Bird Photography Workshops

Welcome to My Monthly Newsletter - April, 2010
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Previous Newsletters Since April 2009

Happy 1st Anniversary - Wow!!

Ring Billed Gull Screaming Happy 1st Anniversary <smile> - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Ring Billed Gull Screaming Happy 1st Anniversary <smile> - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/8, 1/1250 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

I can't believe it has been a year already. Everything started as a simple idea and now it has turned into a information source for many. With over 1200 registered subscribers, kudos continues to arrive via email and all I can say is thank you!!

April's newsletter not only brings the first anniversary of this long journey but also the celebration of my 33rd Birthday and what a better way to celebrate it with than with the Florida's Birding & Fotofest!!

Here are few pictures from the event!

Birding & FotoFest 2010, Seminar and Field Workshop_St. Augustine, Florida - Maxis Gamez - All Rights Reserved
Birding & FotoFest 2010, Seminar and Field Workshop
St. Augustine, Florida - Maxis Gamez - All Rights Reserved

Birding_and_FotoFest_Los_Tres_Amigos_Seminar_St. Augustine, Florida - Maxis Gamez - All Rights Reserved
Birding & FotoFest 2010, Los Tres Amigos Seminar
St. Augustine, Florida - Maxis Gamez - All Rights Reserved

Birding & FotoFest 2010, Secrets of Photographing ShoreBirds Seminar FEISOL Set Up
Birding & FotoFest 2010, Secrets of Photographing ShoreBirds Seminar FEISOL Set Up
St. Augustine, Florida - Maxis Gamez - All Rights Reserved

Birding_and_FotoFest_St. Augustine, Florida - Maxis Gamez - All Rights Reserved
Birding & FotoFest 2010, How to Successfully Photograph Birds in Flight Seminar
St. Augustine, Florida - Maxis Gamez - All Rights Reserved


Birding & FotoFest 2010, Sunrise. St. Augustine, Florida - Maxis Gamez - All Rights Reserved
Canon 5D, 17-40mm L @ f/22, 2 sec, ISO 50, Polirazer filter and 2 stop ND filter
Manual exposure, FEISOL CB-50D Ball head, Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

The Florida's Birding & Fotofest 2010 was a total success!! with over 600 registered participants I had an amazing time. Several topics were covered and there was room for more!!

If you get a chance to visit and participate in next years event, do so!! This is something you don't want to miss. See you in 2011!

Red-Bellied Woodpecker - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Red-Bellied Woodpecker Setup - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

Reddish Egret White Morph Fishing - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Reddish Egret White Morph Fishing - S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/640 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,

Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Almost full frame

Venice Rookery Workshop Update

Female Anhinga Fly Over - Venice Rookery - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Female Anhinga Fly Over - Venice Rookery - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1250 sec, ISO 200, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Almost full frame

Male Anhinga with Nesting Material - Venice Rookery - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Male Anhinga with Nesting Material - Venice Rookery - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 200, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, full frame

Black Crown Night Heron - Venice Rookery - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Black Crown Night Heron - Venice Rookery - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1600 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Hand-held, Almost full frame

White Egret Landing, Venice Rookery - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
White Egret Landing, Venice Rookery - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/2000 sec, ISO 200, Manual exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

Venice Rookery Workshop was a total success! Lots of activity for us with many opportunities to photograph different species as you can see with the images above. We arrived before sunrise on the day 1 while the Egrets and Heron put up a nice show for us. Overall the Venice Rookery continues to deliver and while is not as good as years ago, the Rookery offer amazing opportunities. Looking forward to next season workshop.

Red-Winged Black Bird Set Up, S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Red-Winged Black Bird Set Up, S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure,
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

Wood Stork Profile Close Up, S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Wood Stork Profile Close Up, S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/1250 sec, ISO 200, Manual exposure, Almost full frame

Yet Another Disappointing Day at Alafia Banks, Tampa Bay

Alafia Banks
Alafia Banks Disappointing Morning, Tampa Bay - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 24-70mm L @ f/5.6, 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure, Handheld

Wind coming from the East, perfect sunny day and low tide. The only thing missing were the Spoonbills. Yet another disappointing day at Alafia Banks, Tampa Bay. GPS: 27.8456, -82.41809

We spent the morning at Alafia Banks looking to photograph Spoonbills in breading colors. We end up enjoying the beautiful light and weather. In the mean time, I photographed this Spoonbill at another rookery that same afternoon. Go figure!!

Roseate Spoonbill in Flight, S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Roseate Spoonbill in Flight, S.W Florida - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 500mm L @ f/5.6, 1/2000 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

How I Enhance The Eyes Using Quick Mask

Using Quick Mask
How I Enhance The Eyes Using Quick Mask - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved

In this short Photoshop tutorial, I'm going to show you how I enhance my subject's eyes using Quick Mask. You must learn how to and when to use this technique to make your subject look as natural as possible. You need to be somewhat familiar with Photoshop to apply this technique and I will assume just that.

Step 1:

  • Duplicate your background layer
  • By pressing the letter "Z" Zoom to about 200% of the original image size. Keep the eyes as big as possible in your monitor
  • By pressing the letter "Q" on your keyboard, you will enter Quick Mask Mode
  • By pressing the letter "B" on your keyboard you are selecting the brush tool from the tool palette
  • By pressing the bracket key "[ or ]" on your keyboard you can reduce or increase the size of your brush. Try to keep a small size brush for better accuracy

At this point you should be ready to start "painting" with your brush tool around the yellow part of the eye. Make sure you "paint" the area very well before moving on. See Step 1 of the image above. If you "paint" over an area that you don't need, you can press the letter "E" on your keyboard and this will select the ERASE tool. Erase the area you don't need the same way you use the brush tool. By pressing the letter "B" you will return to your brush tool.

Step 2:

  • Once you finish with the first eye, this is the time to start "painting" the second eye. Make sure to do BOTH eyes at the same time for better color, contrast and saturation accuracy. But I'll get to that in a minute.
  • You should have both eyes painted before you move on to Step 3.

Step 3:

  • By pressing the letter "Q" again, you will leave the Quick Mask mode and you should see the "painted" area dotted as you see in Step 3 on the image above.
  • By pressing "CONTROL + SHIFT + I" on your keyboard you will SELECT INVERSE your painted area. This is the area we are going to work on.
  • With the selected area active/moving, click LAYER>NEW ADJUSTMENT LAYER>LEVELS. At this point, you can play with levels until you feel comfortable with the results in the selected area which is all I did.

At this point, you are pretty much done. In this case, using Levels did the trick but depending on the image, other adjustments are necessary. The final steps are going to depend on your final image output.

Qucik Mask

As you can see, an easy tutorial can make a huge different in your subject's eyes. Pretty cool huh? <smile>

What Works and What Doesn't Work - Part 3

Boat Tailed Grackle - NO FLASH - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Boat Tailed Grackle - NO FLASH - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 400mm L @ f/5.6, 1/320 sec, ISO 400, Manual exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

During my April's Gatorland workshop, I was in the process of explaining folks how and when to use fill flash. Soon after, this Boat Tailed Grackle showed up for us. I immediately grabbed my camera and start shooting. After few photographs, I looked at my histogram and noticed something terribly wrong with my exposure.

Keep reading!


Boat Tailed Grackle - WITH FLASH - Maxis Gamez, All Rights Reserved
Canon 7D, 400mm L @ f/5.6, 1/320 sec, ISO 400, 550 EX, Better Beamer Set to -2, Manual exposure
Feisol CT-3472LV Carbon Fiber Tripod, Slightly cropped

With my flash (Canon 550EX) and Better Beamer already mounted on my FEISOL carbon tripod, I turned my flash ON and set it to -2. I took few more images and noticed the incredible difference between the two images AT THE SAME EXPOSURE SETTINGS (f/5.6 @ 1/320 sec, ISO 400)

And you thought Boat Tailed Grackles were black right?? <smile>

Stay tune for another "What Works and What Doesn't Work"

Affordable Bird Photography Workshops Updates:

Bosque del Apache 2010, New Mexico - 1 spaces available

Bosque del Apache Workshop was a total success in 2009, (Click here to see all images). Limited to 4 participants, this year the workshop should be amazing as well.

Gatorland Rookery Workshop - Click here to find more information - New lower price!!

  • May 8th - 9th
  • May 22th - 23rd

Gatorland is the ultimate location to truly learn from many challenging photography scenarios. The bird Rookery will be our play ground for two full days. Take advantage of my new lower price!

In May's edition...

  • What Works and What Doesn't Work - Part 4
  • More from The Florida's Birding & FotoFest
  • Gatorland Workshop Update - Location Report
  • Removing Noise - Photoshop Technique
  • and much more

I hope you find this edition useful. Please email me your questions.
Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon!

Sincerely,

Maxis Gamez
941.623.5155
maxisgamez@gmail.com
www.gvisions.org

All images contained within this email are Copyrighted by Maxis Gamez or original author. All rights reserved.
Copying, reproduction, or distribution of these images in any manner is protected by United States of America Copyright laws and International Copyright laws and is strictly prohibited. Thank you.
www.gvisions.org | maxisgamez@gmail.com | 941.623.5155