Making Hay While It Drizzles. And the First Free-to-all Update to the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II): Filling in Added Canvas by Judiciously Stretching the Pixels « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Making Hay While It Drizzles. And the First Free-to-all Update to the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II): Filling in Added Canvas by Judiciously Stretching the Pixels

Stuff

We eventually made it out on the boat on Tuesday. In the drizzle. At first, we were told that we would be able to land on Inner Farnes for two hours, but right before sailing we learned that the island had been closed (by the researchers). After a short discussion, we decided to take a photo cruise around the islands. Photography was difficult but we did have a few chances and got to talk about cloudy-day exposures. In addition, I was able to give the group the lay of the land as we passed close by the two landing spots.

On Wednesday morning, the weather is looking great for our full day sail.

Photoshop Hanky Panky/Answers Tomorrow

If you missed the big question on the Some of the Birds at Fort DeSoto are Tame. And Can You Spot the Photoshop Hanky Panky? blog post on Monday, you might wish to play detective here. Some folks are on the right track …

The Streak

Just in case you have not been counting, today makes 17 days in a row with a new educational blog post 🙂

Booking.Com

I could not secure the lodging that I needed for the UK Puffins and Gannets IPT in Dunbar, Scotland, so I went from Hotels.Com to Booking.Com and was pleasantly surprised. I found the rooms that I needed with ease at a hotel that was not even on Hotels.Com, and it was a nice hotel that I had seen in person. And the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward.




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.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use the BAA B&H links for your major and minor 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.

Razorbill-swimming-_W5A2482-islands-off-Seahouses,-UK

This image was created on the first full day of the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT with the hand held Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 2/3 stops of the gray sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. Daylight WB.

One AF point down from the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the
side of the bird’s neck where it meets the upper breast directly below the center of the bird’s bill (as originally framed). As the bird was originally centered, I cropped this image for compoistion from below and from the left while maintaing the 3X2 proportion.

Razorbill swimming

Ask and You Might Receive

Common Murres are abundant on the Farnes while Razorbills are not so numerous. The boat was drifting near Staples Island with lots of murres swimming by at fairly close range. I noticed a few Razorbills just in front of the boat so I traded my 100-400 II for my 500 II with the 1.4X II TC in place. Just as I raised my lens, Captain Bobby put the boat in gear and headed towards Inner Farnes. I asked the mate if the captain could give us five more minutes with the swimming seabirds. When he did, I created the image above.

The Image Optimizations

The image optimizations for each of today’s two images were similar. Both were converted in DPP 4 and for both, I moved the color fine tune dot to the right a bit to get the WHITE RGB values almost perfect. I ran my NIK 30/30 recipe on the bird only in each image. With the Razorbill image I did some Eye Doctor work by judiciously lightening the iris and darkening the pupil and ran Neat Image noise reduction, less on the bird (35%) and more on the BKGR (90%). In the murre image (below) I used Content Aware Fill to eliminate a dark watch of water behind the bird.

Everything above plus tons more is detailed in the new BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. Learn more and check out the free excerpt in the blog post here. Justso you know, the new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow.

You can learn how and why I and other discerning Canon shooters convert nearly all of their Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here. And you can learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair. Folks can learn sophisticated sharpening and (NeatImage) Noise Reduction techniques in the The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly.

Common-Murre-swimming-_W5A2471-islands-off-Seahouses,-UK

This image was created on the first full day of the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT with the hand held Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 2/3 stops of the gray sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. Daylight WB.

One AF point down from the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the bird’s cheek just below the eye.

Common Murre swimming

The First Free Update to the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II)

Filling in Added Canvas by Judiciously Stretching the Pixels

Because I had chosen the AF point one below center, the bird in this image was a bit too low in the frame. There was not enough water below the bird. So I added canvas below using the Crop Tool as detailed in the new BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II). Step one was to select the water from just below the bird to bottom of the frame with the Rectangular Marquee Tool. (Note: As I use the Marquee Tool infrequently I do not have a shortcut for it so I needed to go to the Tool Bar to activate it.) Once I selected the water below the bird being careful to select the full width of the frame, I released the cursor and then hit Control T to activate the Transform command. Then I grabbed the love handle along the bottom of the selection and pulled it down judiciously. This seamlessly filled in the added canvas. Be sure not to overdo things. Here I pulled down the love handle to add about 30% of the height of my selection …

DBII-cover

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II) will teach you an efficient Mac/Photo Mechanic/Photoshop workflow that will make it easy for you to make your images better in Photoshop (rather than worse). That true whether you convert your images in DPP 4 or ACR. See the blog post here to learn lots more and to read a free excerpt.

You can order your copy from the BAA Online Store here, by sending a Paypal for $40 here, or by calling Jim or Jennifer weekdays at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.


desoto-fall-card-a-layers

Obviously folks attending the IPT will be out in the field early and stay late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. The good news is that the days are relatively short in October. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The Fort DeSoto 2017 Fall IPT/September 22 (afternoon session) through the full day on September 25, 2017. 3 1/2 FULL DAYs: $1649. Limit 8.

Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for migrant shorebirds and terns in fall. There they join hundreds of egrets, herons, night-herons, gulls, and terns who winter on the T-shaped peninsula that serves as their wintering grounds. With luck, we may get to photograph two of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit and the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher almost guaranteed. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Tricolored Heron are easy as well and we will almost surely come up with a tame Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or two. We should get to do some Brown Pelican flight photography. And Royal, Sandwich, Forster’s, and Caspian Terns will likely provide us with some good flight opportunities as well. Though not guaranteed Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork would not be unexpected.

Folks who sign up for the IPT are welcome to join us on the ITF/MWS on the morning of Tuesday, September 26 as my guest. See below for details on that.

On the IPT you will learn basics and fine points of digital exposure and to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

There will be a Photoshop/image review session after lunch (included) each day. That will be followed by Instructor Nap Time.

This IPT will run with only a single registrant (though that is not likely to happen). The best airport is Tampa (TPA). Though I have not decided on a hotel yet — I will as soon as there is one sign-up — do know that it is always best if IPT folks stay in the same hotel (rather than at home or at a friend’s place).

A $500 deposit is due when you sign up and is payable by credit card. Balances must be paid by check after you register. Your deposit is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with ten folks so please check your plans carefully before committing. You can register by calling Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand or by sending a check as follows: make the check out to: BIRDS AS ART and send it via US mail here: BIRDS AS ART, PO BOX 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions, gear advice, and instructions for meeting on the afternoon of Friday, September 22.


desoto-fall-card-b

Fort DeSoto in fall is rich with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or early October. I hope that you can join me there this October. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

BIRDS AS ART In-the-Field/Meet-up Workshop Session (ITF/MWS): $99.

Join me on the morning of Tuesday September 26, 2017 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images. Teleconverters are always a plus.

You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. This inexpensive afternoon workshop is designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on a BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tour. I hope to meet you there.

To register please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand to pay the nominal non-refundable registration fee. You will receive a short e-mail with instructions, gear advice, and meeting place at least two weeks before the event.


fort-desoto-card

BAA Site Guides are the next best thing to being on an IPT.

Fort DeSoto Site Guide

Can’t make the IPT? Get yourself a copy of the Fort DeSoto Site Guide. Learn the best spots, where to be when in what season in what weather. Learn the best wind directions for the various locations. BAA Site Guides are the next best thing to being on an IPT. You can see all of them here.






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.

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here.

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Typos

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

1 comment to Making Hay While It Drizzles. And the First Free-to-all Update to the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II): Filling in Added Canvas by Judiciously Stretching the Pixels

  • Dear Artie,
    A bit late but a warm welcome to the UK (drizzle is not uncommon). Love these two images. I especially like the water drops on the head of the common murre (guillemot here) and the head angle of the razorbill is great. Please keep up the amazing blog and enjoy your trip, I am looking forward to your images from the Inner Farnes.
    Jake