January 31st, 2015

Beginner with 0.0000014% Keeper Rate in the Southern Ocean; What Can BAA Do for You?

What’s Up?

I scouted La Jolla this morning, this being Friday, January 30. My very own 100-400 II arrived via Fed-Ex today. I began working on the new exercises prescribed by Melvin Tann. And I had my annual check-up with good friend Cliff Oliver. I meet most of the group tomorrow evening. One participant has a family function to attend, and one couple had their flight changed by Delta.

This blog post took about 4 hours to assemble. It was published at 9:12pm PT, 12:12am ET on Saturday from my hotel room in San Diego. I still have many exciting new images, tales, and lessons from my recently concluded Southern Oceans trip to share with you here over the course of the next few weeks and am looking forward to doing just that. Do consider joining me in South Georgia next October for the trip of a lifetime. See here for the complete details.

This Just In

Register now for the South Georgia trip and receive a $242 on your return airfare. Please e-mail for details.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links :)

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H Is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod heads, Gitzo tripods, 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 just learned that my account was suspended during my absence; it should be up and running by Monday at the latest.

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.


anita-gentoo-penguin-preening-ps-by-amorris-_mg_7500

This image was created in cloudy conditions in early January, 2015 with the hand held, original version Canon 100-400mm L IS lens (at 365mm)–now replaced by the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and the EOS-7D (now replaced by the
Canon EOS 7D Mark II). ISO 1600. Evaluative metering +2 stops: 1/1600 sec. at f/13 in Manual mode.

One sensor below the central sensor/AI Servo/Surround Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The active sensor was on the center of the bird’s bill.

Gentoo Penguin preening. Image courtesy of Sally-Sue South and copyright 2015 in the name of the artist.

Today’s Images

All of today’s images were created by Sally-Sue South of Montreal, Canada. (Note that the name has been changed to protect the innocent.) All were created with the original (much-maligned) 100-400 L IS and the much-maligned EOS-7D.

The Beginning

After speaking with group member Anil Sud, Sally-Sue approached me on Day Two of the Southern Oceans Expedition and said, “I am on this trip by myself. I would like learn photography. I know nothing. Can I be part of your group?” I quickly learned that Sally-Sue was very eager to learn and that her self-assessment was quite accurate. As it turns out, Sally Sue was Canada’s third ever female rocket scientist. Being a private person she did not want me to share that fact with the ret of the boys and girls. But by the end of the voyage everyone aboard knew that Sally-Sue Smith was indded a retired rocket scientist. Being recently retired she decided that she wanted to learn photography. As it turned out, lucky me….

“Sure,” I said, “I will see you on the stern with your gear in 20 minutes.


anita-leopard-seal-yawning-_mg_3733-southern-ocean

This image was created in cloudy conditions on January 3, 2015 with the hand held, original version Canon 100-400mm L IS lens at 400mm–now replaced by the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and the EOS-7D (now replaced by the
Canon EOS 7D Mark II). ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode.

Central sensor/Expand/AI Servo Shutter button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure.

Leopard Seal yawning. Image courtesy of Sally-Sue South and copyright 2015 in the name of the artist.

Learning the Basics

Nearly all of our landings were so fantastic that most times the folks in my group hit the beach and disappeared. At times, Sally-Sue wandered off on her own, but she tagged along with me quite a bit. She needed to learn everything from the bottom up. AI Servo for moving subjects. One-Shot and re-compose for static subjects. Point your shadow at the bird on sunny days. Move the AF sensor for stronger image designs. Work in Manual mode. Check the histogram. Learn to expose to the right. Check for blinkies. Work in Manual mode. Rocket-scientist or not, the same lessons needed to be re-visited and re-taught. And then re-visited and re-taught again. And again.

Rocket scientists are generally quite bright. Sally-Sue was closer to bring brilliant but she was so enthralled with the penguins and the seals and the albatrosses and the ice and the caracaras that she forgot about the photography basics. Her biggest failing? Learning to make a single image and then check the histogram….


anita-gentoo-penguin-feet-layers-_mg_8458

This image was created in cloudy conditions on January 4, 2015 with the hand held, original version Canon 100-400mm L IS lens (at 340mm)–now replaced by the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and the EOS-7D (now replaced by the
Canon EOS 7D Mark II). ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode.

Central sensor AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure.

Gentoo penguin feet close-up. Image courtesy of Sally-Sue South and copyright 2015 in the name of the artist.

The 0.0000014% Keeper Rate

When I first started looking at Sally-Sue’s images, her success rate really was miniscule. Mis-framed images. Gross under- and over-exposures. Head and feet cut off. But most all of them were sharp. And as the days passed by, she wound up making some nice images. It was rewarding to see her determination starting to pay off. At times she reverted to her old self after becoming engrossed in the beauty of the wildlife and the scenery, but more and more often she began remembering to check her exposure and actually began moving the AF sensor around. Oh how she loved the central sensor at first…


anita-gentoo-penguin-chick-_mg_1395

This image was created in cloudy bright conditions at one minute after noon on January 5, 2015 at Neko Harbor, Antarctica with the hand held original version Canon 100-400mm L IS lens (now replaced by the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and the EOS-7D (now replaced by the
Canon EOS 7D Mark II). Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode was somewhat of an underexposure.

Central sensor (manual selection) Shutter button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure.

Gentoo Penguin chick in nest with adult. Image courtesy of Sally-Sue South and copyright 2015 in the name of the artist.

Independence, at least for a while…

While I opted to spend the entire afternoon of January 4 at Jougla Point, Antarctica, Sally-Sue visited briefly, never made it up to the shag colony where I spend several hours, and took a zodiac to Port Lockroy. While on the boardwalk to the post office there were lots of nesting gentoos pretty much at eye level.

All in all she did very nicely on her own and her exposures were not bad.


anita-black-browed-albatross-with-chick-_mg_8290-steeple-jason-island-the-falklands

This image was created as a JPEG (the first four images were from RAW files) in cloudy , drizzly conditions on December 16, 2014 at Steeple Jason in the Falklands with the hand held, original version Canon 100-400mm L IS lens (at 400mm)–now replaced by the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and the EOS-7D (now replaced by the
Canon EOS 7D Mark II). ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/10 in Manual mode was close to 2 stops under-exposed.

Two sensors below the central sensor (manual selection) Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The active sensor was exactly where it should have been, squarely on the chick’s face.

Well Under-exposed JPEG

This image, from the beginning of the trip, was a big underexposure. But oh so cute. I was surprised that with just a few minutes in Photoshop that the JPEG was so easily optimized. Note that any 100-400 with any 7D gives you effective 640mm that can be effectively hand held by most folks. Including Sally-Sue.

The Lens Story

Several days into the trip Sally-Sue’s 100-400 was damaged beyond repair after being mis-handled on a landing. It had not been well padded enough. As you might surmise, it can be tough to get a new lens in the middle of the Southern Ocean. Expedition leader Hugh Rose had received his 100-400 II at an airport en-route to South America. He kindly sold his old 100-400 to Sally-Sue for the very fair price of $900 US. The story, however, does not end there. The captain of the Ortelius expressed an interest in photography. At the end of the trip, after talking to Sally-Sue, Hugh bought the lens back from her for $900 and sold it to the captain for the same price. As it turned out, Sally-Sue enjoyed the cheapest-ever lens rental.

After the trip Sally-Sue purchased the new 100-400 II and the 7D II. Both using my Amazon Canada link. Many thanks S-S S.

Sally-Sue’s Thoughts

After the trip Sally-Sue thanked me for my help. She said that she really enjoyed the camraderie of the group and that she was amazed by the Cheesemans’ expedition staff. She had been on a previous trip to Antarctica on which landings were cancelled on a whim. “The staff was amazing. They worked hard to get us in the right place at the right time in the right light for as long as possible. No matter the weather or the surf conditions. And the zodiac drivers were brilliant; they actually cared about the photographers and about getting the zodiacs in the exact right spot. Tim Carr, Hugh, Ron (Niebrugge), Greg (LaHaie), and Joe (Kaplan) were all great. And so, so knowledgable.”

She continued, “Best of all, was that my skills improved so much by the end of the trip that I had the courage to put five images in the Antarctica slide show. And everyone loved them.”


wandering-albatross-imm-_mg_0006

This image was created in cloudy conditions after lunch on January 7, 2015 in the Drake Passage with the hand held original version Canon 100-400mm L IS lens (at 380mm) now replaced by the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and the EOS-7D (now replaced by the
Canon EOS 7D Mark II). Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stop: 1/2500 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode was somewhat of an underexposure. Sally-Sue did not listen :)

Central sensor (manual selection) Shutter button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure.

Immature Wandering Albatross in flight from the ship. Image courtesy of Sally-Sue South and copyright 2015 in the name of the artist.

Kicking the Teacher’s Butt

My Drake Passage good weather karma held for yet another crossing. Sally-Sue created this image while I was standing right next to her. I missed the yawn. Nobody could recall ever seeing an image of a Wandering Albatross in flight with its bill open. Note: this is a young bird. Kudos to Sally-Sue for zooming out, for getting a sharp image in difficult conditions, and making a great image to end the trip.

I shared these six images with Patrick and Robin Sparkman last night at dinner. Patrick said,”Those are great Artie.” “Thanks,” I said, They are not mine. The were all created by a beginning student. When she came aboard she did not know which end of the lens to point at the bird. I would be proud to have any of them in my collection.”

What Can BIRDS AS ART Do for You?

Whether you are a stone cold beginner, or an experienced professional, we can teach you to create better images.


galapagos-composite

Do consider joining me for a once in a lifetime trip to the Galapagos archipelago in July, 2015.

GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 14-28, 2015 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $12,499. Limit 14 including the leader:/Openings: 2.

I need to put one more happy camper on the boat. If you are serious about joining us and would like to save some big bucks, please get in touch via e-mail.

My two-week Galapagos Photo-Cruises are without equal. The world’s best guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), and the best leader with eight Galapagos cruises under his belt. Pre-trip and pre-landing location-specific gear advice. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea!

The great spots that we will visit include Tower Island (including Prince Phillips Steps and Darwin Bay), Hood Island (including Punta Suarez, the world’s only nesting site of Waved Albatross, and Gardner Bay)—each of the preceding are world class wildlife photography designations that rank right up there with Antarctica, Africa, and Midway. We will also visit Fernandina, Puerto Ayora for the tortoises, Puerto Egas—James Bay, North Seymour and Isla Lobos for nesting Blue-footed Booby (most years), South Plaza, Floreana, and Urbina Bay, all spectacular in their own right. We visit every great spot on a single trip. Plus tons more. And there will he lots of opportunities to snorkel on sunny mid-days for those like me who wish to partake.

We will be the first boat on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island every afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast weather, we will often spend 5-6 hours at the best sites. And as noted above, mid-day snorkeling is an option on most sunny days depending on location. Note: some of the walks are a bit strenuous. Great images are possible on all landings with a hand held 70-200mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter. I bring a longer lens ashore on most landings as that fits my style. I generally work with either the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS or the Canon 200-400mm f/4 L IS with Internal Extender.

Do know that there is a NatureScapes Galapagos trip: one week for $8495. Thus, my trip represents a tremendous value; why go all that way and miss half of the great photographic locations?

The Logistics

Fly to Guayacil, Ecuador on July 12, 2015. Travel insurance/rest day: July 13 (We may or may not offer a photo outing on the 13th). Fly to the archipelago on July 14 and board the Samba. Get off the boat on July 28. Fly to Guayacil that afternoon. Fly home on the early morning of July 29 unless you are staying on or going elsewhere (or catching a red-eye flight on the evening of the 28th).

$12,499 includes just about everything: all transfers, guide and park fees, all food on the boat, transfers and ground transportation, your flights to the archipelago, and three nights (double occupancy) in a top notch hotel in Guayacil. If you are good to go, a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 per person is due immediately. The second payment of $4,000 is not due until 11/1/14. The final payment of $3449 per person will be due on 2/1/15. A $200 discount will be applied to each of the balances for couples or friends who register at the same time.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On my past two 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.

Not included: your round trip airfare from your home to and from Guayacil, beverages on the boat, phone calls, your meals in Guayacil, personal items, and a $600/person cash tip for the crew and the guide—this works out to roughly $40/day to be shared by the 7 folks who will be waiting on us hand and foot every day for two weeks. The service is so wonderful that many folks choose to tip extra.

Please e-mail for the complete itinerary and for additional info and images. Please cut and paste “Galapagos 2015 Info Please) into the Subject line.

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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 :).

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

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

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

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

Amazon Canada

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

Typos

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

January 30th, 2015

Viewpoint: 2 miles

An Amazing Morning

After getting to bed on the late side (for me) after my long east to west travel day I woke up at about 3:30am Pacific time. Still on eastern time, I guess. For surely the first time in 44 years of visiting San Diego, I “slept in.” I felt a tiny bit of sore throat on Wednesday evening and did not want to get sick again so I did some work, listened to lots of You Tube music, and read a bit. As I said “Amazing.” At least for me.

On You Tube:

They’re Playing Our Song [Original Broadway Cast recording/full album). I saw this twice on the Big White Way, once with Robert Klein and Luci Arnaz.

“They’re Playing Our Song” from the 1979 Tony Awards here. Robert Klein is crazy nuts and lovable but the irrepressible Luci Arnaz steals the scene with her dancing, her engergy, and her smile. And her dress.

LES MISERABLES 10th Anniversary Dream Cast. After the finale, 17 Jean Valjeans from various worldwide productions come on stage and sing snippets from One Day More before joining together for a last, moving, powerful rendition. I was privileged to see Les Mis three times on Broadway.

This blog post took about 1 1/2 hours to assemble. It was published at 10:08pm PT, 1:08am ET on Friday from my hotel room in San Diego. I still have many exciting new images, tales, and lessons from my recently concluded Southern Oceans trip to share with you here over the course of the next few weeks and am looking forward to doing just that. Do consider joining me in South Georgia next October for the trip of a lifetime. See here for the complete details.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links :)

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H Is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod heads, Gitzo tripods, 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 just learned that my account was suspended during my absence; it should be up and running by Monday at the latest.

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.


sunset-from-i-5-viewpoint-_y8a1283-camp-pendelton-ca

This image was created on January 29, 2015 at 5:36pm at the Southbound Interstate 5 Camp Pendleton Viewpoint with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens (at 200mm) and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/30 sec. at f/2.8 in Av mode. WB = 8800K.

Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF 1/2 way into the frame and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The Situation

I drove from San Diego up to Santa Ana, CA and spent three hours with exercise physiologist Melvin Tann. Melvin works regularly on more than a dozen NFL players and many other notable professional athletes from a variety of sports. I pulled off Interstate 5 and stopped for a short nap before heading south again. It had been cloudy all day. At one point I glanced to my right and was shocked to see that the entire western sky was a glowing yellow-orange. I thought about getting off, driving west, and trying to get out to the beach. But alas,I kept driving. As I drove, the colors were becoming more and more intense. And I was more and more wishing that I had headed for some unknown beach.

As I-5 jogged west and then south the Pacific came into view on my right. And a spectacular view it was. The vast orange sky had dissipated but a swath of light sky just above the distant horizon left the ocean blood red. And then finally: Viewpoint: 2 miles. I parked, grabbed the 70-200, could not find my glasses, and used the camera’s lamp to set Av wide open. Plus 1/3 stop left some blinkies in the brightest portions of the sky so I went down to 0. I braced the lens against a signpost to make the images in this series as sharp as possible at 1/30 sec. The image above was the best of that lot.


sunset-from-i-5-viewpoint-pan-blur-_y8a1298-camp-pendelton-ca

This image was created at 5:38pm on January 29, 2015 at the Southbound Interstate 5 Camp Pendleton Viewpoint with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens (at 200mm) and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/6 sec at f/4.5 in Av mode. WB = 8800K.

Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF 1/3 of the way into the frame, re-compose, and pan left to right. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Pan Blur

I wanted a slower shutter speed so I simply dialed in a smaller aperture without bothering to note the new shutter speed. Due to the blend blur effect I was able to go 2/3 stop lighter without getting any blinkies. I tried to pan as smoothly as possible. I made about a dozen images. Only one worked. In retrospect I should have been on a tripod with the Mongoose M3.6, locked the vertical pan, and then panned left to right. This would have assured the distinct streak lines that I got only in this image. Excuses: I was in a big rush as the light was fading fast and the colors were so beautiful that I was not thinking clearly.

Your Favorite?

Which image do you like best, the sharp one or the pan blur? Be sure to let us know why.


guide-to-pleasing-blurs

Learn the secrets of creating contest winning images in our “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs.”

A Guide to Pleasing Blurs

In our A Guide to Pleasing Blurs by Denise Ippolito and yours truly, we discuss just about every technique ever used mankind to create pleasingly blurred image. Ninety-nine point nine percent of pleasing blurs are not happy accidents. You can learn pretty much everything that there is to know about creating them in this instructive, well written, easy to follow guide.


palouse-card-2015-denise_0

Card and design by Denise Ippolito. Scroll down here to see lots more of Denise’s Palouse images.

Palouse #1. The Palouse A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. May 29-June 2, 2015/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12 photographers/Sold Out with a wait list.


palouse-2015-cardE

Card and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Palouse A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. June 5-9, 2015/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12 photographers/Openings 3.

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

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

What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, our newfound but very extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions when possible.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills. You will learn to get the right exposure every time. You will learn to develop your creative eye. You will learn the basics of HDR (high dynamic range) photography. You will learn a variety of in-camera creative techniques; Canon 5D Mark III bodies are a plus. And most importantly you will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images. Do see both of our blogs for lots more on that in the coming weeks. You will learn how the quality and direction of light combine to determine the success of your images. And–please don’t gasp–we will be working quite a bit with sidelight when creating landscapes. Lastly, we will be touching on infrared photography.

A non-refundable $699 deposit is due now. The balance will be due on January 29, 2015. If you cancel and the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Whether or not your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

With the unpredictable nature of the photography business, I have not said this often lately, but it seems quite likely that this one will fill up very quickly. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining us. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours or send us a check; the latter is preferred.

Please send your deposit check made out to “Arthur Morris” to us at Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

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Amazon Canada

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

Typos

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

January 29th, 2015

70-200/2X III TC/7D II Yields Flesh Pink on Krill Guano Pink

What’s Up?

Up at 2:45am. Left the house at 5:30am. After getting TSA-Pre (checked-in) in Orlando my two flights went as smoothly as possible. I landed in San Diego at about 1:30pm. Unpacked, took a very short nap, answered some e-mails, and had dinner with friends Patrick and Robin Sparkman; Patrick loaned me his 600 II. Then a quick stop at Trader Joe’s for breakfast and a case of spring water. I was back in the room just after 9:30 Pacific time, 12:30am in Florida. I may sleep in tomorrow…. IAC, I decided to complete this short blog post before I hit the sack.

Today’s blog post took about 30 minutes to put together; talk about a day off. This one was published at 10:14pm PT, 1:14am ET on Thursday from my hotel room in San Diego. I still have many exciting new images, tales, and lessons from my recently concluded trip to share with you here over the course of the next few weeks and am looking forward to doing just that. Do consider joining me in South Georgia next October for the trip of a lifetime. See here for the complete details.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links :)

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H Is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod heads, Gitzo tripods, 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 just learned that my account was suspended during my absence; it should be up and running by Monday at the latest.

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gentoo-penguin-underside-of-extended-wing-_y8a8877-neko-harbour-antarctica

This image was created at 9:45am in cloudy conditions on January 5, 2015 at Neko Harbor, Antarctica tripod-mounted Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III (at 400mm–effective 640), and the amazing Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode.

Central sensor (manual selection) AI Servo/Rear Focus AF as framed 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.

70-200/2X III TC/7D II Yields Flesh Pink on Krill Guano Pink

As noted here previously, the later into the trip we got the lighter I went. I made many landings in Antarctica with “only” the 70-200 II with both series III TCs and the 7D II. And made lots of wonderful images. Funny how that works…

I had been looking in vain for days for a situation where I could use the pink krill guano as background when suddenly an isolated Gentoo Penguin extended a wing and held the pose long enough for me to create about half a dozen image with the background I had been looking for. The flesh pink underside of the stretched wing was the perfect icing on the perfect cake.


southgeorgiacarda

All of the images on the card were made on South Georgia. This remote wilderness island offers both spectacular scenery and hordes of tame wildlife and birds. From top left clockwise to the center: Southern Elephant Seal, courting King Penguin pair, King Penguin abstract, Grey-headed Albatross, King Penguin rookery on Salisbury Plain, Macaroni Penguin head portrait, King Penguin molting Okum Boy, Macaroni Penguin pair, King Penguin preening, Southern Elephant Seal yawning, the view of Gold Harbour from a Light-mantled Sooty Albatross nest.

Click on the image to see an extra-large version.

The 2015 South Georgia Expedition Voyage

Why Sign Up Through BIRDS AS ART?

If you have been thinking and dreaming of finally visiting South Georgia, this is the trip for you. Quit dreaming and act now. Though I will not be an official leader on this trip, those who have traveled with me know that I cannot help but teach. I will make pre-trip gear recommendations. I will hold informal pre-landing briefings. In the same vein, everyone will receive a free copy of our Antarctica Site Guide once they are paid in full (July 2, 2015). I will be available on the ship to review your images,, answer questions, and conduct informal over-the shoulder Photoshop sessions. And best of all, everyone who signs up under the auspices of BAA are invited to tag along with me on the landings where I will be glad to offer invaluable in-the-field advice. And the same goes for the ship-board birds in flight and marine mammal photography opportunities.

Do join us. To learn how to be part of the BAA group please e-mail me with the words Antarctica/Extended Expedition BAA Info Please cut and pasted into the Subject line.

Important Notes

#1: If you fail to e-mail me as noted directly above, and register directly with CES you MUST let them know that you would like to be part of the BIRDS AS ART group.

#2: Joining the BIRDS AS ART group as above will not cost you one penny.

Click here for complete details and to learn about Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris. Please e-mailor with any questions or try me on my personal line this weekend at 863-692-2806.

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