Mr. Snazzy, Bill Clean-up Quiz, & Is It Worth It? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Mr. Snazzy, Bill Clean-up Quiz, & Is It Worth It?

What’s Up?

The DeSoto IPT is going great guns. We have enjoyed great weather and great birds and great lunches at a nearby Applebees. Our ridiculously cooperative subjects have included Great Blue Heron, Reddish Egret, White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Royal and Sandwich Terns, Laughing and Ring-billed Gulls, and dozens of tame shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Short-billed Dowitcher, Dunlin, and Least Sandpiper.

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.

Please Don’t Forget …

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.

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Gerry Keshka

Hi Artie, I wanted to share how much I appreciate your Used Gear “service.” You have posted how you help sellers, but the other side of the equations is how much this service helps buyers. I have purchased three lenses (Canon 200-400, 500 f4 II, and 70-200 F2.8) all lovely experiences and I saved almost $5K over retail. Each of the sellers was delightful, willing to help me assess if the purchase was right for me by sharing their experience with the lens. Each lens was in the condition advertised (or better), and typically included several “add-ons” that would have cost several hundred dollars.

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Sandra Calderbank

Hi Artie, I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you. I have sold two camera bodies on your BAA used gear site. Your friendly expertise and knowledgeable, trustworthy buyers have made this an extremely satisfying experience. Selling on BAA Used Gear page is the best transaction experience I have ever encountered. Thank you for all you do for our photography community. Sincerely, Sandra

Recent Successful Used Gear Sales
Big Ticket Items Selling Like Hotcakes on the Used Gear Page in April!

  • KW McCulloch sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS lens with Internal 1.4X Extender in excellent plus condition for $8294 in mid-April.
  • Stan Hoyt sold his Canon 500mm f4L IS USM Super Telephoto lens in like-new condition (with extras) for the great low price of $3899 soon after it was listed in mid-April.
  • Leonard Malkin sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f2/.8 L IS lens excellent condition for $899 in mid-April, 2017.
  • Paul Abravaya sold his Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO II lens in excellent condition for $5,799 soon after it was re-listed in mid-April.
  • David R. Gibson sold a Canon 300mm f/4 L IS USM lens in excellent plus condition for $749 in March, 2017.
  • Good friend and multiple IPT veteran Indranil Sircar sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in near-mint condition along with the the Canon BG-11 battery grip for the great low price of $1,579 soon after it was listed in early April.
  • Colin Haase sold his Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for a the BAA record-low price of $9,497 just minutes after I featured it in the blog under the heading “I Cannot Believe that this one has not sold yet …”
  • Steve Traudt helped a friend sell her Canon 500mm f4L IS USM lens in near-mint condition for $3899 in late March, a week after it was listed.
  • Mike Pace sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II in excellent plus condition locally and is sending me a check for 2 1/2% of the original price.
  • BAA friend John Armitage sold his Canon EOS 1D-X in excellent plus condition for $2348 the day it was listed.

New Listings

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Hisham A. is offering a Canon EOS 7D Mark II in excellent plus condition for the BAA record low price of $847. The sale includes all of the stuff that came in the box as well as insured ground shipping to US addresses via major courier.

Please contact Hisham via e-mail or by phone at 720 771 2693 (Eastern time).

Both Patrick Sparkman and I used and loved the 7D Mark II until about two years ago when we both committed to using full frame Canon bodies. We both made some truly great images with it. Two of my three 2016 Nature’s Best honored entries were created with the 7D II, one still, and one video. artie

Wimberley V-2 Tripod Head

Hisham A. is also offering a Wimberley WH-200 Tripod Head in excellent condition for $449. The sale includes insured ground shipping to US addresses via major courier.

Please contact Hisham via e-mail or by phone at 720 771 2693 (Eastern time).

Gitzo GT 4542LS

Hisham A. is also offering a Gitzo Series 4 Systematic 4 Section Long Tripod GT4542LS in excellent condition for $749. The sale includes insured ground shipping to US addresses via major courier.

Please contact Hisham via e-mail or by phone at 720 771 2693 (Eastern time).

This image was created on the first morning of the 2017 Desoto Spring IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and my very favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. AWB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -5.

Upper Large Zone/AI Servo/Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The system activated two AF points that fell on the bird’s chin, just below the base of the bill, right on the same plane as the bird’s eye.

Royal Tern in mega-breeding plumage with crest raised

Mr. Snazzy

The bird in today’s featured image is surely the neatest, jazziest Royal Tern I have ever seen. The raised jet-blacker than black crest was the icing on a handsome cake.

Bill Clean-up?

What evidence do you see of bill clean up? Please be specific. If you spot evidence of any other Photoshop hanky panky, please leave a comment.

Was It Worth It?

For the past few weeks I have been using my 600 II pretty much with impunity. Things came to a head on Thursday morning. I spotted the tern flock a good ways down the beach. My Wheeleeze made traveling several yards down the beach a snap. But with the birds courting and copulating and moving about I was constantly moving left and right to get perfectly on sun angle. Up and down, left and right. The easiest way to get from A to B quickly is to throw the lens up on your right shoulder. So that is what I have been doing. When I woke early on Friday morning I quickly noticed that it was difficult to raise my right arm above my waist. I had trashed my right shoulder again. As a concession to old age I headed afield that morning with only the 500 II as my big lens. This afternoon, I plan on dropping down to the 400 DO II.

Was it worth it? Of course!


This beach cart is so good that I have one in Florida and another on Long Island as you cannot travel by air with one of these. It allows you to bring a ton of gear and accessories to the beach and works great even in soft sand. Learn lots more here.

Add a Milk Plastic Crate

You will need to add a plastic milk crate.


Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card

Why Different?

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 create this look in Photoshop from a single image while winding up with a higher quality image file.

You will be able to share a variety of my exotic Canon lenses including the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, aka the “circle lens.”

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.

You will learn to create the very popular detailed, slightly grungy, slightly over-saturated look in Photoshop.


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 my friend Denise Ippolito, 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 :).

7 comments to Mr. Snazzy, Bill Clean-up Quiz, & Is It Worth It?

  • I would say you did cleanup around nostril where I see similar pattern with the small white smudge above and the vertical lines below nostril. But hey, I could be wrong.
    Other than that, great shot and posture with the raised crest.

    All the best, Wilfred

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Someone should be able to see the telltale clues …


  • Interesting Image. I could find any specific thing in Photoshop, though I have never seen the hair Royal Tern like that. I would be interested to see the unedited image.

  • avatar Jan L Gambrell

    When will you be back at B&H, Artie, to give your great photography tips and pictures? I really look forward to the YouTube videos that result from those presentations.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I have no idea if you did any bill cleanup, but I’m confident you’ll tell us if you did. Or not. 🙂 Wonderful image. I’ve never seen one of those birds in breeding plumage; where I see them they already are post- (or pre-) breeders.

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Great image! I see no signs of photo-shop hanky-panky or otherwise!

  • avatar David Peake

    Probably no photoshop hi jinks there Artie. Very snazzy image. Bet he spent some time in the mirror that morning put the hair gel on .