This Brown Pelican was photographed this morning from the deck of the Hooptie Deux at Alafia Banks with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO Safety Shift is the equivalent of Auto ISO: ISO 2000. Evaluative metering +1 stop as framed: 1/30 sec. at f/6.3 in Tv mode.
61-Point/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.
K-7500 & Pre-dawn AF Tips
Before the somewhat bland sunrise turned glorious the colors were rather muted. I switched the color temperature on my 1D X from my usual AWB (Auto White Balance) setting to K (Kelvin) and spun the index finger dial until it read 7500 knowing that this would accentuate the colors. With a small boost in Saturation after the RAW conversion in DPP that trick worked quite well. As my aim was to create a pleasing blur I was working in Tv mode at 1/30 sec. I set the exposure compensation to only +1 to avoid burning the red channel. That worked quite well too.
When attempting to photograph single birds in the pre-dawn light I will usually work in 61-Point AF. This worked especially well this morning as there were some birds flying left to right and others flying right to left. Being in 61-Point allows me to at least attempt to get the bird out of the center of the frame.
A Guide to Pleasing Blurs
As some folks believe, pleasing blurs are not out of focus mistakes. If you would like to learn how to create these increasingly popular images, get yourself a copy of “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs” by Denise Ippolito and yours truly.
This is about a 200% crop of the image after conversion.
With the ISO set automatically to 2000 and with the image somewhat underexposed to avoid burning the red channel there was, as you can see above, lots of noise present in the converted image. The noise we are seeing here is luminance noise. Chrominance noise would be seen as splotches of green and purple in the blacks. Note: I originally wrote that we were seeing chrominance noise; as that was a brain typo I chose to correct it here.
This is about a 200% crop of the image after running a Surface Blur adjustment.
The amazingly creative Denise Ippolito, who is also something of a Photoshop whiz, taught me the Surface Blur trick about a year ago. Here, it shines. I put the image on its own layer and hit Filter/Blur/Surface Blur. After experimenting a bit I wound up going with the Radius at 3 pixels and Threshold at 6. I usually start at 2/3 and increase the numbers until the background is baby-tush smooth. You can click Preview on and off to check your results.
Once I hit OK I enlarged the image to about 200% and clicked the layer eyeball on and off to see if the Surface Blur settings were affecting the sharpness of the subject. As they were not there was no need to fine-tune with a Layer Mask. Thanks Lady D.
This image of a week-old Sandhill Crane chick was also created with the hand held Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/1250 sec. at f/7.1 in Manual mode previously confirmed via histogram check.
Two sensors up and one to the left of the central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.
When hand holding either the 500II or the 600II I like to sit and rest my left elbow on my bent left knee. This reduces fatigue and the quick build up of lactic acid in the muscles and allows for much sharper images. That is exactly what I did here.
Crane Chick Behavior Answer; Bird Watching
In the blog post of March 8, 2013 I posted the image above and asked “What was the baby crane doing?” And I mentioned that there had been a clue in a recent blog post. The clue was in the March 4, 2013 post, When Sharp Does Not Cut It.
In the image above the crane chick was looking up at swirling Tree Swallows. Amazingly, both parents were both somewhat alarmed by the swallows. Kudos to Doug West for getting the behavior right.
Click here to see the current schedule and IPT openings.
Highlights include a single opening on the next Bear Boat IPT, two slots left on this summer’s killer Galapagos trip, and lots of room on the Tanzania Photo-Safari.
Bear Boat/Bears Catching Salmon IPT: September 2-9, 2013 from Kodiak, AK: $6699.
Happy campers only! Maximum 6 + two leaders: Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito. Openings: 1.
GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 2-16, 2013 on the boat.
13 FULL and two 1/2 days of photography: $12,749. Co-leader: Denise Ippolito. Limit 14 including the leaders/Openings: 2.
Africa/Tanzania/Serengeti Summer Migration Safari: 12 full and two half-days of photography: $12,999/person double occupancy. Limit: 12/Openings: 7.
Leaders: Todd Gustafson and Arthur Morris. Leave the US AUG 3, 2013. Fly home from Arusha, Tanzania on the evening of August 18. Day 1 of the safari is August 5. Our last morning of photography is August 18. We will be visiting Tarangire National Park, Seronera Lodge–aka Leopard City!–twice, an exclusive mobile tented camp in the Serengeti, and at the end, the spectacular wildlife spectacle that is Ngorongoro Crater. Please e-mail for itinerary.
Again, please click here for additional info and additional IPTs.
Seriously Huge B&H Savings on Nikon and Canon Gear
For the first time in many years NIKON is going to be deeply discounting many legacy pro lenses individually for the next 2 weeks only with discounts up to $350. There are also many amazing deals on NIKON Buy together and Save packages as well. Click here to save.
Nikon DSLRS Bundles with Lenses & Flash: Save up to $750. Click here to save. Make sure to add each item to your shopping cart to see the absolute lowest price.
Canon Lenses & Speedlites: Save Up to $300
Click here to save. Make sure to add each item to your shopping cart to see the absolute lowest price.
Canon Buy Together & Save: Save Up to $400
Click here to save.
EOS-1D X AF Guide
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