Tufted Titmouse: Expand Canvas/Clean-up Magic « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Tufted Titmouse: Expand Canvas/Clean-up Magic

Give the animated GIF above a few moments to play. Note the before and after differences. Be sure to click on the optimized image below to see the large version of the optimized file.

Tufted Titmouse: Expand Canvas/Clean-up Magic

During one of our Photoshop sessions on the NOV 2012 Bosque del Apache NWR IPT, participant John Haedo shared the neatest-ever expand canvas technique with the group. When I tried it yesterday morning while preparing to start work on our latest MP4 Photoshop Tutorial video, I was stunned at how well it worked on expanding canvas left in the image presented here. Additional efforts included dust-spotting with the Spot Healing Brush, and using the Spot Healing Brush, the Patch Tool, the Clone Stamp Tool, and a series of Quick Masks to clean-up the perch and to a lesser degree, the bill. I ran a 50/50 NIK Color Efex Pro layer of Tonal Contrast and Detail Extractor on the bird and the perch and painted out the effect on the bird’s breast using a Regular Layer Mask. All as described in detail in Digital Basics.

Tufted Titmouse just finishing wing stretch, Elizabeth A. Morton NWR, Noyac, NY. With the tripod-mounted Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Autofocus lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 800. Evaluative metering -1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/10 in Av mode.

Here, uncharacteristically, I was working in Av mode. Why? The sun was going in and out every two minutes; working in Av Mode at -2/3 or -1 stop was easier than making the larger changes (more clicks) that I would have needed if I had been working in Manual mode. Working at close range is the time to stop down a bit as depth-of-field is at a minimum, here measured in small fractions of an inch. Focus on the eye and let ‘er rip.

Central sensor (by necessity)/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. I had the central sensor on the side of the bird’s breast on the same plane as the eye. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Tufted Titmouse: Expand Canvas/Clean-up MP4 Photoshop Tutorial Video

In this 32-minute screen capture video you will see and hear me working in Photoshop as I optimize the image above. Techniques covered in the video include expanding canvas with a remarkable new technique, dust-spotting with the Spot Healing Brush, and using the Spot Healing Brush, the Patch Tool, the Clone Stamp Tool, and a series of Quick Masks to clean-up the perch and to a lesser degree, the bill. Also included are the use of a 50/50 NIK Color Efex Pro layer of Tonal Contrast and Detail Extractor on the bird and the perch and painted out the effect on the bird’s breast using a Regular Layer Mask, and some Eye Doctor work.

You can purchase this video for $4.25 through the BAA store by clicking here or by calling Jim or Jen weekdays between 9am and 5pm (3pm on Fridays) at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand. Easiest is to send us a Paypal for $4.25 to birdsasart@verizon.net with the words “Tufted Titmouse MP4 Video” cut and pasted into the Subject line of your e-mail. Sorry, no checks are accepted for the MP4 videos.

Fort DeSoto Morning In-the-Field Workshop/Two Slots Left!

Fort DeSoto In-the-field Workshop: FEB 25. Pre-dawn -10:30am. Strict Limit 16/Openings 2. Includes a great working lunch: $275.

On Monday morning, February 25, Denise Ippolito and I will be co-leading a morning In-the-field Workshop at Fort DeSoto, south of St. Petersburg, FL. We should get to photograph a variety of very tame herons, egrets, gulls, terns, and shorebirds. Spoonbills possible. There will be lots of individual and small group instruction. We will cover exposure and histograms, seeing the situation, creating sharp images, and lots more. Each registrant will have a personalized gear and set-up check. The more questions you ask, the more you will learn.

A great working lunch at the Sea Porch Café on St. Petersburg Beach is included. All are invited to bring a laptop along for image sharing at lunch. After the workshop, all are invited to send us three 1024 wide or 800 tall JPEGs for critiquing. Call 1-863-692-0906 to register or send us a Paypal. Either way, be sure to note that the payment is for the Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Workshop.

Weekend Creative Nature Photography Seminar, Tampa, FL: February 23 & 24, 2013: $149 Limit: 50/Openings: 2

Best to register soon as there are just 4 seats left. The In-the-field Workshop above follows the Weekend Creative Nature Photography Seminar. You are invited to join Denise Ippolito and me on the weekend of February 23-24 on the outskirts of Tampa, FL for a great weekend of fun and learning. Learn to improve your photography skills, your skill at designing images in the field, your creative vision, and your image optimization skills. Sunday critiquing session. Click here for additional details and the complete schedule.

Pines West Camera Club EOL Program

I will be presenting “A Bird Photographer’s Story” for the Pines West Camera Club in Pembroke Pines, FL at 7pm on February 12, 2013. The program, sponsored by Canon Explorers of Light, is free and open to the public. Click here for additional details and scroll down for directions.


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2 comments to Tufted Titmouse: Expand Canvas/Clean-up Magic

  • avatar Jon Rista

    Thanks for another instructive video, Artie!

    I watched one of the ones you gave away as a freebie before (extending water around a water bird on an expanded canvas), really great stuff. Sometimes there are little things, small details or some handy trick, that even a thousand words can’t adequately describe that come right on through with a video.

    I look forward to future videos.