Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
November 13th, 2018

Background Strategies. And a Killer Emperor Penguin Double-overhead Wingstretch!

Stuff

I had 32 species on my bird walk/drive-around on Monday morning. I checked for the Purple Gallinule in the same spot as yesterday. It responded to audio; the Least Bittern did not.

Be sure to click on the Emperor Penguin wingstretch image below to enjoy the spectacular larger version.

Six folks are committed to San Diego so there are just two openings left. Only two folks are signed up for the Early Winter DeSoto IPT; there is cheap shared Airbnb lodging for one or two folks (male or female) available. Do consider joining us on that one or on another IPT — especially the Spoonbill Boat IPT. You can see all the current offerings by clicking here. It was great to see that at least three folks joined BPN yesterday after reading the blog post here.

BIRDS AS ART

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.



Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens/with Extras!

Brooke Miller is offering a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM in excellent plus condition for $7398.00. The sale includes: the rear lens cap, the original tough front lens cover, the original lens feet (both tripod and monopod feet), the lens strap, the lens trunk, the owner’s manual, the original product box, a Canon 52mm Drop-in Circular Polarizing Filter PL-C 52WII like-new condition, a LensCoat Raincoat Pro in Realtree AP Snow, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your funds clear unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Brooke via e-mail.

The 500 f/4 super telephoto lenses have long been the world’s most popular for birds,nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. Canon’s Series II version is light, fast, super-sharp, and produces amazing images with both the 1.4X and 2X III TCs. The 500 II is relatively small, easily hand holdable for some folks, and is much easier travel with, focuses closer than, and costs a lot less than the 600 II. Lastly, and you might find this amazing, the magnification for the 500 II is the same as it is for the 600 II: .15X. How is that possible? Magnification is calculated at the minimum focusing distance of the lens — 12.14 feet (3.7 meters) for the 500 II and 14.77 feet (4.5 meters) for the 600 II. Simply put, the 500 II focuses more than two feet closer than the 600 II. The seller for the last one that sold here had five calls the first day; the first four folks quibbled on price. The fifth one jumped right on it … Please do not tarry if you are seriously interested in Brooke’s lens as it should sell almost instantly. Or not 🙂 As the 500 II goes for $8999 new you will be getting an excellent plus lens while saving $1701.00. I loved my 500 II 🙂 artie

Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II Lens

Brooke Miller is offering a Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM in excellent condition for $1,449.00. The sale includes: the rear lens cap, the front lens cap, the lens hood, the lens strap, the lens case, the owner’s manual, the original product box, a LensCoat Lens Cover in digital camo, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Brooke via e-mail.

Y’all know how much I loved and now miss this amazingly sharp and versatile lens. artie

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L L IS Lens (with tripod ring!)

Brooke Miller is also offering a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens in near-mint condition for $599.00. The sale includes the Canon tripod mount ring D(B) (a $172.00 value), the rear lens cap, the front lens cap, the lens hood, the lens case, the owner’s manual, the original product box, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact via e-mail.

I loved this lens for flowers both on a tripod and hand held. I used it often on a tripod with a 12mm tube in front of the 1.4X III TC; manual focusing is mandatory and easy with combination. artie

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Brooke Miller is also offering a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Body in excellent condition for $2,249.00. The sale includes the body cap, one original battery, the LC-E6 battery charger, the eyecup Eg, the wide strap, the cable protector, the interface cable IFC-150U II, the owner’s manual, the original product box, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only.

Please contact Brooke via e-mail.

Two 5D IV bodies served as my workhorse dSLRs right up until I switched to Nikon. I used them almost to the exclusion of my 1DX II, often on f/4 super-telephotos with either the 1.4X or the 2X III TCs (see those below). artie

Canon Series III EF Extenders (Teleconverters)

Brooke Miller is also offering a Canon Extender EF 1.4X III and a Canon Extender EF 2X III, both in near-mint condition for $299.00 each. Buy one or both. Each sale includes the rear lens cap, the front lens cap, the lens pouch, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only.
Your item will not ship until your funds clear unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Brooke via e-mail.

Regular readers know that I used and depended on both my three 1.4X III TCs and my two 2X III TC pretty much every day that I was out photographing; traveling with back-up was mandatory. artie

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. Steve currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

Emperor-Penguin-stretching-_BUP6511--Snow-Hill-Island,-Antarctica

This image was created on Day 2 — October 25, 2018 — of the recently concluded Emperor Penguins of Snow Hill Island expedition via icebreaker. While lying flat on the snow and ice, I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens (at 175mm) with my back-up Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering plus about 2 stops off the snow: 1/1000 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. Auto 1 WB at 10:13am on a cloudy-bright morning.

One AF point down and three to the right of the center AF point/Single/Shutter button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was just above and to the left of the penguin’s eye.

I kept my 80-400 rig on my shoulder via an RS-7 Curve Breathe Strap so that it was instantly accessible when I was working with the tripod-mounted 500 PF.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Emperor Penguin/adult stretching

Background Strategies

When I am at the beach or working a pond and there are birds feeding along the shoreline, I will most always look for the cleanest section of beach, sit down behind my tripod right on sun angle, and wait for the birds to come to the cleanest background. On the first morning of the Emperor Penguin expedition, the ropes were set 30 meters from the various colonies. While there were lots of birds in each colony with lots of young, my style of photography was difficult to impossible for several reasons:

1- The birds were close together with several adults and chicks often occupying the same square meter. Isolating a single bird or even an adult with its own chick was extremely difficult.

2- Colonies are inherently messy places with bird poop, regurgitant, and avian footprints everywhere.

3- The warm temperatures that we encountered turned the snow at the colonies into very unattractive slush.

am-&-Shrik-&-penguin-photographers-_(787)-Werner-Mayer--Drake-Passage,-Southern-Ocean

Photographers and adult Emperor Penguin on clean snow
Image courtesy of and copyright 2018: Werner Mayer

Being Away From the Colony Paid Dividends

For me, the solution to the problems listed above was to work well past the edges of the colonies and look for or wait for single birds on the relatively pristine snow and ice. As you can see in the image above — that’s me in the front — that is exactly what I and several others did in the situation that resulted in today’s featured image.

I am pretty sure that the bird in Werner’s image is the bird in today’s featured image. Note that everyone but me had their parkas unzipped to avoid overheating. Mine was lying on my gear bag a few hundred meters away. At one point I got flat on the ground but most of the time I sat and took advantage of the pure white frozen snow. Thanks to shipmate Werner for sharing the image.

The Lesson

If you have a choice between clean backgrounds and dirty, ugly, cluttered backgrounds always opt for the former. 🙂 That said, many folks could not withstand the allure of all the birds in the colony. But their images suffered to some degree.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my 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.

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.

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 :).

November 11th, 2018

The Edge of Innovation Podcast-- Part II: Living the Dream as a Bird Photographer. A Barely Used Canon 500 II. And BPN Is Rocking!

BAA Online Store

The BAA Online Store was down for most of Sunday. By Sunday evening, it was back up.

Stuff

I had 34 species on my walk on Sunday morning. I saw a bird jumping around at the base of some reeds so I got out of the car, raised my bins, and was amazed to see a stunning pair of Purple Gallinules, the first I have ever seen at Indian Lake Estates. Then something else caught my eye, a fly-by Least Bittern, a species that I had seen just once before. I have not said this in several decades but I am actually enjoying birding (aka bird watching) on my morning walk/drive arounds.

BIRDS AS ART

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.



Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

Brian Anderson is offering a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for only $7,699.00. There is not a single mark on the lens, the glass, or the paint. The sale includes the accessories that came with the lens: the lens trunk with keys, the hood, both feet, the front lens cover, the rear lens cap, the lens strap, the product box, an Aquatech silicone front lens cover, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Brian via e-mail or by phone at 1-715-278-3223 (Central time zone).

The 500 f/4 super telephoto lenses have long been the world’s most popular for birds,nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. Canon’s
Series II version is light, fast, super-sharp, and produces amazing images with both the 1.4X and 2X III TCs. The 500 II is relatively small, easily hand holdable for some folks, and is much easier travel with, focuses closer than, and costs a lot less than the 600 II. Lastly, and you might find this amazing, the magnification for the 500 II is the same as it is for the 600 II: .15X. How is that possible? Magnification is calculated at the minimum focusing distance of the lens — 12.14 feet (3.7 meters) for the 500 II and 14.77 feet (4.5 meters) for the 600 II. Simply put, the 500 II focuses more than two feet closer than the 600 II. The seller for the last one that sold here had five calls the first day; the first four folks quibbled on price. The fifth one jumped right on it … Please do not tarry if you are seriously interested in Brian’s lens as it too should sell almost instantly. Or not 🙂 As the 500 II goes for $8999 new you will be getting a pretty much new lens while saving $1300.00. I loved my 500 II 🙂
artie

The Edge of Innovation Podcast

Episode 75 — Living the Dream as a Bird Photographer (with Arthur Morris)

Apologies (again) for being a bit late in publicizing Part II. I enjoyed listening to this one as much as I enjoyed the first one. You can learn how I got started in the business of nature photography, how BIRDS AS ART was named, and how I have managed to avoid becoming a greeter at WalMart … And lots more.

Thanks again to IPT veteran Paul Parisi of Savior Labs who skillfully conducted the podcast interview; he is blessed with a great voice. The whole thing is only 22 minutes; many of you might enjoy it. Info on the last episode will follow. Your questions or comments are of course welcome.

BPN Is Rocking!

I have commented on almost every image posted in the Avian Forum at Bird Photographers.Net since August 8, 2018. I should be all caught up by tonight. I do not know of a better way to improve your nature photography than to participate regularly at BPN. Honest critiques done gently, and, it ain’t just birds! Below are some links to recent thought-provoking and educational posts.

Dorian Anderson’s Young Black Skimmer bank shot post here inspired a (mostly civil) 32-comment thread with lots of disagreements among the moderators. If you want to learn about Canon vs. Nikon AF from some of the world’s best flight photographers (don’t look at me!) do give this post a thorough read.

Check out Alex Becker’s beyond superb Chickadee image here. It shows that simple, small-in-the-frame images of a common species can win the day.

Avian Forum super-Moderator Daniel Cadieux has been killing for years, first with the 7D and more recently with the 7D II. His killer Lapland Longspur image here shows just what the 7D II can do in the right hands.

One of the beautiful things about BPN is that you get to see quality images of birds from around the world, especially from India and Australia. Check out Debapratim Saha’s spectacular Great Indian Hornbill image here to see how even excellent posted images can be improved.

I often re-hash lessons from the blog as I did with Ann Pacheco’s Spooked Northern Cardinal image here. If you struggle dealing with too-hot red birds, you will surely want to visit.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my 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.

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.

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 :).

November 10th, 2018

Parking Lots Can Be Great for Bird Photography ... More on fine-tuning your BLUEs. And Insane Low Prices on Nikon Big Glass.

Stuff

I was glad to learn that multiple IPT veteran Mike Gotthelf sold his Canon EOS 1DX in near-mint condition for $2299.00 this week just days are selling his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition for $799.00.

There are now five folks signed up for San Diego. The limit is eight. Only two folks are signed up for the Early Winter DeSoto IPT; there is cheap shared Airbnb lodging for one or two folks (male or female) available. Do consider joining us on that one or on another IPT. Scroll down for the DeSoto details or see all the current offerings here.

If you missed the comments and replies on the last blog post here, you might wish to revisit and check them out as there were several revealing exchanges and insightful questions and answers. All civil 🙂

Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime/Limit 13/Openings: 4

Right now I have nine folks committed to the 2019 Galapagos Photo Cruise. A friend who had committed to the trip learned that he and his wife might not be able to attend. Thus, I have room for one or two couples, one couple and two singles, or four singles. If the archipelago is on your bucket list, please get in touch via e-mail asap with questions. If you might be registering with a friend or a spouse, do ask about the two at a time discount. See the complete details here.

BIRDS AS ART

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.



Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Insane Low Prices on Nikon Lenses

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR Lens

John Svendsen is offering a used Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR lens in like-new condition for the BAA record low price by miles of $4199.00. The sale includes the original product box and everything that came in it: the front and rear lens caps, the lens trunk, the front lens cover, the lens strap,a LensCoat, a Wimberley low foot, and insured ground shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact John by e-mail or by phone at 1-503-881-1172 (Pacific time).

The 600 f/4 lenses are ideal for those who do birds and wildlife. This current (lighter) version of the Nikon 600, the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens sells new right now for $12,296.95. John’s lens is an amazing buy for someone young and relatively strong who would like to save an astounding $8,097.95. artie

Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF ED Lens

John Svendsen is also offering a used Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF ED lens (the original version) in near-mint condition for the BAA record low price by miles of $1499.00. The sale includes the original product box and everything that came in it: the front and rear lens caps, the lens trunk, the front lens cover, the lens strap, a Really Right Stuff LCF-14 C low foot, and insured ground shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact John by e-mail or by phone at 1-503-881-1172 (Pacific time).

This, the older version of the very versatile Nikon 200-400, is priced to sell. artie

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. Steve currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

White-Ibis-bathing-BLUER--_MAI7965Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra-Verde,-FL

This image was created on September 25, 2018 on the DeSoto Fall IPT. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and my souped up Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering at about zero: 1/4000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. Auto 1 WB at 9:12am on a clear, sunny morning.

On to the right Group (grp)/Shutter button/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. The array was centered on the ibis’s neck.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

White Ibis bathing in parking lot puddle

Parking Lots Can Be Great for Bird Photography …

We did well at my #1 early morning DeSoto spot and decided to check out my #2 location. But we never made it. There were several large rain pools on the grass on either side of one of the bathrooms adjacent to the parking lot. With birds. We stayed with them for a bit and were rewarded when the White Ibises began bathing, one at a time, in the exact same spot. Apparently the exact depth of the water is super-important to bathing birds; when one bird is finished bathing and repositions to preen, another bird grabs the same spot and begins frolicking in the water. I see this most often with sandpipers and plovers. Though the ibises and a few Snow Egrets were very tame, I opted to go with the TC-e14 to reduce my angle of declination. I just missed on a few incoming ibises but did get some nice stuff on Mottled Duck. It always pays to keep your eyes and your mind open when looking for good places to photograph birds. We should see lots of White Ibises on the DeSoto Winter IPT (details below).

More on fine-tuning your BLUEs

I have been noticing more and more recently that when I set the WHITE and BLACK points during the RAW conversion that the BLUEs lose their punch, often being rendered a bit too light and a bit too YELLOW. Try refining your BLUEs by opening a Hue Saturation layer and selecting the BLUE channel. Then experiment by moving the Hue slider a bit to the right a very few points and moving the Lightness slider to the left to -10 or so. In addition, you can open a Selective Color and again selecting the BLUE channel. You can try moving the YELLOW slider to the left — try -10 or so, and adding a very few points of BLACK to the BLUEs.

Then, if you liked the look of the BLUEs in the RAW file do a comparison of the BLUEs in the RAW file with the BLUEs in your master TIFF file. By keeping your layers intact you can go back and further fine-tune the BLUEs until you are happy.


desoto-fall-card-b

Fort DeSoto in early winter is rife with tame birds. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Clockwise from upper left to center: Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Caspian Tern, Great Egret, Sandwich Tern with fish, Willet, Black-bellied Plover threat display, Snowy Egret, 2-year old Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron, juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron.

The 2018 Fort DeSoto Early Winter IPT/Thursday December 7 through the morning session on Monday December 10, 2018: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1549. Limit 8/Openings: 6.

Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for migrant shorebirds and terns in early winter. There they join hundreds of egrets, herons, night-herons, and gulls that winter on the T-shaped peninsula. With luck, we may get to photograph two of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit and the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher almost guaranteed. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, and White Ibis are easy as well and we will almost surely come up with a tame Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or two. We may very well get to see and photograph the amazing heron/egret hybrid that has been present for three year. And we should get to do some Brown Pelican flight photography. In addition, Royal, Sandwich, Forster’s, and Caspian Terns will likely provide us with some good flight opportunities as well. Though not guaranteed, Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork might well be expected. And we will be on the lookout for a migrant passerine fallout in the event of a thunderstorm or two.

On the IPT you will learn basics and fine points of digital exposure and to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. Most importantly you will surely learn to evaluate wind and sky conditions and understand how they affect bird photography. And you will learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

There will be a Photoshop/image review session after lunch (included) each day. That will be followed by Instructor Nap Time.

As with the fall IPT, this one will run with only a single registrant. The best airport is Tampa (TPA). Once you register, you will receive an e-mail with the hotel information. Do know that it is always best if IPT folks stay in the same hotel (rather than at home or at a friend’s place).

A $500 deposit is due when you sign up and is payable by credit card. Balances must be paid by check after you register. Your deposit is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with eight folks so please check your plans carefully before committing. You can register by calling Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand or by sending a check as follows: make the check out to: BIRDS AS ART and send it via US mail here: BIRDS AS ART, PO BOX 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions, clothing, and gear advice. Please remember that the meet and greet will take place at 7:30 on the evening of Sunday, September 23. Please shoot me an e-mail if you plan to register or if you have any questions.


desoto-fall-card-a-layers

Obviously folks attending the IPT will be out in the field early and stay late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. The good news is that the days are relatively short in late September. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Clockwise from upper left to center: Long-billed Curlew, juvenile Tricolored Heron, Marbled Godwits, Great Blue Heron, juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper, Wood Stork, smiling Sea Scallop, Ruddy Turnstone scavenging needlefish, Great Blue Heron sunset silhouette at my secret spot, and southbound migrant tern flock blur.

Early and Late

Getting up early and staying out late is pretty much a staple on all BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours; on this particular trip we will get lots of sleep as the days are short. Being in the field well before the sun comes up and staying out until sunset will often present unique photographic opportunities, opportunities that will be missed by those who need their beauty rest. I really love it when I am leaving the beach on a sunny morning after a great session just as a carful or two of well-rested photographers arrive.

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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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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 :).