Another Picture Within a Picture Square Crop. And More 5D Mark IV Crop-ability! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Another Picture Within a Picture Square Crop. And More 5D Mark IV Crop-ability!


It was cold again on Monday evening and when I woke on Tuesday morning the pool was a very chilly 67.8 degrees. By the time I got in the water it was up to a balmy 72. I swam 34 laps right after lunch and was planning on swimming another 32 laps before dinner but after getting my first of three SynVisc injections in my bone-on-bone left knee I decided to take it easy till tomorrow.

Again I went down to the lake early and late but again there was not a whole lot going on. I did get some more work done on the 5D Mark IV User’s Guide and should be finished with the text in a day or two. Then it will be time to add the illustrative images with the legendary BIRDS AS ART educational captions.

Right now it looks as if only two folks are signed up for San Diego #2 with one more interested; San Diego #1 has been sold out for some time. IPT #2 represents an amazing opportunity to enjoy some great bird photography with the spectacular breeding plumage Pacific race of Brown Pelican and to learn from possibly the finest bird photography teacher to ever walk on the planet (he said with all modesty …) This IPT is the first to offer a free morning session the day before the IPT starts. I hope that you can join me.

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$300 off on the Canon 100-400 II!

One More Day to Try the Make the Best Image Challenge

Yesterday, several more folks responded to the Make the Best Image Challenge: cropping and clean-up (if needed) blog post here. If you would like to take a crack at it, perhaps inspired by today’s blog post, do check it out and remember to first ask yourself, “What it the best part of this image?” And then look for a crop that emphasizes what you like best about the photograph. item.


If you have sent me a FB friends request that has gone unrequited, it is because I am up to the 5,000 limit on my personal FB page. You are invited to click here and then Like and Follow the identical content. 🙂

The Streak

Today makes one hundred thirty-eight days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about an hour to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections willing.

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Amazing 5D Mark IV Bundles and Deals


Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all 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.

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. Those might include system, camera body, accessory, and lens choices and decisions.

Scroll Down Slowly 🙂

Before you scroll down, decide if you would keep or delete the image below, and if the former, how you would go about handling the clipped wingtips.

This image was created at Fort DeSoto on the morning of October 21, 2017 with the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and my favorite fishing Snowy Egret photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering at zero as framed: 1/4000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB on a clear morning at 8:53am.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -2.

Left Large Zone/AI Servo/Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The system activated a single AF point as seen above.

Fishing/Dancing Snowy Egret
DPP 4 Screen Capture Showing AF Points

Getting Greedy Compositionally …

With me a good distance from the subject, I got a bit greedy in a compositional sense by opting to go with Left Large Zone, that in an effort to keep the bird out of the center of the frame … In retrospect, the framing would have been a lot better if I had gone with Center Large Zone. I have no explanation as to what the AF system was thinking or seeing at the moment of exposure with the single activated point that completely missed the bird but it is obvious that the system was successfully and accurately tracking the subject as the eye is razor sharp.

The optimized version of today’s featured image: Fishing/Dancing Snowy Egret

The Optimized Version

I considered expanding the canvas on the left and adding the clipped wingtips but with the patterns in the water there I decided to go tight and square. Again, as we saw recently in the Kill Me Why Don’t You blog post here, we see that a sharp 5D Mark IV image file is of high enough quality to stand up to a healthy crop while still maintaining a ton of fine and juicy detail. With today’s image the water droplets and the sharpness and detail of the feet, the legs, and the face and eye are quite remarkable and best viewed up close. Note also the effect of the sunlight reflected off the water on the raised right wing.


San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography. And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication. You can do most of your photography with an 80- or 100-400 lens …

Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter?


Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings.

The San Diego Details

This IPT will include four 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, three 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, three lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. Dinners are on your own so that we can get some sleep.

A $599 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance is payable only by check. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

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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.

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9 comments to Another Picture Within a Picture Square Crop. And More 5D Mark IV Crop-ability!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I love the image. Because adding wingtips or space to an image is not a skill I have, and also because it can work, I often crop an image where parts of the subject (usually a bird) are already clipped, as you have done here. Some of my favorite images have resulted. Yours is gorgeous; perfect exposure and focus and composition.

  • avatar Adam

    Lovely image and I like the capture and action. Perhaps, I would have left a bit more space in the foreground as the bird is looking down and away, but I’m remote right now and don’t have the ability to play with the crop. If one wanted to they could always extend the wing tips, but I like the closer crop.

  • avatar Frank Sheets

    Hi Artie. Absolutely love this image. Perhaps sometimes we get too hung up on the clipped wings issue. Intuitively, we know that they are there and sometimes its just nice to have the other detains in the image show up in a tighter view like this. Again,nice demonstration that an image doesn’t have to meet all the criteria the “book” says must be present for success!

    Thanks again, Frank

  • avatar James Saxon

    I like the tight crop and don’t care if all the wings are showing. With the leg up and the neck “cocked” it appears the bird is preparing to fish for a snack.

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    Agree with Mike. And the water droplets are lovely.
    Am not sure I would have come up with such a great crop, so this is good learning.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks EO. Now take that same lesson and apply it to the landing Sandwich Tern image 🙂

      with love, artie

      • avatar Elinor Osborn

        OK I tried another crop. I like the curvature of the wings,high wingtips, and sharp tail and feet so much that I tried cropping some of those but didn’t like the results. So am emailing crop #3

  • avatar Mike Cristina

    I like it. Clipping both wings is very effective. To me it creates a sense of almost being in the photo.