August 30th, 2015

Thanks to Jean Luc's Girlfriend...

Stuff

I fly from Ketchikan, AK to Kodiak tomorrow via the “milk “run” that visits several small towns on the way to Juneau, AK. Then to Anchorage and then on to Kodiak. Wish me luck. Good luck also to Denise. She has the flu and has wisely decided to get well in Ketchikan for a few more days before flying on to Portland for her Swan Island Dahlia Workshop. Get well soon Lady D.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few weeks we have sold nearly everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily.

You can see all of the current listings here.

Brand New Listing

Used AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm F/4 G ED VR II

Mike Ederegger is offering a used AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm F/4 G ED VR II in excellent condition for $4,995.00. The sale includes the original box, the front and rear lens caps, the lens hood, and the case that holds the lens w/camera attached, the Really Right Stuff LCF-14 foot, and insured shipping via FED-EX Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Mike by e-mail or by phone at 262-443-6052 Central Time.

The version II of this versatile lens is supposed to be a huge improvement from the original model. artie


brown-pelican-backlit-scratching-pacific-race-_y5o8973-la-jolla-ca

This image was created on the 2015 San Diego IPT with the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 560mm), and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/9 in Av mode. AWB.

Center AF point (by necessity)/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Brown Pelican scratching

Thanks to Jean Luc’s Girlfriend…

Jean-Luc Vaillant has probably been on more than 10 IPTs with me, the world over. Near the end of last year’s San Diego IPT his beautiful girlfriend joined the group for a morning of photography. As a beginning bird photographer, she was using Jean-luc’s old 100-400. It was well after 10am and most of us were standing around chatting about the morning’s successes. I had that sort of “The light is too harsh/there are no good pictures to be made attitude….”

Then I noticed the beginner pointing her lens at a backlit pelican. Just as I was thinking, “Jeez, that looks pretty sweet.” I pointed the situation out to those around me and moved to get into position. Her pelican did a spectacular head throw. And then another. Click, click, click. Click, click, click. She got off two good sequences.

I managed to get a few lovely backlit scratching images. If you have an open mind, everyone–beginners included–can teach you a thing or two.


jeanlucgf_y5o9021-la-jolla-ca

This image of Lana was also created on the 2015 San Diego IPT with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/500 sec. at f/7.1 in Av mode. AWB.

On AF point above the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Lana at work…

Lana

Lana taught the more experienced photographers a thing or two that day….


san-diego-card-neesie

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

2016 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) JAN 8 thru the morning of JAN 12, 2016: $1899 (Limit: 10)

Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the day before the IPT begins
Two great leaders: Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito

Join us in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s and Double-crested Cormorants in breeding plumage with their amazing crests; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Duck; other species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lions likely; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice landscape opportunities as well.

Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter?


san-diego-card-b

Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings.

The San Diego Details

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, five lunches, after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions, and a thank you dinner. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility.

A $499 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 11/1//2015. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

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…..

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Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

August 29th, 2015

Wholly Cows! With the Canon 200-400mm f/L IS lens with the internal extender

What’s Up?

I am currently en route to Kodiak, AK. For mail order or other help please contact Jim by phone M-F at 863-692-0906 or via e-mail at the staffbaa address. To register for an IPT please contact Jennifer by phone during weekday banker’s hours at 863-692-0906 or via e-mail to our Verizon address with ATTN: JEN in the subject line. AS a side note, my right hand man Jim Litzenberg can help you with just about anything BIRDSASART.

Please Help Support My Work on the BAA Blog

Thanks a Stack! June was a Great Month.

The last six weeks as a B&H affiliate have been quite rewarding. Thanks a stack to the many who used our B&H links for purchases large and small. Right now I am working closely with my B&H rep to have four 400 DO and two 100-400 II BAA Affiliate orders expedited. It has been nearly impossible to come by a 400 DO II. I am hoping that my efforts pay dividends fairly soon…. 100-400IIs are now in stock at B&H. The 400 DO II lenses continue to be in very short supply. The sooner you order, the sooner you will get yours; I am working closely with my contact at B&H to have the current orders expedited when a shipment does actually arrive.

To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we ask, as always, that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H Is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. 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 we are 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 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 visiting the BAA Online store as well.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few weeks we have sold nearly everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can see the complete listings here. The Used Gear Listings are quite slim as a slew of mostly intermediate telephoto lenses (mostly old 100-400s) along with a 300 II sold within the past week. There are still two old 100-400s priced to all along with some great super-telephoto lenses listed including a Canon 400mm f/2.8L IS and a Sigmonster.

You can see all of the current listings here.


stter-ranch-ornament-_a1c6069-palouse-wa

This in-camera HDR Art Vivid image (dynamic range +/- 2 stops) was created on one of the 2015 Palouse IPTs with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 560mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop yielded a base exposure of 1/320 sec. at f/5.6 in Av mode. AWB.

Center AF point (Manual selection)/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF on the bovine’s eye and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Longhorn Steer

Tooling Around

On one of our day long scouting trips before the 2nd Palouse ITP–what a way to spend your day off, denise and I came across a neat set of ranch ornaments. They were cute as can be. The 200-400 with the TC engaged gave me just enough reach to photograph them pretty much at eye level from the paved road.


cow-ranch-ornament-_a1c6061-palouse-wa

This image was created on one of the 2015 Palouse IPTs with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 480mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/5.6 in Av mode. AWB.

Center AF point (Manual selection)/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF on the bovine’s eye and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Longhorn Cow

Cow Exposure Questions

All of the images here were taken on a cloudy day.
1-Why did I add only 1/3 stop for the steer image?
2-Why did I add 2/3 stop for the cow image?
3-Why did I add one whole stop for the mother and child reunion image?
4-How would your thinking on the correct exposure compensations have changed on a clear morning at 10:00am with your shadow pointed at the cows?


cow-and-calf-redone-_a1c6065-palouse-wa

This image was created on one of the 2015 Palouse IPTs with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 560mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/5.6 in Av mode. AWB.

Center AF point (Manual selection)/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF on the bovine’s eye and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #3: Longhorn Cow and Calf/Mother and Child Reunion

Your Favorite?

Which of the three images is your favorite? Be sure to let us know why?

One Last Question

Would you have liked to photograph this situation? Why or why not?


palouse-2016-card-layers

Subject and focal lengths from upper left to right and then around to center.

Palouse Falls: 11mm; homemade kiddie race car: 105mm; barn siding pan blur: 798mm; Rolling fields diorama: 110mm; Crayola drums: 343 mm; Hay barn interior: 19mm; vintage gas station: 40mm; Dilapidated farm building: 13mm; Denise’s tree Infrared: 20mm.

Images and card design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.


The Palouse ~ A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. June 3-7, 2016/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12


The Palouse ~ A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. June 10-14, 2016/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12


Double Header!

Maximize both your travel dollars and your learning experience by signing up for both IPTs.


denisepalouse-card

Images and card design by Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure.

The Palouse IPTs

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will likely enjoy spectacular sunrises and possibly a nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. We will take you to some really neat old abandoned barns and farmhouses in idyllic settings. There is no better way to improve your compositional and image design skills and to develop your creativity than to join us for this trip. Two great leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris. Photoshop and image sharing sessions when we have the time and energy…. We get up early and stay out late and the days are long.

After 6 days of back-breaking scouting work in early June 2014 we found all of the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and views. On three additional scouting days in 2015 we discovered several more truly amazing locations. We will teach you what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time.

What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, our newfound but very extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions when possible. There will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before each workshop begins.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills. You will learn to get the right exposure every time. You will learn to develop your creative eye. You will learn the basics of HDR (high dynamic range) photography. You will learn a variety of in-camera creative techniques. Most importantly you will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images. Do see both of our blogs for lots more on that in the coming weeks. You will learn how the quality and direction of light combine to determine the success of your images. And–please don’t gasp–we will be working quite a bit with sidelight when creating landscapes. Lastly, we will be doing some infrared photography.

To Sign Up

A non-refundable $699 deposit is due now. The balance will be due on February 15, 2016. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Whether or not your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

With the spectacular success that we enjoyed in 2015 it seems quite likely that this one will fill up very quickly. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining us. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours or send us a check to leave a deposit; the latter is preferred. If by check, please make out to “Arthur Morris” and mail it to: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via e-mail: artie or denise.

Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options. You can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

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Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

August 28th, 2015

You Could Actually Do the Whole Galapagos Photo-Cruise With Just the 100-400 II

Stuff

It is now 5:45am on Monday, August 24, 2015. I have been up for a few hours. We will be departing to the south about 1 1/2 days late for our Inside Passage adventure in a very few minutes.

This blog post is scheduled to be published from the Cloud at 6:00am on Friday, August 28, 2015.

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Galapagos Photo Cruise

I would assume that after viewing the variety and quality of the images in recent and past blog posts that most passionate nature photographers would wish to join us on the next Galapagos photo adventure during the second and third weeks of August, 2017. If that includes you, please shoot me an e-mail with the words “Galapagos August 2017 Photo-Cruise” cut and pasted into the Subject Line. The best news is that there will be two great leaders, yours truly and Denise Ippolito.


galapagos-sea-lion-face-and-whiskers-_y8a0244-sante-fe-galapagos-ecuador

This image was created at Sante Fe, at 7:45 am on Day 12 of the 2015 Galapagos Photo Cruise with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 255mm) and the amazing Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/400 sec. at f/8 in Manual Mode. AWB.

Center AF point (Manual selection)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Galapagos Sea Lion–tight face portrait of youngster showing whiskers

No Flies!

We usually do very well with the sea lions on the afternoon landings at Gardiner Bay on Hood Island but this year every Galapagos Sea Lion was covered with flies, even those that had just come out of the bay. Two days later on our morning landing at Sante Fe the group made up for the lost opportunity in spades; the weather was on the cool side with some nice cloud cover and the virtual absence of flies. The pinnipeds were practically smiling.

100-400II Versatility

I continue to be amazed by the incredible versatility of the relatively new Canon 100-400mm II IS L lens with its remarkable .98 meter minimum focusing distance. Here I was able to get close, zoom out to 255mm (yes, the actual focal length at close range was actually a bit less but who cares?), and create a lovely portrait. I varied my framing and wound up with about ten keepers in the series. Another favorite showed whiskers only.


waved-albatross-flat-flight-pano-_y5o0955-punta-suarez-hood-island-espanola-galapagos-ecuador

This image was created on our second of consecutive Hood Island (Espanola) landings at at 7:41am on Day 11 of the 2015 Galapagos Photo Cruise with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400: 1/3200 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. 1/2500 sec. at f/5/6 yielded blinkies on the bird’s head. AWB.

Center AF point/Shutter Button AF Expand AI Servo AF was of course active at the moment of exposure as is pretty much mandatory with moving subjects. The selected AF point fell just above the base of the bird’s right wing. This meant that the assist point directly below the center AF point had grabbed and tracked the leading edge of the bird’s right wing right next to the head. This yielded a very sharp on the eye image. Click to see a larger version.

Image #2: Waved Albatross/flat flight right at me

Less Wind Can Be a Good Thing

On our second visit to Hood Island and the Waved Albatross colony there was barely any wind at all in the early morning. These rare and benign conditions found the albatrosses flying due east along the coast into the gentle breeze and towards us and the light. But best of all they were flying much lower than they usually do. I grabbed my favorite new flight lens, the 400 DO II, and went to work hand held.

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Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).