ISO 4000 Displaying Jewel … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

ISO 4000 Displaying Jewel ...


It is early on Monday morning as I finish up this blog post. The Patriots won. Again 🙁 But you’ve got to hand it to Brady and Belichick; down 25 points and they did not give up.

I am 85% packed for Japan. I head to an airport hotel this afternoon for an early Tuesday morning flight to Los Angeles. Then I continue on before noon to Tokyo’s Narita airport arriving there at 4:35pm. On Wednesday! Then a long bus ride to our Tokyo hotel. I have a one day rest and then it will be off to the Snow Monkeys with the group on Friday, 10 FEB.

2018 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART IPT: Monday, JAN 15 thru and including the morning session on Friday, JAN 19, 2018: 4 1/2 days: $2099.

Limit: 8: Openings: 4

A group of 4 has signed up for the 2018 San Diego IPT so there are just four slots left. Scroll down to the bottom here for complete details.

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: 452

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, 452 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.

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 EOS 5D Mark II Digital SLR Camera Body with Extras!

James P. Nelson is offering a Canon EOS 5D Mark II digital camera Body in excellent condition with only 4,331 shutter actuations for $898. The sale includes the camera body instruction manual, the original box, the strap, the Canon BG-E6 battery Grip in excellent condition, one extra Canon LP-6 battery (for a total of two), the Kirk Enterprises L plate (that fits with the battery grip attached), 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. Payment by USPS money order or bank cashier’s check is preferred.

Please contact James via e-mail or by phone at 970-577-9884 (Mountain time).

Jim’s attractive package would be ideal for a budding landscape or Urbex photographer, as well as for some looking for a great body to convert to IR. My 5D II was expertly converted by Kolari Vision. And I used mine as a back-up for my old 1D Mark IV bodies. It served me very well in that capacity in the Southern Ocean a while back when I foolishly used my two 5D IVs in a driving rainstorm for two hours with the expected result. The 5D II saved the trip for me. That tells you that it is a decent body for birds and all types of nature photography. With the low shutter count and all those extras Jim’s package is priced to sell. artie

Canon EF 70-200mm f/L IS USM Zoom Lens

James P. Nelson is also offering a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM zoom lens in excellent condition for $899. (Sorry, no, this is not the Version II lens.) The sales includes the tripod ring with a Kirk plate, the tough fabric Canon lens bag, the lens hood, the front and rear lens caps 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. Payment by USPS money order or bank cashier’s check is preferred.

Please contact James via e-mail or by phone at 970-577-9884 (Mountain time).

I used this lens for many years before the Series II version came out. It is fast and sharp and does just fine with either teleconverter. It is fine for those working with tame birds, it is a great lens for scenic and Urbex photography, and fabulous in low light situations like concerts and your granddaughter’s dance recital. Love you Maya! artie

Canon EF 400m f/4 IS DO Telephoto Lens, the “old 400 DO”

Owen Peller is offering a Canon EF 400m f/4 IS DO telephoto lens, the “old 400 DO,” in like-new condition for $2,299. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the strap, the original soft front lens cover (that has a problem with the drawstring), the lens hood, and insured UPS or FEDEX ground shipping to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

rear cap, strap and the original lens case Canon 400 B.

Please contact Owen via e-mail or by phone at 954-882-1480 (Eastern time).

I used this lens for several years with great success, especially for birds in flight and while working from various type of water craft. In addition, it would make a great prime super-telephoto lens for folks with a 7D II. The twice major contest-honored “Gannets in Love” was created with the 400 DO. You can see that one and 13 other killer images that I made with my old 400 DO here. The title of that blog post is “The Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO Lens: Fourteen Images that Prove that the Internet Experts are Idiots.” Owen’s pristine lens is priced to sell. artie

This image was created at Pomacochas, Peru (home of the Marvelous Spatuletail) with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, a Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, with a Canon Extension Tube EF 12 II, and the rugged, blazingly fast, Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 4000. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/60 sec. at f/5.6 in Tv mode. AWB.

Fill flash at -1 stop with the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT with a Better Beamer on the Mongoose Integrated Flash Arm via the Canon OC-E3 Off Camera Shoe Cord (2′).

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -1.

Two rows up and three AF points to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo/Manual selection/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the bird’s neck –where the green of the hood meets the chestnut orange of the breast — right below and on the same plane of the bird’s eye. Click on the image to enjoy a larger, sharper-appearing version. Why? I have no clue 🙂

Chestnut-breasted Coronet, threat display

ISO 4000 Displaying Jewel …

These little guys, the Chestnut-breasted Coronets, are quite feisty. They are forever battling over perches and feeders. The bird in today’s featured image is threatening another hummer nearby. As I knew that 1/60 second would make a sharp image I went to Tv mode and added one stop of light as I knew that that would give me very close to a perfect exposure in the very dark conditions. With Safety Shift set to ISO, the camera chooses an appropriate ISO setting, in this case, ISO 4000. The high ISO performance was great with the addition of just a bit of NeatImage, that using the simplified method that I will cover in the new Workflow e-Guide. If your camera does not have Safety Shift, you can do the exact same thing by setting Auto ISO.


Images and card copyright Arthur Morris/BEARS AS ART 🙂

2017 Bear Boat Coastal Brown Bear Cubs IPTs: July 18-24, 2017 from Kodiak, AK: 5 FULL & 2 Half DAYS: $6699. Happy campers only! Maximum 8/Openings 3.

Join me in spectacular Katmai National Park, AK for six days of photographing Coastal Brown Bears. Mid-July is prime time for making images of small, football-sized cubs. The cubs, and these dates, are so popular that I had to reserve them three years in advance to secure them. There are lots of bears each year in June, but the mothers only rarely risk bringing their tiny cubs out in the open in fear of predation by rival bears. In addition to making portraits of both adults and cubs, we hope to photograph frolicking and squabbling youngsters and tender nursing scenes. At this time of year, the bears are either grazing in luxuriant grass or clamming. There will also be some two- and three-year old cubs to add to the fun. And we will get to photograph it all.

We will live on our tour operator’s luxurious new boat. At 78 feet long its 24 foot beam makes it quite spacious as well. And the food is great. We will likely spend most of our time at famed Geographic Harbor as that is where the bears are generally concentrated in summer. On the odd chance that we do need to relocate to another location we can do so quickly and easily without having to venture into any potentially rough seas. We land via a 25 foot skiff that has lots of room for as much gear as we can carry.

Aside from the bears we should get to photograph Horned and Tufted Puffin and should get nice stuff on Mew Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Harbor Seal, and Steller’s Sea Lion as well. A variety of tundra-nesting shorebirds including Western Sandpiper and both yellowlegs are also possible. Halibut fishing (license required/not included) is optional.

It is mandatory that you be in Kodiak no later than the late afternoon of July 17 to avoid missing the float planes to the boat on the morning of July 18. Again, with air travel in Alaska (or anywhere else for that matter) subject to possible delays, being on Kodiak on July 16 is a much better plan.

Barring any delays, we will get to photograph bears on our first afternoon and then again every day for the next five days after that, all weather permitting of course. On our last morning on the boat, July 24, those who would like to enjoy one last photo session will have the opportunity to do so. The group will return to Kodiak via float plane from late morning through midday. Most folks will then fly to Anchorage and to continue on red-eye flights to their home cities.

What’s included? 7 DAYS/6 NIGHTS on the boat as above. All meals on the boat. National Park and guide fees. In-the-field photo tips, instruction, and guidance. An insight into the mind of a top professional nature photographer; I will constantly let you know what I am thinking, what I am doing, and why I am doing it. Small group image review, image sharing, and informal Photoshop instruction on the boat.

What’s not included: Your round trip airfare to and from Kodiak, AK (almost surely through Anchorage). Your lodging and meals on Kodiak. The cost of the round-trip float plane to the boat and then back to Kodiak as above. The cost of a round trip last year was $550. The suggested crew tip of $200.

Have you ever walked with the bears?

Is this an expensive trip? Yes, of course. But with 5 full and two half days, a wealth of great subjects, and the fact that you will be walking with the bears just yards away (or less….), it will be one of the great natural history experiences of your life. Most folks who take part in a Bear Boat IPT wind up coming back for more.

A $2,000 per person non-refundable deposit by check only made out to “BIRDS AS ART” is required to hold your spot. Please click here to read our cancellation policies. Then please print, read, and sign the necessary paperwork here and send it to us by mail to PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855.

Your deposit is due when you sign up. That leaves a balance of $4699. The next payment of $2699 will be due on September 15, 2016. The final payment of $2000 is due on February 15, 2017. I hope that you can join me for what will be a wondrously exciting trip.

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 :).

8 comments to ISO 4000 Displaying Jewel …

  • avatar Jackie Milburn

    Beautiful tack sharp image. Higher F-stop could have changed the clean background. Love the his Chestnut chest. The image colors are so coordinated…just perfect!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks but no. with me so close and the BKGR relatively far away a small f/stop would not have brought up any unwanted detail.


  • avatar Dennis Lane

    Great Shot,upper body in sharp focus. Question: could you have gotten the tail & lower body in better focus by using a higher F-stop?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I could have used a smaller aperture but I was so close that the additional d-o-f would have been pretty much negligible and that at great cost: a much higher ISO as I cold not have gone much slower than 1/60 sec. Don’t forget that we were already at ISO 4000!

      Lastly, for 30 years I have been preaching “focus on the eye and damn the rest along with d-o-f.” That has been working quite well so why change now.

      Welcome to the blog. You must be new because I state the above often 🙂

      later and love and thanks for commenting.

  • Tack sharp image and beautiful pose, Artie.

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Ultra sharp, beautiful shot.
    Hard to believe this was taken in the jungle!
    That is a lot of gear to haul into the jungle too, but shots like this certainly make it worth the effort!