Froggie, & the Best Out-of-Camera Image Comments « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Froggie, & the Best Out-of-Camera Image Comments

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This Roseate Spoonbill image was created at Alafia Banks in Tampa Bay on a Hooptie Deux trip with the tripod-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR AF lens (in stock!), the Nikon TC-14E II 1.4x Teleconverter for D-AF-S & AF-I Lenses ONLY, and the Nikon D-700 replaced by the Nikon D800 Digital SLR. ISO 640: 1/1600 sec.at f/8 in Manual mode.

Image courtesy of and copyright 2013: James Shadle/Wild Florida Photography

Froggie

Froggie is Captain James Shadle, friend and my founding co-partner at BirdPhototogapher’s.Net (BPN). I forget how he got his nickname. Perhaps he will be kind enough to leave a comment here and let us know.

sharper

This Brown Pelican with nesting material was photographed at Alafia Banks in Tampa Bay on a Hooptie Deux trip with the tripod-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR AF lens (in stock!), the Nikon TC-14E II 1.4x Teleconverter for D-AF-S & AF-I Lenses ONLY, and the Nikon D-700 replaced by the Nikon D800 Digital SLR. ISO 800: 1/2000 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. This was a vertical original.

Image courtesy of and copyright 2013: James Shadle/Wild Florida Photography

Flight Photographer Extraordinaire

As you can see by the images here, Froggie is about as good a tripod-mounted flight and action photographer as there is, far more skilled than me. He uses Nikon gear and I use Canon gear. And though we also use different methods of determining the correct exposure it is uncanny, borderline amazing, that we wind up with the exact same exposure more than 90% of the time. Our settings are never more off by more than 1/3 stop.

Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD Telephoto Zoom Lens for Nikon Digital SLRs & 35mm Film Cameras

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This Osprey image was created on Tampa Bay with the hand held Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD Telephoto Zoom lens and the Nikon D5200 Digital SLR. ISO 400: 1/1000 sec. at f/8.

Image courtesy of and copyright 2013: James Shadle/Wild Florida Photography

Proof Positive

Regular readers have heard me say dozens of times that good photographers make good images with whatever gear they have in their hands. James created the killer Osprey image above with a lightweight budget-friendly rig that many would look down their noses at….

You can check out the Canon version of this inexpensive lens here.

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This Roseate Spoonbill image was created at Alafia Banks in Tampa Bay on a Hooptie Deux trip with the tripod-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR AF lens (in stock!) and the Nikon D-700 replaced by the Nikon D800 Digital SLR. ISO 800: 1/500 sec.at f/6.3 in Manual mode.

Image courtesy of and copyright 2013: James Shadle/Wild Florida Photography

Your Favorite?

Which of Jame’s 4 images above is your favorite. And why?

Join Us

Do consider joining James and me next week on the 2nd Short Notice Fort Desoto/Hooptie Deux/Roseate Spoonbill IPT. Details immediately below. Learn more about James here. Note: all of James images above were created on Hooptie Deux trips over the past few weeks. There will be two more in the next Bulletin.

Fort Desoto/Hooptie Deux–Roseate Spoonbill Short Notice IPT

The 2nd New Concept IPT: the Fort Desoto/Hooptie Deux–Roseate Spoonbill Short Notice IPT/April 3-7, 2013/5 DAYS: $2399. Strict limit: six photographers/ openings 4. Early April can be superb at Alafia Banks. Early April is almost always superb at Fort DeSoto. Click here for complete details.

With only two registrants, this one is shaping up to be a practically private affair and represents an amazing opportunity for you to grow as a photographer. For more info on the complete IPT, click here.

Announcing Two Short Versions of the Fort Desoto/Hooptie Deux–Roseate Spoonbill IPT

Can’t make the whole thing? Consider one of the two abbreviated versions below.

Short Version #1: Fort Desoto/Hooptie Deux–Roseate Spoonbill IPT/April 3-5, 2013/3 FULL DAYS: $1399. Strict limit: six photographers/Openings: 5.

Early April can be superb at Alafia Banks. Early April is almost always superb at Fort DeSoto.

Here is the structure and schedule: I will be leading all three days of this Short Version 3-DAY IPT. We will spend one full day on the Hooptie Deux, either Thursday or Friday. The first day and one of the next two full days will be at Fort Desoto where the Laughing Gulls will be in splendid breeding plumage with their full black hoods, their wine-red bills, and white eye crescents. They are one of our most under-appreciated species. The Royal, Sandwich, and Forster’s Terns will also be in breeding plumage. And all of these species will be displaying, courting, and mating. You can also expect a variety of wading birds, especially Reddish Egret, and a variety of shorebirds including Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Dunlin, American Oystercatcher, and many more. And you will need to beat the Willets off with a stick. The additional possibilities are too numerous to mention.

As above, we will spend a full day on the Hooptie Deux with James Shadle on either Thursday or Friday depending on the weather. The morning will be at Alafia Banks with spoonbill as the main target species. There will be lots of great flight photography not only with spoonbills, many of which will be in full breeding plumage, but with Brown Pelicans and Double-crested Cormorants, Reddish Egret and White Ibis in full breeding plumage, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Turkey and Black Vultures, and lots more. The afternoon Hooptie trip will be at one of several fresh water heronries. James will trailer his customized pontoon boat to the best rookery. Subjects, depending on location, will likely include Cattle Egret, Snowy Egret, Little Blue Heron, Great Blue Heron, White Ibis, Black-crowned Night-heron, and Double-crested Cormorant. All nesting and in flight. Most but not all of the photography on a boat trip to the Banks with James is done while standing in the water with your tripod. James has lightweight chest waders and surf booties on board for all at no charge. Folks who wish to keep their expensive Gitzo tripods saltwater free often opt to use Drypods. Learn more here.

Short Version #2: With James Shadle/Roseate Spoonbill/Osprey IPT/April 6-7, 2013/2 FULL DAYS: $899. Strict limit: six photographers/Openings: 5.

Saturday and Sunday with James Shadle will feature a morning on the Hooptie Deux at Alafia Banks and one or more sessions at Honeymoon Island State Park where many dozens of pairs of Osprey are nesting. There will of course be lots of flight photography. Depending on the winds and weather there may be an afternoon session at a Wood Stork rookery or some local beaches that James knows well. All subject to change depending on the weather including wind and sky conditions as well as local conditions. James has an intimate knowledge of each location and has visited them regularly for many years.

Deposit Info

A $500 deposit is needed to hold your spot; call Jim or Jennifer asap at 1-863-692-0906. Your deposit may be placed with a credit card. Your payment in full by personal check will then be due along with your completed paperwork both sent via US Mail. Please print, read, and sign the release form here and include it with your check. If you would rather pay in full via personal check, please call or e-mail immediately to save your spot. With one registrant, both of these will run. Yeah, I know that it might seem nuts but neither James nor I can live with telling folks who have arranged to take time off from work and made travel plans that we are cancelling a trip because we will not be making enough money to justify running it…. Please e-mail with questions or for additional details.

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This image was created while seated behind the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF tele-extender III, and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop as framed : 1/2000 sec. at f/7.1 in Manual mode. The sun had gotten a lot brighter here.

One sensor right of central sensor Surround/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the base of the bird’s bill active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The Best Out-of-Camera Image

In the March 26th blog post, “Poor Conditions/Great Photography: New Concept 10 Out-of Camera Images,” I wrote, “My strong belief is that one of the ten images above clearly stands out as the best of the morning. Which is it? And why?

My clear choice as the best image of the ten presented is the American Osytercatcher with the still unknown prey item. Brian Small left a comment that echoed my feelings accurately. He wrote, “O.K., I’ll join in just for fun. Far and away the feeding oystercatcher is the best image of the 10. Other than the scratching godwit it’s the only image with action. All the others while nice, are simple portraits and are pretty similar to each other (headshot or not). The oystercatcher depicts a real “natural history” moment showing feeding behavior along with the birds choice of prey item. It also shows most of the birds legs whereas the scratching godwit is in deeper water which is less desirable IMHO. The oystercatcher is more colorful and a bit more interesting to my eye. Finally, the open bill of the oystercatcher gives the bird a more lively, expressive look that none of the others show. My two cents–take it for what it’s worth.

Thanks to all who commented.

Note: when working with the RAW file it was evident that the blue material was in fact cutting into the bird’s leg.

Image optimization was straightforward. A Quick Mask fine-tuned with a Layer Mask was used to cover the fine blue string or whatever it was on the bird’s leg, NIK Color Efex Pro’s Detail Extractor was applied judiciously (20%) only to the black hood and the bright white feathers. A 15% Linear Burn toned down the light flesh-colored legs and some Eye Doctor work put the finishing touches on a fine image. I almost forgot: the one bit of fancy stepping was using my Selective Color trick to tone down the bird’s red bill. This bird, one of a pair, has been both dependable and tame.

All of the above as detailed in Digital Basics that includes my complete digital workflow, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro basics, and dozens of great Photoshop tips. You can learn the advanced Quick Masking techniques that I used here in APTATS I and learn advanced Layer Masking in APTATS II.

Typos

On all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or leave a comment regarding any typos, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. 🙂

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6 comments to Froggie, & the Best Out-of-Camera Image Comments

  • avatar Brian E. Small

    Nice to see great minds think alike Artie 😉

  • avatar Paul Keeble

    All stunning images but I personally favour the pastel serenity of the fourth

  • avatar Bobby Perkins

    The optimized Oystercatcher is beautiful work Artie. All four of James’s shots are exeptional. I love the action and background of #1 Spoonbill, a steller seller image, #4 Spoonbill is amazingly sharp at 1/500th of a second, perfect full-frame composition on the pelican. I almost want to say the Osprey in flight is my fav with the nesting material. As straight on shots in flight can be difficult to pull off plus clearly proving like you stated, it’s not the tools but how well you use them. There all excellent examples of flight/ action from a tripod and a very skilled photographer.

  • avatar Arla

    #1 is my favorite too, but I have to say the osprey image is awesome.

  • avatar Doug Schurman

    I only see 4 images from James.

    All our great but the first one is my favorite. The contrast of the colors of the Spoonbill versus the background is really dramatic. Well done as usual.