Dime a Dozen Part II: Perspective Choice. And Understanding the Sun/Subject/Photographer on a Straight Line Concept. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Dime a Dozen Part II: Perspective Choice. And Understanding the Sun/Subject/Photographer on a Straight Line Concept.


Wednesday morning down by the lake was not bad. Best of all was a Red-shouldered Hawk on the tall skinny perch that we put up about 60 yards north of The Perch. And I did some neat video of a preening, displaying Boat-tailed Grackle. The evening was a total bust — the western sky was clear as a bell. The wind was from the west, great for most bird photography with your shadow pointed at the birds but terrible for silhouettes as the birds are facing directly away from you …

I swam my slow 3/4 mile in a positively toasty pool: just over 80 degrees. Another cold front is on its way. ๐Ÿ™‚

Right now it is looking as if the 5D Mark IV User’s Guide will be in the BAA Online Store available for purchase on Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Merry Christmas.

Click on the logo-link above for great holiday savings!
$300 off on the Canon 100-400 II!


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. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Streak

Today makes one hundred forty-six days in a row with a new educational blog post! This seemingly simple blog post took one hour twenty-eight minutes 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.

Click here for Amazing 5D Mark IV Bundles and Deals

Here is the best news: those who have used a BAA B&H affiliate link to purchase a 5D Mark IV (or other items totaling $3200 or more) are invited to send us a copy of their B&H receipt via e-mail and receive a free copy of the guide. If you would like to review the document before it is published, please send your receipt now. This offer is also valid for future purchases.


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 questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

This image was created down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL at sunset on Sunday, December 7, 2017. I used the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens with the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 560mm) and my favorite silhouette photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/8 in Av mode. WB = K8000. At 5:24pm.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -2.

Right Large Zone AF. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Sandhill Crane yawning

Dime a Dozen Part II: Perspective Choice. And Understanding the Sun/Subject/Photographer on a Straight Line Concept.

The key to the success of this image was bending my knees and stooping down a bit to place the bird’s head in the YELLOW, pretty much perfectly framed by the RED above and below. The white-hot edge of the sun was actually on the left edge of this frame; it was eliminated with a small crop. For nearly all of my bird photography, my subject, the sun, and me are on a straight line. The order looks like this: sun behind me, me, and the subject. When I am creating silhouettes, everything is on a straight line but the order is different: the sun is in front of me and the subject is in front of me and in front of the sun, like this: sun, subject, me. All on a straight line. In this manner, the silhouette effect and the colors are at their most intense.

ILE Master Classes

I will be announcing a series of three-day weekend BIRDS AS ART Master ClasseS based here in Indian Lake Estates in March and April. The Master Class sessions will include small group photography of Sandhill Cranes and their chicks and colts, dime a dozen sunset silhouette photography sessions, and hours of guided image review and image optimization. You will live photography with me for three days.

NeatImage Noise Reduction

Again I applied a fast and dirty layer of NeatImage noise reduction to completely eliminate the remaining luminance noise in the darkest REDs. By “fast and dirty” I mean that I applied the noise reduction in one step to the bird and the background (as opposed to selecting the bird, applying less noise reduction, and applying more noise reduction to the background). I opted to do it in one step because the dark tones on the bird were noisier than the background. You can learn more about NeatImage in the blog post here and in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. The highly advanced NeatImage techniques are covered in detail in the The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly.

2017 in San Diego was a very good year ….

2018 San Diego 3 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART IPT #2: Sunday, JAN 28 thru and including the morning session on Wednesday, JAN 31, 2018 and a free morning session on Saturday, JAN 27: 3 1/2 days (+1/2 free day!): $1699. Limit: 8: Openings: 4.

Meet and Greet at 6:30pm on the evening before the IPT begins; Saturday, Jan 27, 2018.

San Diego IPT #2: Shorter and Less Expensive!

Join me in San Diego near the end of January to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (usually nesting and displaying) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Wood Duck and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Whimbrel, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seal (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lion; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well. Please note: formerly dependable, both Wood Duck and Marbled Godwit have been declining at their usual locations for the past two years …


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.

Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. with love, artie

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.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store ๐Ÿ™‚

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 :).

7 comments to Dime a Dozen Part II: Perspective Choice. And Understanding the Sun/Subject/Photographer on a Straight Line Concept.

  • Hey Arthur, Great silhouette lesson here. Have you ever tried using live view with the touch screen to focus? I know it’s probably not very practical. Just curious.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Once in a great while when I am on a tripod. Might be great for video …Thanks for your kind words. For me the best thing about the touch screen with the 5D IV is how easy it makes it to enter your name and copyright info.

      with love, artie

  • avatar ChicagoJeff

    Artie – I’m also looking forward to the Mark IV guide. BTW, can you show an image with and without LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment? I just picked up a used 5D Mark IV. How important is it to use the lens micro-adjustments?

    ื—ึฒื ึปื›ึธึผื”โ€ฌ khanukรก & Happy holidays.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for the holiday wishes CJ. I do not shoot before and after MA images. With many combinations of camera bodies, TCs, and lenses MA in the range of +2 to -2 surely do not make any great difference in the images. But when you get above or below +/- 5 you would surely see a difference. And right now my 600 II/2X III i combo with my 1D IV i needs -10 as you have been seeing here on the blog. As with yesterday’s slow shutter speed Black Vulture …

      with love, artie

  • avatar James Saxon

    Love the image with all the color. The open mouth and hole in the beak break up the black which creates a much stronger composition. The image is uncluttered and works. I would enter this in competitions and print large. Another well done image.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Many thanks. I try ๐Ÿ™‚ And the sunsets have been pretty darned good most nights. And the cranes are always there …

      with love, artie

  • Can’t wait for the user guide. All your guides are sooooooo easy to understand and follow.

    One of the things I love about the Crane shots, is the little opening in the beak. For me, it makes the silhouette stand out even more.

    The Canon guide for the Mark IV is like 600 pages long…yikes!

    The Canon guide has a lot of fluff I don’t care about. Your guides have the stuff I need to know about.

    If you don’t mind me asking…are you still primarily using the CF card or the SDXC cards in the Mark IV?

    Thanks, Doug