An Often Forgotten Post-Processing Step … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

An Often Forgotten Post-Processing Step ...

Stuff

John Dupps and Jim Dolgin enjoyed two great photo sessions at Gatorland on Friday; we had to work hard for our chances but both students learned a ton. Dinner at El Tapatio was fabulous as usual. I gotta hit the sack.

Thanks to all who took a shot at the Nikon Dummy quiz in yesterday’s blog post. The right answer is right there but it looks as if I have tricked everyone …

The Streak

Today makes two hundred seventy-one days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one about 90 minutes 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.

Thanks to the Patient Ones …

With the injured shoulder, the recently concluded DeSoto IPT, and the hernia surgery, I have gotten more than a bit behind on e-mails, especially some Used Gear Sales business. Many thanks for your patience. I have had lots of time to rest lately and am almost caught up.

Dark-siders: Please Do Not Take This Personally

I have been saying this for a while: after many years in the business of brokering used gear sales, one pattern that I have seen is that most Nikon folks think that their stuff is worth a lot more than it actually is. That especially with the potential sales of the older 600mm lenses, some of which weigh in the 12-14 pound range. If you can shed any light as to why this might be the case, I’d love to hear from you.

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 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

New Listing

Nikon Gear/Priced to Sell!

Nikkor 600mm f/4 D ED IF AF-S Lens

Eve Turek is offering a Nikkor 600mm f/4 II D ED IF AF-S lens in very good condition for the low and fair price of $2799. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the lens hoods HK-29-1 and HK-29-2, the original Nikon hard case CT-606, the Wimberley AP-452 Quick-Release Replacement Foot, and insured shipping via insured ground to continental US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Eve via e-mail.

The 600 f/4 lenses are ideal for those who do birds and wildlife. This older, non-VR version of the Nikon 600 weighs about 12 pounds. The newer lighter version, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, weighs 8.4 pounds but costs $12,296.95. Thus, Eve’s lens is a great buy for someone young and relatively strong who would like to save some serious bucks and still enjoy lots of reach. artie

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!



Booking.Com

Several folks on the DeSoto IPT used the Booking.Com link below, 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 photographers 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.

Cattle-Egret-post-breeding-with-bouquet-_DSC8400-Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

This image was created on the 2nd morning of the 2018 Gatorland IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 800. Matrix metering at zero: 1/500 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. SUNNY WB at 7:31am on a clear day.

Three up from the center and one to the right d-25//Shutter Button/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed squarely on the subject’s eye, a rarity for me 🙂

Phase detection AF Fine-tune value: +4.

Image #1: Post breeding Cattle Egret with bouquet of flowers

An Often Forgotten Post-Processing Step …

After processing this image for John and Jim I went back to Photo Mechanic and compared the NEF file (i.e., the original unprocessed image) with my optimized TIFF, Image #1 above. When I compared the two I felt that I had lightened the background (and thus reduced the contrast) much too much. There are times when I compare the original and my optimized version that I think, “Lord, you really ruined what was a good image.” I did not go that far with my first version but decided to create second version with a darker background … as below.

Cattle-Egret-post-breeding-with-bouquet-BKGR-darker--_DSC8400-Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

This is the same image image was created on the 2nd morning of the 2018 Gatorland IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 800. Matrix metering at zero: 1/500 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. SUNNY WB at 7:31am on a clear day.

Three up from the center and one to the right d-25//Shutter Button/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed squarely on the subject’s eye, a rarity for me 🙂

Phase detection AF Fine-tune value: +4.

Image #2: Version II of post breeding Cattle Egret with bouquet of flowers with the background darkened.

Restoring the Contrast

To restore the contrast I put the whole image on a layer, opened a Curves dialogue box, pinned the Curve with 3 dots right on the line at the top of the curve for the highlights and three more in the center for the middle-tones and then pulled the curve down at the bottom to darken the dark tones.

Your Call

Which version do you prefer. And why?

A Compositional Question

What was the most important thing did I do with when designing today’s image?

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.

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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 :).

15 comments to An Often Forgotten Post-Processing Step …

  • avatar Joe Subolefsky

    The second image by far. With the darker BG it just pops.

  • avatar Ray Maynard

    Thank you BARRY, but I wanted to BUY from ARTIE.
    If you click on Wimberley lens plates that will take you to his store with the items.

  • Hi Artie, I agree with Noel, leaving the whole elderberry blossom and adjusting the green top and bottom.

    Joe

  • avatar Ray Maynard

    Dear Art,
    Does one of your Wimberley lease plates fit the Sigma 150 to 600 contemporary lens?
    I have the same Head as you. The Mongoose M3.6.
    Thank you so much Art,
    Ray Maynard , TN

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Ray,

      The Wimberley P-30 plate is correct for that lens. We have them in stock. Huge thanks for wanting to use the BAA Online Store 🙂

      with love, artie

      • avatar Ray Maynard

        Hey Mr. Arthur Morris,
        I really appreciate your answering my question. I have been trying to find one for almost
        3 years from 4th Generation, Sigma & You. I really didn’t know if you would have time
        to notice my question.
        Thanks and God Bless YOU,
        Ray Maynard, TN

  • avatar Rob Stambaugh

    Prefer the darker background. Most important compositional decision: shooting vertical.

    I wouldn’t have minded a little more depth of field, to sharpen up the flowers, but perhaps that would have cluttered the background too much?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Yes to a smaller d-o-f bringing up too much BKGR detail. I should have tried a two-frame focus stack …

      with love, artie

      ps: and yes of course to a vertical at that focal length.

  • I prefer the second image with the darker background. I wonder what it would look like with -5 or -10 on the highlights slider. I’d like to see more detail in the feathers of the egret. Maybe my monitor needs to be calibrated.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. That image is so good that the degree of light in the background is only a small factor for me, but I do prefer the darker background. The arrangement of the bird and the flowers is perfect.

    I have been out of internet contact for 2 weeks and so look forward to catching up on your shoulder and hernia and other things.

  • avatar Noel Heustis

    Artie – I like them both, but I like the deeper greens of the second image a bit more. I think the most important thing you did regarding composition was to include the full Elderberry blossom and leave a relatively equal (ish) amount of green above the egret’s head and below the flower.

  • Definitely image 2 for me Artie. The darker background just gives the image more punch.

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    I like the darker background, but like the bouquet leaves lighter as in #1.
    Your composing to cut off the bird just behind the feet makes it more equal in size to the bouquet and is very pleasing to my eye.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I do see what you mean. I could have avoided it by adding and refining a Regular Layer Mask but I like the darker green around the white flowers.

      with love, artie