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Thread: Gatorland Perfection?

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Default Gatorland Perfection?

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    Denise and I visited Gatorland yesterday. Things were spectacular. Robert Amoruso was finishing up a three day workshop and it was great seeing him there. There were dozens of Great Egrets in spectacular breeding plumage, probably well more than 100 Great Egret nests (and possibly twice that many), lot of Wood Storks, and a few red-lored Snowy Egrets. The number of birds was pretty much astounding. And there was a very tame adult Black-crowned Night-Heron that posed for head portraits. I was puzzled as to why there were so many wading birds including killer breeding Great Egrets, Wood Storks, a Great Blue Heron or two, and Snowy Egrets in the water on the afternoon-light side of the boardwalk. It didn't used to be that way... When I inquired, I learned that there is a new program where the visitors are encouraged to feed hot dogs to the gators. The profusion of food in the water attracts lots of small fish and lots of hungry herons and egrets. The Wood Storks preferred the small fish to the frankfurters :)

    The crazy thing is that the rookery will be getting better and better every day with the arrival of the smaller species: Tricolored Heron and Cattle and Snowy Egret. Each exhibits spectacular soft parts color at the height of breeding plumage, the colors intensified by increased hormonal levels. And for those who can stand the heat of a Florida summer, there will be tons of chick to photograph though the month of July.

    Mike Godwin was a most gracious host and he kindly reminded me that I was the one who--years ago--ncouraged him to create an early entry/late-stay program for photographers :)

    You can learn more about the Gatorland Rookery (in Kissimmee, FL) and their photographer's program here: http://tinyurl.com/ygcq9yk

    This image of a bird on a wide open nest was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/320 sec. at f/9. Fill flash at -2 stops with the Better Beamer.

    This was about as perfect a bird as you will ever find; I did a tiny bit of bill cleanup and even less on the lores. I did clean up one area of dirty plumage near the base of the bill.

    Don't be shy. All comments welcome.
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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    fantastic shot, very cool we will be there the first week of April!

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    That is beautiful! THe curve of his (or her?) neck gives the image a 3-d feel.

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Esman View Post
    fantastic shot, very cool we will be there the first week of April!
    Thanks Gary (and Grace). Gary, you should have a great time, and you just might see me there: I will be home after my two workshops on Midway. I am too, too excited about that trip :)
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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    Would love to meet you, Randy Stout has nothing but praise about you, have a great day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Esman View Post
    Would love to meet you, Randy Stout has nothing but praise about you, have a great day.
    Thanks for sharing. Randy is quite astute :) :) :)
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    Oh man I love this image. Tremendous colours, and the whites are spectacular and set off beautifully by the dark BG. Only one thing though...the bottom point of the "triangle" being so close to the bottom edge gives me the same effect as if it were a foot being too close to the edge, and for that reason I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more room below (and then of course a bit more at left to retain the aspect ratio).

    I'd be in heaven visiting this place. One day!!:)

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    I am looking foward to my workshop with Robert in March at Gatorland. My camera finger is getting itchy :D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Cadieux View Post
    Oh man I love this image. Tremendous colours, and the whites are spectacular and set off beautifully by the dark BG. Only one thing though...the bottom point of the "triangle" being so close to the bottom edge gives me the same effect as if it were a foot being too close to the edge, and for that reason I wouldn't mind seeing a bit more room below (and then of course a bit more at left to retain the aspect ratio). I'd be in heaven visiting this place. One day!!:)
    A bit more room below would work for me. I think that the triangle is the very best part of the image. Well, maybe that and those green lores! Thanks Dan and Myer for stopping by.
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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    Hey Artie, great image, I was there Friday for the last hours of the day, and yes the number of birds is amazing. I think I have images of the same Egret! Mike is a nice guy and very accommodating - there were perhaps a dozen other photogs there after closing and Mike was happy for people to go on shooting right up until it got dark - with no pressure to leave. It really is a great opportunity and one that locals and visitors should avail themselves of. Tourism is really down this winter so some support for local businesses like this who are ready to work with photographers is highly recommended.

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    Avian Moderator Stu Bowie's Avatar
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    Well, whats there not to like in this. Those whites are spotless, and in that I mean not a hot pixel anywhere. Great detail and colours around the eye and bill. Congrats Artie.

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    BPN Member Ilija Dukovski's Avatar
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    That is a spectacular image and other than already said
    I really like the way the dark portion of the bill is standing
    out against the black BG both by color and just a tiny
    bit of back-light at the edge.

    Hm, I'll be visiting Orlando/Disney-world in April and I was
    wondering what are good birding/photography spots in the area,
    now I have very good idea:)

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    You gotta love that exposure Guruji , Spectacular
    TFS

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    Artie
    The curve in the neck is so fascinating. You've captured an excellent pose and.....once again....demonstrated simplicity at its best. I'll be down there the first of April for spring break.....and can't wait!!!

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    Loved the comp. And yes, a really beautiful specimen. Waiting for the egrets to get the green color here.

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    Gorgeous bird, interesting pose (agree triangle adds a lot), and perfect exposure of the brilliant whites against the dramatic clean dark bg all add up to one beautiful portrait!
    Agree with Daniel's comments on composition.

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    Wonderful shot. I like the white against the dark background. The colors in the birds head and bill are fantastic.
    What I like most is the form of the neck.

    Markus

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    Hi Artie,
    How did you get that beautiful black background? Did you mask off the bird, inverse, and reduce exposure on the BG?

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    Cool pose and nice breeding plumage, the curled neck really stands out here!
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    Composition is nice. One question I have regarding photographing this kind of white bird, is it ok to overexposed certain part of the bird? I know it is very hard to get the exposure right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis Zaebst View Post
    Hi Artie, How did you get that beautiful black background? Did you mask off the bird, inverse, and reduce exposure on the BG?
    Hi Dennis, First off, thanks for your membership support. Nothing was done to the BKGR. For the image, just the standard conversion in ACR and Levels and curves adjustments. When you expose properly for the whites, the middle tones are one stop underexposed, the dark tones nearly two stops under (as explained in detail in the Exposure chapter in the original "The Art of Bird Photography."0
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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    Quote Originally Posted by troylimphotography View Post
    Composition is nice. One question I have regarding photographing this kind of white bird, is it ok to overexposed certain part of the bird? I know it is very hard to get the exposure right.
    With front lit subjects, it is never, in my book, OK to over-expose even a single pixel. It is actually very easy to get the exposure right for this type of image and for most digital images, especially front lit ones. All that you need to do is push your exposure to the right as far as possible without getting any flashing highlights. It's that simple. I would recommend getting copies of ABP II and Digital Basics: https://store.birdsasart.com/shop/ca....aspx?catid=32
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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  23. #23
    Mike Godwin
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    Good job on an overcast sky Artie. Was a pleasure to see you again and meet Denise, glad ya'll had a great time! Had to laugh about the Wood Stork statement, actually the darned birds love hot dogs soo much they'll chase after small kids trying to intimidate them into giving them some. If they only knew they were turkey dogs... :D

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    That's pretty funny Mike. All the ones that I saw were eating tiny fish. Thanks again for your hospitality.
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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  25. #25
    Robert Amoruso
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    Artie,

    It was good seeing you again. I am glad you stop by to see what a phenomenon place Gatorland is to photograph. It was also great meeting Denise Ippolite for the first time too at Gatorland.

    Your image is a classic example of what excellent photography is possible there.

    One of my efforts can be seen here http://www.birdphotographers.net/for...d.php?p=451542.

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    Lifetime Member Jay Gould's Avatar
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    So many compliments and so very justified!

    For me, what stands out is the shape of the neck almost as though it was a bent arm and the head was resting in a contemplative stare on the hand.

    This image goes beyond absolute technical correctness; it has exudes emotion - at least for me.

    TFS.
    Cheers, Jay

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    Not much left to add. I like the spectacular breeding plumage and red eye. The curved neck is awesome. We had a great day and alot of great photo opportunities.:)

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    Thanks all and Denise. :)
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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