April 29th, 2016

Quivering at Sunset…

What’s Up?

I should be almost home if everything has gone according to plan. I hope to be visiting with y’all on a regular, more personal basis again here soon. I should be back in the office late on the afternoon of Friday, April 29.


The Streak

Today’s blog post marks 175 days in a row with a new educational blog post… As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. Please remember that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.


quiver-tree-bird-silh-_r7a0070-quiver-tree-forest-keetmanshoop-namibia

This image was created on the 2016 Namibia IPT at the Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, Namibia with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 185mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/11 Av Mode. Color temperature: 8,400K.

Center AF point (Manual selection) /AI Servo Rear button AF on the upper part of the trunk and re-compose slightly. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Quiver tree with passerine

The Quiver Tree Forest

After the ghost town holidayDenise Ippolito and I met the group at a farm outside of Keetmanshoop with lovely guest lodgings. We were greeted by the hosts pet Warthog. After unpacking, we enjoyed a superb early dinner of Oryx stew in burgundy wine sauce. Then Wim gave a lesson on light painting Milky Way photography. We learned to frame the image, to focus using Live View, to set the correct exposure, and how to set up our Pocket Wizards and cable. We headed out, most with intermediate telephoto lenses, into the golden light of a clear African afternoon. We made some nice images of Quiver Trees right from the parking lot. Most of the group followed Wim and sidekick Ben Crane into the protected forest area. Seeing the potential for some sunset silhouettes of tress on the ridge to the west that was actually outside of the formal Quiver Tree forest. I invited several clients to follow me but all chose to head into the preserve with Denise, Ben, and Wim. I spent about 40 minutes galavanting across the hillside in search of a great tree to silhouette. At first, there was enough light to hand hold but after a while I put my 20-200 onto the tripod. After I found it in neat total darkness.

Then I caught up with the group and enjoyed a challenging five hour light painting/Milky Way photo session. I will share my best image from that session with you here soon. We did not get back to our rooms until almost 2am. After a very few hours of sleep we woke early and hit the road, headed to the the luxurious Sossusvlei Dune Lodge inside Namib Naukluft National Park.


young-quiver-tree-sunset-silh-_r7a0082-quiver-tree-forest-keetmanshoop-namibia

This image was also created on the 2016 Namibia IPT at the Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 210mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/11 Av Mode. Color temperature: 8,400K..

Center AF point (Manual selection) /AI Servo Rear button AF on the upper right part of the tree’s crown was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Crown of young Quiver tree

The Youngster

I found the crown of this young Quiver Tree to be quite graphic. It was a challenge getting into position on the rock hillside. I sure was glad that I did not wear my sandals…


quiver-tree-at-sunset-_r7a0139-quiver-tree-forest-keetmanshoop-namibia

This image too was created on the 2016 Namibia IPT at the Quiver Tree Forest, Keetmanshoop, with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at155mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/8 sec. at f/6 in Av Mode.. Color temperature: 10,000 K.

One-Shot Flexi-Zone Single AF in Live View with 2-second timer. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #3: Quiver tree sunset well after sundown

Late Color

Once it got too dark to hand hold, I went to my flower technique: Live View (effectively for Mirror Lock-up) and the 2-second timer. This was the last image I made before making my way into the protected area to hook up with the group.

Your Favorite?

Please leave a comment and let us know which of the three images is your favorite. And be sure to let us know why you made your choice.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links :)

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 BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod heads, Induro tripods and ballheads, Wimberley heads and plates, LensCoats and accessories, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and visiting the BAA Online store as well.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and visiting the BAA Online store as well.

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 :)

April 28th, 2016

Exposure Question: How Far to the Right? And Still More 100-400 II Versatility

What’s Up?

I should be well on my way home if everything had gone according to plan. I hope to be visiting with y’all on again soon. I will be back in the office late on the afternoon of Friday, April 29.


The Streak

Today’s blog post marks 174 days in a row with a new educational blog post… As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. Please remember that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.

Price Reduced $2500

Japan In Winter IPT. February 9-24, 2017: $11,499 (was $13,999)/double occupancy.

Price Reduced $2,500 on 3-8-16!

Please e-mail for couple and IPT repeat customer discount information.

As I really, really want to make it back to Japan in winter one more time, I decided to lower the price of the world’s best Japan in Winter trip by $2,500. Yes my trip has three great leaders including the best bird photography instructor on the planet. That’s the guy who knows where to be when and why. And yes, it is now a bit more expensive than most. And yes, we stay at a fine hotel in Tokyo. And yes, we stay in a marvelous traditional hotel for our three nights at the Snow Monkey Park. And yes, we are perfectly located on Hokkaido, minutes from the premier Red-crowned Crane sanctuary and an easy drive to most of the other wondrous avian attractions. And yes, we enjoy home cooked breakfasts and dinners prepared by Shinobu, the wife of our local Japanese guide. She is an incredible chef. After three visits her meals are now traditional Japanese fine-tuned for the American palate. And yes, my tour is longer than the others, giving us many days with the cranes. I saw one trip with only two days of crane photography; what a bummer. End each day with a traditional onsen (hot springs mineral bath) to complete your immersion in Japanese culture.

Life is short. I hope that you can join me. Scroll down for details.


snow-monkeys-grooming-_r7a8797-nagano-japan

This image was created on the 2015 Japan in Winter IPT with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 100mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops as framed: 1/400 sec. at f/6.3. AWB.

I selected a single AF point one to the right and two rows down from the center AF Point/AI Servo Spot Focus/Shutter Button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). This was a small crop from above, left, and below. The selected AF point was on the side of the upper breast of the male. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Snow Monkeys grooming

Still More 100-400 II Versatility

On my San Diego surgery trip, Patrick Sparkman and I began calling the 100-400 II the La Jolla lens as it proved very useful in a great variety of situations. As it is the only lens that I bring up the hill to the Monkey Park, I will need to start calling it the Snow Monkey Park lens as well. For today’s featured image–the first keeper from the 2106 trip, I backed up a step or to and zoomed out to 100mm to get the framing that I wanted. Two minutes later I was photographing the single hand of the monkey on our right. The new 1-4II is both amazing and amazingly versatile.


ettrsnowmonkeys

Photo Mechanic screen capture

Exposure Question: How Far to the Right?

As with today’s featured image, there are times when it is the right strategy to expose so far to the right that certain background elements are over-exposed with tons of blinkies. Why? To make sure to get all the detail that you can in the monkey’s fur. Do note that snow in soft light contains little if any detail so we are really not hurting anything with this strategy. Additionally, With the huge 5DS R I was able to minimize the amount of snow in the image by cropping from our right and from above.

Photo Mechanic

More and more folks are going to Photo Mechanic as their image browser. I use PM to pick my keepers and delete my rejects just about ever day of the year. You can save a few bucks on your purchase by calling Jim at the office at 863-692-0906 weekdays.


japan-2016-card

Consider joining me in Japan in February, 2017, for the world’s best Japan in Winter workshop. Click on the card to enjoy the spectacular larger version.

Japan In Winter IPT. February 9-24, 2017: $11,499 (was $13,999)/double occupancy.

Price Reduced $2,500 on 3-8-16!

All lodging including the Tokyo hotel on 9 FEB, all breakfasts & dinners, ground transport and transfers including bus to the monkey park hotel, and all entrance fees and in-country flights are included. Not included: international flights, all lunches–most are on the run, and alcoholic beverages.

Please e-mail for couple and IPT repeat customer discount information.

This trip is one day longer than the great 2014 trip to allow for more flexibility, more time with the cranes, and most importantly, more time for landscape photography. Hokkaido is gorgeous. You will enjoy tons of pre-trip planning and gear advice, in-the-field instruction and guidance, at-the-lodge Photoshop and image review sessions in addition to short introductory slide programs for each of the amazing locations. Skilled photographer Paul McKenzie handles the logistics and we enjoy the services of Japan’s best wildlife photography guide whom I affectionately call “Hokkaido Bear.” His network of local contacts and his knowledge of the weather, the area, and the birds is unparalleled and enables him to have us in the best location every day.


japan-2016-a-card

Amazing subjects. Beautiful settings. Nonstop action and unlimited opportunities. Join me.

The Logistics

Arrive Tokyo: 9 FEB 2017 the latest. 8 FEB is safer and gives you a day to get acclimated to the time change. Your hotel room for the night of the 9th is covered.

Bus Travel to Monkey Park Hotel: 10 FEB: A 1/2 DAY of monkey photography is likely depending on our travel time… This traditional hotel is first class all the way. Our stay includes three ten course Japanese dinners; these sumptuous meals will astound you and delight your taste buds. There are many traditional hot springs mineral baths (onsens) on site in this 150 year old hotel.

Full Day snow monkeys: FEB 11.

Full Day snow monkeys: FEB 12.

13 FEB: Full travel day to Hokkaido/arrive at our lodge in the late afternoon. The lodge is wonderful. All the rooms at the lodge have beds. Bring your warm pajamas. A local onsen (hot springs bath and tubs) is available for $5 each day before dinner–when you are cold, it is the best thing since sliced bread. The home-cooked Japanese styles meals at the lodge are to die for. What’s the best news? Only a small stand of woods separates us from the very best crane sanctuary. During one big snowstorm we were the only photo group to be able to get to Tsurui Ito; we had the whole place to ourselves in perfect conditions for crane photography!

FEB 14-23: Red-crowned Crane, raptors in flight, Whooper Swans, and scenic photography. Ural Owl possible. An overnight trip to Rausu for Steller’s Sea Eagle and White-tailed Eagle photography on the tourists boats is 100% dependent on the weather, road, and sea ice conditions. Only our trip offers complete flexibility in this area. It has saved us on more than once occasion. The cost of 2 eagle-boat trips is included. If the group would like to do more than two boat trips and we all agree, there will be an additional charge for the extra trip or trips. No matter the sea ice conditions, we will do two eagle boat trips (as long as we can make the drive to Rausu; it snows a lot up there). We have never been shut out.In 2016 there was no sea ice but our guide arranged for two amazingly productive boat trips.

Lodging notes: bring your long johns for sleeping in the lodge. At the Snow Monkey Park, and in Rausu, the hotel the rooms are Japanese-style. You sleep on comfortable mats on the floor. Wi-fi is available every day of the trip.

FEB 24. Fly back to Tokyo for transfer to your airport if you are flying home that night, or, to your hotel if you are overnighting. If you need to overnight, the cost of that room is on you.


japan-2016-card-b

Life is short. Hop on the merry-go-round.

To Sign Up

To save your spot, please send your $5,000 non-refundable deposit check made out to “Birds as Art” to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. I do hope that you can join me for this trip of a lifetime. Do e-mail with any questions or give me a buzz at 863-692-0906.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On two fairly recent Galapagos cruises a total of 5 folks were forced to cancel less than one week prior to the trip. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and strongly recommend that you do the same.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links :)

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 BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod heads, Induro tripods and ballheads, Wimberley heads and plates, LensCoats and accessories, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and visiting the BAA Online store as well.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and visiting the BAA Online store as well.

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 :)

April 27th, 2016

100-400II Versatility: Japanese Bone China...

What’s Up?

We are staying in a lovely hotel in Swakopmund, Namibia. On Wednesday, April 20 we enjoyed one of our best days of the trip. We photographed Great White Pelicans in the morning and both Lesser and Greater Flamingoes in the afternoon. Then another great dinner, this one at Swakopmund Brauhaus. Wim has me drinking a glass of red wine for my health each evening at dinner. Tonight I had two with the expected happy results. Twenty-six days post surgery I am feeling strong and doing great with a bit of lingering discomfort.

I will be on line until about April 22 or 23; after that, nothing till I get back at the end of the month. Please remember that folks sending new inquiries about selling used gear are best advised to get in touch with me at the end of April.


The Streak

Today’s blog post marks 173 days in a row with a new educational blog post… As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. Please remember that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.


no-peeking-_t0a3379-walvis-bay-namibia

What is it?

What Is It?

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think this image depicts. Do you like it? Hate it? Why?

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links :)

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 BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod heads, Induro tripods and ballheads, Wimberley heads and plates, LensCoats and accessories, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and visiting the BAA Online store as well.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and visiting the BAA Online store as well.

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 :)