This Sanderling image was created on Sanibel with the hand held Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 2x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -2/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/10 in Manual Mode.
Central sensor (by necessity) Expand/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.
Baptism Under Fire
On Wednesday afternoon past, I took my new 600II for a walk on the beach at Sanibel in search of Snowy Plovers. I decided to go hand held. As you can see in the image below, I got down on the ground. I got my whole rig covered in sand. And I mean covered. It took me well more than an hour to clean everything up. But I had a great time. I had the 2XIII in place when I saw this Sanderling bathing. While standing at full height I got on sun angle and waited for the bird to flap. Fortunately I did not have to wait more than a few seconds as my left arm was getting tired quickly. I made four sharp images out of four. This one, a healthy crop from the rear and above and below, with the wings fully forward, was my favorite.
Do understand that for however long you are capable of hand holding a big lens you will do much better with flight and action than if you were on a tripod.
I let the gear dry overnight. To clean it, I used a 1 1/2 inch Linzer Best angular sash Blended Polyester paint brush from WalMart, the big Giotto’s Rocket Blower that I normally use for sensor cleaning, and a Q-tip with Lens Clens on it to clean the viewfinder. Poke-jabbing at the buttons with the paint brush worked wonders. When I was done getting rid of most of the sand, I cleaned the camera with an old T-shirt and Lens Clens. It needed that before the sand bath!
This image of a female Snowy Plover was also created yesterday afternoon on Sanibel. This one with the lens foot resting deep in the sand with the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 2x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/11 in Manual Mode.
Central sensor (by necessity) Expand/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the bird’s eye and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.
Just a moment after I created this image I called out to Denise Ippolito and Geri Georg, “This cute lady plover just gave me the coyest look.” I think that she was looking up at a bird in flight. The sharpness of the 600II/2X III/1D X is superb as expected. I cleaned the background extensively using Denise Ippolito’s cloning on a layer technique. This technique, along with my complete digital workflow, all of my Keyboard Shortcuts, and dozens more real world Photoshop tips is included in our Digital Basics File, a PDF that is sent via e-mail.
EOS-1D X AF Guide
Southwest Florida Site Guide
Several folks have written recently asking why this great guide has not been updated since 2007. The answer is that I have not discovered any new hotspots and that the good places remain good and the great places remain great. We found the Snowy Plovers on Wednesday in the exact spot described in the Southwest Florida Site Guide. Go figure.
Africa Photo Safari: August 2013
Serengeti Summer Migration Safari: 12 full and two half-days of photography: $12,999/person double occupancy. Limit: 12/Openings: 9.
Leaders: Todd Gustafson, Denise Ippolito, and Arthur Morris. Tanzania Summer Migration Safari. Leave the US on August 3. Day 1 of the safari is August 5. We will visit Tarangire for great dry season photography, Seronera Lodge–aka Leopard City!–twice, Central Serengeti for big cats, Northern Serengeti and our mobile tented camp to search for river crossings, and the spectacular wildlife spectacle that is Ngorongoro Crater. Our last morning of photography is August 18. Fly home from Arusha, Tanzania on the evening of August 18.
A deposit of $4,000 is due now. This trip is a go. Happy Campers only please. Guaranteed maximum no more than 12 photographers plus the three great leaders. 3 persons/van. You get a row of seats for yourself and your gear. In addition to rotating in-the-field instruction with each of the co-leaders, artie, Todd, and denise will be available for image sharing and review and informal Photoshop instruction during breaks and after meals. And–with apologies to Miss Manners–even during meals!
Once we cash your check you will be strongly advised to purchase travel insurance. You may wish to consider using Travel Insurance Services. Do understand that most policies must be purchased within two weeks of our cashing your deposit check. The 2nd payment of $4000 is due MAR 30, 2012. The final payment/balance is due MAY 30, 2013. Sign up with a friend or a spouse and apply a $300 per person discount.
The lodging is all first class. Please e-mail to request a PDF with additional details, the complete itinerary, and a description of the unparalleled photographic opportunities that we will enjoy. Please e-mail or call me on my cell at 1-863-221-2372 with any questions. I hope that you can join us.
You can see a collection of my images from previous safaris here.
Weekend Creative Nature Photography Seminar, Tampa, FL: February 23 & 24, 2013: $149
You are invited to join Denise Ippolito and me on the weekend of February 23-24 on the outskirts of Tampa, FL for a great weekend of fun and learning. Learn to improve your photography skills, your skill at designing images in the field, your creative vision, and your image optimization skills. Sunday critiquing session. Click here for additional details and the complete schedule.
Fort DeSoto Morning In-the-Field Workshop/Two Slots Left!
Fort DeSoto In-the-field Workshop: FEB 25. Pre-dawn -10:30am. Strict Limit 16/2 Openings. Includes a great working lunch: $275.
On Monday morning, February 25, Denise Ippolito and I will be co-leading a morning In-the-field Workshop at Fort DeSoto, south of St. Petersburg, FL. We should get to photograph a variety of very tame herons, egrets, gulls, terns, and shorebirds. Spoonbills possible. There will be lots of individual and small group instruction. We will cover exposure and histograms, seeing the situation, creating sharp images, and lots more. Each registrant will have a personalized gear and set-up check. The more questions you ask, the more you will learn.
A great working lunch at the Sea Porch Café on St. Petersburg Beach is included. All are invited to bring a laptop along for image sharing at lunch. After the workshop, all are invited to send us three 1024 wide or 800 tall JPEGs for critiquing. Call 1-863-692-0906 to register or send us a Paypal. Either way, be sure to note that the payment is for the Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Workshop.
On all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or leave a comment regarding any typos, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right.
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