Back in the Saddle! I Forgot About Them Turkeys … And Simple Basic Image Cleanup. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Back in the Saddle! I Forgot About Them Turkeys ... And Simple Basic Image Cleanup.


The shoulder continues to feel better but there is still lots of impingement with abduction and flexion. But everyday it becomes a bit easier to do the everyday things with my left arm that we take for granted. I did not lift a finger on the Nikon Focus Fine-tune Guide on Thursday. As always, writing good how-to is a time consuming challenge and I was quite busy.

Back in the Saddle

I went down to the lake for the first time in too long on Wednesday evening. It was cold and windy. I was thrilled to find a pair of cranes with two tame chicks but was about five minutes too late to make and nice backlit images. I was glad to learn that I could easily manage the 600 on the BLUBB with my bad left wing. I went back down on Wednesday morning 100% sure that I would see the crane chicks in the exact same spot. I did not. I will head back down again Friday morning to look for them. Despite the strong NW winds in the morning, I did have lots of fun with the turkey hens and a pair of Ospreys on the ground. And I did some flight photography with the hand held D5 and the 200-500.

It felt good to get out and do some photography. But it was probably not the smartest thing to be doing quite yet …

The Streak

Today makes two hundred thirty-five 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 try to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Patrick Sparkman saved $350 on a recent purchase!

The Used Gear Page

Action on the Used Gear Page recently has been fantastic. You can see all current listings here.

Recent Sales

Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for only $1,219.00 on the first day of listing.
Jim Burns recently sold his EOS-1D Mark IV body in excellent plus condition for a BAA record low $998; not sure exactly when 🙂
David Solis sold a brand new Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA 3 1 TB wireless photo/video memory card backup for $399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 300 mm f/2.8L IS USM (the original version) lens in excellent plus condition for $2399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM (the “old five”) in excellent plus condition with perfect glass for the BAA record low price of $3399.00.
Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM zoom lens in mint condition to a local buyer and is sending me a check for 2 1/2% of the original asking price of $1599.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 50 f/2 R WR lens in like-new condition for only $299 in early March.
Rajat Kapoor sold his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (the “old 1-4”) in near-mint condition the first day is was listed for $649.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in near-mint condition and a Canon EF 1.4 III teleconverter in very good condition for $3,599.00 right after listing them in early March.
Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition for $798 soon after it was listed in early March.

In addition, the sale of John Norris’s Canon 1DX Mark II — premium kit — (with less than 2,000 actuations!) in like-new condition but for a few small scuff marks for top left and bottom right for the BAA record-low price of $3,996.00 became pending on the first day it was listed.

This image was created on the morning of March 22, 2018 at ILE with the BLUBB-supported Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR AF lens the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the Nikon D850. ISO 800. Matrix metering at ZERO: 1/1250 sec at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AUTO2 WB at 8:02am on a clear morning.

d-9/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the turkey’s upper back, just about on the same plane as its eye.

Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +4.

Wild Turkey hen

I Forgot About Them Turkeys …

I saw the dark forms on the grass from about a quarter mile away, at the far end of the north field. I knew exactly what they were. Wild Turkey come down to the lake to feed regularly in early spring. Most of them are hens but at times they are joined by some big spectacular toms. On average I will be seeing them every other day from now through May.

Click on the image to for a larger version.

The original for today’s featured image, with lots of flaws …

Simple Basic Image Cleanup

The straightforward RAW conversion was done in ACR. As you can see in the before version above, there were more than a few distracting elements to deal with: the single stalk lower right; the brown crud behind the bird’s tail; a few vertical stalks of grass in the background; and lot of round sort of large specular highlights also in the background.

I used the Patch Tool on the single stalk lower right but needed to clean things up with two small Quick Masks refined by Regular Layer Masks. The crud was covered with a single large Quick Mask refined by Regular Layer Mask. I used the Patch Tool on the vertical stalks and a large Spot Healing Brush on the distracting circles. To smooth out the background I created a duplicate layer, ran a 59 pixel Gaussian Blur on that, applied a Hide-All (Inverse or Black) Mask and then hit B + D + X and painted in the effect on the out-of-focus background being careful to avoid he subject.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II) will teach you an efficient Mac or PC/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)

Your guessed it, everything mentioned above and tons more is covered in detail in the 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. While the new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow, folks using a PC and/or BreezeBrowser will also benefit greatly by studying the material on DB II. 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.

The two most recent and many of the older MP4 Photoshop Tutorial videos releases go hand and hand with the information in DB II):

  • The Wingtip Repairs MP4 Video here.
  • The MP4 Crow Cleanup Video here.

Folks who learn well by following along rather than by reading can check out the complete collection of MP 4 Photoshop Tutorial Videos by clicking here.

You can learn how and why I converted nearly all of my Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here. And, yes, I still have many Canon images to work on. 🙂 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.

Early Spring Photo Opportunities at ILE

BIRDS AS ART First-ever Master Class

Master Class. Two Full and two Half Days/Friday afternoon, March 30 through lunch on Monday, April 2, 2018: $1999.00. Limit: 4/Openings 3.

The Master Classe will be a small group — strictly limited to four photographers — with the first folks who register having the option of staying at my home ($50/night) or at a chain motel in nearby Lake Wales. Live, think, and breathe photography from Friday afternoon through lunch on Monday (late-morning); all meals included. There will be three afternoon photo sessions (FRI – SUN) hopefully with glorious sunsets like the ones you saw one the blog in December we should have good opportunities with the cranes even in the afternoon. We will enjoy three morning photography sessions (SAT – MON) with the main subjects being tame Sandhill Cranes almost surely with chicks or colts. Also vultures and Cattle Egrets and more. Limpkins are possible. Intermediate telephoto lenses are fine for the cranes, even the chicks at times. A 500 or 600mm lens would be best for many of the situations that we will encounter.

During the day we will sit together around my dining room table and pick everyone’s keepers and enjoy guided Photoshop sessions. On Monday before lunch, folks can make a single large print of their favorite image from the weekend. If you so choose, I will micro-adjust one of your lenses (at one focal length with your #1 camera body–Canon or Nikon) during a group instructional session. All will be welcome to practice what they have learned during the breaks using my set-up and my lighting gear.

To register, please first shoot me an e-mail to check on availability. Then you will be instructed to call Jim or Jen at 863-692-0906 during weekday business hours (except for Friday afternoons) to leave you non-refundable (unless the session sells out) $500 deposit. Only the deposit may be left on credit card. Balances must be paid by check immediately after you register (unless you wish to pay by credit card plus 4% to cover our fees).

I hope that you can join me on this new adventure.

with love, artie

ps: bring your bathing suit if you would like to try my pool.

Tame birds in breeding plumage and chicks are great fun.

Gatorland IPT #2. Sunrise: 6:48am. Sunset: 7:58pm.

3 1/2 DAYs: THURS 26 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1599. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 3.

Must purchase Gatorland Photographers Pass. Click here for details. All early entry. Late stays Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Gatorland IPT #2 should have lots of chicks, and lots of birds in breeding plumage. We will get to photograph Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, and Wood Stork. The Cattle Egrets in full breeding plumage will be present in good numbers. Learn my Gatorland strategy, to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret Gatorland spots, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations.

Help 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. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. 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 🙂

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 :).

2 comments to Back in the Saddle! I Forgot About Them Turkeys … And Simple Basic Image Cleanup.

  • Hey, Art, I’m concerned about your shoulder. I did all the things you are doing and finally went to an orthopedist who X-rayed my shoulder and told me it was the worst shoulder joint he’d ever seen. Now, more than a year after my total shoulder replacement, I am pain free and have the ROM I need for everyday activities. Do have it x-rayed.
    Bobby and I are coming down to our usual haunts in Florida April 5-15th. That invitation to lunch is still on.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks. My goal is to avoid shoulder surgery of any kind at all costs 🙂 It was a bad fall but I am getting better slowly. Please do not forget that the last orthopedic surgeon I saw told me three months ago that I needed knee replacement surgery “tomorrow.” After two visits to Phoenix my left knee is 99.8% fine and pain free …

      Thanks for the lunch invite.

      with love, artie

      ps: it was x-rayed the next day 🙂