What I Said (about the Canon EOS-7D Mark II at Bosque…) « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

What I Said (about the Canon EOS-7D Mark II at Bosque...)

The Streak Continues: 357

Denise and I rocked ’em again on our second Festival Early Morning In the Field workshop. We had fifteen folks. The pre-dawn sky offered a bit more color than the day before but was still pretty boring but everyone learned a ton. The crane pool was only so-so but everyone learned a ton. Then we re-visited the new flooded field but that was not very good either. But everyone learned a ton. Despite a crummy overall morning but everyone learned a ton. Again we were plagued by the seemingly omnipresent northwest breeze. Everyone received lots of individual attention and everyone went home very happy.

Mike Cohen of southeast Florida was in the Friday morning group. At the end of the session he came up to me and said, “That was great. I learned so much. And I am glad that I came and met you in person. Before today, I did not like you. But you are actually charming.” I said, “You’ve heard bad stuff about me from others? Heard that I am arrogant and do not care if you learn? And heard that I will push you out of the way to get my shot.?” He said, “Yeah, in part.” I said, “Please remember that 99% of those folks have never been on an IPT or in a class, have never met me.” He said, “But also a bit from your manner on the blog and in e-mail. But I was amazed to find out that you are a really nice guy.” “Thanks,” I said, “I really am a teddy bear….”

My keynote presentation, “A Twenty Year Love Affair with Bosque” was warmly received by a large crowd. It was a pleasure having 14-year Bosque manager Phil Norton in the audience. He kindly contributed some back story on the state of the refuge since he left and later retired from the refuge system.

The like-new Canon 200-400 lens offered yesterday sold instantly. Today’s blog post, the 357th in a row, took 2 hours to assemble and was published from my hotel room in Socorro, NM at 3:50am.

Festival of the Cranes Early Sunday Morning Photography In-the-Field Workshop

Festival of the Cranes Early Sunday Morning, NOV 23. In-the-Field Photography Workshop: 5:50-10:30am. Limit 16/Openings 5. $125. After sellouts on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday there are still a few openings for the Sunday offering. Sign up at the Festival Info Table in the Bosque Visitor Center.

Join full time professional photographers Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART and Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure for four 1/2 hours of fun and learning at the refuge. You will learn how to create pleasingly blurred images in the low predawn light, to spot the good situations, to understand the effects of wind speed and direction on bird (especially in flight) photography, to photograph individual cranes in flight, to see and understand the light, to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, and to design pleasing images. In addition you will learn and live Artie’s early morning Bosque del Apache strategies, strategies based on over two decades of experience at the refuge. This is a caravan event and a refuge pass will be provided. Dress with layers for warmth and bring snacks and plenty of water. Workshop leaves sharply at 6:00 AM.

By e-mail from Friday Participant and Blog Regular David Policansky

I’m still replaying the morning in-the-field trip with you and Denise in my head. It was so helpful to watch you in action and hear your explanations of what you were doing and why. I don’t think even your detailed written words can quite take the place of the experience in the field. David


Join Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris for two great days of photography, fun, and learning at one of our favorite soul places. We will surely be taking you out of the box on this workshop. Please click on the card to enjoy a larger version.

Bosque del Apache 2014 A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART “Creative Photography Instructional Photo-Tour.” (IPT). NOV 24-25, 2014. 2-FULL DAYS: $729. Leaders: Denise Ippolito & Arthur Morris. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Sunday 11/23.

It is still not too late to Get Out of Your Box!

The Creative Bosque IPT is perfect for folks who want to learn to think outside the box, to create new and different images. This workshop is the perfect add-on for folks who attended the Festival of the Cranes. Learn to unleash your creative juices at the wondrous Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in San Antonio, New Mexico with two great leaders including the amazingly talented and creative Denise Ippolito. In-the-field instruction will include tips on gear set-up, on creating a variety of pleasing blurs, on getting the right exposure, and on designing pleasing images. And lots more. From vertical pan blurs to subject motion blurs to zoom blurs to multiple exposures we will cover it all. If conditions are perfect, we will not hesitate to take advantage of them to do some traditional bird photography. This workshop will include an inspirational introductory slide program on Sunday evening, 11/23, after dinner on your own, two morning and two afternoon photography sessions, all lunches, a digital workflow and Photoshop session after lunch on Monday, and an image critiquing session after lunch on Tuesday.

At this late hour, the only way to to sign up is to either find us on the refuge or get in touch via e-mail.

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This Sandhill Crane image was created on the clear early evening of November 20, 2014 just after sunset at Bosque del Apache NWR. I used the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod), the Mongoose M3.6 head, Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 800. Evaluative metering + 1 stop as originally framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6 in Av mode. Color Temperature: 8000K.

65-Point Automatic Selection Rear Focus/AI Servo AF selected two sensors, one on the tail and one on the upper back/near wing as originally framed. They were of course 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.

Sandhill Crane landing Silhouette #1

In the “Canon EOS-1D X, EOS-5D Mark III, EOS-7D Mark II at Bosque del Apache NWR/Which One When and Why?” blog post here, I wrote, and I quote, “When I am focal length challenged I will reach for the 600 II, 1.4X III, and 7D II at least until proven otherwise…. All on the tripod of course.”

Under the heading of Crane Pools for Sunset, I continued, “On a typical late afternoon at the crane pools you will want to go both very long and very wide. You get the idea by now 🙂 I am however, looking forward to using the 600II/1.4X III/7D II combo for the incoming crane silhouettes. AF will be faster than with the 600 II/2X III/1D X and I will have the advantage of being at f/5.6 rather than f/8; this will save me a full stop of ISO across the board. A 16-35 or 24-70II on the Giottos MH 1302-655 BallHead (I call it the tiny ballhead) will rock on many evenings after most folks have gone home too early.”

As the two crane silhouette images here show, I was right on the money as far at the 600 II/1.4X III/7D II combination was concerned. In short, the 7D II continues to amaze me.


This Sandhill Crane image was also created on the clear early evening of November 20, 2014 just after sunset at Bosque del Apache NWR. Again I used the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod), the Mongoose M3.6 head, Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II . ISO 1600. Evaluative metering + 1 stop as originally framed: 1/640 sec. at f/5.6 in Av mode. Color Temperature: 8000 K.

65-Point Automatic Selection Rear Focus/AI Servo AF selected and array of three sensors that covered the bird’s head and legs perfectly. (See the screen capture below.) The three sensors were 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.

Sandhill Crane landing Silhouette #2

Your Favorite?

Which of today’s two images is your favorite? Please take a moment to leave a comment and let us know why.


This is the DPP 4 screen capture for Image #2.

The DPP 4 Screen Capture

The DPP 4 screen capture for Image #2 shows the array of AF points that were selected by 65-Point Automatic Selection illuminated in red; pretty darned impressive it you ask me. Those with good eyes can see that I lightened the image 1/3 stop (.33) with the Brightness slider on the Perform basic image adjustment tab. For most images I also use the Adjust image detail tab (for NR), and the Perform image lens correction. For the first time ever I used Fine Tune to tweak the sky color.


DPP 4 is completely new and different from the various versions of DPP 3. It handles files only from the following cameras: EOS-1D X, EOS 5D Mark III, EOS-6D, and the EOS-7D Mark II.

Great 7D II/DPP v4.01.0 News

An updated version of Canon Digital Photo Professional that supports RAW files from the EOS-7D Mark II is available for download via the Canon USA website. Though some folks had trouble getting access to the Mac version of DPP v4.1.0.1 I was able to download and install it easily yesterday evening. Hint for Mac folks: after you double click on the downloaded zip file you need to go to your desktop and click on the icon that was magically created there in order to begin the installation.

To download DPP v4.1 first click here and then click on Drivers and Software and follow the prompts.


The Photographers’ Guide to Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.0 by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris is now available. Click here to order.

The DPP 4 eGuide (PDF)

BIRDS AS ART is proud to announce the release of The Photographers’ Guide to Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.0 by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris: $40.

Artie first went to DPP because he was not happy with the colors he was getting with 1D X and 5D III images from ACR (Adobe Camera Raw). Though less than intuitive, he found it fast and easy to use once he mastered the basics. He collaborated with Arash Hazeghi on the first DPP RAW Conversion Guide. Do understand that the DPP RAW Conversion Guide details the use of various iterations of DPP 3. He calls those the DPP 3.whatever versions. The latest version is DPP

Some time ago Canon released DPP 4.0, completely and utterly new and different from DPP 3. When it was introduced DPP 4 worked only EOS-1D X, EOS-5D Mark III, and EOS-6D images and that is still the case today. It will not work with RAW files from older Canon digital camera bodies. Both authors are hoping that a new version of DPP 4 that will convert EOS-7D Mark II images will be released soon.

In the meantime, DPP 4 performs superbly with his 1D X and 5D III images. When he first opened DPP 4 he felt as if he were in the cockpit of a Boeing 747 and was being asked to fly it. There were so many tabs and buttons and controls that he simply closed the program. He immediately called Arash and asked him if he wanted to work together on a DPP 4 guide. After 100s of hours of work the guide is now ready to teach you to conveniently and easily use DPP 4 to create the finest possible image files from your 1D X, 5D III, and 6D image files. Basically, Arash sent artie a sophisticated outline that he re-crafted into a clear, concise, easily understood, and easy to follow how-to guide written in the BAA style. Arash created all of the charts, diagrams, and graphics.

His charts with recommendations for both Chrominance and Luminance Noise Reduction values for each of the 3 covered cameras at various ISO settings are alone worth the price of the book. He spent many dozens of hours experimenting with high ISO RAW files and shares his findings with you in the DPP 4 Guide. Folks will surely want to create some sort of easily accessible quick reference on their laptops and home computers.

DPP offers a host of great features some but not all of which are reminiscent of ACR. These include the following: Multi-image display, the extremely valuable Before/after Comparison layout, Highlight/shadow warnings, White Balance, and the eight RAW Conversion tabs that include sliders for Brightness, Highlights, Shadows, Contrast, Hue-Saturation, Color Tone, Sharpness, Noise Reduction, HSL (Hue/Saturation/Luminance), Lens Corrections, and Digital Lens Optimizer among others. We teach you how to best utilize each of those and many more. We share our slightly different DPP workflows and dozens of tips that will simply make your life easier. Arash uses DPP4′s rating system for choosing his keepers while artie continues to rely on BreezeBrowser Pro for that. DPP offers a variety of sorting filters. We explain all of the options. In addition, we teach you how to set your preferences and how to arrange your workspace for the greatest efficiency.

Both authors firmly believe that the manufacturer’s conversion algorithms will always out-perform 2nd party software when it comes to preserving image quality, fine detail, and accurate color rendition.

The authors wish to thank Chuck Westfall and Rudy Winston of Canon USA for their help; they are always available to answer our nit-picking questions. Sincere thanks also to Ken Kovak, Bob Schwartz, Dane Johnson, and John Stuhlmuller for their thoughtful and substantive reviews of late drafts of the DPP 4 manuscript.

You can order your copy of the DPP 4 Guide for $40 through the BAA Online Store by clicking here, by calling Jim or Jen in the office at 863-692-0906 with credit card in hand, by sending us a check made out to “Arthur Morris” or a money order for $40 to BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855, or by by sending a Paypal for $40 to e-mail. IN the latter two instances be sure to note DPP 4 Guide so we know what you are ordering :).

Note: the Sharpness and Noise Reduction Charts will be updated to include the recommended values for the 7D Mark II. I have been sending RAW files to Arash for several days. Now Arash has a lot more work to do. For those who have purchased the DPP 4 Guide, the update will of course be free but please be patient.

Those using older Canon camera bodies like the 1D Mark IV, the 7D, the 50D, the 40D, the various Rebels (not highly recommended for serious nature photography), are directed to the original DPP RAW Conversion Guide click here. DPP 3 (the latest version is DPP v3.14.41.0) does a fine job of converting images from the older camera bodies. I used it for several years.

DPP 4 eGuide Kudos via e-mail from Melvin Grey

Artie, Thank you very much for creating and sending the superb new guide and for the excellent service.THANK YOU and ARASH, once again, for an invaluable guide and THANK YOU for your continuing educational blogs. Melvin


Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The 2015 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

June 29 through July 5, 2015: $5499: Limit 10 photographers/Openings 1. Two great leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris.

Here are the plans for next year: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on 28 June arriving in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday 29 June (or simply meet us then either at the Edinburgh Airport (EDI) or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe. Stay 7 nights in two gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are 5 days of planned puffin/seabird trips—weather permitting, and 1 full day of gannet photography with 2 sessions on the boat.


Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The Details

We will be staying in upscale country-side cottages that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for image sharing and Photoshop lessons. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with two roomy single beds and a private bathroom. See the single supplement info below.

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day and a farewell fine dining thank you dinner. The cost of your National Heritage Trust is also included; that covers the twice a day landing fees.

Plan to fly home on the early morning of Monday 6 July or to continue your stay or travels.


Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2015.

Single Supplement Info

The single supplement is $1475. As we will be renting a third cottage the $1475 is due with your deposit and is also non-refundable.

If you are good to go please send your $2,000 deposit check now to save a spot. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you cancel and the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Whether or not your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

We do hope that you can join us.


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13 comments to What I Said (about the Canon EOS-7D Mark II at Bosque…)

  • When you travel do you take the very large lens hood for your 300 mm 2.8 lens or is there something smaller ?

    Larry Peavler

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Larry, The lens hoods for my big glass go in the checked bags; they can be used to protect fragile items such as an extra pair of glasses or two. artie

  • This post is to acknowledge my comment to Artie whose knowledge and desire to share and help made me realize what I don’t know. Never having met him in person before, I had the impression that he was a rude, arrogant person that I would never want to spend time with. Yes there are a lot of AM stories out there and testament to his fame, it is hard to have a conversation with another photographer, pro or amateur without his name coming up. I decided to sign up for his event at Bosque with mixed feelings. I was surprised by his kind nature and strong desire to help each of us who attended. (Denise was a delight as well.) There’s no question that Artie has personality, but there’s no doubting his photographic knowledge. Artie, thanks.


  • avatar Charles Horndt

    My preference is the first image. I like seeing both wing tips and the color glow on the mountain edge.

  • avatar Roger G. Doughty

    I recently purchased both your DPP4 and Noise Reduction Guide. Both are must reads. My question is this: What are you currently recommending For Noise Reduction and why? Does DPP4 NR eliminate the need for Neat Image or DeFine 2?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Roger,

      Thanks for your purchases. I use only DPP NR and once in a rare while, Surface Blur on BKGR noise. That said, the decision to use NI or DeFine 2 is a personal one. best, artie

  • avatar Bob Allen

    Jack, just change the OS version to “OS X Mavericks v10.9” and the software appears in the list. Note that in order to dl the software, one must have a compatible product. I tried the sn for my 7D [“Mark I”, no Mark II for me yet] and it won’t work, which is actually ok because DPP4 cannot use the images produced by the original 7D.

    And yes, Canon should release a version specifically for OS X Yosemite 10.10. I’ll bet it will be here soon.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Bob,

      I am confused by the above. My understanding is that DPP 4 works with “Yosemite” whatever that is?

      Is that what you are saying?


  • avatar stephen sheoskie

    Artie, is there anything like DPP4 out there for Nikon users ?

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I like both but I prefer the second image. I like the sweep of the bird’s wings while at the same time it has its feet dangling, and I like the head position. I’d like it even better if the left wing also had the “fingers” spread like the right wing. Also, the mountain background is more interesting in the second image and better matches the bird. But I prefer the color in the first image.

  • Too bad there is no update for DPP4 using Yosemite OS.