On Saturday I re-micro-adjusted my 600 II with both bodies and two sets of TCs. I have made some positive changes that have really speeded things up and increased the accuracy of the results. Buoyed by my success, I re-micro-adjusted my 100-400 II with on of my 5D IV bodies and both 1.4x TCs only at the Tight setting.
I did my backwards/race walking walk, my swim — the pool was up to a balmy 80 degrees, and most of my stretching and core exercises. All in all a great day. Just like every day 🙂 That’s my choice. (See the Work of Byron Katie here. She has a video on the home page entitled “I’m Afraid of Trump.”)
Gear Questions and Advice
Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of 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: 450
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, 450 days in a row with a new educational blog post. As always–and folks have been doing a really great for a long time now–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 BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course 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. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar above.
Important Note for Sellers on Cashier’s Checks
Do understand that getting a cashier’s check for your gear is no guarantee of anything. You need to get the check to the bank asap. Years ago I “sold” an EOS 1D Mark III for $3,000 to a guy in California. I tried Fed Ex collect. The driver handed the camera to the guy. The guy handed him what appeared to be a Bank of North America teller’s check. When we brought the check to BONA they said, sorry, it’s phony. I followed up with the Lake Wales police. The got in touch with the police in the guy’s home town. They did nothing.
I was out 3,000 bucks. Getting a cashier’s check for your gear is no guarantee of anything.
Recent Successful Used Gear Sales
Activity in the last week has been hot!
- James P. Nelson sold his Canon EF 100-400 zoom 1:4.5 – 5.6 L IS telephoto lens in excellent plus condition for a very low $549 in early February.
- Robert Blanke sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II body in like-new condition for $949.00 in early February 2017 just two days after it was listed.
- Robert Blanke sold his Canon EOS-1D X body with the Canon GPS receiver in like-new condition for $2499.00 within hours of it being listed.
- James P. Nelson sold his Canon EF 500 f/4L IS USM Super telephoto lens with lots of extras in like-new condition for $4,499 in mid-January 2017.
- Gene Scarborough sold a Canon accessory package for $250 in late January.
- Robert Blanke sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III body in like-new condition with only 4258 shutter actuations for $1449 in late-January before it was even listed!
- Wayne Roth sold his Nikkor AF-S 300mm f/2.8G EDII VR lens in like-new condition for $3,500.00 in Late January, 2017, two weeks after it was listed.
- Teresa Mabry Reed sold both her Canon EOS-1D X in excellent plus condition for $2399 and her EOS Canon 5D Mark III also in excellent plus condition for $1429 within two days of listing them with BAA.
- Gene Scarborough sold a Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM super telephoto lens in excellent condition for $4049 one day after it was listed.
Canon EF 100-400 zoom f/4.5 – 5.6 L IS Telephoto Zoom Lens
Dow Morris is offering a Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 IS USM lens in like-new condition for $579, a steal for a pristine copy. The sale includes the original box, the front and rear lens caps, the canvas carrying case, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Dow via e-mail or by phone 918-465-3494 (Central time zone).
The old 100-400 was and is a superb lens. I made hundreds of sale-able images with mine including the one used on the front cover of Scott Weidensaul’s “Return to Wild America”. Contrary to reports by the internet idiots the lens is -– in competent hands -– sharp at all focal lengths and it is sharp wide open. It is extremely versatile and would make a great starter lens for those interested in bird, wildlife, and general nature photography. artie
This image was created at Manu National Park, Peru 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 rugged, blazingly fast, Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 3200. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop as originally framed: 1/160 sec. at f/6.3 in Tv mode. AWB. Could’ve been plus a bit more with the dark subject …
One AF point to the left and two rows up from the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF, The selected AF point was — uncharacteristically for me — squarely on the bird’s eye as originally framed. Click on the image to see a larger version.
FocusTune/LensAlign Micro Adjustment: -1
Image #1: Cock of the Rock, hen
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The Lovely Lady with Flash Eye
Photographs of the female Cock of the Rock (Cotinga) are rare. Good photographs are virtually nonexistent. Don’t believe me? Try a web search and see what you come up with. My guide pointed this bird out to me, I fired off two frames and she was gone. Hey, that sounds familiar 🙂 Note that I did not try to adjust the exposure compensation fearing that I would wind up with nothing. As things played out, I called that one correctly. If she had stayed, I could have worked on a better exposure.
Eliminating Flash Eye
Please pardon the posterized background in the After image of the animated GIF above. Do note that the Digital Eye Doctor techniques, especially the darkening of the pupil, worked quite well by eliminating flash eye. Flash Eye or Steel Eye or Purple Eye or some variation or combination of those occur when the light from the flash bounces off the retina. The green eye that occurs when you are photographing mammals in the dark is the same deal. With birds, getting the flash off camera by way of some sort of flash bracket and flash cord system usually eliminates or reduces the effects of flash eye.
You can learn Digital Eye Doctor techniques plus a lot more in Digital Basics, an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete (former PC) digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, details on using all of my image clean-up tools, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, the basics of Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro, Digital Eye Doctor techniques, using Gaussian Blurs, Dodge and Burn, a variety of ways to make selections, how to create time-saving actions, and tons more. I am working on a new Current Workflow e-guide that better reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow. It will include a section on ACR conversions and a simplified method of applying Neat Image noise reduction.
This image was created at Manu National Park, Peru 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 rugged, blazingly fast, Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 3200. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops as framed: 1/100 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB.
Flash did not fire.
Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF on the bottom of the bird’s neck, right on the same plane as the eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.
FocusTune/LensAlign Micro Adjustment: +1
Image #2: Cock of the Rock, male on clean perch
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This image was created at Manu National Park, Peru 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 rugged, blazingly fast, Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 2500. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop as originally framed: 1/160 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB.
Two AF points up from the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF. The selected AF point was on a spot about 2 inches behind and a bit below the bird’s eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.
FocusTune/LensAlign Micro Adjustment: +1
Image #3: Cock of the Rock, male stretching wing.
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That First Visit …
On my first visit to the Cock-of-the-Rock lek, all the stars were properly aligned. Lots of birds landed on clean perches. I did not realize how lucky I had been until after two more visits. As always, it is best to have made hay while the sun was not shining.
Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card
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 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.
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. Limit 10/Openings: 7.
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 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 :).