NIK 30-30 Razorbill & Lightroom Offer … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

NIK 30-30 Razorbill & Lightroom Offer ...

What’s Up?

I had another great morning down by the lake with the young cranes and the vultures. I moved a few dead fish around so that I could stand down on the edge of a nearby canal and was at eye level with the scavengers (with the sun right behind me of course). It was great fun and I got some really good ones. Then I picked up a friend at MCO and we enjoyed a short outing at Gatorland. With the intermittent clouds we had some good chances, way better than last week. In a few we will he heading out for some great Mexican food at El Tapatio Restaurant. I have two clients for Saturday morning and two for Sunday. What fun we will have. I will be running one last weekend meet-up in three weeks. Details TBA.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

The Streak: 29!

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 29 days in a row with a new educational blog post. As always–and folks have been doing a really great for a long time now–please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

Important Notice

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Monday July 3 through Wednesday July 12, 2017: $5999 + $1499: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 5). All who register will be required to join the (really cheap) two-day Gannet/Bass Rock Add-on. See below for details.

I will likely need to close registration for the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT/Bass Rock Add-on ($1499) on May 1 as I need to finalize the cottage reservations.

Lightroom Offer

As you may know by personal experience, many photographers have made a mess of their catalogs in Adobe Lightroom. (Please note: those are Tim Grey’s words not mine. 🙂 Tim Grey is offering a video course that can help! BAA blog folks can enjoy a 40% discount on his “Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom” bundle of video training courses. There are more than five hours of content in the “Cleaning Up Your Mess in Lightroom” video course, plus more than four hours of additional video content in bonus courses that are included in the bundle. We are also producing a series of webinar presentations exclusively for those enrolled in this bundle. The normal price is $99 for the full bundle, but you can get the bundle for only $59 by clicking here or on the logo-link above.

With this course you’ll learn how to:

  • Merge multiple catalogs into a single “master” catalog
  • Locate (and reconnect) missing folders and photos
  • Consolidate and reorganize your folders
  • Resolve metadata mismatches

Learn my thoughts on Lightroom here. Be sure to read all the comments. As most of you know, I have never used Lightroom …

This image was created on the 2016 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon 5DS R (now replaced for me by my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.) ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AWB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: 5.

Center AF points (Manual selection)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Razorbill yawning

Cloudy Afternoon Razorbill JPEG

This Razorbill image is from my favorite Inner Farnes cloudy day afternoon spot. Without clouds, this location is not even worth checking. As with several other images from that same day, I have no clue as to how I wound up shooting JPEGs. I was glad to see that the WHITEs were in the mid-240s when I brought the JPEG into Photoshop. If you overexpose the WHITEs badly with a JPEG, you will often be out of luck. One of the many advantages of shooting RAW is that minor exposure errors are always correctable and even some images with very large exposure errors are often salvageable. In any case, contrast is always greater with JPEGs and as a result, the BLACKs in the original were too dark, and the WHITEs were close to detail-less. Continue reading to learn the perfect solution

NIK Color Efex Pro 30/30 Recipe

The only problem with the out of camera JPEG was that both the WHITEs and the BLACKs needed more detail. I figured that my 50/50 Detail Extractor/Tonal Contrast recipe might be a bit of overkill so I chose my 30/30 recipe that is just a bit stronger then my 25/25 recipe. It was perfect right out of the box. I did not need to reduce the opacity and I did not need to fine-tune the effect by adding a Regular Layer Mask. I do both of those often. Take a good look at the before and after versions as the animated GIF plays. You will see that detail in both the WHITEs and the BLACKs has been brought up nicely without looking overdone. (In retrospect, while looking at the animated GIF, it seems that the bird’s back, primaries, and tail are a bit overdone (crunchy). I might have added a Regular Layer mask, set the opacity to somewhere between 50 and 30%, and painted away part of the effect only in those areas.)

And what’s the best news for folks who do not own the Color Efex Pro? You can download this great plug-ins for free by clicking here and then clicking on the blue Download button. Even better, you can download the other six plug-ins in the Google Nik Collection for free as well. If anyone knows who to download the compete collection in a single click, please share that link.

The highly skilled and creative Denise Ippolito first taught me to create recipes in NIK Color Efex Pro and for that I thank her. She was not a big fan of my 50-50 or 25-25 recipes, but within a year she saw the time-saving beauty and began using the Tonal Contrast/Detail Extractor combos.

Everything above plus tons more is of course detailed in my Digital Basics File, an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete (former PC) 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, the basics of using BreezeBrowser and Downloader Pro, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro, Digital Eye Doctor techniques, using Gaussian Blurs, Dodge and Burn, a variety of other ways of making selections, how to create time-saving actions, and tons more.

Learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair. You can learn to apply Neat Image noise reduction in The Professional Photographers Guide to Post Processing.

I am still working on an all new Current Workflow e-guide that better reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow. It will include a section on ACR conversions and a simplified method of applying Neat Image noise reduction.


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

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Monday July 3 through Wednesday July 12, 2017: $5999 + $1499: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 5).
All who register will be required to join the (really cheap) two-day Gannet/Bass Rock Add-on. See below for details. See below for details.

Here are the plans: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on July 2 and arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday July 3 no later than 10am (or simply meet us then 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 one of three gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are five days of planned puffin/seabird trips and one morning of gannet photography, all weather permitting of course. In three years we have yet to miss an entire day because of weather… In addition, we will enjoy several sessions of photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level.


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

The Details

We will get to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet; Arctic, Sandwich, and Common Terns, the former with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks. We will be staying in upscale country-side lodging that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with a private bathroom. See the limited single supplement info below.

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared by you 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.

If you wish to fly home on the morning of Monday July 10 we will get you to the airport. Please, however, consider the following tentative plans: enjoy a second Gannet boat trip on the afternoon of Monday July 10 and book your hotel room in Dunbar. If all goes as planned, those who stay on for the two extra days will make a morning landing at Bass Rock, one of the world’s largest gannetries. We will get everyone to the airport on the morning of Wednesday July 12.

Great News on the UK Puffins and Gannets/Bass Rock Extension

On the morning of Jul 10, 2017, we will sleep late and head up to Dunbar Harbor for lunch and an afternoon Gannet boat chumming trip: flight photography until you cannot lift your camera. One gannet boat trip is included in the IPT but everyone always wants more.

Then, as a possible mega bonus — we are scheduled to make a Bass Rock landing on the morning of Tuesday July 12, 2017. I am hoping to go two for two! If not, we do another chumming trip for flying gannets.

Included will be two nights lodging at the wonderful Dunsmuir hotel, two fine dining meals there, any additional meals, all boat, guide, and landing fees, and all transportation including the early morning transfer to the Edinburg Airport on the morning of WED July 12.

So far all five sign-ups are maximizing their travel dollars by signing up for the extension in part because I priced it so cheaply at $1499 despite my greatly increased costs.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2016.

Deposit Info

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome–please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on March 29, 2017. 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 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. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

Single Supplement Deposit Info

Single supplement rooms are available on a limited basis. To ensure yours, please register early. The single supplement fee is $1575. If you would like your own room, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement; your single supplement deposit check should be for $3,575. As we will need to commit to renting the extra space, single supplement deposits are non-refundable so please be sure that check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options you can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check of running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print careful even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

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 New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, 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 please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

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, and for everything else in the new store, 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 those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART 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 :).

1 comment to NIK 30-30 Razorbill & Lightroom Offer …

  • avatar Bill Coatney

    Mr Arthur

    If you will go to the following link

    Just beneath the yellow highlight that says they will not be updating the collection you see the header


    across from the header in the upper right corner, you will see a blue DOWNLOAD button
    It asks if you want Mac or Windows–

    choose your poison and it will download the exe file for the entire collection