My Very Favorite Dovekie Image « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Very Favorite Dovekie Image

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This image of a Dovekie with its wings raised was created near the town of Lonyearbyen on the island of Spitzbergen in Norway with the the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/5.6 in Av mode.

Lens/Camera Body Micro-Adjustment: +2.

This was my single favorite image from the Svalbard trip. Getting a clean background up on the mountain was extremely difficult and required lots of maneuvering on a nasty, rock-covered mountainside. Click here to see Jasper Doest’s great image of me on a 35 degree rocky slope; sometimes you gotta wonder…. See the original capture below.

BIRDS AS ART Bulletin 377 is Now Online

BIRDS AS ART Bulletin 377 is now on-line and can be accessed here.

Safe in Quito

My grandson Sam and I awoke at 3:30am to catch our 8am flight to Panama City, Panama. Sam’s Mom, my older daughter Jennifer, drove us. I was in first class on the first leg and someone in first class wanted Sam to switch from his coach seat so that their family could be together. Sam wound up with the window seat next to Grandpa in first class. He smiled a lot. The flight went smoothly as did our connection. We landed safely in Quito, Ecuador at 2:15 pm Quito time. We met Peter Kes who flew four legs from Switzerland yesterday and Alejandro Furman from Chile who also arrived on the 2nd. We are heading to dinner soon and to Tandayapa for a day of hummingbird photography. We fly to Baltra to meet the Yacht Beagle on Tuesday July 5th and will begin our two-week cruise then. If you would like to join me next year in the Galapagos please e-mail for the itinerary or for discount information.

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This is the original capture. Note that I just barely got the near-wing in the frame. I added canvas top and front and cropped from the rear for better compositional balance. I color balanced the image to remove the obvious red cast in the original and I did some clean-up work on the main perch rock using the Patch Tool, the Clone Stamp Tool, and a series of Quick Masks. All of the above as described in detail in Digital Basics (a PDF that is sent via e-mail).

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.

The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.

Delkin 32gb e-Film Pro Compact Flash Card. These high capacity cards are fast and dependable. Clicking on the link below will bring you to the Delkin web site. There is lots of great stuff there. If you see a product that we do not carry let us know via e-mail; we will be glad to have it drop-shipped to you and save you a few bucks in the process.

I pack my 800 and tons of other gear in my ThinkTank Airport SecurityTM V2.0 rolling bag for all of my air travel and recommend the slightly smaller Airport InternationalTM V2.0 for most folks. These high capacity bags are well constructed and protect my gear when I have to gate check it on short-hops and puddle jumpers. Each will protect your gear just as well. By clicking on either link or the logo below, you will receive a free gift with each order over $50.

8 comments to My Very Favorite Dovekie Image

  • Artie

    Beautiful image of a lovely bird. Love the clarity and the detail. I prefer the color tone of the original. The whites and browns look quite natural. The edited version looks to have a tad too much green cast, but perhaps my Mac monitor needs recalibrating.

  • Charles Scheffold

    I’m so glad you got some great Dovekie shots! After reading about how you slept through the first good session, I sure was hoping you had another chance 😉

    I like the action captured in this image. The rocks, the hint of flight – gives me a good feel for what the bird’s life might be like. Does that sound strange? I also like the feather detail and the sheen on the bird’s head. I can see why it would be your favorite.


    Thanks Charles. It does not sound strange to me.

  • Billpclausen


    I think the original is a great photograph. My simple opinion is that you don’t need to change so much in each photograph. I’m an old fart older than you and did many hours in the darkroom years ago and now enjoy what I take with little extra improvement.

    Like the old days in B&W you could change a few bthing but what you took was what you got.

    Happy 4th Of July

    Bill Clausen

    To each his own. artie

  • Arla

    How do you transport gear at your destination? You can’t be rolling a ThinkTank bag around the Galapagos trails! Does everything go into your vest or do you take a backpack in your luggage?

  • cheapo

    I can see once again why you said you like these little birds so much. They really are characterful. For their body size, those stubby wings must get plenty busy. And your improvements to the overall image are just right.

  • Great image of a bird I have never seen. Would love to see it someday.

  • Super Shot!

    Hi Akbar, I am glad that you like it. Please let us know why. artie

  • Great photo and touchup Artie, as always! Gorgeous bird!

    Just wondering, wouldn’t it be better to clone out the rock in the bottom left hand corner of the frame too?

    Thanks Raymond. I did not want to make it too clean and pure so I left it (though I did think about it but not for long). artie