Canon 600 II/1.4X III/7D II Wings Raised, Early Morning Light Roseate Spoonbill Image « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon 600 II/1.4X III/7D II Wings Raised, Early Morning Light Roseate Spoonbill Image

What’s Up?

The Hooptie IPT lucked out on our last morning… I awoke early on Thursday, even for me. I peeked out the window of my hotel room to see torrential rain with the palm trees whipping in the wind. The Tampa TV weather noted that it would be “a rainy morning with thunderstorms followed by a front bringing cold northwest winds…. “Looks and sounds like a Photoshop morning,” I thought. James called me at 5:25am and said, “The weather looks to be improving. Let’s hold for one hour. As James knew just where to put us with the NW wind we enjoyed some great spoonbill photography with lots of landing flight opportunities.

The first afternoon of the DeSoto Add-On IPT was a big success. This time it was my turn to know just where to be and we were rewarded with about a dozen species of tame shorebirds, some tame gulls and terns, and some tame herons and egrets.

This blog post took 2 hours to prepare and was published at 4:39am from my hotel room in St. Petersburg Beach, FL.

Hooptie Spoonbill Mini-IPT

The Hooptie Roseate Spoonbill Mini-IPT announced on Wednesday now has just three slots left. See our morning and Saturday-only rates below. Scroll down for additional details.

Comment from Cris Hamiltion

Cris was a participant on the recently concluded Hooptie Spoonbill IPT:

I was fortunate enough to be a participant in the Hooptie Deux/DeSoto class, which ends, sadly, tomorrow (Fri 27th). It’s been so much fun and I have learned TONS!!! Thank you, thank you, Artie!!!!! And thank you to James Shadle, the master boat commander. James is a vital and fun part of this duo. Super great guy. And, thanks to all the other participants for putting up with all my questions!!! 🙂 We had a great group and a super time.

South Georgia October 2015

Do consider joining me in South Georgia next October for the trip of a lifetime. Click here for complete details.

Save $242

Register before the end of the month for the South Georgia trip and receive a $242 discount on your return airfare. Please e-mail for details.

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This image was created at 7:48am at Alafia Banks on the clear morning of February 22, 2015 with the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop off the light blue sky 30 degrees above the horizon: 1/1250 sec. at f/6.3. AWB.

Three AF points to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo/Rear Focus/Expand AF as framed 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.

Canon 600 II/1.4X III/7D II Wings Raised, Early Morning Light Roseate Spoonbill Image

I have come to realize that the 7D II is at its best when the sun is out. With the fog and clouds I have turned most often to my 1D X bodies.

With today’s featured image the 7D II shined in early morning light.

The Image Optimization

I went without a nap on Wednesday so that I could share my optimization and clean-up techniques with the group. What would usually take me about 30 minutes took nearly an hour with the teaching and explanations added in.

For the clean-up work seen in the before and after animated GIF above I used several Quick Masks that were refined with Layer Masks and several Denise Ippolito Protective Cloning on a Layer layers. In addition I used my own Divide and Conquer technique (Clone Stamp Tool to divide and Patch Tool to conquer). Note also that I was able to control the hot WHITEs, first during conversion in DPP and then in Photoshop with NIK Detail Extractor and finally with a bit of Patch Tool work. Last was a bit of Eye Doctor work and a Contrast Mask on the bird’s face and bill.

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, 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, Contrast Masks, Digital Eye Doctor techniques, using Gaussian Blurs, Tim Grey Dodge and Burn, a variety of ways to make selections, how to create time-saving actions, the Surface Blur (background noise reduction) settings as taught to me by Denise Ippolito, 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.


You can order your copy of “The Photographers’ Guide to Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.0” (aka the DPP 4 Raw Conversion eGuide) by Arash Hazeghi and Arthur Morris by clicking here.

The DPP 4 eGuide (PDF)

Learn how and why I and many other discerning photographers choose and use only DPP 4 to convert their Canon RAW files in the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly. The latest version supports all of the newer Canon camera bodies and several older models including the EOS-7D and the EOS-1D Mark IV.


Images courtesy of and copyright Captain James Shadle (aka Froggie). All of the images here were created at Alafia Banks. Card creation and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Hooptie Deux/Roseate Spoonbill Mini IPT. 1 1/2 DAYs: $1250. SAT MAR 7 (full day) and SUN Morning MAR 8, 2015. Working lunch on Saturday included. Strict Limit: 6 photographers/Openings: 3

Either morning photo session only: $475. Saturday morning photo session plus working lunch: $525. Saturday Full Day: $775.

Two great leaders: Captain James Shadle (Nikon) and Canon Explorer of Light Arthur Morris.

Roseate Spoonbill is one of if not the most sought after avian photographic subjects in Florida. They are generally hard to find and somewhat difficult to approach. They are relatively easy to find at Alafia Banks—heck, you can’t miss seeing them, but even there they can on some days be somewhat difficult to approach. On some days we may be able to get ridiculously close to them. The huge incentive to get out to Alafia Banks in early March is the chance to photograph this species at the height of its spectacular breeding plumage….

Weather permitting there will be three boat trips: 2 mornings and 1 afternoons. Mornings at Alafia Banks for spoonbills and Brown Pelicans (with lots of flight photography with the birds likely carrying nesting material), cormorants, ibises (both Glossy and White in breeding plumage. Many of the White Ibises will be sporting their spectacular, distended, red, naked (un-feathered) throat pouches—typically larger in the females. In addition we will get to photograph egrets including Great and Reddish, both in full breeding plumage, shorebirds, and more. There will be lots of flight photography opportunities. The afternoon trip will be either to Alafia Banks for spoonbills and more or to a more sheltered inland rookery location for a variety of nesting birds. In the event of horrific weather artie will either take the group to Fort DeSoto or will conduct an image review/Photoshop session. This IPT includes one working lunch.

Important Notes

We stay in Brandon, FL for this IPT. From our hotel it is only about 20 minutes to the dock. The plan is for all sessions to be by boat. For the Alafia Banks segments, Captain Shadle provides light weight chest waders as much of the photography will be done while we are standing in fairly shallow water behind our tripods. We help you get in and out of the boat with your gear. This is likely not the best trip for folks with balance problems. Note however that some folks may opt to stay on the boat. They always have lots of good chances for flight photography of spoonbills and other species but are almost always pretty far away from the spoonbills that land.

This mini Hooptie IPT represents an incredible opportunity. It may fill quickly. We hope that you can join us. Scroll down for registration info.


All of the images here were created at Alafia Banks early in the season. Images copyright Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Card creation and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

Hooptie Mini-IPT Registration Info

Payment in full for this short notice trip is of course due upon registration. Call the office at 863-692-0906 to arrange to send us a check for payment in full (preferred) or to put the whole thing on a credit card. If by check, it should be made out to “Arthur Morris” and be mailed to 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.

However you arrange for payment, please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with the paperwork. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.


Super Price Drops

B&H is offering huge discounts on the original EOS-7D. Have you discounted this camera? Before you quit on it, be sure to check out the images created by Dan Cadiuex here and by Sally Sue South here. Both used the 7D and “only” the original 100-400…. Click here for details or to purchase.


EOS-7D Kit with the 28-135 Zoom Lens

Same great camera body plus the versatile 28-135mm zoom lens. Click here for details or to purchase.


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8 comments to Canon 600 II/1.4X III/7D II Wings Raised, Early Morning Light Roseate Spoonbill Image

  • avatar Don Thompson

    A further question regarding your comment about the 7D Mk II in low light conditions. I can’t afford the 1DX. Are you telling me that I need to stay home in low light conditions?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Don, With all due respect, I am not telling you what or what not to do. I simply shared my thoughts.

      The 7D II is fully capable of making sharp, high quality images in low light. Even of birds in flight. I will share a few 7D II low light images with you here in a few days. Then you can use my B&H affiliate link to purchase your new camera body 🙂 artie

      • avatar Don Thompson

        I suppose I could have worded my question differently. I really wasn’t expecting you to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do.

        You answered my question regarding the 7D II in low light and I look forward to seeing the photos.

        Thanks for the response!!

  • avatar Charles Thompson

    About half way down today’s post is an impressive looking ‘e-book’

    “The Photographers’ Guide to Canon Digital Photo Professional 4.0″

    I bought mine and it’s a great investment.

    Still MIA however, is the much anticipated “The Photographers’ Guide to Canon 7D II″

    Given your schedule you get an amazing amount accomplished, but I’m surely not the only one who would be grateful for a progress update.

    All the Best


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Charles. I will do my absolute best to have at least a pre-publication version available for sale before I head out to Morro Bay for the Canon Destination Workshop in mid-March. artie

  • avatar Max Warner

    Could you please elaborate on your choice of the 1 Dx over the 7 D II in low light conditions? What is better with the 1 Dx images? Less noise at high ISOs ?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      A bit less noise. 1D X colors a bit more vibrant in low light. Biggest reason: AF accuracy more accurate with the 1D X especially for flight photography.