Breakfast Meat Miracle Lessons « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Breakfast Meat Miracle Lessons

leopard-buried-in-tree-with-prey-_y7o1303-seronera-serengeti-tanzania

This sharp, well exposed, but otherwise piss-poor image was created with the Todd-pod mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 2x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 6400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/80 sec. at f/8 in Manual Mode.

Central sensor Expand (by necessity)/AI Servo/Rear Focus as framed active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Leopard I

Breakfast Meat Miracle

As first described in the August 9th blog post http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2013/08/09/leopard-and-internet-miracles/, the mother Leopard had her prey high in the sausage tree and was buried behind a wall of tangled branches. None-the-less we were excited to be able to find a small opening with a relatively clean view of her beautiful face even though we could not see the Thompson’s Gazelle at all.

Why Piss-Poor?

Too many branches. Too much foreground and background clutter. Sure, that’s what was, but photographing what is does not always make a good image; sometimes reality is simply not beautiful.

leopard-with-kill-_y7o1350-seronera-serengeti-tanzania

This image was created after mother leopard dragged her prey half way down the tree with the Todd-Pod supported Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 1600. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/125 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode.

Central sensor (Surround)/AI Servo Rear Focus on the Leopard’s eye and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Leopard II

Shocked

My safari van-mates and I were shocked when the mother leopard picked up the tommy, carried it halfway down the tree, and sat on a relatively clear branch. We moved the van forward and well closer to the gorgeous, powerful animal. And made a series of images similar to the one above.

leopard-biting-on-gazelle-darker-sky-_y7o1545-seronera-serengeti-tanzania

This image was created with the Todd-Pod supported Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/200 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode.

Central sensor (Surround)/AI Servo Rear Focus on the Leopard’s face and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Leopard III

Thinking More Clearly

I was so excited that I was not thinking clearly. While the 2nd series of images was nice, the pose regal, the exposure was good, and I had not cut off the tail, the big problems were that the background was less than ideal and the large knot in the branch was blocking the view of the prey’s face. Once I saw the problems, directing the driver to drive forward and turn left on the intersecting road we were afforded a clean and clear look at both the animal and the gazelle.

leopard-eating-thompsons-gazelle-_y7o1475-seronera-serengeti-tanzania

This vertical image was created with the Todd-pod mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 2x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 1600. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/80 sec. at f/8 in Manual Mode.

Central sensor Expand (by necessity)/AI Servo/Rear Focus on the Leopard’s face and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Leopard IV

Tighter For More Impact

After creating a long series of images similar to the previous image I went back to the 2X and created a variety of tight images featuring the Leopard and its prey. An out-of-focus branch that intersected with the Leopard’s head was removed using Denise Ippolito’s Protective Cloning on a Layer as described in detail in Digital Basics. Digital Basics is an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips including Digital Eye Doctor techniques, several different ways of expanding canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, Quick Masking, Layer Masking and NIK Color Efex Pro basics, creating and using time-saving Actions, and tons more.

leopard-biting-gazelle-_y7o1716-seronera-serengeti-tanzania

This image was also created with the Todd-pod 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 1600. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/125 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual Mode.

One sensor above and three to the left of the Central sensor Surround AI Servo/Rear Focus on the Leopard’s cheek active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Leopard V

What Do You Do When the Subject Moves?

What do you do when the subject moves? Have the driver move the van to a better vantage point. That’s why they call it a van….

Your Favorite?

Which of the six images above do you think is the strongest image? Please use the numbered image designations–Leopard I, Leopard II, etc. Be sure to let us know why.

The Mini-Flower Photography Seminar, Friday, September 13: 8:30am till 12:30pm, Canby Oregon

As part of the Swan Island Dahlia Farm Instructional Photo-Tour, September 11-15, 2013 (sold out; see here for details), denise and I will be presenting a 1/2-Day Mini-Flower Photography Seminar. Folks wishing to register for the mini seminar only may do so for only $49.

Denise will begin by presenting her “Bloomin’ Ideas” program, an overview of the in-the-field and post-processing techniques that she has used and developed over the past few years to create her signature look. Artie will follow with a Photoshop session that will be geared towards all levels. He’ll be sharing some of his favorite techniques and tips while working on images from the first two days of the IPT. Denise will conclude the morning seminar with a Photoshop demo; she will share her creative workflow using a variety of Photoshop filters and effects. The entire morning is designed to give you a peek into the minds of two very skilled and creative folks.

To register for the Mini-Flower Photography Seminar call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

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Exhibition Opening, American Museum of Bird Art at Mass Audubon, Canton, MA

BIRDS AS ART/The Bird Photography of Arthur Morris

All are invited to the exhibition opening at the American Museum of Bird Art at Mass Audubon at 1pm on Sunday, September 28, 2013. (963 Washington Street, Canton, MA 02021. 1-781-821-8853.) The exhibition, which is being sponsored by Canon USA/Explorers of Light, will run from September 29, 2013 – January 12, 2014. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.

35 framed images. Denise Ippolito and I will be there and hope that you will be too. Click here for additional details.

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Expanding Your Creative Vision Nature Photography Seminar

Sept 30, 2013 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Canton, MA.

Sponsored by Mass Audubon/Museum of American Bird Art

Non-members: $89.00/Members: $79.00

Click here to register

Spend an amazing day with Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito in a full day nature photography seminar. Learn more about Denise on her website; be sure to visit her beautiful image galleries. You know me. 🙂 If you live withing 3 hours of Boston and love photographing nature this experience is not to be missed. Artie will be doing a Tuesday night program for Mass Audubon. Both events will held be in conjunction with the opening of a 35-image exhibition of his work at the Museum of American Bird Art on Sunday, September 29, 2013. See details above.

Schedule:

9:00 to 10:45am: Choosing and Using Lenses for Nature Photography BIRDS AS ART Style – Artie Morris
10:45 to 11:00am: break
11:00 to 12:00 noon: Blooming Ideas – Denise Ippolito
12:00 to 1:00pm: Lunch
1:00 to 2:00pm: Refining Your Photographic Vision: Artie Morris and Denise Ippolito
2:00 to 2:30: Pro Gear Handling Tips – Artie Morris and Denise Ippolito
2:30 to 2:45: break
2:45 to 3:45: Creating Pleasing Blur – Artie Morris and Denise Ippolito s
3:45 to 5pm: Image Critiquing. Registrants will be asked to submit no more than three 1400 (wide) or 1050 (tall) sharpened JPEGs via e-mail 2-4 weeks before the seminar. At least one image from each participant will be selected for review.

Click here to register

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Mass Audubon Special Event: A Bird Photographer’s Story

I will be presenting ” A Bird Photographer’s Story” on Tuesday, October 1, 2103 from 7:00-9:00pm for Mass Audubon. This event, which will be held at the auditorium, Canton High School, 900 Washington St, Canton MA 02021, is being sponsored by Canon USA/Explorers of Light and will be free and open to the public. The event is being hosted by The Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon.

Click here for additional details.

Typos

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11 comments to Breakfast Meat Miracle Lessons

  • avatar Bill Richardson

    I actually like the “piss-poor” first one best. All it needs is a close crop and removal of that branch below its chin and maybe a vignette to be a wonderful portrait.

  • Stunning shots of one of my favorite animals. My favorite is the 4th shot.

    Since I bought my 2x III a few weeks ago I always bring it when I take my 4/600 II with me. All your blog posts and pictures with great shots taken with the 2x convinced me that this is a fantastic tool.
    Sharpness is amazing. Interesting how many people still tell me that you can’t get got shots with a 2x.
    I think that owning a long lens like a 4/600 or 4/500 and NOT owning a 2x is a serious mistake and I would seriously limit my options.

    Did you ever regret bringing both the 200-400 and 4/600 to Africa? I hope to bring them both to Africa next year and hopefully also to Yellowstone and if possible to Florida.

    Markus

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Leopard III
    I like the aspect of the whole leopard in the tree with it’s prey. It tells the whole story. Plus the great posture showing the beauty, power and dexterity of the Leopard!!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Ted. I love that one too. I believe that I used it either in a Bulletin or on the blog a while back. artie

  • Image #1 conveys the emotions of curiosity and caution. I’d crop it down a little and enjoy the beauty of reality.

  • avatar Tom Saville

    I like #1. The eye contact is straight on and as if surprised, perhaps about to run, I almost feel the action, the urgency. Personally I like the context, gives it an almost 3D effect, a wildlife photo clearly not staged, it is as one would see it live.

  • avatar Nancy Bell

    Loved the progression of the images with your thoughts and why you moved the van. Leopard image 4 made me shiver at the deep intensity and concentration you captured in the eyes and body posture of the leopard. This image very much portrays life is serious business for these animals. Of course, composition, exposure, etc. could not be better.

  • avatar Ar

    What a great opportunity!!!! Each is outstanding in its own way but I prefer the last one Leopard #5. It’s very dramatic and I love the details. I don’t even mind the right bottom corner OOF.