The 1D X Advantage & Announcing the 2016 San Diego IPT « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The 1D X Advantage & Announcing the 2016 San Diego IPT


Got lots done on my 2014 tax return on Thursday. Not sure what else I got accomplished but I was busy. Shivered after my 59 degree on the way out ice bath and then another evening of NHL and NBA playoffs. This blog post, the 134th in a row, took about 1 1/2 hours to prepare. It should be published automatically just after midnight on Friday.

Used Photography Gear Stuff

There has been lots of action on the Used Photography Gear page here. The following items sold within the past week:

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens sold for $4999 by Jacques Bouvier on May 20, 2015.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II sold by Carl Zanoni for $1649 on May 19, 2015.
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM sold by Owen Peller for $799 on 5/19/14.

In addition, a sale is pending on Barbara Garmon’s 7D.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily.

Used Gear Cautions

Though I am not in a position to post images of gear for sale here or elsewhere, prospective buyers are encouraged to request for photos of the gear that they are interested in purchasing via e-mail. Doing so will help to avoid any misunderstandings as to the condition of the gear. Sellers are advised to take care to photograph their used gear with care against clean backgrounds so that the stuff is represented accurately and in the best light; please pardon the pun :).


This image was created on the San Diego IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the internal TC in place at 560mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X . ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/5.6 was about a one stop underexposure.

Upper Zone AF/Rear Focus AF selected a single AF point two AF points above the center AF point as framed that was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Brown Pelican ruffling; vertical front-end portrait in pre-dawn light

In Love With Pelicans

The Pacific race of Brown Pelican with their bright red and olive green bill pouches has been one of my very favorite avian subjects for close to three decades now.

The Image Optimization

Though I did zero clean-up on this image I spent more than 30 minutes optimizing it. The bulk of the lightening was done during the RAW conversion in DPP with the Brightness and Shadow sliders. A color temperature of 6000K looked best. I used Arash Hazeghi’s luminance and chrominance values for the 1D X at ISO 1600; they worked superbly as expected. All as detailed in our DPP 4 Guide.

During 25 minutes in Photoshop I selectively applied my NIK 50-50 Color Efex Pro recipe to the bird only painting it away at varying opacities after applying a Regular Layer Mask. Next was a slight Linear Burn on the bright feathers of the upper back near the left frame edge. Then I selected the face and bill using the Quick Selection Tool (as I did when selecting the whole bird above) and applied a Contrast Mask. As I often do, I lightened that layer by pulling up the curve. I finished up the image by lightening it with a Curves adjustment after first pinning the brightest tones by putting two points on the upper right section of the curve. All of the above is of course detailed in Digital Basics.

The 1D X Advantage

When it comes to accurate color, clean, high quality image files, and control of high ISO noise the Canon EOS-1D X (and the 5D Mark III as well) have it all over the 7D Mark II. Period.


San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

2015 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) JAN 8 thru the morning of JAN 12, 2016: $1899 (Limit: 10)

Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the day before the IPT begins
Two great leaders: Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito

Join us in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s and Double-crested Cormorants in breeding plumage with their amazing crests; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Duck; other species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lions likely; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice landscape opportunities as well.

Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter?

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, five lunches, after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions, and a thank you dinner. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility.

A $499 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 11/1//2015. 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. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. 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.


Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings.


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7 comments to The 1D X Advantage & Announcing the 2016 San Diego IPT

  • Hi, I just read, that prestigious Camera Grand Prix honours go to the Canon 7D Mark 2 for innovation (Japan),

  • avatar Tom Tymons

    Thanks for the unambiguous statement of the 1Dxadvantage over the 7D2.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      YAW. I should have mentioned faster AF drive with TCs due to the more powerful battery, faster frame rate, and for some–but not me, more consistently accurate AF tracking accuracy. artie

  • avatar Graham hedrick

    Art, as much as I’d love the 1d x, it is out of my price range. Would you buy the 7d mkII, or the 5d mkIII?
    Thanks – Graham Hedrick

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Depends on what and where you like to photograph…. If you like birds and they are not tame then you need the 7D II. If you do lots of scenics and flowers and Urbex stuff then you need a 5D III. artie

  • avatar David Peake

    Beautifully optimised image of the brown pelican ruffling Artie. That should be ruffling comma Artie.
    Looks really good to me . Not like you to underexpose.
    Did you fix the exposure before presenting it here ? B/c I’m not seeing it underexposed.
    What happened to the other end of the bird.?
    Now it’s good night to me.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi David, Hope that you are sleeping well. Either way is correct on Brown Pelican ruffling…. Yes, this image was lightened considerably first during the RAW conversion in DPP 4 and then again in Photoshop. This framing is one of many possible “front-end vertical compositions.” Images designed like this offer the viewer much more detail than images that feature the whole bird. They need to be done carefully to avoid looking awkward. See the “Advanced Composition and Image Design” chapter in ABP II. artie