A Sunday Morning Blast-off of a Different Type. My Last R5 Image For A While. — and Why. On Waiting for that Special Behavioral Moment. And Topaz Viewing at 400% « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

A Sunday Morning Blast-off of a Different Type. My Last R5 Image For A While. -- and Why. On Waiting for that Special Behavioral Moment. And Topaz Viewing at 400%

Sunday Morning Excitement

As I stood at a kitchen counter working on yesterday’s blog post, the house began to shake gently. Then the vibrations got stronger and it got very loud. My first thought was Earthquake quickly followed by But we are in Florida. The noise got even louder and it felt as if the house might collapse. Next I thought, The home’s central air conditioning unit is getting ready to explode. Then I realized, Rocket launch. . The thought processes above took about six seconds. I went online and quickly found this:

A veteran SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch 60 new Starlink internet satellites into orbit Sunday, March 14. Liftoff at Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center is at 6:01 a.m.

Ironically, we were right across the Indian River from the launch site. Had we known about the launch, we could have set up our 600mm lenses in the backyard and photographed a different kind of blast-off!

What’s Up?

Donna, Bev, Magic, and I were blessed on Sunday morning with an incredible Fire in the Merritt Mist sunrise. I love my new SONY Alpha a1 that I found myself switching camera bodies when I went from the 200-600G to the 600mm f/4 GM. Photos soon. We quit early, and rested up for the better part of the day. Well, they rested, and I worked on the R5 Camera User’s Guide. A question by Bruce Dudek led me to discover that I totally screwed up the naming of three very important camera controls. I am currently in the process of going through the entire guide and making the needed corrections. Not fun, but better is far better than worse.

John Dupps made it to our AirBnB in south of Titusville. It is a spacious and amazing house in the woods with a trail down to the Indian River. Built in 1927, it features 5G WiFi! Donna and Bev went to the refuge early and Jim Dolgin met us at Black Point. The sunset was fair at best, terrible as compared to Saturday night.

Today is Monday 15 March. The forecast for Merritt Island is for clear skies with very gentle winds from the south/southwest switching to south and then southeast.

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you have a great day.

This blog post took about an hour to prepare and makes eighty-three days in a row with a new one. Please remember to use my B&H affiliate links or to save money at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout.

SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group

The SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group is going great guns as folks chime in with thoughtful questions and experience-based advice. Yesterday Goeff Newhouse shared an excellent treatise on SONY Eye-AF systems including the Alpha a1’s new Face/Eye Subject Bird option. You can see some the images he made recently with his Alpha a1 on his flickr page here.

And I woke up this morning to an informative e-mail from Craig Elson that contained some excellent questions. I will hit Reply All and chime in with my thoughts after I shave and shower.

All who purchased their Alpha a1 bodies via a BAA affiliate link receive a free subscription to the Sony Alpha a1 Set-Up and Info Updates. This same service may be purchased by anyone with an a1 body via a $150.00 Paypal sent to birdsasart@verizon.net indicating payment for Alpha a1 Info Updates. New members will receive all back issues.

Canon EOS R5 Camera User’s e-Guide

I worked on incorporating Bruce Dudek’s edit of the final draft (as noted above). I should have the final PDF done in a few days but I do not want to rush things. I should be getting the complete guide along with the link for the Educational R5 Image Gallery video out no later than Thursday. I hope.

Two weeks ago, I sent out about a dozen copies of the almost finished Canon EOS R5 Camera User’s e-Guide for review to folks who had previously gotten free copies of the R5/R6 AF e-Guide by using my affiliate links to purchase their Canon mirrorless gear. In the same vein, I contacted everyone who purchased the R5/R6 AF e-Guide last week. More recently, folks who purchased the R5/R6 AF Guide were offered the opportunity to purchase a copy the pre-publication guide for review. Many folks have responded with thoughtful reviews, most recently, IPT veteran Warren Howe. And Bruce Dudek has continued to be a valuable resource.

Because the camera and the Menus are so complex, this guide has required a ton of research, a huge amount of time, and a lot of effort; I am thrilled that it is almost finished. The final update of the R5/R6 AF e-Guide has become part of the complete Camera User’s e-Guide; it has already been revised and expanded.

The complete Camera User’s guide will sell for $75.00. Folks who purchased their Canon gear using my links will receive a $65.00 discount; the guide will cost them a nominal $10.00. Folks who spent more than $7500.00 on Canon mirrorless gear using either of my affiliate links (B&H or Bedfords), will receive the Camera User’s e-Guide for free. Folks who purchased the R5/R6 AF e-Guide will receive a $10.00 discount on the User’s e-Guide. The best news is that the end is in sight.

New and Better Bedfords Discount Policy!

You can now save 3% on all of your Bedfords photo gear purchases by entering the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout. Your discount will be applied to your pre-tax total. In addition, by using the code you will get 2nd day air shipping via Fed Ex.

Grab a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and save $14.99. Purchase a Canon EOS R5 and your discount will be $116.97. Purchase a Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and save a remarkable $389.94! Your Bedford’s purchase no longer needs to be greater than $1,000.00 for you to receive a discount. The more you spend, the more you save.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would enjoy free second-day air shipping, your best bet is to click here, place an order with Bedfords, and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If an item is out of stock, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592 (Central time). Be sure to mention the BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order to save 3% and enjoy free 2nd-day air shipping. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The wait lists at the big stores can be a year or longer for the hard to get items. Steve will surely get you your gear long before that. For the past year, he has been helping BAA Blog folks get their hands on items like the SONY a9 ii, the SONY 200-600 G OSS lens, the Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 100-500mm lens, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is personable, helpful, and eager to please.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs (remember those?) 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 9 March 2021 down by the lake near my home at ILE. Standing on the North Field, I used the handheld Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens (at 300mm) and the highly touted 45MP Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 1600. Exposure determined by test exposure & histogram and blinkies evaluation: 1/500 second at f/7.1 in Manual mode. RawDigger showed this one to be a very slight over-exposure. AWB at 7:27am on a slightly cloudy morning.

Face Detection plus Tracking grabbed and tracked the eye of the colt on our right.

Click on the image to see a smaller image that fits into your browser window.

Sandhill Crane adult ruffling

My Last R5 Image For A While. And Why …

I made this image the day before Donna Bourdon arrived at my home for three days of In-the-field sessions. Those included two very productive mornings on Clemens Van der Werf’s flats boat. Donna ordered an R5 from Steve Elkins at Bedfords along with one of the EF-RF Adapters. I loaned my RF 100-500 to Donna when she arrived and she will be using it for the entire IPT.

Thoughts on Today’s Featured Image

It was a slow cloudy morning with not much around to photograph. This adult crane was the only cooperative bird around the lakefront. I started photographing this bird from the driver’s seat of my SUV but was not happy that the demarcation line of the field and the marsh was distracting. You can see a hint of that line in the upper left corner of the frame. Knowing that I had to get taller and closer to eliminate that line, I got out of my vehicle and approached slowly. I zoomed out to give the bird’s feet at the bottom of the frame enough room, checked the exposure, and acquired focus easily with Face Detection plus Tracking AF.

When everything was just perfect, the bird leaned forward ever-so-slightly and ruffled. I snapped off about a dozen frames. And then I headed home to get to work. I kept four of the images after the first edit. The one above was my favorite. In the soft, flat light, I boosted the color and contrast a bit and was happy with the optimized image.

The Lesson

Be patient or lucky; a bit of interesting behavior can transform a boring image into something nice.

Click on the screen capture to view a larger version.

Topaz DeNoise AI on the Sandhill Crane adult ruffling image

Topaz DeNoise AI

Topaz DeNoise AI on Auto continues to amaze. As do the Canon R5 and the Sony Alpha a1. With many mega-Exposed-to-the-Right images I need to blow the original (upper left) up to 400% to see the noise. As always, noise is more visible in the darkest shadowed areas of an image. Note the placement of the Navigator box in the upper right of the screen capture; I placed it on a small shadowed area just below the tip of the slightly raised wing. Here, DeNoise and and AI Clear were both clearly a bit better than Low Light. I chose to go with the namesake option, DeNoise.

Great Topaz News!

Folks who use the BAA Topaz link to purchase Sharpen AI, DeNoise AI, or the Utility Bundle (or any other Topaz plug-ins) will receive a 15% discount by entering the ARTHUR15 code at checkout. If the stuff is on sale (as it usually is), you save 15% off of the sale price! To get the discount you must use my link and you must enter the discount code. Be sure to start with this link.

Those who purchase Sharpen AI, DeNoise AI, or any other Topaz plug-ins using my link and then entering the ARTHUR15 code at checkout can e-mail to request a short Getting Started with Topaz e-Guide. Please include a copy of your Topaz receipt that shows the discount. Aside from the basics, the guide explains how to install the plug-ins so that they appear in the Photoshop Filter Menu.


With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

6 comments to A Sunday Morning Blast-off of a Different Type. My Last R5 Image For A While. — and Why. On Waiting for that Special Behavioral Moment. And Topaz Viewing at 400%

  • avatar Anthony Ardito

    Wow, you felt the spacex liftoff! That is some good stuff!

  • avatar David J Policansky

    Artie: Have you used the R6? What are your thoughts on it?

    • avatar Scott Borowy

      Hi David. I have the R6. The AF (same as on R5) is absolutely deadly coming from a 5DIV or 7DII in your case. Mirrorless feels like cheating right out of the box, but it has been an adjustment. I did purchase a copy of Artie’s guide, but have not had the time to work through it or get out for photography. My guess is that the AF will be even more effective when those settings are in place. I will send you an email with my thoughts.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi David, I have not. But the two cameras are virtually identical but for pixel count and some very minor differences in the Menu. You should get one from Bedfords and get the R5 guide for only $10.00 🙂

      with love, a

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>