Perch Payoffs #2! Anhinga X Greater Roadrunner Hybrid! And Rescuing Under-exposed Silhouettes. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Perch Payoffs #2! Anhinga X Greater Roadrunner Hybrid! And Rescuing Under-exposed Silhouettes.

Stuff

On Thursday morning it was foggy-dark so Anita and I searched for new perches. We wound up finding and setting up three, but so far none can compare to The Perch. I worked on photos and blog posts, visited Publix and ART chiropractor TJ McKeon in town, swam my slow 1/2 mile plus, visited a dying neighbor and his wife, and then relaxed for the rest of the day. Anita flies back to Toronto today.

5dIV

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 thirty-three days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 90 minutes 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. Those might include system, camera body, accessory, and lens choices and decisions.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can see the complete listings here.

After a two month lull, sales have picked up over the past six weeks, especially the sale of big glass. I should be listing another Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS Lens soon; if you would like advance notice, please shoot me an e-mail

Recent Sales

Mike Newman sold a Canon EF 600 F4/L USM IS II USA lens in like-new condition for the record-low BAA price of 9,398.00 within two days of listing it in early December.
Steve Cashell sold his Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens in near-mint condition for a very low $7898 in mid-November.
In late November Mansoor Assadi sold his Canon EOS-1DX Mark II professional digital camera body in like-new condition for a BAA record-low $3998 and his Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body in excellent condition for a very low and fair $999.
Mansoor Assadi sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital camera body in excellent condition for a very low $1299 in early November.
Robert Blanke sold his Canon EOS-1DX Mark II professional digital camera body in like-new condition for the BAA record low/shock the world price of $3999 an hour after it was listed.
IPT veteran Duncan Douglas sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens (the “old five”) in early November for #3699.
Chesley Swann sold a Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS Zoom Lens (the original 1-4) in excellent condition for the very low price of $529 in mid-November.
Mike Lawie sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II body in near-mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $923 and his Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens in excellent condition also for a BAA record low price: $448. Both in mid-November.
Gary Wade sold his Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens in near-mint condition for the record-low BAA price of $7449 in mid-November.
Multiple IPT veteran Shelly Goldstein sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens (the “old five”) in excellent condition for the $3899 a week after it was listed.
Peter Noyes sold his Nikon D-810 Digital SLR Camera Body in excellent condition for $1499 two hours after it was listed.
Multiple IPT veteran Shelly Goldstein sold his Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Super Telephoto lens in like-new condition for $9,399 in early November before it was even listed …
Multiple IPT veteran Dr. Gil Moe sold his Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens in excellent plus condition for $449 in mid-October.
Francois Botha sold his Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS (the old 400 DO) for the BAA record low price of $2098 within days of listing.
Stephen November sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender in near-mint condition for $8399 just two days after it was listed in early October.

New Listings

Nikkor 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 G ED VR Lens

Steve Ellis is offering a used Nikkor 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 G ED VR lens in excellent condition for $599. The lens has some very minor wear on the finish. The sale includes the original box, soft case, manual, lens hood, front and rear lens caps, and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; the lens will be shipped only after your check clears.

Contact Steve via e-mail or call him at 1-203-247-4912 (Eastern time zone).

The 28-300 focal length range makes this lens very versatile. It is a great travel and B roll lens and a great lens to have at Bosque. It sells new at B&H for $964.95. artie

AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR Lens

Steve Ellis is also offering a used AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR lens in near-mint condition for $1499. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it including the front and rear lens caps and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; the lens will be shipped only after your check clears.

Contact Steve via e-mail or call him at 1-203-247-4912 (Eastern time zone).

This is an incredibly versatile lens. It is great for general natures and travel and B roll stuff. It sells new at B&H for $2,296.95 artie

Nikon-compatible PocketWizard Stuff

Steve Ellis is also offering the following PocketWizard Stuff for $249: Two PocketWizard FlexTT5 with ControlTL Transceivers and one PocketWizard MiniTT1 with ControlTL Transmitter. Both are like-new having been used only once. The sale includes the original boxes and everything that came in them along with insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; the PocketWizards will ship only after your check clears.

Contact Steve via e-mail or call him at 1-203-247-4912 (Eastern time zone).

ACR-ANHINGA-ORIG

The ACR Screen Capture for Image #1
Image courtesy of and copyright 2017: Anita North

You Snooze You Lose …

Last Saturday afternoon I was feeling a bit lazy and opted to stay in and get some work done while Anita went down to the lake for sunset and had a really neat Anhinga on The Perch with a colorful sunset sky. My bad …

A Massive Underexposure

As you can see by glancing at the RGB histogram (with no data to the right of center), Anita’s image above was a big under-exposure. Anita likes to keep her shutter speeds up when photographing with long effective focal lengths and at times loses sight of the correct exposure. I optimized Image #1 below. After watching me do that, Anita optimized her Image #2 also below. I actually did my RAW conversion in DPP 4 (as did Anita). I chose to show the original in ACR as once an image is converted in DPP 4 the RAW files show the adjustments. I could have gotten quite similar results had I opted to convert the image in ACR. Do note that ACR conversions are covered in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

Summing Up the Lesson

Do not forget that digital images that look like absolute garbage on the back of the camera or on your monitor can often be turned into excellent photographs with a bit of knowledgeable tender loving care.

Anhinga-taking-flight-anita-north-photo-_V6A0429Indian-Lake-EState

This image was created down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL on the evening of Saturday, December 2, 2017 by Anita North. She used the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Wimberley-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering -1 1/3 stops: stops: 1/1600 sec. at f/8 was a big under-exposure. 5:27pm on a clear evening.

Five AF points up and one to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Surround/Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected Af point was on the center of the Anhinga’s tail of the departing bird.

Image #1: Anhinga taking flight
Image courtesy of and copyright 2017: Anita North
Image optimization by your truly

Anhinga X Greater Roadrunner Hybrid!

I could not stop smiling when I first saw Anita’s image of an Anhinga leaving the perch running. Yes, running like a roadrunner! I knew that this under-exposed image needed saving.

My Image Optimization

With Anita watching carefully over my shoulder, I converted the image in DPP 4. Because of the excessive noise resulting from the under-exposure I used my 5D IV recipe for ISO 1600 rather than the one for ISO 800. Then I moved the Brightness slider to +1.33, pulled the Color fine-tune dot below the line and well to the right, increased the Contrast to +1, and increased the Color saturation to +2. I only very rarely touch either the Contrast or the Color saturation sliders. I find using the Color Fine-tune dot to be tremendously helpful and efficient when it comes to managing color balance.

Once I had the image into Photoshop I added Canvas right using techniques from APTATS II. Then I ran two Neat Image reductions that worked great on most of the background. But the dark strips at the background needed more help. As I did not realize that a simple solution to the excessive noise was at hand until after I had done most of the work on this blog post. I will share the improved version of this image with you in a future blog post.

_V6A0320Indian-Lake-EState

This image was created down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL on the morning of Saturday, December 2, 2017 by Anita North. She used the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Wimberley-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop as framed: 1/1600 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. AWB. 5:25pm on a clear evening.

Five AF points up and one to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Surround/Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected Af point was on the Anhinga’s body.

Image #2: Anhinga crazy stretch
Image courtesy of and copyright 2017: Anita North

Anita’s Image Optimization

Anita did a fine job optimizing the crazy stretch. Behavior-wise, understand that when an Anhinga had been sitting on a given perch for a while and then stretches it usually indicates that it will be taking flight momentarily.

Image Questions

A- Which of Anita’s two images is the strongest, Image #1 or Image #2. Be sure to let us know why you made your choice.
B- Do you prefer the darker sky tones in Image #1 or the lighter sky tones in Image #2?

Thanks!

Many thanks to Anita North for allowing me to share her two images with y’all here in today’s blog post.

DBII-cover

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II) will teach you an efficient Mac or PC/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)

The few things mentioned above (and tons more) are 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.

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.

Facebook

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 :).

22 comments to Perch Payoffs #2! Anhinga X Greater Roadrunner Hybrid! And Rescuing Under-exposed Silhouettes.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    My email provider is “Windows Live Mail”

  • avatar Noel Heustis

    Anita and Artie, I think the second image is the stronger image of the two (which I think both are striking images), but I prefer the colors and processing of the first image. I’d like to see the second image processed to have similar colors of the first image. The bow and the stretching in the second image compliments the shape of that perch. Love it! I’d rather see the twigs in the lower left kept in, and I’d keep the crop as is…the colors in the bottom of the pic make this special. Thanks for sharing.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Noel. I might like the color and tonality best somewhere between the two 🙂 And like you, I love the twigs.

      wth love, artie

  • avatar Larry Brown

    I prefer image 1. I like the color of the sky with the dark bird against it. In the 2nd image, I do not like the fact that the bird merges with the perch.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Also your blog is showing in my emails again, they were absent for several days, but they are back, I am happy again!

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    I like the softer background colours of image #2. I also like image # 2 better then #1 to me it is different and more interesting and I like the composition better.

  • avatar James Saxon

    I like image 1 with the dramatic colors and the position of the bird as he/she flys away. I like the open out stretch of the birds wings, long neck and feet. Great job brightening the image from the original capture. Image 2 is nice with the lighter colors but the bird in flight in image 1 is what I prefer.

  • avatar Jake

    Hi Artie and Anita, I like the simplicity of the bird’s pose in image #1. However, I prefer the lighter colours in the sky in image #2, the sky colours in image #1 look a little over saturated to me. Both are striking images.

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    Great catches of behavior. And great color. I like both and wouldn’t change a thing in either.

  • avatar Adam

    Image #1 is the more interesting composition for me, though I prefer the color/luminance in the second image better (H/S/L is more balanced, less cartoonish). Also, the transition zones in the first image appear almost posterized.

  • avatar Jim Amato

    Image two with the stronger colors and the tighter framing.
    I prefer; reduce the saturation slightly, remove the two branches, crop some of bottom of image. Adjust crop to see the visual effect.

    Striking images. excellent eye with exposure knowledge.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Jim. I love the two skinny branches lower right as for me they add to the compositional balance.

      with love, artie

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie and Anita. I much prefer image #1 for composition, the bird’s action, and color.

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