Not Your Everyday Gatorland Image … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Not Your Everyday Gatorland Image ...

What’s Up?

Well, we made it to Oulu and learned quickly that with the late spring, everything frozen, north winds, and even colder weather predicted that there are very few Ruffs in town and that the chances of photographing them on the lek before we leave are somewhere between slim and none.

NATURE Photography

N A T U R E: not always the ultimate recreational experience … Sometimes we make long term plans based on decades of predictable migratory patterns and breeding bird behavior only to be thwarted when Mother Nature throw a big monkey wrench into the mix.

I finally made it to Cordova, Alaska in May, 2005. I was told that the peak of Western Sandpiper migration averaged from April 30 through May 8 so I arrived on April 28th. My friend/host/guide Milo Burcham promptly informed me that 350,000 birds had departed the mud flats on the evening of April 27. The best laid plans …

The result? A BBC-honored image created when Milo led me to a packed group of sandpipers on a small mud flat behind a local supermarket.

Will we get to photograph Ruff in Oulu? Who knows.

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 job for a long time now–please remember to use our B&H links for your major and minor 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.

This image was created at Gatorland on April 8, 2017. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and
and my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 200. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/2500 sec. at f/10 in Manual mode. WB: 7900K.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -5.

Four AF points up and one from the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand rear focus AF on the bird’s head and release. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Backlit Anhinga preening

Not Your Everyday Gatorland Image …

There were some light clouds in front of the rising sun so the images with rich, golden, early morning rich light on the nesting Great Egrets were not there for the taking so I looked for something to photograph using the yellow backlight. I spotted this preening Anhinga in a tree with several Double-crested Cormorant nests across the gator moat. I created about 200 images and kept two. Today’s featured image was my favorite.

The lesson as always to look around, see what grabs you — in the this case, the yellow backlight, find a potential subject, and then choose your perspective carefully so that you might achieve the desired result, the vision that you have seen in your mind’s eye. Join me at Gatorland on the weekend of May 13-14, 2017 to learn to see and think like a pro and to fine tune the basics.

BIRDS AS ART May 13-14 Gatorland In-the Field Instructional Meet-Up Sessions

Join me in Kissimmee, FL for all or part of the weekend of May 13-14, 2017. We should get to photograph several species of nesting herons and egrets as well as Wood Stork, American Alligator (captive), and more. We should get to make lots of head portraits of all the bird species and to photograph chicks and fledged young. Learn to see, find, and make the shot in cluttered settings. Learn exposure and how to handle WHITEs. Learn fill flash and flash as main light. All of the birds are free and wild. These inexpensive sessions are designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tours. I hope to see you there.

May 13-14, 2017 Schedule

  • Saturday May 13 Meet-up Morning (early entry): 7:30 till 10:30am: $99.
  • Lunch and Image Review: $99.
  • Saturday afternoon till closing (late stay): $99.
  • Sunday May 14 Meet-up Morning, (early entry): 7:30 till 10am: $80.

Cheap Canon lens rentals available: 600 II, 500 II, 400 DO II, or 200-400.

To pay for one or more sessions in full via credit card, call Jim or Jen in the office weekdays at 863-692-0906. You will be responsible for the cost of your Gatorland Photographer’s pass or passes. Please shoot me an e-mail with questions.

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 :).

4 comments to Not Your Everyday Gatorland Image …

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    just checked: the posts on e-bird says “molting into breeding plumage”

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Hi Artie, I hope your plans do come to fruition.
    BTW, a Ruff was reported 2 days ago in Malibu, on e-bird!!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Go ahead and rub it in. LMK if it is in breeding plumage. Still none here and no real hope for tomorrow. And I am loving it 🙂

      with love, artie