Patience Rewards Dr. Fish With a Great 7D Mark II Image … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Patience Rewards Dr. Fish With a Great 7D Mark II Image ...

What’s Up?

It was cold and windy here on Friday morning. I put on my warmest sweatshirt and a wool hat. It was pretty much colder than most days in the Falklands … I walked for half and hour and then got back to work. I will skip my swim today but continue with the core, shoulder and hip flexor exercises and stretching.

Please call or e-mail for San Diego IPT late registration info–see the listing below. Click here for complete IPT info.

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: 414!

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, 414 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 of course appreciate your business.


This image was created on the rear deck of the Sea Spirit by David Policansky somewhere in the Southern Ocean with the 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 400: 1/5000 sec. at f/6.3.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus/Shutter Button AF. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Adult Wandering Albatross in flight
Image courtesy of and copyright 2016: David Policansky

Patience Rewards Dr. Fish With a Great 7D Mark II Image …

In the Photographing from the Stern of an Expedition Ship blog post here, I wrote:

Seabirds often follow ships at sea. I find that the stern is usually the best place to work from though on occasion the bow or the sides of the ship can be productive as well. Keep your eyes open and note the sky conditions, the light angle, and the way the birds are flying. Photographing seabirds in flight from the stern (or from anywhere else) on an expedition ship is always a huge challenge. The ship is almost always rocking and rolling. The action is usually not constant. It can be cold and even wet. If it is sunny and clear, it is almost impossible to avoid harsh shadows on the birds. Hand held intermediate telephotos or telephoto lenses are best. One thing is for sure: the more time you spend trying the more chance you will have of producing a special image …

During briefing sessions for the BAA group, I stressed that later point over and over. Multiple IPT veteran, good friend, and blog regular David Policansky was part of the BAA group and took my advice to heart. My recollection is that he created this image late in the trip as we sailed toward Ushuaia. I saw him headed out as I headed back into the lounge after two hours with little action. And do it goes.

With David’s image I love the sharpness, the angled flight, and especially the lovely light on the underwings. Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) is classed as Vulnerable on the ICUN Red List of endangered species. The pinkish feathers on the neck indicate a long-lived individual. Most albatross species can live to forty or even fifty.


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 3)

Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the evening before the IPT begins; Tuesday 1/10/17.
Please e-mail for late registration discount info.

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 🙂

12 comments to Patience Rewards Dr. Fish With a Great 7D Mark II Image …

  • avatar Ron Gates

    Beautiful image David. Enjoyed meeting on the trip.

  • avatar Guido Bee

    Nice Shot, David. Composition, framing and exposure all right on.
    Thanks for sharing. Must have been a great trip.

  • avatar David Peake

    Great image David, That was a truly amazing trip.

  • Indeed some sweet light here, I also like the banking pose. Beautiful image David!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Thank you all for your kind words.

  • avatar David Policansky

    A specific lesson I took from Art was to use manual mode in a case like this. White bird against a dark but variable water background and occasionally against a light sky. I wouldn’t have had much chance of getting the exposure right in Av (aperture priority) or Tv (shutter priority) or Auto.

  • Great image David. Good framing, head angle, and light. I especially like the deep blue of the water and the detail on the pink patch, shoulder, and underwing feathers. A great image of a rare and beautiful bird.

  • avatar Warren Robb

    David, what a wonderful image from such a memorable adventure. Congratulations!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Thank you, Artie, for your kind words and for sharing this image. It is true that almost every time I photograph a bird I hear your voice and advice, which makes me a better photographer.

    Happy new year to all.

  • avatar Kerry

    Beautiful shot David.
    I like the way you framed it with the bird to the right.
    The angle is spot on and the bird is very sharp.
    I also like the pearlescense of the underwing.

  • Really like the image for all the reasons you mentioned but especially for the beautiful light.