Capture One Pro-12 Motion-blur Save. The Capture One Pro-12 Simplified MP4 Video. And some great used gear … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Capture One Pro-12 Motion-blur Save. The Capture One Pro-12 Simplified MP4 Video. And some great used gear ...

What’s Up?

It was a bit cloudy today — Friday May 31, 2019 — right at sunrise so I set up the car in the driveway with my i-Phone on the tripod in the holder that I learned about in Dr. Cliff Oliver’s great iPhone Photography e-Guide . Then I grabbed Jim before his morning walk and working together, we created the Setting Up the Tripod in the Car mp4 video. It will be free to those who have purchased a FlexShooter Pro from us, $10 for the rest of the gang. No refunds; you gotta buy the tripod head first to get it free. 🙂 What you learn will enable most folks to set us a tripod in their car with pretty much any old tripod head but nothing, I repeat nothing, will be as effective as the FlexShooter Pro.

There had been something interesting going on here at ILE for the past two weeks. In past years, I have seen an occassional Osprey on the ground sitting around doing nothing. Recently I have seen groups of as many as eight sitting on the grass doing nothing. The birds are very difficult to approach even when driving very slowly. With no rain in forever, the lake is very low; as a result, I have been seeing Black-necked Stilt and Black-bellied Whistling Duck. Again, photography of those species is pretty close to impossible. Morning action continues to slacken; I headed down this mornng when we finished the video and was back at work by 7:45am. :(.

On the great news front I signed up a single for the Galapagos trip; registration for that trip is now closed. I still need just one more for the UK Puffins, Gannets, and Red Kites IPT … The discount on that one is so large that I will soon be offering to pay for someone to come …

Huge Late-registration UK Puffins, Gannets, and Red Kites Instructional Photo-Tour Discount Increased!

The late-registration discount has been increased to $3,500.00.

In an effort to fill a single remaining slot, I have increased the the late-registration discount for this great IPT from $3,000 to $3500. Scroll down for trip details. Please e-mail for additional information.

FlexShooter Pro Updates

All previously back-ordered FlexShooter Pro heads have been shipped thanks again to those who trusted us and ordered by phone. The FlexShooter Pro is now in stock here in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store. We have the correct BigFoot plate available for all lenses but for the Nikon 600mm f/4 VR lens. Please place a phone order if you would like the plate to go with your new FlexShooter Pro head; they should be in the store by next week.

As most of you know, I am now using it for 100% of my tripod-mounted photogtraphy. See here and here to learn more. Or see the video here.

The other day I got my hands on the prototype for the new FLN-60 Bigfoot for the Nikon 600 VR. It is long enough to balance the 600 alone with any Nikon camera body and the best news is that the Wimberley F-1 Flash Bracket fits perfectly and mounts easily. I will post a photo here soon. We will have them in stock in about three weeks.

The Capture One Pro-12 Simplified Video
Click here to order.

The Capture One Pro-12 Simplified Video

$15.00 via electronic download

When I first heard about doing RAW conversions in Capture One Pro 12 I purchased the somewhat pricey program and tried to figure it out on my own. I was totally lost. So I did some reading online and was still very confused. Then I consulted Arash Hazeghi’s comprehenisve The Nikon Photographers’ Guide to Phase One Capture One Pro e-Guide and while Arash does a great job of covering the fine points, I still had some difficulty getting started. I thought Who needs Sessions and who wants to have to Import images? So I consulted Patrick Sparkman, the BAA technical advisor. Patrick had been using C-1 Pro 12 for a while. We spent a good deal of time on FaceTime simplifying things. That video is a direct result of those conversations.

You can purchase your copy in the BAA Online Store here.

If you are new to Capture One Pro-12, please click here to order. Understand that C-1 Pro 12 is expensive for good reason … Are your photos worth it?

Here are some of the things you will learn in this 33+ minute video as we convert nine different RAW files (eight Nikon and one SONY) from soup to nuts, from Photo Mechanic through the RAW conversion in Capture One to Photoshop:

  • 1-How to quickly and easily find your images while working in a simple file folder format.
  • 2-How to customize your Exposure and Details tabs to streamline your workflow.
  • 3-How to set the White and Black points using Levels.
  • 4-How to adjust set the values for the relevant sliders including Exposure, White Balance, High Dynamic Range (the Highlight and Shadow sliders), and Clarity and Structure.
  • 5-How to work at 100 or 200% and fine tune your settings for Noise Reduction and Sharpness.
  • 6-How to work with the Color Editor

If you are trying to get a handle on how to use this great RAW conversion engine for your Nikon and SONY images, this video is just what you have been looking for. It is meant to serve as an adjunct to Arash’s comprehensive The Nikon Photographers’ Guide to Phase One Capture One Pro e-Guide. For Canon shooters, Arash and I both recommend using DPP 4.

ps: learn how I saved today’s’ featured image in Capture One by reading the rest of this blog post.

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. 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 III. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

As used gear sales have slowed a bit in recent months — especially with dSLR bodies, there are lots of great buys right now both below and on the Used Gear Page.

New Listings

Sony Alpha a9 (ILCE 9) Mirrorless Digital Camera Body

Peter Noyes is offering a Sony Alpha a9 (ILCE 9) Mirrorless Digital Camera Body in like-new condition for the crazy low price of $2698.00. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it along with insured ground shipping via major courier to US lower 48 addresses only. Your item will not ship until your ceck clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Peter via e-mail or by phone at 1-(567) 356-0878 (eastern time).

The a9 is a superb 24.2MP full-frame mirroless digital camera body that is perfect for sports and for birds in action or in flight. It is capable of shooting at up to 20 fps (15 fps with AF-C),, The 693-point phase-detection autofocus system covers 93% of the image area for accurate and quick subject tracking in a variety of lighting conditions. The a9 also sports 5-axis SteadyShot INSIDE image stabilization to minimize the appearance of camera shake when shooting handheld especially with telephoto lenses. As the a9 currently sells new for $3,498.00 you can grab Peter’s pretty much new a9 and save a cool $800.00.. artie

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Sandra Calderbank is offering a Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for the BAA record low by $1,000 price of $5999.00. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it including the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the original tough front lens cover, and the lens strap along with 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 Sandra via e-mail or by phone at 1-828 412 1047 (eastern time).

This fast, super-sharp, relatively lightweight (8.49 pounds) super-telephoto lens is a versatile lens for wildlife photographers, especially for those who live in the west and do large mammals in low light. And it is a hugely popular lens with sports photographers. For bird photographers working at close range at feeder set-ups will really love the 3m (9.8 feet) close focus. And best of all, it creates super-sharp images with both the 1.4X III and the 2X III Extenders. It currently sells new at B&H for $7,999. You can save $2,000 significant bucks by grabbing Sandra’s fast lens right now. artie

Re-Run with New Extras!

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens with $550 of added Mega-Extras!

Eric Chen is offering a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for the BAA record-low price of $6998.00. The sale includes everything that came in the orignal box including the lens trunk, the lens strap, the front lens cover, the warranty card, along with a Realtree Max 4 LensCoat, a LensCoat Hoodie, a RRS replacement foot, a Singh-Ray 5-stop Mor Slo Neutral Density filter (a $250+ value, great for Bosque blurs) mounted in the correct 52mm Canon Filter Drawer (filer holder– a $100+ value), a Tamrac Professional Series: Anvil Super 25 Backpack for dSLR and 600mm Lens (a $200 value) and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only. Your lens will not ship until your check clears unless another payment method is used.

Please contact Eric via e-mail or by phone at 1-413-210-3636 (Eastern time).

The 600 II has been the state of the art super-telephoto lens for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many years. When I was using Canon and could get it to my location, it was always my go-to weapon. It is fast and sharp and deadly alone or with either TC. With a new one going for $9,499, you can save a cool $2501.00 by grabbing Eric’s lens now. And that is not counting the great extras. The lighter 600 III goes for $12,999.00! artie


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. 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.

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.

Nikon Capture NX-D full frame original screen capture of Black Vulture landing showing AF points

Nikon Capture NX-D Full Frame Original Screen Capture of Black Vulture landing Showing AF Points

I rarely if ever check for sharpness on the rear LCD as my close vision is NTG and I don’t usually wear my reading glasses in the field. In addition, I simply cannot judge the sharpness very well on the back of the camera. I was thrilled when I viewed this image full frame on the back of the camera. The Group array was nicely positioned as you can see in the screen capture above. When shooting flight with Nikon unsharp images are very rare so I was pretty sure that this one would be fine …

Photo Mechanic screen capture of the bird’s head at 100%

Can you say “fuzzy”?

Photo Mechanic screen capture of the bird’s head at 100%

I wasn’t really shocked when I viewed the image at 100% in Photo Mechanic because it did not look sharp on the face even before I hit Z (to enlarge to 100%). Perhaps the focus was a bit past the vulture’s face and eye, but I think that the unsharpness might have been the result of motion blur; when I get excited shooting flight I often jerk the lens to get the framing that I want rather than panning smoothly as I should. In any case, though the face was not critcally sharp, I knew that I wanted to try to save the image because I loved the feet-out landing pose, the killer braking wing position, and the placement of the bird in the frame in relation to the background.

Note: This bird and many other vultures (both blacks and turkeys) were attracted to a pile of Red Snapper heads courtesy of Junior’s Fish Market on SR 60 in Lake Wales; thanks Mike!

This is a 100% crop showing the markedly improved sharpness of the bird’s head

The Save!

When making the transition from ACR conversions to Capture One Pro 12 conversions (to enjoy superior image quality) I studied Arash Hazeghi’s comprehensive The Nikon Photographers’ Guide to Phase One Capture One Pro e-Guide extensively. I remembered reading this:

Again, please note that it is very difficult, if not impossible to salvage images that are soft due to misfocus, motion blur, atmospheric distortion (such as heat shimmers, dust etc.) or very poor optics. Applying more sharpening to such images will only increase the noise and artifacts. I immediately delete such files after downloading them. Only images that are very slightly soft can be corrected by applying more sharpening. For such images, I recommend to first use the clarity and structure settings as explained earlier, and then adjust sharpness parameters using visual feedback.

From where I sit, very difficult, if not impossible translates to sometimes do-able . Using the Capture One Navigator and working at 200% I set both Clarity and Structure to 50 and raised the Sharpness value to 200 and noted some nice improvement. Once I had the converted image in Photoshop I selectively sharpened the head with a Contrast Mask and did some Eye Doctor work that resulted in additional improvement. Note: Both of those tehcniques are just two of the many, many dozens of great post-processing techniques and tips that are detailed in The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

Note: though Arash’s The Nikon Photographers’ Guide to Phase One Capture One Pro e-Guide includes Noise Reduction and Sharpness tables for current Nikon bodies, I have had great success using C-1 Pro 12 with my Sony RAW files. The program recognized both a9 and a7R iii images and the defualt settings are pretty effective. Better yet, the guide teaches you to work at 100% while fine-tuning the Noise Reduction and Sharpness values visually for each image.

If you are new to Capture One, please use this link to purchase.

This image was created down by the lake by my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL on May 18, 2019. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens and my souped-up Nikon D850. ISO 800. Matrix metering as framed at about +1 1/3 stops (+2 stops off the low blue sky): 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode was, as you can see by the histogram below, was perfect. AUTO1 WB at 8:09am on a sunny but slightly hazy morning.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +4. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Center Group (grp) AF/Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) was active at the moment of exposure. See the Nikon Capture NX-D screen capture above to see the position of the array.

Black Vulture landing/the optimized version

Click on the image to enjoy a large version.

Black Vulture landing/the optimized version

While the final result would not likely not thrill Arash, I was and am quite happy with the optmized version above. It is perfect for web presentation and I am pretty sure that it would make a nice 16X24′ print.

Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. All of the images on this card were created on the 2018 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

The New, Expanded 2019 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Seahouses, Bempton Cliffs, and the Dunbar, Scotland Gannet boat to Bass Rock! Thursday June 27 (from EDI) through Tuesday, July 9, 2019 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 10.): $9,999. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 1

The late-registration discount has been increased to $3,500.00.

Join me in the UK in late June and early July 2019 to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet, Red Kite, and more both in flight and at close range. We will also have great chances with Arctic and Sandwich Terns, both with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many of those chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks; plus Grey Seal. There will be tons of great flight photography. As on all IPTs, if you pay attention, you will learn a ton, especially about sky conditions and the relationship between light angle and wind direction and their effects on flight photography.

Why go all the way to Machias Seal Island off the coast of Maine, endure a two-hour boat ride, and have to photograph Atlantic Puffins from a cramped blind usually in bright sun (and well off sun angle) when you can hop a red-eye flight from Newark, NJ and be in Edinburgh, Scotland early the next morning. First we drive down to Bridlington for easy access to Bempton Cliffs where our primary targets will be Northern Gannet in flight. We will also get to photograph Razorbill, Northern Fulmar, Herring Gull, and Black-legged Kittiwake. While in Bridlington we will spend one afternoon visiting a Red Kite feeding station that should provide lots of flight photography action.

While in Bridlington we will staying at the White Horse Inn in Cranswick, about twenty minutes from Bempton Cliffs. After 3 1/2 days of photography there, we drive down to Seahouses in Northumberland to the two lodges that will be our home base for a week. After a short boat ride each day we will have hundreds of puffins posing at close range all day, every day — usually in ideal cloudy-bright conditions. While we are in Seahouses we will do six puffin/seabird trips, all weather permitting of course; last year we did not miss a single landing. In five years we have averaged losing less than one half day per year to bad weather. We land at Staple Island in the mornings and then sail over to Inner Farnes for our afternoon sessions. In addition, we may enjoy a session or two photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level from a rocky beach in Seahouses.

In Seahouses, we stay 7 nights in gorgeous, modern, upscale lodges with Wi-fi. They are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The bedrooms are decent-sized. Each lodge has one double bedroom and two twin bedrooms. (See the single supplement info below.) At the lodges we cook our own breakfasts each morning and prepare our own lunches to be brought on the six puffin boat trips. For dinners we will alternate cooking in the lodges with fine dining at several excellent local restaurants. We stay two nights at the Marston’s Inn in Dunbar. We will enjoy a fine-dining Thank You dinner at the Dunbar Hotel on the Tuesday evening before we fly home.

On the morning of Monday, July 8, 2019, the plan is to sleep late, pack, and head up to Dunbar Harbor, Scotland for lunch and an afternoon gannet boat chumming trip: flight photography until you cannot lift your camera. The next morning, Tuesday July 9, we will enjoy our second gannet boat chumming trip (both weather permitting). On both trips we will enjoy great views of the huge gannetry at Bass Rock. Included will be two nights lodging at the Pine Martin by Marston’s Inn in Dunbar. Very early on the morning of Wednesday, July 10, we will drive up to Edinburgh Airport so that everyone can make their flights home. No moaning please. You will need a flight that leaves at 8:30am or later. Not too much later is generally best.

Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. All images were created on the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

The Details

This IPT is all-inclusive except for your airfare and alcoholic beverages. All ground transportation, lodging costs, meals, your National Trust membership, and all boat, entry, and landing fees are included. Weather permitting, we will enjoy three and one-half days (at least six sessions in all) at Bempton Cliffs, an afternoon with the Red Kites, six full days on the puffin boats, one amazing afternoon gannet chumming trip, and one spectacular morning gannet chumming trip.

IPT Details

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome, heck, we actually need two couples — please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on February 28, 2019. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855.

Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options you can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check or running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance, be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

I truly hope that you can join me on this exciting venture.

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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In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

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