Tough Stormy Conditions Part III: Sharp in the wind at 1/30 second! And Used Camera Body Bonanza. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Tough Stormy Conditions Part III: Sharp in the wind at 1/30 second! And Used Camera Body Bonanza.

Stuff

On Tuesday the folks from Ridge Energy showed up on time to install the new air handler for my central air. They worked long and hard. I am plugging away on the 5D IV User’s Guide but the going is tough and slow. In addition, I answered the usual several dozen e-mails, swam 100 lengths of the pool — a bit more than 1 1/8 miles, and did some of my positional exercises.

With nobody signed up for this coming weekend at DeSoto you have the opportunity to enjoy private or practically private instruction by opting to join me. Friday afternoon is free for those who sign up for the full day on Saturday. Scroll down for details. I am going with nobody 🙂

Coming on Thursday: 15 versions of the Marbled Godwit RAW Conversion Challenge. This and the follow-up will turn out to be one of the most educational BIRDS AS ART Blog posts ever.

Used Camera Body Bonanza

Including record low BAA prices for a Canon 1DX II and a Nikon D-810.

Nikon D-810 Digital SLR Camera Body (with extras!)

Peter Noyes is offering a Nikon D-810 Digital SLR Camera Body in excellent condition (with extras!) for the great low price of $1499. The sale includes one Nikon EN-EL 15 Lithium Ion Battery, the MH 25A Battery Charger, the BF-1B Body Cap, the Nikon camera strap, four Lexar 64 GB 1066X 160MB/s compact flash cards, two Lexar Professional 1000X 32 GB compact flash cards, the original product box, 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 Peter via e-mail or by phone at 1-567-356-0878 (Eastern time).

The 36 megapixel D-810 sells new for $2,796.95; it is the high resolution option in the Nikon DSLR lineup. The CMOS sensor does not have an optical low pass filter; this allows for particularly sharp and detailed images. It features low noise throughout the ISO range and continuous shooting speed in FX format of 5 fps and in DX format it tops out at maximum of 7 fps. To this Canon shooter it sounds very much like my beloved 5D Mark IV. artie

artie

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II

Price reduced $400 on 7 NOV 2017

Mansoor Assadi is also offering a used Canon EOS-1DX Mark II professional digital camera body in like-new condition for a BAA record low $4499 (was $4899) with only 23,000 shutter actuations.The camera was recently cleaned and checked by Canon. The sale includes the front body cap, a RRS L-plate, a LensCoat BodyBag, the original box with everything that came in it, and insured ground shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Mansoor via e-mail or by phone at 415-559-8027 (Pacific time).

The 1DX Mark II is Canon’s rugged, blazingly fast professional digital camera body. It features an amazing AF system and high quality image files with great dynamic range. It is the choice of Arash Hazeghi, one of the world’s premier birds in flight photographers. artie

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

Price reduced $200 on 7 NOV 2017

Mansoor Assadi is also offering a used Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body in excellent condition (with slight scratches on top of camera) for a very low and fair $999 (was $1199). The sale includes the front body cap, a RRS L-plate, the original box with everything that came in it, and insured ground shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Mansoor via e-mail or by phone at 415-559-8027 (Pacific time).

Two dependable, rugged 1D Mark IVs served as my workhorse professional bodies for several years; I really enjoyed their 1.3X crop factors, the fast frame rate, and the excellent image quality. artie

DeSoto-recent-CARD

Recent Fort DeSoto Images

From bottom left clockwise back to center: Great Egret, blasting sunrise highlights; Black Skimmer, winter plumage in pre-dawn light; Roseate Spoonbill foraging; Brown Pelican, juvenile landing; hybrid heron X egret; American Oystercatcher feeding; Royal Tern, worn juvenile; Great Blue Heron from below.

Fort DeSoto Early Winter IPT. 3 1/2 days: $1599

Saturday DEC 2 (afternoon session) through the full day on Tuesday DEC 5, 2017. Meet and Greet Introduction on SAT DEC 2, 2017

With no water in Estero Lagoon, Corkscrew Swamp and Anhinga Trail total busts for many years, and Ding Darling NWR managed into oblivion, Fort DeSoto has emerged as the premier bird photography location in the state. Join me in early winter to escape the cold weather and photograph lots of tame terns, gulls, herons, egrets (including Reddish Egret), shorebirds (including and especially Marbled Godwit), Osprey, and Brown Pelican. Long-billed Curlew, Wood Stork, and Roseate Spoonbill all range somewhere between likely and possible.

Learn to get the right exposure every time, to approach free and wild (and often tame!) birds, and to design a pleasing image. And learn the location of my new Fort DeSoto hotspot along with my favorite sunset location (sky conditions permitting). To register call Jim or Jen at the office at 863-692-0906 or shoot me an e-mail.

DeSoto IPT Details

This IPT will include four 3 hour afternoon sessions, three 3 1/2 hour morning sessions, three lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. Dinners are on your own so that we can get some sleep.

Because of the narrow time frame, your $499 non-refundable deposit can be paid not by credit card. Call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906 to register. Your balance must be paid by check once you sign up. The balance check (made out to “BIRDS AS ART) should me mailed to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your balance check. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

Canon lens rentals are available on a limited basis: 600 II, 500 II, 400 DO II, and 200-400 f/4 with Internal TC.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred three days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took less than an hour to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Booking.Com

Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.



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.

Snowy-Egret-in-wind-_W5A8933-Fort-DeSoto-Park,-FL

This image was created at Fort DeSoto on the very stormy morning of October 29, 2017 with the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and my favorite Willet blur photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops as framed: 1/30 sec. at f/4.0 in Manual mode. Cloudy WB in dark, stormy, completely overcast conditions.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -2.

One AF point above the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Rear Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point fell on the tip of the bill.

Image Snowy Egret on eroding berm in storm

Be sure to enjoy an enlarged version by clicking on the image.

Tough Stormy Conditions Part III

As you’ve learned here the past few days, the morning of October 28, 2017 was — with huge storm clouds, spitting rain, and winds at about 45mph out of the north northwest (with higher gusts!) — a difficult one for nature photographers. The Gulf was a roiling mass of whitecaps and breaking waves. Only Lee Sommie and I remained from the Saturday group. It was a big challenge trying to create a few meaningful images in almost un-photographable conditions. In today’s featured image note the beach erosion. When several Snowy Egrets landed on the edge of the eroded berm I thought that it might be possible to make an image with the bird sharp and the background waves completely blurred to white. I chose the relatively slow shutter speed of 1/30 second. In most of the images, the bird was simply not at all sharp and the blurring was unpleasant. The fact that the wind was behind me gave me a chance.

I will be sharing still more images and tales from that very rough morning with you here.

Ron Gates’ Relevant Comments Make My Point

Below the Tough Stormy Conditions Part I: Fun in the High Winds and Spray! And Just Playin’ in Photoshop blog post here, regular Ron Gates left an insightful comment:

Interesting special effects in Photoshop. I liked the Distort/Wave one the best although the Distort Twirl was interesting as well. The original bunker shot didn’t do a lot for me personally. What I liked most of all was the idea to experiment and the results of that.

I replied:

Good thinking Ron. My main (but somewhat unstated) point was that when things are really bad you can either fold up your tent and quit or try something, anything. Quitting is always easier. with love, artie

The Before and After Image Clean-up

One of the things that I strive to do here on a daily basis is to share with you what I was thinking as I assess a situation and what I was thinking as I execute my plan. When I pressed the shutter button on this series I envisioned what the photo would look like with all the beach crap (for lack of a better word) removed in Photoshop; as in the BEFORE & AFTER animated GIF immediately above.

During the RAW conversion in DPP 4 I used the Color fine tune dot to better line up the R, the G, and the B by moving the dot right and down a bit, away from BLUE. That after loading my 5D IV/ISO 800 recipe. Once I brought the image into Photoshop the clean-up was straightforward but time consuming. I made sure to work large and to work slowly and carefully. As always I used the Patch Tool, the Spot Healing Brush, the Clone Stamp Tool, Content Aware Fill, and a series of small Quick Masks each refined by the Transform command or a Regular Layer Mask (or by both). Then I selected the eyes, the lores, and the fill and selectively sharpened that layer only with a Contrast Mask. Then — using the Quick Selection Tool — I carefully selected the pupil, the black bill, and the black on the legs, placed the selection on its own layer, and set the black point using a Levels adjustment; wow, what a difference that made! Then I saved the unsharpened TIFF, duplicated the file, used one to create the animated GIF, and the other to create the sharpened (Unsharp Mask at 110/0.3/0) 1200 pixel wide of today’s featured image.

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.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II)

Everything mentioned above is covered in detail in the 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. The new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow. Do note that you will find the RGB Curves Adjustment Color Balancing tutorial only in the new e-guide. Note: folks working on a PC and/or those who do not want to miss anything Photoshop may wish to purchase the original Digital Basics along with DB II while saving $15 by clicking here to buy the DB Bundle.

The two most recent and many of the older MP4 Photoshop Tutorial videos releases go hand and hand with the information in DB II):

  • The Wingtip Repairs MP4 Video here.
  • The MP4 Crow Cleanup Video here.

Folks who learn well by following along rather than by reading can check out the complete collection of MP 4 Photoshop Tutorial Videos by clicking here.

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.

More Cheap Weekend Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Instruction

Sign up for the full day Saturday 11 NOV and the Friday afternoon session (4:30pm till sunset) on 10 NOV is free!

Saturday, November 11, 2017: Morning session — 6:45am for 3 1/2 hours: $149. Add lunch, image review, and Photoshop session: $249 (total).

Saturday, November 11, 2017: Afternoon session — 4:30pm for 3 hours: $99.

Saturday, November 11, 2017, both sessions including lunch: $329. Sign up for the full day Saturday and enjoy a Friday afternoon session for free.

Sunday, November 12, 2017: Morning session — 6:45am for 3 1/2 hours: $149.

Learn to get the right exposure every time, to approach free and wild (and often tame!) birds, and to design a pleasing image. And learn the location of my new Fort DeSoto hotspot along with my favorite sunset location (sky conditions permitting). To register call Jim or Jen at the office at 863-692-0906 or shoot me an e-mail.

Canon lens rentals are available on a limited basis: 600 II, 500 II, 400 DO II, and 200-400 f/4 with Internal TC.

Cheap but great instruction.

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. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.






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.

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

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 :).

2 comments to Tough Stormy Conditions Part III: Sharp in the wind at 1/30 second! And Used Camera Body Bonanza.

  • avatar Noel Heustis

    Thanks for posting the process you went through to clean up the image. I’m fascinated by the before and after. Kudos to you for being out there to photograph in that approaching front…there’s a lesson in that all by itself.

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