click here to see the discounts and the amazingly low prices.

Here are some examples:

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens: $1000 off.

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens: $1000 off.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens: $700 off.

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Lens: $500 off.

Canon Extender EF 1.4X III: $50 off.

Canon Extender EF 2X III: $50 off.

Festival of the Cranes Early Morning Photography In-the-Field Workshops Notice!

If you wish to guarantee a spot on one or more of the Festival of the Cranes Early Morning Photography In-the-Field Workshops it is imperative that you read the registration information below very carefully. Registration begins tomorrow for Friends of Bosque members only. See below for info on joining and registering early. We expect that all four sessions will fill quickly. Folks attending the Sunday session should consider the 2-DAY Creative Workshop as well as Denise and I still have a very few openings on that IPT.

Your Help Is Needed

Sales for the August, 2014 via our BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate links have been microscopically abysmal at best. If you need to purchase some new camera gear, please remember to use either our B&H logo link below or one of the product-specific links in the blog or the Bulletins. All should feel free to write me via e-mail for gear advice.


helen-hays

Helen Hays standing in one of the three GGI HQ doorways. The flowered straw hats (and other types of unique headgear) are designed to prevent scalp lacerations caused by terns defending their nest sites, eggs, and/or offspring.

Important “CBS This Morning” News Flash for Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Helen Hayes/Great Island Feature to Air

While I was on Great Gull Island this past July photographing Common and Roseate Terns as well B-roll GGI, a crew from CBS news showed up as scheduled to do a feature on Helen Hayes, now in her 47th year of studying the terns of GGI. The crew was made up of on-air talent/host Michelle Miller, producer Alberto Moya, videographer Paul Lederman, and talent acquisitions specialist (aka “talent scout”) Ginny de Liagre, nice folks all.

The feature on Helen will air nationally on “CBS This Morning” between 8:00 and 9:00am on Tuesday, September 2, 2014. Be sure to tune in or catch it on Tivo or whatever device you use to record TV shows. Helen’s dedication to the terns of GGI is unparalleled. My older daughter Jennifer worked on Great Gull for five summers and met her husband Erik there. As far as I know, the plan is to use six of my tern images in the feature.

Note: “CBS This Morning” airs from 7:00 to 9:00am. My understanding is that the GGI segment will air during the 2nd hour….


cbs-crew-on-ggi-_y7o4708-great-gull-island-project-ny

Clockwise from front left: with his back to the camera, tern researcher Ian Putnam, CBS talent scout Ginny de Liagre, producer Alberto Moya, videographer Paul Lederman, Helen Hays, feature host Michelle Miller, and Kendra Snyder, a public relations liaison from the American Museum of Natural History. AMNH owns Great Gull Island and the work there is done under the auspices of the museum. My interest in natural history was kindled on the many weekends that I spent walking the galleries of the museum as a young teen of about 13. My folks let me take the subway into the city. I’d start with what was then the Brighton Beach Express (now the Q train) and connect with what is now the C train….

The GGI Kitchen/Dining Room

The kitchen/dining room is one of four (relatively small) rooms in the Great Gull Island headquarters building. On my last visit, I learned that the floor is the original floor, circa the early 1900s as part of Fort Michie. Fort Michie was built in 1896 as part of the Harbor Defense of Long Island Sound.

Image Question

Why should I have created an HDR series for the image above?


cbs-videographer-paul-lederman_y7o4707-great-gull-island-project-ny

CBS videographer Paul Lederman filming the GGI HQ sign for B-roll.

My Right Shoulder

Whenever I see someone working with a huge video camera I quit feeling sorry for myself….

Thirty-one years of carrying a big lens on a tripod has taken a toll on my right shoulder. As regular readers know, I have been trying a variety of alternative methods of healing and pain relief. About six weeks ago I had stem cell/PRP/Prolozone injections in my right shoulder. While I do not quite have the hoped-for new shoulder yet, I have enjoyed great improvement. Before the treatment I had very limited range of motion and frequent sharp pain, and worst of all, when I swam, my shoulder always got worse. The more I swam, the worse the pain. Right now I have very close to complete range of motion with only a bit of tightness–and no pain. I have been easy-swimming between a half mile and a mile each day; when I get out of the pool, my shoulder feels better than when I got in the pool. No twinges while swimming and no pain afterwards. I am hoping to get another treatment on the right shoulder as well as one for my bone on bone left knee in the next week or two.

A while back, someone–a woman–I believe, wrote me asking about the stem cell/PRP treatment after I mentioned it on the blog. Though I spent a good deal of time searching for that e-mail, I have been unable to find it. If that was you, please get in touch again via e-mail.

bosque-2014-a-card

Get your butt on a plane and take advantage of some downright cheap instruction! Please click on the card to enjoy a larger version.

Festival of the Cranes Early Morning Photography In-the-Field Workshops

Festival of the Cranes Early Morning In-the-Field Photography Workshops: 5:50-10:30am. Limit 16. NOV 20/21/22 & 23: $125/session. Please see the important registration information below.

Join fulltime professional photographers Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART and Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure for four 1/2 hours of fun and learning at the refuge. You will learn how to create pleasingly blurred images in the low predawn light, to spot the good situations, to understand the effects of wind speed and direction on bird (especially in flight) photography, to photograph individual cranes in flight, to see and understand the light, to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, and to design pleasing images. In addition you will learn and live Artie’s early morning Bosque del Apache strategies, strategies based on over two decades of experience at the refuge. This is a caravan event and a refuge pass will be provided. Dress with layers for warmth and bring snacks and plenty of water. Workshop leaves sharply at 6:00 AM. This workshop is being offered on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Combining one or more all of the Early Morning Photography In-the-Field Workshops immediately above with the Bosque del Apache 2014 A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART “Creative Photography Instructional Photo-Tour” (IPT) immediately below and/or the Bosque del Apache Photography Two-Part Seminar (scroll down for details) is a fabulous and economical way to maximize your educational and photographic opportunities on a 2014 Bosque visit. Why not take advantage of these great relatively inexpensive events and learn from two of the world’s most talented, most creative, most caring, and most respected photographic educators, educators with a combined 26 years of Bosque experience?

Please note: the 4-DAY Bosque del Apache 2014 BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure IPT (NOV 29–afternoon photo session through DEC 3–morning session is sold out with a waiting list as is the BIRDS AS ART Bosque del Apache/Canon EOS Destination Workshop (DEC 5-7, 2014).


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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.

Get Out of Your Box!

The Creative Bosque IPT is perfect for folks who want to learn to think outside the box, to create new and different images. This workshop is the perfect add-on for folks who are planning on attending the Festival of the Cranes. Learn to unleash your creative juices at the wondrous Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in San Antonio, New Mexico with two great leaders including the amazingly talented and creative Denise Ippolito. In-the-field instruction will include tips on gear set-up, on creating a variety of pleasing blurs, on getting the right exposure, and on designing pleasing images. And lots more. From vertical pan blurs to subject motion blurs to zoom blurs to multiple exposures we will cover it all. If conditions are perfect, we will not hesitate to take advantage of them to do some traditional bird photography. This workshop will include an inspirational introductory slide program on Sunday evening, 11/23, after dinner on your own, two morning and two afternoon photography sessions, all lunches, a digital workflow and Photoshop session after lunch on Monday, and an image critiquing session after lunch on Tuesday.

A $329 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 7/25/2014. 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 (made out to “Arthur Morris.”) You can also leave your deposit with a credit card by calling the office at 863-692-0906. 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.


bosque-card

It’s been a 20+ year love affair….

“Love Affair with Bosque.” Sponsored by Canon. Friday, NOV 21, 2014; 1:00 to 2:40pm. Free, at the Bodega Restaurant, Socorro.

A slide program by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Limit 200. Please see the important registration information below.

Arthur Morris first visited Bosque del Apache Refuge in December, 1992 while on sabbatical with his late-wife Elaine. While leading his first Bosque del Apache photographic workshop in December, 1994, quite soon after Elaine’s death, he created two iconic Bosque images. His “Blizzard in Blue” was honored in the prestigious 1998 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. “Fire in the Mist” was similarly honored in the 2001 BBC competition and soon thereafter was featured as wrap-around cover art on the coffee table book, Life on the Earth, a celebration of 30 years of the best images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competitions. Those two images laid the foundation for his more than two decade love affair with the refuge. He has returned every year since then at the Thanksgiving season while leading BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours. In addition, he has two February visits along with two September visits, the latter visits in conjunction with the Bosque del Apache Open Windows Volunteer Program that he founded. Join us for Artie’s photographic celebration of his “Love Affair with Bosque.”

Finally, the Important Registration Information :)

Warning: if you do not read this information carefully you will likely screw up and experience some degree of disappointment. Forewarned is forearmed (praemonitus, praemunitus in Latin).

The best way to register for one or more of the Festival of the Cranes Early Morning Photography In-the-Field Workshops, the Bosque del Apache Photography Two-Part Seminar, and/or the free “Love Affair with Bosque” program is to use the registration button at http://www.festivalofthecranes.com.

Here’s the rub: Online early registration for Friends of the Bosque members only will begin on Tuesday September 2, 2014 at 9:00 AM (MDT). Non-member online registration will begin a day later on Wednesday September 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM (MDT). E-mail confirmation of your registration, your receipt and your schedule will be sent automatically when you register online. Your schedule will be your ticket.

What to do?

If you wish to be assured of registering for the events that you wish to attend I recommend strongly that you click here right now and become a member of The Friends of the Bosque. Friends of the Bosque is a non-profit group that was organized in 1993 to support the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and to promote appreciation and conservation of wildlife and habitat through environmental education and natural history experiences. I have been a member for many years. Joining the Friends group now will ensure that you can take advantage of the priority registration process that is reserved that is for their valued members on September 2 at 9:00am Mountain Daylight Time. Learn more about Friends of the Bosque here.

After you join, set your alarm to ring at 8:55am Mountain Daylight Time on September 2, 2014. As you might surmise, we expect that all three festival events will sell out quickly.

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, ay, 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, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. :)

August 31st, 2014

Flowers and Trees Three Ways...

The Streak Continues: 274

This blog was published just after 8:00am from my home in Indian Lake Estates, FL after a great night’s sleep. I will be here for the better part of the next ten weeks with no plane flights on the horizon until I fly to ABQ for a long stretch at Bosque. Then home for four days before heading to the Southern Ocean for a month on another great Cheeseman’s Expedition. Click here for info on this great trip and learn about joining the BAA group. This post, which took me more than 2 1/2 hours to prepare, makes 274 in a row.

As always, I would appreciate your using the BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases, using our Amazon logo-link for all of your household purchases, and visiting the BAA Online Store for your tripod, tripod head, LensCoat, miscellaneous, accessories, and eGuide purchases as well.

Your Help Is Needed

Sales for the August, 2014 via our BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate links have been microscopically abysmal at best. If you need to purchase some new camera gear, please remember to use either our B&H logo link below or one of the product-specific links in the blog or the Bulletins. All should feel free to write me via e-mail for gear advice.


daffodil-field-wind-blur-_a1c4220-keukenhof-lisse-holland

This image was created on a mostly sunny morning on last spring’s Tulips and a Touch of Holland IPT near the famed Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, Holland (The Netherlands) with the Gitzo GT1542T Tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 50. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops as framed: 1/8 sec. at f/45 in Tv Mode. Color temperature: 5000K.

Central sensor/AI Servo/Surround Rear Focus AF 1/3 of the way into the frame before the pano crop and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Daffodil Field Wind Blur

What to Do When the Wind Blows Hard?

When it is really blowing hard make soup from a stone by thinking slow shutter speeds and wind blurs. With daffodils being far less substantial structurally than tulips they were an obvious choice for blowin’ in the wind images. In addition to the wind blur I added a bit of Denise Ippolito’s shiver technique to create the image above.

On Learning to Be More Creative

If you missed the guest blog post by Mike Gotthelf, be sure to click here.


tulip-fields-horizontal-pan-blur-_a1c5382-keukenhof-lisse-holland

This image was created on the cloudy bright morning of April 20, 2014 on last spring’s Tulips and a Touch of Holland IPT in tulip fields near the famed Keukenhof Gardens, Lisse, Holland (The Netherlands) with the Gitzo GT1542T Tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 50. Evaluative metering +1 stop as framed: .6 sec. at f/64 in Tv Mode. Color temperature: AWB.

Central sensor/AI Servo/Surround Rear Focus AF 1/3 of the way into the frame before the small crop from the top, re-compose left, and then panned horizontally. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Tulip Field Horizontal Pan Blur

Eye Candy

With access to so many multi-colored tulip fields each featuring row upon row of tulips in full bloom in an astounding variety of bright colors, creative folks immediately think of creating horizontal pan blurs with intermediate and long focal length lenses. Set your lowest ISO and a small aperture so that you come up with a slow shutter speed, check the exposure by via the RGB histogram, set the focus, and then pan the lens horizontally. Make lots of images while varying both your panning speeds and your framing.


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This image was created a cloudy afternoon on a failed scouting trip for Purple Heron before the start of last spring’s Tulips and a Touch of Holland IPT with the Gitzo GT1542T Tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 50. Evaluative metering +1 stop as framed: .6 sec. at f/64 in Tv Mode. Color temperature: AWB.

Central sensor/AI Servo/Surround Rear Focus AF on the base of the trees, recomposed up, and then panned down vertically. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #3: Marsh and Distant Trees/Vertical Pan Blur

The Trick to Creating Successful Vertical Pan Blurs

In most instances, creating successful vertical pan blurs is a lot more difficult and requires a lot more practice than creating horizontal pan blurs. Why the difference? With vertical pan blurs the panning rate and the timing of the shutter release have a much greater influence on the framing of the vertical elements in the image. You are looking for a clean strip above the vertical elements and a clean strip below. Horizontal pan blurs are usually pure pattern blurs; the panning rate determines only the degree of blurring and usually has nothing to do with the framing and image design. Likewise when you are dealing with pure patterns the shutter release has little to do with the framing and image design.

For a spectacular example of a vertical pan blur with a clean lower edge, click here.


guide-to-pleasing-blurs

Learn the secrets of creating contest winning images in our “A Gulide to Pleasing Blurs.”

A Guide to Pleasing Blurs

Pleasing Blurs are not accidents. Learn pretty much everything that there is about creating them in our A Guide to Pleasing Blurs by Denise Ippolito and yours truly.


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The Art of Flower Photography, a 203 page eBook/a link to the PDF will be sent via e-mail: $29.00.

The Art of Flower Photography

Click here if you missed the recent eBook announcement.

Ken Kovak: I have been working my way through the “Art of Flower Photography” and it is both a feast for the eyes and quite informative.

Art Buesing: Artie and Denise have outdone themselves with “The Art of Flower Photography.” Gorgeous photos with careful explanations of the production techniques for camera and computer. A valuable addition to my photography library!


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Denise and artie hope that you can join them next spring in Holland and learn to improve both the technical and creative aspects of your flower (and street) photography.


7 1/2-Day/8-Night: A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART/Tulips & A Touch of Holland Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)

Keukenhof—Delft—Amsterdam–Flower Fields—Kinderdijk
April 9 -April 16, 2015: $4995. Limit: 12 photographers/Openings 10. Four more to make the trip a go.

This trip needs 6 registrants to run so please do not purchase your plane tickets until you hear from us that the trip is a go.

Join Denise Ippolito, the author of “Bloomin’ Ideas,” and Arthur Morris, Canon Explorer of Light Emeritus, for a great trip to Holland in mid-April 2015. Day 1 of the IPT will be April 9, 2015. We will have a short afternoon get-together and then our first photographic session at the justly-famed Keukenhof. Our last day, Day 8, April 16 will be a full day of photography.

The primary subjects will be tulips and orchids at Keukenhof and the spectacularly amazing tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulb fields around Lisse and points north. We will spend one full day in Amsterdam. There will be optional visits to the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House and/or the Rijk’s Museum. Street photography and sightseeing will be other options. We will spend a half day at Kinderdijk where we will be photographing the windmills and doing some creative photography. We will spend an afternoon in the lovely Dutch town of Delft where we will do some street photography and shopping. There is an optional church tower tour/climb. We will also enjoy a superb fine dining experience in a traditional restaurant.

Other than the arrival date: April 9, Day 1, and the date of our last day of photography on April 16, Day 8, there is no set itinerary. We will check the weather and play everything by ear to maximize the photographic opportunities. We will try to do Amsterdam, Delft, and especially Kinderdijik, on cloudy days.

There are several huge pluses to this trip. First off, denise is an amazingly skilled and caring instructor. Both her creativity and her willingness to share and to help beginning and intermediate photographers are unmatched. And though artie has learned a ton about flower photography from denise, their styles and techniques do vary considerably. You will have a chance to be counseled by and to learn from both of them. While denise will hunt you down to help you, artie’s teaching style is more “the closer you stay to me, the more you will learn.” Both leaders consistently inspire the participants. And each other. The sky, of course, is the limit.

You will learn to create tight abstracts, how best to use depth-of-field (or the lack thereof) to improve your flower photography, how to get the right exposure and make sharp images every time, how to see the best shot, and how to choose the best perspective for a given situation. And you will of course learn to create a variety of pleasingly blurred flower images. If you bring a long lens, you will learn to use it effectively for flower photography. Denise’s two favorite flower lenses are the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. Mine are the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS macro , the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens ,and the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, all almost always on a tripod. Often with extension tubes and/or either the 1.4X or the 2X (with the 300 II) teleconverters. Denise hand holds a great deal of the time. For flower field blurs denise uses the same lenses mentioned above along with her new 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III lens. Artie’s favorite is that same 70-200 often with a 1.4X TC but he uses both the new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens and the 300 II as well. Both of us use and love the Canon EOS 5D Mark III for all of our flower photography. The in-camera HDR and Multiple Exposure features are a blast.

One of the great advantages of our trip is that we will be staying in a single, strategically located hotel that is quite excellent. Do note that all ground transfers to and from Schipol Airport will be via the free hotel shuttle bus.

What’s included: Eight hotel nights. All ground transportation except for airport transfers as noted above. In-the-field instruction and small group image review and Photoshop sessions. All meals from dinner on Day 1 through dinner on Day 8. There is good food at the hotel and we will be dining there on occasion; whenever you order off the menu be it at the hotel or at another restaurant only the cost of your main course is included. On these occasions the cost of soups, appetizers, salads, sodas and other beverages, alcoholic drinks and wine, bottled water, and desserts are not included. Snacks, personal items, phone calls, etc. are also not included. The cost of bus or train transportation to and from Amsterdam (about $20 US), museum entry, and tower and church entry fees (optional) are likewise not included.

Beware of seemingly longer, slightly less expensive tours that include travel days and days sitting in the hotel doing nothing as part of the tour. In addition, other similar trips have you changing hotels often and needlessly. One final note on other similar trips: the instructors on this trip actually instruct. On other similar trips the instructors, though usually imminently qualified, serve for the most part as van drivers and van door openers.

A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 per person is required to hold your spot. The second payment of $2,000 due by October 30, 2014. The balance is due on January 15, 2015. Payments in full are of course welcome at any time. All payments including the deposit must be by check made out to “Arthur Morris.” As life has a way of throwing an occasional curve ball our way, you are urged to purchase travel insurance within 15 days of our cashing your check. Artie uses and recommends Travel Insurance Services. All payments are non-refundable unless the trip fills to capacity. In that case, all payments but your deposit will be refunded. If the trip does not run every penny will of course be refunded. Again, please do not purchase your air tickets until you hear from us that the trip is a go. We are very confident that it will.

All checks should be made out to “Arthur Morris” and sent to: Arthur Morris, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. Call Jim or Jen in the BAA office with any additional registration questions: 863-692-0906.

For couples or friends signing up at the same time for the tulip trip, a $200/duo discount will be applied to the final payment.

When you send your deposit check, please print, sign, and include the paperwork here.

If you have any questions on the trip please contact artie by e-mail or denise by e-mail.

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