Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
December 10th, 2017

Lots More on San Diego Bird Photography. And Yet Another Used Old 500mm, this one in near-mint condition.

Stuff

On Saturday it was rainy and chilly. I worked on several images and blog posts, drove around ILE looking for perches — I found one nice one, and, late in the day, swam 3/4 easy miles. The pool was 81 degrees, the air temperature was an even 50 degrees.

Right now it looks as if only two folks are signed up for San Diego #2; San Diego #1 has been sold out for some time. IPT #2 represents an amazing opportunity to enjoy some great bird photography with the spectacular breeding plumage Pacific race of Brown Pelican and to learn from possibly the finest bird photography teacher to ever walk on the planet (he said with all modesty …) This IPT is the first to offer a free morning session the day before the IPT starts. I hope that you can join me.

Facebook

If you have sent me a FB friends request that has gone unrequited, it is because I am up to the 5,000 limit on my personal FB page. You are invited to click here and then Like and Follow the identical content. 🙂

The Streak

Today makes one hundred thirty-five days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about an hour to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Booking.Com

Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.



Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks 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 might include system, camera body, accessory, and lens choices and decisions.

New Used Gear Listing

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens (the “old five”) with extras

Rowland Jackson is offering a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM super telephoto Lens (the “old five”) in near-mint condition for a fabulously low $3799. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the leather front lens cover, the lens trunk, the lens strap, a Canon drop-in polarizer (a $179 value), a Wimberley P-50 lens plate (a $55 value) and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Rowland via e-mail or by phone at 1-254-709-1770 (Central time).

The 500mm f/4 lenses have been the world’s most popular telephoto lenses for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. I owned and used and loved my “old five” for many years. If you don’t have the cash for the 500 II and can handle the additional 1 1/2 pounds, then this is your best super-telephoto option. Most everyone can produce sharp images with this lens and the 1.4X III TC. Folks with good to excellent sharpness techniques can do the same with the 2X III TC. With the new 500 II selling for $8,999 you can save a neat $5200 by grabbing Rowland’s lens in truly superb condition (plus the extras!) … artie

The Gear I Used to Create Today’s Featured Image

Add the Fujifilm XF 2x TC WR teleconverter to the stuff below and with the 1.5X crop factor of the XT-2 you will be the owner of a fairly light, definitely hand holdable rig with effective focal lengths of from 150 to 1200mm. A new world is coming.

Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Joel Williams is offering a Fujifilm X-T2 camera in near-mint condition for only $1099. Included in the sale are the Metal Hand Grip for the X-T2 (a $109 value), two extra Fujifilm batteries (both items also in near-mint condition), the original boxes and everything that came in them, and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The items will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

The XT-2 is currently Fuji’s flagship digital camera body. I had a chance to test this camera for about six weeks and enjoyed its small size and light weight a ton. I made more than a few excellent images with my Fujifilm gear. If you click on Postlist 2017 on the orange/yellow menu bar and do a page search for XT-2 you can find nearly a dozen blog posts featuring images from this great little camera body. In addition to being decent for birds, nature, and wildlife the Fuji gear (including many of the lenses listed below) will make a superb travel/landscape rig. artie

Fuji X-T2 VPB Vertical Power Booster Grip

Joel Williams is also offering a Fuji X-T2 VPB Vertical Power Booster Grip in near-mint condition for $189. Learn more here. This item sells new for $329. The price includes insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The items will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

This grip holds two batteries for a total of three at the same time. I used and enjoyed it with my XT-2. artie

Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens in like-new condition for $1199. The sale includes the original box and everything that in it along with and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Fujifilm XF 1.4x TC WR Teleconverter

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter in like-new condition for only $299. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

Extend the reach of your XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR and XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lenses with the XF 1.4x TC WR Teleconverter from Fujifilm. The X mount converter magnifies the image by 1.4x and retains full communication between the lens and body, enabling metering, autofocus, and image stabilization as well as the transmission of EXIF data. Additionally, the teleconverter is designed to maintain the weather resistance of the entire Fujifilm system with a sealed construction that reduces the chances of dust, water, or even the cold from affecting performance. This item sells new for $449. B&H

ACR-BBPL

ACR Screen Capture

The ACR Conversion

I used ACR to convert my Fujifilm RAF files. Click on the screen capture above to see a larger version. Check out the perfect histogram and the various sliders. Do note that ACR conversions (along with hundreds of other important post processing topics) are covered in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

Black-bellied-Plover-winter-plumage-_DSF2571-La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created at La Jolla, CA with the hand held the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens, the Fujifilm XF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter (at 560mm), and the Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera equipped with the Fujifilm VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster Grip. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/10.1 in Manual mode. AWB.

Shutter Button Continuous Autofocus. Additional AF information is unavailable.

Black-bellied Plover posing

Black-bellied Plover posing

There are several locations in La Jolla where you can find and photograph a variety of shorebirds. Black-bellied Plovers is relatively common and easy. The same can be said of Willet, Black and Ruddy Turnstones, Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpipers, and Sanderling. Less common though often photographed include Black Oystercatcher, Marbled Godwit, Whimbrel, Surfbird, and Wandering Tattler. The how-lucky-can-you-get? category includes American Oystercatcher and Long-billed Curlew.

In the same habitats you will find a variety of gulls and terns including Western, Heerman’s California, and Ring-billed Gulls, and Royal, Forster’s and rarely, Elegant Terns. Join me in San Diego and learn how to get close to and make great images of shorebirds and gulls. We usually enjoy lots of flight photography with the gulls. And I forgot to mention that Mew Gull is possible.

What I Was Thinking …

Note that I waited for the perfect head angle to coincide with a very good breaking wave position and you will understand what I was thinking. Though I could have gotten lower that would have introduced more white from the breaking waves so I opted to stand in The Crevice at nearly full height when creating today’s featured image.

Lens Note

If I could be in San Diego with only one super telephoto lens I would pick either the old or the new 500 over the old or the new 600 as the pelicans are too close for the 600s and getting into position on the cliffs is much easier with the smaller, lighter 500s than with the huge, heavy 600s.

The San Diego Site Guide (in PDF format delivered via e-mail)

The Site Guides are the closest thing to joining an IPT that you can experience without actually joining me. And they cost only fifty bucks, a lot less than an IPT! I share everything that I know about the five killer photography spots within 20 minutes of downtown San Diego. Learn where and how and when to photograph the amazing California race of Brown Pelican; Marbled Godwits against bright buff backgrounds; Wood Ducks, Lesser Scaup, and Ring-necked Duck at point blank range; and a variety of stunning gulls (including Heerman’s, Western, and California) both perched and in flight. You will learn where to go on what wind and what tides are best for each coastal location. As usual, I have held nothing back. Both the Fort DeSoto and Bosque Site Guides have received nothing but praise from the more than 500 photographers who were able to visit these sites for the first time as if they had been photographing them for a decade.

The San Diego Site Guide (8936 words, 38 color photographs) will prove most useful to folks visiting in the colder months, but many of the locations are productive in other seasons as well, especially spring. Note: The Brown Pelicans, which are the big attraction in San Diego, have their bright red bill pouches only in winter, so this guide–though useful at other times of year–is most valuable to those visiting at that season.

5dIV

Amazing 5D Mark IV Sale!

5D Mark IV Still on Sale!

Right now you can purchase a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with the BG-E20 Battery Grip for the crazy low price of $3199. I am not sure how long this Black Friday sale will last …

Blog regular Bill Hill was so excited when he read of this sale that he forgot to use my affiliate link. 🙂 He wrote, “I still think the 5D Mark IV sale is is too good to be true. I will believe it when it arrives. Thanks for the heads up.

Note: Bill went for the one with the free battery grip and the free Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printer.

San-Diego-2017-card

2017 in San Diego was a very good year ….

2018 San Diego 3 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART IPT #2: Sunday, JAN 28 thru and including the morning session on Wednesday, JAN 31, 2018 and a free morning session the day before the IPT starts: 3 1/2 days (+1/2!): $1699. Limit: 8: Openings: 7.

Meet and Greet at 6:30pm on the evening before the IPT begins; Saturday, Jan 27, 2018.

San Diego IPT #2: Shorter and Less Expensive!

Please remember: I go with one.

Join me in San Diego near the end of January to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (usually nesting and displaying) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Wood Duck and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Whimbrel, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seal (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lion; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well. Please note: formerly dependable, both Wood Duck and Marbled Godwit have been declining at their usual locations for the past two years …


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….

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography. And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication. You can do most of your photography with an 80- or 100-400 lens …

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 four 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, three 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, three lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. Dinners are on your own so that we can get some sleep.

A $599 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 is payable only by check. 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.

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 :).

December 9th, 2017

Fujifilm XT-2, San Diego, Pelicans, and a slew of used Fuji and Sony photo gear for sale.

Stuff

On Friday it was dark and foggy and drizzling most of the day. Jim dropped Anita off at the Orlando Airport on his way home. As far as getting stuff done, it was a hazy lazy day for me too though I did get a bit of work done on the 5D Mark IV User’s Guide. And I did enjoy my easy 3/4 mile swim.

FYI: Early on Saturday morning I responded to each comment left in the Perch Payoffs #2! Anhinga X Greater Roadrunner Hybrid! And Rescuing Under-exposed Silhouettes here.

Right now it looks as if only two folks are signed up for San Diego #2; San Diego #1 has been sold out for some time. IPT #2 represents an amazing opportunity to enjoy some great bird photography with the spectacular breeding plumage Pacific race of Brown Pelican and to learn from possibly the finest bird photography teacher to ever walk on the planet (he said with all modesty …) This IPT is the first to offer a free morning session the day before the IPT starts. I hope that you can join me.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred thirty-four days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 90 minutes to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Booking.Com

Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.



Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks 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 might include system, camera body, accessory, and lens choices and decisions.

New (and Different) Used Gear Listings

Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera

Joel Williams is offering a Fujifilm X-T2 camera in near-mint condition for only $1099. Included in the sale are the Metal Hand Grip for the X-T2 (a $109 value), two extra Fujifilm batteries (both items also in near-mint condition), the original boxes and everything that came in them, and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The items will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

The XT-2 is currently Fuji’s flagship digital camera body. I had a chance to test this camera for about six weeks and enjoyed its small size and light weight a ton. I made more than a few excellent images with my Fujifilm gear. If you click on Postlist 2017 on the orange/yellow menu bar and do a page search for XT-2 you can find nearly a dozen blog posts featuring images from this great little camera body. In addition to being decent for birds, nature, and wildlife the Fuji gear (including many of the lenses listed below) will make a superb travel/landscape rig. artie

Fuji X-T2 VPB Vertical Power Booster Grip

Joel Williams is also offering a Fuji X-T2 VPB Vertical Power Booster Grip in near-mint condition for $189. Learn more here. This item sells new for $329. The price includes insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The items will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

This grip holds two batteries for a total of three at the same time. I used and enjoyed it with my XT-2. artie

Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens in like-new condition for $1199. The sale includes the original box and everything that in it along with and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

I used this versatile lens for six weeks and made lots of excellent images with both the Fujifilm XF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter and the Fujifilm XF 2x TC WR teleconverter. With the 1.5X crop factor of the XT-2 and this lens zoomed out to 400mm I made sharp images at effective 1200mm with the 2X teleconverter. (As usual, but these were handheld!) artie

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR lens in like-new condition for $949. The sale includes the original box, and everything that came with the lens, and insured ground shipping via UPS, to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

This versatile lens sell new for $1499 so you can save a nifty $550 by grabbing it. artie

Fujifilm XF 1.4x TC WR Teleconverter

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter in like-new condition for only $299. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

Extend the reach of your XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR and XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lenses with the XF 1.4x TC WR Teleconverter from Fujifilm. The X mount converter magnifies the image by 1.4x and retains full communication between the lens and body, enabling metering, autofocus, and image stabilization as well as the transmission of EXIF data. Additionally, the teleconverter is designed to maintain the weather resistance of the entire Fujifilm system with a sealed construction that reduces the chances of dust, water, or even the cold from affecting performance. This item sells new for $449. B&H

Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 56 f/1.2 R lens in like-new condition for $549. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

This lens is a prime portrait-length lens that provides a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 85mm when used with Fujifilm APS-C-sized mirrorless digital cameras. Its bright f/1.2 maximum aperture greatly benefits selective focus control and also aids in shooting in low-light conditions. The internal focusing system, as well as the use of a stepping AF motor, ensures quiet, smooth, and precise focusing capabilities that are ideal for both still and video applications.The lens goes for $899 new. B&H

Fujifilm XF 50 f/2 R WR Lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 50 f/2 R WR lens in like-new condition for only $299. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

This sleek prime lens for Fujifilm X-series mirrorless cameras offers a 76mm equivalent focal length to suit a variety of applications including portraiture and still lifes. The lightweight design and bright f/2 maximum aperture benefit working in low-light conditions and also afford a high degree of control over depth of field for selective focus techniques. Autofocus is fast, precise, and near-silent to suit both photo and video shooting, and the lens is also weather-sealed and is rated to work in temperatures as low as 14°F. Additionally, a Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating) coating has been applied to individual elements to reduce lens flare and ghosting for improved contrast and color fidelity when working in strong lighting conditions. The lens sells new for $449. B&H

Fujifilm XF 35 f/2 R WR Lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 35 f/2 R WR lens with the LH-XF 35-2 lens hood (a $67.98 value) in like-new condition for only $229. The sale includes the original boxes and everything that came in them and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The gear will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

Offering a normal perspective in a compact package, the silver XF 35mm f/2 R WR Lens from Fujifilm is optimized for use on X-series cameras with APS-C format sensors, producing a 35mm equivalent focal length of 53mm. Along with this, it has a fast f/2 maximum aperture, useful for creating images with a shallow depth-of-field and working in low-light conditions. Ensuring optimal image quality is a 9 element in 6 group design that incorporates two ED and two aspherical elements that work to minimize aberrations and distortion for crisp, clean imagery. Also, the lens has the Nano-GI coating which dramatically limits the effects of ghosting and flare. The lens sells new for $399. B&H

Fujifilm XF 23 f/2 R WR Lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 23 f/2 R WR lens in like-new condition for only $299. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

Compact, fast, and weather resistant, this lens from Fujifilm is a great choice for those looking for a lightweight and effective imaging kit. Optimized for X-series mirrorless cameras equipped with APS-C sensors, this 23mm lens offers a classic 35mm equivalent perspective, a view much loved by street photographers. The lightweight design and fast f/2 aperture make it a great choice for those looking to stay discreet while shooting. Also, by using two aspherical elements in its optical construction, the lens is able to combat distortions and aberrations for a clear, sharp image. In addition, the 23mm lens uses a Super EBC coating to minimize flare and ghosting. The lens sells new for $449. B&H

Fujifilm XF 16 f/1.4 R WR Lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 16 f/1.4 R WR lens with the LH-XF 16 lens hood (a 67.98 value) both in like-new condition for only $549. The sale includes the original boxes and everything that came in them and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

Fast and wide, the XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR Lens is a 24mm equivalent wide-angle lens designed specifically for Fujifilm X-mount mirrorless cameras. Two aspherical and two extra-low dispersion elements are incorporated within the lens design to minimize chromatic, spherical, and axial aberrations as well as distortions for consistent edge-to-edge sharpness and illumination. A Nano-GI coating has also been applied to alter the refractive index between elements and suppress flare and ghosting. Conventionally thought of as an ideal lens for street, travel, and landscape photography, this wide prime also features a minimum working distance of less than 6″ for photographing close-up subjects. This lens sells new for $899. B&H

Fujifilm XF 16-55 f/2.8 R LM WR lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 16-55 f/2.8 R LM WR lens in like-new condition for only $649. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

A standard-length zoom built to handle harsh conditions, this weather-sealed lens offers the 35mm focal length equivalence of 24-82.5mm for versatile wide-angle to portrait length perspectives. With a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture, it is effective in low light conditions and able to control focus placement with a shallow depth of field. Compatible with all Fujifilm X-mount mirrorless digital cameras, it features a sophisticated lens design, internal focusing and a Twin Linear Motor AF system for exceedingly fast and near silent autofocus operation. The lens sells new for $1049. B&H

Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Mount Lenses to Fujifilm X Mount Digital Cameras

Joel Williams is also offering a Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Mount Lenses to Fujifilm X Mount Digital cameras bodies in like-new condition for only $99. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. This item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

One of the most appealing aspects of mirrorless cameras like those of the Fujifilm X series is the availability of a wide range of compatible interchangeable lenses, including non-Fuji lenses. The Adapter for Leica M Mount Lenses to Fujifilm X Mount Digital Cameras from Novoflex makes it possible to mount a Leica M lens to your Fujifilm X-Pro1, XE-1 and XM-1 Mirrorless Digital Cameras. This precision mechanical adapter does not transfer functions from the camera to the lens, such as automatic focus, however automatic exposure metering in aperture priority and stop-down metering is possible. The lens will focus to infinity using this adapter. This item sells new for $206.25. B&H

Sony Vario-Tessar T FE 16-35 f/4 ZA OSS Lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Sony Vario-Tessar T FE 16-35 f/4 ZA OSS lens in like-new condition for only $749. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

A compact and weather-resistant option, the Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS lens from Sony will satisfy nearly all the wide-angle needs of full-frame E-mount shooters. It also features a constant f/4 aperture for consistent performance and illumination throughout the zoom range. Ensuring optimal image quality, the lens design incorporates five aspherical elements, including one Advanced Aspherical (AA), three extra-low dispersion elements, and the Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating. This combination delivers images that are free from aberration and flare. The lens sells new for $1248.00 B&H

Sony FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS Lens

Joel Williams is also offering a Sony FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS lens in like-new condition for only $979. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

Capture more distant subjects while keeping your kit lightweight with the FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens from Sony. This full-frame lens is designed for use with mirrorless E-mount cameras where it delivers an excellent telephoto zoom range. It also uses a maximum aperture of f/4 to keep size and weight down. Incorporated into the optical design are a series of specialized elements to ensure aberrations are suppressed, this includes two extra-low dispersion elements, one super extra-low dispersion element, two advanced aspherical elements, and one aspherical element. Along with these capabilities, a Nano AR coating will help minimize the appearance of flare and ghosting. The lens sells new for $1398.00 B&H

ACR-XT-2pelican

ACR Screen Capture

The ACR Conversion

I used ACR to convert my Fujifilm RAF files. Click on the screen capture above to see a larger version. Check out the perfect histogram and the various sliders. Do note that ACR conversions (along with hundreds of other important post processing topics) are covered in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

Brown-Pelican-XT-2-_DSF1946-La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created at La Jolla, CA with the hand held the Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens, the Fujifilm XF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter, and the Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera equipped with the Fujifilm VPB-XT2 Vertical Power Booster Grip. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. AWB.

Shutter Button Continuous Autofocus. Additional AF information is unavailable.

Brown Pelican, Pacific race in full breeding plumage: tight face and bill detail

The Classic Head & Shoulders Portrait

It is important to understand La Jolla-specific pelican behavior in order to consistently create the classic head and shoulders Pacific-race Brown Pelican portraits with a relatively short lens (like the Canon 100-400mm L IS II). In the very early morning the birds can be skittish. You need to stay well back. But on most days within 30 minutes of the sun coming over the hills to the east, the birds are often stupid-tame. If you stay low and move slowly you can practically pet them. Those lovely colors set against back-grounds of distant, sunlit Pacific-blue are to die for. But not literally.

5dIV

Amazing 5D Mark IV Sale!

5D Mark IV Still on Sale!

Right now you can purchase a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with the BG-E20 Battery Grip for the crazy low price of $3199. I am not sure how long this Black Friday sale will last …

Blog regular Bill Hill was so excited when he read of this sale that he forgot to use my affiliate link. 🙂 He wrote, “I still think the 5D Mark IV sale is is too good to be true. I will believe it when it arrives. Thanks for the heads up.

Note: Bill went for the one with the free battery grip and the free Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printer.

San-Diego-2017-card

2017 in San Diego was a very good year ….

2018 San Diego 3 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART IPT #2: Sunday, JAN 28 thru and including the morning session on Wednesday, JAN 31, 2018 and a free morning session the day before the IPT starts: 3 1/2 days (+1/2!): $1699. Limit: 8: Openings: 7.

Meet and Greet at 6:30pm on the evening before the IPT begins; Saturday, Jan 27, 2018.

San Diego IPT #2: Shorter and Less Expensive!

Please remember: I go with one.

Join me in San Diego near the end of January to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (usually nesting and displaying) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Wood Duck and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Whimbrel, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seal (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lion; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well. Please note: formerly dependable, both Wood Duck and Marbled Godwit have been declining at their usual locations for the past two years …


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….

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography. And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication. You can do most of your photography with an 80- or 100-400 lens …

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 four 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, three 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, three lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. Dinners are on your own so that we can get some sleep.

A $599 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 is payable only by check. 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.

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 :).

December 8th, 2017

Perch Payoffs #2! Anhinga X Greater Roadrunner Hybrid! And Rescuing Under-exposed Silhouettes.

Stuff

On Thursday morning it was foggy-dark so Anita and I searched for new perches. We wound up finding and setting up three, but so far none can compare to The Perch. I worked on photos and blog posts, visited Publix and ART chiropractor TJ McKeon in town, swam my slow 1/2 mile plus, visited a dying neighbor and his wife, and then relaxed for the rest of the day. Anita flies back to Toronto today.

5dIV

Amazing 5D Mark IV Sale!

5D Mark IV Still on Sale!

Right now you can purchase a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with the BG-E20 Battery Grip for the crazy low price of $3199. I am not sure how long this Black Friday sale will last …

Blog regular Bill Hill was so excited when he read of this sale that he forgot to use my affiliate link. 🙂 He wrote, “I still think the 5D Mark IV sale is is too good to be true. I will believe it when it arrives. Thanks for the heads up.

Note: Bill went for the one with the free battery grip and the free Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printer.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred thirty-three days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 90 minutes to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Booking.Com

Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.



Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks 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 might include system, camera body, accessory, and lens choices and decisions.

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 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can see the complete listings here.

After a two month lull, sales have picked up over the past six weeks, especially the sale of big glass. I should be listing another Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS Lens soon; if you would like advance notice, please shoot me an e-mail

Recent Sales

Mike Newman sold a Canon EF 600 F4/L USM IS II USA lens in like-new condition for the record-low BAA price of 9,398.00 within two days of listing it in early December.
Steve Cashell sold his Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens in near-mint condition for a very low $7898 in mid-November.
In late November Mansoor Assadi sold his Canon EOS-1DX Mark II professional digital camera body in like-new condition for a BAA record-low $3998 and his Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body in excellent condition for a very low and fair $999.
Mansoor Assadi sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III digital camera body in excellent condition for a very low $1299 in early November.
Robert Blanke sold his Canon EOS-1DX Mark II professional digital camera body in like-new condition for the BAA record low/shock the world price of $3999 an hour after it was listed.
IPT veteran Duncan Douglas sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens (the “old five”) in early November for #3699.
Chesley Swann sold a Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS Zoom Lens (the original 1-4) in excellent condition for the very low price of $529 in mid-November.
Mike Lawie sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II body in near-mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $923 and his Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens in excellent condition also for a BAA record low price: $448. Both in mid-November.
Gary Wade sold his Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens in near-mint condition for the record-low BAA price of $7449 in mid-November.
Multiple IPT veteran Shelly Goldstein sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens (the “old five”) in excellent condition for the $3899 a week after it was listed.
Peter Noyes sold his Nikon D-810 Digital SLR Camera Body in excellent condition for $1499 two hours after it was listed.
Multiple IPT veteran Shelly Goldstein sold his Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Super Telephoto lens in like-new condition for $9,399 in early November before it was even listed …
Multiple IPT veteran Dr. Gil Moe sold his Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens in excellent plus condition for $449 in mid-October.
Francois Botha sold his Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS (the old 400 DO) for the BAA record low price of $2098 within days of listing.
Stephen November sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender in near-mint condition for $8399 just two days after it was listed in early October.

New Listings

Nikkor 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 G ED VR Lens

Steve Ellis is offering a used Nikkor 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 G ED VR lens in excellent condition for $599. The lens has some very minor wear on the finish. The sale includes the original box, soft case, manual, lens hood, front and rear lens caps, and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; the lens will be shipped only after your check clears.

Contact Steve via e-mail or call him at 1-203-247-4912 (Eastern time zone).

The 28-300 focal length range makes this lens very versatile. It is a great travel and B roll lens and a great lens to have at Bosque. It sells new at B&H for $964.95. artie

AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR Lens

Steve Ellis is also offering a used AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G ED VR lens in near-mint condition for $1499. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it including the front and rear lens caps and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; the lens will be shipped only after your check clears.

Contact Steve via e-mail or call him at 1-203-247-4912 (Eastern time zone).

This is an incredibly versatile lens. It is great for general natures and travel and B roll stuff. It sells new at B&H for $2,296.95 artie

Nikon-compatible PocketWizard Stuff

Steve Ellis is also offering the following PocketWizard Stuff for $249: Two PocketWizard FlexTT5 with ControlTL Transceivers and one PocketWizard MiniTT1 with ControlTL Transmitter. Both are like-new having been used only once. The sale includes the original boxes and everything that came in them along with insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; the PocketWizards will ship only after your check clears.

Contact Steve via e-mail or call him at 1-203-247-4912 (Eastern time zone).

ACR-ANHINGA-ORIG

The ACR Screen Capture for Image #1
Image courtesy of and copyright 2017: Anita North

You Snooze You Lose …

Last Saturday afternoon I was feeling a bit lazy and opted to stay in and get some work done while Anita went down to the lake for sunset and had a really neat Anhinga on The Perch with a colorful sunset sky. My bad …

A Massive Underexposure

As you can see by glancing at the RGB histogram (with no data to the right of center), Anita’s image above was a big under-exposure. Anita likes to keep her shutter speeds up when photographing with long effective focal lengths and at times loses sight of the correct exposure. I optimized Image #1 below. After watching me do that, Anita optimized her Image #2 also below. I actually did my RAW conversion in DPP 4 (as did Anita). I chose to show the original in ACR as once an image is converted in DPP 4 the RAW files show the adjustments. I could have gotten quite similar results had I opted to convert the image in ACR. Do note that ACR conversions are covered in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

Summing Up the Lesson

Do not forget that digital images that look like absolute garbage on the back of the camera or on your monitor can often be turned into excellent photographs with a bit of knowledgeable tender loving care.

Anhinga-taking-flight-anita-north-photo-_V6A0429Indian-Lake-EState

This image was created down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL on the evening of Saturday, December 2, 2017 by Anita North. She used the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Wimberley-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering -1 1/3 stops: stops: 1/1600 sec. at f/8 was a big under-exposure. 5:27pm on a clear evening.

Five AF points up and one to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Surround/Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected Af point was on the center of the Anhinga’s tail of the departing bird.

Image #1: Anhinga taking flight
Image courtesy of and copyright 2017: Anita North
Image optimization by your truly

Anhinga X Greater Roadrunner Hybrid!

I could not stop smiling when I first saw Anita’s image of an Anhinga leaving the perch running. Yes, running like a roadrunner! I knew that this under-exposed image needed saving.

My Image Optimization

With Anita watching carefully over my shoulder, I converted the image in DPP 4. Because of the excessive noise resulting from the under-exposure I used my 5D IV recipe for ISO 1600 rather than the one for ISO 800. Then I moved the Brightness slider to +1.33, pulled the Color fine-tune dot below the line and well to the right, increased the Contrast to +1, and increased the Color saturation to +2. I only very rarely touch either the Contrast or the Color saturation sliders. I find using the Color Fine-tune dot to be tremendously helpful and efficient when it comes to managing color balance.

Once I had the image into Photoshop I added Canvas right using techniques from APTATS II. Then I ran two Neat Image reductions that worked great on most of the background. But the dark strips at the background needed more help. As I did not realize that a simple solution to the excessive noise was at hand until after I had done most of the work on this blog post. I will share the improved version of this image with you in a future blog post.

_V6A0320Indian-Lake-EState

This image was created down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL on the morning of Saturday, December 2, 2017 by Anita North. She used the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Wimberley-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop as framed: 1/1600 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. AWB. 5:25pm on a clear evening.

Five AF points up and one to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Surround/Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected Af point was on the Anhinga’s body.

Image #2: Anhinga crazy stretch
Image courtesy of and copyright 2017: Anita North

Anita’s Image Optimization

Anita did a fine job optimizing the crazy stretch. Behavior-wise, understand that when an Anhinga had been sitting on a given perch for a while and then stretches it usually indicates that it will be taking flight momentarily.

Image Questions

A- Which of Anita’s two images is the strongest, Image #1 or Image #2. Be sure to let us know why you made your choice.
B- Do you prefer the darker sky tones in Image #1 or the lighter sky tones in Image #2?

Thanks!

Many thanks to Anita North for allowing me to share her two images with y’all here in today’s blog post.

DBII-cover

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II) will teach you an efficient Mac or PC/Photo Mechanic/Photoshop workflow that will make it easy for you to make your images better in Photoshop (rather than worse). That true whether you convert your images in DPP 4 or ACR. See the blog post here to learn lots more and to read a free excerpt.

You can order your copy from the BAA Online Store here, by sending a Paypal for $40 here, or by calling Jim or Jennifer weekdays at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II)

The few things mentioned above (and tons more) are covered in detail in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. Learn more and check out the free excerpt in the blog post here. The new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow. Do note that you will find the RGB Curves Adjustment Color Balancing tutorial only in the new e-guide. Note: folks working on a PC and/or those who do not want to miss anything Photoshop may wish to purchase the original Digital Basics along with DB II while saving $15 by clicking here to buy the DB Bundle.

The two most recent and many of the older MP4 Photoshop Tutorial videos releases go hand and hand with the information in DB II):

  • The Wingtip Repairs MP4 Video here.
  • The MP4 Crow Cleanup Video here.

Folks who learn well by following along rather than by reading can check out the complete collection of MP 4 Photoshop Tutorial Videos by clicking here.

You can learn how and why I and other discerning Canon shooters convert nearly all of their Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here. And you can learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair. Folks can learn sophisticated sharpening and (NeatImage) Noise Reduction techniques in the The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly.

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 :).