200-400 with Internal Extender Versatility and Image Design Questions « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

200-400 with Internal Extender Versatility and Image Design Questions

What’s Up?

Jim and I got home from the airport at about 7pm. After a small, quick dinner I hit the sack and slept till 5am. Not bad. I fly up to Long Island next Friday for the Nickerson IPT and to visit my Mom who will be 94 in September. Cutdown date for the IPT hotel is tomorrow so if you are thinking of taking advantage of the Nickerson IPT late registration discount today is the day to act. See yesterday’s blog post or the IPT page for details.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, makes-no-sense, 241 days in a row with a new educational blog post. And I still have dozens of new topics to cover; there should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. AND Please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the new BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.


This in-camera HDR Art Vivid image was created on Day 4 of the second 2016 Palouse IPT with the with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 200mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +/-2 stops around a base exposure of +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/4 in Av mode. WB = 6000K. Live View with 2-second timer.

Wind turbine farm and rolling farm fields

200-400 with Internal Extender Versatility

The Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS lens with Internal Extender was easily my most valuable lens on the Palouse IPTs. It allowed me–with and without the internal TC engaged, to zoom in for the tight detail and abstract images that I love while enabling to go as wide as 200mm when creating rolling field scenics like the one above.

Image Design Questions

Would you have pointed the lens up or down or left or right? If yes, how much and why? Same question in a different form: all things being equal, would you have changed the image design or the focal length at all? If yes, how so and why?

Depth of Field Question

Why is this image pretty much sharp at the wide open aperture of f/4? One a related note, why do you think that I went with 1/500 second?

Pronunciation Question

Is it turbines with the second syllable sounding like “bins or with the second syllable rhyming with “signs?”


Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card

Why Different?

Announcing the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour

In what ways will the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour be different from the most other Palouse workshops?

There are so many great locations that a seven-day IPT (as opposed to the typical three- or five-day workshops) will give the group time to visit (and revisit) many of the best spots while allowing you to maximize your air travel dollars. In addition, it will allow us to enjoy a slightly more relaxed pace.

You will be assured of being in the right location for the given weather and sky conditions.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills.

You will learn to design powerful, graphic images.

You will visit all of the iconic locations and a few spectacular ones that are much less frequently visited.

You will learn long lens landscape techniques.

You will learn to master any exposure situation in one minute or less.

You will learn the fine points of Canon in-camera (5D Mark III, 5DS R, and 7D II) HDR techniques.

You will be able to share a variety of my exotic Canon lenses including the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, aka the “circle lens.”

You will learn to use your longest focal lengths to create rolling field and Urbex abstracts.

You will learn when and how to use a variety of neutral density filters to create pleasing blurs of the Palouse’s gorgeous rolling farmlands.

As always, you will learn to see like a pro. You will learn what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time. You will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images.

You will learn to use super-wide lenses both for big skies and building interiors.

You will learn when, why, and how to use infrared capture; if you do not own an infrared body, you will get to borrow mine.

You will learn to use both backlight and side-light to create powerful and dramatic landscape images.

This trip will run with one participant.


Palouse 2016 Verticals Card

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour
June 8-14, 2017. Seven full days of photography. Meet and greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 7: $2,499

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will enjoy spectacular sunrises and at least one nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. I will bring you to more than a few really neat old abandoned barns and farmhouses in idyllic settings. There is no better way to improve your compositional and image design skills and to develop your creativity than to join me for this trip. Photoshop and image sharing sessions when we have the time and energy…. We get up early and stay out late and the days are long.

Over the past three years, with the help of a friend, we found all the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and vistas. What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, my extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions. As above, there will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before the workshop begins.

To Sign Up

Your non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining this IPT. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours to arrange for the payment of your deposit; if by check, please make out to “BIRDS AS ART” and mail it to: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail: artie.

Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options. You can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right 🙂

8 comments to 200-400 with Internal Extender Versatility and Image Design Questions

  • avatar Todd Bendt

    I see the picture as man’s influence on the land and therefore would have pointed the lens down to include less of the sky. Doing so might put the diagonal line created by the power lines (which I like) right in the middle of the frame, so pointing down may create another issue.

    1/500 shutter to freeze the motion of the turbine and sharp at f4 because of the long distance to the subject.

    Thanks for making us think!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Fascinating image. For me, it seems there should be two separate images, which I’d achieve by cutting the image as shown in two parts, horizontally. If you cut it somewhat above the tree, you get what for me would be a very pleasing pattern of the turbines and some of the rolling green hills and the sky. (You say “-ines,” I say “-ins,” let’s call the whole thing off. 🙂 )

    The second image would be the fence with the brown plowed fields; I’d also remove a little from the bottom.

    This comment, obviously, is my personal view, added to because I have a hard time with portrait orientation for landscapes unless there’s some obviously vertical aspect to the landscape, and there isn’t in this image.

  • avatar Warren H

    First, I want to say I like the perspective of some of the responses. They are looking at the photo from their personal point of view, which is great.

    I would only add that all photos are not meant to make one happy or feel good. A great photo should pull out a personal feeling, but that could be sadness, fear, anger, disgust, etc. Or just make someone think.

    I see a lot of contrast in this photo, but not photographic contrast. Natural vs Mechanical, Nature vs man’s influence, etc.

    Also, I agree you probably used 1/500 to stop the blades of the turbines. The grouping of the turbines to the right gives them a real look of sharp and destructive.

    I didn’t think I cared for this photo that much, but obviously it has made me think as I look at it more….

  • avatar Jackie Milburn

    My thoughts are: I figure you picked the best spot and settings for the lens.

    If you could have backed up a few feet to take in more foreground, not to much, just enough to capture the curve of the harvest lines in the field and not going far-enough to get the next power pole on either-side.

    It’s sharp at f4 because of focal plane. I would say you used 1/500 to stop the turbines blades. Getting the blades uncluttered had to be a challenge.

    Correctly pronounced with “signs” but here in the hills of West Virginia we may lean towards “buns”. 🙂

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    I would move the shot more to the left to eliminate the turbines and fence from the image. I don’t like the turbines at all – for me, they have a lot of negativity attached to them due to their impact on birds, specifically raptors. Seeing them in the image makes me think of that. Might be interesting to focus in more on some of the designs in the green or yellow fields so the design takes up the whole image.

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Hey Maggi, We would never say lins, sins, mins, or nins on this side of the pond but…


  • avatar maggi Fuller

    The latter!! Turbines/lines/signs/mines/nines/fines etc, etc….. In the UK we would never think it should be pronounced any other way!