July 31st, 2014

I Am Not Very Good At Mini-Landscapes/What's Different?

The Streak Continues: 243

This post was published just after 7:00am from my Mom’s home in Holbrook, NY. I had the chance to leave Great Gull Island a day early and having done so well there, I hit the road. I made the 4:00pm New London/Orient Point ferry without a reservation with one minute to spare. I was the last car on the boat. Lucky, lucky! This post, which took me more than 2 hours to prepare, marks 243 consecutive days with a new enjoyable and educational blog post.

With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links, why quit now? April, May, June, and July have been fantastic as lots of folks are getting the message; using my affiliate links does not cost you a penny and helps support my efforts here. To show your appreciation, I do ask that you use our B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. 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 and tested, and know that you can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know the tools that you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

You can find the following items in the store: Gitzo tripods, Mongoose M3.6 and Wimberley heads, plates, low feet, and accessories, flash brackets, , Delkin e-film Pro Compact Flash Cards, LensCoat products, and our unique line-up of educational materials including ABP I & II, Digital Basics, Site and Set-up e-Guides, Canon and Nikon Camera Users and AF e-Guides, and MP-4 Photoshop video tutorials among others.

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 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 visiting the BAA Online store as well.

Used Photography Gear

Sales continue at a ridiculous pace. After selling two 300 IIs and a 500 II over the weekend, Steve Ellis’s used Nikkor 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 G ED VR lens sold yesterday. There are still some great lenses and an EOS-1D Mark III listed. You can see what is available by clicking here. I will be adding a new item or two later today and there is a chance that there will be a 400 II coming up soon….

New Listing: Used Canon EF 100-400 f 4.5-5.6 L IS Lens

Bruce Boswell is offering a used Canon EF 100-400 f 4.5-5.6 L IS lens in very good condition for $999 plus insured shipping via UPS Ground to US Continental addresses only. The tripod and zoom rings have a few minor blemishes. The sale includes: the original case, the front and rear caps, the lens hood, and the lens manual. Your gear will be shipped only after your check clears.

Please contact Bruce via e-mail ourpals5@msn.com or by phone at (309) 451-1506 or (309) 530-8493 (cell) (Central).

The 100-400 is a versatile intermediate telephoto zoom lens with 1,000+ uses. This one is priced to sell.


flower-beds-_a1c3986-keukenhof-lisse-holland

This image was created at 8:51am on April 14, 2014 on the Tulips/A Touch of Holland IPT with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens (at 67mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/40 sec. at f/9 in Av mode. Color temperature: 5000K.

I used the Gitzo 3530 LS tripod with the Giottos MH 1302-655 (Tiny) BallHead. Wimberley P-5 camera body plate. Live View (for mirror lock-up) with the 2-second self timer.

AI Servo Rear Focus AF on the corner of the barn and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Central sensor/AI Servo/Surround Rear Focus AF on point of the V of the pink flower bed and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

I Am Not Very Good At Mini-Landscapes…

Though I like the optimized image above, I must admit to not being very good at creating mini-landscapes at Keukenhoff Gardens in Lisse, Holland, The Netherlands. We arrive very early and get right into the gardens so that we can lessen the chance of having people in the images. Another problem that we all face is the fact that there may be signs, benches, or lampposts in your images. At times you can hide such distractions behind a cooperative tree by moving your tripod left or right a bit, that is, by choosing the very best perspective…. I also find it hard to know just where to cut the inevitable tree trunks….

What Do You Think?

Do you like this image? Why or why not?

What’s Different?

Take a close look at the animated GIF above. How many differences can you see in the original images and the optimized image? As almost always I used the Clone Stamp Tool, the Spot Healing Brush, and a series of small Quick Masks for the image clean-up. I did extensive work with the Clone Stamp Tool (S) always using Denise Ippolito’s Protective Cloning on a Layer technique where you add a Layer Mask to touch up the Clone Stamp Work that you did on a new layer.

Can you find the person that was cloned out? Can you find the sign that was cloned out? What other changes can you spot? There are lots of them?

The DPP RAW Conversion Guide

To learn why I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) 3.14 to convert every image that I work on, click here.

Digital Basics

Everything that I did to optimize today’s images are 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, 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, my killer image clean-up techniques, Digital Eye Doctor, creating time-saving actions, and lots 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 863-221-2372 on Tuesday to order.

Facebook

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


holland-2015-card

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 IIIfor 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.

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 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. :)

July 30th, 2014

My Two Favorites From a 1362-Image Day on Great Gull Island...

The Streak Continues: 242

This post was published just before 5:45am from Great Gull Island Project, NY. As noted yesterday, strong NW winds in the morning found me at work at my laptop all morning before heading for another wonderful midday swim. The afternoon was again quite excellent but I lost the last hour of golden light and blue water that I had enjoyed on Tuesday. It is still this morning with a gentle breeze from the east northeast, in other words, perfect for bird photography. I am going to head for the western end of the island in an attempt to photograph some of the large flocks of terns feeding. This post, which took me more than 2 1/2 hours to prepare, marks 242 consecutive days with a new enjoyable and educational blog post.

With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links, why quit now? April, May, June, and July have been fantastic as lots of folks are getting the message; using my affiliate links does not cost you a penny and helps support my efforts here. To show your appreciation, I do ask that you use our B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. 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 and tested, and know that you can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know the tools that you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

You can find the following items in the store: Gitzo tripods, Mongoose M3.6 and Wimberley heads, plates, low feet, and accessories, flash brackets, , Delkin e-film Pro Compact Flash Cards, LensCoat products, and our unique line-up of educational materials including ABP I & II, Digital Basics, Site and Set-up e-Guides, Canon and Nikon Camera Users and AF e-Guides, and MP-4 Photoshop video tutorials among others.

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 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 visiting the BAA Online store as well.


common-tern-braking-to-land_y7o3728-great-gull-island-project-ny

This image was created on the evening of July 28 at 7:20pm on Great Gull Island when a huge dark cloud covered the sun. I used the hand held Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 2/3 stops off the very light blue sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode. AWB.

One sensor below the central sensor AI Servo/Center Zone AF caught the bird’s right foot and again the eye was very sharp. Again, AF was active at the moment of exposure. Click on the image to see a larger version.

My Two Favorite Images From a 1362 Image Day on Great Gull Island…

As I mentioned yesterday, Monday afternoon past was positively magical. I did a lot of flight photography and with the last half hour of golden light, tried a new spot at the eastern end of the island that proved to be fantastic as I had imagined the previous evening. I started at abut 5:00pm, earlier than I had previously; that gave me time to explore some new areas that panned out quite nicely.

Seeing the Situation

Each of these images was made possible only because I recognized the potential of the two completely different situations and realized the possibilities. While it is possible to learn to do that by studying the blog every day, the very best way to do that is to join an IPT. Learn more and commit to become a better photographer today by clicking here.


common-tern-taking-flight-_y5o3126-great-gull-island-project-ny

This image was created with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop as originally framed (this is a small crop): 1/1000 sec. at f/4 in Av mode. AWB.

Though 61-Point Automatic Selection/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF activated a single point well below the bird’s neck the image was very sharp on the eye. AF was of course active at the moment of exposure. Learn everything that I know about the great AF systems of the 1D X and 5D III 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 the 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.

Funny How Some Things Never Change…

In The original The Art of Bird Photography I wrote something to the effect that my two favorite backgrounds were distant out-of-focus green vegetation and still blue water lit by richly colored light….

Av Mode

I was in Av mode for the second image because some of the rock perches were in the shade while others were lit by warm evening light. Working in Av mode let me adjust quickly by adding 2/3 stop of light for the birds in the sun or 1 or 1 1/3 stop of light for the birds in the shade among the white rocks. As I have said many times, sometimes Av mode is faster and more efficient.

Image Questions

What is the one thing that bugs me in one of the two images? What would I have preferrred?

What are the strong points of each image? Any weaknesses?

Which is the two images is your favorite and why?

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20% plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advise, usually sells in no time flat.

In the past few days BAA has sold two 300mm f/2.8L IS lenses and a 500mm f/4L IS II, all in near mint condition. No matter your budget or your focal length needs there is a great lens for you below.

Used Gear Caution

Though I am not in a position to post images of gear for sale here or elsewhere, prospective buyers are encouraged to request for photos of the gear that they are interested in purchasing via e-mail. Doing so will help to avoid any misunderstandings as to the condition of the gear.

Used Canon 800mm f/56L IS USM Lens

Multiple IPT veteran and good friend Mike Gotthelf, is offering a used Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens in excellent + condition for $8850. The lens is like new except for some very minor wear on the finish. The sale includes the leather hood, the original hard case and key, a low foot, a LensCoat, and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; your new lens will be shipped only after your check clears.

This great lens, my favorite for 3 years, sells new at B&H for $13,999.00. B&H is asking $11,399.95 for a used one here in the same condition as Mike’s. They recently dropped their price for this lens from $11,999.90…. Buy Mike’s lens and save $2456.95 right now! It will save you a ton of dough and you will have a super-sharp lens with lots of reach. And it works great with a 1.4X TC too with all pro bodies and with the 5D Mark III.

Interested folks can contact Mike via e-mail or by phone at (978)-407-0679 (eastern time).

Used Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Chris Callahan is offering a used Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens in good to very good condition for $900. There is some wear on the finish. The sale includes the heavy duty fabric carrying case that is moderately worn, the tripod ring (tripod collar), and the rear cap. The seller will pay insured UPS shipping within continental US. The lens will ship after the check clears.

Please contact Chris via e-mail or by phone at 1-850-516-7155 (eastern time).

I have long recommended this lens as the best Canon bird photography starter lens, a clear choice over my old “toy lens,” the 400mm f/5.6L. Why? It is faster at f/4. It has IS. And it autofocuses with a 7D and a 1.4X teleconverter. The 300 f/4 L IS has great close focus making it great for frogs, butterflies, medium-sized and large flowers, and large insects like dragonflies. It is a great flight lens either alone or with the 1.4X TC. And it is deadly sharp. It is great on a tripod with the Mongoose M3.6.

Used Nikkor 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 G ED VR Lens

Steve Ellis is offering a used Nikkor 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 G ED VR lens in excellent condition for $699. The lens has some very minor wear on the finish. The sale includes the original box, soft case, manual, lens hood, front and rear caps a Hoya HMC UV filter, and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; the lens will be shipped only after your check clears.

Contact Steve via e-mail or call him at 203-292-3101 (EST time zone).

The 28-300 focal length range makes this lens very versatile. It is a great travel and B roll lens and a great lens to have at Bosque. It sells new at B&H for $1,046.95.

Used Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II Lens

Dale Lorenzen is offering a used Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens in nearly mint condition for $1850. It is like new with a small scratch on the hood. The sale includes the original box, the software CD, the carrying case, the tripod ring, and the front and rear caps. The seller will pay insured UPS shipping within continental US. The lens will ship after the check clears.

Please contact Dale via e-mail. At this give-away price, this lens should sell instantly.

As regular blog readers know full well, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens is one of my very favorite lenses. It is often the only other lens that I take into the field with my tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens. As above, I use it often to create small-in-the-frame or habitat images. I use it for flocks in flight at Bosque with either TC. I use it often to photograph family groups of birds or birds interacting at close range. I use it a ton for scenic images as I did with great success in the Palouse. And I use it either alone (see here) or with either TC to photograph birds in flight at close range. In short, the 70-200 II is an incredibly versatile hand holdable intermediate telephoto lens that offers me a focal length range of from 70 to 400mm.

Used Canon 400 DO IS USM Lens

Joe Messina is offering a used Canon 400 DO IS USM lens in very good ++ condition for $4200. There are some minor cosmetic scratches to the finish. The lens hood is slightly out of round and is difficult to install. The sale includes an AquaTech flexible strap-on hood, a $150 value. The sale also includes the lens trunk (with key), the original leather hood, and a hard plastic lens cap. The seller will pay insured UPS shipping within continental US. The lens will ship after the check clears.

Please contact Joe via e-mail or by phone at 415-563-6577.

If you are looking for a fast, lightweight, hand holdable telephoto lens, this is the lens for you. Learn a ton more about the 400 DO here and see lots of 400 DO images by visiting the “The Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO Lens: Fourteen Images that Prove that the Internet Experts are (As Usual) Idiots” blog post here. The lens sells new at B&H for $6499.00.

Used Canon EOS-1D Mark III

Michael Zajac is offering a Canon EOS-1D Mark III professional digital camera body in Excellent condition for $1250. The sale includes the battery charger, one battery, the original paperwork, the camera strap, the original box, and shipping to the continental US.

Please contact Michael via e-mail or by phone at 732-979 -6644. Photos are available upon request.

Some EOS-1D Mark III bodies originally had AF problems. Michael’s did not. I have seen his great flight images made with this camera. This body features a 1.3X crop factor sensor and is a great step-up for someone who wants to take a big step up from a 7D. It’s powerful battery drives AF much faster than the pro-sumer bodies especially with either a 1.4X or 2X teleconverter in place.

Used Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM Lens, the “old six”

An Amazing Package for Someone Young and Strong. Or Old and Strong.

Chuck Pettis is offering a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM lens for $6199 with an amazing package of extras, extras that I used and depend on. The lens is in excellent condition used only a dozen times. The sale includes the Lens Trunk (one latch on the case was damaged by the TSA on a trip to Bosque but the latch still functions fine), the leather lens hood, and the rear cap. Amazingly Chuck is also including more than $30 in extras: a Canon 52mm Drop-in Circular Polarizing Filter PL-C, also in excellent condition and an extra Canon 52mm Drop-in Filter Holder in excellent condition. I put a 3-stop ND in my extra filter draw for creating blurs on sunny days.

The seller will also pay insured UPS shipping within the continental US.

Interested folks can contact Chuck via e-mail or try him at 360-331-6667 or on his cell at 206-930-2623.

The old six was my workhorse super-telephoto for too many 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 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. :)

July 29th, 2014

Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro Lens for Cute Blonde Chick???

The Streak Continues: 241

This post was published just before 5:30am am from Gull Island Project, NY. Winter has returned early to GGI: it is cold and windy, from the NW at about 25mph. With clear skies, that pretty much puts the kibosh on most bird photography this morning. I enjoyed a great day of photography on GGI yesterday. And I had a wonderful midday swim without any jellyfish. The afternoon was one of my best ever and most exciting ever, surely in the top ten of the past 31 years. And I say that without having looked a single image…. Magic kept happening right in front of me. Pictures soon.

This post, which took me more than 2 hours to prepare, marks 241 consecutive days with a new enjoyable and educational blog post. Thanks a stack to Denise Ippolito who patiently guided me through the creation of the animated GIF in CS-6. I had that technique mastered a while ago but you know what happens when you don’t write it down and you don’t practice….

With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links, why quit now? April, May, June, and July have been fantastic as lots of folks are getting the message; using my affiliate links does not cost you a penny and helps support my efforts here. To show your appreciation, I do ask that you use our B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. 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 and tested, and know that you can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know the tools that you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

You can find the following items in the store: Gitzo tripods, Mongoose M3.6 and Wimberley heads, plates, low feet, and accessories, flash brackets, , Delkin e-film Pro Compact Flash Cards, LensCoat products, and our unique line-up of educational materials including ABP I & II, Digital Basics, Site and Set-up e-Guides, Canon and Nikon Camera Users and AF e-Guides, and MP-4 Photoshop video tutorials among others.

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 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 visiting the BAA Online store as well.


common-tern-2-3-days-old-o2857-great-gull-island-project-ny

This image was created at 10:42 am on a partly cloudy morning with the hand held Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS macro lens and the and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 as framed: 1/125 sec. at f/10 in Av mode.

One sensor above and one to the right of the Central Sensor/AI Servo/Rear Focus Single Point AF on the bird’s left eye was active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Thanks Ian!

Thanks to GGI tern researcher Ian Putnam who found this blonde Common Tern chick and shared it with me this morning. It was one of two blonde chicks in the same nest. This one was 3 days old when I created this image. I shaded the chick with my body and went to f/10 in hopes of sharpening up the egg tooth. It worked!

The Image Optimization

Note the bill and BKGR clean-up. I used the ULC. I also used Tim Grey Dodge and Burn to darken the ULC. Then I put the whole image on a new layer and de-saturated that layer 50 points. Then I added a Hide-All (Black or Inverse) Layer Mask and painted in the desaturation, again in the ULC.

The DPP RAW Conversion Guide

To learn why I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) 3.14 to convert every image that I work on, click here.

Digital Basics

Everything that I did to optimize today’s images are 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, 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, my killer image clean-up techniques, Digital Eye Doctor, creating time-saving actions, and lots 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 863-221-2372 on Tuesday to order.


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 8. Two great leaders.

Here are the plans for next year: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on 28 June arriving in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday 29 June (or simply meet us then either at the Edinburgh Airport (EDI) or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe. Stay 7 nights in two gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are 5 days of planned puffin/seabird trips—weather permitting, and 1 full day of gannet photography with 2 sessions on the boat.


uk-puffins-card-iii-layers

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

The Details

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day and a farewell fine dining thank you dinner. The cost of your National Heritage Trust is also included; that covers the twice a day landing fees.

Plan to fly home on the early morning of Monday 6 July or to continue your stay or travels.

We are planning this as double-occupancy only but we should be able to arrange for singles by renting a 3rd cottage. We would need to know well in advance, i.e., soon, and it would be pricey and would need to be paid with your non-refundable deposit of $2,000. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with two roomy single beds and a private bathroom. There are two king rooms available for couples. The upscale country-side cottages are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for image sharing and Photoshop lessons.

The single supplement is $1475. As we will be renting a third cottage the $1475 is due with your deposit and is also non-refundable.

If you are good to go please send your $2,000 deposit check now to save a spot. We do expect this workshop to sell out very quickly as we have already sold 2 slots even though the trip has not yet been formally announced till right now. Not to mention that everyone loves puffins. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855.

We do hope that you can join us.

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