Plain Chachalaca Watercolor Wing-stretch Optimization and Roma Set-up for Bug Bob « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Plain Chachalaca Watercolor Wing-stretch Optimization and Roma Set-up for Bug Bob

What’s Up?

The free Wednesday morning session went very well as we enjoyed mixed sun and clouds. We had a single young spoonbill, more than a few gorgeous White Ibises, and lots of breeding plumage Laughing Gulls flying, fishing, and bathing in sweet early morning light. We had the Fort DeSoto IPT Meet and Greet at Neptune Grill in Gulfport. We covered a ton of material and as the ground seemed really interested in shorebird biology I spent a good deal of time on the breeding and migratory strategies of the sandpipers, plovers, dowitchers, and their allies.

Morning one of the IPT started off in spectacular fashion with lots of White Ibises and two Great Blue Herons in still blue blue water with mirror image reflections. And the day ended with a gorgeous Great Egret in wavy blue water in late light with swirly reflections. And we did pretty well in between 🙂

Our AirBNP is so wonderful that we are having the first-ever BAA IPT Barbecue later today. Right now, 5:19am on Friday, April 19, both the weather and the weather forecast are looking horrific.

IPT Updates

I now have three — possibly four — folks for the UK Puffins and Gannets trip; that leaves one or two (or six or seven) openings on what will be an amazing experience and will possibly be my last trip and almost surely the last of the amazing Dunbar gannet boats trips — Gordon is getting old. 🙂

Galapagos: No Reasonable Offer Will Be Refused!

Luis Alberto Grunauer, Jr signed up for the Galapagos trip on Tuesday. I still have two openings: please shoot me an e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount for this trip. Or try any reasonable offer …

  • The 2019 Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/THURS 18 APRIL through the morning session on SUNDAY APRIL 21, 2019: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1549. Limit 8/Openings: 1. Meet and greet at 7PM on the evening of WED 17 APRIL. Free morning session on WED 17 APRIL.
  • The New, Expanded 2019 UK Puffins, Gannets, & Red Kites IPT. Thursday June 27 (from EDI) through Tuesday, July 9, 2019 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 10.): $9,999. Limit 5 10) or photographers/Openings: 2 (or 7). This trip is a definite go.
  • The GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 23 to August 6, 2019 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $14,499. Limit: 13 photographers/Openings: 3. Please e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount for this trip.
  • The 2020 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) WED JAN 8, 2020 thru and including the morning session on SUN JAN 12: 4 1/2 days: $2099.(Limit: 8/Openings: 7)

BIRDS AS ART

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

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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 along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.

Booking.Com

Many IPT folks have been using the Booking.Com link below to get great rates and save 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.

Airbnb

I have been using AirBNB for all of my travel lodging needs. Everyone on the Fort DeSoto IPT is staying at an AirBNB property in Gulfport. 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, their secure messaging makes it easy to coordinate with your host. And Airbnb support teams are available 24/7. And this morning, I made a 17-day reservation for an Airbnb condo for San Diego, 2020. I am staying with Rick again: his place has lots of room, a full kitchen, two bedrooms, and great WiFi. All for a lot less than the price of a chain hotel.

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 above to save $25.00.



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.

Roma-set-up

I used the I-Phone 8+ to create this utilitarian image. Getting the basic stuff in place took many hours, and the fine-tuning never ends … We were still tweaking perches and oranges at 10am on our last morning. As always.

We worked from a large, comfortable blind dug three feet into the earth so that the blind would not block the early morning light.

The Roma Morning Blind Set-up

Roma Set-up for Bug Bob

In the blog post here, good friend “Bug” Bob Allen asked if I had a photo of our set-up. If you ever photograph at a feeder set-up, you can learn a ton by studying this image very carefully. Without a word from me …

cover

The iPhone Photography e-Guide

To order your copy of the The iPhone Photography e-Guide please click here.

The PDF is sent link by e-mail for downloading: the file is relatively huge at 216 MB.

Hard to Believe

Yes, Cliff has a great eye and wonderfully creative vision. Yet it is still hard for me to believe that he can make so many great images with just an i-phone. Almost more amazingly Cliff captures with his iPhone and does all of his post-processing on the phone! In this great new e-Guide written for BIRDS AS ART you will learn to use set up you iPhone quickly and efficiently and how to to use it. In addition, there are dozens and dozens of tips on Cliff’s favorite apps and his favorite gear. Scroll down to the bottom to see the Table of Contents.

The iPhone Photography e-Guide: $20.00.

To order your copy of the The iPhone Photography e-Guide please click here.

Dr. Cliff Oliver

Dr. Cliff Oliver is an award-winning photographer, former photography instructor for the San Diego Natural History Museum, cutting-edge integrative health care professional, and international workshop leader. He created and taught the first 5-day immersion iPhone photography workshop at Hollyhock, Canada’s premier Leadership Learning Center. He teaches quarterly iPhone photography classes at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library School of the Arts (these include Art on the iPhone, iPhoneography, Portraits and Selfies, and Practicing in the Field). His images have been on the cover of WildBird magazine, on display at Scripps Oceanography Institute, and been honored with multiple first-place finishes in the International Exhibition of Photography Del Mar. The San Diego Natural History Museum’s, “Birds of the World” centennial exhibit featured several of his images. One of his iPhone images received an honorable mention in the Athenaeum 23rd annual juried exhibition. He has displayed images at Art Speaks: Expressions of Hope and Healing and has produced a series of books, called Zen I, II, III, IV, V, VI and VII that feature original images that promote inner peace. The last 4 books feature only images taken on the iPhone. He teaches individuals and groups the skills of capturing iPhone/mobile photographs and then how to create personalized works of art.

Learn more about Cliff and what he does on his Center for Balanve website here. And don’t forget, if I had never met Cliff I would be pushing up daisies somewhere. To request my Health Basics File that contains the whole story, please shoot me an e-mail by clicking here..

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This image was created on the morning of April 14, 2019 on the Roma, TX IPT. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 400. Matrix metering at about +1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/5.6 was perfect with the histogram pushed well to the right. AUTO1 WB at 10:48am on a cloudy day.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Two up from center left Group (grp) — as originally framed — Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure.

Photo Mechanic Screen Capture for Plain Chachalaca stretching wing

The Original

The Photo Mechanic screen capture above shows the original image. When I saw the bird stretch its right wing, I did not try to change the AF point — when unexpected action occurs, press the shutter button — so I acquired focus and fired off several frames. As you can see, the bird was too far to our left in the frame; the mixed lighting was doing me no favors … And, in addition, I hated the sawed off end of the perch. So after converting the image in Capture One I brought it into Photoshop and went to work. The optimized image immediately below addresses all of my concerns and more while retaining the watercolor look.

Plain-Chachalaca-wingstretch-_MAI5464-Ramirez-Ranch-Roma-TX

This image was created on the morning of April 14, 2019 on the Roma, TX IPT. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 400. Matrix metering at about +1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/5.6 was perfect with the histogram pushed well to the right. AUTO1 WB at 10:48am on a cloudy day.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Two up from center left Group (grp) — as originally framed — Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure.

This is the Optimized Version of Plain Chachalaca stretching wing

The Image Optimization

I used a healthy dose of the Shadow slide to open up the bird’s head and neck which had been shaded. I expanded canvas left and filled in the new canvas using techniques from Digital Basics II and APTATS I & II. I rebuilt the missing section of branch in two steps using horizontally flopped, warped, Quick Masks of the existing branch.

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 — including all of my personalized Keyboard Shortcuts — 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): Note: all of the videos are now priced at an amazingly low $5.00 each.

  • 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.

Though I have become more proficient converting my Nikon RAW (NEF) files in Adobe Camera Raw, I have been working more and more on using Capture One to convert my Nikon and Sony images and continue to convert my (older) Canon images in DPP 4. You can learn how and why I converted (and still convert) nearly all of my Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 in the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide here. And, yes, I still have many Canon images to work on. 🙂 The RAW conversions for all three of today’s featured images was straightforward once I entered my camera/ISO specific recipes (as detailed in the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide). 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.

Galapagos-card-2019---1

The GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience

July 23 to August 6, 2019 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $14,499. Limit: 12 or 13 photographers plus the leader. This trip is a go. All deposits and payments will be returned in the unlikely event that the trip does not run.

This trip is THE best Galapagos Photo-Cruise in the world. By far. No one else offers a trip that visits the top three world-class landings twice each. What does this trip offer? The world’s best Galapagos guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), a great crew, and me, with ten Galapagos Photo-cruises under my belt. Pre-trip gear suggestions and advice and twice-daily, pre-landing, location-specific briefings. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea! Do know that there are one-week Galapagos trips (six full and two half- days on the boat “from $9995”! (If you think I am exaggerating, click here.) Thus, this trip represents a tremendous value; why go all that way and miss half of the great photographic locations? And why not visit the three very best spots twice each?

The great spots that we will visit include Tower Island — including Darwin Bay (almost surely twice!) and Prince Phillips Steps, Hood Island (including Punta Suarez, the world’s only nesting site of Waved Albatross (almost surely twice!), and Gardner Bay — each of the preceding are world class wildlife photography designations that rank right up there with Antarctica, Africa, and Midway. We will also visit Fernandina, Puerto Ayora for the tortoises and Darwin’s Finches, Puerto Egas—James Bay, and North Seymour (almost surely twice) for nesting Blue-footed Boobies and both frigatebird species in most years, South Plaza for Land Iguanas and seabirds, Floreana for Greater Flamingoes, and Urbina Bay, all spectacular in their own right. We visit every great spot on a single trip. Plus lots more.

There will be lots of opportunities to snorkel on sunny middays for those like me who wish to partake. (The park service does not approve our second visits to the same great locations until right before the trip; we have never been turned down. We will be the first boat on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island every afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast skies, we will often spend 5+ hours at the best sites. And as noted above, mid-day snorkeling is an option on most sunny days depending on location and conditions. On the 2015 trip most snorkeled with many thousands dolphins. I eased off the zodiac to find hundreds of dolphins swimming just below me.

Note that some of the walks are on the difficult side. Great images are possible on all landings with either a hand held 70-200mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter or an 80- or 100-400mm lens. In the past, I have taken a longer lens ashore on most landings as they better fit my style. In 2017 I took the then brand-new Canon 400mm DO lens and the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS II lens (with both teleconverters). In 2019 I anticipate taking at least my Nikon 200-500 and my 80-400 VR. Along with the 24-120.

The Logistics

SUN July 21, 2019: Arrive in Guayaquil a day early to ensure that you do not miss the boat.

MON July 22, 2019: Introductory sessions.

TUES July 23, 2019: We fly to the archipelago and board the Samba. Heck, on the 2017 trip some folks made great images at the dock in Baltra while our luggage was being loaded!

TUES: August 6, 2019: We disembark late morning and fly back to Guayaquil midday; most will overnight there.

Most will fly home on the early morning of August 7 unless they are staying on or going elsewhere (or catching a red-eye flight on the evening of the August 6).

$14,499 includes just about everything: all transfers, guide and park fees, all food on the boat, transfers and ground transportation, your flights to the archipelago, and three nights (double occupancy) in a top notch hotel in Guayaquil. If you are good to go, a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 per person is due immediately. The second payment of $5,000 is not due until 12/1/18. The final payment of $4,499 per person will be due on 3/1/19. All payments must be made by checks made out to BIRDS AS ART and mailed to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO BOX 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On two fairly recent cruises a total of 5 folks were forced to cancel less than one week prior to the trip. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and strongly recommend that you do the same.

Not included: your round trip airfare from your home to and from Guayaquil, beverages on the boat, phone calls, your meals in Guayaquil, personal items, and an $800/person cash tip for the crew and the guide to be shared by our guide and the 7 folks who will be waiting on us hand and foot every day for two weeks. The service is so wonderful that many folks choose to tip extra.

Galapagos-Card-A2015

The Itinerary

Sunday, July 21, 2019: Fly to Guayaquil arriving a day early to ensure that you do not miss the boat.

Monday, July 22, 2019: Introductory sessions.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019: We fly to the archipelago and board the Samba. Heck, on the 2017 trip some folks made great images at the dock in Baltra while our luggage was being loaded!

On the Boat

Day 1: Tuesday, July 23, PM North Seymour

Day 2: Wednesday, July 24, Genovesa: AM Darwin Bay, PM Prince Phillips´ Steps

Day 3: Thursday, July 25, Marchena: AM Playa Negra, PM Navigation to Isabela

Day 4: Friday, July 26, Isabela: AM Punta Albemarle, PM Punta Vicente Roca

Day 5: Saturday, July 27, AM Fernandina: Punta Espinoza, PM Isabela: BahĂ­a Urbina

Day 6: Sunday, July 28, Isabela: AM Elizabeth Bay, PM Punta Moreno

Day 7: Monday, July 29, Floreana: AM Post Office Bay, PM Punta Cormorant

Day 8: Tuesday, July 30, Santa Cruz: AM Highlands and Lunch, PM free time in the city with internet access.

Day 9: Wednesday, July 31, Española: AM Gardner Bay, PM Punta Suárez

Day 10: Thursday, August 01, Española: AM Punta Suarez, PM Navigation to San Cristóbal

Day 11: Friday, August 02, San CristĂłbal. AM Isa Lobos (only until 9 am), PM Punta Pitt

Day 12: Saturday, August 03, AM Santa Fe, PM South Plaza

Day 13: Sunday, August 04, Genovesa: AM Darwin Bay, Navigation to Santiago

Day 14: Monday, August 05, AM James Bay, PM Rábida

Day 15: Tuesday, August 06, North Seymour from 06 to 09 am. We disembark late morning and fly back to Guayaquil midday; most will overnight there.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019: Fly home.

I hope that you can join us on what will surely be a rich and rewarding photographic experience.

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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.

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

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6 comments to Plain Chachalaca Watercolor Wing-stretch Optimization and Roma Set-up for Bug Bob

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