Chick Feeding Time: Another JPEG Save… And a Master File Image Optimization Rescue Technique Tutorial « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Chick Feeding Time: Another JPEG Save... And a Master File Image Optimization Rescue Technique Tutorial

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

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: 354!

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, 354 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 +1 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/10. AWB.

Center AF point (by necessity)/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best with moving subjects). The active AF point was on the neck of the chick getting the fish. 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-legged Kittiwake feeding chick

Chick Feeding Time

In early July, there are hundreds of seabirds feeding their young in cliffside nests. In order to find a good photographic situation you need to know what to look for and keep your eyes open. Be sure to explore all possible perspectives so that you can find the very best place to put your tripod. Attending a UK Puffins and Gannets IPT is a great way to develop this skill.

Another JPEG Save or Another JPEG Screw-up?

Take your pick. I still have no clue as to how I wound up shooting JPEGs for a whole day last year in the UK… With this image the WHITEs on the top of the adult’s head were a bit bright for me with RGB values in the mid-240s to the low 250s. On my first attempt, I pretty much messed up those WHITEs using a variety of my favorite tools and techniques including the Clone Stamp Tool, the Patch Tool, and my Nik Color EFEX Pro 50-50 recipe. I did not realize how bad it was until I looked at the OPTIMIZED TIFF in the Animated GIF below. Notice how gray the top of the head looks. Since the image was created in the UK perhaps I should have used “grey.”

See how I saved the optimized tiff in the text below the animated GIF below.

Comparing the Befores and the Afters

In Digital Basics I am pretty sure that I mention that when I am finished with an image I make it a point to go back and view the RAW, the converted TIFF, and optimized master file full screen so that I can see if I made the image better or worse. I neglected that with today’s featured image…

Saving Flattened Image Files

It is my personal choice to flatten my master files and convert them to 8-bit. As we rarely make prints and not doing so would quadruple my storage needs in most cases, that is best for me.

The Image Clean-up

Notice that I removed two pine needles and eliminated the band on the front chick’s leg. I used my usual clean-up tools and techniques, the Patch Tool, Divide and Conquer Cloning on a Layer, and several Quick Masks refined with Regular Layer Masks and warped using the Transform command.

All of that plus tons more is of course detailed in my Digital Basics File, 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.

Learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair.

Correcting Mistakes on Flattened Master Files

For many years I would simply start over. But then I came up with a fast simple way to make such saves. I used that technique to save today’s featured image after the fact. Again, with my first effort, the WHITEs on the top of the head were splotchy, uneven, and too grey (or gray). Here’s how I did it:

#1: First I opened both the original JPEG (I would usually be opening the converted TIFF…) and the optimized TIFF.
#2: Then I duplicated the original JPEG (Control + J) and dragged that layer on top of the optimized TIFF.
#3: I had the top layer with an Inverse (or Black of Hide-All) Mask.
#4: I painted with white (B, D) to reveal the brighter WHITEs of the JPEG. In addition, since I overdid the NIK 50-50 and the sharpening on the face of the chick that was getting fed, I painted in the original face with a 50% opacity brush. It was much better. Once I flattened and saved the new version I created the JPEG that opens today’s blog post.

5DS R Sharpness Comment

As noted previously, the sharpness of 5DS R images will be affected by motion blur more than images made with camera bodies offering smaller file sizes. I believe that that is why the face of the chick getting the fish is not spectacularly sharp. That is a plus both for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR and for the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR, both of which offer considerably smaller image files.


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.

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 Chick Feeding Time: Another JPEG Save… And a Master File Image Optimization Rescue Technique Tutorial

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


    Later and love from Ushuaia, Argentina, artie

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Another spectacular Arthur Morris shot!
    I love it.
    the chick getting the fish looks plenty sharp to me.
    The other chick looks a bit fuzzy all around, but it doesn’t bother me one bit. The action is with the other two and its just great. removing the two pine needles was perfect. The optimization you did really worked out well.