The Elusive Head Throw and lots more… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Elusive Head Throw and lots more...

What’s Up?

In addition to the usual work we enjoyed a bit of a homeowner’s challenge here yesterday. Early in the morning Jim let me know that the well pump in the garage was making strange sounds. Soon thereafter we had no water so we killed the circuit breaker and called Spivey Well Drilling in Lake Wales. They were here right after 1pm and spent more than two hours trying to repair the very old pump. When push came to shove, they let me know that they had installed a used pump that could be mine for $450 including the labor. Or opt for a new pump to be installed on Monday or Tuesday for $800-$1000. I went for the new pump. Aside from being unable to use the toilets, it is funny how many times we rely on running water without realizing it…


BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #480 is online and can be accessed here.

  • Your Very Last Chance to join the 2017 Bear Boat Coastal Brown Bear Cubs IPTs
  • The Blog is the Bomb!
  • Used Photo Gear Sales Hot!
  • My latest e-book birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100
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The 2017 Bear Boat Coastal Brown Bear Cubs IPTs

If you are interested in either of the 2017 Bear Boat Coastal Brown Bear Cubs IPTs I urge you to give item one in the Bulletins above a careful read.


birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100
The companion e-book to the solo exhibit at TheNat, San Diego, California

The new e-book on CD is available for $23 here. And it is also available via convenient download for $20 by clicking here.

birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100

If you missed the announcement of the new e-book click here for complete info that includes details on getting a signed copy.

From Multiple IPT Veteran Stephen Leimberg

Art, this is the most beautiful book on bird photography I’ve ever seen! What an inspiration! A visual feast! Bravo! Warmest, Steve

From Mike Moore

The top 100 collection is almost too overwhelming to absorb at once. I will be looking at it many, many times to be able to drink it all in. I will say I never really appreciated blurs, but Cottonwood Morning Wave is one of my favorite images. The colors and the composition are superb. There is a real feeling of being present at a live event that a sharp photo would not have conveyed, so maybe you won me over. You give a 100 great examples of something for us to strive for. I especially appreciated that you annotated every image to get a sense of what it took to capture it. Brilliant. Congratulations and thanks for sharing and making it so affordable to own this collection of some of the world’s greatest bird images.

From IPT Veteran Larry Master

I just downloaded your new collection of 100 images! Wow! I’ve seen many before in your posts but to view as one collection it is amazing. Larry

Additional Feedback Requested

If you ordered via download or have already received your CD, I would love to hear what you think. Please do leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail.



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This image was created at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 234mm) and the rugged Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/320 sec. at f/6.3.

A single AF point that was three AF points up and one to the left of the center AF point (Manual selection)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). I should have been in Surround or at least Expand… Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Brown Pelican head throw

The Elusive Head Throw Image…

I tried and tried to create a really good head throw image on the IPT. I taught others what to look for and how best to succeed. I had one really good chance and choked by failing to zoom out wide enough and cut off the tip of the bill. Don’t you hate when that happens? On my last Friday, the day before the exhibit opened, I was shooting at the cliffs with some friends. It was late in the morning and most of the pelicans had left so I made my way out to the end of the rocks and was able to shoot down on a few birds on a lower shelf. I like this one a lot. The key factor here is the fact that it was cloudy; had the sun been out this image would have been horribly side-lit.

An instant after I made this image a pelican photo-bombed the sequence by flying right through the frame in front of the subject; six good frames were ruined. Just think: with the 5DS R only three frames would have been lost. 🙂

Soon I will post an image showing how I wound up with a single AF point that was three AF points up and one to the left of the center AF point (Manual selection) and explaining why I was so lucky here and why Surround or at least Expand would likely have been better in this situation.


The DDP 4 Screen Capture

The DDP 4 Screen Capture

Above, you have to strain your eyes a bit to see the active AF point that is illuminated in read. It is just forward of the eye. You might think me clairvoyant to have selected that single AF point but that was not the case. The explanation will follow in a blog post in a day or two.

It’s funny that with subjects with black and right white how often I wind up with the the Shadow slider set one to the right and the Highlight slider at -1. I do not hesitate to use higher values but for many such images I wind up as shown here.


Another DDP 4 Screen Capture

Courtesy of and Copyright 2016: Vishwanath Bhagwat

DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide Kudos

Via e-mail from Vishwanath Bhagwat

Hi to Artie, Arash and the BAA team.

I had no problems in downloading the DPP 4 guide from the Hightail link in the e-mail.

I couldn’t wait to read it & was immediately able to apply what I was learning as I was using DPP 4 for the first time. My original attempt is on the right & the improved image on the left. Both are JPEG’s – processed, downsized for web & sharpened. I can’t believe the mess I made of the first one that was done before I got the guide. The culprits were “Auto Lighting Optimizer” checked on and using “Unsharp Mask” instead of “Sharpness.”

Thanks a lot for the well written guide. Regards, Vishwanath.

Comments and a question for Vishwanath

Vish-bhai, The improved version looks great. It looks as if you toned down the lights nicely with the Highlight slider (and brought the shadows up a bit as well). What other improvements did you note when you enlarged the view?

Lastly, it sure looks as if you did some Eye Doctor work on this image. Is that correct?


You can order your copy of “The Photographers’ Guide to Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.0” (aka the DPP 4 Raw Conversion eGuide) by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris by clicking here.

The DPP 4 eGuide (PDF)

Learn how and why I and many other discerning photographers choose and use only DPP 4 to convert their Canon RAW files in the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly. The latest version supports all of the newer Canon camera bodies and several older models including the EOS-7D and the EOS-1D Mark IV. The DPP IV Guide is the ideal companion to the 7D Mark II User’s Guide, a runaway best seller.

The DPP 4 eGuide (PDF) Updated for 1D Mark IV and the original 7D

The DPP 4 eGuide was recently updated to include the luminance and chrominance noise reduction values for both the 1D Mark IV and the original 7D. If you purchased your copy from BAA please e-mail Jim and request the DPP 4 1D IV/7D update. Please be sure to cut and paste page 1 of the guide into your e-mail as proof of purchase.

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7 comments to The Elusive Head Throw and lots more…

  • avatar Tony Botelho

    I agree with Alice, a pump wired for 220 will be a lot more efficient, and will pay for itself over time. This may require an electrician to run a 220 line, if you don’t have one in the garage. Unless the well people didn’t tell you because it is already 220.

  • avatar Alice

    I hope you asked for a 220 well pump. It will pay for itself in reduced electricity used in a year.

  • avatar Gary Axten

    Great image, though I like the clean images portrait images it is nice to see the environment occasionally.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Gary, Thanks for commenting but I am confused by what you wrote… Please elucidate or re-phrase. a

      • avatar Gary Axten

        I like your usual style of an isolated subject on a clean background but it’s nice to see a bird in its environment as well, or for a change.