Triangular Simplicity… Amazing Revelation Made Out of Ignorance? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Triangular Simplicity... Amazing Revelation Made Out of Ignorance?

What’s Up?

On my post-op visit I was told, “You are well ahead of the curve.” I am feeling good and having fun and enjoyed a short session at La Jolla with Patrick Sparkman. At 8:30 he headed for work and I headed for the UCSD Medical Center for my appointment.

I snagged more than a few folks and all but one unhappy camper took the April Fool’s blog post as a good joke. I did answer every response personally. Till next year πŸ™‚

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks 148 days in a row with a new educational blog post. Assuming that I will be making the trip to Namibia on April 11, this streak will come to an end soon. As always–and folks have been doing a really 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. Please remember that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.


This image was created at Hokkaido, Japan on the last Japan in Winter IPT with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 142mm) and the amazing mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/16 in late afternoon light.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF on the center of the closest footprint and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Red-crowned Crane footprints in snow

Triangular Simplicity…

Please feel free to share your thoughts on today’s featured image. Does it bring anything to mind? How does it make you feel?


A DPP 4 Screen Capture of today’s featured image

Amazing Revelation Made Out of Ignorance?

There are lots of ways to get away from too BLUE snow. Play with the color temperature slider during the RAW conversion. With the 5DS R in DPP 4 there is a great Auto: White Priority WB setting that works well in certain situations. The same can be said about Click White Balance. I was not happy with either of those last two with today’s image so I opened the Color Temperature slider. As I moved the color temperature slider I noticed that the peaks for each color on the RGB histogram shifted and that when the snow looked totally neutral, I was amazed to see that the centers of the peaks for all three colors were perfectly aligned.

At this point I realize that some folks might be thinking, big deal, I’ve known that for years. For me it was a revelation. Perhaps I have just been plain ignorant for the past 14 years of doing digital. Does anyone use this in their workflow when attempting to balance the color?

On second thought: I am not sure that it is even possible to line up the centers of the peaks for each color with all images. And I am not sure that the results would be 100% desirable. But I do know that it worked for this image. Future experimentation and study to follow. Please feel free to share your experiences here.

Note: if an image is too BLUE after the RAW conversion you can always go to Hue Saturation, select the BLUE channel, and decrease the Saturation to taste.

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To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod heads, Gitzo tripods, Wimberley heads and plates, LensCoats and accessories, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. I just learned that my account was suspended during my absence; it should be up and running by Monday at the latest.

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In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right πŸ™‚

11 comments to Triangular Simplicity… Amazing Revelation Made Out of Ignorance?

  • avatar Jackie Milburn

    The image looks like flying birds in a snow storm….It had me going, just like your April Fool’s… πŸ™‚ How does it make me feel? I need more confidence in my own work.

  • avatar Gary Axten

    It’s interesting, though not as wall/award worthy as your recent egret image. It also reminded me of hieroglyphics.

    Is the little mark behind from a forth toe?

  • I’m surprised you only had one unhappy camper for your annual April Fools
    joke blog.

    When I saw you listed the equipment and prices, I thought, oh my πŸ™‚


    • Oh and for the image…one of the first things that came to mind
      was Egyptian writings (I’m imaging the image in a sandstone type
      of color).


  • Artie, this looks like flying white birds! BTW, did you really change to Sony or was that April Fools?

  • The image reminds me of BIF. πŸ™‚

  • avatar MR

    Image gives me the impression of three snow geese flying – wings down. The one on the right is “flying” at a funny angle though.

    I also discovered just two weeks ago how precisely you can get the colors of an image to look “right” with the color temp slider (even a relatively small numerical change can have a noticeable effect). Combining that with the “fine-tune” is also good. The click white balance (eyedropper) is a bit hit and miss in my hands.

    All the best.

  • avatar Lanny McDowell

    How does this image make me feel? I feel like I missed witnessing a very unique moment in the history of Sherwood Forest, one of those never-again sights, destined to melt away with the snow. Picture the terrified Jeremy Davies toting the ammo belts across the rubble and rumble of Searching for Private Ryan. Then see Robin Hood’s trusted crossbow courier scampering from broad branch to broad branch, oak to beech, beech to oak, gliding above the wintry forest floor. One more graceful leap and his delivery to the boys in the band is complete, then his bouncing cloak snags a protruding twig and his thin arm clutching the trio of crossbows is yanked away from his lithe body. The crossbows drop level and straight into the snow, giving the impression of a giant crane passing by, headed whence came the courier.

  • avatar Dave McShaffrey

    Artie, I noticed this phenomenon with relation to snow several years ago – one of the many advantages of living in Ohio over Florida, I guess. πŸ™‚ I use ACR for conversions and if there is a lot of snow the auto setting will usually cause the peaks to converge; if the subject has strong reds, greens or blues those peaks will stick out from under the white peak a bit. In almost every case with snow I can replicate the auto setting manually by simply aligning the peaks with the slider. I experimented a bit this morning, and a similar thing seems to hold true for other images dominated by a neutral color such as whites, blacks, browns or grays; the peaks will align if the image is rendered neutral by eye or by the auto setting. If one of the primary colors is dominant it won’t quite work, though you can often get really close. The dominant color will peak to the right of the white peak, one of the other colors will be right under the white peak, and the third will be more or less symmetrically aligned to the right of the white peak.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Nice image and interesting observation. It seems to make sense for a white subject–snow–that is seems neutral (not bluish or reddish) when the peaks of the color histograms are aligned. I look forward to learning the results of further experiments.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi David,

      Already we (Patrick and I) are seeing that it is quite interesting and informative to watch the RGB histograms shift as you move the Color Temperature slider (or set different White Balances) in DPP 4.