Granny « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Granny

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This Snow Monkey image was created at Jigokudani Yaenkoen Nagano Prefecture, Japan with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens and the Canon 1.4X III TC (hand held at 280mm) with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering + about 1/3 stop: 1/320 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. I tried to adjust my exposure so that I had blinkies on the snow that did not touch the monkey.

Central Sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Granny

The Japan IPT began rather inauspiciously as our day got off to a somewhat challenging start; our bus driver dropped us at the wrong spot and sent us up the very wrong, very steep, snow covered hill with all of our gear…. After we had hiked up about 1/2 mile, the bus driver in his Sunday go to meeting black shoes came up the path and called to us. We were in the wrong spot. Lots of good exercise but for the fact that a much-younger-than-the-rest-of us Robert O’Toole, my co-leader, had volunteered to hike up the hill to make sure that we were in the right spot. He would go on ahead and then come back to get us with the good news…. We screamed for Robert to come back to no avail.

We headed back down the hill to rest in the comfort of the bus figuring that Robert would be back in a few minutes. He was not back in a few minutes. He was not back in 30 minutes. Soon thereafter the bus driver–still in his good shoes–volunteered to hike up the hill to see if Robert had fallen into a ravine. At close to an hour we were happy to see Robert and the bus driver trudging back down the hill. Robert was drenched in sweat and obviously exhausted. He had hiked more than a mile and a half up the hill before turning around.

As it turned out the whole turnaround began when the bus driver learned from two trail rangers that the location of the trail had been moved several years ago…. We were all chagrined when he drove the bus about 200 yards down the hill and parked by the big Snow Monky Park sign that we had passed nearly two hours ago. As I say often, you gotta love it.

After a short hike over mostly flat ground we were photographing the Snow Monkeys. You can learn more about the park here.

I was at one end of the very small main pool when I saw granny hop up on the wall of the hot springs pool. The image above was a grab shot; I was captivated by her personality. After creating a few images–I was not thrilled with the dark/light background–I moved to my left for an all-snow background and created a second series of images. My favorite from that series is immediately below. Lesson for beginners: change the background by changing your perspective. With practice you will be able to visualize the new background before you move. Till then, move and explore.

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This image was also created with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens and the Canon 1.4X III TC (hand held at 222mm) with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering + about 1/3 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. I tried to adjust my exposure so that I had blinkies on the snow that did not touch the monkey.

Central Sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to enlarge it.

To make these images hand held I sat and braced my left elbow on my left knee. When using rear focus it is imperative that that the camera not move even a fraction of a millimeter after focus is set. Getting low ensured the all snow background that I was after.

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The final Snow Monkey image for today was created with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens and the Canon 1.4X III TC (hand held at 265mm) with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering + about 1/3 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/7.1 in Manual mode. Again, I tried to adjust my exposure so that I had blinkies on the snow that did not touch the monkey.

Central Sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to enlarge it.

For the image above I zoomed in to show more of her facial and other details. In a best case scenario I would have been on a tripod and gone to a slower shutter speed for more depth of field. Notice the depth-of-field decreases as magnification increases.

For the record book, I am not at all sure that this is an older female but “Granny” made a good title for this post. If you know any better, please let us know by leaving a comment. Jasper?

Which Image Do You Like Best?

Please take a moment to leave a comment and let us know which image you like best, and why.

NIK

Color Efex Pro 4 is now an integral part of my workflow. Each of the three images above had a 25% White Neutralizer and a 25% Tonal Contrast filter applied immediately after I finished my background clean-up. You can save 15% on all NIK products by clicking here and entering BAA in the Promo Code box at check-out. Then hit Apply to see your savings. You can download a trial copy that will work for 15 days and allow you to create full sized images.

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NIK Creative Efex Collection

NIK recently announced the availability of a special limited production bundle of 3 of their most popular products, Color Efex Pro 4, Silver Efex Pro 2, and HDR Efex Pro. You can save more than $200 on the bundle which is available only through NIK affiliates. If you would like additional info, please e-mail with the words “Creative Efex Collection” in the Subject line. If you have been on the fence about purchasing the plug-ins mentioned above this is a great chance to save some significant bucks.

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B&H Specials

Learn about the Canon Instant Double Rebates on a variety lenses and Speedlites when bundled with one of several Canon dSLR bodies including two of my favorites–the EOS-7D and the EOS-5D MII–and earn free contest entries by clicking here. Offers expire March 3, 2012.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

Remember: you can earn free contest entries with your B & H purchases. Eleven great categories, 34 winning and honored images, and prize pools valued in excess of $20,000. Click here for details.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the images talked about 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.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens. Man, I am loving this lens on my shoulder (or on a tripod as above) with the 2X III teleconverter. I also use it a lot with the 1.4X III TC.
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:

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.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine. Also available for the 7D and the Mark III here.
BreezeBrowser. I do not see how any digital photographer can exist without this program.

10 comments to Granny

  • avatar Alice

    There are photo ops there besides the pool. The riverbed isn’t too far from the path, the path itself usually has monkeys on it, the mountainside, the lodge and dam.

  • avatar Vincent Scarnecchia

    I like the first image, as she looks in control, the other two she looks puzzled and stressed.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Like Andrea I believe her being supported by her arm and hand in images #1 and #2 add great impact to the images. I prefer #1

  • avatar Joel Eade

    I like the pose in the first shot best, the BG doesn’t bother me but I wonder if it needs a slight CW rotation?

  • avatar Jay

    Always wanting your readers to choose. Normally my preference is for a shot tight in on the face, such as image 3. In this case, I actually prefer image 1 best (again, you asked us to choose, not just breathe in the monkey goodness). The inclusion of the background and the foreground make the shot. While image 2 includes the water (which I do like), the plain white background from the snow doesn’t excite me. It’s broken up with the coloring of the rock in image 1, making it a lot more interesting.

  • Definitely a mommy…could be a granny…but not sure. She’s not all that old…as nipple volume is decreasing with ages above 25.

    I like her pose in #2 a lot…however I’m not too fond of the shooting angles with 1 and 2…so I think I’d chose #3. Enjoy your stay out there 🙂

    Matane!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for chiming in Jasper. We have a great day today though it drizzled on and off. Funny thing is, shooting angles for #2 and #3 were identical; I just zoomed in a bit from #2 to #3. Both seated behind my tripod.

  • avatar Andrea Boyle

    Awe, what a sweetheart… I actually like the first shot the best. I think the reason is the placement of the right hand. It looks so human that it hits a deeper emotional level in me. Second would be the second shot, for much the same reason. The third is a great capture but doesn’t seem to have the same emotional connection as the first 2.

    I have a snow monkey as my screen saver at work and get lots of comments as fellow employees walk past my desk. They are a big favorite of mine. Thank you for sharing your pictures! Hope to see more!

  • avatar Arla

    Since you asked… I like #2 the best. #1 — seeing a small part of the reflection makes me want to see more of it. #3 – I want he body to be more in focus.

  • avatar cheapo

    Awww! Bless ‘er. She has clearly spent years producing lots of babies to keep her troop strong and numerous. It’s possible that she’s a matriarch, or very senior in the ranking. Super images Arty!