The New BAA Photoshop Tutorial MP4 Crow Clean-up Video. And a Free Excerpt from the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II): Adding Canvas in the Unframed View « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The New BAA Photoshop Tutorial MP4 Crow Clean-up Video. And a Free Excerpt from the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II): Adding Canvas in the Unframed View

What’s Up?

On Tuesday I finished going through all of my credit card statements for my 2016 taxes. Three days of that left me bleary-eyed. I still have lots of work to do. I need Jennifer’s help but she is flying back from Boston today having flown up with Sam to get him settled in his dorm at Emerson College. I enjoyed my easy half-mile swim late in the day.

Canon 100-400 II On Sale

The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens is on sale right now from B&H for only $2049!

The Streak

Today marks thirty-seven days in a row with a new educational blog post. This one took two hours to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time, the plan now is to break the current record streak of (I think) four hundred eighty something … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Everybody’s Doing It…

Everybody’s buying and selling used gear on the BAA Used Gear Page. Sales recently have been through the roof. Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They recently folded. And eBay fees are now in the 13% range. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar at the top of each blog post.


I could not secure the lodging that I needed for the UK Puffins and Gannets IPT in Dunbar, Scotland, so I went from Hotels.Com to Booking.Com and was pleasantly surprised. I found the rooms that I needed with ease at a hotel that was not even on Hotels.Com, and it was a nice hotel that I had seen in person. And the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward.

Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.


I recently updated the IPT page. If you doubt that I am really slowing down, click here to see the meager IPT schedule. Right now there are only two US-based IPTs on the schedule. Best news is I now have two folks registered for the Fort DeSoto IPT so that will run. Do consider joining us if you would like to learn from the best.

Photographers Wanted

If you would like to learn to be a better bird photographer in person, consider joining me on either the Fort DeSoto IPT in late September or the San Diego IPT in January, 2018. With two folks signed up, DeSoto will offer practically private instruction. And you can tack on the In-the-Field/Meet-up Workshop Session on the morning of Tuesday September 26, 2017 for free. Scroll down for details. Click here for complete IPT info and the current but abbreviated schedule.

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.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use the BAA B&H links for your major and minor 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.

The DPP 4 Screen Capture for the American Crow image

The DPP 4 Screen Capture

As you can see in the DPP 4 screen capture above the bird was much too far forward in the frame because in my haste to get my butt on the ground, I did a poor job of selecting the correct AF point. Note the active AF point illuminated in red. In addition, note the plethora of specular highlights on and around the base of the bill. Get yourself a copy of the newest BAA Photoshop tutorial MP4 video to learn how I moved the bird well back in the frame and did the extensive image clean-up.

This image was also created on the morning of Friday June 16 on the beach at Carpinteria, CA with the hand held Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite bird photography camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. Daylight WB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -1.

Three AF points to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed (should have been one or two AF points to the right of the center AF point …)

American Crow foraging, the optimized version

The Image Optimization and Clean-up

All of the following is covered in detail in the in the new BAA Photoshop Tutorial MP4 Crow Clean-up Video ($20 via download).

After entering my 5D Mark IV/ISO 400 recipe, the only thing that I did of consequence during the RAW conversion in DPP 4 was to move the Shadow slider to +2. Once the converted TIFF file was in Photoshop I had lots of work to do. First I moved the bird back in the frame using techniques from APTATS II. Then, working large, I did lots of image clean-up work on the beach using my usual cadre of tools, the Spot Healing Brush, the Patch Tool, Content Aware Fill, the Clone Stamp Tool, and a small Quick Mask or two. Next note the plethora of specular highlights on and near the base I the bill — they were a result of a slightly wet bill and the perfect head angle. I eliminated all but a few those specular highlights, again by working large and using all of the tools and techniques noted above.

Cleaning up the disturbed mud, especially where I added canvas on the right, was the most difficult task. Lastly, learn to use a Gaussian Blur to smooth out splotchy clean-up work. All in all I spent about 30 minutes on this image. But, good images of American or Fish Crows are very difficult to obtain despite the fact that crows are among the most abundant and widespread birds on the continent. In addition to the basics above, the new video includes comments on my filing system, how I get the images from Photo Mechanic to DPP 4 to Photoshop, my extensive use of keyboard shortcuts, pseudo-selective sharpening with a Contrast Mask, using the Quick Selection Tool, and — even though I did not need it for this image — expanding canvas with the Crop Tool in the unframed view. (See the free excerpt on using the framed and the unframed view in Photoshop below).

Learn how to get from BEFORE to AFTER in the new BAA Photoshop Tutorial MP4 Crow Clean-up Video. Order yours here.

BAA Photoshop Tutorial MP4 Crow Clean-up Video ($20 via download)

You can order your copy of the BAA Photoshop Tutorial MP4 Crow Clean-up Video from the BAA Online Store by clicking here or by calling Jim or Jen at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand (Monday through Friday lunch time). If you are someone who learns better by following along, you can check out all of our MP4 Photoshop Tutorials by clicking here.

A Free Excerpt from the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II)

Adding Canvas in the Unframed View

There are many instances where you need to expand the canvas of the image that you are working on. Here is a quick, easy way to add to canvas left or right or top or bottom. This method works best if you are working with the unframed view. If your image has an info bar at the top and a frame around it, it is “framed.” To view the image unframed in older editions of Photoshop, simply click on the square symbol just to the left of the red X symbol on the right-hand side of the info bar. In newer versions of Photoshop like PS Creative Cloud you can get to the unframed view by going Window > Arrange > Consolidate All to Tabs (or by using my personalized shortcut Command B on a Mac, or Control B on a PC). To get back to the framed view (that I use most of the time) hit Window > Arrange > Float All in Windows (or my personalized shortcut Command F on a Mac or Control F on a PC).

Once you are in the unframed view, click on the Crop Tool symbol or hit C. If your workspace is crowded, hit Control Minus (-) a time or two to reduce the size of the image and make things more manageable. Now, to expand canvas left, for example, grab the Crop Tool love handle on the left side of the image and pull it to the left as needed. Repeat if needed top, right, and bottom. To execute the crop, double left click on the image, hit Image > Crop or Command C on a Mac, or Control C on a PC.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II) will teach you an efficient Mac/Photo Mechanic/Photoshop workflow that will make it easy for you to make your images better in Photoshop (rather than worse). That true whether you convert your images in DPP 4 or ACR. See the blog post here to learn lots more and to read a free excerpt.

You can order your copy from the BAA Online Store here, by sending a Paypal for $40 here, or by calling Jim or Jennifer weekdays at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II)

The recent MP4 Photoshop Tutorial videos releases go hand and hand with the information in the new BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. Learn more and check out the free excerpt in the blog post here. Just so you know, the new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow. Do note that you will find the RGB Curves Adjustment Color Balancing tutorial only in the new e-guide. Note: folks working on a PC and/or those who do not want to miss anything Photoshop may wish to purchase the original Digital Basics along with DB II while saving $15 by clicking here to buy the DB Bundle.

You can learn how and why I and other discerning Canon shooters convert nearly all of their Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here. And you can learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair. Folks can learn sophisticated sharpening and (NeatImage) Noise Reduction techniques in the The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly.

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.


Obviously folks attending the IPT will be out in the field early and stay late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. The good news is that the days are relatively short in October. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The Fort DeSoto 2017 Fall IPT/September 22 (afternoon session) through the full day on September 25, 2017. 3 1/2 FULL DAYs: $1649. Limit 8/openings 4.

Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for migrant shorebirds and terns in fall. There they join hundreds of egrets, herons, night-herons, gulls, and terns who winter on the T-shaped peninsula that serves as their wintering grounds. With luck, we may get to photograph two of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit and the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher almost guaranteed. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Tricolored Heron are easy as well and we will almost surely come up with a tame Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or two. We should get to do some Brown Pelican flight photography. And Royal, Sandwich, Forster’s, and Caspian Terns will likely provide us with some good flight opportunities as well. Though not guaranteed Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork would not be unexpected.

Folks who sign up for the IPT are welcome to join us on the ITF/MWS on the morning of Tuesday, September 26 as my guest. See below for details on that.

On the IPT you will learn basics and fine points of digital exposure and to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

There will be a Photoshop/image review session after lunch (included) each day. That will be followed by Instructor Nap Time.

The best airport is Tampa (TPA). Register soon so that you can be assured of a room at the IPT hotel.

A $500 deposit is due when you sign up and is payable by credit card. Balances must be paid by check after you register. Your deposit is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with ten folks so please check your plans carefully before committing. You can register by calling Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand or by sending a check as follows: make the check out to: BIRDS AS ART and send it via US mail here: BIRDS AS ART, PO BOX 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions, gear advice, and instructions for meeting on the afternoon of Friday, September 22.


Fort DeSoto in fall is rich with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or early October. I hope that you can join me there this October. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

BIRDS AS ART In-the-Field/Meet-up Workshop Session (ITF/MWS): $99.

Join me on the morning of Tuesday September 26, 2017 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images. Teleconverters are always a plus.

You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. This inexpensive afternoon workshop is designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on a BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tour. I hope to meet you there.

To register please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand to pay the nominal non-refundable registration fee. You will receive a short e-mail with instructions, gear advice, and meeting place at least two weeks before the event.


BAA Site Guides are the next best thing to being on an IPT.

Fort DeSoto Site Guide

Can’t make the IPT? Get yourself a copy of the Fort DeSoto Site Guide. Learn the best spots, where to be when in what season in what weather. Learn the best wind directions for the various locations. BAA Site Guides are the next best thing to being on an IPT. You can see all of them here.

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.

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here.


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 :).

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