Working the Subject: Barnacle Geese. So What’s to Learn Here? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Working the Subject: Barnacle Geese. So What's to Learn Here?

Stuff

We flew from Helsinki to Edinburgh, Scotland on Sunday evening past for 2 more full days of R&R. Though I walked 6.2 miles on Monday and 7.4 miles on Tuesday, I did lots of resting up to be ready for the upcoming UK Puffins and Gannets IPT; the knee continues to feel better each day. I meet the complete group on the early morning of Wednesday, June 27 –some arrived early. I am quite looking forward to a great 12 days! (Galapagos IPT veteran Paul Reinstein arrived several days early to tour Scotland with his wife.)

In the recent blog post here, several folks surmised that I needed extra depth-of-field for the Bullfinch image because the bird was so large in the frame. Steve Wampler was the first to answer correctly. But nobody explained why the Bullfinch image was by far the more difficult to create …

PHOTOEXPO 2018

If you missed the PHOTOEXPO 2018 announcement and live anywhere within driving or flying distance of Memphis, TN, click here for the info. I am still looking for a ride to Beale Street!

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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.

Recent Sales

Pierre Williot sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in like-new condition for a very fair $848.00 in late June, 2018.
Top BAA used gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens in like-new condition for the BAA record low price of $1349.00 the first day it was listed in late June.
Jim Keener sold a Canon EOS 5D Mark III body in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $999.00 (was $1149.00) in mid-June.
Jim Keener sold a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for the BAA record low price of $1099.00 in Early June.
Steve Traudt sold an Xtrahand Vest, the Khumbu model, size XL, in very good condition for the BAA record-low price of $179.
Jim Brennan sold a used Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens in good condition for $249.00 in late May.
Larry Padgett sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III body in excellent condition for $1160 soon after it was listed in late May.
Charlie Curry sold his Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens in mint condition for a BAA record-low price of $750.00 on the first day of listing in late May, 2018.

One Nikon D850 Available Right Now!

Contact Steve below to get yours tomorrow.

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.

What to Learn Here

From where I sit, folks who study the exposure information and the AF point selection and placement will get the most from the blog. As far as AF point selection, do understand that with Nikon the location of the selected AF point is only approximate. Nikon View NX-i does not show the entire AF grid with the selected point illuminated (as Canon does). That means that two AF points up and four the right of the center AF point is either perfectly correct or an

artie-by-amy-w-barnacle-geeseIMG_3006

This image was created on June 23 at the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden in Helsinki, Finland by Amy Novotny.

Image #1: artie and Barnacle Geese at the botanic garden
Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Amy Novotny

Amy Runs

Amy discovered this location on her first long Helsinki run, about eight miles. Well done Amy!

Barnacle-Goose-grazing-_BUP2079--Helsiniki,-Finland

This image was created on June 23 at the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens (at 195mm) and my back-up Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/8. NATURAL AUTO WB at 5:20pm on a sunny afternoon.

One up and four to the left of the center AF point/d-9/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed on the base of the goose’s neck pretty much on the same plane as its visible eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #2: Barnacle Goose grazing

Full Body Portrait

Not so great …

Even though I got low and even though I was working right on sun angle I knew that full body portraits would not work too well even if they were technically perfect. I was right. The grass is somewhat over-powering and is too much in focus. Even if I had worked wider at f/5.6 or my standard f/6.3 the detail in the grass would have still been brought up too, too much.

Barnacle-Goose-front-end-portait-_BUP2067--Helsiniki,-Finland

This image was also created on June 23 at the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens (at 400mm) and my back-up Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering +2/3 stop as framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/8. NATURAL AUTO WB at 5:28pm on a sunny afternoon.

Four up from the center AF point/d-25/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed on the goose’s chin just behind the base of the bill, again pretty much on the same plane as its visible eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #3: Barnacle Goose, front-end vertical portrait

Front-end Vertical Portrait

By inching forward on my butt I was able to get close enough to create a front-end vertical portrait. This softened the grass up a bit but I wanted more …

Lens Choice

This excursion was part photo walk and part health walk. It is much easier for me to walk with the lighter, smaller, 80-400 VR than it is to walk with the larger, heavier Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm. The Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III was in my pocket just in case. When it is likely that I will need to extra focal length at f/5.6, I will always bite the bullet and take the 2-5.

Barnacle-Goose-head-portrait-_BUP2074--Helsiniki,-Finland

This image was also created on June 23 at the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens (at 400mm) and my back-up Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering +1 stop as framed: 1/640 sec. at f/8. NATURAL AUTO WB at 5:29pm on a sunny afternoon.

Three to the right and two up from the center AF point/d-9/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed squarely on the bird’s eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #4: Barnacle Goose, head portrait, grass background

Getting Closer

As I continued to inch closer the backgrounds became cleaner and cleaner even at f/8. There were a few passing clouds so I lowered my shutter speeds at times. The sun peeked out at full force as I pressed the shutter button to create this image so the WHITEs were very bright but easily tame-able during the RAW conversion and then with some NIK Detail Extractor as I worked on the image in Photoshop.

Barnacle-Goose-head-portrait-gravel-BKGR-_BUP2109--Helsiniki,-Finland

This image was also created on June 23 at the Kaisaniemi Botanic Garden. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens (at 400mm) and my back-up Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering +1 stop as framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/8. NATURAL AUTO WB at 5:49pm on a sunny afternoon.

Two up and three to the left of the center AF point/d-9/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed on the lower front corner of the bird’s eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #5: Barnacle Goose, head portrait, gravel and grass background

A Different Take

I decided to work a different goose so that I could get a pinkish gravel background. That involved more scuttling around on my butt. While I did not quite achieve that with Image #5, the gravel background and the green strip worked out nicely.

Your Favorite?

Which of today’s featured images is your favorite? My personal choice is clear.

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8 comments to Working the Subject: Barnacle Geese. So What’s to Learn Here?

  • avatar Jay

    My favorite would be the head portrait, grass background. The green provides a much nicer background to the bird than the pink of the gravel in the other head portrait. The front-end portrait is a good shot, but it seems like something is needed to make it stand out.

  • avatar Gary Ellwein

    I prefer Image 3, the portrait. There is a pleasing S shaped flow in the composition.

  • avatar James Saxon

    My favorite is the close-up of the birds head with all that green background and the bird looking to the left. I would take the image into PS and flip it so the bird is looking into the frame. Love the colors, composition, detail in the bird and the soft green background. Continue to have a safe trip.

  • For Doug
    On my W10 computer inPS NIK has been working without any problems

  • avatar John Hoffman

    DxO, who now owns the Nik Collection, has issued a new version that reportedly cleans up various errors and works with the latest OSs and Adobe products. It is a pay product now. You could download the fee trial, see if it resolves your problems and decide if you want to buy it.

  • My favorite is the last one. I like the bar of grass at the bottom. I think it blends in nicely with the gravel.

    One question for you and/or the followers…I’ve had the NIK tools since, well, a long,
    long time. Every so often, when Adobe updates their Photoshop, I can’t use their
    plugins (I can use them outside of PS).

    Normally, I’d just reinstall, but that’s not even working. Any ideas on how to fix this?

    Thanks
    Doug

    • avatar Loren Charif

      Although I haven’t had this happen to me, I suspect that the new version of PS is missing the Nik plugins. Try copying the entire plugins folder from the old PS installation to the new one. You need to NOT have PS or Bridge running when you do this. When you start PS the next time see if the Nik collection is now visible under Filters.

      Loren

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