Lens Choices for Cloud-scapes. Can One Lily Pad Make a Difference? And Magifying an Image in Capture One Tips « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Lens Choices for Cloud-scapes. Can One Lily Pad Make a Difference? And Magifying an Image in Capture One Tips

What’s Up?

With a northeast rather than a northwest wind on Friday morning, the expected dozens of Great Egrets did not fly over the pier as they had on the two previous mornings. It was a glorious, clear day with a brisk wind from the northeast, but there was not a lot to photograph. With the water levels down to record-low levels, I did get a few halfway decent images of Semipalmated Sandpipers feeding on mayflies in the very shallow water. And of a crane sitting on a nest in the reeds on two probably infertile eggs.

Thanks to all who commented on yesterday’s Whatever Happened to Freedom of Speech? post. More on that soon.


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

This Just In!

Steve Elkins asked me to let y’all know that he now has eight SONY 200-600s in stock and that one of them has your name on it. Contact Steve as below and save $50.00.

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.

This image was created on 6 MAY 2020 at Indian Lake Estates, FL. I used the handheld Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS lens (at 189mm) and the blazingly fast AF King, the Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 640. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AWB at 7:08am on a clear early morning.

Tracking Flexible Spot (M) AF-C was active at the moment of exposure and performed superbly.

Image #1: Great Egret preening — cloud-scape

Great Egret Cloud-scape

On Wednesday morning, the big, white, puffy clouds and the chilly northwest breeze was reminiscent of a crisp fall morning on Long Island. When you see nice clouds, think of shorter focal lengths. When photographing down by the lake, I drive around with the 600GM/1.4X TC/a9 ii and the 200-600G with a second a9 ii on the front seat (along with the 24-105 and several teleconverters). I keep my quasi-macro lens — the 100-400GM with the a7r iv — in the back of my SUV along with the Induro GIT 404L with the FlexShooter Pro on it.

I was thinking last week that with the gear upfront with me, I had a focal length hole of from 106-199mm. “What are the chances I would need something in that range? Not much.” I tried the 200-600 at 200mm but it was not wide enough so I went around the back of my vehicle and mounted one of the a9 ii bodies on the 100-400 so that I could get to the 189mm focal length that I needed. After I worked on the exposure and was good to go, the bird kindly stretched one wing …

Image #2: Capture One screen capture for today’s featured image

Can One Lily Pad Make a Difference?

When I saw the image on my laptop, the dark lily pad just to the right of the outstretched wing was pretty much an image killer for me. So after converting the image in Capture One, I brought it into Photoshop and working large, removed the offending lily pad. I used my usual cadre of clean-up tools: the Clone Stamp Tool (mostly to Divide and Conquer), the Patch Tool, and the Spot Healing Brush. In addition — of course, I used several small Quick Masks each transformed and then refined after the addition of a Regular Layer Mask. I was quite happy with the results as seen in the image that opened this blog post as the bird stands out so much better.

Magifying an Image in Capture One Tips

You can simply hit Z for the Zoom Tool and then click-draw a box around the area you wish to enlarge (just as you can do in Photoshop). Or, you can add the Navigator Tool to your Exposure tab, then magnify the image using the slider near the upper right corner, and finally click on the area you wish to see on the Navigator itself.

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)

All the techniques mentioned above and tons more (with the exception of Capture One RAW Conversions) — along with all of my personalized Keyboard Shortcuts — are 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.

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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