Blog News/Keep One or Both? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Blog News/Keep One or Both?

Bosque IPTs/Late Registration Discounts

For information on both the 7-Day and the recently announced short version of the 2013 Bosque IPTs please click here and scroll down. Please e-mail me for late registration discount info.

Blog News

I received the following e-mail from the hard-working Peter Kes last night:

Art, I was able to finish ‘early’ 🙂 I updated the theme. I also reduced initial load of posts to one per call (was 10). This should reduce a lot of overhead. I removed the rolling image in the header, instead, the header will refresh with each call. Further reductions can be achieved by reducing image quality of the widgets and posts.

Our biggest cpu consumer is Nextgen, so I will try to find a way to use something else. Additionally, I deactivated 5 plugins that are basically not adding much value. Finally I did not reactivate caching and from my initial take, the site is performing reasonably well. Let’s see how things go after a few posts.

If performance degrades again, we should consider upgrading cpu, rather than caching. I would say to leave things as they are for now and if performance turns out ok, we should kick out the caching fees ($46/month).

Later, Peter

The Good News

The good news is that things seem to be perfect: fast loading, restored functionality for me in Admin and for you in Comments. I will be optimizing the JPEG images to <395kb as I have done with today's images. I believe that the images will continue to look superb. Hopefully the RSS issues have also been resolved. Please do let us know how things are going on your end. Thanks a stack Peter!

This image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 320. Evaluative metering +2 stops off the grey water: 1/8 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode.

Central sensor (Surround)/AI Servo Rear Focus AF on the bird and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Vertical Pan Blur Tips

When creating vertical pan blurs I usually like to pan up as I almost always like to include a narrow strip of color at the bottom of the frame. The trick is to time the release of the shutter just before the amount of space at the bottom looks good. Above, I released the shutter too soon; this resulted in too much space (water) at the bottom of the frame. In the image below, my timing was pretty much perfect.

Would you keep or delete the image above? Why?

Learn tons more about creating pleasing blurs in A Guide to Pleasing Blurs by Denise Ippolito and yours truly.

This image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops off the grey water: 1/8 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode.

Central sensor (Surround)/AI Servo Rear Focus AF on the bird and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Keep One or Both?

Would you keep one or both of these images? Or would you delete both? Be sure to let us know why.

Which of the images is a stronger photograph? Please explain why. Note: I have a very strong preference for one over the other. Which of the two has the most potential? What is the single biggest problem with the 2nd image?

Answers Monday afternoon after my long drive home from Atlanta.

BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition

Learn more and enter the BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition here. Twenty-five great prizes including the $1000 Grand Prize and intense competition. Bring your best.

Old Car City Creative Photography In-the-Field HDR Workshop: Sunday, October 13, 2013/ 9am till 1pm.

White, Georgia: $250 plus a $15 entrance fee donation (cash only on the day of the event) that will go to charity. Limit: 16 photographers/Openings: 7.

If you would like to join us tomorrow morning, please e-mail me today. I will send details by e-mail late this afternoon.

On October 13, 2013, Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART and Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure will be conducting an In-the-Field HDR Workshop at Old Car City in White, Georgia. Old Car City is about an hour north of Atlanta, GA and an hour south of Chattanooga, TN where they will, as noted above, be doing a full day seminar for the Photographic Society of Chattanooga on Saturday, October 12th. Click here for complete details.

Kind Offer by Dick Curtain

If you live in Chattanooga and were unable to attend today’s seminar because of financial concerns and would like to attend all or part of the program for free, please show up and ask for me. IPT veteran Dr. Dick Curtain was unexpectedly called into work today and cannot attend. He has kindly offered his spot to someone else. Thanks Dick! We will see you tomorrow at the In-the-Field Workshop.


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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25 comments to Blog News/Keep One or Both?

  • avatar David Policansky

    Late to the party. These blurs don’t do anything for me, I think because there’s no natural reason for the birds to be blurred–they are standing still. Flight blurs create or enhance a sense of motion and so in they make sense to me, even if I don’t always like them. Here it seems you deliberately moved the camera to create the blurs.

  • avatar Pam Hoaglund

    For me I just don’t like the majority of blurs that I see. My eyes just can’t focus on anything and actually itbbothers my eyes to look at them. I think the only blurs I sort of like are of trees.

  • I would keep both images. I prefer the second image for the brighter and more saturated cattails, but do like the fact that there is more detail visible in the head of the Egret in the first blur. Perhaps a little more brightness and saturation on the cattails in the first blur would make it the winner 🙂

  • Hi Artie,

    No images came along with this post (via RSS).

    If these were my images I would crop out the bird and make the blurred grass the subject. Of the two images the second would be better for that purpose.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for your comments. The RSS feed will no longer include images as part of our streamlining efforts. artie

  • avatar Raymond Lee

    For the blur photos, I prefer the second one even though I’m not too fond of both of them. If you have a shot with the same angle/framing as the second photo but with a sharper bird (or less blurred) bird, I would use that extra photo and paint it back in as a layer to combine the blurred photo in Photoshop.

  • Hi Artie,

    I also no longer see the images on the RSS feed (The Old Reader) like I used to and that applies to this post also.

    I think these images would make amazing composites. While I love the backgrounds I find the main subject being that blurred disconcerting. I would love tp see one of you perfectly shapr egrets placed in front of the great background.


  • avatar Paul W

    I’d keep both, but then I’m a hoarder who needs to clear out the junk from his hard drive more often!

    Personally I would say that the photos don’t really do it for me. Motion blur works when it’s conveying the activity within a scene or it’s taken to the extreme such that the photo becomes a work of abstract. The heron is static so the photo isn’t about that, but it’s also too recognisable as a heron to be a pleasing abstract (the water and reeds are aesthetically pleasing but the white blob is too ‘lumpy’ and jarring.)

  • I like the second one. His head/beak…kind of looks like a scroll or
    a rolling pin 🙂

    The first one is also kinda cool cause if you look at it long enough,
    it seems to move.


  • avatar John Armitage

    Delete both. These blurs have resulted in images of the bird which are not attractive.

  • avatar Carol Ryan

    I am mesmerized by your beautiful work and have learned so much from your blog posts. Thank you for your expert guidance.
    Not a fan of blurs, to my eye they are not pleasing but actually distressing to look at. Looking forward to the next incredibly sharp
    Images you post…never tire of these!

  • Artie,

    The updated site is working well. Loads much faster!
    I prefer the first of the two blurs. I like that you can see the profile of the head and beak, you know what you are looking at. The grasses also have a criss crossed pattern to them that I like. The second image doesn’t work for me because the bird’s neck is a long wide white blur and it looks like there is no head and the grasses appear to be running at a diagonal to the bird.


  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Everything working fine. when I click on the image it shows larger.

  • avatar Ralph in Chicago

    I like the horizontal image much better. There is rhythm in the diagonal lines of the grass, which leads the eye across the frame, and the bird being diagonal the other way acts as a stopper to turn the eye around and send it back into the frame for another look. In the vertical version, my eye follows the water’s edge right out of the frame (nothing more to see here). The lighter area at the upper right also draws the eye to the edge of the frame and out. The base formed by the water is also too big and featureless. I would keep the horizontal one for sure, and delete the vertical.

  • avatar Donnette Largay

    I am not sure I understand the concept being presented (pleasing blurs). I have deleted thousands of images that look like both you have shown. I love blurs. It takes me 50 to 100 shots to get one good one. I hope you are not telling me I have been looking at my blurs all wrong! I like part of the animal/subject to be in focus. But that is just me.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I am not telling you anything, just asking questions :). Both images are sharply focused. The problem has to do with the fact that the heads are not sharply designed. Stay tuned….

  • avatar harvey tabin

    Your work is generally great, however throw both the blurs away. They say nothing and are not very done.

  • avatar Gary Axten

    I’d delete both, sorry 🙂 I’ve never been a fan of blurs where you can’t see at least some of the subject. Oddly though I like the grass in the second image so that has potential for an abstract or something.

    The website is faster & pre-loads my details instead of the last guy to post. However when you click for a larger image it is actually smaller.

    You can also right click on the page now though that script could be bypassed anyway, the right click functionality is an improvement.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks. Not sure what you mean by “see at least some of the subject…” Please explain :).


  • avatar Mike Eckstein

    Never seemed to be a problem here. Maybe Florida location a help?

  • avatar Mark W.

    Site seems to be loading fine right now…..

  • avatar David

    On the subject of the blog, one wrinkle that I have experienced is that images no longer download on the RSS feed. While no big deal, I have to scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “read more…”