Making Lots of Progress on the Sony Camera Videos and e-Guide. An e-Mail Conversation with Fred. And yet another sweet Bald Eagle image with Photoshop tips « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Making Lots of Progress on the Sony Camera Videos and e-Guide. An e-Mail Conversation with Fred. And yet another sweet Bald Eagle image with Photoshop tips

What’s Up?

Sunday past, the last day of the first Homer IPT, was yet another fantastic one. All but two folks from the first group are on their way home. One is staying for the second IPT, the other flies to Anchorage this afternoon, Monday 2 MAR 2020. Everyone was thrilled and sated with great eagle images. Two folks from this year’s IPT have already signed up for three sessions next year between them! I will be picking up the rest of the second IPT gang this afternoon and early evening.

With my lone day off today, I have been working a ton on the big SONY e-Guide. We get closer to completion every day.

The Sony Camera Videos and Pre-publication e-Guide Costs and Discount Info

The cost of the SONY e-Guide is $100.00 US and will include one of the camera set-up videos — we offer one video each for the a7r iii, the a7r iv, the a9, and the a9 ii — and the written guide with the galleries. The guide is now 98% done and you will — of course, receive the final version when it is completed. I sent out the third draft today to those who have purchased the Guide with or without the discount.

Folks who have used my B&H links or purchased their SONY gear from Bedfords will receive said discount based exactly on how much they spent. If you spent more than $10,000 you will receive one free video and the e-Guide. Additional camera videos are $25.00 each. If you spent $2400, you will receive a 24% discount, and so on and so forth. And again, additional camera videos will be $25.00 each.

I will need time to verify your B&H purchases so folks will need to send their receipts and then be a bit patient. It is much easier to verify Bedfords’ purchases but I need those receipts as well.

If you have not used BAA links, please do so in the future. If that is the case and you would like the e-Guide now, please send a Paypal for $100 US to and be sure to include the words “SONY Pre-publication Guide” in the Paypal e-mail along with the name of your camera or cameras so that you can receive the correct video or videos. Please add $25 for each additional camera video. Be sure to send a copy of the Paypal transaction to me via e-mail.

Folks who have used BAA links to purchase their SONY gear should send their receipts to me via e-mail asap and let me know which camera videos they need. I will verify their purchases as quickly as possible and send a quote to be paid via Paypal as above.

Thanks to all who have properly used my B&H links or gone through the fabulous Steve Elkins at Bedfords, and thanks to everyone for having faith in the information that I provide, knowing that it will be the best available anywhere.

An e-mail conversation with Fred Innamorato

AM: Hi Fred,


FI: There is no need for a discount on your new SONY e-Guide. Your help over the years is so greatly appreciated.

You are most kind.

I am sure you put a lot of time and thought into making the instructional video and the e-Guide. I am also grateful for what you do.

AM: 🙂

FI: I really don’t know how I would have gotten to the level of making quality photographs that I currently am at without you … Two years ago I knew absolutely nothing about bird photography. Your book, The Art of Bird Photography is a classic that a good friend recommended. He advised me that any serious bird shooter needs to read it. Wow, that was excellent advice! It is the best and most effective instructional bird photography book I have ever read.

AM: Many thanks for your kind words and thoughts.

FI: Your Blog has educated and informed and explained the best camera equipment to purchase. From Canon to Nikon to SONY! I would have never known to make the switch from Canon to SONY. You were way ahead of the curve on this call. All my more experienced photographer friends are now moving to SONY. Who knows what you will recommend doing in the future but I completely trust your expertise and sincerity. I am lucky and grateful to have access to such knowledge and experience on a daily basis.

M: Thanks again. I just try to use the best gear for me at any given moment … Be sure to let your friends know to visit the blog to learn about SONY and to use my affiliate links.

FI It is a privilege to have the ability to email you with my questions.

That’s my job!

I will be purchasing the new guide for the full price when it is available for purchase …

AM: Please see my last mail.

FI: I also really enjoyed the fun Zebra Video you made. It was a classic artie production. It offered excellent technical advice on setting up Zebras that is not publicly available as far as I know. SONY doesn’t even offer this technical insight that you provide.

AM: You are correct sir. And know that your kind words are greatly appreciated.

FI: Anyway, I just wanted to offer some words of appreciation and thanks artie!

AM: Huge thanks again. You made my day!

With love, artie


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

Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens (with extras!)

Price Dropped $400.00 on 2 MAR 2020

Barry McKenzie is offering a Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for a very low $2,999.00 (was $3,399.00). The sale includes the hood, the rear cap, the lens trunk, a LensCoat, the CD, two front lens covers, the Canon PL-C52 polarizer, and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower-48 US addresses only. Photos available on request. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Barry via e-mail.

The 300mm f/2.8 lenses have long been the favorites of the world’s best hawks-in-flight photographers. And since they perform superbly with both teleconverters, they make a great workhorse lens for bird photographers who wish to handhold, especially those with crop factor bodies like the 7D Mark II or those with some of the newer Canon bodies likee the very popular Canon EOS 90D… artie

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 over $1000.00, 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. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H. Those include the SONY a7r IV, the SONY 200-600, the SONY 600mm f/4 GM, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is eager to please.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers 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.

Capture One Screen Capture: Bald Eagle landing RAW file representation

Capture One Screen Capture

I cannot recall whether this bird was landing on a lower perch or on the ground. But in the original image capture above, the image design is not very well balanced; it certainly does not seem as if the bird would be landing on the perch … So after converting the image in Capture One, I brought the TIFF into Photoshop and decided to move the bird up and to the left in the frame after adding canvas top, left, and right. Even though the sky looks fairly even-toned it is not; there are gradations. When I tried to move the bird up and left in one fell swoop, the edges of the darker and lighter sky were obvious. Such edges are difficult to deal with. So, using the tools at my disposal, I simply moved the bird up and left in five small steps and had zero problems with the darker/lighter sky edge lines. I used techniques from ATATS 1 & 2 and from Digital Basics II and did not have to use a single Layer Mask or a single Quick Mask. I used the Patch Tool to eliminate the various wingtips that showed after each small move.

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)

Everything mentioned above (except for Capture One RAW conversions) and tons more — including all of my personalized Keyboard Shortcuts — 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. 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.

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. Note: all of the videos are now priced at an amazingly low $5.00 each.

You can learn how and why I converted all of my Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 in the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide here. More recently, I became proficient at converting my Nikon RAW (NEF) files in Adobe Camera Raw. About two years ago I began converting my Nikon and Sony RAW files in Capture One Pro 12 and continue to do so today.

To purchase Capture One, please use this link. Then you can learn more about Capture One in the Capture One Pro 12 Simplified MP4 Video here. The next step would be to get a copy of Arash Hazeghi’s “The Nikon Photographers’ Guide to Phase One Capture One Pro e-Guide” in the blog post here.

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 Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and edited by yours truly. Please use this link to purchase NeatImage.

To introduce folks to our MP.4 videos and the basics involved in applying more NeatImage noise reduction to the background and less on the subject, I’d be glad to send you a free copy of the Free Noise Reduction Basics MP.4 Video. Simply click to shoot me an e-mail to get your free copy.

This image was created at Kachemak Bay, AK on 25 FEB 2020. I used the hand held Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens with the Sony FE 1.4x teleconverter (at 280mm) with the blazingly fast AF King, the Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital camera body) that features incredibly accurate AF. ISO 2500. Exposure determined via Zebras on the rear wheel: 1/1600 sec. at f/4. AWB at 2:52pm on a cloudy afternoon.

Wide AF-C performed beautifully. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Bald Eagle landing

The Perch

While on my busman’s holiday last week photographing with friends Clemens Van der Werf and Greg Gulbransen, we discovered — in a seldom-visited lagoon — what surely must be the most beautiful perch in all of Kachemak Bay. The green and yellow lichens are to die for. I visited several more times with my first Homer group when the wind, the sky conditions, and the tides were just right. In today’s featured image, only the very top of that perch is visible in the image. More of the perch is visible in Image #1 in the last blog post here, and the whole perch can be seen in Image #2 in the same blog post. We will be visiting again with my second Homer group — we just need to make sure that we are not being followed …

The Greatest-ever Bald Eagle Experience IPTs

IPT #1: SAT 20 FEB 2021 through the full day on THURS 25 FEB MAR 1, 2021. Six full days: $5499.00. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 4.

IPT #2: SAT 27 FEB 2021 through the full day on WED 3 MAR 2021. Five full days: $4599.00. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 4

Please note the slightly revised dates for IPT #2 above.

From Homer, Alaska

We will do two 2-hour or one 4-hour photographic boat trips at Kachemak Bay each day (weather permitting). Our schedule will be flexible and driven by the wind and sky conditions. We will have numerous and varied mind-boggling opportunities to photograph Bald Eagle, a hugely popular species. We will be feeding the eagles to attract them into photographic range. The trip is costly because chartering the boat is expensive, the fish are very expensive at $1.25/pound (all on me), the costs of in-room breakfasts and one sit-down meal/day are included, hotel to dock transfers are included, as is lodging (double-occupancy). The cost of a single supplement is $90.00/night. I need to mention that two other Bald Eagle trips led by North American photographers include only breakfast and do not include lodging; this makes my trips an even greater value.

We will do lots of flight photography from the boat and on land until you can no longer lift your lens. We will get off the boat on various islands to photograph the birds both perched and in flight. It would be entirely possible to do this entire trip with just a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and a 1.4X teleconverter. Bald Eagles take five years to reach maturity; we will get to photograph birds of all age-classes from juvenile plumage to full adults with their gleaming white heads (and everything in between). There will be numerous informal Image Editing, Photoshop, and Image Review sessions throughout each trip. As I am conversant in Canon, Nikon, and SONY I can help you better understand your gear no matter what you are shooting.

Going up earlier than all other tours this year proved to be fantastic with tons of snow on the ground to light up the eagle’s underwings. You will usually not enjoy those conditions on the March tours (unless you are very lucky). In addition, the eagles are more ravenous early in the season. In FEB 2020 we often had 30-40 or more eagles in the air around the boat with as many as 75 perched in trees or resting on the black sand beaches. Folks who want to do some photography locally during down-time may wish to rent a vehicle.

It is best to register right now to save your spot. Register for both trips and apply a $300 discount. If you have been on a previous IPT, a $100.00 discount will be applied to your balance.

A $2000 credit card deposit is required to hold your spot. Call Jim ASAP at the office weekdays at 863-221-2372 to leave your deposit. Your balance will be payable only by check no later than July 31, 2020. If you fail to pay your balance, your spot will be forfeited to someone on the waiting list and you will lose your deposit. If you plan on joining me, please e-mail immediately or try me on my cell at 863-221-2372 with any questions or to let me know of your plans. First come, first served.

Not included: your round-trip airfare from home to Homer, AK through Anchorage and back. Your second sit-down meal each day. Alcoholic beverages at our sit down meal.

On these IPTs you will learn:

  • 1- The basics and fine points of digital exposure; how to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure (or before if you are using SONY gear).
  • 2- How and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).
  • 3- Lots about bird behavior and how to use that knowledge to help you create better images.
  • 4- To spot good situations and to choose the best perspective.
  • 5- To see, evaluate, and understand the light.
  • 6- To design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system.
  • 7- And perhaps most importantly, to evaluate wind and sky conditions and understand how they affect bird photography.
  • 8- More than you could ever imagine.

If In Doubt …

If you are 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 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 or Bedfords, 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 or Bedfords 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 regularly visit the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


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In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

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