Another Image Within An Image Lesson. Some Used Gear Comments. And the Lowest Priced Ever Canon 600mm II. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Another Image Within An Image Lesson. Some Used Gear Comments. And the Lowest Priced Ever Canon 600mm II.


Thursday, April 19, 2918, 10:15am: I began working on this blog post on the way to Lake Wales Hospital. They called and asked if I could come an hour earlier. Heck, that meant an hour less of not eating ๐Ÿ™‚

12:10pm: Chatted with Dr. Howard and the anesthesiologist.

12:25pm: Anesthesia started. Goodbye!

2:00pm: In recovery room; totally looped.

2:40pm: Back in my out-patient room. Was feeling quite groggy when I woke.

3:50pm: I learned that the surgery went well. Doctor Howard said that he did a great job with the inguinal hernia repair. ๐Ÿ™‚ I see him in his office on Wednesday morning. Anita North is driving and Jim is warming up some fish curry for me; I am looking forward to chowing down. I continued working on this blog post on the ride home and took my first two pain pills.

4:20pm: Home sweet home. The curry was great.

10:00pm: I absolutely cannot believe how good I feel …

Thanks to All

With the injured shoulder, the recently concluded DeSoto IPT, and the hernia surgery, I have gotten more than a bit behind on e-mails, especially some Used Gear Sales business. Many thanks for your patience. I will have lots of time to rest for the next week and will be catching up.

1DX Mark II

If you are interested in a well-used Canon EOS-1DX Mark II in excellent plus condition please shoot me an e-mail for the details.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred sixty-four days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 90 minutes prepare including the time spent on the image optimization. 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.

This image was created on the 2nd San Diego IPT on the morning of January 30 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 800. Matrix metering at zero: 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode was somewhat of an underexposure. AUTO0 WB at 8:30am in rare cloudy conditions.

Center Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuos (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The array was centered on the bill of the pelican on our left. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Brown Pelicans, Pacific race, communicating/this is the original image capture

Another Image Within An Image Lesson

As with the Canon 5DS R and the Canon 5D Mark IV, but to an even greater degree, working with the Nikon D850 allows you to work wider than usual, take liberties with cropping, and still wind up with superb image quality. In the same vein, it is often possible to figure out an aggressive crop that enables you to turn a mess into a nice image. As with today’s featured image.

Before you scroll down to see my optimized version, try to figure out exactly how you would crop the original. And make a plan for the image optimization. Try answering these two questions as you plan:

  • What would you do with the upper bird on the right frame-edge?
  • What would you do with the adult pelican head in the lower right?

Scroll down to see what I came up with.

Dark-siders: Please Do Not Take This Personally

I have been saying this for a while: after many years in the business of brokering used gear sales, one pattern that I have seen is that most Nikon folks think that there stuff is worth a lot more than it actually is. That especially with regard to the sale of the older 600mm lenses, some of which weigh in the 12-14 pound range. If you can shed any light as to why this might be the case, I’d love to hear from you.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog 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 went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Some Used Gear Comments

#1: I am totally shocked that the items listed below did not sell quickly.

#2: I have been fairly criticized at times for encouraging folks to price their gear too low. That at times when several items sell on the first day of listing …

#3: Many of you may not know that I almost always suggest a range of prices and give folks the final say. What often happens is that when the pick the higher price the stuff does not sell … And most of the time when they go with the lower price the stuff sells very quickly. I have learned that there is a very fine line. That said, there have been rare times when the seller opted for the highest price and the item sold quickly. In those cases I love to apologize for being wrong

Priced to Sell Now Items

Wimberley Sidekick & Wimberley F-6 Sidekick Flash Bracket

Price reduced $50 on April 20, 2018!

Gene Scarborough is also offering a Wimberley Sidekick # SK-100 and a Wimberley F-6 Sidekick Flash Bracket, both in excellent condition, for only $249 (was $299). The sale includes insured ground shipping via a major courier (US addresses only).ย  If paid by personal check, the items will not ship until the check clears, unless other arrangements are made.ย  Payment by USPS money order or bank cashierโ€™s check is preferred.ย  Please contact Gene via e-mail at or by text message or phone at 919-428-5495 (Eastern time).

Please contact Gene via e-mail or by text message or phone at 1-919 428 5495 (Eastern time).

Folks who are using a short lens on a camera body one minute and a telephoto lens the next often do well with the Sidekick (ballhead required). artie

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

BAA Record-Low, Shock-the-world Price Reduced $395!

Greg Morris is offering a barely used EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens in mint to like-new condition with extras for the BAA record low price of $8,999.00 (was $9394.00). The sale includes the LensCoat that has protected this lens since day one, a RRS stuff foot (installed), the original foot, the lens trunk, the original box and everything that came in it: front cover, rear cap, manuals, & the rest, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your personal of certified check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Greg via e-mail or by phone at 1-580-678-5929 (Central time).

WMD: Weapon of Mass Destruction!

The 600 II is the state of the art super-telephoto for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports. When I could get it to my location, it was my go-to weapon. It is fast and sharp and deadly alone or with either TC. With a new one going for $11,499, you can save a cool $2,500.00 by grabbing Greg’s might-as-well-be-new lens right now. artie

Canon EOS 40D/EF 28-135mm IS Zoom Lens Kit (with extras)

Price Reduction

David Solis is offering a Canon EOS 40D/EF 28-135 mm IS USM kit with both items in excellent condition for the amazing, ridiculously low price of $249 (was $349.00.) With the camera body the sale includes the original box, the front body cap, LCD screen protectors, and one Delkin 16 GB (60 MB/s, 450x) compact flash card. With the lens the sale includes the front lens cap, the lens hood — EW-78B II — in good condition, a B+W 72mm 010 (UV) filter, a Tiffen 72mm circular polarizer filter, a Tarmac soft pouch 3-filter holder, the user manuals, the EOS Digital Solution Disk, four Canon BP-511A camera batteries, two Canon CG-580 battery chargers, the interface & video cables, a new Canon camera strap, and the BG-E2n battery grip, the 6-AA-battery magazine — BGM-E2 — as an alternative to using two camera batteries, and insured ground shipping via UPS to U.S. addresses only. Photos are available on request. Your purchase will not ship until your check clears the bank.

Please contact David via e-mail or phone at 1-(505) 699-4968 (Mountain time Zone). No text messages please.

The 40D was Denise Ippolito’s favorite camera body. She rued the day that she sold it to get the original 7D. The 40D has an excellent AF system and produces clean 10.1 megapixel files. The 28-135 was the forerunner of the two versions of the 24-105L IS zooms. I used my 28-135 for many years to create a variety of B-roll images, most notably was one of a baby Common Raven in a nest below the roadway of a bridge in Nome, AK. Several folks held my ankles as I hung over the side to get the image. This kit would make a great starter rig for beginning photographers of any age. artie


BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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!


Several folks on the DeSoto IPT used the Booking.Com link below, got great rates, and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. 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 on the 2nd San Diego IPT on the morning of January 30 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 800. Matrix metering at zero: 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode was somewhat of an underexposure. AUTO0 WB at 8:30am in rare cloudy conditions.

Center Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuos (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The array was centered on the bill of the pelican on our left. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Brown Pelicans, Pacific race, communicating; this is the cropped, optimized version

Got a Title?

If you can come up with a neat, clever, or humorous title, please leave it in a comment; I have one. ๐Ÿ™‚

The Image Optimization

After moving the WHITE slider to the right and making a few other small adjustments, I converted the image in ACR. Next was the obviously vital crop. While I am sure that there are many similar crops that would work well here, I would likely not change a pixel. My 3X2 crop included the bird on the right frame-edge and the head of the adult in the lower right corner. All that while planning to eliminate the young pelican and leave the head of the adult.

To eliminate the upper bird I painted a Quick Mask of the ocean background, covered two birds on the right, and added a Regular Layer Mask. Then — working large — I painted the adult’s head back in and then hit X to paint away the small grey border that remained from the upper bird. Because the head of the bird in the lrc was nicely out of focus, that chore was an easy one. Then I put the whole thing on a layer and applied the White Neutralize in Color EFEX Pro. The result was too funky so I reduced the opacity to 30%. That was much better. Next I carefully selected all three birds and applied my NIK 30/30 + Pro Contrast filter. This was great on the adult bird but overdone on the two young birds so I added a Regular Layer Mask and painted the effect away on the two young birds at 50%. That was looking good. Then I did some large Patch Tool work to eliminate some of the dark areas of the background. As those looked a bit lumpy in spots I put the whole thing on a layer, applied a 75-pixel Gaussian Blur, covered that with a Hide-all (Black or Inverse) Mask, and painted in the effect with a large soft brush being sure to stay well away from the edges of all the birds. Last was some Eye Doctor Work using Tim Grey Dodge and Burn to lighten the pupil of the bird on our left and bring the image to life.

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

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

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 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 :).

13 comments to Another Image Within An Image Lesson. Some Used Gear Comments. And the Lowest Priced Ever Canon 600mm II.

  • avatar Jordan Cait

    Hope you feel better soon. Image Caption: “Big Bill for a Peck on the Cheek”

  • avatar James Saxon

    Wish you good luck with your recovery.

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks Jake, Don M, Guido, and Krishna. Once the heavy stuff from the surgery wore off I have some pain when getting up. But still feel relatively fine.

    with love, artie

  • Wish you a Speedy Recovery Artie.

  • avatar Guido Bee

    All the best for a full and speedy recovery.
    I’m sure the birds are awaiting your return, so don’t rush it.
    Get well soon, from one of the “dark side” guys.
    Great pelican shots, as usual.

  • avatar Don M.

    I absolutely cannot believe how good I feel โ€ฆ It’s the fish curry – does it every time!

    Get well soon Artie,

    Don M.

  • avatar Jake

    Hi Artie,
    Best wishes for a fast recovery. How about “You’ve got some food on your face … just there”. Love the humour of the image, I would leave the adult in the corner in.

  • avatar frank sheets

    Hi Artie,

    Hope you are doing well this AM with the surgery and recovery is really quick. Love the interaction among the pelicans. I think the one on the right is saying “yeh, right there, now a little lower”. If it were my image I might be considering taking out the adult on the right to focus a bit more on the behavior. Just me.

    Heal quick!, Frank

  • avatar Roger Botting

    Hope for a speedy recovery on the hernia.