So What Did I Do in Photoshop This Time? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

So What Did I Do in Photoshop This Time?


On Thursday I headed down to the lake morning and afternoon and pretty much struck out. So it goes. I did lots of work on the 5D Mark IV Users Guide; I am close to finishing the text. When that it done I need to add images and captions. Many of the images will be DPP 4 screen captures showing how I use the various AF Area Selection modes.

I swam a half mile just before lunch and exercised a bit. That included many, many sets of cobra push-ups.

Amazing 5D Mark IV Sale!

5D Mark IV Still on Sale!

Right now you can purchase a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with the BG-E20 Battery Grip for the crazy low price of $3199. I am not sure how long this Black Friday sale will last …

Blog regular Bill Hill was so excited when he read of this sale that he forgot to use my affiliate link. 🙂 He wrote, “I still think the 5D Mark IV sale is is too good to be true. I will believe it when it arrives. Thanks for the heads up.

Note: Bill went for the one with the free battery grip and the free Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printer.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred twenty-six days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 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 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.

This image was created down by the lake by my home at ILE on the morning of November 25, 2017 with the BLUBB-supported Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite grackle photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering + 2/3 stop as framed: 1/400 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB in sunny conditions at 7:32am.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -1.

One AF point to the left of 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 upper breast below and slightly behind the bird’s eye.

Boat-tailed Grackle calling

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Image Optimization Question

I did something fairly major in Photoshop here. I promise. If you enlarge the image and think that you know what I did, please leave a comment with the clues that helped you. If you are sure, please state your proof.

2017 in San Diego was a very good year ….

2018 San Diego 3 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART IPT #2: Sunday, JAN 28 thru and including the morning session on Wednesday, JAN 31, 2018 and a free morning session the day before the IPT starts: 3 1/2 days (+1/2!): $1699. Limit: 8: Openings: 7.

Meet and Greet at 6:30pm on the evening before the IPT begins; Saturday, Jan 27, 2018.

San Diego IPT #2: Shorter and Less Expensive!

Please remember: I go with one.

Join me in San Diego near the end of January to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (usually nesting and displaying) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Wood Duck and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Whimbrel, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seal (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lion; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well. Please note: formerly dependable, both Wood Duck and Marbled Godwit have been declining at their usual locations for the past two years …


San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography. And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication. You can do most of your photography with an 80- or 100-400 lens …

Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter?


Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings.

The San Diego Details

This IPT will include four 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, three 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo 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.

A $599 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 11/1/2016. 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. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

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.


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 :).

17 comments to So What Did I Do in Photoshop This Time?

  • avatar David Peake

    Well Artie,
    if the upper body has not been transplanted from an adjacent image, maybe the eye was covered by the membrane on this image so you replaced it with the open eye from another image. Its a guess. Nothing in evidence that I can see to suggest this.

  • avatar Guido Bee

    I think I’m with Todd on this one.
    Looks to me like the upper part of the bird, from about the white “collar” area (and up to the image’s left where the neck line looks to be not continuous and down to the image’s right where the feathers are standing out) may have been replaced.
    Just a guess. Thanks for all the work you have been putting up for us.

  • avatar john farnsworth

    The bokeh in this image is so wonderful I find myself suspicious of it. 😉

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I am glad to hear that. The background, however, is as it was right out of camera. But thanks 🙂

      with love,


  • avatar Joe Randle

    It appears some repair has been done on the Boat-tailed Grackle’s tail… the tail appears to have a different light cast than the rest of the Grackle’s body… Maybe?? Enjoyed the exercise…

    Have A Great Day…

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Joe, You are brilliant. But nothing has been done to the tail or to the light on the tail 🙂 YAW and thanks for playing.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Donnette Largay

    Upper right, two over bright yellow circles. Just a guess.

  • avatar Todd B

    Hi Artie,

    Just something about the head and body angle that makes me think you replaced the bird’s head.


  • avatar David Policansky

    Artie: I cannot see it. Nice image.

  • avatar Noel Heustis

    Just a guess here, but did you blur the background more than the original (make it more oof)? I see that you were using the 100-400 at ƒ/6.3 on yesterday’s post with the vulture, and I realize this one is different because you are using the 600mm at ƒ/5.6, but the background vegetation looks a lot more out of focus on the lake. Thanks again for these lessons.

  • avatar Warren H

    It looks like there were some twigs/branches from the that were cut off from the lower section of the branch the grackle is perched on. I believe this because they all “end” at about the same distance from the branch and there are none that are as long as the rest of the branches. I would guess that they extended in front of the Grackle. However, I do not see marks where the bird was “repaired” due to removing the branches.

    Looks Good!