Cropping Like Crazy at the Brandon Rookery with the SONY Alpha 1 at 1200mm! Topaz Gigapixel AI to the Rescue « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Cropping Like Crazy at the Brandon Rookery with the SONY Alpha 1 at 1200mm! Topaz Gigapixel AI to the Rescue

What’s Up?

Today is Monday 6 September 2021, Labor Day. Speaking of labor, I have been working hard for several hours at my sister Ilene’s home creating some new YouTube videos. A ten-minute video takes about 15 minutes to record and then well more than an hour to edit. It is a labor of love. If you have not been around for a few days, you can see all of the offerings on the BIRDS AS ART YouTube channel here. The most recently posted video, Learn to Create BIRDS AS ART with Arthur Morris, has been getting a ton of play. You can view it here. eco, who would not want to learn to create BIRDS AS ART? If you like what you see, you can subscribe by clicking here. I am 100% committed to adding new content on a weekly basis. Wherever you are having your barbecue, I hope that you too have a great day.

Remember that you can find some great photo accessories (and necessities!) on Amazon by clicking on the Stuff tab on the orange/yellow menu bar above. On a related note, it would be extremely helpful if blog-folks who, like me, spend too much money on Amazon, would get in the habit of clicking on the Amazon logo link on the right side of each blog post when they shop online. As you might expect, doing so will not cost you a single penny, but would be appreciated tremendously by yours truly. And doing so works seamlessly with your Amazon Prime account.

This blog post took about an hour to prepare and makes 249 consecutive days with a new one. Please remember that if an item — a Delkin flash card, or a tripod head — for example, that is available from B&H and/or Bedfords, is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great, and greatly appreciated, if you would opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to save 3% at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout for your major gear purchases. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And always earns my great appreciation.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Please know that the longer you wait to sell your used gear, the less you will get for it …

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.

Right now, there are lots of great buys on the Used Gear Page.

Please Remember

With income from IPTs now close to zero, please, if you enjoy and learn from the blog, remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so just might make it possible for me to avoid having to try to get a job as a Walmart greeter and will not cost you a single penny more. And if you use Bedfords and remember to enter the BIRDSASART code at checkout, you will save 3% on every order and enjoy free second-day air shipping. In these crazy times — I am out at least forty to sixty thousand dollars so far due to COVID 19 (with lots more to come) — remembering to use my B&H link or to shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes, are invited to help out by clicking here to leave a blog thank you gift if they see fit.

New and Better Bedfords Discount Policy!

You can now save 3% on all of your Bedfords photo gear purchases by entering the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout. Your discount will be applied to your pre-tax total. In addition, by using the code you will get 2nd day air shipping via Fed Ex.

Grab a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and save $14.99. Purchase a Canon EOS R5 and your discount will be $116.97. Purchase a Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and save a remarkable $389.94! Your Bedford’s purchase no longer needs to be greater than $1,000.00 for you to receive a discount. The more you spend, the more you save.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would enjoy free second-day air shipping, your best bet is to click here, place an order with Bedfords, and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If an item is out of stock, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592 (Central time). Be sure to mention the BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order to save 3% and enjoy free 2nd-day air shipping. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The wait lists at the big stores can be a year or longer for the hard to get items. Steve will surely get you your gear long before that. For the past year, he has been helping BAA Blog folks get their hands on items like the SONY a9 ii, the SONY 200-600 G OSS lens, the Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 100-500mm lens, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is personable, helpful, and eager to please.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs (remember those?) 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.

This image was created on 28 April 2021 at the Brandon Rookery. While standing at full height on the shore, I used the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/ Levered-Clamp FlexShooter Pro-mounted-Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only). ISO 2500. The exposure was determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/1000 sec. at f/8 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 7:34pm on a sunny afternoon.

Tracking: Flexible Spot AF-C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed perfectly. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger higher-res version.

Image #1: Great Blue Heron large chick in the nest begging

The Original

When I decided to press the shutter button, despite the second chick right in front of the larger, begging chick, I was thinking, “Big crop.” I really did not envision how successful a really large crop might be … Scroll down to find out.

Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger, amazingly sharp, higher-res version.

Image #1A: A huge crop of the Great Blue Heron large chick in the nest begging image

Cropping Like Crazy at the Brandon Rookery!

The converted flattened 8-bit TIF file, Image #1, above was 142.8 MB. The flattened 8-bit file of the cropped image was 33.1 MB. Thus, 76.75% of the original pixels were cropped away and discarded. Yet the image looks amazing sharp with plenty of fine feather detail, especially on the chick.

To up-res the master TIF file, I brought the image into Topaz Gigapixel AI and used the 2X setting. The result was a gorgeous 132.4 MB file, just a shade smaller than un-cropped original TIF.We are living in a totally amazing new world.

BPN Discussion on Cropping

Many might be interested in reading the comments on (excessive) cropping in Panes 19 & 20 in the BPN thread here.

Great Topaz News!

As regular readers know, I run DeNoise on virtually every image that I process immediately after executing the crop with the Delete Cropped Pixels box checked. For images made in sunny conditions, I used Standard. For images made in low light, I use Low Light. You can check all four methods by using the Comparison View but I rarely do that any more as I am confident as noted above.

Folks who use the BAA Topaz link to purchase Sharpen AI, DeNoise AI, or the Utility Bundle (or any other Topaz plug-ins), will receive a 15% discount by entering the ARTHUR15 code at checkout. If the stuff is on sale (as it usually is), you save 15% off of the sale price! To get the discount you must use my link and you must enter the discount code. Be sure to start with this link.

Those who purchase Sharpen AI, DeNoise AI, or any other Topaz plug-ins using my link and then entering the ARTHUR15 code at checkout can e-mail to request a short Getting Started with Topaz e-Guide. Please include a copy of your Topaz receipt that shows the discount. Aside from the basics, the guide explains how to install the plug-ins so that they appear in the Photoshop Filter Menu.

SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group

The SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group is going great guns as more and more folks chime in with thoughtful questions and experience-based answers. As the a1 is becoming more readily available, more and more folks are getting their hands on this amazing body. With two folks joining yesterday, we are now up to an astounding 79 lucky and blessed photographers! Early on, we discussed the myriad AF options. I gave my opinion as to the best one for flight and general bird photography. More recently, we have been in contact with folks at SONY sharing our thoughts, experiences, and frustrations with the EVF blackout problem.

All who purchased their Alpha a1 bodies via a BAA affiliate link will receive a free subscription to the Sony Alpha a1 Set-Up and Info Updates after shooting me their receipts via e-mail. (Note: it may take me several days to confirm B&H orders.) This same service may be purchased by anyone with an a1 body via a $150.00 PayPal sent to indicating payment for Alpha a1 Info Updates. Alternatively, folks can call Jim weekdays at 1-863-692-0906 to pay via credit card. New members will receive composite e-mails that summarize all previous discussions.


With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

5 comments to Cropping Like Crazy at the Brandon Rookery with the SONY Alpha 1 at 1200mm! Topaz Gigapixel AI to the Rescue

  • avatar Anthony Ardito

    Pretty, Pretty darn impressive on the huge crop!

    So in PS “with the Delete Cropped Pixels box checked”, you must be working with a copy, not the original TIFF, correct? From what I understand checking that box is destructive and alters the image permanently.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Tony,

      I have never heard theat one before. I work on the master TIFF. From where I sit, the IQ of my master files is top notch. Another thing that I do differently is to run DeNoise on the whole image. Only very, very rarely — never at present, do I opt to erase the noise reduction on the subject.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Adam

    Shannah Tova Artie, and wishing you a sweet, joyous, and healthy new year. It will be a better year for all of us!. Spending about an hour of editing to produce 10″ of video is in the ballpark and it can take even more if one is working on tracks/sound, LUT’s, effects, etc. Great image and as you’ve observed, “we are living in a totally amazing new world (of photography)”.

  • Arthur I like both photo 1 and 2!! Cute and good focus and settings! Both are a HAHAHA!! photo!!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>