Shrimp « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


What’s Up?

I got out for some photography on Friday, mostly Peruvian Pelicans on the coast west of Santiago. It is Friday afternoon and I feel great. I fly with my group of three to the Falklands tomorrow for a week of land-based bird photography heaven. Did get rain jacket and a pair of rain pants with a zipper fly! Talk about a big step up.

I will be off line for from four to seven days. Till then, best and great picture making, artie

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of the folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

The Streak: 337!

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 337 days in a row with a new educational blog post. There should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. Or not… 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.

SEPT/OCTUsed Gear Sales Continue to be Flaming Hot!

  • Bob Serling sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition for $4449 and his older, Canon EF300mm f/2.8L IS lens in excellent plus condition for the shock-the-world price of $2399 within a day or three of listing them here. Why? He wanted to sell them and listened to my pricing advice.
  • Multiple IPT veteran Larry Master sold his Canon EOS 24-105mm f/4 L IS lens in excellent condition for $549 to a private buyer.
  • Joseph Higbee sold a Canon EF 2X III Extender in excellent condition for $349 an hour after it was listed on September 26. Soon thereafter he sold a Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent condition for $1449 and a Canon EOS 7D in excellent condition for $299.
  • In less than one day in late September Steve Zarate sold his Canon EOS 7D camera in very good condition for a BAA record low price of $279 and his Canon EOS 7D II in excellent condition for a BAA record low price of $799.
  • Within two days of listing Joe Alexander sold his Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM lens in excellent plus condition for $599 in late September when he also sold one of each of these: Canon EF 1.4x III and Canon EF 2x III Extender in excellent plus condition for $249 each within an hour of listing them. When he first contacted me he had them priced, way, way, way too low…
  • Yours truly, Arthur Morris, sold one of his two Canon EOS 5DS R bodies in excellent condition but for a very small, very fine sort of x-shaped crack in the upper-right corner of the top LCD screen, for $2549 in late September.
  • Doug Rogers sold his Vortex Razor 85mm Ultra High Definition Scope in like-new condition for $795.00 in mid-September.
  • Ed Hutchinson sold his Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM lens, the “old 1-4,” in like-new condition for $649 and his EOS 5D Mark III in like-new condition for $1499 within days of listing them in mid-September.
  • Hisham Atallah sold his Canon 600mm f/4L IS II lens in excellent condition for $9499 in mid-September within days of listing it.
  • Good friend and BAA Japan IPT co-leader–the oft-honored BBC and Nature’s Best photographer Paul McKenzie–sold his Canon EOS 1DX in excellent condition with an extra Canon battery for $2299 in mid September two days after it was listed.
  • Eric Karl sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal Extender in excellent condition for the full asking price, a very low $8,099 in mid-September.
  • Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in mint condition for $1599 with an off-brand battery grip in mid-September.

New Listings

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II

Multiple IPT veteran Larry Master is offering a Canon EOS-1DX Mark II in like-new condition for $5399. The sale includes all original materials (manual, battery pack, charger, eyecup, strap, and interface cable & protector) in the original box plus an extra battery, and insured ground shipping via FEDEX or UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Larry via e-mail or by phone at 1-518-645-1545 (Eastern time).

The rugged, blazingly fast EOS-1DX Mark II is Canon’s flagship professional dSLR. Check out what it can do in the hands of a skill flight photographer like Arash Hazeghi by clicking here. artie

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

Kim Barley is offering a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV in excellent condition for a BAA record-low $1278. The sale includes the strap, the body cap, and insured ground shipping via Fed-Ex. The camera will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Kim via e-mail or by phone at 1-321-972-8014.

I used and depended on two 1D Mark IVs as my workhorse camera bodies for nearly four years. I loved the great AF system, the quality image files, and the now gone forever 1.3 crop factor. If you want a pro body for a low, low price, this 1D IV is for you. artie


This image was created on the morning of the last day of the Fort Desoto Fall IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6 (Was about a one stop underexposure). Daylight WB (converted at Cloudy WB).

I selected the AF point that was two rows above and one to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF as framed. It was active at the moment of exposure and fell on a spot just in front of the bend of the bird’s wing.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: 0

Roseate Spoonbill catching shrimp


As mentioned here previously, we enjoyed a great feeding spree on the last morning of the DeSoto IPT with several species of wading birds and several dozen Laughing Gulls dining on shrimp and what looked like leeches or some type of larval fish. Though the birds were easily approached the cloudy-dark conditions made things challenging. Note that even with the dark background working at 0 EC the image was about a stop underexposed.

The Image Optimization and Clean-up

After adding one stop of light while doing the RAW conversion in DPP 4, I cleaned up some large specular highlights using the Clone Stamp Tool and the Patch Tool but left most of the water drops. The most notable one in this 100% crop is just below the bill on our right. The specular highlight behind the shrimp’s tail was covered with a small Quick Mask and refined with a Regular Layer Mask. I did some Eye Doctor work but my first attempt the results were crude so I used the Quick Mask from the Original Background Copy Trick to “start again.” I am not sure if I published the blog post with that tutorial or if it is in the queue to be published when I am offline in South America.

Why The Noisy 5D IV Background?

The RAW file was underexposed one full stop and thus the dark tones of the background were about 2 2/3 stops stops underexposed. If that confuses you study the section on Exposure Theory in the original The Art of Bird Photography–the principles are the same today on film as they were with film) And while dark backgrounds will always show more noise than light ones the additional one stop of underexposure creates additional noise.

NeatImage Noise Reduction

NeatImage noise reduction is amazing and when combined with Arash’s new masking techniques where you apply only a small amount of NR to the subject and a larger amount of NR to the background so as to avoid destroying fine detail in the subject it is amazingly effective. You can see for yourself that the noise reduction is superb. And only NeatImage builds a noise reduction profile for each individual image. You can learn these techniques in our Professional Guide to Post Processing. A separate purchase of NeatImage v7.6 is required. Do not purchase v8 or any subsequent version as the interface is new (and v7.6 is superb as is).

At present, it is imperative that folks purchasing NeatImage use only the custom-designed links below to purchase v7.6:

1. v7 Pro plug-in for Photoshop (Windows), $79.90 (excl. possible taxes): please click here.

2. v7 Pro plug-in for Photoshop (Mac OSX), $79.90 (excl. possible taxes): please click here.


DeSoto in spring is rife with tame and attractive birds. From upper left clockwise to center: breeding plumage Dunlin, dark morph breeding plumage Reddish Egret displaying, breeding plumage Laughing Gull/front end vertical portrait, breeding plumage Laughing Gull with prey item, Laughing Gull on head of Brown Pelican, screaming Royal Tern in breeding plumage, Royal Terns/pre-copulatory stand, Laughing Gulls copulating, breeding plumage Laughing Gull/tight horizontal portrait, Sandwich Tern with fish, and a really rare one, White-rumped Sandpiper in breeding plumage, photographed at DeSoto in early May.

Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/April 19-22, 2017. (meet & greet at 2pm on Wednesday April 19 followed by an afternoon session) through the full day on Saturday April 22. 3 1/2 DAYs: $1599. Limit 10. I will be offering small group (Limit 3) Photoshop sessions on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning if necessary. Details on that TBA.

Fort DeSoto is one of the rare locations that might offer great bird photography 365 days a year. It shines in spring. There will Lots of tame birds including breeding plumage Laughing Gull and Royal and Sandwich Terns. With luck, we will get to photograph all of these species courting and copulating. There will be American Oystercatcher and Marbled Godwit plus sandpipers and plovers, some in full breeding plumage. Black-bellied Plover and Red Knot in stunning breeding plumage are possible. There will be lots of wading birds including Great and Snowy Egrets, both color morphs of Reddish Egret, Great Blue, Tricolored and Little Blue Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and killer breeding plumage White Ibis. Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork are possible and likely. We should have lots of good flight photography with the gulls and terns and with Brown Pelican. Nesting Least Tern and nesting Wilson’s Plover are possible.

We will, weather permitting, enjoy 7 shooting sessions. As above, our first afternoon session will follow the meet and greet at 2pm on Wednesday April 19. For the next three days we will have two daily photo sessions. We will be on the beach early and usually be at lunch (included) by 11am. We will have three indoor sessions. At one we will review my images–folks learn a ton watching me choose my keepers and deletes–why keep this one and delete that one? The second will be a review of your images so that I can quickly learn where you need help. For those who bring their laptops to lunch I’d be glad to take a peek at an image or three. Day three will be a Photoshop session during which we will review my complete workflow and process an image or two in Photoshop after converting them in DPP. Afternoon sessions will generally run from 4:30pm till sunset. We photograph until sunset on the last day, Saturday, April 22. Please note that this is a get-your-feet and get-your-butt wet and sandy IPT. And that you can actually do the whole IPT with a 300 f/2.8L IS, a 400 f/4 ID DO lens with both TCs, or the equivalent Nikon gear. I will surely be using my 500 II as my big glass and have my 100-400 II on my shoulder.


DeSoto in spring is rife with tame and attractive birds. From upper left clockwise to center: Laughing Gull in flight, adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, copulating Sandwich Terns, Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egret with reflection, Short-billed Dowitcher in breeding plumage, American Oystercatcher, breeding plumage Royal Tern, white morph Reddish Egret, and Snowy Egret marsh habitat shot.

What You Will Learn

You will learn to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to understand the effects of sky and wind conditions on bird photography, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you are scared of it).

The group will be staying at the Red Roof Inn, St. Petersburg: 4999 34th St. North, St Petersburg, FL 33714. The place is clean and quite inexpensive. Please e-mail for room block information. And please call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 to register. All will need to purchase an Annual Pass early on Tuesday afternoon so that we can enter the park at 6am and be in position for sunrise opportunities. The cost is $75, Seniors $55. Tight carpools will be needed and will reduce the per person Annual Pass costs. The cost of three lunches is included. Breakfasts are grab what you can on the go, and dinners are also on your own due to the fact that we will usually be getting back to the hotel at about 9pm. Non-photographer spouses, friends, or companions are welcome for $100/day, $350 for the whole IPT.

Please Remember to use my 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 Shrimp

  • avatar Scott Borowy

    When I checked on my iPhone, it appeared to be rain in the image. On my computer, it’s a nice splash effect from the shrimping. I really do enjoy the action of the shot. Tough conditions in the clouds and trying to keep a respectable shutter speed for action.

    I’m guessing that you did not want to be underexposed on this image. With the 5D Mark IV having a better sensor and noise handling, why not push the ISO a little higher to get closer to the proper exposure in-camera? Is it because you can do a better job in post-cleanup compared to what you trust the sensor to produce overall at a higher ISO?