Really Good or Really Bad? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Really Good or Really Bad?


On Tuesday I went down to the lake and did OK with a perched Osprey, a nice Black Vulture headless flight image, a 1200mm flying adult Bald Eagle, and some Turkey Vulture head shots. Then the usual BAA work (e-mail and blog stuff) and my 3/4 mile swim. New were 20 cobra push-ups every two hours for the back/hip.

I went down to the lake for five minutes just before sunset and got extremely lucky; photos soon!

The Streak

Today makes one hundred twenty-four days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took almost two hours 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 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. Those might include system, camera body, accessory, and lens choices and decisions.

These two images was created on the morning of Saturday, November 25, 2017 at Field 2 in Robert Moses State Park, Long Island, NY. I used the hand held Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite gull photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering + 1/3 stop as framed: 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3 in Av mode. AWB in sunny conditions at 7:43am.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -2.

Two AF points to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. In each image, selected AF point just caught the front edge of the bird’s breast pretty much on the same plane as the bird’s eye. T the assist points surely came into play.

Herring Gull, second cycle with shattered whelk.

Be sure to click on the image to enjoy the larger version.

Note: the lens was rested on the window frame atop a woolen watch cap. To make comparison of the two images easier, click on the composite to see a larger version.

The Consensus Pick

In the The Whelk Solution to Wind Against Sun … blog post here I asked which of the two images folks preferred. Nearly everyone liked the second one — 0344 — best. For me it was a very close call. I liked that in 0343 that the gull’s body was more square to the back of the camera. And in 0344, everyone’s favorite, there was too much head turn for me. I was just about to convert the first image — 0343 –but when I enlarged the image in Photo Mechanic I noticed that the eye in 0344 was a bit sharper so I optimized the consensus pick. Ideal would have been a head angle halfway between the two …

Before scrolling down, ask yourself, “Does anything about the optimized image really bug me?”

The Before and After Animated GIF

Now that you have seen the Before and After Animated GIF, ask yourself again, “Does anything about the optimized image really bug me?” Please feel 100% free to answer honestly. If you love the optimized image, please say so and let us know why. If you think that the optimized image has serious problems or is a totally amateurish botch job, please say so and be sure to let us know why.

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

11 comments to Really Good or Really Bad?

  • avatar Bill Richardson

    I agree on the shadow but I would remove that white line at the bird’s feet too

  • avatar Joe Randle

    You botched the shadow of the gull’s bill… does not fit the rest of the shadows around the gull…
    Sorry for the awful comments… Enjoyed the exercise…
    Have A Great Day…

  • avatar Gary Shackelford

    Artie, I agree with other comments about the sharper shadow of the gull’s bill and forehead and of the whelk. It makes the shadow look artificial and manipulated. The softened texture of a portion of the parking parking lot in front of the gull that is at the same depth as the preserved, more textured area behind the bird between the bottom of its tail and the top of its shadow is also jarring to look at.

  • avatar Sandy

    I also think the sharper shadow is a distraction. The cleanup of the line in the pavement also looks incomplete as it still extends under the bird to the left.

  • avatar Bill Eaton

    I like the the cleanup because of the change in the mouth with more pink,the higher contrast on the mussel shell.

  • avatar Wilfred Marissen

    Hi Artie, the cleanup thought is a good one but you can clearly see the cloning over the black stripe. The same pattern is visual just below from which you clone stamped it or else. THe removal of the white stripe on the left looks perfect instead. Since you are far from an amateur, I would say it was an excellent job from an educational perspective (as always in your blogs). (-:

    Cheers, Wilfred

  • avatar Eugen Dolan

    the sharper shadow is to me a big distraction. The original fuzzy shadow I believe added balance without the eye being forcible drawn to it.
    In the optimized version the Large Blob at the tip of the shadow pulls my eye over there with the question – what is that big blob- Oh yeh, I know- and then I look back at the bird.

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    The sharper shadow of the bill with the ball on the end stands out to me as the thing to remove. I’d like keeping all of the original bird shadow, just removing the long thin shadow on the right. This one, 344, is still my favorite.

  • Hi Art,
    Thanks for all of the help and inspiration you are giving us all around the world!

    About this picture, the added shadow is much to sharp and perhaps a bit miss-formed to?

    From Sweden with love/