Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
June 20th, 2017

$1000 IPT Discount. Go Ultra-Long When Working Through Narrow Slots. And High Level DPP 4 RAW Conversion Color Fine-Tune Tip.

Stuff

My flights from LAX to MCO (via ATL) were both delayed. Jim and I were not home until just after midnight. I slept well and am finishing this blog post on Tuesday morning. After breakfast. I got lots of work done on the Current Workflow e-guide. I hope to have both that and the LensAlign/FocusTune e-Guide/Tutorial finished before I head to the UK for the Puffins and Gannets IPT on Sunday, July 2. I hope. If you are seriously interested in a four-figure late registration discount on the puffin IPT please shoot me an e-mail.

Mongoose M3.6 Heads in Stock

For the first time in months, we have Mongoose M3.6 heads in stock. We got our hands on six the other day; three were already accounted for. Best advice: call Jim at 863-692-0906 to order.

My Bad

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

Should have been “price reduced $201”

IPT veteran Stuart Hahn is offering a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV in very good plus condition: was $1300, now, $1099, the latter by far a record-low BAA price. The body is in perfect mechanical condition but does show signs of use with some scratches on the finish. The LCD screens have been covered with protectors since day one so they are without scratches. Photos are available upon request. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to U.S. addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Stuart via e-mail or by phone at 916-485-1630 (Pacific time).

Two dependable, rugged 1D Mark IVs served as my workhorse professional bodies for several years; I really enjoyed their 1.3X crop factors, the fast frame rate, and the excellent image quality. artie

The Streak

Just in case you have not been counting, today makes 7 days in a row with a new educational blog post 🙂

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Monday July 3 through Wednesday July 12, 2017: $5999 + $1499: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 5). The (really cheap) two-day Gannet/Bass Rock Add-on is now part of the trip.

$1000 Late Registration Discount!

Here is some great info on the July 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT: I have finalized the cottage and vehicle rental arrangements. We have room for several additional folks, at least for a couple and single. And I am in position, as noted above, to offer a rather substantial late registration discount. Please call us at 863-692-0906 or get in touch via e-mail. Click here and scroll down for additional details and the travel plans.




Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks 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.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use the BAA B&H links for your major and minor gear purchases. For best results, use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

Cattle-egret-breeding-plumage-_W5A0400-Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

This image was created at Gatorland on the morning of June 4 on an In-the-Field Meet-up session with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. Cloudy WB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -5.

Upper Large Zone/AI Servo/Shutter button AF was active at the moment and worked perfectly. See the DPP 4 screen capture below for the location of the AF points that were activated.

Cattle Egret in fine fettle

Go Ultra-Long When Working Through Narrow Slots

I was walking around with 100-400II/1.4X III TC/5D IV combo when this gorgeous bird appeared in the narrowest of slots. I knew in an instant that I needed the narrow angle of view at 1000mm to make a decent image so I ran for my tripod-mounted 500 II and put the 2X on. With tall vertical birds, I almost always go with Upper Large Zone AF –heck, it is my vertical orientation default AF Area Selection mode. I was thrilled when I got back to the spot that the bird was right where I left it. I fired off five quick frames before the bird flew. Today’s featured image was of course my favorite.

DPP-4-Vert-CattleEgr

DPP 4 Screen Capture

High Level DPP 4 RAW Conversion Color Fine-Tune Tip

Using Cloudy White Balance for this image resulted in the WHITEs being just a bit warm. Instead of dragging the Color Fine Tune dot somewhere to the upper or lower left, I worked with the BUE/AQUA slider. I moved it 1 unit to the left toward BLUE. Note that the R, G, and B histograms all end at pretty much the same spot; this is reflected by the RGB values: 235, 235, 237 that indicate near-perfect WHITEs. Note also: even though I had added 2/3 stop to the metered exposure that I needed to add another 1/3 stop (+.33 on the Brightness slider) to get my WHITEs into the mid-230s, right where I like them.

Lastly, check out the three AF points (illuminated above in red in the DPP 4 screen capture above) that were activated by the AF system (via Upper Large Zone AF). These points were on the bird’s chin right on the same plane as the bird’s eye. You can learn how and why I (and many other discerning Canon shooters) convert nearly all Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here.






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.

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

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.

Facebook

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

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 :).

June 19th, 2017

American Crow Original Revealed ...

Stuff

I finished this blog post at the gate at LAX for my flights home today. I learned a huge and valuable life lesson during my four days in Carpinteria, CA, and for that I am thankful. My plan is to get a lot of work done on the Current Workflow e-guide … I hope to have both that and the LensAlign/FocusTune e-Guide/Tutorial finished before I head to the UK for the Puffins and Gannets IPT on Sunday, July 2. If you are seriously interested in a four-figure late regisrtation discount on the puffin IPT please shoot me an e-mail.

I was glad to learn yesterday that the sale of Stuart Hahn’s Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens is pending.

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

Price reduced $101

IPT veteran Stuart Hahn is offering a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV in very good plus condition: was $1300, now, $1199, the latter a record-low BAA price. The body is in perfect mechanical condition but does show signs of use: some scratches on the finish. The LCD screens have been covered with protectors since day one so they are without scratches. Photos are available upon request. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to U.S. addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Stuart via e-mail or by phone at 916-485-1630 (Pacific time).

Two dependable, rugged 1D Mark IVs served as my workhorse professional bodies for several years; I really enjoyed their 1.3X crop factors, the fast frame rate, and the excellent image quality. artie

The Streak

Just in case you have not been counting, today makes 6 days in a row with a new educational blog post 🙂

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Monday July 3 through Wednesday July 12, 2017: $5999 + $1499: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 5). The (really cheap) two-day Gannet/Bass Rock Add-on is now part of the trip.

Please call 863-692-0906 for info on the substantial Late Registration Discount.

Here is some great info on the July 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT: I have finalized the cottage and vehicle rental arrangements. We have room for several additional folks, at least for a couple and single. And I am in position, as noted above, to offer a rather substantial late registration discount. Please call us at 863-692-0906 or get in touch via e-mail. Click here and scroll down for additional details and the travel plans.




Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks 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.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use the BAA B&H links for your major and minor gear purchases. For best results, use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

My Choices

In yesterday’s Chew on This For a While … blog post here, I liked both the Snowy Egret images equally well. The egret for the sharpness, the perfect EXP,and the water droplets, the crow for the open bill and the amazing detail in the black feathers.

DPP-4-am-crow

This is the DPP 4 Screen Capture for yesterday’s featured American Crow image

The DPP 4 Screen Capture

As you can see in the DPP 4 screen capture above, and as suggested in yesterday’s blog post, the bird was much too far forward in the frame because I did a poor job of selecting the correct AF point. Note the active AF point illuminated in red. In addition, note the plethora of specular highlights on and around the base of the bill. Continue reading to learn how I moved the bird well back in the frame and did the image clean-up.

American-Crow-_P3A0628-Carpinteria,-CA

This image was also created on the morning of Friday June 16 on the beach at Carpinteria, CA with the hand held Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite bird photography camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. Daylight WB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -1.

Three AF points to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed (should have been one of two AF points to the right of the center AF point; more on that tomorrow).

Image #2: American Crow foraging

Image Design/Perspective Question

To create the American Crow image immediately above, I sat on the wet sand and used the knee-pod technique. Aside from getting wetter, would I have been better off getting flat on the ground? Why or why not?

The Image Optimization and Clean-up

After entering my 5D Mark IV/ISO 400 recipe, the only thing that I did of consequence during the RAW conversion in DPP 4 was to move the Shadow slider to +1. Once the image converted TIFF file was in Photoshop I had lots of work to do. First I moved the bird back in the frame using techniques from APTATS II. Then, working large, I did lots of image clean-up work on the beach using my usual cadre of tools, the Spot Healing Brush, the Patch Tool, Content Aware Fill, the Clone Stamp Tool, and a small Quick Mask or two. Next note the load of specular highlights on the base I the bill — they were a result of a slightly wet bill and the perfect head angle. I eliminated all but a few those small specular highlights, again by working large and using all of the tools and techniques noted above. Cleaning up the disturbed mud, especially where I added canvas on the right, was the most difficult task. All in all I spent about 30 minutes on this image. But, good images of American or Fish Crows are very difficult to obtain despite the fact that crows are among the most abundant and widespread birds on the continent.

Most everything above plus tons more is detailed in my Digital Basics File, an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete (former PC) digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, details on using all of my image clean-up tools, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, the basics of Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro, Digital Eye Doctor techniques, using Gaussian Blurs and Dodge and Burn, a variety of making selections, how to create time-saving actions, and tons more.

The Curves on a Layer Color Balancing technique will be included for the first time in the all-new Current Workflow e-guide that better reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow. It will include a section on ACR conversions, DPP 4 BASICS, and a simplified method of applying Neat Image noise reduction. Along with all of the Photoshop stuff from Digital Basics that I still use. Learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair. Learn how and why I and other discerning Canon shooters convert nearly all of my Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here.








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.

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

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.

Facebook

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

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 :).

June 18th, 2017

Chew On This for a While ...

Stuff

On Saturday I saw the Jersey Boys road show in LA with a friend. As things turned out, each of the four stars was fantastic. Rather than creating a replication of the Broadway version (that I had seen three times), the four main actors put a personal twist to their interpretations of Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Nick Massi, and Bob Gaudio. Each was fantastic. I cried a bit during the first act and cried full time during the second act. The show ended with a rousing, well-deserved two-song-long standing ovation. The music of the Four Seasons is fantastic, there is tons of great humor (and great drama as well), the story is riveting, and the acting is brilliant, skilled and creative. If the road show comes to a city near you, I would urge you to see it. (Be sure to get your tickets directly from the theater as the ticket services charge 5-6 times what the theaters do for the same seats …

The Streak

Just in case you have not been counting, today makes 5 days in a row with a new educational blog post 🙂

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Monday July 3 through Wednesday July 12, 2017: $5999 + $1499: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 5). The (really cheap) two-day Gannet/Bass Rock Add-on is now part of the trip.

Please call 863-692-0906 for info on the substantial Late Registration Discount.

Here is some great info on the July 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT: I have finalized the cottage and vehicle rental arrangements. We have room for several additional folks, at least for a couple and single. And I am in position, as noted above, to offer a rather substantial late registration discount. Please call us at 863-692-0906 or get in touch via e-mail. Click here and scroll down for additional details and the travel plans.




Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks 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.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use the BAA B&H links for your major and minor gear purchases. For best results, use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

Snowy-Egret-after-unsuccessful-strike-_P3A0631-Carpinteria,-CA

This image was created on the morning of Friday June 16 on the beach at Carpinteria, CA with the hand held Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite bird photography camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -2/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. Daylight WB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -1.

Center Large Zone/AI Servo/shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure and selected the two bottom-right AF points that just caught the tip of the bill.

Image #1: Snowy Egret/after missed strike

The Bright White Exposure …

As I walked down to the shoreline at about 6:40am the sun was full-out on a clear morning. As noted here before and often, my standard ISO 400 full sun exposure for bright WHITEs is 1/2500 sec. at f/8. I opened up one click from that for the still early morning light to 1/3200 sec. at f/6.3 (the equivalent of 1/2000 sec. at f/8). I chose to work at f/6.3 to enjoy a bit of extra shutter speed while hand-holding. Note: all of my exposure values — shutter speed, aperture, and ISO — are set up in 1/3 stop increments so that one click of any of the dials results in a change of 1/3 stop. I had taken a test exposure at 1/2500 sec. at f/6.3 but when that showed significant blinkies on the bird I went one click faster. Bingo.

American-Crow-_P3A0628-Carpinteria,-CA

This image was also created on the morning of Friday June 16 on the beach at Carpinteria, CA with the hand held Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite bird photography camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. Daylight WB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -1.

Three AF points to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed (should have been one of two AF points to the right of the center AF point; more on that tomorrow).

Image #2: American Crow foraging

Exposure Lesson; Chew On This for a While …

BLACKs need about 1 2/3 stops more light than WHITEs to be properly exposed in a given lighting situation. So as I walked from the Snowy Egrets to the foraging crow I simply rotated the index finger dial five clicks counterclockwise knowing that this would yield a perfect exposure for the BLACKs. Bingo times two.

Consider this also: WHITEs need one full stop less light than MIDDLE TONEs to be properly exposed (in a given lighting situation) and BLACKs need about 2/3 stop more light than a MIDDLE TONE to be properly exposed (in a given lighting situation).

Working in Manual mode is of course the way to go when working with subjects of varying tonalities.

If you are at all confused by the above, please see the section on Exposure Theory in the original The Art of Bird Photography (ABP). My thoughts are that every competent photographer should have a working knowledge of exposure theory, available as noted above. Few do.

For a slightly softer treatment of digital exposure you are referred to the Exposure Simplified section of The Art of Bird Photography II (ABP II: 916 pages, 900+ images on CD only). Save $10 by purchasing the two-book bundle here.

Your Favorite?

Please let us know which of today’s featured images you feel is the stronger. And please let us know why you made your choice. Remember, the more folks who participate, the more everyone learns, including me.








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.

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

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.

Facebook

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

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 :).