The Warbler Finch image image was created at Gardner Bay, Hood Island, in the Galapagos with the the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X III TC, and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 500 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode.
Lens/TC/Camera Body Micro-Adjustment: +10.
What is the Worst Thing About This Image?
It should not be too difficult to tell which is the before image and which is the after. The converted RAW file was too BLUE and a bit too dark. First I adjusted the color and the tonality. For the clean-up I used Divide and Conquer, the Patch Tool, and the Clone Stamp Tool. I removed an o-o-f branch (lower right) that protruded towards us. O-O-F stuff in front of the plane of focus is generally an image wrecker. I also removed a few particles of sand from the plumage and some but not all of the sand from the bill. I wanted to show that the bird had been feeding in a sandy environment without leaving it a mess. All of course–plus tons more of workflow and Photoshop tips–as described in Digital Basics (a pdf that is sent via e-mail).
This is my best-ever image of Warbler Finch, a Darwin’s finch species that has undergone adaptive radiation and wound up with a small, sharp insect-eating bill. I feel that I did a good job with the clean-up without trying to make it too perfect. Here’s the question: what it the biggest problem with this image? What do I not like about it. Be specific.
Below is a list of the gear used to create the images in this blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.
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Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon 1.4X III TC. This new TC is designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.
And from the BAA On-line Store:
LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
Delkin 32gb e-Film Pro Compact Flash Card. These high capacity cards are fast and dependable. Clicking on the link below will bring you to the Delkin web site. There is lots of great stuff there. If you see a product that we do not carry let us know via e-mail; we will be glad to have it drop-shipped to you and save you a few bucks in the process.
I pack my 800 and tons of other gear in my ThinkTank Airport SecurityTM V2.0 rolling bag for all of my air travel and recommend the slightly smaller Airport InternationalTM V2.0 for most folks. These high capacity bags are well constructed and protect my gear when I have to gate check it on short-hops and puddle jumpers. Each will protect your gear just as well. By clicking on either link or the logo below, you will receive a free gift with each order over $50.