Nature’s Best Image Quiz Revelations « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Nature's Best Image Quiz Revelations

red-crowned-crane-courtship-dance-nb-_90z9944-tsurui-itoh-sanctuary-hokkaido-japan

This Japanese Red-crowned Crane image was created at Tsurui Itoh Sanctuary, Hokkaido, Japan with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/5.6.

Central sensor (expand left and right) AI Servo/Rear Focus AF and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image for a larger version.

Nature’s Best Image Quiz Revelations

The image above was very well received by many of the folks who commented and in fact, I did enter this image in the 2012 Nature’s Best Contest. Not sure if I entered it in Art in Nature or Birds. Good luck to me.

sally-lightfoot-crab-andy-rouse-inspired-blur-1-30-_w3c6708-peurto-egas-santiago-galapagos

After seeing an Andy Rouse image of a Sally Lightfoot crab on black lava rock surrounded by a blurred wave (in his book, Concepts of Nature, I was determined to try something similar (and perhaps better) on my next Galapagos visit. This image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 50. Evaluative metering -2 stops off the crab on the black rock alone: 1/30 sec. at f/9. (I knew that I would need to underexpose quite a bit to avoid losing detail in the white water of the breaking waves; I needed to check the histogram a few times to get it right.)

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

I could not enter the Sally Lightfoot image above in the 2012 Nature’s Best Contest because it was honored in the Art in Nature category of the 2011 contest. Those who suggested that I not enter it might wish to reconsider. 🙂

snow-geese-with-several-white-fronted-geese-blur-_w3c3240-lower-klamath-nwr-ca

This Snow Goose/White-fronted Goose blur was created at Lower Klamath NWR, CA with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 100. Evaluative metering +2 stops: 1/15 sec. at f/18.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Few folks cared for the image above. I did in fact enter it in this years Nature’s Best Contest in the Art in Nature category. I hope that it does well. I love it. Many contest judges love blurs and so do I. For some they are an acquired taste.

sanderling-flock-incoming-w-1-dunlin-1-peep-_b8a2624-cupsogue-beach-long-island-ny

This image–of a flock of Sanderlings with a single Dunlin and a single peep–was created at Cupsogue Beach, Long Island, NY with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/1250 sec. at f/9.

45-point AI Servo AF. For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Can you spot the two odd-ball species?

I could not enter the image above in the 2012 Nature’s Best Contest because it was also honored in the Art in Nature category of the 2011 category. Those who suggested that I not enter it might wish to reconsider. 🙂 I like that they named the Art in Nature category after me….

My Main Point

My main point is that if you are going to enter a contest it is a good plan to take a close look at the winning and honored images from prior contests and try to figure out what the judges are looking for. Tastes change over the years. The BBC contest used to honor what I call straight bird and wildlife portraits. Those days are over; they are now looking for spectacular action and out of the box stuff–blurs, unusual perspectives, insane weather, and they like. Coming soon here: “You Be the Judge.” Each of you will have a chance to vote on the images in each category that went to the judges in the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition. I can tell you that the winning images are spectacular, right on a par with the best of BBC and Nature’s Best. I could not be prouder.

canon-banner_0

B&H Double Rebates Include the 5D Mark III

Click here. Select one of four current Canon camera bodies–both the EOS-5D Mark III and the EOS-7D are in the group. Add a lens–there are 30 in the group, a Series III teleconverter, or a Speedlite, and enjoy large double rebates. The lenses include lots of my favorites: the 70-200mm f/4 L IS, the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, the circle lens, the 180 macro, and the 300mm f/4L IS. You can check the specs on all Canon telephoto lenses here. This double rebate offer expires on April 2, 2012.

Nikon Dslr + Lens Bundle Rebates

Click here for details. Offer includes the brand new D3200 and the D7000.

Shopper’s Guide.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

Below is a list of the gear talked about in this blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. The very best professional digital camera body that I have ever used.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders. 🙂 And you will love them in mega-cold weather….
GT3532 LS. This one replaces the GT3530LS Tripod and will last you a lifetime. I’ll be commenting on this new model soon. In short, I like it.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
BreezeBrowser. I do not see how any digital photographer can exist without this program.

8 comments to Nature’s Best Image Quiz Revelations

  • avatar cheapo

    I’ve commented on the Sally Lightfoot crab before, it is a super image. The Sanderling flock head on is such a great capture! It’s amazing just how many individuals were within your depth of field at the same time. Excellent. The blurred geese image is fun too. But. What can I say about the dancing Cranes? I am abjectly in love with them! What a priviledge to have been there to see such a beautiful moment between two wild creatures. To photograph them is awesome, but to experience their own emotional connection right before your eyes, well, just magical! 🙂

  • I have a question about judging…when you’re judging a photo, and I hope this makes sense, how much do you zoom into the photo? Are you judging the photo based on what your eyes see at 100% or do you go in deeper, looking for discrepancies that might be missed by the naked eye?

    Thanks
    Doug

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      When I am judging a contest (as I did recently) I view the images at their maximum size. I never zoom in.

  • avatar Gaurav Mittal

    Amazing images, so much to learn from you.

  • avatar Charles Scheffold

    The last shot of the flock of Sanderlings didn’t really stand out for me until I viewed the larger sized version. You can see each bird’s face (the ones closest anyway) and that just makes it for me. What focus point were you using on this one? Or was it ring of fire?

    BTW – I can’t wait to see the images from the BAA contest. Very exciting!

  • The Crab photo is spectacular.