Bad Luck: Yawned the Wrong Way … WTD? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Bad Luck: Yawned the Wrong Way ... WTD?


The shoulder continues to improve as I get close to the two week mark. I went into town on Thursday and Friday for some light deep tissue massage work And I was glad to find the two crane chicks in good health down by the lake in the morning.

Chuck Westfall

I learned recently that the photography world and Canon USA lost a giant of the camera industry, Chuck Westfall to kidney cancer last week. Chuck, who held several different positions with Canon over the past few decades, was simply Canon’s top tech rep. His knowledge of the Canon system was both encyclopedic and unmatched. Best of all was his kind manner and willingness to share. An e-mail to Chuck rarely went unanswered for more than an hour. Condolences to the wife and daughter he left behind and all of those who are missing him.

When I let my remaining friends at Canon know that I had switched to Nikon I received this gracious-as-always e-mail:


Thank you very much for letting us know about your recent decision. I look forward to hearing about your progress in the coming months, and hope that you’ll let me know if there is anything more I can do to help.

Best Regards Always, Chuck
Chuck Westfall
Advisor, Technical Information
ITCG Image Communication Products
Marketing Division
Canon U.S.A., Inc.

And when I sent condolences to his sidekick Rudy Winston he replied:

Many thanks, Artie. I know Chuck was exceptionally fond of you, and the terrific work you’ve always done. We’ll all miss him. Hope things are going well for you. Rudy Winston, Canon USA

I had the pleasure of working on a Canon EOS 40D video at The St. Augustine Alligator Farm several years ago with Chuck and on several videos with Rudy Winston. Losing Chuck was like losing a member of the family.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred thirty-six days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about an hour to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not…), the plan right now is to try to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

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, 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. Patrick Sparkman saved $350 on a recent purchase!

The Used Gear Page

Action on the Used Gear Page recently has been fantastic. You can see all current listings here.

Recent Sales

Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 16-55 f/2.8 R LM WR lens in like-new condition for only $549 near the end of March 2018.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for only $1,219.00 on the first day of listing.
Jim Burns recently sold his EOS-1D Mark IV body in excellent plus condition for a BAA record low $998; not sure exactly when 🙂
David Solis sold a brand new Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA 3 1 TB wireless photo/video memory card backup for $399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 300 mm f/2.8L IS USM (the original version) lens in excellent plus condition for $2399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM (the “old five”) in excellent plus condition with perfect glass for the BAA record low price of $3399.00.
Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM zoom lens in mint condition to a local buyer and is sending me a check for 2 1/2% of the original asking price of $1599.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 50 f/2 R WR lens in like-new condition for only $299 in early March.
Rajat Kapoor sold his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (the “old 1-4”) in near-mint condition the first day is was listed for $649.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in near-mint condition and a Canon EF 1.4 III teleconverter in very good condition for $3,599.00 right after listing them in early March.
Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition for $798 soon after it was listed in early March.

In addition, the sale of John Norris’s Canon 1DX Mark II — premium kit — (with less than 2,000 actuations!) in like-new condition but for a few small scuff marks for top left and bottom right for the BAA record-low price of $3,996.00 became pending on the first day it was listed.

Both of these images were created at the east jetty at Shinnecock Inlet on November 24, 2017 during my Thanksgiving visit to Long Island. I used the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode was an underexposure. AWB at 4:33 on a clear late afternoon.

LensAlign/Mark II autofocus micro-adjustment: -5.

For the image on the left: one row up and three AF points to the right of the center AF point/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the gull’s neck just about on the same plane as its eye. For the image on the right all was the same but for the selected AF point: one row up and three AF points to the left of the center AF point.

Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

The two originals from which today’s featured image was created

Bad Luck: Yawned the Wrong Way …

I framed _P3A0782 with the bird on our right hoping that it would look to its right, our left. Instead it yawned to its left, our right. That left the bird on the traditionally wrong side of the frame, i.e., looking out of the short side. Since the bird was sitting in the same spot I moved the AF point to the left and made a second frame knowing that I could use the water on the right side of frame in _P3A0786 as source material. At times it pays to think digitally while you are in the field.

What to Do?

See item next for the simple solution.

Herring Gull winter plumage yawning

The Optimized Image

By force of recent habit I converted both images in ACR picking “use previous conversion” from the drop-down menu. Once I had both TIFFs in Photoshop with the Background copy duplicated, I expanded the canvas of _P3A0782 well to the right. There is not need to be exact since I knew that I would wind up cropping the resulting image to 3X2. Then I grabbed the top layer of _P3A0786 and used the Move Tool (V) to drag it roughly into position. Then I reduced the Opacity of the top layer to 50% so that I could effectively seen through it to the layer below. I used the arrow keys to line things up perfectly; when the rock above matched the rock below the two images seem to snap into sharp focus. Then I raised the Opacity of the top layer to 100%, added a Regular Layer Mask, and using a large, soft brush, and erased everything to the left of the end of the rock revealing the yawning bird below.

It would seem that you would be pretty much done at that point but I was unhappy with the dark areas in the background to the right of the rock so I worked on those with the Patch Tool and some Content Aware Fill. Then I used the Gaussian Blur technique detailed in yesterday’s blog post to really smooth things out. Then I selected the bird and the rock, put it on it’s own layer, and applied my NIK 30/30 recipe. The bird still looked a bit flat so I went back into NIK and added some Pro Contrast. Voila.

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)

Your guessed it, everything mentioned above and tons more is 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. Do note that you will find the RGB Curves Adjustment Color Balancing tutorial only in the new e-guide. 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.

The two most recent and many of the older MP4 Photoshop Tutorial videos releases go hand and hand with the information in DB II):

  • The Wingtip Repairs MP4 Video here.
  • The MP4 Crow Cleanup Video here.

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.

You can learn how and why I converted nearly all of my Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here. And, yes, I still have many Canon images to work on. 🙂 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 The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly.

Early Spring Photo Opportunities at ILE

BIRDS AS ART First-ever Master Class

Master Class. Two Full and two Half Days/Friday afternoon, March 30 through lunch on Monday, April 2, 2018: $1999.00. Limit: 4/Openings 3.

The Master Classe will be a small group — strictly limited to four photographers — with the first folks who register having the option of staying at my home ($50/night) or at a chain motel in nearby Lake Wales. Live, think, and breathe photography from Friday afternoon through lunch on Monday (late-morning); all meals included. There will be three afternoon photo sessions (FRI – SUN) hopefully with glorious sunsets like the ones you saw one the blog in December we should have good opportunities with the cranes even in the afternoon. We will enjoy three morning photography sessions (SAT – MON) with the main subjects being tame Sandhill Cranes almost surely with chicks or colts. Also vultures and Cattle Egrets and more. Limpkins are possible. Intermediate telephoto lenses are fine for the cranes, even the chicks at times. A 500 or 600mm lens would be best for many of the situations that we will encounter.

During the day we will sit together around my dining room table and pick everyone’s keepers and enjoy guided Photoshop sessions. On Monday before lunch, folks can make a single large print of their favorite image from the weekend. If you so choose, I will micro-adjust one of your lenses (at one focal length with your #1 camera body–Canon or Nikon) during a group instructional session. All will be welcome to practice what they have learned during the breaks using my set-up and my lighting gear.

To register, please first shoot me an e-mail to check on availability. Then you will be instructed to call Jim or Jen at 863-692-0906 during weekday business hours (except for Friday afternoons) to leave you non-refundable (unless the session sells out) $500 deposit. Only the deposit may be left on credit card. Balances must be paid by check immediately after you register (unless you wish to pay by credit card plus 4% to cover our fees).

I hope that you can join me on this new adventure.

with love, artie

ps: bring your bathing suit if you would like to try my pool.

Tame birds in breeding plumage and chicks are great fun.

Gatorland IPT #2. Sunrise: 6:48am. Sunset: 7:58pm.

3 1/2 DAYs: THURS 26 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1599. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 3.

Must purchase Gatorland Photographers Pass. Click here for details. All early entry. Late stays Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Gatorland IPT #2 should have lots of chicks, and lots of birds in breeding plumage. We will get to photograph Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, and Wood Stork. The Cattle Egrets in full breeding plumage will be present in good numbers. Learn my Gatorland strategy, to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret Gatorland spots, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If 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 New 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 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 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 will be visiting 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 :).

5 comments to Bad Luck: Yawned the Wrong Way … WTD?

  • Anthony Ardito

    Sorry for your and our loss of Chuck Westfall, Artie

  • Brian E. Small

    Smart way to do this image Artie. I think if it were me I would have taken the head off the yawning bird and put it on the body of the other. Amazing how many ways you can do the same thing in PS!

  • Guido Bee

    Years ago (90’s) I found Chuck’s knowledge of all matter Canon to be unmatched. I tried to understand the T-90 and 300 TTL (?) flash interface for a long time. Chuck was most helpful in attempting to make me smarter in that area. I may not have gotten all the way to smart, but it was not for lack of effort on Chuck’s part. I don’t recall that I ever met him, but he was certainly most kind to me. I think I still have some info he sent years ago.
    I’d be most grateful if you’d extend condolences to his family and his co-workers on my behalf. There are not many, certainly not enough, people out there like Chuck. He will be missed.

  • David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Chuck Westfall was a scholar and a gentleman and even though I didn’t know him as you did, I will miss him. Thanks for your post. You made a lovely image of the gull.