Shutter Priority for Pre-dawn Blurs. A Great Tip for Taking the BLUE (?) Out. Bosque at the Beach. And the One or the Many? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Shutter Priority for Pre-dawn Blurs. A Great Tip for Taking the BLUE (?) Out. Bosque at the Beach. And the One or the Many?

Stuff

I spent most of Friday watching the TIVO of Tiger Wood’s first PGA tour victory in five years. And blowing lots of balloons. This blog post took more than four hours to prepare. 🙂

News on the Galapagos Front/Limit 12/Openings: 3

Right now I have nine folks committed to the 2019 Galapagos Photo Cruise. A friend who had committed to the trip learned that he and his wife might not be able to attend. Thus, I have room for a couple or for two same-sex roommates, and for a male single. If the archipelago is on your bucket list, please get in touch via e-mail asap 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.

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 many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the 5Ds and 5Ds R, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, the Canon 200-400 with internal extender, and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. Most recently the price of used Canon 600mm f/L IS II lenses have been dropping like a rock with the introduction of the 600 II. 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.

September Sales

Ron Gates sold a Canon EOS 7D in near-mint condition for $350 in mid-September.
Will Craig sold a Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lens in excellent condition for $674.00and a Canon EF Extender 1.4X III in near-mint condition for $329.00 about one week after they were listed in mid-September.
Will Craig sold an original Canon EOS 7D camera body in excellent condition (with fewer than 26,000 actuations) for $299.00 soon after it was listed in September, 2018.
Anthony Ardito sold a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV body in like-new condition (with extras) for $2,499.00 in early September, 2018.
Anthony Ardito also sold a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens in like-new condition (with extras including a 2X III TC) for $8,500.00 in early September, 2018.
I sold my Canon 1.4X III teleconverter for $329.00 in early September before listing it.
Amy Novotny’s Nikon TC-E-20 (teleconverter) sold the first day it was listed in early September for $249.00.
Richard Gollar sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS (the original IS model, the “old five”) in near-mint condition for $3399.00 in early September.

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

Shock-the-World Priced at $6,499.00!

IPT veteran Mark Overgaard is offering a Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender in excellent condition (with extras) for $6,499.00. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the original tough front lens cover, the lens strap, the original lens foot, a Really Right Stuff LCF-53 lens foot, a Realtree Max4 Lenscoat, the manual 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 Mark 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 used mine a lot at Bosque and other dusty places where the built-in TC helps to keep your sensor clean. And I loved it in the Palouse for its versatility. Last summer, 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 for $10,999.00. You can save an amazing $4,500.00 by grabbing Mark’s lens in excellent condition right now. artie

Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM Lens

IPT veteran Mark Overgaard is also offering an EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM lens in excellent condition for $449.00 The sale includes the front and rear lens caps, the lens hood, the lens pouch, the manual, the original 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 Mark via e-mail.

If you are a landscape photographer looking to save weight this is the lens you are looking for. It sell new at B&H for $899.00. artie

Canon EOS 5DS dSLR (with extras)

Amazing Low Price

IPT veteran Mark Overgaard is offering an EOS 5DS body in excellent condition for the amazingly low price of $1399.00. The sale includes the front body cap, the lens strap, the CD, the original box, a Really Right Stuff B5DS-L L-plate, the manual, 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 Mark via e-mail.

This body features a amazing full-frame 50.6MP CMOS sensor; it captures ultra-high resolution images suitable for large-scale printing and extensive, creative cropping. The Dual DIGIC 6 Image Processors provide the wherewithal to handle this abundance of information, enabling fast performance speeds and top-of-the-line image quality. The 5DS also features advanced video capability including HD 1080p capture at 30 fps and a Time Lapse movie function which takes still photos at set intervals and combines them into a full HD movie. B&H

This one sells new for $3,699.00 and B&H is offering two used ones, one in 9 condition for $2,748.50, and one in 9+ condition (like Mark’s) for $2,906.95. In short, if you are a serious landscape photographer, you can save a ton of bucks by purchasing Mark’s 5DS. artie

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM Lens

IPT veteran Mark Overgaard is also offering an EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM lens in near-mint condition for $1,299.00. The sale includes the front and rear lens caps, the lens hood, the lens pouch, 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 Mark via e-mail.  

Characterized by its unique and advanced optical composition, the Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L II USM is a wide-angle L-series prime featuring a fast f/1.4 maximum aperture to suit working in difficult lighting conditions. Its optical design incorporates a Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics element; a specially developed element that helps to nearly eliminate chromatic aberrations and color fringing for notable clarity and color accuracy. In addition to this, an ultra-low dispersion element and two aspherical elements are also featured to further control various aberrations and distortion for great sharpness and resolution. Individual elements also feature a Sub Wavelength Coating to suppress flare and ghosting for high contrast and color fidelity when working in harsh and backlit conditions. B&H

If you’ve been lusting for this lens, you can save a quick $500.00 by buying this one now; a new one goes for $1,799.00. artie

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

Charlie Curry is offering a Canon EF 200-400 f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender in like-new condition (with extras) for $7,199.00. The sale includes the lens trunk with keys, a RRS LCF-53 lens foot, the front and rear lens caps, and the original lens foot. Also included: the lens manual, the lens strap, and insured ground shipping via FedEx to US addresses only. Cashier’s check only.

Please contact Charlie via e-mail or by phone at 1-407-448-7797 Eastern time.

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 used mine a lot at Bosque and other dusty places where the built-in TC helps to keep your sensor clean. And I loved it in the Palouse for its versatility. Last summer, 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 for $10,999.00. You can save a neat $3,800.00 by grabbing Charlie’s like-new lens right now. artie

Airbnb

For the past few months, I have been hearing folks use the word Airbnb, most notably, Amy Novotny. Out of curiosity I asked a few questions. What I learned amazed me. Join Airbnb and become part of a community that connects global travelers with local hosts across the world. Find a place to stay and discover things to do. Airbnb lists more than 4.5 million homes across 200 countries; you’ll find spacious, affordable options for every occasion. With Airbnb you will travel with confidence as reviews from past guests help you find the right fit. Once you do, our secure messaging makes it easy to coordinate with your host. And Airbnb support teams are available 24/7. Last night I made a reservation for an Airbnb apartment for my upcoming January San Diego visit: 13 nights with a full kitchen and two bedrooms.

Yikes. I almost forgot the best part: Airbnb rates average less than half of even the least expensive chain hotels and motels. If you would like to save $40 on your first booking sign up by using this link: Airbnb. Airbnb does charge clean-up and service fees that make short stays less attractive bargains than long stays.

Those who prefer to stay in a motel or hotel are invited to use the Booking.com link below to save $25.00.

Booking.Com

Several folks on the UK IPT used the Booking.Com link below for their 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.

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. Steve currently has several D850s in stock — your purchase includes a free 64gb XQD card and the XQD reader!). He also has two Nikon 180-400s in stock. And he is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body as well as for the Canon 600 III. He already has two BAA blog orders for the new Canon six.

Royal-Tern-kiting-blur-_DSC5717Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra-Verde,-FL

This image was created at Fort DeSoto Park on the early morning of September 23, 2018. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the blazingly fast Nikon D5 (with Dual XQD slots). AUTO ISO 360. Matrix metering +1 .7 stops (should have been at least +2.3 stops): 1/60 sec. at f/5.6 in Shutter Priority mode (S in Nikon, Tv with Canon). AUTO1 WB at 7:32am with clouds on the eastern horizon blocking the sun.

Center group (grp) Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed. The left AF point in the array just caught the base of the tern’s left wing. The lower point just caught the tail.

Phase detection AF Fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #1: Royal Tern, pre-dawn blur — Much too BLUE. Or not?
Image copyright 2018: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Too Blue?

Out of camera, the RAW file for this image was too dark, too muddy, and much too BLUE. Plus 2.7 stops would have been best in the field. I optimized the image taking all of the BLUE out (by de-saturating the BLUE channel on a Hue-Saturation layer). While preparing this post I noticed that there was still a big color cast in my first optimized version. Keep reading to see the solution …

Royal-Tern-kiting-blur-WHITER-_DSC5717Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra-Verde,-FL

This image was created at Fort DeSoto Park on the early morning of September 23, 2018. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the blazingly fast Nikon D5 (with Dual XQD slots). AUTO ISO 360. Matrix metering +1 .7 stops (should have been at least +2.3 stops): 1/60 sec. at f/5.6 in Shutter Priority mode (S in Nikon, Tv with Canon). AUTO1 WB at 7:32am with clouds on the eastern horizon blocking the sun.

Center group (grp) Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed. The left AF point in the array just caught the base of the tern’s left wing. The lower point just caught the tail.

Phase detection AF Fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #2: Royal Tern, pre-dawn blur, color corrected
Image copyright 2018: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

A Great Tip for Taking the BLUE (?) Out

Just as we can often create more accurate GREENs by reducing the YELLOW saturation, I realized that the problematic channel with Image #1 was CYAN not BLUE. So I brought the optimized TIFF file back into Photoshop. Working on a separate layer (Command J) I reduced the saturation of the CYAN channel by 60%. But the image still looked a bit dingy so while still working on the CYAN channel only, I tried moving the Lightness slider to the right. Voila! That resulted in beautiful clean WHITEs. That was the first time I ever did that but I can assure you that it will not be the last …

gull-tern-blastoff-_DSC6442Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra-Verde,-FL

This image was created at Fort DeSoto Park on the early morning of September 24, 2018. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the blazingly fast Nikon D5 (with Dual XQD slots). AUTO ISO 1600. Matrix metering +2 stops (could have been been +2.3 stops): 1/30 sec. at f/5.6 in Shutter Priority mode (S in Nikon, Tv with Canon). AUTO1 WB at 7:10am on what would become a clear morning; sunrise was at 7:21am.

Center /Single Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed.

Phase detection AF Fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #3: Gull/tern pre-dawn blast-off blur
Image copyright 2018: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Bosque at the Beach

We were blessed by more than a few gull/tern blast-offs both in the early mornings and the late afternoons. Ironically, both images were created at 500mm.

Shutter Speed Question

What is the general principle that explains why I went with 1/60 sec. for the image of the single tern but with 1/30 sec. for the flock blur?

Degree of Blurring Question

Considering that the shutter speed is the same :), why are the birds in the top half of the frame more blurred than the birds in the bottom half of the frame?

Shutter Priority for Pre-dawn Blurs

Try this simple approach for creating pleasing pre-dawn blurs:

  • 1-Put your camera in Shutter Priority mode (S in Nikon, Tv with Canon).
  • 2-Set the ISO 10 100.
  • 3-Set Auto ISO (unless you have set ISO Safety Shift with your Canon body — that gives you Auto ISO whenever you need it without having to set it).
  • 4- Set the Exposure Compensation to at least +2.
  • 5-Make one image of the birds just sitting there, check your histogram, and adjust the EC as needed.
  • 6-Fire away if you are lucky enough to get a blast-off. By working in Shutter Priority you can actually experiment with different shutters speeds during a single blast-off by rolling the shutter speed dial. For distant blast-offs I might try anything between 1/4 and 1/30 sec.

The One or the Many?

Which of today’s featured images do you prefer, #2 or #3? Please let us know why you made your choice.

Guide to Pleasing Blurs

A Guide to Pleasing Blurs

Learn everything there is to know about creating pleasingly blurred images in A Guide to Pleasing Blurs by Denise Ippolito and yours truly. This 20,585 word, 271 page PDF is illustrated with 144 different, exciting, and artistic images. The guide covers the basics of creating pleasingly blurred images, the factors that influence the degree of blurring, the use of filters in creating pleasing blurs, and a great variety of both in-the-field and Photoshop techniques that can be used to create pleasingly blurred images.

Artie and Denise teach you many different ways to move your lens during the exposure to create a variety of pleasingly blurred images of flowers and trees and water and landscapes. They will teach you to recognize situations where subject movement can be used to your advantage to create pan blurs, wind blurs, and moving water blurs. They will teach you to create zoom-blurs both in the field and during post-processing. Artie shares the techniques that he has used and developed for making blurred images of flocks of geese in flight at his beloved Bosque del Apache and Denise shares her flower blur magic as well as a variety of creative Photoshop techniques that she has developed.

With the advent of digital capture creating blurred images has become a great and inexpensive way to go out with your camera and have fun. And while many folks think that making successful blurred images is the result of being a sloppy photographer, nothing could be further from the truth. In “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs” Artie and Denise will help you to unleash your creative self.

Help Support the Blog

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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.

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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 :).

10 comments to Shutter Priority for Pre-dawn Blurs. A Great Tip for Taking the BLUE (?) Out. Bosque at the Beach. And the One or the Many?

  • avatar Edward Dow

    I didn’t want to answer the blur question, as you had just informed me last week! I prefer the single tern. The different blurs top and bottom doesn’t work for me in the multi-bird photo.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Edward. It was great meeting and working with you. OK to answer the blur question 🙂

      with love, artie

  • avatar Hank Fowler

    Hi Artie,
    I much prefer the #2 photo of the single bird blurred. The beautiful triangle of the birds wings gives the bird a majestic quality. Also, the eye is drawn there right away. In the # 3 photo, the eye gets confused and doesn’t know where to go leaving the viewer a bit confused.
    Pleasing blurs are and art unto themselves.

    Thanks for all your efforts

  • avatar Warren H

    Shutter Speed Question
    What is the general principle that explains why I went with 1/60 sec. for the image of the single tern but with 1/30 sec. for the flock blur?

    The general principal is that the single bird is closer to the camera, so the “relative” movement across the frame of the image over a given time is greater. (i.e. the wing tip will travel across more pixels in a given time than a bird much farther away.) So, in order to get a similar blur, you will need more time with the birds farther away.

    Degree of Blurring Question
    Considering that the shutter speed is the same :), why are the birds in the top half of the frame more blurred than the birds in the bottom half of the frame?

    The birds in the top half of the image are closer to the camera than the birds lower in the image. This image shows the general principal described above very well. (And I am sure that was not an accident, Oh Great Teacher…)

  • With all due respect to the World’s Greatest Bird Photographer, Images #1 and #2 simply appear to me as out of focus Royal Terns or two images shot at too slow a shutter speed. I don’t think they work as pleasing blurs. Perhaps if they’d been shot at even a slower speed the blur would have been more pronounced and may have been more pleasing. I like Image #3.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for commenting (and for the accolades). Images #1 and 2 are different color versions of the same image. The original was accurately focused. When trying to create pleasing blurs accurate focus is mandatory (with very rare exception).

      with love, artie

  • Hi Artie.

    Looking for a D850 took your advice , Bedford camera . Are these 850’s offered by Bedford camera USA cameras or Grey models ? Why is he offering free stuff when these cameras seem to be in short supply ? I would think they could sell them all easily without offering free stuff.

    Just want to be sure before I leap.

    Thanks Joe. Marco Island Fl.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Bedford’s is an authorized Nikon USA dealer and deals only with US product. They are offering extras to get your business 🙂 Time to leap.

      with love,

      artie