Disappearing Act « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Disappearing Act

This Sanderling duo image was created last week at Nickerson Beach with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 2x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 800. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/9 in Manual Mode.

Central sensor (by necessity) Expand/AI Servo/Rear Focus on the nearest bird’s closed eye and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Disappearing Act

You have two beautifully juxtaposed sleeping shorebirds. The light is gorgeous. The wet sand background is clean and lovely. You have just butt-advanced (moved forward while seated behind your lowered tripod without putting your hands in the sand) about 15 yards while moving to your right. You are perfectly parallel to your subjects. But. The front end of a third bird (see the ORIGINAL IMAGE in the animated GIF below) is on the right frame-edge ruining your image….

Quick Masking to the Rescue

What to do? I created a series of small thin vertical Quick Masks and used the Move Tool (V) to cover the intruder.

The basics of Quick Masking (and tons more) are described in detail in our in Digital Basics File, an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips including Digital Eye Doctor techniques, several different ways of expandiing canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, and Layer Masking and NIK Color Efex Pro basics. Advanced Quick Masking Techniques including transforming, warping, and wing tip repair are detailed in APTATS I.

New Nickerson In-the-Field Dates Announced

Same as below: June 8 (am and pm), June 9 (am only). Please follow the contact directions below. I may have limited internet and e-mail access from May 30-June 6th but will surely be online on June 7.

More Short Notice, Dirt Cheap, Small Group, In-the-Field Nickerson Beach Photographic Instruction with Arthur Morris. May 27 (pm only), May 28 (am & pm) and May 29 (am only).

All 2013 of course. Right now only one person is signed up for a total of three sessions so the instruction will be practically private. This afternoon–Monday, May 27 is shaping up to be perfect conditions. To join me today, call me on my cell phone at 863-221-2372 and leave a message if no answer. Morning sessions: 5am sharp-9:30 am. Afternoon sessions: 4pm til whenever. These are priced so low that you need to e-mail for the rates. Limit 5/session.

If you e-mail, please include all phone numbers. Payment in full due immediately via credit card after calling the office on a weekday: 863-221-2372. If you would like to join me, please get in touch via e-mail. Breeding American Oystercatcher (chicks likely) and Piping Plover (chicks possible). Common Tern and Black Skimmer/courtship behaviors. Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. Breeding plumage Sanderling and other shorebird species. Lots of flight photography when the wind is right. Learn digital exposure and creative image design. Learn to create pleasing blurs at 5am.


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. 🙂

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2 comments to Disappearing Act

  • avatar Mark

    Art, I love how you get so low, or at least it appears as if you do. That’s one problem I have when just walking around taking pics. Those that would definitely benefit from getting down are difficult as my knees hurt and creek and then getting up can be even harder than getting down. And I’m a lot younger than you. lol.

    On a completely unrelated note, and I apologize if I missed this in your blog somewhere, but have you commented on the introduction, finally, of the 200-400? Is it a lens that interests you? Is it something you think you will purchase? Always love and highly value your insight.

    Thanks for a great blog, Art.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Mark,

      I was sitting behind my lowered tripod. With the 600 II and the 2X TC it almost seems that I am right on the ground as there is a very shallow angle of declination. I am getting older every day and am feeling it. I will be 67 in June.

      See my brief comments here.

      ps: thanks for your kind words 🙂