Ospreys and BPN and Learning a Ton … Luis Grunauer Gone « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Ospreys and BPN and Learning a Ton ... Luis Grunauer Gone

What’s Up?

On Monday morning, the thunder, lightning, and rain stopped at about 10am. I headed down to the lake at about eleven. The two crane chicks and the large colt were healthy and accounted for. I created a few flower images; none of them were any good. I continued my second and third edits. I deleted 510 raw files from the Homer 2020 folder and 192 from the DEC 2020 folder.

I was shocked to learn of the sudden and unexpected death of my good friend and multiple IPT veteran Luis Grunauer. This e-mail was forwarded to me by mutual friend Albert Ryckman:

With my broken heart this news I’m sharing with you… this is Silvia Grunauer; my husband suffered an aneurysm and a stroke on 3/28. He passed on Sunday 4/11.

I am sending love, strength, energy, and a big hug to Silvia and the rest of the Grunauer family. (I called yesterday, but was unable to reach her.)

Luis was as nice and as enthusiastic person as you would ever hope to run into. He will be missed by all who were lucky enough to know him. Rest in peace my little brother.

Today is Tuesday 20 April. It is still, humid, and grey out. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you have a great day.

This blog post took more than two hours to prepare and makes 118 consecutive days 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. Doing either often earns you free guides or discounts. And doing so always earns my great appreciation.

Please Remember

With income from IPTs now at zero, please, if you enjoy and learn from the blog, remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so just might make it possible for me to avoid having to try to get a job as a Walmart greeter and will not cost you a single penny more. And if you use Bedfords and remember to enter the BIRDSASART code at checkout, you will save 3% on every order and enjoy free second-day air shipping. In these crazy times — I am out at least forty to sixty thousand dollars so far due to COVID 19 (with lots more to come) — remembering to use my B&H link or to shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes, are invited to help out by clicking here to leave a blog thank you gift if they see fit.

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 Clemens Van der Werf’s flats boat on 2 February 2021. I used the hand held Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens (at 500mm) and the highly touted 45MP Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 1000. Exposure determined via test image and blinkies evaluation: 1/2500 sec. at f/7.1 (wide open) in Manual (M) mode. AWB at 4:02am on a partly cloudy afternoon.

Zone AI Servo AF (as detailed in the R5 e-Guide) was active at the moment of exposure and performed perfectly. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Image #1: Osprey with wings raised after landing

Lake Blue Cypress for Ospreys

Lake Blue Cypress is an incredibly gorgeous location. It often seems that every dead or dying Cypress tree has an Osprey nest on it. The bad news is that you need some type of watercraft to photograph there. For me, boats are like dogs. I love dogs, as long as they are not mine (and I don’t have to walk them) … Thanks, Clemens!

Cover Image courtesy of and Copyright 2021 Brian Sump (Sump scores!)

The BIRDS AS ART Canon EOS R5 Camera User’s e-Guide

The BIRDS AS ART Canon EOS R5 Camera User’s e-Guide: $75.00

The guide is 82 pages long: 21,458 words. More than 50 DPP 4 Autofocus-depicting screen captures. And a 31 minute 44 second educational video. This guide took three and a half months of hard work and a ton of help from at least seventeen very helpful and generous folks.

The guide covers — in great detail — all Menu Items that are relevant to bird, nature, and wildlife photography. It does not cover video. The section on AF methods and the AF Gallery has been expanded from the R5/R6 AF e-guide. It remains the one of the great strengths of this guide. I share my thoughts on what I am sure is the single best AF Method for photographing birds in flight. As most of you know, the guide includes a simple and easy way to change AF Methods that was introduced to me by Geoff Newhouse. In the AF Gallery you will see exactly how Face Detection plus Tracking AF works. In the Educational R5 Gallery video, I share my favorite R5 images along with dozens of bird photography tips and techniques.

In addition, I teach you how to get the best exposures with your R5. Detailed instructions on using the great In-camera HDR and Multiple Exposure features will be appreciated by creative folks who like to have fun. The three shutter modes are explained in detail as well. Bruce Dudek solved the can’t-get-to-Auto ISO problem that had stumped everyone at Canon. This information is of course shared in the guide. You will learn how to set up your EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) and Screen toggle options. Not to mention that the mysterious performance of the Q Button is revealed and simplified. Brian Sump’s images reveal how well you can do when using the R5 with EF lenses using one of the three Canon EF-EOS R Mount Adapters (as Donna did with Image #1 below). You will learn how I use Customize Dials to put either ISO or EC on the Thumb Dial and how to set up and save Custom Shooting Modes (C1-C3) that can remember both your Customize Dial and Customize Button settings! That is something that none of the SONY bodies do. 🙁 Near the end of the guide I share my all-important MY MENU items with you.

Like all BAA educational materials, the R5 guide is written in my informal, easy-to-follow style. I am quite proud of this guide and look forward to hearing your thoughts on our hard work.

You can purchase your copy of the BIRDS AS ART Canon EOS R5 Camera User’s e-Guide for $75.00 here in the BAA Online Store or by calling Jim in the office weekday afternoons at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

Image #1A: Topaz Sharpen AI on the face of the Osprey with wings raised after landing image

Topaz Sharpen AI

I have been learning recently that even with accurately focused, tack-sharp images made at relatively high shutter speeds (like 1/3200 and 1/2500 second), Topaz Sharpen AI (on Auto) can almost always detect some motion blur and re-align the offending pixels. At times, as with today’s Image #1, the improvement can be dramatic. Before bringing this image into Sharpen AI, I ran Topaz Denoise AI as the first step in my workflow after opening the (Capture One-) converted TIF file in Photoshop.

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.

This image was created by Colin Driscoll of Lake Macquarie, Australia. Working from the back deck of his home, he used the tripod mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lens with the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, the Canon Extender EF 2X III,, and the highly-touted 45MP Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body. ISO 1250. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/9 in Shutter Priority AE mode. AWB at 4:02am on a partly cloudy afternoon.

Face Detection plus Tracking AI Servo AF was active at the moment of exposure and performed perfectly.

Image #2: Osprey taking flight
Image courtesy of and copyright 2021: Colin Driscoll
Crop and post processing by BIRDS AS ART

Learning a Ton from Colin’s Osprey Image

I ran across Colin’s version of Image #2 here in the Avian Forum on BirdPhotographers.Net. It was obvious to all who commented that there was something rotten in Denmark. The challenge was to figure out the cause of the unsharpness and the poor image quality. Toward that end, I asked Colin to shoot me the raw (CR.3) file via a large file sending service. He did. Whether or not you own an R5, I urge you to visit the thread to see what I learned from examining and re-processing the raw file. In the comments, there are probably a dozen important and basic bird photography lessons. If you would like to see my complete analysis including the screen captures, please click here to shoot me an e-mail requesting same.

The Resulting e-Mail Exchange

AM: Hi Colin, It is good to hear back from you. Thanks for being open to learning.

CD: Thanks so much for the invaluable insights.


CD: You saved me from the embarrassment of sending the body to Canon and having them return it with a charge!

AM 🙂

CD: As I noted on BPN, because of a very demanding work load I have little opportunity to go out on photo shoots. Yet I desperately wish to get to a high standard.

AM: Understood about work! Wanting to improve is key.

CD: So the process is a bit slow. One benefit of my job is that the gear is tax deductible because it is also used in my job — I either buy good gear or pay more tax, easy choice.

AM: That is good. When I talked with Brian Sump yesterday, we both spoke of times when we feel that we cannot make a good image and that we should throw our gear in the nearest lake. And Brian made a good point on the thread that it often takes a while to get in sync with one’s new gear.

CD: Brian, your shots with similar gear are a great motivation.

AM: For sure. That is why one of Brian’s images was chosen to grace the cover of the R5 guide.

CD: You’ve been quiet, Daniel, but you are a humbling inspiration and an example of the rule that it is the photographer first and gear second, love your work.

Note: BPN Super-moderator Daniel Cadieux was copied on my original e-mail to Colin; he has been busy at work.

AM: Ditto on that. I have featured Daniel’s extraordinary work with his Canon EOS 7D and then 7D II on the blog many times.

With thanks and love to all, a



BPN, where honest critiques are done gently. And it ain’t just birds! If you are honestly interested in improving your skills as a nature photographer, investing in a BPN membership, posting images, and commenting on the image of others, will surely be the best $40 you have ever spent on photography. Click here to become a BPN member. Right now, there are some amazing images on the first page of Avian.


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

8 comments to Ospreys and BPN and Learning a Ton … Luis Grunauer Gone

  • avatar Krishna Prasad Kotti

    You definitely routed Colin in the Right Direction. I believe that you do not need to crop every image and fill the bird in the frame.


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks, Krishna. You certainly have been posting some very nice small-in-the-frame stuff on BPN over the past few months. And learning as well.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Mike Cristina

    Since we are piling it on, I have to say that (and I’m not saying that your students don’t take great photos) if you put your photos up against anyone’s, in a blind test, I think I could pick yours out. The sharpness, brightness and presence are always amazing.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks, Mike. But BPN is not at all about piling it on. It’s about trying to help others learn by being honest. Your kind words about my images are greatly appreciated.

      with love, artie

  • Howdy Artie
    Image #1 is amazing and well done! Image #2 by Colin is also nice and sharp on everything. I love both but The Osprey landing by the nest really beautiful as it flaps its wings to gain balance on the perch. I came across an Osprey nest here but they have plastic wrapped up in it and it looks really bad in pictures.
    Sorry to hear on Luis and i will think of prayer for the family!
    Always with love b

  • avatar Kevin Hice

    Artie after reading the blog this morning I had to leave a comment. You and the blog have made the photographer I am today. Not that I don’t have lots more to learn. I joined BPN some time back and it and the other photographers have been great and more than willing to help actually go above and beyond. I have learned so much on BPN. At times it has been painful and depressing my lack of Photoshop mostly. I tell friends and other Photographers all the time to take a look at BPN. What amazes me are Photographers that shoot with the best equipment and been shooting for years and still haven’t mastered some basic techniques. Best part of BPN is the ability to see some wonderful photos and get some great advice. If you want to learn and become a better photographer join BPN . Artie have a great day and thanks sincerely Kevin.

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