Bad Luck Necessitates Surgery for the Ruined-By-Nictitating-Membrane Image… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Bad Luck Necessitates Surgery for the Ruined-By-Nictitating-Membrane Image...


Same old, same old on Sunday with lots of re-hab work on my right hip and my right shoulder along with my walk, a chilly swim, and my core exercises. The Used Gear Page remains hot with lots of great stuff listed and lots of recent sales.

The upcoming Palouse IPT will be my last. Do consider joining what will likely be a small group. Scroll down for details.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of 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: 444

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, 444 days in a row with a new educational blog post. As always–and folks have been doing a really great for a long time now–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 BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

This is a tight crop of today’s featured image below.

Eye of pelican covered by nictitating membrane

Bad Luck

You do just about everything right and wind up with a comical image of a nice pelican on a neat perch with a distant Pacific background, and best of all, its bill pouch is open and the image — made in low light — is very sharp. But upon closer examination you notice that the bird’s nictitating membrane is completely covering the eye … What to do? Check the adjacent frames to see if you have an image of the same bird with the same approximate framing with an eye that is both open and sharp. Bingo!

In DPP 4 I converted the base image, the one with the bad eye, and then copied the recipe and pasted it into the next frame, the one with the sharp, open eye. Then it was a simple matter of converting the second image (Command + D).

This image was created at La Jolla, CA with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens and my favorite bird photography camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/500 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode. (Should have been +2 stops.) Daylight WB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: +7.

Three AF points to the left and two rows up from the center AF point/Manual selection/AI Servo/Shutter button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the bird’s neck just below the visible patch of red, right on the same plane as the subject’s eye.

Brown Pelican with bill open

Surgery for the Ruined-by-Nictitating-Membrane Image…

Once you open both images in Photoshop the rest of the work is a piece of cake. Paint a small Quick Mask (Q, B, D, X, Q) of the good eye, and the Move Tool (V) to position it roughly into place. Enlarge the area, reduce the Opacity of the top layer to about 50%, and move it so that the pupil is centered over the pupil on the layer below. Add a Layer Mask and paint away anything that is not needed. Now go back to the layer (not the mask). Hit Command T to engage the Transform Command. Now you can Rotate or Warp the new eye as needed. Total time: less than two minutes.

Everything above and tons more is detailed in my Digital Basics File, an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete (former PC) 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, NIK Color Efex Pro, and Digital Eye Doctor techniques, using Gaussian Blurs, Dodge and Burn, a variety of ways to make selections, how to create time-saving actions, and tons more.

Learn to convert your Can CR.2 RAW files in the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide. Learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair. You can learn to apply Neat Image noise reduction in The Professional Photographers Guide to Post Processing by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly.

I am working on an all new Current Workflow e-guide that better reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow. It will include a section on ACR conversions and a simplified method of applying Neat Image noise reduction.


Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card

Why Different?

Announcing the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour

In what ways will the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour be different from the most other Palouse workshops?

There are so many great locations that a seven-day IPT (as opposed to the typical three- or five-day workshops) will give the group time to visit (and revisit) many of the best spots while allowing you to maximize your air travel dollars. In addition, it will allow us to enjoy a slightly more relaxed pace.

You will be assured of being in the right location for the given weather and sky conditions.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills.

You will learn to design powerful, graphic images.

You will visit all of the iconic locations and a few spectacular ones that are much less frequently visited.

You will learn long lens landscape techniques.

You will learn to master any exposure situation in one minute or less.

You will learn the fine points of Canon in-camera (5D Mark III, 5DS R, and 7D II) HDR techniques.

You will be able to share a variety of my exotic Canon lenses including the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, aka the “circle lens.”

You will learn to use your longest focal lengths to create rolling field and Urbex abstracts.

You will learn when and how to use a variety of neutral density filters to create pleasing blurs of the Palouse’s gorgeous rolling farmlands.

As always, you will learn to see like a pro. You will learn what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time. You will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images.

You will learn to use super-wide lenses both for big skies and building interiors.

You will learn when, why, and how to use infrared capture; if you do not own an infrared body, you will get to borrow mine.

You will learn to use both backlight and side-light to create powerful and dramatic landscape images.


Palouse 2016 Verticals Card

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour
June 8-14, 2017. Seven full days of photography. Meet and greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 7: $2,499. Limit 10/Openings: 7.

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will enjoy spectacular sunrises and at least one nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. I will bring you to more than a few really neat old abandoned barns and farmhouses in idyllic settings. There is no better way to improve your compositional and image design skills and to develop your creativity than to join me for this trip. Photoshop and image sharing sessions when we have the time and energy…. We get up early and stay out late and the days are long.

Over the past three years, with the help of a friend, we found all the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and vistas. What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, my extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions. As above, there will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before the workshop begins.

To Sign Up

Your non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining this IPT. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours to arrange for the payment of your deposit; if by check, please make out to “BIRDS AS ART” and mail it to: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail: artie.

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. 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. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print carefully 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 please remember that I am 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, 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 :).

7 comments to Bad Luck Necessitates Surgery for the Ruined-By-Nictitating-Membrane Image…

  • avatar Neil Hickman

    This one made me pause as it came up full screen. And I’ve been back a few times. A CRACKER! Just love this image.

  • avatar Jackie Milburn

    Great shot! The remedy is exactly what I would have done, maybe not the same recipe but the end result would have been close.

    P.S. when I first saw the post I thought it was you heading back in for another quick fix 🙂

    Peace and Love J

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    This shot is beautiful.
    love the detail in the feathers. Some nearly look like hair or fur.
    color and framing are perfect.
    I am looking forward to your new workflow e-book.

  • avatar Bob Allen

    Such a beautiful image. The background is right-on; that plus sharpness of the feathers really makes the image pop. Appreciate the eye doctor tip as well.