Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
September 22nd, 2017

Which is your favorite Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender Fort Desoto image?

Stuff

I spent a good two hours on the phone (with help from Jim) setting up an account with our new phone and internet provider; HughesNet satellite. We should have internet by this after, Friday, SEPT 22, but will not have regular phone service for about ten days as I want to keep the current numbers for our two lines. HughesNet needs to file paperwork to “get” the number from Frontier. Frontier doesn’t quite know it yet but they are toast. Then I finished packing and headed over to Fort Desoto stopping by the Ruby Tuesdays on SR 60 in Brandon for lunch along the way. As you will see below, there are lots of birds at the park. There are barely any signs of Irma but for lots of palm tree debris that has neatly been piled up.

Great IPT News

An amazing eight folks have already committed to the new, expanded UK Puffins and Gannets 2018 IPT with the Bempton Cliffs pre-trip. And all have signed up for the pre-trip. There are just two slots left so if you are interested in joining us, please do not tarry. You can learn more about this great trip here.

The Streak

Today marks fifty-eight days in a row with a new educational blog post — Irma be damned! 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 (I think) four hundred eighty something … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Everybody’s Doing It…

Everybody’s buying and selling used gear on the BAA Used Gear Page. Sales recently have been through the roof. Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin 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 recently folded. And eBay fees are now in the 13% range. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar at the top of each blog post.

Latest Used Gear Kudos

via e-mail from Robert Blanke

Hey Artie. Thank you again–the 5D s sale makes four cameras sold at fair prices and commissions, with the first three going in one day! Cheers Robert

Brand New Listing

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender with a ton of extras!

Stephen November is offering a Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender in near-mint condition with a slew of extras for the great price of $8399. The extras include a LensCoat in digital camo (installed since day 1), a LensCoat digital camo Hoodie, the Kirk replacement lens foot with KES Sure Grip for Canon 200-400mm lens — part #LP-55SG (a $118 value), a Woodland camo rain sleeve — a British product from Wildlife Watching Supplies (a $66 value), and a Canon drop-in polarizer filter (a $229 value). Also included in the sale are the original product box, E-145C lens cover, the rear lens cap, the wide lens strap, the lens trunk with keys, the original tripod and monopod feet, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Photos are available upon request.

Please contact Stephen via e-mail.

This is the world’s best lens for a trip to Africa. It kills also in the Galapagos and in South Georgia, the Falklands, and Antarctica. And I use mine a lot at Bosque and other dusty places where the built-in TC helps to keep your sensor clean. And I love it in the Palouse for its versatility. Most recently, I often found myself wishing that I had taken the 200-400 rather than my 500 II on the Bear Boat Cubs IPT. Many nature photographers use it as their workhorse telephoto lens as it offers 884mm at f/8 with an external 1.4X TC added. As you can see below, it is pretty good whenever you are working around relatively tame birds. The lens sells new at B&H right now for $10,999. You can save a slew of dollars by grabbing Stephen’s lens along with all the extras right now. artie


Booking.Com

I could not secure the lodging that I needed for last year’s UK Puffins and Gannets IPT in Dunbar, Scotland, so I went from Hotels.Com to Booking.Com and was pleasantly surprised. I found the rooms that I needed with ease at a hotel that was not even on Hotels.Com, and it was a nice hotel that I had seen in person. And 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.

edit-200-400

All of these images were created on the afternoon of Thursday, September 21, 2017 with the hand held Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender and my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

left to right from top to bottom: Great Egret squawking; Great Egret vertical; immature Laughing Gull; Adult White Ibis; adult Tricolored Heron; 1st year Roseate Spoonbill; 1st year Snowy Egret; backlit American Flag; can you identify this bird?; Snowy Egret sunset

Clicking on the composite image will make it smaller so view the images simply by scrolling down.

Questions

Which of the images is your favorite? Why?

Which one of the images is my favorite? Why?

What bird is shown in the lower left image, _P3A0524?

I will be optimizing my favorite image right after I publish this blog post early on the morning of Friday,September 22, 2017.


desoto-fall-card-b

Fort DeSoto in fall is rich with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or early October. I hope that you can join me there this October. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

BIRDS AS ART In-the-Field/Meet-up Workshop Session (ITF/MWS): $99.

Join me on the morning of Tuesday September 26, 2017 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images. Teleconverters are always a plus.

You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. This inexpensive afternoon workshop is designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on a BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tour. I hope to meet you there.

Please register by sending me an e-mail and/or by calling me on my cell at 863-221-2372.

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.

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

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.

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 :).

September 21st, 2017

How a Very Happy Camper Improved His Nature Photography Dramatically in Just One Year

Stuff

Early on Wednesday I put the finishing touches on my 2016 taxes and sent them off to my accountant. I got so much work done in the morning that I took an earlier than usual swim. I was feeling so good and the pool was so sparkling and clean and it was so gorgeous and sunny out that I set out to swim a mile, 88 lengths. But when I got to 88 I said what the hey and would up swimming a very slow 100 lengths, 1.14 miles in all. Midday tomorrow I will drive over to Fort DeSoto for an afternoon scouting session follow by another one on Friday morning. I meet my group of five at 2pm on Friday.

Frontier Communications News

If you utilize their services, you would do well to try to find a new provider. Like right now. I’ve had no phone (two lines down) and no DSL service on my Frontier business account since Irma visited on the night of September 10, 2017. First I was told that they would not send a repair technician until September 25. After repeated calls from me ,they said on Tuesday that they would send someone by Wednesday September 20. They lied. At 3:30pm on Wednesday I got a call saying that my phone and internet service were part of a “common problem” and that they were working on it. So I called their customer (dis-) service line and was told that they would not send someone until the common problem was fixed. “We are waiting for a cable and do not know when it will come.” H”ow come it took them five days to figure out that there was a common (major) problem? Silence. “I have phone wires on the ground. They need to send someone to fix those now, as promised.” “We cannot send someone to your home until we fix the common problem.” “Why not?” “I don’t know.” Good bye!

Great IPT News

An amazing seven folks have already committed to the new, expanded UK Puffins and Gannets 2018 IPT with the Bempton Cliffs pre-trip. And all have signed up for the pre-trip. There are just three slots left so if you are interested in joining us please do not tarry. You can learn more about this great trip here.

The Streak

Today marks fifty-eight days in a row with a new educational blog post — Irma be damned! This one took about one hour to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of (I think) four hundred eighty something … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Everybody’s Doing It…

Everybody’s buying and selling used gear on the BAA Used Gear Page. Sales recently have been through the roof. Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin 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 recently folded. And eBay fees are now in the 13% range. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar at the top of each blog post.

Latest Used Gear Kudos

via e-mail from Robert Blanke

Hey Artie. Thank you again–the 5D s sale makes four cameras sold at fair prices and commissions, with the first three going in one day! Cheers Robert


Booking.Com

I could not secure the lodging that I needed for last year’s UK Puffins and Gannets IPT in Dunbar, Scotland, so I went from Hotels.Com to Booking.Com and was pleasantly surprised. I found the rooms that I needed with ease at a hotel that was not even on Hotels.Com, and it was a nice hotel that I had seen in person. And 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.

Happy-Camper-Loren-Waxman-_P3A1849-Prince-Philips-Steps,-Galapagos,-Ecuador

This image was created on our afternoon landing at Prince Philip’s Steps, Tower Island (Genovesa). I used the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 280mm) with my favorite Happy Camper photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/60 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. Daylight WB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: +1.

Upper Large Zone/AI Servo/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The AF system activated two AF points that fell on Lauren’s right hand.

Loren Waxman with his 600 II on the way back to the Prince Phillips Steps landing site.

A Happy Camper

Above is a grab shot that I made of Loren as we headed back to the Prince Philip’s Steps landing on Tower Island, Genovesa. Even though we had only distant views of our main target, Short-eared Owl, you will notice that Loren has a big smile on his face. That is not unusual as Loren always has a big smile on his face.

I was thrilled the other day to receive a lovely card from Loren by mail with this handwritten note:

Arthur,

I just want to take a moment and thank you. You have taken so much time with me and I can see my photos improving with each trip. If I don’t get a chance to say it, you have given me a priceless gift that will go with me the rest of my life. I want you to know how much I appreciate it. I will think of you and all the lessons with each click! I am looking forward to more good times out there in birdland.

Your roomie, Loren

(Note: Loren was the greatest-ever roommate for me on the Galapagos; not only did he take the upper bunk but the man could sleep through a tornado. Easily for ten hours!)

puffin-loren-0D5A6414-Edit

This image was created on an afternoon landing at Inner Farnes on the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 271mm) and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II, the world’s greatest value in a digital SLR. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/160 sec. at f/5 in Manual mode. AWB.

Atlantic Puffin on rock

Loren Waxman

I first met Loren Waxman in the parking lot of the San Diego IPT hotel. When he first spotted me, everything in my car was spread out on the ground as I searched for my missing rental car keys … (I am sure that I shared that story on the blog but could not find it after a 30-minute search. If you can find that blog post please leave a link in the comments section.) In any case, Loren was amazingly helpful throughout that whole sordid affair. He learned so much on that IPT that he quickly signed up for the 2017 Galapagos trip. He could not, however, resist the temptation and joined us at almost the last minute for the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. He is signed up for my next Falklands trip and has — along with another participant — committed to returning to the Galapagos on my late-July 2019 trip. As I have been saying, my Galapagos trip is simply the best.

Loren has been involved in construction and real estate development for twenty years. He is and has been the president of Waxman & Associates, Inc. in Portland, OR since 1993. His experience includes construction, management and development of single family, multi-family, commercial and mixed use projects. His firm specializes in environmental cleanup, historic structures, public-private partnerships, and regulatory navigation. You can check out some of his firm’s coolest major projects here.

gannet-loren-_E7A5847-Edit

This image was created on our morning gannet boat trip on the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 100mm) with Loren’s favorite gannet photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 stops off the sky: 1/2500 sec. at f/4.5 in Manual mode. AWB.

Northern Gannet braking to dive

Loren’s Photographic Evolution

Loren showed up in San Diego intent determined to improve as a photographer. His initial concerns were with sharpness. As you can see in the image that opens this blog post we got him set up with an Induro Tripod, a CRX-5 Low Foot, and a Mongoose M3.6. And then I taught him how to use it. He was a quick study. From the get-go, he realized that to become a good photographer he would need to improve his post-processing skills. He has worked very hard in that area. Whether at lunch or dinner or just hanging out in the cottage in the UK Loren was next to me, asking questions. Always. By the time we got to the UK I started to work on his too-right image designs. He loves what Denise Ippolito calls “man-crops,” crops that leave the bird almost completely filling the frame. “No Loren, you need to give the bird more room in the frame.” He is getting there. For this image he needed to add canvas to make me happy 🙂

Loren shared the gannet image above with me on the Galapagos trip on a long navigation. “Gimme the RAW file” I said, “I can do better than that.” Loren will be thrilled to learn that the JPEG above was created from his optimized version; it was way better than my optimized version!

Green-Iguana-Loren-_E7A1235-Edit-Edit-1200

This image was created at the Iguana Park in Guayaquil with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and Loren’s favorite iguana photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/125 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AWB.

Young Green Iguana

My Thoughts On Loren’s Improvement

As noted above, Loren is determined to improved and has worked very hard. He stays close to me in the field and asks a ton of questions. Unlike many who join IPTs, he is quick to share his images with me. On many trips when I say to the group, “Pick five of your best images from yesterday for sharing and critiquing,” less than half of the group participates. Loren is always first on line (unless Anita North edges him out).

In a phone conversation with Lauren last night, he said, “I post a ton to social media. I get zillions of great shot! comments. But I never learn anything. When you look at my images I always learn something.” I replied, “Loren, we’ve talked about this before. You need to join BirdPhotographer’s.Net and start posting. Getting your images critiqued by knowledgeable mods and members is the best way to continue to improve. A BPN membership is the best $40 you will ever spend on photography. And whenever you post an image, be sure to comment on five other images. There is tremendous learning involved there too.” “I’ll do it!” he said.

Folks participating on quality photographic tours need to realize that the more questions that they ask the more involved the leader or leaders will become.

crab_E7A1390-Edit

This image was created somewhere in the Galapagos with the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and Loren’s favorite crab photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +at zero: 1/160 sec. at f/10 in Manual mode. AWB.

Sally Lightfoot Crab

Image courtesy of and copyright 2017: Loren Waxman

Tight Works Too and Comments on Loren’s Image Sharpness Skills

In Loren’s Sally Lightfoot image above, we see that working very tight can also be very effective. Notice also that while working full frame at 1200mm with a relatively slow shutter speed, 1/160 second, Loren is now capable of creating super sharp images when working with long effective focal lengths on a tripod. In addition, if you check out the shooting data for the other images (like the one of the Green Iguana above), he has learned to make sharp images while hand holding at relatively slow shutter speeds as well.

“Loren is rich and can afford to go on multiple IPTs. I can’t do that.”

Do understand that by attending a single IPT, sticking close to me, and asking a ton of questions that you too can dramatically improve your skills. Note also that the $99 Fort DeSoto In-the-field Meet-up Session has only one person registered … Please scroll down for details on that; it is not too late for you to sign up. Please do so by sending me an e-mail and/or calling me on my cell at 863-221-2372.

And please do not forget that Loren has only been on two IPTs … So far 🙂

How’s He Doing?

Please leave a comment and let Loren know how you think he is doing. Which of his images above is your favorite? Be sure to let us know why you made your choice.

Oh, by the way, Loren began photographing birds less than one year ago …


desoto-fall-card-b

Fort DeSoto in fall is rich with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or early October. I hope that you can join me there this October. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

BIRDS AS ART In-the-Field/Meet-up Workshop Session (ITF/MWS): $99.

Join me on the morning of Tuesday September 26, 2017 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images. Teleconverters are always a plus.

You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. This inexpensive afternoon workshop is designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on a BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tour. I hope to meet you there.

Please register by sending me an e-mail and/or by calling me on my cell at 863-221-2372.

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.

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

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.

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 :).

September 20th, 2017

Simple Yet Perfect ??? Still More 100-400 II Versatility. And Lots of Great News and New Used Gear.

Stuff

We got lots done yesterday as I started packing for the DeSoto Fall IPT. Midday on Thursday I will drive over a day early for an afternoon and morning scouting session. I did have time for a relaxing 48-length swim on Tuesday afternoon.

Great IPT News

An amazing seven folks have already committed to the new, expanded UK Puffins and Gannets 2018 IPT with the Bempton Cliffs pre-trip. And all have signed up for the pre-trip. There are just three slots left so if you are interested in joining us please do not tarry. You can learn more about this great trip and learn more here.

Great News on the BAA Online Store

With help from regular blog readers Gloria Matyszyk and Keith Swindell, Jim was able to get back on line with the Mobile Hotspot on my Verizon Droid. Gloria suggested a wi-fi stick; I was able to grab the last one at our local Walmart’s. And Keith suggested via e-mail that the stick might not be working because the (dead) router was still plugged in. As soon as we removed that cable we were online! Thanks again to Gloria and Keith.

As a result, Jim was successfully able to fulfill a slew of orders that had been backed up in the BAA Online Store for more than a week in a single day. Thanks to all who waited patiently to hear from us as we recovered from Hurricane Irma. I did call Frontier back yesterday and was able to get my repair visit moved up from Monday to today, Wednesday, September 20. If you have been holding off on placing your order, today is the day.

The Streak

Today marks fifty-seven days in a row with a new educational blog post — Irma be damned! This one took about one hour to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of (I think) four hundred eighty something … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Everybody’s Doing It…

Everybody’s buying and selling used gear on the BAA Used Gear Page. Sales recently have been through the roof. Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin 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 recently folded. And eBay fees are now in the 13% range. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar at the top of each blog post.

Latest Used Gear Kudos

via e-mail from Robert Blanke

Hey Artie. Thank you again–the 5D s sale makes four cameras sold at fair prices and commissions, with the first three going in one day! Cheers Robert

Used Gear Sale from the past month

Robert Blanke sold his Canon EOS 5Ds body in like-new condition for $2249.00 in early September.
Ron Paulk sold his Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for $9,899 with lots of great extras in early September.
Lisa Tri sold her Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Zoom lens (the original IS version) in near-mint condition for the BAA record low price of $898 in early September.
IPT veteran Joe Messina sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender in excellent plus condition for the BAA record-low price of $7,900 in early September.
Ivan Kuraev sold his Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition for $1699 and his Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in excellent near-mint condition for $2499 in early September.
IPT veteran Mike Ross sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II with the Canon BG-E16 Battery Grip all in mint condition for $1,099 on the first day it was listed in early September.
Ray Stranagan sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens in excellent condition for $3999 in early September, just three days after it was listed.
IPT veteran Richard Bohnet also sold his Canon EOS 5D MK III (with an L-bracket) in near-mint condition for $1350 and his Canon EOS 7D in excellent condition for $279 in late August.
IPT veteran Richard Bohnet sold his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (the “old” 1-4) in excellent condition for an even $500 in mid-August.
Multiple IPT veteran Carlotta Grenier sold her Canon EOS-1DX camera body in excellent condition for $2358 and a never used Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Canon EF in better than like-new condition for the BAA record low price of $998.
Eric Karl sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III body in very good plus condition with extras for $1,300 in mid-August.

Tamron SP 150-600 f/5.6-6.5 Di VC USD

Margaret Page is offering a Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens for Canon in like-new condition (used only once) for the ridiculously low price of $699. The sale includes the lens hood, the soft case, the front and rear caps, the instruction sheet, the original box are included, and insured ground shipping via UPS. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Margaret via e-mail or by phone at 706-761-5555 (Eastern time).

Several folks on IPTs have used this lens and made lots of sharp images. A telling factor is that there are no used copies of this lens available on eBay or in the B&H Used Gear listings. artie

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Margaret Page is also offering a used Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition along with a Really Right Stuff B7D2-L Set L-Plate (a $175 value) for the very low price of $949. The body was recently cleaned and checked by Canon. The sale includes the front body cap, the camera strap, and insured ground shipping via UPS. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Margaret via e-mail or by phone at 706-761-5555 (Eastern time).

Both Patrick Sparkman and I used and loved the 7D Mark II until about two years ago when we both committed to using full frame Canon bodies. We both made some truly great images with it. Two of my three 2016 Nature’s Best honored entries were created with the 7D II, one still, and one video. artie

Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM Lens

Margaret Page is also offering a used Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens in near-mint condition for the great low price of $425. The sale includes the front and rear lens caps, the hood, and insured ground shipping via UPS. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Margaret via e-mail or by phone at 706-761-5555 (Eastern time).

This lightweight versatile wide angle zoom lens fits only Canon crop factor bodies like the 7D II, the 7D, the 50D, and the 40D. The 1.6 crop factor turns it into an effective 16-35mm zoom lens. As it sells new for $649, you can save a bundle while completing your kit with the great wide angle by grabbing Margaret’s lens now. artie


Booking.Com

I could not secure the lodging that I needed for last year’s UK Puffins and Gannets IPT in Dunbar, Scotland, so I went from Hotels.Com to Booking.Com and was pleasantly surprised. I found the rooms that I needed with ease at a hotel that was not even on Hotels.Com, and it was a nice hotel that I had seen in person. And 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.

Black-headed-Gull-fresh-juvenile-_P3A1794-islands-off-Seahouses,-UK

This image was created on our afternoon landing at Inner Farnes with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 560mm) with favorite young gull photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. Daylight WB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: +1.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed on the upper center of the young gull’s breast. Click on the image to enjoy a larger, inexplicably sharper version.

Black-headed Gull in fresh juvenile plumage

Simple Yet Perfect ???

There is a very small pond on the middle path that leads up to the lighthouse on Inner Farnes. I alway make a point to check it several times each afternoon. Twice in the past three years I have found a baby puffin there. Last July there were lots of baby Black-headed Gulls swimming around. I made many images of them both last July and on previous trips. Today’s featured image is my favorite by far. Why? I think that the soft light and the fact that I gave the bird lots of room in the frame made this one special for me.

The tendency with images like this it to want to make the bird large in the frame. I have, however, long said this, “For photos that include the whole bird , the general guideline is not to go larger than 75% of either dimension.” As I have aged (or perhaps mellowed a bit if you will), that percentage keeps dropping, often down to 50 (or to well less than that with this image).

Still More 100-400 II Versatility

By adding a 1.4X TC to your 100-400 II you can get out to 560mm. And even in relatively low light, the amazing 4-stop image stabilization system allows you to hand hold at reasonable shutter speeds without having to jack the ISO up too high. You could do every landing on the UK Puffins IPT with just the 100-400 II and a TC in your pocket and go home with lots of great images.

The Image Optimization

During the RAW conversion in DPP 4 I moved the Brightness slider to +.6 as I did not add nearly enough light when I was in the field. Once I had the image in Photoshop I leveled it and then ran RGB Curves Adjustment Color Balancing on a layer. While this eliminated a slight CYAN color cast it made the image just a bit too contrasty for me so I applied my Reduced Contrast preset. This gave me the softer look that I was after. Last I selected the face and the bill with the Quick Selection Tool, put that on its own layer, and applied a Contrast Mask.

Image Design Question

With regards to the size of the bird in the frame in today’s featured image”

a- The bird is too small in the frame
b- The bird is too large in the frame.
c- The bird is just right.

In addition, your comments are welcome.

DBII-cover

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II) will teach you an efficient Mac/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)

Everything mentioned above is 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 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.

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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.

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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 :).