I Am Not Very Good At Mini-Landscapes/What’s Different? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

I Am Not Very Good At Mini-Landscapes/What's Different?

The Streak Continues: 243

This post was published just after 7:00am from my Mom’s home in Holbrook, NY. I had the chance to leave Great Gull Island a day early and having done so well there, I hit the road. I made the 4:00pm New London/Orient Point ferry without a reservation with one minute to spare. I was the last car on the boat. Lucky, lucky! This post, which took me more than 2 hours to prepare, marks 243 consecutive days with a new enjoyable and educational blog post.

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Used Photography Gear

Sales continue at a ridiculous pace. After selling two 300 IIs and a 500 II over the weekend, Steve Ellis’s used Nikkor 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 G ED VR lens sold yesterday. There are still some great lenses and an EOS-1D Mark III listed. You can see what is available by clicking here. I will be adding a new item or two later today and there is a chance that there will be a 400 II coming up soon….

New Listing: Used Canon EF 100-400 f 4.5-5.6 L IS Lens

Bruce Boswell is offering a used Canon EF 100-400 f 4.5-5.6 L IS lens in very good condition for $999 plus insured shipping via UPS Ground to US Continental addresses only. The tripod and zoom rings have a few minor blemishes. The sale includes: the original case, the front and rear caps, the lens hood, and the lens manual. Your gear will be shipped only after your check clears.

Please contact Bruce via e-mail ourpals5@msn.com or by phone at (309) 451-1506 or (309) 530-8493 (cell) (Central).

The 100-400 is a versatile intermediate telephoto zoom lens with 1,000+ uses. This one is priced to sell.


This image was created at 8:51am on April 14, 2014 on the Tulips/A Touch of Holland IPT with the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens (at 67mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/40 sec. at f/9 in Av mode. Color temperature: 5000K.

I used the Gitzo 3530 LS tripod with the Giottos MH 1302-655 (Tiny) BallHead. Wimberley P-5 camera body plate. Live View (for mirror lock-up) with the 2-second self timer.

Central sensor/AI Servo/Surround Rear Focus AF on point of the V of the pink flower bed and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

I Am Not Very Good At Mini-Landscapes…

Though I like the optimized image above, I must admit to not being very good at creating mini-landscapes at Keukenhoff Gardens in Lisse, Holland, The Netherlands. We arrive very early and get right into the gardens so that we can lessen the chance of having people in the images. Another problem that we all face is the fact that there may be signs, benches, or lampposts in your images. At times you can hide such distractions behind a cooperative tree by moving your tripod left or right a bit, that is, by choosing the very best perspective…. I also find it hard to know just where to cut the inevitable tree trunks….

What Do You Think?

Do you like this image? Why or why not?

What’s Different?

Take a close look at the animated GIF above. How many differences can you see in the original images and the optimized image? As almost always I used the Clone Stamp Tool, the Spot Healing Brush, and a series of small Quick Masks for the image clean-up. I did extensive work with the Clone Stamp Tool (S) always using Denise Ippolito’s Protective Cloning on a Layer technique where you add a Layer Mask to touch up the Clone Stamp Work that you did on a new layer.

Can you find the person that was cloned out? Can you find the sign that was cloned out? What other changes can you spot? There are lots of them?

The DPP RAW Conversion Guide

To learn why I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) 3.14 to convert every image that I work on, click here.

Digital Basics

Everything that I did to optimize today’s images are detailed in my Digital Basics File–written in my easy-to-follow, easy-to-understand style. Are you tired of making your images look worse in Photoshop? Digital Basics File is 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.


Learn the details of advanced Quick Masking techniques in APTATS I. Learn Advanced Layer Masking Techniques in APTATS I. Mention this blog post and apply a $5 discount to either with phone orders only. Buy both APTATS I and APTATS II and we will be glad to apply at $15 discount with phone orders only. Please call Jim or Jennifer at 863-221-2372 on Tuesday to order.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!


Denise and artie hope that you can join them next spring in Holland and learn to improve both the technical and creative aspects of your flower (and street) photography.

7 1/2-Day/8-Night: A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART/Tulips & A Touch of Holland Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)

Keukenhof—Delft—Amsterdam–Flower Fields—Kinderdijk
April 9 -April 16, 2015: $4995. Limit: 12 photographers/Openings 10. Four more to make the trip a go.

This trip needs 6 registrants to run so please do not purchase your plane tickets until you hear from us that the trip is a go.

Join Denise Ippolito, the author of “Bloomin’ Ideas,” and Arthur Morris, Canon Explorer of Light Emeritus, for a great trip to Holland in mid-April 2015. Day 1 of the IPT will be April 9, 2015. We will have a short afternoon get-together and then our first photographic session at the justly-famed Keukenhof. Our last day, Day 8, April 16 will be a full day of photography.

The primary subjects will be tulips and orchids at Keukenhof and the spectacularly amazing tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulb fields around Lisse and points north. We will spend one full day in Amsterdam. There will be optional visits to the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House and/or the Rijk’s Museum. Street photography and sightseeing will be other options. We will spend a half day at Kinderdijk where we will be photographing the windmills and doing some creative photography. We will spend an afternoon in the lovely Dutch town of Delft where we will do some street photography and shopping. There is an optional church tower tour/climb. We will also enjoy a superb fine dining experience in a traditional restaurant.

Other than the arrival date: April 9, Day 1, and the date of our last day of photography on April 16, Day 8, there is no set itinerary. We will check the weather and play everything by ear to maximize the photographic opportunities. We will try to do Amsterdam, Delft, and especially Kinderdijik, on cloudy days.

There are several huge pluses to this trip. First off, denise is an amazingly skilled and caring instructor. Both her creativity and her willingness to share and to help beginning and intermediate photographers are unmatched. And though artie has learned a ton about flower photography from denise, their styles and techniques do vary considerably. You will have a chance to be counseled by and to learn from both of them. While denise will hunt you down to help you, artie’s teaching style is more “the closer you stay to me, the more you will learn.” Both leaders consistently inspire the participants. And each other. The sky, of course, is the limit.

You will learn to create tight abstracts, how best to use depth-of-field (or the lack thereof) to improve your flower photography, how to get the right exposure and make sharp images every time, how to see the best shot, and how to choose the best perspective for a given situation. And you will of course learn to create a variety of pleasingly blurred flower images. If you bring a long lens, you will learn to use it effectively for flower photography. Denise’s two favorite flower lenses are the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. Mine are the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS macro , the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens ,and the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, all almost always on a tripod. Often with extension tubes and/or either the 1.4X or the 2X (with the 300 II) teleconverters. Denise hand holds a great deal of the time. For flower field blurs denise uses the same lenses mentioned above along with her new 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III lens. Artie’s favorite is that same 70-200 often with a 1.4X TC but he uses both the new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens and the 300 II as well. Both of us use and love the Canon EOS 5D Mark IIIfor all of our flower photography. The in-camera HDR and Multiple Exposure features are a blast.

One of the great advantages of our trip is that we will be staying in a single, strategically located hotel that is quite excellent. Do note that all ground transfers to and from Schipol Airport will be via the free hotel shuttle bus.

What’s included: Eight hotel nights. All ground transportation except for airport transfers as noted above. In-the-field instruction and small group image review and Photoshop sessions. All meals from dinner on Day 1 through dinner on Day 8. There is good food at the hotel and we will be dining there on occasion; whenever you order off the menu be it at the hotel or at another restaurant only the cost of your main course is included. On these occasions the cost of soups, appetizers, salads, sodas and other beverages, alcoholic drinks and wine, bottled water, and desserts are not included. Snacks, personal items, phone calls, etc. are also not included. The cost of bus or train transportation to and from Amsterdam (about $20 US), museum entry, and tower and church entry fees (optional) are likewise not included.

Beware of seemingly longer, slightly less expensive tours that include travel days and days sitting in the hotel doing nothing as part of the tour. In addition, other similar trips have you changing hotels often and needlessly. One final note on other similar trips: the instructors on this trip actually instruct. On other similar trips the instructors, though usually imminently qualified, serve for the most part as van drivers and van door openers.

A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 per person is required to hold your spot. The second payment of $2,000 due by October 30, 2014. The balance is due on January 15, 2015. Payments in full are of course welcome at any time. All payments including the deposit must be by check made out to “Arthur Morris.” As life has a way of throwing an occasional curve ball our way, you are urged to purchase travel insurance within 15 days of our cashing your check. Artie uses and recommends Travel Insurance Services. All payments are non-refundable unless the trip fills to capacity. In that case, all payments but your deposit will be refunded. If the trip does not run every penny will of course be refunded. Again, please do not purchase your air tickets until you hear from us that the trip is a go. We are very confident that it will.

All checks should be made out to “Arthur Morris” and sent to: Arthur Morris, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. Call Jim or Jen in the BAA office with any additional registration questions: 863-692-0906.

For couples or friends signing up at the same time for the tulip trip, a $200/duo discount will be applied to the final payment.

When you send your deposit check, please print, sign, and include the paperwork here.

If you have any questions on the trip please contact artie by e-mail or denise by e-mail.

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6 comments to I Am Not Very Good At Mini-Landscapes/What’s Different?

  • Rollo

    It would look quite nice as a picture for a holiday brochure.

  • Hi Arthur, glad you such great success on GGI. I think you did wonderfully well with this scene and I just love the way those Grape Hyacinths are guiding us through the image. Good choice to clone out the distracting elements among the trees along the top edge, including the building’s roof – dead center. And another good choice to fill in all those bare spots throughout the lawn. If you clicked the shutter one or two seconds later would that person have been behind the tree? Beautiful work!!!

  • Naveena

    I could find total eight editing. Little bit cloning at the bottom along the frame when you rotated the image, A person near the tree, blue roof, lamp on the left, black and red object at the top left corner, a flower right to that red object, Small spec and a lamp near left top corner, and finally the rotation of the image :). Liked the bright colours in the image!!!

  • David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. The biggest difference is that the original image has “ORIGINAL” in big black letters on it. 🙂 OK, bad joke. In addition to what Doug West saw, there’s a large blue roof in the background that got cloned out (I think you left the building it was on, which is almost invisible anyway) and a little black thing that looks like a bird at the left edge of the nearest bed of white flowers and some divots or molehills in the grass at the lower right. Nothing else jumped out at me. I do like the image; I like the flowing curves and colors of the flower beds and the tree trunks.

  • Can you find the person that who was cloned out? Second tree from the right.
    Can you find the sign that was cloned out? Below the first tree from the right in the patch of grass.

    The one thing I love about the photo is those white flowers in an arc toward the
    upper right hand corner (starts where you removed the person). Can’t explain why
    except I love how it ‘hooks’ out of the picture.