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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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….
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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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 And you will love them in mega-cold weather….
Gitzo GT3532 LS CF Tripod. This one replaces the GT3530LS Tripod and will last you a lifetime. Learn more about this great tripod here.
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.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
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.
BreezeBrowser. I do not see how any digital photographer can exist without this program.
Delkin Flash Cards. I use and depend on Delkin compact Flash Cards and card readers most every day. Learn more about their great 700X and 1000X cards here or about my favorite Delkin card here.