Snow Goose Image Optimization/Need Your Help/Opinion: Blur Haters Stay Home :) « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Snow Goose Image Optimization/Need Your Help/Opinion: Blur Haters Stay Home :)

Time is Running Out!
BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition
The December 31, 2013 closing deadline is fast approaching.
Click here or scroll down for details


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This Snow Geese 2-flock blur image was created at 10:28am on the December 1, 2013 at Bosque del Apache NWR with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 200mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 50. Evaluative metering +2 stops off the white sky: 1/30 sec. at f/11 in Manual Mode. Color temperature 7000K.

Central sensor/AI Servo/Surround–Rear Focus AF as framed active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The extracted JPEG here accurately represents the original image capture. Please click on the image to see a larger version.

The Original

Above is a JPEG that represents the original capture. Note that +2 stops off the white sky was not nearly enough. Plus 3 would have been a lot better. I love that the closer birds were flying in one direction but that the more distant flock was flying opposite the direction of my pan.

Why do I wish that I had panned the camera up and left a bit more?


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Version I

Please click on the image to see a larger version.

First Try

Above is my first effort at optimizing this image. I used a good dose of NIK Detail Extractor and Tonal Contrast, probably about 25%. What did I not like about Verzion I?


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Version II

Please click on the image to see a larger version.

Second Try

When I re-did the image I cropped it a bit wider and did not use any NIK. When I compared Version II to Version I I liked the tighter crop and and the contrastier look of Version I. So back to work I went.


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Version III

Please click on the image to see a larger version.

Snow Goose Image Optimization/Need Your Help/Opinion

What do you think of Version III? Which version do you like best? Be sure to let us know why you like the one that you do. Which crop do you like best? Why? What would you have done differently? What do you think of the top of the tree in the lower right corner of the original?

If you would like to take a crack at optimizing this image shoot me an e-mail with the words “Snow Goose 2-Flock Blur” in the Subject line and I will send you the a full sized version of the image converted in DPP via e-mail. If you like your results you may send me a 1200 pixel wide sharpened JPEG by return e-mail.




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The 2014 Bosque Quick Start Guide/Current Conditions Update is available as a stand alone purchase. See below for details.

The “2014 Bosque Quick Start Guide/Current Conditions Update”

If you purchase our Bosque Site Guide ($50) today, you will receive the complete Bosque Site Guide in one e-mail, and then you will receive the 2014 Bosque Quick Start Guide/Current Conditions Update at no charge to you.

We are, as we did last year, offering the 2014 Bosque Quick Start Guide/Current Conditions Update as a stand-alone purchase for only $25. You can order your copy right now in the BAA Online Store by clicking here. Your PDF will be sent via e-mail.

Click here for lots more info on this new eGuide.

Bosque del Apache 2014 BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT). NOV 29-DEC 3, 2014. 3 FULL and 2 HALF-DAYS: $1449. Leaders: Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Sunday 11/29.

Tens of thousand of Snow Geese, 10,000 Sandhill Cranes, ducks, amazing sunrises, sunsets, and blast-offs. Live, eat, and breathe photography with two of the world’s premier photographic educators at one of their very favorite photography locations on the planet. Top-notch in-the-field and Photoshop instruction. This will make 21 consecutive Novembers at Bosque for artie. This will be denise’s 6th workshop at the refuge. Nobody knows the place better than artie does. Join us to learn to think like a pro, to recognize situations and to anticipate them based on the weather, especially the sky conditions, the light, and the wind direction. Every time we make a move we will let you know why. When you head home being able to apply what you’ve learned on your home turf will prove to be invaluable.

This workshop includes 4 afternoon (11/29 through 12/2), 4 morning (11/30 to 12/3) photography sessions, an inspirational introductory slide program after dinner on your own on Saturday, 11/29, all lunches, and after-lunch digital workflow, Photoshop, and image critiquing sessions.

There is never a strict itinerary on a Bosque IPT as each day is tailored to the local conditions at the time and to the weather. We are totally flexible in order to maximize both the photographic and learning opportunities. We are up early each day leaving the hotel by 5:30 am to be in position for sunrise. We usually photograph until about 10:30am. Then it is back to Socorro for lunch and then a classroom session with the group most days. We head back to the refuge at about 3:30pm each day and photograph until sunset. We will be photographing lots of Snow Geese and lots of Sandhill Cranes with the emphasis on expanding both your technical skills and your creativity.

A $449 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 7/25/2014. If the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check (made out to “Arthur Morris.”) You can also leave your deposit with a credit card by calling the office at 863-692-0906. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

Bosque del Apache 2014 A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART “Creative Photography Instructional Photo-Tour.” (IPT). NOV 24-25, 2014. 2-FULL DAYS: $729. Leaders: Denise Ippolito & Arthur Morris. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Sunday 11/23.

Learn to unleash your creative juices at the wondrous Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in San Antonio, New Mexico with two great leaders including the amazingly talented and creative Denise Ippolito. In-the-field instruction will include tips on gear set-up, on creating a variety of pleasing blurs, on getting the right exposure, and on designing pleasing images. And lots more. From vertical pan blurs to subject motion blurs to zoom blurs to multiple exposures we will cover it all. This workshop will include an inspirational introductory slide program on Sunday evening, 11/23 after dinner on your own, two morning and two afternoon photography sessions, all lunches, a digital workflow and Photoshop session after lunch on Monday, and an image critiquing session after lunch on Tuesday.

A $329 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 7/25/2014. If the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check (made out to “Arthur Morris.”) You can also leave your deposit with a credit card by calling the office at 863-692-0906. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

IPT Info

Many of our great trips are filling up. You will learn more about how to make great images on a BAA IPT than anywhere else on the planet. Click here for info on the Anhinga Trail IPT. Click here for info on the Estero Lagoon IPT. Click here for info on the just announced San Diego Short Notice IPT–only 1 slot left on that one. And click here to learn about the just-announced 2014 Bosque IPTs. You will find additional IPTs and general info here.

Great Buy: Used Canon 800mm f/5/6L IS Lens for Sale

Friend and multiple IPT-veteran Monte Brown is offering his lightly used Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens in excellent condition for sale for $9,500. Purchase includes the lens case and hood, the 4th Generation Design Low Foot, the original foot, a LensCoat, the original invoice and the original Canon shipping carton. The lens was purchased new from B&H in April 2009 and was recently underwent a pre-sale clean and check by Canon. The buyer pays insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. The lens will be shipped only after your check clears.

The Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Autofocus lens sells new for $13,223.00 so you will save a bundle on a great lens. No need to ever use a 2X…

If interested you can contact Monte by phone at 1-765-744-1421 or via e-mail.

Last Year’s Grand Prize winning image by Lou Coetzer

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Time is Running Out!
BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition
The December 31, 2013 closing deadline is fast approaching.

Learn more and enter the BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition here. Twenty-five great prizes including the $1000 Grand Prize and intense competition. Bring your best.

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14 comments to Snow Goose Image Optimization/Need Your Help/Opinion: Blur Haters Stay Home :)

  • avatar Nancy Bell

    I like version III the best. For me, the blue streaks in version I are too prominent and draw the eye away from the bird flock, especially in the lower right corner where there are no birds. My eyes keep dropping to that birdless, blue corner, instead of taking flight and soaring up & away.

  • I like the second and fourth image the best! It is a lovely blur.

  • avatar Jim Amato

    Arthur, Version two presents the best “Forward Swoop” effect with the flock rising from the background and moving forward in the image.
    The spiral swoop upward and forward is presented more clearly with the background birds being blurred and in their perspective as smaller. Some of the birds on the right side could even be flying directly out of the front of the image with a 3-D effect. Jim Amato

  • I like version 2 best as the two flocks sre visually separated more than in the othe versions.

  • avatar Mitch

    Good morning, Artie!

    I prefer Version I for its color balance and contrast. Love the bluer blues, cleaner whites, and overall pop (e.g. whites on geese mid to lower right almost completely lost in Version II and stronger in I than III). Also agree with leaving that bit of tree out of the corner. My ultimate interpretation would be to give Version I the clean bottom edge of Version II.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I like Version I too but for the fact that the upper left corner is a bit to contrasty for me. I like the tighter crops of Versions I and III as it puts more emphasis on the really cool flock even though it loses the clean lower edge.

  • avatar Margaret

    Artie,
    I think I like VIII the best, although I don’t really like any of them as well as most of your blurries. They’re too blah. Maybe too close to B&W for me.