Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
February 24th, 2018

Laughing Wood Stork Focal Length?

Stuff

We did well on the Wood Storks on Thursday afternoon. We had the best morning of the year with the Roseate Spoonbills on the first day of the second Spoonbill IPT. The afternoon looked bleak with strong east winds and bright sun, but at about 4:30pm the wind turned around to the west as Captain James (Froggie) Shadle had predicted and we had a banner 90 minutes with flying and banking and landing pelicans. Sunset was a bit of a fizzle. It was early to bed after smoked salmon and goat cheese dinner in the room.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred eight days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 30 minutes to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not…), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

Booking.Com

Several folks on the Spoonbill IPTs used the Booking.Com link below and got great rates and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

Mongoose Warning

Right now the BAA Online Store has just two Mongoose M3.6.heads in stock. A price increase is coming. You can figure out the rest.

Wood-Stork-bill-open-_DSC5778--Brandon,-FL

This image was created on the afternoon of Thursday, February 23, 2018 with my new Nikon gear. ISO 800. Matrix metering at zero: 1/2000 sec. at f/10. Sunny WB at 4:41pm on a clear afternoon.

Upper left of center d-9 Shutter Button AF.

Wood Stork yawning

Sharpness and Focal Length

Just the sharpness based on the JPEG above and the unsharpened tight crop below. Then, using your knowledge of the new gear that I own and the EXIF data in the caption, guess the focal length. This bird was photographed on the free afternoon session at Brandon, FL.

Wood-Stork-HEAD-CROP-bill-open-_DSC5778--Brandon,-FL

This is an unsharpened crop of today’s featured image

The Unsharpened Crop

As above, judge the sharpness and take a guess at the focal length. You are invited to explain your answer. Just so you know, my opinion on the sharpness is that it is just fine, more than sharp enough to sell, and more than sharp enough to make me happy.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.





Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

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

Facebook

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

Typos

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

February 23rd, 2018

Brown Pelican Scratching in Flight K7690 Save ...

Stuff

We left at 5:36am on Thursday morning and made it to Gatorland just before 7am. We had some very good chances for the first 90 minutes. Once it got really sunny we concentrated on birds in flight. Jake Levin of Montreal joined us to hang out. As I type, we are on the way to Brandon to meet the second Spoonbill IPT group. I threw in a free afternoon at a local rookery for the first one and did the same thing on Thursday.

On Monday I fly to Phoenix for my second round of nine Postural Restoration therapy sessions.

I was glad to learn recently of the following happenings on the Used Gear Page:

Greg Morris sold a Canon EOS-1DX in near-mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $2499.00 and a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the old five) in very good plus condition for $3447 (was $3700) in mid-February.
Ann Nguyen is sold her Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens (the original version) in excellent plus condition to a friend for $2500 but did not realize that she owed me a check for $73.75, 2 1/2% of the original listing price. A third party inquired about the lens, learned that it had been sold, and notified me. Once I contacted Ann she quickly made things right.
David R. Gibson sold a Canon EOS-1D Mark III on eBay for $519. He cheerfully sent me a check for $25 to cover the minimum listing fees.
Multiple IPT veteran Gil Moe sold a brand new in the box Canon BG-E20 Battery Grip for EOS 5D Mark IV for $259 in early February.
Galapagos IPT veteran Paul Reinstein sold his Canon EF 100mm f2.8 USM macro lens in near-mint condition (but for a speck of dirt near the center of the lens) for $225 on e-Bay in late January and gladly forked over $25 🙂 Thanks Paul!

The Streak

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

High-K-ACR-defaults----YELLO-

This image was created on the morning of Tuesday, February 20, 2018 while standing thigh deep in Tampa Bay next to the Hooptie Deux. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the Nikon D850. ISO 1000. Matrix metering +1 stop as originally framed: 1/1600 sec. at f/6.3. K7690 WB at 7:29am with some sweet early morning light.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF. Above are the ACR default settings.

Brown Pelican scratching in flight

Oops!

When I am using a high Kelvin setting in the field to juice up sunrise or sunset colors, I generally remember to change the WB setting the moment that I turn away from the sun. On Tuesday morning past, I forgot to do that. I did not realize my error until well into the morning session, in part because I am not quite used to the colors on the Nikon LCDs. In yesterday’s blog post, I wrote:

While you can always change the white balance during the RAW conversion, shooting all morning at K7690 can be problematic as most of the images will look over-saturated/over-exposed during a laptop review; apparent sharpness is affected as well. None-the-less I was able to create lovely versions of many of my favorites.

Above you see the horrible yellow cast that resulted from mistakenly being at K7690. The image is as it appeared in ACR with the ACR defaults.

High-K-after-ACR

Above are the ACR settings that I made to convert today’s featured image. Click on the image so that you are better able to read the fine print.

Brown Pelican scratching in flight

The ACR Corrections

Note that the color has been corrected nicely, that the YELLOW cast has been eliminated, and that the WHITEs and highlights have been toned down. Compare the sliders with the default settings above. I was surprised at the considerable vignetting at f/6.3. I will try f/7.1 this weekend in similar situations. Note that I failed to correct the vignetting during the RAW conversion (using the fx (Effects) tab. I almost always forget to do that in Photoshop with my NEF files because DPP 4 automatically corrected the vignetting when I loaded the appropriate camera body/ISO recipe. Eliminating the vignetting in Photoshop is somewhat of a pain as there are four sliders to adjust in addition to the Amount slider …

Brown-Pelican-scratching-in-flight-_DSC4281--Alafia-Banks,-Tampa-Bay,-FL

This image was created on the morning of Tuesday, February 20, 2018 while standing thigh deep in Tampa Bay next to the Hooptie Deux. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the Nikon D850. ISO 1000. Matrix metering +1 stop as originally framed: 1/1600 sec. at f/6.3. K7690 WB at 7:29am with some sweet early morning light.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Above is the optimized image.

Brown Pelican scratching in flight

The Optimized Image

Note as always how well the D850 images stand up to a healthy crop. It took a bit of work to get around the problems caused by K7690 but none of those were insurmountable. And I am hoping that it is a lesson that I will not soon forget. I remembered on Thursday morning at Gatorland. And I had had K7690 set from Wednesday night at ILE … Maybe there is hope for me.

Brown Pelican Scratching in Flight

The funny thing is that I have photographed pelicans a zillion times and can rarely recall seeing one scratching in flight; the scratching in flight posture is very strange. And while I may have seen the behavior a few times in the past 30+ years, I have never had a chance to photograph it. The bird in today’s featured image scratched for only a few seconds at most. An hour after I made this image — the light was still not bad — I was in the process of moving my tripod when a bird at even closer range and not far off sun angle began to scratch. I made no effort to get my tripod back on the ground because I assumed that the bird would quickly quit scratching. As you might have guessed the bird kept scratching and scratching and scratching for about twenty seconds … And I got nothing 🙂

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.





Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

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

Facebook

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

Typos

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

February 22nd, 2018

Sunrise Silhouette Strategy: Huge Change and Admission Coming ... Double-crested Cormorant Croaking Display. And Small Pixel Noise.

Stuff

When I downloaded my images from Tuesday morning I learned that I forgot to change my high Kelvin WB back to AWB. While you can always change the WB during the RAW conversion shooting all morning at K7690 can be problematic as most of the images look over-saturated/over-exposed during the review and sharpness is affected as well. None-the-less I was able to create lovely versions of many of my favorites. I’ve been swimming my half-mile plus ever day.

The Streak

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

White Balance Stuff

While reviewing my images from Wednesday morning at ILE I learned the Nikon AWB can cause worse problems than Canon AWB. In AWB with Canon, the color balance would sometimes change drastically when a wave broke over a sand background. That is understandable. But this morning with my Nikon gear the WB changed drastically from frame to frame while photographing a perched Osprey in constant early morning light. Best advice for all: try to remember to stay away from AWB and use the most appropriate WB pre-set instead.

In the same vein, if anyone can explain the Nikon D850 differences with the three Auto white balance type options (as changed with the index finger dial): Auto*0, Auto*1, and Auto*2, it would be greatly appreciated. Same question and request for these two white balances (as changed with the thumb wheel): Sun Symbol A and Sun Symbol.

Thanks to all who left insightful comments on the foggy Gatorland flight images in the recent blog post here.

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

IPT veteran Billie Snell is offering a Canon EOS 5D Mark III in excellent to near-mint condition for the BAA record low price of $1199.00. The only wear is on the camera strap rings. The sale includes the front cap, camera strap, the two cables, battery charger, one LP-E6 battery, instruction books, software CDs, the original product box from Canon, 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.

Please contact Billie via email at e-mail.

I owned and used this superb, full frame, 22mp digital body for several years. It was always my first choice for scenic, Urbex (urban exploration), and flower photography until I fell in love for a while with the 5DS R (for a lot more money!). Then I switched to the 5D IV body. In addition, I loved my 5D III body for birds with my big lenses and both TCs. I used mine to create many dozens of high quality images. artie

Double-crested-Cormorant-A-croaking-flight-display-_DSC4146--Alafia-Banks,-Tampa-Bay,-FL

This image was created on the morning of Tuesday, February 20, 2018 while standing thigh deep in Tampa Bay next to the Hooptie Deux. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the Nikon D850. Auto ISO (2800). Matrix metering +1.7 stops as originally framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6. K7690 WB at 6:58 with some fog on the eastern horizon.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Double-crested Cormorant croaking display

Sunrise Silhouette Strategy: Huge Change and Admission Coming …

I shot sunset on Monday and sunrise on Tuesday using a tried and true strategy: S mode (Shutter priority in Canon). Pick a shutter speed that you are comfortable with, dial in the correct exposure compensation, and let the camera set the ISO (via Auto ISO with Nikon or via Auto ISO or ISO Safety Shift — my preference — with Canon). Then fire away. I made lots of excellent images but each featured a similar problem. When I thought about how to solve those problems I realized that I had been stubbornly in error for at least two decades. That revelation is coming soon.

Double-crested Cormorant Croaking Display

When flying back to their nests, Double-crested Cormorants often croak on final approach. I am not sure if they are showing off for their partners or simply announcing their arrival. But I suspect the former.

Small Pixel Noise

In the before image above you can see what I call the small pixel noise of the D850. The same as with the Canon 7D Mark II and the Canon 5DS R bodies. I know that what we are seeing is not color noise and I am not sure if it is correct to call it luminance noise. What we are seeing when we magnify a D850 image is due to the increased pixel density. Small Pixel Noise is easily dealt with with any decent noise reduction process or program. Those include Photoshop NR, Capture One, and Neat Image (as seen above). While cameras like the Canon 1DX and 1DX Mark II and the Nikon D5 appear to be less noisy than their high-pixel cousins — I am referring specifically here to to the Nikon D-850, the Canon 5DS R, and the Canon 5D Mark IV — if you crop to the same pixel density the image of the dense pixel bodies will far surpass that of their higher priced cousins.

(Note: I am not demeaning the quality of 7D Mark II images. Many, however, do not like the high pixel noise. To see some incredibly fine images made with both the 7D and the 7D Mark II do a search for “Daniel Cadieux” in the little white box on the top right of each blog post page and follow the links …)

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.





Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

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

Facebook

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

Typos

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