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Old Jul 23, 2014, 7:47 PM   #1
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Default Mississippi Kite Hawk

We are seeing more of the Mississippi Kite hawk in the DFW area this year.

The one here I saw this morning. It is a beautiful small raptor, about 18 inches long with wingspan of 36 inches.

The bird was 'far' away and no chance of getting closer .. heavy cropping for these files.

E-M1 / ZD 70-300



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Old Jul 23, 2014, 8:45 PM   #2
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Very nice Bob. A beautiful bird that I've never seen before. Were you at 300mm and using a single center focus point?
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Old Jul 23, 2014, 9:54 PM   #3
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A really nice catch there Bob. I have to admit that I have never seen one of those before.

You really did a good job in capturing the white head of the raptor against such a pale blue backdrop.
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Old Jul 23, 2014, 11:23 PM   #4
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Alan .. yes, 300 and I had some at camera-X2, I don't know if either of these are with the X2 setting; focus point was single-center.

Steven .. thanks for the compliment, it was a very bright morning.
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The Kite was seldom seen in north Texas before a few years ago; now it is a common sighting in rural areas here. This is the first I've seen at any of our parks natural areas.

It is not a large bird (about the size of a Peregrine falcon). Its diet is mostly of large insects it catches in flight. It is very pretty and a graceful flyer.
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Old Jul 24, 2014, 8:31 AM   #5
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That's a beautiful bird. never seen one before. Great shots for such an extreme distance.
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Old Jul 24, 2014, 11:12 AM   #6
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Quote:
Great shots for such an extreme distance
Thanks Greg, it was quite a distance, the Cottonwood snag is approx 60ft hi and more than 200 ft across the pond. I had my tripod in the car but never thought to use it. The bird left its perch a couple times, it circled the pond and did a dive (probably for a dragon fly), beautiful to see; then it returned to the lookout perch.

I may go back this week one early-morning with the tripod, maybe it will be there because it seemed to be very comfortable about it all.
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Old Jul 24, 2014, 1:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boBBrennan View Post
I had my tripod in the car but never thought to use it.
I can't hold a camera that steady let alone one at 300mm. Great job. Do sharpen in post? Perhaps Unsharp Mask? Never did know why they call it that.
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Old Jul 25, 2014, 11:52 AM   #8
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Hey Bob:

How is the last AfterShot Pro working for you, as I see you've got the newest 2.0.3.25 release from July 22 installed from what I can tell from that image's EXIF?

At least their update schedule has been more aggressive with the new project management team (at least so far), with multiple updates since the initial release:

http://www.aftershotpro.com/en/suppo...s/default.html

I installed the initial release of ASP 2 for testing purposes (just using the 30 day trial in a Windows partition versus installing it in my main Linux partition for day to day to day use). But, I still haven't spent the money to upgrade from ASP 1.x yet, and I've been debating on upgrading (as I've been waiting on a better sale price, versus the typical $10 off promos I've seen so far as an upgrade price from ASP 1.x to ASP 2.x). It's $59.99 to upgrade from ASP 1.x to 2.x. But, it would have been nice to see a lower upgrade price like we got when moving from Bibble to ASP a while back. :-)

I don't have a newer camera model for personal use, so I don't really need a newer version yet. But, it would be nicer to have something supporting newer cameras, so I probably should upgrade when the price is "right".

From what I've read in forum posts, Noise Reduction isn't quite as good as Noise Ninja in ASP 1.x; and apparently the latest APS 2.x noise reduction is using Perfectly Clear technology from Athentech. Of course, the Perfectly Clear Plugin alone for other platforms costs more than AfterShot Pro costs including Perfectly Clear (for example,. Athentech is charging $199 for the Photoshop or Lightroom Perfectly Clear plugins, and AfterShot Pro has Perfectly Clear built in for about half of the price of the plugin alone. You'll see that if you click any of the buy buttons from their Perfectly Clear Product pages:

http://www.athentech.com/

So, I guess we shouldn't complain too much (since AfterShot Pro has Perfectly Clear technology built in at a very low price point for the entire software package). :-)

In the past, I've found it works fine on some images (as long as you leave the Perfectly Clear tint settings turned off). But, it doesn't work as well for other images. Pros and Cons.

However, I don't know if ASP 2 is using newer Perfectly Clear algorithms for image correction and noise reduction, or if it's using older algorithms licensed for earlier ASP releases.

I haven't tried to do any side by side comparisons with the older ASP releases yet (how AfterShot Pro 2.x works with Perfectly Clear features, and Noise Reduction; versus how ASP 1.x worked instead with it's Noise Ninja features with "one click" Perfectly Clear features also available).

Any thoughts on the differences between them (ASP 1.x versus the latest ASP 2.x release)?
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Old Jul 26, 2014, 11:03 AM   #9
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very nice shots Bob
A very interesting looking Raptor
Great for 300mm hand held
I could never do that. No matter how much coffee I drink
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Old Jul 27, 2014, 12:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
How is the last AfterShot Pro working for you, as I see you've got the newest 2.0.3.25 release from July 22
....hi jim,

Yep, I wasn't too happy about a lot of the wait time from ASP 1.x to the Pro 2 release but it only had to do with the months of waiting for cameras to be added which forced me to use JPG output with my E-M1. With ASPro 2 I am happy again that I can shoot RAW.

Actually I like ASP2, there are some UI differencec that took some getting used to, like the thumbnails only will live at the side or bottom (for years I worked with them at the top) of the edit window. The Pro2 edit window when narrowed from FULL-screen would not, until the latest update, allow resizing that narrowed window and on my iMAC 27 I really like to size-down the display a small bit..... that is corrected in the current update.

All-in-all it seems 'COREL' is listening to comments and applying fixes rather quickly and are adding cameras and have discussion on the CORELL FB page (http://tinyurl.com/oq7e6bz), there is no COREL ASPro forum but for the ASPro user-to-user which is just that, none to very very little COREL participation and monitored by non-COREL admins. BUT there is discussion and comments to the FB are taken, I know because some of mine were answered in PM messaging by COREL.

As for the 'NOISE' processing, I actually like it better than the old, BUT! I never owned Noise Ninja for interlacing to Bibble/ASP v1.x and I believe those who comment that NN was far better than now were using registered NN which may have worked differently in ASP than does the PC coded. Anyway, I like how PC noise in Pro 2 works; it does work better with better slider control than did NN(basic) in ASP 1 (IMO).

Some time ago the Perfectly Clear code which Bibble Labs first integrated into Bibble v1 (2006) was by COREL worked into PaintShop Pro and adverted as a new enhancement to PS. So, it would seem that the Bibble Labs license connection with Athentech Perfectly Clear was maybe also a perk for the buyout, certainly it has led to the noise reduction code in ASPro2.

In ASPro 2 a new piece of code is the 'Local Contrast' which works very much like Adobe's CLARITY tool; it is a nice tool and works quite well with 'Strength & Radial' sliders adjustment.

COREL have kept ASPro2 available for LINUX, MAC & Windows for only the one license but have added a 'No Expire' download buy at $8 USD. I suppose there are people who will opt for that but who doesn't keep the dmg packet or do system backups, or..........

No $8 USD and the RE-download if needed will expire after some few months from the purchase date.......

COREL have kept the option to use either CATALOGING or FILE structure processing which for us old-schoolers is a blessing. Personally CATALOGING is the one thing that I just can't accept of ADOBE LR/CS; too many years of IT data handling and I do the same with my computers.... let me handle my own data and ASPro does.

Anyway, I do like ASPro2 and I'm pleased I stuck with it. I tested LR; remembered why I disliked LR in the beginning and waited for COREL and no learning curve.

Thanks for asking,

Bob
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