The Before and the Deafening Aftermath « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Before and the Deafening Aftermath


snow-rosss-geese-in-main-impondment-_a1c9421-bosque-del-apache-nwr-san-antonio-nm_0

This image was created on November 28, 2013 at Bosque del Apache NWR in San Antonio, New Mexico with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter) (at 98mm), and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital camera body ISO 50. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/13 sec. at f/20 in Manual mode, with the Hoya 77mm Neutral Density (ND) 0.9 (3-stop) Pro 1 Digital Multi-Coated Glass Filter.

Central sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus/Suround AF on the closest row of geese and re-compose. Click here if you missed the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

The Before

On the way down Highway 1, I said to Richard, “If we are lucky, we might find a big group of geese in the corner of the main impoundment just past the pay booth. We did. It was sunny and warm with a mild south by slightly east wind. Hand held at 1/13 sec. the image above had been intended only as an exposure check….

I did most of my work that afternoon with the 600 II and the 2X III TC trying to pick off single birds in blue water. Isolating various individuals was quite a trick. I moved often…. If you missed the previous blog post, see the results at “Your Goose is Cooked” here.


snow-rosss-geese-jiggle-blur-_a1c9433-bosque-del-apache-nwr-san-antonio-nm

This image was also created on November 28, 2013 at Bosque with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter) (this time at 280mm), and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital camera body ISO 50. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/13 sec. at f/16 in Manual mode, with the Hoya 77mm Neutral Density (ND) 0.9 (3-stop) Pro 1 Digital Multi-Coated Glass Filter.

Central sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus/Suround AF on the closest row of geese, re-compose, and jiggle the camera a la Denise Ippolito. Click here if you missed the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Jiggle Blurs

With the same gear in hand and the same shutter speed, I zoomed in to the long end of the focal length range and jiggled the camera as I pressed the shutter button. Denise Ippolito describes it as shivering. I thought the resulting image was rather pleasing. I liked the degree of blurring and the way that there was room for the whole tree on the left top of the frame.


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This image was created with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 2x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400: 1/1600 sec. at f/10 in Manual mode is the equivalent of the standard ISO 400 exposure for brilliant whites in bright sun: 1/2500 sec. at f/8.

Central sensor (by necessity) Expand/AI Servo Rear Focus AF on the closest goose and re-compose. Click here if you missed the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Big Glass Bird-scape

Scoping out the huge group with my big lens I saw a large concentration of Ross’s Geese about 200 yards away. And photographed it. As you can see above; not the stub-nosed look of the smaller Ross’s.


blast-off-_a1c9438-bosque-del-apache-nwr-san-antonio-nm

This image too created on November 28, 2013 at Bosque del Apache NWR in San Antonio, New Mexico with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter) (at 98mm), and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital camera body ISO 50. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/13 sec. at f/20 in Manual mode, with the Hoya 77mm Neutral Density (ND) 0.9 (3-stop) Pro 1 Digital Multi-Coated Glass Filter.

One sensor above the central sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus/Suround AF as framed active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

The Roar

It seemed that all 15,000 birds took flight at once with a truly deafening roar, reminiscent of an approaching freight train. They were angle slightly away from us into that slight southeast breeze. For the first few images I went wide to capture the reflections in the water.


blast-off-main-impoundment-_a1c9445-bosque-del-apache-nwr-san-antonio-nm

Here’s another one from November 28, 2013 at Bosque with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter) (this time at 280mm), and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital camera body ISO 50. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/15 sec. at f/14 in Manual mode, with the Hoya 77mm Neutral Density (ND) 0.9 (3-stop) Pro 1 Digital Multi-Coated Glass Filter.

Central sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus/Suround AF as framed active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Zoominig In

For the image above I zoomed in on the flock that was still heading southeast.


blast-off-to-the-farm-fields-_a1c9451-bosque-del-apache-nwr-san-antonio-nm

This image was created on November 28, 2013 at Bosque del Apache NWR in San Antonio, New Mexico with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter) (at 98mm), and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital camera body ISO 50. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/15 sec. at f/14 in Manual mode, with the Hoya 77mm Neutral Density (ND) 0.9 (3-stop) Pro 1 Digital Multi-Coated Glass Filter.

Central sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus/Suround AF as framed active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Heading North

For the last image presented today, I went wide again as the flock began to turn to the north. After two minutes Richard and I were left standing in awed silence.

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4 comments to The Before and the Deafening Aftermath

  • avatar Jim Amato

    Big Glass Bird Scape. The flock’s blur presents action and the uptake of flight. The reflections are very Monet like with the sunlight, sky, bird’s colors and water colors all mingling together. They have that reflective shimmer of blending dapples of tones. The three section horizontal balance is quite nice. Great image. Jim Amato

  • avatar Mark W.

    I honestly like the first one the best…why?? Because it reminds me of my first ever visit to Bosque about a month ago when I and my parents were on our way to LA….how wonderful it was to actually see in person what I have seen for years in images. While I love the massive flight images, those will not have the impact the first does because we saw the same vista, though with far fewer birds…

    Cheers,