New AF Image Creation Strategy. Is the Image Real? Is It a Photoshop Phony? Or Is It Love? Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad… Meat Loaf « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

New AF Image Creation Strategy. Is the Image Real? Is It a Photoshop Phony? Or Is It Love? Two Out of Three Ain't Bad... Meat Loaf


We had a great morning on the Hooptie Deux. We had a fine working lunch. We had a great afternoon at a local rookery. I am tired. I need to get up early. So I will be brief here 🙂

Today’s post was completed in less than an hour on Saturday night. It was published at 4:51am from my hotel room in Brandon, FL. I am checking out before 6am, meeting James Shadle and the small group at the dock at 6:30am, and heading back to ILE after the morning photo session.


This image was created in cloudy conditions at 5:03pm on Friday past at Brandon, FL with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, a Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 2/3 stops off the grey sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/6.3.

Three AF points to the right and one row down from the center AF point/AI Servo Expand Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The active AF point was on the female’s body; she is the one on our right. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Is It Real? Is It a Photoshop Phony?

Do you see any evidence of a major Photoshop changes? Did I add a head or an eye? Did I repair a wingtip? If so, please state your case clearly and let us know what the telltale signs were.

The Thinking

The male of this pair repeatedly flew from the nest in search of sticks, and he was quick to return. I got some nice horizontals of him returning to the nest but cut off too many wing tips. So I tried some vertical incoming flight and got a few killer good images. But I wanted more and better.

I shared my thoughts with Donna Bordon who was set up next to me. Let’s choose a lower right AF point, focus on the female, and when she gets excited about seeing her mate return, we will just hold the pedal to the metal. We both got a ton of great stuff. This was my very favorite.

Questions are of course welcome.


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12 comments to New AF Image Creation Strategy. Is the Image Real? Is It a Photoshop Phony? Or Is It Love? Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad… Meat Loaf

  • avatar Terry

    Your explanation makes total sense to me, but the neck of the incoming bird looks a little offset or unnatural. But, maybe its just a moment in flying position … hared to say. Great image, nonetheless!

  • avatar James Shadle

    I saw this on the back of your camera:), looks pretty much the way I remember it.

  • avatar Monte Brown


    Love the shot but either the tips of the primary flight feathers and tail feathers of the female are very dirty or they are from another species of bird. The upper legs on the female have a slightly different tonality (black and more matte) than the lower, which may be caused by the bird’s shadow.

  • avatar Billy Wingfield

    Great shot, Arthur. To my eye, the male’s head/neck doesn’t belong to it’s body: the whites are different, the position doesn’t look natural, and I’m not sure you could have gotten the male’s neck/head in focus with the focus point on the female’s neck. Of course, I could be completely wrong on all these points!

    • avatar David Policansky

      Interesting comment, Billy. Now that you mention it, the male’s neck doesn’t seem to connect with his body.

  • Hello! I know you’re more eager than most to receive grammatical and spelling corrections, and to that end I must point out that “pedal to the metal” is the only way to go! Terrific picture, too.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I agree completely with Jon, and with Cheryl Sewell’s last sentence. The only thing I noticed was the little piece of green vegetation in the lower foreground, which I thought you might have got rid of, although it doesn’t bother me at all.

  • avatar Gary Felker

    I suspect the female head has been traded for one from another shot. The clue is that the feather pattern around the female head looks slightly clipped. It is very hard to select feathery patterns well for moving.

  • avatar Cheryl Sewell

    Only because you mentioned it I’m going to suggest the females eye might have been cloned. Her eye isn’t as uniform as his, but then that might just be her excitement showing. Anyone, including me, would see that shot and admire the beauty, not questioning the method used to get there.

  • Hi Artie,
    Beautiful capture, I really can’t notice anything in the image that would make me think it was altered. If it was you did a really good job! Ha Ha,
    Also wanted to mention how much I like the set up guide for the Canon EOS 7D Mark II that I purchased from you. It was a huge help in adjusting and understanding the settings in my new camera.
    Look forward to your next post

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Many thanks Janet. Glad that you are finding the guide helpful. later and love, artie

      ps; be sure to see the blog tomorrow…. For lots of reasons.

  • avatar Jon

    Wonderful image Artie, I don’t see any signs of cloning/patching etc on this image. I think the real test would be on the full sized image but I doubt if I would see anything there either. I was so taken by the poses it would not occur to me if you had or had not been doing any repair work. Great shot well done.