Perfect? My Thoughts on Image Storage Problems « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Perfect? My Thoughts on Image Storage Problems

What’s Up?

My Saturday morning photo session qualified as “one-of-those-days.” There was a gorgeous sunrise, but both eaglets were sound asleep and neither of the adults were at the nest tree. After photographing a crane sleeping in the marsh, I drove around to the sunny side of the eagle nest. As I pulled up, the larger eaglet was jumping up and down vigorously in the nest for more than a minute. I set up with the ladder and waited patiently (in vain) for more flapping. I kept a very few frames of the adult jumping up to the perfect perch.

I spent a good part of the day doing a second edit of my JAN 2023 San Diego folder. More on that below.

Like Bob Eastman, I preferred the wider of the two eagle nest images in yesterday’s blog post. Why? Because the eaglets were not doing anything interesting when the adult jumped out of the nest and landed on the perfect perch just south of the nest.

As Joel Eade first suggested, I had the two tripods set up right next to each other. I worked in Manual (exposure) mode and manual focus (with focus peaking). The trick to making the images was to have an inexpensive Vello RS-S2II Wired Remote Switch for Select Cameras with Sony Multi-Terminal Connector plugged into each camera body. Whenever I saw any action, I pressed and held each remote release button. That was easier to do than I thought it would be.

Take a shot at this one: what recent experience motivated me to shoot tight and wide on the backlit sunrise eagle nest images at the same time?

Today is Sunday 12 February 2023. The forecast for today is for partly to mostly cloudy skies with a brisk wind from the west in the morning swinging around to the northwest in the afternoon with gale warnings. I will head down to the lake for a bit in the morning to check out the baby eagles but would not expect to do much photographically with that forecast. The afternoon might be good for Ospreys flying in with nesting material. This blog post took more than two hours to prepare and makes three hundred twenty days in a row with a new educational post. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day.

Oh, and BTW, good luck to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in today’s Super Bowl game: Chiefs 38, Eagles 21.

Please, please, pretty please remember to use my B&H or Bedford’s affiliate programs for all your new gear purchases. If you use B&H, please be sure to click on any B&H link in the blog to start your search. Or simply start with this link. There is always the option of e-mailing me for gear advice and for the correct links.

The plan is to continue to post every day until the streak reaches one year and one day and then posting every other day.

Please remember to use the B&H and Amazon links that are found on most blog pages and to use the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout when purchasing your new gear from Bedfords to get 3% back on your credit card and enjoy free second-day air FedEx. Please, also, consider joining a BAA IPT. You will be amazed at how much you will learn!

You can find some great photo accessories (and necessities, like surf booties!) on Amazon by clicking on the Stuff tab on the orange/yellow menu bar above. On a related note, it would be extremely helpful if blog-folks who, like me, spend too much money on Amazon, would get in the habit of clicking on the Amazon logo link on the right side of each blog post when they shop online. As you might expect, doing so will not cost you a single penny, but would be appreciated tremendously by yours truly. And doing so, works seamlessly with your Amazon Prime account.

Please remember that if an item — a Delkin flash card, or a tripod head — for example, that is available from B&H and/or Bedfords, is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great, and greatly appreciated, if you would opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to earn 3% cash back at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout for your major gear purchases. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And always earns my great appreciation.

JAN 2023 San Diego Second Edit

On January 21, 2023, blog regular David Policansky left a comment asking:

What do you do with all the images you keep? 181 today. if I multiply that even by 100 (instead of 365), that’s 18,100 a year. Even if it’s only 5,000 a year, that still is a lot.

When I began the second edit of the JAN 2023 San Diego folder, there were 3291 raw files (plus 39 optimized .TIFs.) I deleted 2123 raw files while keeping only 1168 (35.5%). With 23 days of photography, that works out to 50 keepers/day. Remember that photography in San Diego was especially fantastic this year and that I will probably delete another 20% of those images as I optimize more images for the blog. The current size of the folder is 71.52 GB. With an 8TB hard drive in my Apple 16.2″ MacBook Pro with M1 Max Chip (Late 2021, Space Gray), this folder takes up less than 1% of my storage space. His current laptop is being replaced by the faster Apple 16″ MacBook Pro (M2 Max, Silver).

And whenever I have some free time, I do third and forth edits of older folders to keep the total images well below 3TB. Right now, I have 5.84TB available out of eight. With tight editing, I have three years of images on my laptop that take up only 2.16TB.

As I see it, huge storage problems exist today because many folks do not keep up with their editing. They have many GBs of unedited image folders, and when they do get around to editing a folder, they keep far too many images.

This image was also created on 12 January 2023 at La Jolla, CA. Standing at full height, I used the no-longer available (except from BIRDS AS ART) Induro GIT 304L tripod/Levered-Clamp FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless digital camera. ISO 640. Exposure was determined via Zebras with ISO on the rear dial: 1/2500 sec. at f/4 (wide open). AWB at 7:45:30 on a sunny morning.

Tracking: Expand Spot/AF-C was active at the moment of exposure and performed perfectly. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy the larger version.

Brown Pelican Pacific-race head throw


Do you see today’s featured image as perfect? Why or why not? Do you see evidence of any significant Photoshop hanky pinky?

This all-new card includes images created on my JAN 2022 visit to San Diego. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The 2023/2024 San Diego Brown Pelicans (and more!) IPTs

San Diego IPT #1. 3 1/2 DAYS: WED 27 DEC thru the morning session on Saturday 30 DEC 2023. $2099.00. Deposit: $699.00. Limit: photographers.

San Diego IPT #2. 4 1/2 DAYS: TUES 9 JAN thru the morning session on SAT 13 JAN 2024: $2699.00. Deposit: $699.00. Limit: 6 photographers.

San Diego IPT #3: 4 1/2 DAYS: TEUS 23 JAN thru the morning session on SAT 27 JAN 2024: $2699.00. Deposit: $699.00. Limit: 6 photographers.

Please e-mail for information on personalized pre- and post-IPT morning sessions.

Join me in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (nesting) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Ducks; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Northern Shoveler and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heermann’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others are possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals and California Sea Lions (both depending on the current regulations and restrictions). And as you can see by studying the IPT cards, there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well. Not to mention a ton of excellent flight photography opportunities and instruction.

I discovered some really neat spots on my 2022/23 visit. As a result, the first and second IPTs may include an afternoon or two of landscape photography.

Please note: where permitted and on occasion, ducks and gulls may be attracted (or re-located) with offerings of grains or healthy bread.

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects, including and especially the Pacific race of California Brown Pelican. With annual visits spanning more than four decades, I have lots of photographic experience there … Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Learning Exposure, Whether You Like It Or Not

Whether you like it or not, we will be beating the subject of exposure like a dead horse. In every new situation, you will hear my thoughts on exposure along with my thoughts on both Nikon and Canon histograms and SONY Zebras. Whether you like it or not, you will learn to work in manual mode so that you can get the right exposure every time (as long as a bird gives you ten seconds with the light constant). Or two seconds with SONY zebras … And you will learn what to do when the light is changing constantly. What you learn about exposure will be one of the great takeaways on every IPT.

Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT, there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

It Ain’t Just Pelicans

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning, there is usually some excellent flight photography, at times with 70-200mm lenses! And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication. You will be guided as to how to make the best of those opportunities. Depending on the weather, the local conditions, and the tides, there are a variety of other fabulous photo chances available in and around San Diego. Each IPT will include one or two duck sessions.


Did I mention that there are lots of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter? Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The San Diego Details

These IPTs will include four or five 3-hour morning photo sessions, three or four 1 1/2-hour afternoon photo sessions, and three or four working brunches that will include image review and Photoshop sessions. On rare cloudy days, we may — at the leader’s discretion, stay out in the morning for a long session and skip that afternoon shoot. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. And so that we can get some sleep, dinners will be on your own as well. In the extremely unlikely event that Goldfish Point is closed due to local ordinance (or whimsy) — that has never happened in the past fifty years, I will of course do my very best to maximize our photographic opportunities.

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects, including and especially the Pacific race of California Brown Pelican. With annual visits spanning more than four decades, I have lots of photographic experience there … Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Deposit Info

A $699 deposit is required to hold your slot for one of the 2023/2024 San Diego IPTs. You can send a check (made out to “BIRDS AS ART”) to us here: BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855, or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, is due three months before the trip.


Variety is surely the spice of life in San Diego. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Getting Up Early and Staying Out Late

On all BIRDS AS ART IPTS including and especially the San Diego IPT, we get into the field early to take advantage of unique and often spectacular lighting conditions and we stay out late to maximize the chances of killer light and glorious sunset silhouette situations. We often arrive at the cliffs a full hour before anyone else shows up to check out the landscape and seascape opportunities.


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

10 comments to Perfect? My Thoughts on Image Storage Problems

  • Maggi Fuller

    You’ve added canvas to both sides of the image I think, slightly more to the right. Some evidence of clean up on the rock itself too… cloning/patch tool etc, one area where you’ve flipped the patch…. Great subject, the image of the bird itself is fantastic!

  • Sue Jarrett

    Brown Pelican Pacific-race head throw is cute and interesting!! I liked clicking on it to see it even a little bigger! The bright light is great and interesting also!

  • Anthony Ardito

    On the head throw shot it looks a lil hanky panky on the extreme left and right of the frame on the rock. As well as the underpart of the neck of the bird looks manipulated.

    To comment on culling images, I do agree that now with high mp files that data adds up. However, storage is cheap realatively speaking when compared to the investment in camera bodies and lenses.

    I have a 12 TB external drive that is a backup drive. It cost next to nothing. It will never get filled up. Nor will your 8TB Macbook M.2 drive. You will upgrade to the next Macbook Pro before that drive is even half or three quarters filled.

    To all: Have a backup plan with cloud storage in mind. You get 1 TB cloud storage free with MS OneDrive. Adobe & Google also have free cloud storage although not as generous. Organize your files in a way to utilize that free storage.


  • David Pugsley

    I think you added canvas left and right. Perhaps it was a horizontal original.

  • Joel Eade

    Lovely image today …. I see some photoshop hanky panky in the rock. There are a couple of small white spots just below the bird’s tail that have been clone and also I think you may have added canvas on the right because the right lower corner has a slightly different hue and there is and obvious repeated white mark there as well.

  • Adam

    Hi Artie, I think you meant “hanky panky” and not “hanky pinky”, though your pinky may have been involved in the cleanup? I suspect there was some cloning on the rocks and perhaps some canvas expansion on the right?

  • David Policansky

    No image is perfect. I never can see evidence of Photoshop hanky panky in your images. I like this one a lot.

  • Motivation for the two-camera setup? Has to be the “Look! Mommy’s Home” combo image. Multiple cameras are sometimes used by sports shooters (maybe especially indoor sports), which I’m sure you knew, so two cameras were a natural given that you had two supertelephotos available.

    Today’s image seems close to perfect, though I’d be surprised if the rock didn’t need cleaning.

  • Matt M

    I like the image, but I’m wondering if you added some canvas to the right side of the image. It looks as if there are pairs of identical smudges along the lower right corner of the rock.

  • Artie
    I believe it was the incoming adult Eagle with fish that has motivated you to shoot wide and tight in yesterdays blog, if the adult did come in with fish you would have got it with the 400. And upon landing a much closer shot with the 600.
    I can see why you love head throws, the color and the detail in todays photo is really pleasing and great photo. It’s not perfect it’s superb 🙂
    Always with love b

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