Rockhopper Riddle Answers … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Rockhopper Riddle Answers ...

Stuff

I went into town in the morning to get a 10,000 watt laser treatment on the shoulder. By afternoon, things seemed to be a bit better. Master Class participant Jim White drove up from Naples and arrived a bit before 4pm. Jim has been on many IPTs over the years, many of them out of the country. He and lovely wife Linda were on a Galapagos Photo-Cruise with me more than a decade ago. By 5pm we were out photographing the baby cranes at close range under overcast skies. Then a great chile dinner, image review, a balloon exercise session for me, cold and moist hear, and then off to sleep.

Thanks to Vic Sheehan for pointing out a recent mistake that I made. He let me know that Nikon Automatic Fine-tune is not available on the D750 as I originally thought and that it is available on the newer D7500.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred forty-four days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about an hour to prepare including the time spent on the image optimization. With all of my upcoming free time (or not…), the plan right now is to try to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

BIRDS AS ART

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Patrick Sparkman saved $350 on a recent purchase!

The Used Gear Page

Action on the Used Gear Page recently has been fantastic. You can see all current listings here. March 2018 was surely a record-breaking month:

Jim Brennan sold his Canon 5D Mark III camera body in very good to excellent condition for $1,299.00 and his Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens in good condition for $999.00, both within hours of listing in late March, 2018.
Top BAA Used Gear page seller Jim Keener sold a Fujifilm X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital Camera in like-new condition for $1299.
Katherine Tryon sold her Canon EOS-1D X in excellent condition (with less than 16,000 shutter actuations) for $2324.00 in late March, 2018.
Kevin Hice sold a lightly used Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition for $3099.00 soon after it was listed in late March, 2018.
Ron Thill sold his Tamron SP 150-600 f/5.6-6.5 Di VC USD G2 lens for Canon EF in like-new condition for $949 in mid-March.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 16-55 f/2.8 R LM WR lens in like-new condition for only $549 near the end of March 2018.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for only $1,219.00 on the first day of listing.
Jim Burns sold his EOS-1D Mark IV body in excellent plus condition for a BAA record low $998; not sure exactly when 🙂
David Solis sold a brand new Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA 3 1 TB wireless photo/video memory card backup for $399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 300 mm f/2.8L IS USM (the original version) lens in excellent plus condition for $2399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM (the “old five”) in excellent plus condition with perfect glass for the BAA record low price of $3399.00.
Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM zoom lens in mint condition to a local buyer and is sending me a check for 2 1/2% of the original asking price of $1599.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 50 f/2 R WR lens in like-new condition for only $299 in early March.
Rajat Kapoor sold his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (the “old 1-4”) in near-mint condition the first day is was listed for $649.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in near-mint condition and a Canon EF 1.4 III teleconverter in very good condition for $3,599.00 right after listing them in early March.
Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition for $798 soon after it was listed in early March.

The sale of John Norris’s Canon 1DX Mark II in like-new condition for $3,996.00 is pending.

New Listings

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Sale pending

James Lewis is offering a used Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for only $1,199.00. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it. The item will be sent via insured ground shipping to continental US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact James via e-mail.

The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II is an amazingly versatile lens; I made a zillion great images with it when I was using Canon. It works well with both the 1.4X III and the 2X III TCs, even with the 7D II! It is easily hand holdable. It is great for tame birds, landscapes, urbex, indoor stuff likes concerts and recitals, and just about anything you want to photograph. A new 70-200 II currently sells for $1,949 so you can save a cool $730 by buying Jim’s lens at a great low price. artie

Canon EOS 5D Mark II & a Canon EF 40 mm f2.8 STM lens

James Lewis is offering a used Canon EOS 5D Mark II & a Canon EF 40 mm f2.8 STM lens, both in excellent plus condition, for $749.00. The sale includes the original boxes and everything that came in them. The items will be sent via insured ground shipping to continental US addresses only and will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact James via e-mail.

James’s attractive package would be ideal for a budding landscape or Urbex photographer, as well as for some looking for a great body to convert to IR. My 5D II was expertly converted to IR by Kolari Vision. And I used mine as a back-up for my old 1D Mark IV bodies. It served me very well in that capacity in the Southern Ocean a while back when I foolishly used my two 5D IVs in a driving rainstorm for two hours with the expected result. The 5D II saved the trip for me. That tells you that it is a decent body for birds and all types of nature photography. This package is priced to sell. artie

Canon EOS 7D Mark II & BG-E-16 Battery Grip

Sale pending

James Lewis is offering a used Canon EOS 7D Mark II and a BG-E-16 Battery Grip, both in both in excellent plus condition for an astoundingly low $797.00. The sale includes the original boxes and everything that came in them. The items will be sent via insured ground shipping to continental US addresses only and will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact James via e-mail.

Both Patrick Sparkman and I used and loved the 7D Mark II until about two years ago when we both committed to using full frame Canon bodies. We both made some truly great images with it. Two of my three 2016 Nature’s Best honored entries were created with the 7D II, one still, and one video. One thing is for sure: the 7D Mark II is the greatest value ever in a digital camera body. With a new one going for $1499 you can save a cool $702 by grabbing James’s lens. artie

Canon EF 16-35 mm f2.8 L II USM Lens

Sale pending

James Lewis is offering a used Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L II USM lens in excellent plus condition for only $799.00. The sale includes an 82mm Hoya Circular Polarizer (a $189 value) and the original box along with everything that came in it. The items will be sent via insured ground shipping to continental US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact James via e-mail.

This lens is the landscape photographer’s dream wide angle. artie



Booking.Com

Several folks on the Gatorland IPT used the Booking.Com link below and got great rates and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. 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 questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

Rockhopper-Penguin-head-portrait-_W5A9223--The-Rookery,-Saunders-I.,-Falklands

This image was created on October 17, 2016 on Saunders Island,the Falklands, with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/14 in Manual mode. AWB at 8:31am.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -5.

The center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the top of the head about 1/2 inch beyond and slightly to the left of the base of the bill. Right on the same plane as the penguin’s eye.

Rockhopper Penguins

New Rockhopper Riddle

In the New Rockhopper Riddle blog post here, I posted the stuff below with regards to the image above;

The Situation

We were carefully making our way down the cliffside rocks to the famed rockhopper shower at Rookery. Many of the handsome small penguins were returning from an early morning fishing run. Seated behind my lower tripod I nestled down in the rocks hoping to get some head portraits as the birds paused on their way back up the hill to the colony. The only thing that I like better than tight head portraits are tight head portraits in early morning light made against distant blue water backgrounds. 🙂 Success is sweet.

Light Angle Considerations and a Real Stumper of a Question

By noting the position of the shadow of the bird’s bill, you can see that the sun was coming ever-so-slightly from over my right shoulder … Here is the real stumper of question: what is wrong in the image, what does not make sense?

Depth-of-Field Question

Why f/14? How many stops down from wide open?

The Easy Answers First …

Everyone who answered the exposure math question got it right: wide open is f/8 so f/16 would be stopped down two stops and thus, f/14 is stopped down 1 2/3 stops. No one correctly addressed the why f/14? issue. The simple answer is that I was close to the minimum focusing distance of the lens where depth-of-field is quite small at best. Tony Z and Warren H were in the right neighborhood.

The Answer to the Real Stumper …

As far as what is wrong in the image, what does not make sense?, UK Puffins and Gannets IPT veteran Tony Z was the only one on the right track and then multiple IPT veteran David Policansky took my response to Tony’s reply, flew with it, and made a nice, smooth, landing. Next are the relevant portions of the exchange that shows that revisiting the comments is always a good plan for serious students.

Tony Z/March 28, 2018 at 9:58am:

Hi Artie, I’ll take a swing at today’s questions. First up, you said you’re shooting downhill, sun over your right shoulder, casts a shadow on the penguins right side. However his right eye is the same brightness as his left eye, despite the fact that his right side face feathers are a little darker. Did you brighten his right eye a bit?

Best, Tony

Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART/March 28, 2018 at 11:13am:

Did not brighten the eye a bit. But that is a trick answer 🙂 See you in the Falklands!!!

with love, artie

David Policansky/March 28, 2018 at 12:19pm:

Artie: Could you have cloned the bird’s left eye and reversed it, and put it in the place where the right eye originally was? Looking at the pupil it seems to me that you might have done that. This occurred to me only after reading Todd Z’s response and your response to him.

Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART/March 30, 2018 at 6:54:am:

You are correct sir. with love, artie

Eyeball Transplant and Bill Cleanup

As Mr. Policansky deduced, I painted a Quick Mask of the bird’s left (completely sunlit) eye, put it on its own layer, flopped and positioned it, transformed and warped it, added a Regular Layer Mask, and refined that warping and re-positioning as needed. Note in the original that the pupil was barely visible under the shadow. I ran my NIK 30/30 Detail Extractor/Tonal Contrast recipe on the darkest tones on the right (shaded) side of the face but my work was not quite good enough to fool Detective Tony Z. Good work Tony!

The bill and surrounding area cleanup was done with my usual cadre of tools, the Patch Tool, the Spot Healing Brush, some Content Aware Fill, and several small Quick Masks refined with a Regular Layer Mask.

Some of the comments were a bit off base; one person thought that I had done a head transplant …

The Nikon D850/D5/D500/D7500 Focus Fine-tune Guide

There is lots of mis-information out there on Nikon Automatic AF Fine-tune. Working with Patrick Sparkman, we developed a way of using that feature effectively. Patrick was on a roll and perfected a method for using the Focus Peaking feature available only on the D850 to quickly and accurately micro-adjust all lenses and TC-Es with your D-850. Both Nikon Automatic AF Fine-tune and D850 Focus Peaking AF Fine-tune require a LensAlign Mark II kit so that you can obtain accurate results. I learned recently that the Nikon D500 DSLR and the older D7500 both offer Automatic AF Fine-tune.

Folks who use one of my links to purchase a Nikon D850, a Nikon D5 DSLR Camera (Body Only, Dual XQD Slots), a Nikon D500 DSLR , or any Nikon gear totaling more than $2,000 will receive the new guide free.

DBII-cover

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

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)

Your guessed it, everything mentioned above and tons more 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. While the new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow, folks using a PC and/or BreezeBrowser will also benefit greatly by studying the material on DB II. 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 converted nearly all of my Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here. And, yes, I still have many Canon images to work on. 🙂 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.

IPT Stuff

All IPTs include an introductory briefing before the IPT begins so you know what to expect, frequent in-the-field instruction and guidance (priceless), image editing and small group Photoshop instruction during and after lunch. Breakfasts are on your own so that we can get in the field early. Lunches are on me. Dinners are on your own as well so that we can get to bed as the days in spring will be long.

Rides with the leader are available on a limited basis for $50/day.

Registering for an IPT

To register for an IPT call Jim or Jen in the office at 863-692-0906 from Monday morning through Friday lunch with your credit card in hand to leave your $500 non-refundable deposit. Balances may not be paid by credit card so you will be asked to send a check for your balance along with the signed paperwork that you will find here.

Fort-DeSoto-Card

Spring at DeSoto is often magical

DeSoto IPT #1 Sunrise: 7:07 am. Sunset: 6:22pm.

3 1/2 DAYS: SUN 15 APR thru the morning session on WED 18 APR: $1599. Limit 5 photographers.

You must purchase a season Parking Pass in advance for early entry. Click here and scroll down for info. If you are not a local, the six month pass if fine. Best to order by mail. Join me to photograph a wide variety of birds of the shore including pelicans, gulls, terns, sandpipers, oystercatchers, heron, egrets, and night-herons. Many in full breeding plumage. Most are ridiculously tame. Osprey likely. Learn to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret DeSoto locations, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations. Enjoy some great sunrises and sunsets.

Which will offer better opportunities, Desoto #1 or DeSoto #2? I have no idea. Both have the potential to be great.

Gatorland-Card

Tame birds in breeding plumage and heron and egret chicks are great fun.

Gatorland IPT #2. Sunrise: 6:48am. Sunset: 7:58pm.

3 1/2 DAYs: THURS 26 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1599. Limit 5 photographers.

(2 1/2 DAY option) FRI 27 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1199.

Must purchase Gatorland Photographers Pass. Click here for details. All early entry. Late stays Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Gatorland IPT #2 should have lots of chicks, and lots of birds in breeding plumage. We will get to photograph Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, and Wood Stork. The Cattle Egrets in full breeding plumage will be present in good numbers. Learn my Gatorland strategy, to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret Gatorland spots, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

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 :).

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