Snowbound! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


This image Bald Eagle image was created with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens), the 1.4X III TC (handheld at 280mm) with the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV). ISO 1600. Evaluative metering +3 stops off the sky: 1/640 sec. at f/4. Central Sensor/Rear Focus/AI Servo AF active at the moment of exposure.

Lens/camera body Micro-adjustment: -8. To see a larger size, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.


On the afternoon of October 28 we encountered some brief but heavy snow squalls while baiting eagles from a boat with frozen pollack near Homer, AK. I was fortunate to have this bird fly right toward us while I had the cliff face as a background. On my first attempt the image did not look too good at all (other than the snow). So I did two layers of NIK Color EFEX Pro 4.1, one for tonal contrast at 50% and to improve the look and the apparent sharpness of the whole image and another on a layer with of Detail Extractor to bring up the detail in the head. On the latter I used a Hide-All mask and then painted away the head only. If you are totally confused by Layer Masks (as I was for ten years) see “Layer Masking for Dummies” in the last free update of Digital Basics. DB is a PDF sent via e-mail that contains my complete digital workflow and dozens and dozens of great Photoshop techniques.

You can save 15% on all NIK products by clicking here and entering BAA in the Promo Code box at check-out. Then hit Apply to see your savings. I have been using and learning and loving COLOR EFEX and Viveza and SILVER EFEX also. We will be bringing you lots especially on those first two soon.

Gotta run as it is noon and we leave in 25 minutes for five hours of Bald Eagle photography with the second group after an inch of snow last night. It should be great fun.

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Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the images in today’s blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens. Man, I am loving this lens on my shoulder with the 2X III teleconverter. I also use it a lot with the 1.4X III TC as I did here.
Canon 1.4X III Teleconverter. Designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine. Also available for the 7D and the Mark III here.

12 comments to Snowbound!

  • I love your ” Reminder ” … It is one of things I appreciate most about you. It is ” special ” … just like the Image. Thank you for being you … Christian

    YAW and thank you for your kind words. What reminder???? artie

  • avatar cheapo

    Oh my goodness! That is lovely!

  • SPECTACULAR IMAGE … would you call it one of your ” Once in a Lifetime ” Images ? Christian …

    Thanks Christian. One way to look at it is that all images are once in a lifetime. But this one is special. artie

  • avatar C G Gustavsson

    Amazing picture! My own attempts usually failed due to poor autofocusing. Do you think that may have to do with focal length and apperture of the lens? Or is it all a matter of skill??

    It is certainly not skill. Most likely I was able to focus moderately well–the original was nowhere near razor sharp–because the subject was relatively close to the boat. When I tried to AF on the cliff the system picked up the snow and failed miserably. I tried framing the image that I wanted and focusing manually; only a very few of those were moderately successful. artie

  • avatar Andrea Boyle

    Amazing shot! I love the bird, but the surrounding environment has interest as well. What a capture!!

  • avatar Dennis Pritchett

    Some of my favorite images are bad weather images. This one is as cool as they get, pun intended.


  • avatar Mary Stamper

    Very nice shot!

  • WOW! This is beautiful! Color, composition, all are great.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Neat image. I love the snow and the background. Your fortunate one or more of the snow flakes were not covering the all important eye. Nice sharp image, due to focus or processing or both. What a great moment this image portrays.

  • Superb dramatic image,Artie! TFS, look forward to more.

  • GREAT pix Artie! I love the snow…. you are going to inspire me to try to take pix in the snow.