JPEGs and WHITEs. Ooops, But Easily Save-able… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

JPEGs and WHITEs. Ooops, But Easily Save-able...

What’s Up?

Not much. On the schedule for Friday was lots of BAA-related clerical work, answering e-mails, working on blog posts, healthy eating, a relaxing 3/4 mile swim, and some core exercises.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending IPTs and dozens of the folks whom I see in the field and on BPN are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear. Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

Selling Your Used 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. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the yellow-orange tab on the right side of the menu bar above.

Used Gear Sales Continue to be Brisk

  • Michael Hansen sold a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for $1599 in late August.
  • Peter Noyes sold his Apple MacBook Pro with 15.4 inch Retina Display, 16 GB memory, 1 TB Flash Drive, 2.8 GHZ Intel Core I7 processor, and Force-Touch keypad for $1,199 in late August.
  • Multiple IPT-veteran Mike Goldhamer sold his Canon EOS-5D Mark III (with the battery grip) in excellent plus condition for $1550 in late August.
  • Multiple IPT veteran Bill Lloyd sold his Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO II USM lens in mint condition for $5,999. in mid-August.
  • Many multiple IPT-veteran Mike Goldhamer sold his Canon EOS-5D Mark III in excellent plus condition for $1550.
  • Eric Karl sold his Canon 7D Mark II camera in like-new condition with the BG-E16 battery grip for $1,099 in mid-August.
  • Tom Mast sold his Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM lens in excellent condition for $625 in late July.
  • Henry Raymundo sold his Gitzo 1325 tripod and a Wimberley V-2 head both in very good plus condition for the very low price of $699 and two used Canon 100-400mm IS L Zoom lenses, one in excellent condition for $599, the other in very good plus condition for $549–all in late July.
  • Jonathan Ward sold his Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent condition for $2,000 CAD in early July.
  • Long ago multiple IPT veteran Charles McRae sold his Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS lens in good to very good condition in early July for a record low $4,199.
  • Jeffrey Fredberg sold his EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM L series lens in like-new condition for the record-low BAA price of $749 in late June.
  • Jim Burns sold his Canon 200-400mm F/4L IS zoom lens with Internal 1.4X Extender in brand new condition for the insane BAA record-low price of $8499 in late June.
  • New Listings

    Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

    IPT veteran Jack Nevitt is offering a Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM lens in mint condition for $1499. The sale includes the lens case LP 1016, the, original box, the front and rear lens caps, the instruction booklet and CD, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

    Please contact Jack via e-mail or by phone at 703-966-3343 (eastern time).

    This lens is ideal for serious landscape photographers and for architectural, wedding, and night sky star photography. It sells new for $2099. artie

    Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AF VR Zoom D ED Lens

    BPN Landscape moderator Andrew McLachlan is offering an Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 AF VR Zoom D ED lens (the original version) in excellent condition for $699; the outer finish shows signs of use; the optics are perfect). The sale includes the original tripod collar as well as a Kirk Enterprises replacement tripod collar that greatly improves the stability of this lens when it is tripod mounted. Also included is the original lens bag and insured ground shipping via major courier to US and Canadian addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

    Please contact Andrew via e-mail or by phone at 1-705-279-8181 (eastern time).

    This versatile lens is ideal for bird-scapes, scenic, and Urbex photography. The newer version sells for $2,296.95 so folks on a budget can get in the game while enjoying huge savings. artie

    Great Buy!

    Canon EF 400mm f/4 IS DO Lens

    The Lowest-ever BAA Price!

    Multiple IPT-veteran Mike Goldhamer is offering a used Used Canon EF 400mm f/4 IS DO lens in excellent condition for the record low price of $2100. The sale includes the a Camo LensCoat, the 4th Generation Design CP-42 Arca-Swiss compatible lens plate, the lens trunk with keys, the front cover, the rear lens cap, and insured ground shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

    Please contact Mike via e-mail or by phone at 619-888-6183 (Pacific time).

    I used this lens for several years with great success, especially for birds in flight and while working from various type of water craft. In addition, it would make a great prime super-telephoto lens for folks with a 7D II. Gannets in Love was created with the 400 DO. You can see that one and 13 other killer images that I made with my old 400 DO here. The title of that blog post is “The Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO Lens: Fourteen Images that Prove that the Internet Experts are Idiots.” Mike’s lens is priced to sell. artie

    The Streak

    Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 289 days in a row with a new educational blog post. There should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. Or not… 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. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the new BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.


    This image was created on the 2016 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 800. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/500 sec. at f/10. AWB.

    Center AF point (by necessity)/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF on the bird’s eye and recompose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

    LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -5.

    Black-headed Gull on nest


    On June 30, 2016 I wound up with 176 keepers from a single day on the two puffins islands; somehow, 93 of those were JPEG captures.I have no idea how it happened. The most likely cause would have been the failure to set the camera back to RAW capture after a LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjusting session, but that was done at home before I left… I did have my LensAlign kit and pan tilt head with me and had been M/A-ing lenses for a few of the folks in the group on the trip, but there was no way that that would have affected my 5DS R, the one with the vertical battery grip that serves as my workhorse body most days. Mystified is the only word that fits.

    WHITEs and JPEGs

    When I extract the embedded JPEG from a Canon RAW file, the file turns out to be roughly the same size as a converted TIFF. The same is true when I create Large JPEGs (almost always by accident…) While it is true that JPEGs on average will be a bit more contrasty than a converted TIFF, you will be fine as long as your exposure is right on. If you blow the WHITEs with a JPEG, that is, overexpose them (255, 255, 255), you are toast. They can never be recovered. With today’s featured image the brightest WHITEs on the gull’s breast were 245, 245, 245, a pure WHITE but just a bit too tight for my taste. But I loved this image of what I loving call “Chocolate-headed Gull” from the moment I saw it so I decided to optimize it and see what I could do with the bright WHITEs.

    I put the whole image on a duplicate layer and applied Detail Extractor (DE) at 100%. The breast of the bird looked great with lots of detail but the BKGR had much too much detail as did the foreground and the bird’s brown hood. So I added a Regular Layer Mask and painted away the DE with a 100% opacity brush from the aforementioned areas. Then I hit X and painted back in a bit of DE to the hood with a 33% opacity brush. Then I hit X again, went to a 50% opacity brush, and painted away half of the effect on the gray feathers. Voila. You can see the differences between the original JPEG and the optimized file by looking at the animated GIF below.

    Note: the WHITEs in the optimized file showed RGB values in the high 230s after the 100% layer of DE was applied.

    The Image Optimization

    You can see how nicely NIK Color EFEX Pro brought back the detail in the whites without graying them out. As above, note that the RGB values are still in the high 230s in the optimized image; nice and white with feather detail. In addition, I did a bit of bill and BKGR clean-up, all using my usual Photoshop friends, the Patch Tool, the Spot Healing Brush, and the Clone Stamp Tool.

    You can learn to do pretty much all of the above and lots more in my Digital Basics File. Learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair.

    Digital Basics is an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, details on using all of my image clean-up tools, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, the basics of Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro, Digital Eye Doctor techniques, using Gaussian Blurs, Dodge and Burn, a variety of ways to make selections, how to create time-saving actions, the Surface Blur settings that I use to smooth background noise, and tons more.

    Image Optimization Question…

    During the clean-up I missed one pretty important thing and one minor, i.e., miniscule, thing. If you think that you know what they are, do leave a comment.


    Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

    2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT
    Monday July 3 through Monday July 10, 2017: $5999: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 6). Two great leaders: Arthur Morris and BPN co-owner, BPN Photography Gear Forum Moderator, and long-time BAA Webmaster Peter Kes.

    Here are the plans: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on July 2 and arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday July 3 no later than 10am (or simply meet us then at the Edinburgh Airport–EDI, or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe). Stay 7 nights in one of three gorgeous modern country cottages.

    There are five days of planned puffin/seabird trips and one morning of gannet photography, all weather permitting of course. In three years we have yet to miss an entire day because of weather… In addition, we will enjoy several sessions of photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level.


    Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

    The Details

    We will get to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet; Arctic, Sandwich, and Common Terns, the former with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks. We will be staying in upscale country-side lodging that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with a private bathroom. See the limited single supplement info below.

    All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared by you in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day.

    If you wish to fly home on the morning of Monday July 10 we will get you to the airport. Please, however, consider the following tentative plans: enjoy a second Gannet boat trip on the afternoon of Monday July 10 and book your hotel room in Dunbar. If all goes as planned, those who stay on for the two extra days will make a morning landing at Bass Rock, one of the world’s largest gannetries. We will get everyone to the airport on the morning of Wednesday July 12. (We may opt to stay in Edinburgh on the night of July 11.) Price and details should be finalized at least six months before the trip but you will need to be a bit patient. It would be ideal if I can get all the work done by the end of September so that folks can arrange their flights then.


    Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2016.

    Deposit Info

    If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome–please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on March 29, 2017. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. 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. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

    Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

    Single Supplement Deposit Info

    Single supplement rooms are available on a limited basis. To ensure yours, please register early. The single supplement fee is $1575. If you would like your own room, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement; your single supplement deposit check should be for $3,575. As we will need to commit to renting the extra space, single supplement deposits are non-refundable so please be sure that check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below.

    Travel Insurance

    Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options you can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check of running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print careful even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

    This trip has sold out far in advance every year so do not tarry. I hope that you can join me.

    Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

    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 New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

    As always, 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 would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


    Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!


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

8 comments to JPEGs and WHITEs. Ooops, But Easily Save-able…

  • Hi Art, I use Thunderbird for mail on my Mac, and it seems to run very straight-forwardly. No surprises.

  • avatar Pat Dunnuck

    Let me guess…catch light increase in eye , white wash on green twig in bottom left & small brown dot on bottom part of chest feathers! Only a guess! Lol

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    I see the small black dot on lower breast of the bird but can’t find any other missed spot.

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Minuscule thing: the microscopic black dot in the lower part of the bird’s breast .
    pretty important thing: tough one. did you miss lightening the dark area in front of the bird’s eye?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi g-K, The black speck on the breast was the big miss. And I cannot remember what the small one was…


      ps: did you get my last e-mail about the books? I will re-send now.

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        Yikes. I just found three of your e-mail in the Junk folder; what’s with Apple Mail???


        • avatar Kerry Morris

          i have no clue. Take me out of the junk folder!
          i sent a reply to you yesterday in green – maybe went to junk again.

          • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

            You have been un-junked. I sent you three e-mail yesterday; did you get them? I did not get yours and it is NOT in the Junk folder. Please forward it to this address: and let me know if you got my e-mails 🙁


            ps: Just found a bunch more marked Junk but not in the Junk folder… Yikes!