Near-Perfect In-Heaven Image Capture… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Near-Perfect In-Heaven Image Capture...

What’s Up?

I am somewhere in South America. I hope that you are well. Jim and Jen are at the office most days to help you with your mail order needs and Instructional Photo-Tour sign-ups. I still need folks for San Diego, Japan, Galapagos, the Palouse, and the Bear Boat (Grizzly Cubs) trips. Among others 🙂 Please e-mail for couples and discount info for all of the above. Click here for complete IPT info.

I will have relatively decent internet access for all but 22 OCT thru 11 NOV while I am on the Sea Spirit. Best and great picture making, artie

Please remember that the blog is intended to be interactive; the higher the number of folks who participate, the more everyone learns, including you. And me.

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, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

The Streak: 348!

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, 348 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 East Pond at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge on my private morning with E-mac (Elizabeth MacSwann) while seated behind 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 fast, rugged Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with 64GB Card and Reader. ISO 1000. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/9. Daylight WB.

Three AF points to the left and two rows up from the center AF point/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point fell just forward of the bird’s eye. 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.

Least Sandpiper, juvenile “in heaven”

The “In-Heaven” Look

This juvie Least Sandpiper flew in and landed nearby. My eyes opened wide when I saw that he opted to rest just on the other side of the crest of a small bank that led down to the edge of a rainwater pool. I knew that by lowering my tripod just a bit that I could put the rise between us and by focusing on the bird’s face the foreground would be thrown completely out of focus and yield the shorebird in heaven look. Usually you need to be flat on the ground to execute this but the bird’s chosen spot made it easy to do while I was seated.

Image Design Questions

Would you like to see more of the legs? Why or why not? What do you think of the head angle?


DPP 4 Screen Capture

Near-Perfect Image Capture…

So what’s so good? Note that all three color channels are more than halfway into the fifth histogram box and that the active AF point, illuminated here in red, was nicely on the same plane as the peep’s eye. Note also the RGB values of 217, 216, 218. Those readings off the brightest parts of the bird’s breast. The foreground RGB values were in the mid-high 230s just as I prefer them.

For the image optimization I set the black point and the white point with a Levels Adjustment, applied my Nik Color EFEX Pro 25/25 recipe, and warmed up the mid-tones a bit. Two minutes easy-peasy.

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 🙂

2 comments to Near-Perfect In-Heaven Image Capture…

  • avatar Peter Macdonald


    Hope that the trip is going well. No doubt tiring but sounds awesome.

    Is it just me, but I can only see four boxes in the DPP histogram window?

    Best regards,


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks and yes tiring 🙂 You got me. I should have referred to the “rightmost” box of the histogram. The Canon cameras have five boxes.

      Later and love from Ushuaia, Argentina. artie