Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
February 14th, 2020

Another Last Second Florida Learning Opportunity

What’s Up?

I photographed for a while at Lakeland on Thursday morning on the way home from DeSoto/Gulfport. And did well. Each day I fall more in love with my SONY gear. I forgot to mention a recent first: on Wednesday morning during the 1 1/2 days I spent with multiple IP veteran Larry Master I headed out with one of my a9 ii bodies on my 200-600 (on my shoulder via the Black Rapid Curve Breathe strap). and my other a9 ii on my tripod-mounted 600 GM! I left the a7r iv in my SUV. The 600 killed in the low light of early morning with the dark green reflections and the shrimp-catching wading birds and the 200-6oo killed on Snowy Egret and Royal Tern flight.

At Lakeland, I went with a7riv on the tripod-mounted 600 GM and an a9 ii on the 100-400 GM on my shoulder via the Black Rapid Curve Breathe strap. When you know exactly what to expect, there are lots options for pairing SONY bodies and lenses …

Via e-Mail from Larry Master

Thanks again for a great 1 1/2 days of SONY instruction and fun photography!

Larry

A Blog Comment by John LeClair

Cris, it was just about a perfect day! We did not have the nesting birds we anticipated but the purpose was to learn from Artie’s vast experience more than anything else. And my wife and I did that in spades.

Thanks for all your help and patience Artie. It was phenomenal.

John

Click on the image to see a larger version.

SONY Lakeland favorites selected from 56 American White Pelican-keepers made during a 70-minute session on the morning of TEUS 14 FEB 2020.

Another Last Second Florida Learning Opportunity

Morning In-the-Field Session: Saturday FEB 15, 2020

Join me at for sunrise blurs at the Circle Bar B Preserve in Lakeland and then move to another great location in Lakeland to photograph tame American White Pelicans and lots more. Morning session (6:45-10:000am) plus a working brunch: $275.00.

The weather is looking perfect for Saturday morning: partly cloudy with northeast winds.

If you would like to join me, please get in touch immediately either via e-mail or by cell phone: 863-221-2372.

The BAA Middle of Florida Photographic Site Guide

You can purchase your copy here in the BAA Online Store.

The BAA Middle of Florida Photographic Site Guide

126 pages, 87 photographs by Joe Przybyla and Arthur Morris.
The PDF for this e-Guide is an electronic download sent via e-mail.

Purchase your copy here in the BAA Online Store.

I had thought about doing a guide to some of the great but little-known photo hotspots around central Florida for about a decade, but those plans never came to fruition. I met Joe online in the Avian Forum at BirdPhotographer’s.Net about two years ago. Joe’s photography has improved tremendously over the past few years; he credits the BAA blog, my books and PDFs, and his participation on BPN. The one thing that I learned right from the get-go about Joe is that he is a hard and tenacious worker, always striving to improve his skills and to grow his knowledge base. As he knew of more than a few good spots in central Florida, I broached the idea of us doing a photographic site guide that covered many of the little-known photographic hotspots from Brandon to Lakeland to Joe Overstreet Road to Indian Lake Estates (my Florida home for the past 20 years or so). After more than many, many dozens of hours of effort, The BIRDS AS ART Middle of Florida Photographic Site Guide is now a reality. Thanks to Joe’s wife Dottie for her review of our writing. We all learned once again that writing is a process, a back and forth process. All thanks to the white pelicans of Lakeland. Here are the locations that are detailed in this e-Guide:

  • Indian Lake Estates: Sandhills Cranes with chicks and colts, lots of vultures, and Ospreys up the kazoo!
  • Gatorland, Kissimmee: Learn to make great images of wading birds in a cluttered rookery.
  • The Brandon Rookery: Great for nesting Wood Storks, Great Egrets, and more.
  • Circle Bar B Reserve, Lakeland: Here you will find a great variety of avian subjects in a great variety of habitats.
  • Lake Morton, Lakeland: There are lots of silly tame birds here including and especially American White Pelican during the colder months.
  • Lake Mirror, Lakeland: Tame Anhingas, Limpkins, and a zillion White Ibises at times.
  • West Lake Parker, Lakeland: Here you will have a chance for two difficult birds, Snail Kite, and Purple Gallinule.
  • Joe Overstreet Road, Kenansville: Crested Caracara, meadowlarks, Loggerhead Shrike, and much more on the fenceposts and barbed wire.

Each location includes a map, a detailed description of the best spots, best season, light and time of day instructions, the expected species, and an educational and inspirational gallery that is designed to open your eyes as to the possibilities.

You can purchase a copy here in the BAA Online Store.

February 13th, 2020

Should Have Been a Vertical

What’s Up?

Me, early. As good as Fort DeSoto was on Wednesday, I am heading to do the American White Pelicans in Lakeland. I will be on the road from Gulfport before 5:30am.

A $1399 Discount Offer

I am offering a phenomenal $1399 late registration discount on the first Homer IPT. $1399 is not a typo. 2 slots are open.

The Greatest-ever Bald Eagle Experience IPT

  • IPT #1: FEB 25 through the full day on MAR 1, 2020. Six full days: $4799.00 Limit 5 photographers/Openings:2.
  • Please e-mail if you would like to cross off Doing the Homer Bald Eagles from your bucket list.

    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%. Please understand that e-Bay prices are bogus. And the same is true of the prices of used gear including my dear friends at B&H and the other mega-outfits. They offer you pennies and then try to sell the stuff to ignorant folks for ridiculously high prices. With their huge international exposure, they occasionally find someone …

    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 many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the 5Ds and 5Ds R, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, the Canon 200-400 with internal extender, and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. Most recently the price of used Canon 600mm f/L IS II lenses have been dropping like a rock with the introduction of the 600 III. The prices garnered for used Canon gear has tanked completely as demand has dropped tremendously. It is ironic that for decades Canon gear had very strong resale value …

    Note: all BAA Used Gear sales include insured ground shipping via UPS to lower 48 US addresses only. Others who live elsewhere are invited to e-mail the seller for shipping surcharge info. Sellers should charge you only the difference between shipping to the farthest US location from their home and the charge to a non-lower-48 address.

    Very Recent Sales

    Multiple IPT participant Sheldon Goldstein sold his Sigma Contemporary 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG Lens for Canon in like-new condition for $675.00 (was $725.00) in early FEB 2020.
    IPT veteran Richard Russ sold his Nikkor 105mm Micro f/2.8G AF-VR lens in near-mint condition for the very low price of $496.95 and a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G Special Edition Lens lens in near-mint condition for the silly low price of $106.95.
    Barry McKenzie sold his Canon 2X III TC in excellent plus condition for a very low $219.00 and a Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens for Canon EF in like-new condition for a very low $449.00, both in early FEB, 2020.
    Paul Mckenzie sold his Canon EOS 5DS R dSLR in very good condition for only $799.00 (was $999.00), a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens in good plus condition for an amazingly low $1,099.00 (was $1,499.00), and a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II dSLR in very good condition with 95,000 actuations for the very low price of $2499.00 (was $2,899.00), all on 9 FEB 2020.
    Barry McKenzie sold a Canon 1.4X III TC in very good condition with a single “ding” for a very low $160.00 in early February 2020.
    Paul Mckenzie sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens in good plus condition for an amazingly low $1,099.00 and his Canon EF Extenders (teleconverters) 1.4X III and 2X III in excellent condition for $200 each on 6 FEB 2020.
    Paul Mckenzie sold his Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM Zoom lens in very good plus condition for $999.00 on 5 FEB 2020.

    Price Drops

    Canon EF Extender 1.4X II

    Price Reduced 50.00 on 13 FEB 2020

    BPN friend Ravi Hirekatur is also offering a Canon EF Extender 1.4X II (the 1.4X II teleconverter) in excellent condition for the very low price of $120.00 (was $179.00). The sale includes the front and rear caps, the lens pouch, and insured ground shipping via UPS to lower-48 US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

    Please contact Ravi via e-mail or by phone at 1-608-217-9593 central time.

    The 1.4X II TC is every bit as sharp when used with older lenses such as the original 100-400 above and the original 500 and 600mm f/4 lenses. The series III TCs provide advantages only when paired with the series II and III lenses. I used this item more than quite often when I was using Canon, often with great success. artie

    Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM Lens for Canon

    Price Reduced 101.00 on 13 FEB 2020

    Multiple IPT participant Sheldon Goldstein is offering a Sigma 12-24mm f/4.5-5.6 DG HSM lens for Canon in like-new condition for $749.00 (was $850.00). The sale includes the lens cover, the rear cap, the protective carrying case, and insured Fed-Ex Ground shipping to lower 48 US addresses. Your lens will ship after your check clears unless another payment method is used.

    Please contact Shelly via e-mail or by phone at 1-646-423-0392 (Eastern time).

    This lens is designed for use with full-frame Canon digital cameras; it offers a dramatically ultra-wide coverage with field-of-views ranging from 122° to 84.1° making it ideal for dramatic landscape photography. It is a superb architectural lens that is great for creating images of the tightest of interiors. Using Canon bodies with APS-C sensors (like the 7D Mark II) will give you an effective zoom range of 17-35mm. B&H

    An Incredible Buy!

    Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens

    Price dropped $600 on 11 FEB 2020!

    Paul Mckenzie is offering a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lens in mint condition (but for a very few minor blemishes on the lens hood) for the BAA record-low-by-far price of 10,399.00 (was $10,999.00). The sale includes the lens hood, the front lens cover, the rear cap, the original product box, the instruction manual, the warranty card, the strap, and insured shipping via FedEx. The sale does not include the LS600 soft case. Your item will ship upon receipt of your wire transfer. All sales are subject to the restrictions noted above.

    Please contact Paul via e-mail.

    The 600 III is the latest Canon version of my favorite weapon of mass destruction for bird photography. With its super balance, light weight, incredible sharpness, and a five-stop Image Stabilization system, the 600 III is a technological marvel. The lens tips the scale at a relatively svelte 6.71 lb — about one ounce heavier than the SONY 600mm f/4GM OSS lens. It is a fraction under two pounds lighter than the Canon 600 II. Thus, it is eminently hand-holdable for many folks. As this lens sells new for $12,999.00, you can save a neat $2600.00 by being the one to grab Paul’s pretty much new lens. This lens is super-sharp with either TC, one of the great advantages of Canon over Nikon … artie

    BIRDS AS ART

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

    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 over $1000.00, 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 has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H. Those include the SONY a7r IV, the SONY 200-600, the SONY 600mm f/4 GM, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is eager to please.



    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.

    This image was created 11 FEB at Fort DeSoto, I used the hand held Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens (at 600mm) with the 61-MP monster, the Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 800. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/2000 sec. at f/7.1 in Manual mode. AWB at 4:36pm on a sunny afternoon.

    Flexible Spot (M) Tracking — Continuous (C) AF was active at the moment of exposure.

    Click to enlarge and enjoy a larger version.

    Great Egret — face detail of young bird

    Should Have Been a Vertical!

    Thanks to multiple IPT-veteran Larry Master for suggesting during our working brunch that I should have cropped yesterday’s featured image to a vertical … With 61 million pixels in the RAW file, he was right, but only 100%.

    If In Doubt …

    If you are 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 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 or Bedfords, 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 or Bedfords 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 regularly visit 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 :).

    February 12th, 2020

    Last Second Florida Learning Opportunity. Price Drop on a Gem. And More on Flexible Spot (M) with Tracking

    What’s Up?

    Larry Master and I had a great afternoon at DeSoto. And best of all, Larry learned a ton about his SONY a9 ii. We have a full day together, today, WED 9 FEB 2020.

    This Just In!

    Larry and I had a killer Wednesday morning at DeSoto. We started with several species of wading birds catching shrimp (and one large sculpin!) in still, mirror-like greenish-black water. On the beach, we had large flocks of Red Knot, and some great incoming Royal Tern flight photography to go along with a big Snowy Egret/Red-breasted Merganser feeding spree. At our last stop, we had dozens of handsome molting Laughing Gulls, many dozens of Willets, and a pair of tame American Oystercatchers. We are dining at the Neptune Grill in Gulfport as I type!

    Last Second Florida Learning Opportunity

    Morning In-the-Field Session: Thursday FEB 13, 2020

    Join me at DeSoto or in Lakeland to photograph tame American White Pelicans and lots more; right now the location is your call. Morning session (6:45-10:000am) plus a working brunch: $250.00.

    Price Drop on a Gem

    Canon 600mm f/4L IS USM III Lens

    Price dropped $600 on 12 FEB 2020!

    IPT veteran Cris Hamilton is offering a Canon EF 600 f/4L IS III USM Lens in mint condition for $10,899..0 (was $11,499.00). The sale includes the original shipping box and everything that came with the lens: the lens hood, the rear cap, the front lens cover, the soft case, the instruction manual, the warranty card, the lens strap, a Realtree LensCoat, and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower-48 US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

    Please contact Cris via e-mail or by phone at 1-724-746-1954 (Eastern time zone).

    The 600 III is the latest Canon version of my favorite weapon of mass destruction for bird photography. With its super balance, light weight, incredible sharpness, and a five-stop Image Stabilization system, the 600 III is a technological marvel. The lens tips the scale at a relatively svelte 6.71 lb — about one ounce heavier than the SONY 600mm f/4GM OSS lens. It is a fraction under two pounds lighter than the 600 II. Thus, it is eminently hand-holdable for many folks. As this lens sells new for $12,999.00, you can save a neat $2,100.00 by being the one to grab Cris’s pretty much new lens right now. This lens is super-sharp with either TC, one of the great advantages of Canon over Nikon … artie

    This image was created 11 FEB at Fort DeSoto, I used the hand held Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens (at 600mm) with the 61-MP monster, the Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 800. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/2000 sec. at f/7.1 in Manual mode. AWB at 4:36pm on a sunny afternoon.

    Flexible Spot (M) Tracking — Continuous (C) AF was active at the moment of exposure.

    Click to enlarge and enjoy a larger version.

    Great Egret — face detail of young bird

    More on Flexible Spot (M) with Tracking

    I am learning a lot more about this AF Area each day:

    1- you must be very precise when first acquiring focus.
    2- following foraging shorebirds and other moving subjects requires practice to build your confidence.
    3- it is friggiin’ amazing!