Working to Correct a Difficult Color Cast … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Working to Correct a Difficult Color Cast ...

What’s Up?

I will be aboard the Samba for two weeks beginning on Tuesday, July 23 photographing in nature photography heaven, the Galapagos archipelago. I will be offline from then until the late afternoon of Tuesday, August 6. You can reach Jim or Jen by phone weekdays at the office (863-692-0906) if you need help with mail order or IPT stuff. The blog will be published at least every other day while I am away.

B&H Event Space Program

I will be doing (another) B&H Event Space Program — Lessons From the Field BIRDS AS ART-Style — on Monday, August 12, 2019, 1:00 to 3:00 PM eastern time. You can register to attend in person or to view the event live online by clicking here. Here is the location: the second floor of B&H NYC SuperStore at 420 9th Avenue, New York NY 10001. Those planning on attending should register asap as spaces are limited.

In-the-Field at Nickerson

When I get back from the Galapagos on WED 7 AUG, I will be home for one full day and sleeping two nights in my own bed. That Friday, August 9th, I fly up to Islip to visit family, see Jersey Boys for the fourth time, and do some photography.

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There is lots of great stuff at Nickerson Beach in August

Click on the composite to see a larger version

Nickerson Beach In-the-Field Session

All are invited to join me for an In-the-Field photo session or two, or a full day, during the middle of August 2019, as below. We will get to photograph Black Skimmers in flight, dueling in mid-air, and on the beach. With luck, we might get some great stuff on chicks and fledged young as the timing is perfect. We have a good chance to photograph Common Tern and American Oystercatcher, both with fledged young. We should enjoy some good gull photography with herring, great black-backed, and even lesser black-backed. Gull predation of fledged young skimmers is likely. We may also have some good chances with several species of migrant shorebirds, especially Sanderling. It goes without saying that as always, you will learn a ton.

Please contact me via e-mail if you would like to join me. Remember that I will be offline from Tuesday, July 23 until late in the day on WED 7 AUG. Call Jim or Jen weekdays at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand to register. I will confirm on THURS 8 AUG.

Morning Sessions: pre-dawn (about 6am) till 9:30am: $400.00
Each session includes a working lunch/Photoshop/Workflow/Image review session. Limit 3.

Available: SAT 10 AUG, TUES 13 AUG, THURS 15 AUG.

Afternoon Sessions: 4:30pm until sunset (at about 8:10pm). Limit 3: $300.00.

Available: TUES 13 AUG or THURS 15 AUG.

Full-Days: $600.00. Limit 3.

Available: TUES 13 AUG or THURS 15 AUG.

FlexShooter Pro Update

We currently have FlexShooter Pro heads in stock here. We have all but one of the BigFeet in stock (phone orders only for now: 863-692-0906) but are sold out of the new FLN-60 BigFoot that was recently re-designed for the Nikon 600 VR. Click here to access the pretty much complete FlexShooter Pro story with videos.

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 the 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 on the Used Gear Page

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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.



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.

LBH-NEF

This image was also created on the Gatorland In-the-Field session on April 28, 2019. I used the Induro GIT 304L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 800. Matrix metering at about +1/3 stop: 1/80 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode was perfect with — as you can see above — the histogram pushed all the way to the right. AUTO1 WB at 7:19am in the shade in very low light.

A single AF point (two up and one to the right of center) using Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The point was squarely on the bird’s eye.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: a very significant +8. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Little Blue Heron RAW (NEF) file/Photo Mechanic screen capture

A Tough Color Cast

This gently backlit bird was sitting in the middle of a bush with lots of green leaves in pretty much pre-dawn light. Thus the color of the RAW file looked downright U-G-L-Y with a large greenish/blue cast on the bird’s feathers: R = 87, G = 109, B = 127 on the side of the bird … As I knew that getting the color right would require some nifty work, I put off optimizing it for three weeks …

Little-Blue-Heron-A-breeding-plumage-head-portrait-_MAI1187-Gatorland-Kissimmee-FL

This image was also created on the Gatorland In-the-Field session on April 28, 2019. I used the Induro GIT 304L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 800. Matrix metering at about +1/3 stop: 1/80 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode was perfect with — as you can see above — the histogram pushed all the way to the right. AUTO1 WB at 7:19am in the shade in very low light.

A single AF point (two up and one to the right of center) using Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The point was squarely on the bird’s eye.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: a very significant +8. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Little Blue Heron breeding plumage head and neck portrait/the optimized image screen capture

Correcting the Color and the Rest of the Image Optimization

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds website: Adult Little Blue Herons are very dark all over. At close range or in good light, they have a rich purple-maroon head and neck and a dark slaty-blue body. They have yellow eyes, greenish legs, and a bill that is pale blue at the base, black at the tip.

I converted the NEF file in Capture One Pro 12. I experimented with the Color Temperature slider without a great deal of success. Once I had the TIFF file in Photoshop I tried for a quick fix with Image > Auto Tone and Image > Auto Color at greatly reduced opacities but that only made things worse. Next, I went to the ACR filter and worked on the HSL tab with the BLUEs and the GREENS adjusting the Saturation and Luminance sliders to taste. Then I went to Selective Color, took away BLUE from the Neutrals, and tweaked the BLUEs and the GREENs there as well. Finally, the color looked pretty good. All of the work above was done on separate layers with a Regular Layer Mask so that I could paint away the effects on the bill as needed.

Working large, I did some bill clean-up work. I applied a 40% opacity layer of my NIK Color Efex Pro 30-30 recipe to the whole bird. I selectively sharpened the face with a Contrast Mask (Unsharp Mask at 15/65/0). After selecting the bird I ran NeatImage noise reduction in two steps with 90% on the BKGR and 45% on the bird only protected as detailed in the The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and edited by yours truly. Last was some high-stepping Eye Doctor work using Tim Grey Dodge and Burn to lighten the iris and darken the pupil and the selecting the iris with a Quick Mask. I lightened the selection and brought up the YELLOW in Selective Color. Voila. Total time from soup to nuts, about 30 minutes …

Your Thoughts?

I’d be glad to hear your thoughts on the color and on the image optimization in general.

DBII-cover

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II) and lots more!

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)

Everything mentioned above (except for Capture One RAW conversions) 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 continue to optimize my old 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).

More recently, I have begun converting my Nikon and Sony RAW files in Capture One. Learn more about Capture One Pro 12 and Arash Hazeghi’s “The Nikon Photographers’ Guide to Phase One Capture One Pro e-Guide” in the blog post here. Note: C-1 Pro 12 Works great with SONY ARW (RAW) files too!

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 edited by yours truly. Please use this link to purchase NeatImage.

To introduce folks to our MP.4 videos and the basics involved in applying more NeatImage noise reduction to the background and less on the subject, I’d be glad to send you a free copy of the Free Noise Reduction Basics MP.4 Video. Simply click to shoot me an e-mail to get your free copy.

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The BAA Middle of Florida Photographic Site Guide

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

The BAA Middle of Florida Photographic Site Guide

126 pages, 87 photographs by Joe Przybyla and Arthur Morris.
The PDF for this e-Guide is an electronic download sent via e-mail.

Purchase your copy here in the BAA Online Store.

I had thought about doing a guide to some of the great but little-known photo hotspots around central Florida for about a decade, but those plans never came to fruition. I met Joe online in the Avian Forum at BirdPhotographer’s.Net about two years ago. Joe’s photography has improved tremendously over the past few years; he credits the BAA blog, my books and PDFs, and his participation on BPN. The one thing that I learned right from the get-go about Joe is that he is a hard and tenacious worker, always striving to improve his skills and to grow his knowledge base. As he knew of more than a few good spots in central Florida, I broached the idea of us doing a photographic site guide that covered many of the little-known photographic hotspots from Brandon to Lakeland to Joe Overstreet Road to Indian Lake Estates (my Florida home for the past 20 years or so). After more than many, many dozens of hours of effort, The BIRDS AS ART Middle of Florida Photographic Site Guide is now a reality. Thanks to Joe’s wife Dottie for her review of our writing. We all learned once again that writing is a process, a back and forth process. All thanks to the white pelicans of Lakeland. Here are the locations that are detailed in this e-Guide:

  • Indian Lake Estates: Sandhills Cranes with chicks and colts, lots of vultures, and Ospreys up the kazoo!
  • Gatorland, Kissimmee: Learn to make great images of wading birds in a cluttered rookery.
  • The Brandon Rookery: Great for nesting Wood Storks, Great Egrets, and more.
  • Circle Bar B Reserve, Lakeland: Here you will find a great variety of avian subjects in a great variety of habitats.
  • Lake Morton, Lakeland: There are lots of silly tame birds here including and especially American White Pelican during the colder months.
  • Lake Mirror, Lakeland: Tame Anhingas, Limpkins, and a zillion White Ibises at times.
  • West Lake Parker, Lakeland: Here you will have a chance for two difficult birds, Snail Kite, and Purple Gallinule.
  • Joe Overstreet Road, Kenansville: Crested Caracara, meadowlarks, Loggerhead Shrike, and much more on the fenceposts and barbed wire.

Each location includes a map, a detailed description of the best spots, best season, light and time of day instructions, the expected species, and an educational and inspirational gallery that is designed to open your eyes as to the possibilities.

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

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 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 :).

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