Incredible Sharpness & Fine Feather Detail and Lovely Bokeh « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Incredible Sharpness & Fine Feather Detail and Lovely Bokeh

This Great Blue Heron was photographed at Anhinga Trail with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera (Body Only). ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop off the blue sky 35 degrees up from the horizon: 1/5000 sec. at f/5.6

Three down, two from the right sensor Surround/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger, sharper version.


Bokeh can be defined as the aesthetic quality of out-of-focus backgrounds in images created with telephoto lenses. Bokeh can be described as either pleasing or harsh. For me, lenses with poor Bokeh produce images with jangly looking backgrounds. Most on-line searches for the term Bokeh will turn up images with specular highlights in the backgrounds but images without specular highlights can also exhibit either good or bad Bokeh. I find the quality of the background in the image above to be quite pleasing.

BTW, the image above is right out of camera. I converted the image in DPP, saved the TIFF, and created the sharpened JPEG (unsharp mask at 125/.3/0 for 1024 wide or 800 tall) that you see above . No NIK Color Efex Pro. No nothing.

This is an unsharpened 100% crop of the image above. Click on it to see a larger version.

Incredible Sharpness & Fine Feather Detail

The unsharpened JPEG above is a 100% crop of opening image here. It shows the fabulous image quality of 1D X/1.4X III/600 II image files. Not to mention the incredible sharpness off this combination and the superb fine feather detail. While Patrick Sparkman’s dollar bill tests (see here), convinced me to add the 600 II to my arsenal, the proof for me will always be in the pudding, in the actual images created in the field.

Canon Digital Learning Center Everglades Workshop Kudos

I received this e-mail from participant Norris Siert this morning:

Hi, Art…

First and more important, I had a wonderful time with you, Denise, and the crew from Canon this weekend. It was a well-designed program and it was a delight to meet you and be guided by you, particularly as I am taking my very first steps back into photography after a 36-year absence and my initial steps into digital photography. As I said as I left, I am hopeful that I didn’t get in your way or that of the others as I fumbled my way through the experience. I hope the others had one tenth as good and as informative a time as I had.

Congratulations on providing a wonderful learning experience for all of us and particularly for me. I look forward to meeting you and Denise again somewhere and sometime.


Norris was not at all in anyone’s way. He is a very sweet man, a very happy camper, and, at 6’6″, very tall. πŸ™‚

Note: receiving unsolicited notes like the one above keep denise and me stoked, eager to provide the best possible experience for those who join us at our workshops and seminars.

Weekend Creative Nature Photography Seminar, Tampa, FL: February 23 & 24, 2013: $149

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.


On all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or leave a comment regarding any typos, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. πŸ™‚

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7 comments to Incredible Sharpness & Fine Feather Detail and Lovely Bokeh

  • avatar Bill Richardson

    The 100%, unsharpened crop looks pretty darn good to me. I too am loving my 2xIII. I wonder how Canon did it. I hated my old version which was competely worthless in my opinion.

  • Artie,
    I am planning to attend your Pine West program tomorrow. Please let me know if you need any help.


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Great. We will be there about 45 minutes early and would love some help getting some boxes into the place. later and love, artie

  • Sheesh, and I thought I was having fun today with my new 2x III. πŸ™‚

  • That crop version is out of the park. When you see something like
    that before? Real sweet, cause you know your post processing just
    got a little easier.

    Like you’ve always preached, get it right in the camera and the less
    you’ll have to do afterwards.


    • I keep shaking my head to some of these responses.

      What’s so hard to understand…100% CROP…UNSHARPENED?


      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        Thanks Doug. I deleted two of the comments when the poster admitted via e-mail that he did not understand what a 100% crop was. And then I deleted two others as the posters did not respond to my e-mail question.