They’re Only Starlings–But Not on a BIRDS AS ART IPT… Mint 400 DO II for Sale! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

They're Only Starlings--But Not on a BIRDS AS ART IPT... Mint 400 DO II for Sale!

What’s Up?

Sunday was another day of rest for me, getting ready for two private clients early on Monday morning. I meet the small Nickerson IPT group (only four) at 3pm that afternoon. Right now I am rooting for Phil Mickelson to win his second British Open gold tournament.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 250 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.

Selling Your Used Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the yellow-orange tab on the right side of the menu bar above.

Used Gear Sales Continue to be More Than Brisk!

  • Jonathan Ward sold his Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent condition for $2,000 CAD in early July.
  • Long ago multiple IPT veteran Charles McRae sold his Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS lens in good to very good condition in early July for a record low $4,199.
  • Walt Novinger sold his Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM lens in very good plus condition for $3,899 in early June.
  • Jeffrey Fredberg sold his EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM L series lens in like-new condition for the record-low BAA price of $749 in late June.
  • Jim Burns sold his Canon 200-400mm F/4L IS zoom lens with Internal 1.4X Extender in brand new condition for the insane BAA record-low price of $8499 in late June.
  • Many multiple IPT veteran Monte Brown sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III (with the BG-E11 vertical battery grip) both in excellent condition for $1599 in early June.
  • Moody McCall sold his Canon 300mm F/2.8L IS II in excellent condition for $4199 in mid-June.
  • Long-ago IPT veteran Charles Sleicher sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens in very good plus condition for $3400 in mid-June.
  • Top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in absolute mint condition for $1599 in mid-June.
  • KW McCulloch sold his Canon EOS-1D X in excellent condition for $2459 in mid-June.
  • Many multiple IPT veteran Monte Brown sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III (with the BG-E11 vertical battery grip) both in excellent condition for $1599 in early June.
  • Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II lens in mint condition for $4499 in early June.
  • Top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the old five) in very good plus condition for a BAA record low price of $3699 in mid-June.
  • National Geographic shooter Tim Laman sold his Canon EOS-1D C in good condition for $2100 in early June. The 1D C is a 1D X with 4K video.
  • Andres Leon sold his Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens in very good plus condition for the full asking price of $7899 in early June.
  • IPT veteran Billy Wingfield sold his Canon EOS-1DX in excellent plus condition for $2400 in early June.
  • Multiple IPT veteran Larry Master sold his near-mint Canon EOS-1DX for $2800 in early June.
  • Moody McCall sold his Canon 100-400L IS USA lens in excellent condition for $599 in early June.

Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO II USM Lens

Multiple IPT veteran Bill Lloyd is offering a used Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO II USM lens in mint condition for $5,999. The sale includes the LensCoat that has been on it from day one, the front lens covers, the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the lens strap, and insured ground shipping by major courier to US addresses only is also included. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangement are made.

Please contact Bill via e-mail.

I own the 400 DO II and find a way to take it on most trips. I brought it to Scotland. I have it at Nickerson Beach. And it serves as my big gun in the Galapagos and the Southern Ocean (the Falklands and South Georgia are both coming up). It is a killer for flight especially with a 1.4X III TC. And really skilled folks have had amazing success hand holding it with the 2X III TC for flight and for action. This lens is in high demand; it is the first of its kind that I have had the pleasure to list. artie


This image was created on the first morning of the 2016 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 286mm) and the a mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/1600 sec. at f/6.3.

Center AF point (Manual selection)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The selected and active AF point fell on the center and side of the bird’s upper breast below the neck and the base of the bill. Right on the same plane as the bird’s eye and face.. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Eurasian Starling fledgling on seawall

They’re Just Starlings–But Not on a BIRDS AS ART IPT…

When we got to the harbor I noticed a bunch of young starlings on the seawall behind the ticket booths. And I noticed right off the bat that the wind–soft from the south–would be perfect for creating portraits. After we paid for our full day boat trips our National Trust Membership stickers I grabbed a few slices of bread from the back of our van and invited everyone in the group to join me. Only a few did. I guess that they were thinking, “They’re just starlings; we came for puffins.”

Eager to photograph and eager to learn was participant Carlotta Grenier. She was equipped just as I was with the new 100-400 II and a 1DX Mark II. First we talked about working within 10-15 degrees of sun angle. Then we discussed exposure: “You want to be plus one or two thirds (while working in Manual mode) because the bird is a bit darker then the background. Don’t forget that when the sun it out the meter is pretty smart.”

Next we talked about perspective: “If you stand at full height you will likely have a somewhat boring blue water background. If you get down a bit, you can create a nice triangle background made up of the ocean and the distant shoreline–at this point I showed her today’s featured image on my rear LCD–If you get really low, you get a really blurred BKGR and you minimize the detail on the seawall.”

I checked out of few of her images on the back of the camera and noticed that her subjects were too centered. So I taught her how and why to select an off-centered AF point.

Finally I realized that Carlotta had been standing well back and asked her why. “I cannot focus any closer.” I knew immediately that she had the limit range switch set to 3 meters to infinity (correct for flight photography) rather than to Full. Once we set the switch correctly for close focusing work she stepped up and began to knock a few out of the park.

The Lessons

1-All birds are beautiful, even juvenile starlings.

2-Even the most common birds are great for practicing bird photography and for improving your skills.

3-Take advantage of every moment. Good advice for all bird photographers and a good guideline to follow when you are not photographing birds…

4-Being with an enthusiastic leader who truly loves birds can be a good advantage.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT
Monday July 3 through Monday July 10, 2017: $5999: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 6). Two great leaders: Arthur Morris and BPN co-owner, BPN Photography Gear Forum Moderator, and long-time BAA Webmaster Peter Kes.

Here are the plans: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on July 2 and arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday July 3 no later than 10am (or simply meet us then at the Edinburgh Airport–EDI, or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe). Stay 7 nights in one of three gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are five days of planned puffin/seabird trips and one morning of gannet photography, all weather permitting of course. In three years we have yet to miss an entire day because of weather… In addition, we will enjoy several sessions of photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The Details

We will get to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet; Arctic, Sandwich, and Common Terns, the former with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks. We will be staying in upscale country-side lodging that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with a private bathroom. See the limited single supplement info below.

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared by you in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day.

If you wish to fly home on the morning of Monday July 10 we will get you to the airport. Please, however, consider the following tentative plans: enjoy a second Gannet boat trip on the afternoon of Monday July 10 and book your hotel room in Dunbar. If all goes as planned, those who stay on for the two extra days will make a morning landing at Bass Rock, one of the world’s largest gannetries. We will get everyone to the airport on the morning of Wednesday July 12. (We may opt to stay in Edinburgh on the night of July 11.) Price and details should be finalized at least six months before the trip but you will need to be a bit patient. It would be ideal if I can get all the work done by the end of September so that folks can arrange their flights then.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2016.

Deposit Info

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome–please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on March 29, 2017. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

Single Supplement Deposit Info

Single supplement rooms are available on a limited basis. To ensure yours, please register early. The single supplement fee is $1575. If you would like your own room, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement; your single supplement deposit check should be for $3,575. As we will need to commit to renting the extra space, single supplement deposits are non-refundable so please be sure that check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. 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. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. 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 of running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print careful even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

This trip has sold out far in advance every year so do not tarry. I hope that you can join me.

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 🙂

3 comments to They’re Only Starlings–But Not on a BIRDS AS ART IPT… Mint 400 DO II for Sale!

  • avatar David Peake

    and so the lessons keep coming. Couldn’t agree with you more that every situation can be a teaching/learning moment.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie, and thanks. I agree completely; I like to practice on American robins, blue jays, goldfinches, herring and black-backed gulls, and so on, and sometimes I end up with very pleasing images. If there were lots of starlings where I live I’d photograph them, too.

  • avatar Aubrey

    Congrats on your 250th blog post. I look forward to it every day and have learned a lot. Warmest regards Aubrey