Big Bird/See You Soon! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Big Bird/See You Soon!

CDLC Focus On Feature

Be sure to check out my 10-image “FOCUS ON: EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x” feature on the Canon Digital Learning Center here. Click on the home tab for lots more great articles and videos.

ostrich-male-_y7o7492-ngorongoro-crater-tanzania

This image was created with the Todd-pod supported Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the internal TC in place at 560mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop as framed in Manual Mode: 1/640 sec. at f/6.3.

One sensor to the left and one sensor up from the Central sensor/AI Servo/Surround/Rear Focus AF as framed. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Ostrich I

Big Bird

We were thrilled, at 7:33 am on August 17, on the Tanzania Summer Safari, to find a gorgeous male Ostrich parading around in early morning light. As I did often on the safari, I used both the 200-400 and the 600II to create a variety of images.

On the first morning of the Swan Island Dahlia Farm IPT many of the participants approached denise and me to share their images. They would show us one image of this flower and one image of that flower. We quickly found ourselves preaching repeatedly: “Once a subject catches your eye, makes lots of images of it. Work it. Vary your perspective. Use different apertures. Change lenses. Make some horizontals. Make some verticals.”

Except for the “use different apertures” bit, the same advice is equally important on safari. Once we realized that we had a cooperative subject, we directed our driver/guide to move the van probably more than 20 times to secure a new perspective and try for ideal, uncluttered backgrounds.

ostrich-male-_y7o7478-ngorongoro-crater-tanzania

This image was also created with the Todd-pod supported Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the internal TC in place at 560mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop as framed in Manual Mode: 1/500 sec. at f/6.3.

Three sensors to the left and one sensor up from the Central sensor/AI Servo/Surround/Rear Focus AF as framed. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Ostrich II

Handsome Boy!

Our cooperative Ostrich was a handsome male in full breeding plumage. There was a female nearby. We hoped against hope that they would begin their amazing courtship behavior but that was not to be. We did see the Ostrich dance twice that morning, both times with distant, backlit subjects.

ostrich-male-head-and-neck-portrait-_y5o6743-ngorongoro-crater-tanzania

This image was created with the Todd-pod 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 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/8 in Tv mode.

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

Ostrich III

Your Fave?

Which of the three Ostrich images is your favorite? Be sure to let us know why.

Ostrich Image Questions

In Ostrich I, why didn’t I point the lens more to the right to effectively move the subject more to our left in the frame?

In Ostrich II, where would you have put the bird in the frame?

After clicking on each photo to see a larger version can you determine which of the three images is the least sharp on the face?

baa1

Flight Plan

Check out Jim Neiger’s great, long-awaited new e-Guide on photographing birds in flight here.

See You Soon!

I fly to Islip tomorrow for a whirlwind tour of the northeast with Denise Ippolito with stops in Fishkill, NY on Saturday followed by a series of events in Canton, MA just south and east of Boston. It is not too late to register for any of the three great events. No need to register for the Tuesday night Mass Audubon special program. Click here for complete details and links.

2014 Tanzania Summer Safari

If you are interested in joining us in Tanzania next summer please shoot me an e-mail and I will be glad to forward you the PDF with dates, itinerary, and price.

Bosque IPTs

For information on both the 7-Day and the recently announced short version of the 2013 Bosque IPTs please click here and scroll down.

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7 comments to Big Bird/See You Soon!

  • avatar Richard Lethbridge

    1) I like number one the best, because of the pleasing composition.
    2) It would change the balance of the composition. The picture is divided vertically into
    thirds, the neck and head; the body; and the legs. Each third is composed roughly
    one third/two thirds, in what I believe is called the Golden Ratio, laterally.
    Changing the pointing of the lens would upset this.
    3) I would leave it as it is. The arrow-like green patch leads the eye into the main
    subject, the ostrich.
    4) I cannot really see any difference; if I had to choose marginally number one seems
    lees sharp.

  • Hi Art, In answer to your third question about which is focused best in the face, I would say # 2 is the least focused. 1 & 3 look spot on but there is a slight softness in #2. Still, all wonderful shots. Are any of these shots cropped at all? Thanks, Dennis

  • avatar leavell

    I do not know how you do it
    Your days must have 48 hours instead of 24
    Keep up the good work
    Ullin Leavell

  • I like the 1st shot the most. I like the composition and the habitat in the background.

    The new BIF guide by Jim looks very interesting. I will get that one.

    Markus

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Markus. Jim’s book is selling like the proverbial hot cakes.

      • Hi Artie, just ordered it. Looking forward to reading it. For sure I will learn a lot.
        BTW, I agree with you about the 200-400 as a BIF lens. Tried that on Sunday. Great to handhold.

        See your emails for a comment on the ebook.

        Markus

  • 1-Pointing the lens to the right would unbalance the composition moving the bird away from the center of the frame. Birds facing straight on, or almost as this one is, and photographed vertically look good centered. This one looks just right with a bit more space in front of his head, probably because the small space between his neck and legs is centered.
    2-I probably would have put the bird on the right. But I like your composition better. The swatch of green looks good without being chopped up with the bird in front of it. The complete green seems to balance the bird. By putting the bird’s elaborate tail in the center the tail gets more emphasis. Against the tan grass the bird stands out more than it would placed against tan and green. Also placed completely in front of the green, the green would have sliced the bird across its body.
    #1 Looks the least sharp to me