A Common Over-saturation Misconception. Post-Processing Adult Skimmer Bills. And Evaluating and Comparing Similar Images … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

A Common Over-saturation Misconception. Post-Processing Adult Skimmer Bills. And Evaluating and Comparing Similar Images ...

Stuff

I spent Tuesday afternoon with IPT veteran Michael Goodman at Nickerson. We had a rough start with winds from the east and mostly sunny skies but by 5:30pm the clouds came in and the birds got very active. We stayed so late that I wound up working at ISO 8000! We even had some skimmers skimming in the ocean. I meet Michael again on Wednesday afternoon; conditions are forecast to be perfect: partly cloudy with WSW winds. If you would like to join us, call me on my cell at 863-221-2372.

Big News on the Galapagos Front

Right now I have eight deposits for the 2019 Galapagos Photo Cruise with another couple interested … The trip needs ten registered within two months so right now things are looking very good. If the archipelago is on your bucket list, please get in touch via e-mail with questions. If you might be registering with a friend or a spouse do ask about the two at a time discount. See the complete details here.

Long Island Small Group Instruction

I will be returning to my old haunts on Long Island from 15-27 August, prime time for bird photography. The skimmer sessions have all run with a single registrant and the photography has been great.

Shorebird Sessions

Because of the flooded conditions at the East Pond, it is highly likely that the JBWR sessions will run at Nickerson Beach … The plan was for folks to join me at the East Pond at Jamaica Bay WR on the ideal tides to photograph southbound migrant juvenile shorebirds. With full frame bodies, a minimum of a 500mm lens with TCs is recommended. 400mm OK with crop factor bodies.

Important note: The Shorebird Mornings are dependent on suitable water levels at the East Pond. If the pond is flooded, the sessions will be conducted at Nickerson Beach.

JBwR Shorebird Morning: Friday, AUG 24, 2018. 6:00 – 9:30am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.
JBwR Shorebird Morning: Saturday, AUG 25, 2018. 6:00 – 9:30am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.

Please inquire via e-mail for multiple session discounts.

To register, please call Jim or Jen with your credit card in hand: 863-692-0906. I hope that you can join me.

BIRDS AS ART

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



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.

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Pierre Williot

I would encourage anyone who wants to sell some of their photographic equipment to contact Art. High-end photographic equipment can be difficult to sell. Art, with is widely read daily posts, will allow you to sell your equipment fairly easily for a reasonable price and commission. Please, seriously consider the price that he suggests as it can be hard to face the reality of the actual value of well loved equipment! Art is well aware of the current market for second-hand photographic equipment.

Used Gear Page News

After a month or so in the summer doldrums, sales on the Used Gear page have been picking up recently:

Todd Koudelka sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (“the “old five”) in very good plus condition for the BAA record-low price of $3199.00.
Pierre Williot sold his canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM lens (the original 600 IS) in very good to excellent condition for $3999.00 in mid-August.
Todd Koudelka sold a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in near-mint condition (but for a few tiny, barely visible scratches) for the BAA record-low-by-far of $2249.00 (was $2449.00) in early August.
Ron Gates requested that the listing for his Canon 70-200mm lens be removed and kindly sent me a check for 4% of the original asking price.
Julie Brown sold her Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens (the original version) in excellent condition for $2099 in early August.
IPT veteran Bill Wingfield sold a Wimberley V-2 WH-200 Gimbal Head in very good condition for a ridiculously low $299.00 and a Gitzo GT3532LS Carbon Fiber tripod in good condition for only $249.00, bot in early August.
IPT veteran Bill Wingfield sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens in excellent to near-mint condition for $1049.00 in late July 2018.
Pierre Williot sold his Canon EOS 5DS R in like-new condition for the BAA record-low-by-far price of $1999.00 (was $2399.00).

New Listings

Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS Lens (the original IS model) plus extras!

Richard Gollar is offering a Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS (the original IS model, the “old five”) in near-mint condition for $3399.00. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the original tough front lens cover, the lens strap, a Really Right Stuff LCF-50 plate (along with the original foot), a LensCoat, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Richard via e-mail or by phone at 1-810-922-8598 (Eastern time).

The 500mm f/4 lenses have been the world’s most popular telephoto lenses for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. I owned and used and loved my “old five” for many years. If you don’t have the cash for a 500 II and can handle the additional 1 1/2 pounds, then this is your best super-telephoto option. Most everyone can produce sharp images with this lens and a 1.4X TC. Folks with good to excellent sharpness techniques can do the same with a 2X TC. With the new 500 II selling for $8,999 you can save a bundle by grabbing Richard’s virtually pristine lens. artie

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

Roger Williams is offering a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM lens in like-new condition (but for a single faint scratch on the front element) for the “it’s-your-lucky-day” price of only $899.00. The sale includes the original rear and front lens covers, the CD, the tough fabric carrying case and strap, the original product box, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Roger via e-mail or by phone at 1-651-402-8125 (Central time).

I owned and used this incredibly versatile lens for birds and wildlife and landscapes and Urbex for many years with both teleconverters. It was great indoors for events like granddaughter Maya’s dance recitals. A new copy of the 70-200 II currently sells for $1,949 so you can save a pretty penny by grabbing Roger’s lens right now. artie

Tan, men’s extra large Xtrahand Magnum Vest

John Lowin is offering a tan, (men’s extra large) Xtrahand Magnum vest by Vested Interest for $229.00. The sale includes two additional large lens pouches and a rain cover/half pancho that covers the photographer’s head, shoulders, camera, and a long lens. Photos are available upon request. All in near-mint condition. The sale also includes insured ground shipping by major courier to mainland US addresses only (unless other shipping arrangements are made). Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact John via e-mail or by phone at 1-262-242-3559. Central time.

As most of you know, I use and depend on my (Magnum) Xtrahand Vest extensively both in the field and for air travel. At spots in the Southern Ocean and in the Galapagos archipelago, it is absolutely indispensable as it allows me to carry the extra lenses that I might need, along with water, food, and extra clothing. Without a backpack! As Vested Interest has gone out of business, this represents a rare chance to get yourself an Xtrahand Vest at a greatly reduced price. artie

Navy blue (woman’s small) Xtrahand Magnum Vest

John Lowin also offering a navy blue (woman’s small) Xtrahand Magnum vest by Vested Interest for $199.00. The vest is in like-new condition. The sale also includes insured ground shipping by major courier to mainland US addresses only (unless other shipping arrangements are made). Please contact John via e-mail or by phone at 1-262-242-3559. Central time.

As most of you know, I use and depend on my (Magnum) Xtrahand Vest extensively both in the field and for air travel; it has saved my butt many times when traveling on small planes and puddle jumpers when they want to check or gate-check your roll aboard. At spots in the Southern Ocean and in the Galapagos archipelago, it is absolutely indispensable as it allows me to carry the extra lenses that I might need, along with water, food, and extra clothing. Without a backpack! As Vested Interest has gone out of business, this represents a rare chance to get yourself an Xtrahand Vest at a greatly reduced price. artie

Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with extras!)

Price dropped $300 on 21 AUG 2018!

Mike Diersing is offering a Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender in very good-plus condition (the glass is immaculate) for the crazy, BAA record-low-by-far price of $6,899.00 (was $7,199.00). The sale includes a Really Right Stuff LCF-53 lens foot, a Realtree Max-5 LensCoat, the front and rear lens caps, the original tripod and monopod mounts, the lens trunk with keys, the lens strap, the lens manual, and insured ground shipping via FedEx to US addresses only.

Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Mike via e-mail.

This is the world’s best lens for a trip to Africa. It kills also in the Galapagos and in South Georgia, the Falklands, and Antarctica. And I use mine a lot at Bosque and other dusty places where the built-in TC helps to keep your sensor clean. And I love it in the Palouse for its versatility. Recently, I often found myself wishing that I had taken the 200-400 rather than my 500 II on the Bear Boat Cubs IPT. Many nature photographers use it as their workhorse telephoto lens as it offers 884mm at f/8 with an external 1.4X TC added. The lens sells new at B&H right now for $10,999.00. You can save a neat $4,100.00 by grabbing Mike’s lens right now. artie

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.

Booking.Com

Several folks on the UK IPT used the Booking.Com link below for there Edinburgh hotels, 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.

American-Oystercatcher-feeding-fledged-chick-_MAI4356Nickerson-Beach-Park,-Gilgo-Beach,-NY

This image was created on August 19, 2018 at Nickerson Beach, Gilgo Beach, Long Island, NY. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens with the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and the Nikon D850. ISO 800. Matrix metering + 1/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3. AUTO 0 WB at 5:02pm on a cloudy afternoon.

Center Group (grp)/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The bottom point of the array was right on the large chick’s eye. Be sure to 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 #1: American Oystercatchers adult feeding fledged young

Aging American Oystercatcher

Adult American Oystercatchers have yellow irises, bright red eye skins, and bright orange bills. The young birds have smokey brown irises, dull orange eye skins, and much duller orange bills with the distal half of the bill brown shading to black. If you take a close look at the feathers of the upperparts of the large fledgling, you will see that nearly all of the buffy fringes that characterize the younger juveniles have worn away and that some black first winter feathers are growing in.

A Common Over-saturation Misconception

A common misconception is that the colors seen in a RAW file are never over-saturated. “But I did not increase the saturation!” is a common defense. The orange bills of the adult oystercatchers are a prefect example. The oranges of the adult bills in images created either in warm sunlight or cloudy conditions are often over-saturated as the images come out of the camera. Period. If you do a Levels adjustment and set the Highlight point the ORANGEs and the REDs will often show as over-saturated. And the same may be true when you are viewing the RGB histogram either on the back of the camera or on a computer.

Post-Processing Adult Skimmer Bills

It is best to tame these over-saturated ORANGEs during the RAW conversion. Both ACR and DPP have HSL tabs — Hue/Saturation/Luminance. Simply open the HSL tab, be sure that you are on Luminance, and move the slider to the left to decrease the Luminance. This approach works much better than reducing the Saturation as that results in the bills appearing just plain dull, which they are not. If you need to tone down the bill color a bit more once the image is in Photoshop, select the offending bill, put the selection on its own layer, go Image > Adjustments > Selective Color and add 40-90 points of CYAN to the REDs.

Everything above plus tons and tons more is covered in detail in Digital Basics II.

American-Oystercatcher-fledgling-eating-sand-crab-_MAI4404Nickerson-Beach-Park,-Gilgo-Beach,-NY

This image was also created on August 19, 2018 at Nickerson Beach, Gilgo Beach, Long Island, NY. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens with the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and the Nikon D850. ISO 800. Matrix metering + 1/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/6.3. AUTO 0 WB at 5:23pm on a cloudy afternoon.

Center Group (grp)/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. This time, the bottom point of the array was right on the adult’s head.

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

Image #2: American Oystercatcher, fledged young eating sand crab

Evaluating and Comparing Similar Images …

Surprisingly, today’s two featured images are not part of a series; Image #2 was created 21 minutes after Image #1. Enlarge each image by clicking on them. Leave a comment detailing the strengths and weakness of each image. Which young bird has the most engaging head position? Which adult is sharper? Which image has the most pleasing background. Be sure to explain your answers.

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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 :).

8 comments to A Common Over-saturation Misconception. Post-Processing Adult Skimmer Bills. And Evaluating and Comparing Similar Images …

  • avatar Bill

    Artie
    When you say reds are sometimes oversaturated in RAW files, did you really mean that? They may well be clipped but that’s not the quite same thing as oversaturated.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      My thoughts are the the REDs or any other colors may be clipped on the histogram because they are over-saturated. If you decrease the Saturation or the Luminance during the RAW conversion, the color in question will often no longer show as clipped. My terminology may or may not be in error, but I am happy with the results.

      with love, artie

      • avatar Bill

        In practical terms, you are right, but…

        Saturation clipping occurs in one or maybe two colours because it exceeds the gamut of the colour space at a given exposure. Often you can help get rid of saturation clipping by using Pro Photo RGB instead of Adobe RGB (or, heaven forbid, sRGB).

        Luminance clipping is pure overexposure of all three RGB channels with color at pinned to 255, that’s luminance clipping.

        The advantage of suffering only saturation clipping vs luminance clipping is that highlight recovery can often get back detail even if there’s only one channel of image data. It may be off color, but you can deal with that. However, if all three channels are blown, there ain’t nothing left to recover.

        With ETTR, it’s the photographer’s job to know exactly what point the increase in exposure will just fall short of luminance clipping. The image itself may dictate whether or not saturation clipping is a problem.

  • avatar John Abegglen

    Artie how do you know when to adjust +1/3 or minus 1/3 settings.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Or +3 or -1 … I direct you first to the section in Exposure Simplified in the CD book, The Art of Bird Photography II (ABP II). That will teach you to get the right exposure quickly and easily with digital. In short, when the sun is out, the meter is pretty smart. When it is cloudy, the meter is not so smart, and with images that average to a light tone the meters are stupid in low light.

      Once you have that down, I advise studying the section on Exposure Theory in the original The Art of Bird Photography now in soft cover. Doing so will enable you to make a very good estimate of the needed Exposure Compensation (EC) when you do not have time to create a test image and evaluate the histogram …

      You can save $10 by ordering the two-book combo here.

      Thirdly, study the captions for each image presented on the blog. You can go back for years. Virtually every image ever posted here explains how and what I metered …

      with love, artie

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Hi Artie, Nice images!
    #1:
    love the position of juvenile – he’s walking forward to ‘grab’ the crab!
    love seeing the full eye of juvenile and partially open bill
    the image has a playful quality to it: is the adult withholding the sand crab or going to feed it to the juvenile?
    Not crazy about the diagonal ocean wave background doing thru the adult
    #2
    Love the windblown tail feathers on the juvenile
    love the look on the juvenile’s face, especially the wide open eye
    looks like both birds are ‘examining’ their prey
    like the background: nothing distracting to see, just the birds

    hard to say which i prefer, but possibly image #1. it seems a bit more ‘active’ to me.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Artie: Wonderful images. I’ve spent many hours photographing oystercatchers, including an adult feeding its fledgeling. Your questions and my answers:

    Which young bird has the most engaging head position? Tie. I can’t pick one over the other.

    Which adult is sharper? Image 2’s adult looks sharper to me but both are sharp enough.

    Which image has the most pleasing background. I prefer image 1’s background because it provides a sense of place.

    Despite the above answers, I think I like image 2 slightly better than image 1, probably because of the overall composition and the tailfeathers of the fledgeling.

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    Both are great images but #2 is my favorite because–
    of the V shape made by the bills and bodies. Both birds are almost parallel to the camera and almost mirror images. All this making a great composition
    of the foggy background
    both birds are quite sharp on the whole body.

    Both head angles of the young bird look ok to me.