The Canon EOS-7D Mark II Does Pink « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Canon EOS-7D Mark II Does Pink

The Streak Continues: 318

Today is get-away day for me. After packing I head to Fort DeSoto for a busman’s holiday. Then lunch and the 2 1/2 hour drive home. Apologies to those who are waiting on replies to their e-mails or to have new gear listed. I will be catching up over the next few days. This blog post, the 318th in a row, took me a bit less than 2 hours to prepare. It was published just before 4:45 from my soon-to-be former motel room in St. Petersburg Beach, FL.

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This image was created at 5:57pm on the clear afternoon of October 11 on on day one of the Fort DeSoto October IPT with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and a beta version of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II . ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1 stop as framed: 1/2000 sec. at f/10 in Manual mode.

The fourth sensor to the right of the central sensor/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF fell on a spot just forward of the bend of the wing and was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Non-breeding Roseate Spoonbill shaking water off bill prior to preening

The Situation

I had the group at one of my very favorite afternoon spots. We had been talking about Roseate Spoonbills, hoping for might be a better way to put it, when a single bird flew in and landed on the far side of a nice flock of Marbled Godwits, Willets, Laughing Gulls, terns, and a few smaller shorebirds. Not to mention a dark form Reddish Egret. I approached slowly hoping to get a head portrait with the 600/2XIII/7D II combo but I took one step too many and the bird flew. But is flew only 30 yards or so to the next spit on our right. I said, “I am gonna get that bird right now. You are all welcome to come with me. Nobody came.

In two minutes I was in half way decent position. I got down on the ground, seated behind my tripod, created a few images, and butt-advanced my way closer and closer. I invited the group more emphatically this time and they all came. Within a few minutes everyone was snapping away as we talked about exposure and image design. Having the bird completely isolated was a huge plus as were the green marsh grasses in the distant background. Eventually, birds from the larger flock spread out and surrounded everyone’s favorite Florida avian subject.


This 1200 pixel wide image represents the embedded JPEG that in turn is a pretty good representation of the RAW file.


1-The image is not level.
2-The bird is a bit too big in the frame.
3-There is too much room behind the bird and not enough room in front of the bird.

My Mistake

I simply got too close. When the bird leaned forward and ruffled I did point the lens to the left but did not want to clip the tail. That is why I wound up with a too-centered composition….


This image was created at 5:57pm on the clear afternoon of October 11 on day one of the Fort DeSoto October IPT with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and a beta version of the Canon EOS 7D Mark II . ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero as framed: 1/4000 sec. at f/7.1 in Manual mode.

Central sensor/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the bird’s eye and re-compose (but not quite enough). Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Non-breeding Roseate Spoonbill ruffling

The Image Optimization

1-I leveled the image using Image > Rotate > Arbitrary.
2-I filled in the long skinny triangles using John Haedo Content Aware Fill. It worked perfectly.
3-I added some blank canvas in front and above the bird by dragging the crop tool love handles.
4-Using the Rectangular Marquee Tool I selected a top to bottom swatch in front of the bird that included about an inch of the bird’s bill. I put that on its own layer, hit Control + T for the Transform Tool, and then stretched the layer about 40%. The trick is to stretch the canvas judiciously. Then I added a Regular Layer Mask and erased the stretch bill. That revealed the original below perfectly.
5-I added some blue sky above in the same manner.
6-I cropped from the rear.
7-I darkened the pupil using digital Eye Doctor techniques/
8-I selected the bill and the lores and the face and applied a Contrast Mask at 15/65/0.
9-I boosted the REDs using Selective Color and then increased the Vibrance.

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. The current guide will teach you how to best convert all of your Canon images in all 3 point something versions of Canon Digital Photo Professional including the current v.

Coming soon: The DPP 4.0 RAW Conversion Guide by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris. The more that I use DPP 4.0 for my 1D X and 5D III RAW conversions the more I learn about it. And the more I learn about it the more I am impressed with it. Note: at present, DPP 4.0 will work only with 1D X, 5D III, and 6D images. Scroll down for the latest DPP/7D Mark II info.

Digital Basics

Everything that I did to optimize today’s image is covered in detail 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 (including Surface Blur settings), details on using all of my image clean-up tools, 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, Digital Eye Doctor, Tim Grey Dodge and Burn, how to create time-saving actions, and tons more.


Learn the details of advanced Quick Masking techniques in APTATS I. Learn Advanced Layer Masking Techniques in APTATS II. 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 863-692-0906 weekdays to order.

Use the BAA Affiliate logo link above to pre-order your 7D II, shoot me your receipt via e-mail,
and I will do my very best to have your order expedited once the camera begins shipping.


Card and design by Denise Ippolito. Scroll down here to see lots more of Denise’s Palouse images.

Palouse #1. The Palouse A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. May 29-June 2, 2015/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12 photographers/Openings: 0.

Due to a recent cancellation, we now have a single opening on Palouse #1. Please see the details below.


Please note that there are two Palouse IPTs scheduled. We hope that you can join us 🙂 Card and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Palouse A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. June 5-9, 2015/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12 photographers/Openings 1

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will likely enjoy spectacular sunrises and possibly a nice sunset or two. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. We will take you to some really neat old abandoned barns and farmhouses in idyllic settings. There is no better way to improve your compositional and image design skills and to develop your creativity than to join us for this trip. Two great leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris. Photoshop and image sharing sessions when we have the time and energy…. We get up early and stay out late and the days are long.

After 6 days of back-breaking scouting work in early June 2014 we found all of the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and views. We will teach you what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time.

What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, our newfound but very extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions when possible.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills. You will learn to get the right exposure every time. You will learn to develop your creative eye. You will learn the basics of HDR (high dynamic range) photography. You will learn a variety of in-camera creative techniques; Canon 5D Mark III bodies are a plus. And most importantly you will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images. Do see both of our blogs for lots more on that in the coming weeks. You will learn how the quality and direction of light combine to determine the success of your images. And–please don’t gasp–we will be working quite a bit with sidelight when creating landscapes. Lastly, we will be touching on infrared photography.

A non-refundable $699 deposit is due now. The balance will be due on January 29, 2015. Please let me know via e-mail if you would like to join us. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours with a credit card in hand or send us a check; the latter is preferred.

Please send your deposit check made out to “Arthur Morris” to us at Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail. You can also contact denise via e-mail here


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10 comments to The Canon EOS-7D Mark II Does Pink

  • avatar Max Warner

    On my computer, at least, something went very wrong with the formatting of this blog, with all the content clear out of the outline, to the right and laterally compressed. Have others noted this?

  • The optimized image is simply Ft D magic!

  • avatar Bill Eaton

    Hi Artie,
    I must say that even considering the skilled operator behind the camera the beta 7D seems to be capturing some excellent images!! This seems to be a massive upgrade from the original 7D that I own.The auto focusing system also seems to be awesome.
    Thanks again for a great day last Friday and again saturday morning.
    Best wishes and good shooting.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Calling the new camera a 7D II is somewhat insulting… They should have named it the 7-1D X…. artie

  • avatar David Policansky

    Great image of a beautiful bird.

  • avatar Art Buesing

    Great image Artie. Thank you for the Image Optimization details. Lot’s of valuable information for me.

  • avatar Jon

    Just looking at the image optimisation, I quite often use the Content Aware function but at point 4 you mention using a mask – great idea, this had not occurred to me before, it will save me a lot of time in future.