May 24th, 2015

Mystery Meat: What Is It?

What’s Up?

Today was a lazy day. I spent a few hours getting together some new used photo gear listings. Coming soon: my friend Todd Gustafson is selling a complete Nikon kit (600, 300 2.8, 200-400 II, D4, 4 TCEs, and lots more) as he is switching to Canon. If you are on the dark side and would like to see an advance listing please shoot me an e-mail with the words Toddi’s Nikon Gear cut and pasted into the Subject line.

When I exited my ice bath the temperature was 59.5 degrees F but I thought that it was much colder because I was shivering for the whole 44 minutes. Not sure why.

If you missed “A Comparison: The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II with TCs vs the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II,” be sure to see item one here.

This blog post, the 136th in a row, took about an hour to prepare. It was published automatically just after midnight on Sunday.

Used Photography Gear for Sale

There has been lots of action on the Used Photography Gear page here. Stuff has been flying off the virtual shelves here almost every day; the following items have sold within the past week:

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens sold for $4999 by Jacques Bouvier on May 20, 2015.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II sold by Carl Zanoni for $1649 on May 19, 2015.
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM sold by Owen Peller for $799 on 5/19/15.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV sold by Gerald Barrack for $1599 in May, 2015.
Canon EOS 7D DSLR Digital Camera Body (with battery grip) sold for $579 by Barbara Garmon on May 23, 2015.
In addition, a sale is pending on Barbara Garmon’s old 100-400.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily.

Brand New Listings: these should sell instantly!

Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO USM Lens

Stephan R. Leimberg is offering a used Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO USM Lens in excellent condition for $3699–another BAA lowest-price-ever for this item. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the leather front hood, the original case, and insured shipping via UPS Ground. Please contact Steve via e-mail or phone at 904-491-0474 (eastern time). Please e-mail for photos. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

I used this lens for several years with great success, especially for birds in flight and when working from various type of water craft. Gannets in Love was created with the 400 DO. You can that one and 13 other killer images that I made with my 400 DO here. The title of that blog post is “The Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO Lens: Fourteen Images that Prove that the Internet Experts are Idiots.”

Canon 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

Clemens Vanderwerf is offering a Canon 500mm/f4L IS II USM lens in near-mint excellent plus condition for $7,999.The lens was only used once during a trip to South Georgia in October 2012. The sale includes the LensCoat that has been on it since day one, an off-brand replacement foot, the fabric front cover, the rear lens cap, the lens strap, the warranty certificate, the lens booklet, the original box with everything that came in it, and insured UPS ground shipping to the lower 48 states. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

This lens is super sharp and light. There is not a single scratch, ding, or chip anywhere on the paint.

Please contact Clemens via e-mail or phone at 954 608 8704 (eastern time).

I owned this lens and loved it and with the reach advantage of the 7D Mark II I am thinking hard about selling my 600 II and getting the new five….

Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Kevin Hice is offering a used Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for a lowest-price-ever $4750. The sale includes the LensCoat that has been on it since day one, the lens trunk 300B (with a few insignificant scuffs), the fabric front cover, the rear lens cap, the lens strap, the CD, the original box with everything that came in it, and insured shipping via UPS Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

This lens is super sharp and great in low light. No scratches or chips on the paint even on the tripod foot.

Please contact Kevin via e-mail or phone at 701 460 6112 (central time).

I own and use the amazing lens often. It is great for hand holding and for flight, with or without either the 1.4X III or the 2X III TC. In all cases it is amazingly sharp in competent hands. Outdoor Photographer editor Rob Sheppard was stunned by the sharpness of my allo-preening Macaroni Penguins image that was created with the 300 II and the 2X III TC.

Featured Item

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro Lens

Price reduced $100 on 2/20/2015!

Multiple IPT veteran Carl Zanoni is also offering a used Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 USM macro lens in like new condition for $1075. The sale includes the E-72 II 72mm (front) lens cap, the (rear) lens dust cap E, the ET-78 II lens hood, Tripod Mount Ring B (tripod collar), the LZ1324 lens case, the original box, and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Carl by e-mail or by phone at 860 306 9651 (eastern time).

I have owned and used the 180 macro for more than 10 years. It is the primo telephoto macro lens. It is sharp with and without a 1.4X TC. It offers a narrow field of view that goes a long way to eliminating back distracting background element. It is great for flowers and all sorts of bugs, butterflies, and dragonflies as well as for frogs and toads.


what-is-it

What Is It?

If this is an aerial photograph, where in the world do you think it was taken?

If this is a bird, what family do you think it is part of?

If this is an animal, what species do you think it is?

Or is it none of the above?

If none of the above, then what is it?

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

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 :).

May 23rd, 2015

Visual Point Blank Depth-of-Field Lesson

Stuff

Got more done on my 2014 tax return on Friday; to me, doing my business taxes is like doing a jigsaw puzzle…. Put in one piece at a time and if you keep at it you will finish. Due to a snafu my ice bath was a balmy 65 degrees when I exited. This blog post, the 135th in a row, took about 2 1/2 hours to prepare. It was published automatically just after midnight on Saturday.

BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #475

BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #475 is online and can be accessed here. Item 1, A Comparison: The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II with TCs versus the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II, should be of special interest to blog folks. When you visit, be sure to take a crack at the exposure question.

  • A Comparison: The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II with TCs vs the EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II
  • DPP 4 Educational Screen Capture
  • The DPP 4 eGuide
  • The 7D Mark II User’s Guide
  • Used Photography Gear for Sale
  • South Georgia October 2015
  • BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) Info
  • Your Help Needed and Appreciated/Affiliate Stuff

Used Photography Gear for Sale

There has been lots of action on the Used Photography Gear page here. The following items sold within the past week:

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens sold for $4999 by Jacques Bouvier on May 20, 2015.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II sold by Carl Zanoni for $1649 on May 19, 2015.
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM sold by Owen Peller for $799 on 5/19/15.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV sold by Gerald Barrack for $1599 in May, 2015.
Canon EOS 7D DSLR Digital Camera Body (with battery grip) sold for $579 by Barbara Garmon on May 23, 2015.
In addition, a sale is pending on Barbara Garmon’s old 100-400.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily.

Brand New Listing: this one should sell instantly!

Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Kevin Hice is offering a used Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for a lowest-price-ever $4750. The sale includes the LensCoat that has been on it since day one, the lens trunk 300B (with a few insignificant scuffs), the fabric front cover, the rear lens cap, the lens strap, the CD, the original box with everything that came in it, and insured shipping via UPS Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

This lens is super sharp and great in low light. No scratches or chips on the paint even on the tripod foot.

Please contact Kevin via e-mail or phone at 701 460 6112 (central time).

I own and use the amazing lens often. It is great for hand holding and for flight, with or without either the 1.4X III or the 2X III TC. In all cases it is amazingly sharp in competent hands. Outdoor Photographer editor Rob Sheppard was stunned by the sharpness of my allo-preening Macaroni Penguins image that was created with the 300 II and the 2X III TC.

Featured Item

Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro Lens

Price reduced $100 on 2/20/2015!

Multiple IPT veteran Carl Zanoni is also offering a used Canon EF 180mm f/3.5 USM macro lens in like new condition for $1075. The sale includes the E-72 II 72mm (front) lens cap, the (rear) lens dust cap E, the ET-78 II lens hood, Tripod Mount Ring B (tripod collar), the LZ1324 lens case, the original box, and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Carl by e-mail or by phone at 860 306 9651 (eastern time).

I have owned and used the 180 macro for more than 10 years. It is the primo telephoto macro lens. It is sharp with and without a 1.4X TC. It offers a narrow field of view that goes a long way to eliminating back distracting background element. It is great for flowers and all sorts of bugs, butterflies, and dragonflies as well as for frogs and toads.


decaying-carpels-from-magnolia-flower-_y8a8016-magnolia-gardens-charleston-sc

This image was created in Charleston, SC with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens (with the Canon Tripod Mount Ring D for IS 100mm f/2.8L macro lens) and the amazing Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/50 sec. at f/8 in av mode.

Center AF point (manual selection)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the tip of the second closest carpal stalk and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Decaying carpels from magnolia flower

The Motivation and the Creation

Denise Ippolito spotted some really low down magnolia flowers. In the past, she had taught me to appreciate dying, dead, or decaying flowers. In today’s featured image I photographed a small, somewhat neatly arranged pile of stalks that had fallen from the decaying carpel. The stalks, if that is the right term for them, were lying in the curved petal of the dead flower. The pinks and purples set against the whitish grey of the petals is an attractive combination for many.

It took quite a while to get the image framed as I wanted it. As the leaf-covered ground was less than firm and there was a pretty good breeze I was constantly adjusting things to achieve halfway decent framing. As I wanted to stay at ISO 400 I utilized my Av mode/Live View/2-second timer flower technique. Once I started creating some images that looked OK on the back of the camera I decided that I would run the aperture table by creating images at full stop intervals from f/2.8 to f/22. You can see the results and learn a stack in the animated GIF below.

The Animated Depth-of-Field GIF

Let the animated GIF above run through a full cycle or two, from f/2.8 through f/22 as follows: f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, and f/22. The slight variations in framing were a result of the soft ground and the wind. The seven images in the animated GIF were created from the extracted JPEGs. Differences in exposure and in color balance were due to the sun coming in and out; this affected things even though the flowers were basically in the shade.

As the apertures get smaller and smaller as the GIF plays the differences in depth-of-field between the individual frames seem quite small. Until you go from f/22 back to f/2.8 where the relatively huge difference becomes dramatic. At first I liked the image created at f/4 best but I wound up optimizing the one made at f/.8.

The lesson here is that at close range with relatively high magnification the increases in depth-of-field as you go from one f/stop to the next are very small, but that the difference between f/2.8 and f/22 (six f/stops) is quite significant.

According to Depth-of-field Master.com, depth of field with the 7D II and the 100 macro at ten inches is 7/100 inch at f/8. That drops to 3/100 inch at f/2.8 and increases to only 21/100 inch (just a smidgeon more than 1/5 of a single inch) at f/22.

Important Realization…

Do understand that though there is a big difference in the look of the images at f/2.8 and f/22 that the bulk of that has to do with bringing up background detail rather than actual depth of field. As each stalk was about 1/2 inch (.5) long a total d-o-f of .2 inches does not cover a very large zone of sharp focus.

Your Favorite Aperture?

All things (exposure, sharpness, and color temperature) considered, which aperture do think yielded the nicest image? Do let us know why.

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

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 :).

May 22nd, 2015

The 1D X Advantage & Announcing the 2016 San Diego IPT

Stuff

Got lots done on my 2014 tax return on Thursday. Not sure what else I got accomplished but I was busy. Shivered after my 59 degree on the way out ice bath and then another evening of NHL and NBA playoffs. This blog post, the 134th in a row, took about 1 1/2 hours to prepare. It should be published automatically just after midnight on Friday.

Used Photography Gear Stuff

There has been lots of action on the Used Photography Gear page here. The following items sold within the past week:

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens sold for $4999 by Jacques Bouvier on May 20, 2015.
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II sold by Carl Zanoni for $1649 on May 19, 2015.
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM sold by Owen Peller for $799 on 5/19/14.

In addition, a sale is pending on Barbara Garmon’s 7D.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily.

Used Gear Cautions

Though I am not in a position to post images of gear for sale here or elsewhere, prospective buyers are encouraged to request for photos of the gear that they are interested in purchasing via e-mail. Doing so will help to avoid any misunderstandings as to the condition of the gear. Sellers are advised to take care to photograph their used gear with care against clean backgrounds so that the stuff is represented accurately and in the best light; please pardon the pun :).


brown-pelican-breeding-plumage-vert-portrait-_y5o8502-la-jolla-ca_0

This image was created on the San Diego IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the internal TC in place at 560mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X . ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/5.6 was about a one stop underexposure.

Upper Zone AF/Rear Focus AF selected a single AF point two AF points above the center AF point as framed that was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Brown Pelican ruffling; vertical front-end portrait in pre-dawn light

In Love With Pelicans

The Pacific race of Brown Pelican with their bright red and olive green bill pouches has been one of my very favorite avian subjects for close to three decades now.

The Image Optimization

Though I did zero clean-up on this image I spent more than 30 minutes optimizing it. The bulk of the lightening was done during the RAW conversion in DPP with the Brightness and Shadow sliders. A color temperature of 6000K looked best. I used Arash Hazeghi’s luminance and chrominance values for the 1D X at ISO 1600; they worked superbly as expected. All as detailed in our DPP 4 Guide.

During 25 minutes in Photoshop I selectively applied my NIK 50-50 Color Efex Pro recipe to the bird only painting it away at varying opacities after applying a Regular Layer Mask. Next was a slight Linear Burn on the bright feathers of the upper back near the left frame edge. Then I selected the face and bill using the Quick Selection Tool (as I did when selecting the whole bird above) and applied a Contrast Mask. As I often do, I lightened that layer by pulling up the curve. I finished up the image by lightening it with a Curves adjustment after first pinning the brightest tones by putting two points on the upper right section of the curve. All of the above is of course detailed in Digital Basics.

The 1D X Advantage

When it comes to accurate color, clean, high quality image files, and control of high ISO noise the Canon EOS-1D X (and the 5D Mark III as well) have it all over the 7D Mark II. Period.


san-diego-ipt-card-layers

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

2015 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) JAN 8 thru the morning of JAN 12, 2016: $1899 (Limit: 10)

Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the day before the IPT begins
Two great leaders: Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito

Join us in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s and Double-crested Cormorants in breeding plumage with their amazing crests; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Duck; other species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lions likely; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice landscape opportunities as well.

Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter?

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, five lunches, after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions, and a thank you dinner. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility.

A $499 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 11/1//2015. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.


san-diego-card-b

Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings.

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

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 :).