Brown Pelican Scratching in Flight K7690 Save … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Brown Pelican Scratching in Flight K7690 Save ...


We left at 5:36am on Thursday morning and made it to Gatorland just before 7am. We had some very good chances for the first 90 minutes. Once it got really sunny we concentrated on birds in flight. Jake Levin of Montreal joined us to hang out. As I type, we are on the way to Brandon to meet the second Spoonbill IPT group. I threw in a free afternoon at a local rookery for the first one and did the same thing on Thursday.

On Monday I fly to Phoenix for my second round of nine Postural Restoration therapy sessions.

I was glad to learn recently of the following happenings on the Used Gear Page:

Greg Morris sold a Canon EOS-1DX in near-mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $2499.00 and a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the old five) in very good plus condition for $3447 (was $3700) in mid-February.
Ann Nguyen is sold her Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens (the original version) in excellent plus condition to a friend for $2500 but did not realize that she owed me a check for $73.75, 2 1/2% of the original listing price. A third party inquired about the lens, learned that it had been sold, and notified me. Once I contacted Ann she quickly made things right.
David R. Gibson sold a Canon EOS-1D Mark III on eBay for $519. He cheerfully sent me a check for $25 to cover the minimum listing fees.
Multiple IPT veteran Gil Moe sold a brand new in the box Canon BG-E20 Battery Grip for EOS 5D Mark IV for $259 in early February.
Galapagos IPT veteran Paul Reinstein sold his Canon EF 100mm f2.8 USM macro lens in near-mint condition (but for a speck of dirt near the center of the lens) for $225 on e-Bay in late January and gladly forked over $25 🙂 Thanks Paul!

The Streak

Today makes two hundred seven 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 and my continuing insanity willing.

This image was created on the morning of Tuesday, February 20, 2018 while standing thigh deep in Tampa Bay next to the Hooptie Deux. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the Nikon D850. ISO 1000. Matrix metering +1 stop as originally framed: 1/1600 sec. at f/6.3. K7690 WB at 7:29am with some sweet early morning light.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF. Above are the ACR default settings.

Brown Pelican scratching in flight


When I am using a high Kelvin setting in the field to juice up sunrise or sunset colors, I generally remember to change the WB setting the moment that I turn away from the sun. On Tuesday morning past, I forgot to do that. I did not realize my error until well into the morning session, in part because I am not quite used to the colors on the Nikon LCDs. In yesterday’s blog post, I wrote:

While you can always change the white balance during the RAW conversion, shooting all morning at K7690 can be problematic as most of the images will look over-saturated/over-exposed during a laptop review; apparent sharpness is affected as well. None-the-less I was able to create lovely versions of many of my favorites.

Above you see the horrible yellow cast that resulted from mistakenly being at K7690. The image is as it appeared in ACR with the ACR defaults.

Above are the ACR settings that I made to convert today’s featured image. Click on the image so that you are better able to read the fine print.

Brown Pelican scratching in flight

The ACR Corrections

Note that the color has been corrected nicely, that the YELLOW cast has been eliminated, and that the WHITEs and highlights have been toned down. Compare the sliders with the default settings above. I was surprised at the considerable vignetting at f/6.3. I will try f/7.1 this weekend in similar situations. Note that I failed to correct the vignetting during the RAW conversion (using the fx (Effects) tab. I almost always forget to do that in Photoshop with my NEF files because DPP 4 automatically corrected the vignetting when I loaded the appropriate camera body/ISO recipe. Eliminating the vignetting in Photoshop is somewhat of a pain as there are four sliders to adjust in addition to the Amount slider …

This image was created on the morning of Tuesday, February 20, 2018 while standing thigh deep in Tampa Bay next to the Hooptie Deux. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the Nikon D850. ISO 1000. Matrix metering +1 stop as originally framed: 1/1600 sec. at f/6.3. K7690 WB at 7:29am with some sweet early morning light.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Above is the optimized image.

Brown Pelican scratching in flight

The Optimized Image

Note as always how well the D850 images stand up to a healthy crop. It took a bit of work to get around the problems caused by K7690 but none of those were insurmountable. And I am hoping that it is a lesson that I will not soon forget. I remembered on Thursday morning at Gatorland. And I had had K7690 set from Wednesday night at ILE … Maybe there is hope for me.

Brown Pelican Scratching in Flight

The funny thing is that I have photographed pelicans a zillion times and can rarely recall seeing one scratching in flight; the scratching in flight posture is very strange. And while I may have seen the behavior a few times in the past 30+ years, I have never had a chance to photograph it. The bird in today’s featured image scratched for only a few seconds at most. An hour after I made this image — the light was still not bad — I was in the process of moving my tripod when a bird at even closer range and not far off sun angle began to scratch. I made no effort to get my tripod back on the ground because I assumed that the bird would quickly quit scratching. As you might have guessed the bird kept scratching and scratching and scratching for about twenty seconds … And I got nothing 🙂

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4 comments to Brown Pelican Scratching in Flight K7690 Save …

  • I got a somewhat similar shot with you that same morning. I thought the pelican was about to dive but you know a lot more about this bird’s behavior. I would post the photo here but don’t know how. will email it to you. I’m putting in the website block my flickr address for an album that has this and a bunch more shots from this great trip I had the privilege of experiencing with you. I’d appreciate your comments on what I got as a rank beginner.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Patrick, Thanks again for joining us and for your kind words. I have been swamped and am far behind with e-mails. I will answer all of yours now.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Adam

    Yes, what is with the vignetting? Is that something to be expected with the 600 wide open or does it only occur with the 1.4 tc?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      You can typically expect vignetting at the wide open aperture; in this case that is f/5.6. Usually stopping down 1/3 stop as here would clean that up. In this case it did not. Darkening the image increased the vignetting.

      with love, artie