Hand Held 100-400 II/5DS R = Grandpa Arthur’s Success « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Hand Held 100-400 II/5DS R = Grandpa Arthur's Success

What’s Up?

I spent most of the day on Saturday at the Kennedy Space Center with my two girls and three of their four kids. The highly touted shuttle launch simulator was somewhat of a disappointment. I headed back to the car for a nap after a late lunch and wound up working the whole time on the laptop and then working every minute of the two hour drive home.

Thanks to all who commented on yesterday’s blog post with encouraging words for my grandson Idris.

On a musical note: if you missed Aretha Franklin’s rendition of Natural Woman while accompanying herself on the piano in a tribute to honoree Carole King at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2015 you will surely want to click here. But only if you have a heart and a soul. It is a stirring performance. Thanks to younger daughter Alissa for sharing it with me.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks 124 days in a row with a new educational blog post. As always–and folks have been doing a great job recently–please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only.


This image was created at Indian Lake Estates with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 340mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/500 sec. at f/10. Color temperature: 8,000K.

61-Point Automatic Selection/Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The system selected a single AF point on the bird’s cheek. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Sandhill Crane calling at sunset

Taming a Super-bright Sun

A good portion of the sun in the RAW file for today’s featured image was a detail-less 255, 255, 255. In another frame taken just a minute later the sun was nicely muted but I was too tight at 400mm and the calling pose was not as striking as in today’s featured image so I decided to try to tone the sun down. I started with a large Quick Mask of the area to the left of the sun. I moved it to cover the sun and then reduced the Opacity of the layer to about 15%. Next I refined that layer with a Regular Layer Mask. Then I used the Clone Stamp Tool and several additional smaller Quick Masks but each time I was a bit disappointed in the result. Twice during the process I went with a 60 pixel Gaussian Blur. I think that the final version looks pretty darned good; it is certainly a huge improvement as compared to the original image below.

If you have any suggestions on how I might have done better please leave a comment.

61-Point Automatic Selection AF

I have often gone to Automatic Selection AF with previous Canon cameras in similar situations, especially with long-necked birds in vertical frames so its effectiveness here was no surprise at all. As I stated the other day, 61-Point Automatic Selection AF with the 5DS R is, however, vastly improved in a variety of different sections. I will be addressing those in coming blog posts and will be including comments on the 1DX II as well.


Photo Mechanic screen capture showing completely over-exposed sun just before sunset

Photo Mechanic Screen Capture

The Photo Mechanic screen capture shows that the setting sun was totally over-exposed in the RAW capture. If you work dark enough to eliminate blinkies on the sun in situations like this you will wind up with the bird silhouetted against a black sky; those do not work too well; in effect, you need to “give away the sun.” On rare occasion, as with today’s featured image, a save is possible.

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