Hoping… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Hoping...

The Streak Continues: 151

Though it seems to be improving a bit each day I was awakened for good by knee pain at 3:30am. The effects of Amsterdam jet lag have been lessening each day. I again fell asleep on the couch last night, this time at about 7:00pm.

This post marks 151 straight days with a new educational blog post. With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links why quit now? To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we do ask that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I used, tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know the tools that you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

You can find the following items in the store: Gitzo tripods, Mongoose M3.6 and Wimberley heads, plates, low feet, and accessories, flash brackets, , Delkin e-film Pro Compact Flash Cards, LensCoat products, and our unique line-up of educational materials including ABP I & II, Digital Basics, Site and Set-up e-Guides, Canon and Nikon Camera Users and AF e-Guides, and MP-4 Photoshop video tutorials among others.

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This post took well more than 2 1/2 hours to create. Enjoy!

Portrait Category Voting Continues Today

You have one day more to vote for your favorite images in the Portraits category of the BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition. The voting has been quite enthusiastic. Click here to join in the fun. I can say that many of the most popular images with the blog readership were not favored by the judges. The 3 winning images and the 5 runners up will be announced in tomorrow’s blog post.


tricolored-heron-w-4-eggs-in-nest-_y5o9926-gatorland-kissimmee-fl

This image was created at Gatorland on April 3, 2014 at 10:46pm on a cloudy morning with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the internal TC engaged at 320mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/125 sec. at f/10 in Manual mode. AWB.

Central Sensor/AI Servo-Surround/Rear Focus AF on the curve of the bird’s neck (as framed) was active at the moment of exposure. Learn everything there is to know about the 1D X and 5D III AF systems including how to manage the various AF Area Selection Modes, when to use which one, and several ways to move the AF sensor around in the 1D X AF Guide and the 5D Mark III User’s Guide. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version. .

Fill flash with Better Beamer at -3 stops in ETTL. Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT with the Canon CP-E4 Compact Battery Pack for faster re-charging times. Mongoose Integrated Flash Arm with the Canon OC-E3 Off Camera Shoe Cord 3.

Tricolored Heron at nest with 4 eggs

Consider joining me at Gatorland this coming Saturday and learn to spot the great situations. Scroll down for details.

Hoping…

I am hoping to find at least a few half-grown chicks in this nest. It is one of the cleanest nests you will ever find in a rookery with a clear, unobstructed view into the nest. It is good only on cloudy mornings and in late afternoon. I hope that the nest and at least several chicks have survived. Life is tough in a rookery.

Image Question

If I wound up working at only 320mm why did I have the internal TC engaged???

The Image Optimization

The image optimization here was fairly straightforward. After converting the image in DPP I eliminated the large specular highlight with the Patch Tool and then used Protective Cloning on a Layer (as taught to me by Denise Ippolito) to remove the specular highlight and the twig that merged with the bird’s bill. I used my Digital Eye Doctor techniques to blacken the pupil and brighten the iris. I added some BLACK to the WHITEs with Selective Color on a layer and painted it in where needed with a Hide All Layer Mask. I ran my NIK 50-50 saved pre-set on a Layer, painted away most of the background via a Regular Layer Mask, and then sharpened the bird’s face with a Contrast Mask after selecting it with the Quick Selection Tool, the latter again as taught to me by Denise Ippolito).

I created the Animated GIF in CS-6 after figuring it out on my own :).

Digital Basics

Everything above is explained clearly in my Digital Basics File. Are you tired of making your images look worse in Photoshop? Have you no clue as to how I optimized the image above? The Photoshop techniques mentioned above plus tons more is detailed in my Digital Basics File, an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro basics, my killer image clean-up techniques, Digital Eye Doctor, creating time-saving actions, and lots more.

The DPP RAW Conversion Guide

To learn why I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) to convert every image that I work on, click here.

gatorland-card

Join me at Gatorland next Saturday for a ton of learning. If you want to learn to use your flash and to make great photos in cluttered rookeries, you will not want to miss this one. Click on the composite image to enjoy a larger version. Click on the composite to enjoy the larger size.

Another Gatorland Short Notice Saturday Full-Day In-the-Field Workshop

Saturday May 3, 2014. 7:15am till 10:15am & 4:00pm till dusk. Lunch, image review, and Photoshop session included. Limit 6. A very small group is again likely: $399.

Late Registration Discount

One Signed Up: Join the Party!

Call us at 863-692-0906 for info on the late registration discount for the May 3 I-T-F Workshop.

The cost of your Gatorland Photographer’s Pass is not included.

Small and large chicks in the nest. Breeding plumage Cattle and Snowy Egrets. And tons more. You will learn to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. A big part of the above is that you will learn how and why you must work in Manual mode 90% of the time at Gatorland.

At lunch we will review my images, take a look at five of your best images from the morning session (for those who opt to bring their laptops), and process a few of my images in Photoshop after converting them in DPP. That followed by Instructor Nap Time. Last Saturday all 3 folks had a great time and learned a ton. The long-range weather forecast for next Saturday is looking good with just a chance for afternoon thunderstorms.

Payment in full via credit card is due upon registering. Please call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 to register.

IPT Updates

There are only 4 slots left on the UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. The St. Augustine, Fort DeSoto, and Nickerson Beach IPTs all have lots of room. Click here for complete IPT details.

Used Canon Gear for Sale

BAA friend and co-leader Denise Ippolito if offering two pieces of Canon gear for sale as follows:

Used Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens for Sale

Denise is offering a Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens in excellent condition for $1475. As the lens is in perfect working condition and has no dings or dents the sale is final. There are a few blemishes on the tripod collar. A piece of tape has been added to the lens hood so that it stays on firmly. The sale includes the lens, the lens hood, and insured shipping by UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; your new lens will be shipped after your check clears.

I can vouch for the fact that Denise’s copy is sharp at all focal lengths and apertures.

You can reach Denise via e-mail or try her on her cell at 732-470-3601.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM Lens

Denise is also offering a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM lens in excellent condition for $425. As the lens is in perfect working condition and has no dings or dents the sale is final. The sale includes the lens, the lens hood, and insured shipping by UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; your new lens will be shipped after your check clears.

This has been Denise’s favorite lens for as long as she has been photographing flowers. She has finally succumbed to purchasing the newer IS version.

You can reach Denise via e-mail or try her on her cell at 732-470-3601.

Used Canon 400mm f/4L IS DO Lens for Sale

Friend and BAA webmaster Peter Kes is offering is offering a Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens in excellent condition for $4699. The sale includes the lens trunk, the leather lens hood, a Forest Green LensCoat, and insured shipping by UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; your new lens will be shipped after your check clears. I owned and used a 400 DO for years; at 4.28 pounds it is a great lens for folks wishing to gain extra reach without having to carry around excessively heavy gear…. I used it often with both TCs and made sharp images. It currently retails new for $6,469 at B&H.

This sale will be made through BAA. Please call Jim at 863-221-2372 (weekdays) or shoot me an if you have any questions.

Used EOS-5D Mark II for Sale/Price Reduced $100!

Doug Bolt’s 400 DO sold early last week. Doug is offering a used EOS-5D Mark II in very good to excellent condition for $1099! There is a shallow scratch on the body and a faint smudge on the top LCD. The sale includes a RRS L-plate, an off-brand vertical grip, and the original box and all the stuff that came in it. The seller will pay shipping to US addresses only. This one is a great body for flowers and landscapes. Mine saved me on a Southern Oceans cruise when I trashed two EOS-1D Mark IV bodies in a rainstorm; it was a great back-up camera body. The item will ship only when the check clears.

Please contact Doug for a link to photos of the camera and for additional info via e-mail or try him by phone at home: at 301-937-3112 or on his cell at 301-537-8073.

Used Canon EOS-7D for Sale

Doug Bolt loves his 5D Mark III so much that he is also offering a used EOS-7D camera body for $799. The sale includes a RRS camera body plate. The seller will pay shipping to US addresses only. This one is a great starter body. The item will ship only when the check clears.

Please contact Doug for additional info via e-mail or try him by phone at home: at 301-937-3112 or on his cell at 301-537-8073.

A Creative Advanture

Many of you would enjoy subscribing to Denise Ippolito’s blog. You can check out her latest offerings here. And be sure to check out Denise’s brand new Facebook workshop page here; there is a cool image of me resting on the ground in the Willem-Alexander Pavilion. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. ๐Ÿ™‚

6 comments to Hoping…

  • avatar wtlloyd

    You shot 320mm with the converter because there was only time to rack back from a closeup of the eggs and recompose/focus. The bird could have turned or covered the eggs at any moment.

  • avatar Patty Corapi

    With the converter engaged, you were actually at 458mm which is greater than the 400mm without it which gives you a closer look at the eggs with the composition you want.

    Nope. With the converter engaged I can work between 280mm and 560mm. For the image here I was actually at 320mm….

    Have you gotten my Galapagos e-mails???? artie

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Great image Very interesting

  • avatar Naveena

    For me the original image looks nicer than the optimized one ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the caption of the original and optimized images are reversed.

    You are correct. After I re-do the Animated GIF and post it I will give myself a good kick in the rear :). artie

  • If I wound up working at only 320mm why did I have the internal TC engaged???

    Maybe to get a closeup of the eggs? Doug

    You are on the right track…. artie