Sharp Gold and Soft Blue 100-400 II/7D II: Versatility Continued… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Sharp Gold and Soft Blue 100-400 II/7D II: Versatility Continued...

What’s Up?

Had a fun morning right by Morro Bay Rock with Western Gulls and a very tame Great Blue Heron. I continued experimenting with the pop-up flash on the 7D II. Then I found the turkeys on the golf course–yes, on the fairways, and spent a good 30 minutes with them. Lunch was at Whole Foods where I enjoyed the curry chicken salad and some whole RAW unsalted cashews.

This blog post took about 2 hours to prepare and was published from my hotel room in Morro Bay, CA at 9:04pm on Tuesday, four minutes after midnight on the east coast. Enjoy.

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This image was created at Morro Bay on the afternoon of March 15, 2015 with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and the amazing Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6 was spot on by luck. Color temperature K9000.

Three AF points to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Backlit Long-billed Curlew flight image

When unexpected action occurs, press the shutter button now, think later…

I wrote something very close to this in the CD book, ABP II: When unexpected action occurs, press the shutter button now, think later…

I saw the curlew flying right to left, acquired focus asap, and fired off two frames. In an ideal world I would have had time to return the active AF point to center by hitting the grid button and pressing the joystick straight in…. Had I taken even a moment to do that, I would have wound up with nothing. As it turned out, I needed a pretty substantial crop from behind and below the bird. But the backlight is pretty neat. The “incorrect” AF array just caught the tip of the bird’s bill and resulted in a sharp image.


This image was created at Morro Bay with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 112mm and the amazing Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/6 sec. at f/4.5.

Three AF points below the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). Panned from left to right during the exposure striving to keep the camera level as I panned. Click on the image to see a larger version. Color temperature K4000.

Image #2: Patterns in wet sand/pan blur/K4000.

Loving Photography…

Sometimes I’ll stay out very late on the beach just to enjoy the smell of the salt air and the sound of the surf. As long as you have a lens with you why not make a few images even well after sunset? By playing creatively with the color temperature settings and trying various techniques it can be easy to come up with some interesting images.

A Guide to Pleasing Blurs

Pleasing blurs are not, as some folks believe, out of focus mistakes. If you would like to learn how to create these increasingly popular images, get yourself a copy of “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs” by Denise Ippolito and yours truly.

7D II/100-400 II Rocks Morro Bay

Being able to work without a tripod with a lightweight, versatile telephoto zoom lens has been the most fun I have had in years. As the past few blog posts have shown, the beauty and variety of the images that I have been able to create with this combo has been quite amazing….

Coming Soon

I will sharing a series of images of gull scavenging the seal carcass here soon. In another upcoming post, I will be discussing the use of the 7D II pop-up flash to improve your bird photography.

Your Fave?

Please take a moment to let us know which of today’s two images was your favorite and why you liked it.


Morro Bay offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects in a variety of attractive settings. Do consider joining me there on the March 20-22, 2015 Canon Destination Workshop. Complete info and register here

Morro Bay Pre-Canon Destination Workshop In-the-field Day

The Morro Bay Canon Destination Workshop March 20-22, 2015 now has only three slots open. To encourage folks to sign up I have planned the following:

Morro Bay Pre-Canon Destination Workshop In-the-field Day. Friday March 20: $399.

This in-the-field workshop includes a 4-hour morning photo-session that begins in the pre-dawn, a 2 hour afternoon photo session (3-5pm or so), and a working lunch with image review and some Photoshop. We will finish up in time to attend the Friday evening program that opens the Destination Workshop. At present only two folks are signed up for the day so you will surely receive all of the one on one guidance that you can handle.

Though you not need to be registered for the Canon event to join me on Friday, doing so would make a lot of sense to me. The Friday evening program is of course open only to those who are signed up for the Destination Workshop. See immediately below for details on that.

BIRDS AS ART Morro Bay, CA Canon Live Learning EOS Destination Workshop
March 20-22, 2015: $1050

You must register soon to get in on the fun and learning!

Borrow great Canon gear. Head home with a print or two. Learn from the best.

Click here for complete info or to register.

Click here to see the course agenda.

Join me in one of the most beautiful and scenic places on the planet to photograph a large variety of birds of the sea and shore. The star of the show will be the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. There will be lots of Marbled Godwits and Willets as well as lots of the smaller shorebird species. Black Oystercatcher is likely and we should get to photograph large flocks of Western Sandpipers in flight over the bay; with any luck we should enjoy some great sunrise and sunset photography. There are lots of gulls including Western, California, and Mew. There is one good location where we should get to photograph Western, Clarke’s, Eared, and Pied-billed Grebe, Lesser Scaup, and Common Loon–you will be able to borrow a long lens from Canon along with various camera bodies. We may get to photograph some passerines including Anna’s Hummingbird, Brewer’s Blackbird, and White-crowned Sparrow. And we have a chance for several species of raptors. Yikes, I almost forgot California Poppy. And California Ground Squirrel. Sea Otters are also possible.

Folks who register after seeing this notice are asked to shoot me a copy of their BIRDS AS ART Morro Bay Registration Confirmation via e-mail.

See lots more Morro Bay images here.


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4 comments to Sharp Gold and Soft Blue 100-400 II/7D II: Versatility Continued…

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    Love the curlew photo with the slightly open bill and backlighting through the wingtips.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    The Curlew in flight, is my favourite, the highlighted wing tips give this image special interest!!

  • avatar Gordon Lindsay

    Really like the Curlew shot, I think it’s the first time I’ve seen a Curlew in flight.

  • avatar Everett Gauthier

    I really like the photo of the Curlew. Obviously it was taken at that golden hour. The image is sharp with just a hint of detail on the rear wing tips.