A Nice Holiday Gift from Jim Keener « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

A Nice Holiday Gift from Jim Keener

What’s Up?

I spent most of Thursday writing the new Southern Oceans Guide that I started working on about three weeks ago. I hope to have it finished in two weeks.

I watched lots of NBA basketball. The Golden State Warriors continue to make history every day. The record now stands at 28 wins, 1 loss, the best-ever NBA start.

A Nice Holiday Gift from Jim Keener

As the BAA Online Store was down from Thursday evening through most of the day on Friday, I had put a note in yesterday’s blog stating that folks were welcome to call in their orders. (The store was back up on Friday afternoon.)

The phone rang at 1:39pm and I picked up to a pleasant voice. It was a Jim Keener calling from Albuquerque to order Digital Basics and both APTATS I and APTATS II. We chatted for a while and he told me that he had moved to Albuquerque to be close to Bosque. I was quite impressed. After I finished taking his order Jim said, “I need to thank you for changing my life, for inspiring me with your images and your teaching.”

After we hung up I e-mailed Jim and asked him to expand on what he had told me on the phone. He wrote:

I bought a lot of gear in August 2013 when I was 70 and was looking for things to photograph. I was at a friend’s home in Rancho Mirage, CA and must have been underfoot,because she handed me her Canon 400mm f/5.6 lens and told me to go outside and play. I saw a Great Egret across a pond, focused on it, and waited for it to fly. Finally it took to the air. In that instant I was hooked on bird photography. I scoured the internet for information on bird photography and found your B&H video describing the lenses you use for photographing birds and nature. After a bit more searching I found the BIRDS AS ART website, your blog, and BirdPhotographers.Net. I was amazed at the quality of guidance and the courtesy on the BPN forums–I hang out in Eager to Learn (ETL) right now, and I was amazed at the expertise that you share every day on your blog.

How nice is that?

Out of curiosity I clicked on Jim’s website and checked out his Bosque gallery. I thought that I recognized one image and then 100% for sure recognized another, a Sandhill Crane image of Jim’s that I had recently commented on in the ETL Forum. You can find that thread here. There were lots of reposts including two by me but the image was still not looking very good so I asked Jim if he would kindly send me the RAW file. He did.


This JPEG accurately represents the RAW file that Jim sent to me via a Dropbox.

My Final BPN Comment

Again, you can find the whole thread here.

Thanks for sending me the RAW file Jim. I converted it in DPP 4 and used my standard Photoshop workflow most especially including Filter/Blur/Surface Blur on the background only, some Eye Doctor work, and my NIK Color EFX Pro 50/50 recipe at 35%. Total time: about 4 minutes….

Your RAW file was about a full stop underexposed; this is not what you want to go with a 7D III ISO 1600 file . And your crop was way too tight…..

Non-the-less there was a pretty good image in your RAW file.



This is the image that I created from his under-exposed RAW file after converting it in DPP 4. Notice that the background is pretty darned smooth.

Digital Basics

Everything that I did to optimize Jim’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, Dodge and Burn, a variety of ways to make selections, how to create time-saving actions, the Surface Blur settings that I use to smooth background noise, and tons 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. Please call Jim or Jennifer weekdays at 863-221-2372 to take advantage of this special offer. You can find the same deal in the BAA Online Store here.


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)

The RAW file for today’s image was of course converted in DPP 4. 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. The DPP IV Guide is the ideal companion to the 7D Mark II User’s Guide, a runaway best seller.

The DPP 4 eGuide (PDF) Updated for 1D Mark IV and the original 7D

The DPP 4 eGuide was recently updated to include the luminance and chrominance noise reduction values for both the 1D Mark IV and the original 7D. If you purchased your copy from BAA please e-mail Jim and request the DPP 4 1d IV/7D update. Please be sure to cut and paste page 1 into your e-mail as proof of purchase.

DPP 4 Kudos

From Richard Gollard via e-mail:

I have been doing tons of studying the books and PDFs that I have purchased from BIRDS AS ART. And I have to say that after reading the DPP 4 conversion guide that you did with Arash Hazeghi I tried DPP 4 and was blown away with the difference from the conversions that I made with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. Thanks for the consistently great information.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod heads, Gitzo tripods, Wimberley heads and plates, LensCoats and accessories, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. I just learned that my account was suspended during my absence; it should be up and running by Monday at the latest.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and visiting the BAA Online store as well.


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


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right 🙂

3 comments to A Nice Holiday Gift from Jim Keener