The Big Attractions/Big Screw-Up/Coming Attractions « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Big Attractions/Big Screw-Up/Coming Attractions

More Short Notice, Dirt Cheap, Small Group, In-the-Field Nickerson Beach Photographic Instruction with Arthur Morris. May 27 (am & pm), May 28 (am & pm) and May 29 (am only). All 2013 of course. Morning sessions: 5am sharp-9:30 am. Afternoon sessions: 4pm til whenever. These are priced so low that you need to e-mail for the rates. Limit 5/session.

If you e-mail, please include all phone numbers. Payment in full due immediately via credit card after calling the office on a weekday: 863-221-2372. If you would like to join me, please get in touch via e-mail. Breeding American Oystercatcher (chicks likely) and Piping Plover (chicks possible). Common Tern and Black Skimmer/courtship behaviors. Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls. Breeding plumage Sanderling and other shorebird species. Lots of flight photography when the wind is right. Learn digital exposure and creative image design. Learn to create pleasing blurs at 5am.

This Just In

Received via e-mail from Dirt Cheap 3 session participant Dennis Miller:

Thanks for a great time and excellent instruction. That, and the herring in cream sauce were the highlights of the trip! ;-)) Best, D

american-oystercatcher-settling-down-on-eggs-in-windstorm-_q8r6532-nickerson-beach-park-lido-beach-ny

This image was created at Nickerson Beach on Tuesday afternoon past with several Dirt Cheap folks right there with me, all of us seated behind our tripods. This image was created 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 at zero: 1/1250 sec. at f/10 in Manual Mode.

Central sensor (by necessity) Expand/AI Servo/Rear Focus on the lower rear part of the bird’s black hood active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The Big Attractions Right Now

Right now, there are so many oystercatchers on eggs that they are hard to count. This nest hatched within the last day or two as I saw the pair with three tiny young this morning. More Common Terns are arriving every day and settling in to nest. Courtship feeding, pre-copulatory stands, and copulations are becoming more common every day. And there are large flocks of Sanderling about, many molting into their bright orange breeding plumage; they should be around until near the end of the month.

common-terns-pre-copulatory-stand-_q8r7250-nickerson-beach-park-lido-beach-ny

This image was created at Nickerson Beach with the tripod-mounted 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 at zero: 1/1000 sec. at f/10 in Manual Mode.

Central sensor (by necessity) Expand/AI Servo/Rear Focus on the bird’s eye active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Afternoon Dirt Cheap Dennis Miller was just to my right. We had set up for Sanderlings when a group of terns landed nearby to our left. We stayed seated while moving to our left and were well rewarded. Dennis was most kind as he treated denise and me to dinner at one of our favorite Rockville Center eateries: Prime Catch. Thanks again Dennis! Amazingly very little beach clean-up was needed for this one.

Loving What Is Including a Big Screw-Up

I woke this morning just before 3am with no alarm clock set. The beach was calling me…. I had planned to leave my Mom’s at 4:15am and be at Nickerson at 5am but I futzed around on the laptop after seeing the dark clouds above Holbrook. I finally left at 4:30 and realized that I needed to stop for gas. The credit card network was down but fortunately I was able to awaken the attendant and pay cash. But that episode cost me an extra ten minutes. As I crossed the last bridge on the Loop Parkway into Lido Beach I looked back over my left shoulder and was dismayed to see a spectacular sunrise very reminiscent of the best of Bosque…. By the time I got all of my gear together the color had faded almost completely and the sun was coming up. The moral: bend over and kick self in butt. To make matters worse large flocks of birds were blasting off almost continuously as I walked from the parking lot to the colony. You gotta love it.

sanderling-breeding-plumage-_q8r6711-nickerson-beach-park-lido-beach-ny

This breeding plumage Sanderling image was created at Nickerson Beach with the tripod-mounted 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 at zero: 1/800 sec. at f/10 in Manual Mode.

Central sensor (by necessity) Expand/AI Servo/Rear Focus on the bird’s neck active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Dirt Cheap Dennis Miller enjoyed a private afternoon with me on Wednesday, April 15; just me and him. Denise Ippolito had friend/private client Jon Saperia for the day. John really opened my eyes to Michael Tapes Focus Tune software. I will be sharing what I learned when I get back to Florida. Old friend Ivan Rothman and newcomer Insu Nuzzi from San Diego were with us that morning. A good time was had by all.

The Coming Attractions

On the morning of May 15, I spotted the first two Black Skimmers of the season. This morning, there were several large flocks of skimmers at Nickerson. They will be setting in to begin nesting over the next week or two.

black-skimmers-at-sunrise-_q8r7321-nickerson-beach-park-lido-beach-ny

This backlit skimmer image was created at Nickerson Beach this morning with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 500. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/1250 sec. at f/4.5 in Manual Mode.

Central sensor Surround/AI Servo/Rear Focus on closest skimmer (lower right) and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Imagine arriving well before sunrise only to find out that you were way too late. Image Optimization for this image was a bear.

Stuff

I was excited to see the large groups of skimmers as they are the early indicators of a great season at Nickerson. The funny thing is that few folks know how to shoot Nickerson…. There were two folks ahead of me this morning and all evidence showed that they were there well before I was. Yet they were totally in the wrong spot. They were joined by about a dozen folks most with big lenses. Pretty much not one of them had a clue as to how to approach the birds. They all stayed well back and made poor photographs.

Do consider joining me to learn the best morning and afternoon strategies at this treasure of a location.

Your Fave?

Take a moment to leave a comment and let us know which of the four images above is your favorite. And why.

Nickerson Baby Beach-nesting Birds IPT: July 23-25, 2013: $1099. Introductory slide program: Monday, July 22, 2013. Limit 12/Openings: 1. Co-leader: Denise Ippolito.

This IPT is now a go. Conditions at Nickerson are excellent. Join Denise and me on Long Island, NY this coming summer to photograph Common Tern chicks, baby American Oystercatchers, and just-hatched Black Skimmer chicks along with the adults. The opportunities will include chances to photograph a variety of breeding behaviors including courtship feeding, display flight and combat, and copulations. Car-pooling is recommended; if we opt to return to the beach before 5pm there is a $30/vehicle parking fee that is not included so it is best to share that expense. Parking in the morning is free.

Now that the trip is a go–we had been worried about the effects of Hurricane Sandy–I fully expect that this IPT will fill almost instantly. Payment in full is due by check upon registration.

IPT Info

For complete IPT info including schedule, cancellation policies, and the registration and release forms, click here.

New York City–On Location with Denise Ippolito & Arthur Morris May 25 – 26, 2013, 2-day Workshop-$495

Join Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris for a two-day creative workshop in the Big Apple. This exciting adventure through the streets of NYC will begin with an informal get-together at our hotel on the evening of May 24th. This will give us all a chance to get to know each other before we hit the streets in the morning for our first exciting photo shoot. We will explore China Town, Little Italy, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Grand Central Station (tripod permit included) and much more during our two days together. The emphasis will be on street photography, seeing and capturing dynamic images, and expanding your creativity using a variety of in-camera techniques including HDR and Multiple Exposure.

Please contact me via e-mail for complete details and the itinerary.

Next Year In Holland

Despite a 100-year record cold spring with very few tulip fields in bloom this trip has been a spectacular success. The colors and variety of tulips at Keukenhof simply stun the mind and the senses. Denise and I are planning our Holland trip for next year: the Keukenhof Creative Tulip Photography IPT with a Touch of Holland. If you are a Happy Camper who is interested in joining Denise and me next spring, please shoot me an e-mail. Details will be announced soon.

We are currently fleshing out the details. The dates will be about the same, in mid April. In addition to the Keukenhof and the flower fields we will do an afternoon of windmills at Kinderdijk, a day in Amsterdam including a morning at the Rijks Museum and an afternoon visit to the Ann Frank House plus some street photography. We will do some street photography and fine dining in the little town of Edam. There will be about 7-9 days of photography in all. Those will include an afternoon option for a day or two of Purple Herons for those with long lenses.

Note: not surprisingly, early interest has been huge with several folks who want to sign up right now. The formal announcement of the dates and price is imminent.

Typos

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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16 comments to The Big Attractions/Big Screw-Up/Coming Attractions

  • That backlit Skimmers image is awesome. Love the orange and yellow glows. Did you do anything with the color temp in camera? I’m assuming no since you didn’t mention it, but thought I’d still ask. Doug

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Did not, but did some fancy work with Selective Color to create the colors that I saw….

  • avatar David policansky

    I think it’s wonderful that as many great photographs as you have made, and as many sunrises and sunsets you’ve photographed, you still want to kick yourself in the butt when you miss an opportunity. Insightful and inspiring!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Trust me. This was a special sunrise. It even made all the local news channels….

  • Hi,
    My vote goes to the Common-Terns. A great image, very clean and great behavior, especially for the guy on top.

    Don Poggensee
    Wind Rider Images
    Iowa

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Not so great for the guy on top. This is where it started and where it ended.

  • avatar David Teskey

    Hi Arthur
    Your North American and European outings and excursions sound mouth-watering and are most tempting. I reside in New Zealand and so you are just a tad too far away for me to join you on a regular basis. None-the-less I greatly enjoy your regular blog and read each emailed edition from start to finish. I love the descriptive pros and greatly appreciate the methodology of capture attached to each image. Here in New Zealand we are very lucky to have many great opportunities to photograph wild life and birds in particular. Maybe you will have the opportunity to head down this way sometime.
    In the meantime, I thought I would just let you know that your work is being appreciated from afar and I continue to learn great tips and techniques from your blog. Many thanks and regards,
    David

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      What I need to do is get down to Australia/NZ for about 6 weeks at some point….. When would be the best time of year for such a trip?

    • avatar David Teskey

      Hi Again Arthur
      Actually anytime is a good time to visit NZ! We have very mild weather all year round (compared to North America) and our winters do not get really cold. Yes, there is snow during winter on the mountains and in the south of the South Island, but we do have a relatively moderate climate. Right now we are just going into our Autumn season and the trees are covered in golden shades.
      Just to tempt you – the Seabird Coast (Miranda Foreshore) which is situated approximately 100 kilometres south-east of Auckland city is visited by over 130 different bird species every year and offers unique opportunities to observe and photograph birds in their natural habitat. October heralds the arrival of the godwit whose record-breaking migration from the northern hemisphere is an amazing feat, (These little birds fly 11,500km from Alaska to New Zealand non-stop in about 8 days!). There are in fact many opportunities to photograph birds and wildlife in their natural habitat.
      I hope you are able to spend some time in NZ – I’m sure you won’t regret the trip!
      Kind Regards
      David

  • avatar Charles Scheffold

    At least you made it to the beach – I couldn’t get my butt out of bed 🙁

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I have found that there are never any good bird photographs to be made whilst inside your house….

      • avatar David Teskey

        Not always true, Arthur.
        We sometimes have fantails flitting in our french windows. However, these guys are almost impossible to photograph as they don’t sit still for a second and their flight is very unpredictable, never travelling in the same direction for long!
        David

  • avatar Nancy Bell

    My fave is the oystercatcher on eggs. Sharp bird, very interesting behavior perched over the 2 eggs, the red-orange bill & eyes add a great punch of color, and the softly blurred bkgd & foreground are heavenly. Can’t wait to get my own images like this!