I am somewhere in South America. I hope that you are well. Jim and Jen are at the office most days to help you with your mail order needs and Instructional Photo-Tour sign-ups. I still need folks for San Diego, Japan, Galapagos, the Palouse, and the Bear Boat (Grizzly Cubs) trips. Among others 🙂 Please e-mail for couples and discount info for all of the above. Click here for complete IPT info.
I will have intermittent internet access for the rest of my South American adventure. I get back home late on December 25, 2016. 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: 398!
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, 398 days in a row with a new educational blog post. 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 image was created on the 2016 San Diego 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 mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero (in early morning light): 1/500 sec. at f/5.6.
Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure. The active AF point fell on the side of the duck’s neck. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.
Wood Duck drinking
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This image was created just after 8am at the metered exposure, that is, with zero Exposure Compensation (EC). If it had been taken in full sun an hour later what would the correct EC have been? And why?
I think that there are only a very few bird families that can drink water with their bills pointing down. Most, like this Wood Duck, need to tilt their heads back in order to swallow water. If you know of any birds that can actually drink water without have to tilt their heads back, please leave a comment and educate us.
Wood Ducks in San Diego
Wood Ducks is a highly desirable species for most folks. In most years, it is easy to photograph them easily at their preferred location. In 2016, for unknown reasons, Wood Ducks were scarce and slow to respond even to the scratch that is sold in the campground stores. Still, we managed to photograph some beautiful drake woodies in gorgeous light. As 2016 was the first and only time that Wood Ducks played hard to get, I fully expect that things will return to normal in 2017.
NIK Color EFEX Pro 50/50 Recipe
Regular readers know that I use my NIK Color EFEX Pro 25/25 Recipe with most images. But on occasion, an image–like the Wood Duck photo featured in today’s blog post–with really dark tones, calls out for the 50/50 recipe.
The Red Eye Ring …
While working on this post in Ushuaia, I realized that I should have selected the red eye ring and added 75 points of CYAN to the REDs in Selective Color. Why?
The San Diego Site Guide
If you would love to learn all the great spots in and around San Diego and La Jolla, get yourself a copy of the BAA San Diego Site guide here. It is the next best thing to being on an IPT.
San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….
2017 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) JAN 11 thru and including the morning session on JAN 15: 4 1/2 days: $1999.
(Limit: 10/openings 6)
Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the evening before the IPT begins; Tuesday 1/10/17.
Join me in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lions; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well.
With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography. And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication.
Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter?
Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings.
The San Diego Details
This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, four lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility.
A $599 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 9/11//2016. 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. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.
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 please remember that I am 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, 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 🙂