Tough Stormy Conditions Part II. Willets in the Surf; do any of these four images have merit? Be honest! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Tough Stormy Conditions Part II. Willets in the Surf; do any of these four images have merit? Be honest!

Stuff

On Monday I worked on blog posts, answered e-mails, swam 3/4 mile, and exercised a lot. I was glad to learn that the sales of Mike Lawie’s 24-105 and his 7D Mark II and the sale of Duncan Douglas’s “old” 500mm are all pending. See lots more great Used Gear with low and reduced prices here.

DeSoto-recent-CARD

Recent Fort DeSoto Images

From bottom left clockwise back to center: Great Egret, blasting sunrise highlights; Black Skimmer, winter plumage in pre-dawn light; Roseate Spoonbill foraging; Brown Pelican, juvenile landing; hybrid heron X egret; American Oystercatcher feeding; Royal Tern, worn juvenile; Great Blue Heron from below.

Fort DeSoto Early Winter IPT. 3 1/2 days: $1599

Saturday DEC 2 (afternoon session) through the full day on Tuesday DEC 5, 2017. Meet and Greet Introduction on SAT DEC 2, 2017

With no water in Estero Lagoon, Corkscrew Swamp and Anhinga Trail total busts for many years, and Ding Darling NWR managed into oblivion, Fort DeSoto has emerged as the premier bird photography location in the state. Join me in early winter to escape the cold weather and photograph lots of tame terns, gulls, herons, egrets (including Reddish Egret), shorebirds (including and especially Marbled Godwit), Osprey, and Brown Pelican. Long-billed Curlew, Wood Stork, and Roseate Spoonbill all range somewhere between likely and possible.

Learn to get the right exposure every time, to approach free and wild (and often tame!) birds, and to design a pleasing image. And learn the location of my new Fort DeSoto hotspot along with my favorite sunset location (sky conditions permitting). To register call Jim or Jen at the office at 863-692-0906 or shoot me an e-mail.

DeSoto IPT Details

This IPT will include four 3 hour afternoon sessions, three 3 1/2 hour morning sessions, three lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. Dinners are on your own so that we can get some sleep.

Because of the narrow time frame, your $499 non-refundable deposit can be paid not by credit card. Call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906 to register. Your balance must be paid by check once you sign up. The balance check (made out to “BIRDS AS ART) should me mailed to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your balance check. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

Canon lens rentals are available on a limited basis: 600 II, 500 II, 400 DO II, and 200-400 f/4 with Internal TC.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred two days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took less than an hour to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections willing.

Booking.Com

Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.



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.

Willets-in-stormy-surf-_W5A8867-Fort-DeSoto-Park,-FL

This image was created at Fort DeSoto on the very stormy morning of October 29, 2017 with the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and my favorite Willet blur photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 stops as framed: 1/2 sec. at f/5.0 in Manual mode. Cloudy WB in dark, stormy, completely overcast conditions.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -2.

One AF point below and two to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Rear Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point fell on the upper back of the front bird.

Image #1: Two Willets in stormy surf

Tough Stormy Conditions Part II

As you learned in yesterday’s blog post, on the morning of October 28, 2017 the skies were cloudy and spitting, the winds were about 45mph out of the north northwest, and the Gulf was a roiling mass of whitecaps and breaking waves. Only Lee Sommie and I remained from the Saturday group. It was a big challenge trying to create a few meaningful images in almost un-photographable conditions. When I found several Willets foraging in the surf, I immediately thought blurs. In A Guide to Pleasing Blurs — co-authored by Denise Ippolito — I wrote something to this effect, “Necessity is often the mother of invention.” In this case, with the horrible conditions, blurs were pretty much the only alternative.

I will be sharing more images and tales from that memorably stormy morning with you here.

Image #1

I think that I could have done better with the color on this one as it is possibly too CYAN. That said, I really like this image but for one thing; what is it that bugs me?

Willet-one-leg-blur-_W5A8888-Fort-DeSoto-Park,-FL

This image was also created at Fort DeSoto on the very stormy morning of October 29, 2017 with the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and my favorite Willet blur photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops as framed: 1/13 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode. Cloudy WB in stormy, completely overcast conditions.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -2.

One AF point below and two to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Rear Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point fell on the bird’s flank just above the straight leg.

Image #2: Willet and receding wave

Image #2

While I really like this one too, especially the slow shutter speeding streaking of the waves, one thing in this image bugs me. What is it?

Willet-standing-wind-blur-_W5A8881-Fort-DeSoto-Park,-FL

This is another image that was created on the very stormy morning of October 29, 2017 with the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and my favorite Willet blur photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops as framed: 1/13 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode. Cloudy WB in stormy, completely overcast conditions.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -2.

One AF point below and two to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Rear Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point fell on the side of the bird’s breast as framed.

Image #3: Willet walking

Image #3

I like this one a lot too. But I have a problem with the basic image design. If you think that you know what I do not like about the composition, please leave a comment.

Willet-wave-blur-lighter-_W5A8883-Fort-DeSoto-Park,-FL

This image was also created at Fort DeSoto on the very stormy morning of October 29, 2017 with the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and my favorite Willet blur photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops as framed: 1/13 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode. Cloudy WB in stormy, completely overcast conditions.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -2.

One AF point below and two to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Rear Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point fell on the side of the bird’s breast as originally framed.

Image #4: Willet angled toward us

Do any of these four images have merit? Be honest!

Do any of these four images have merit? Be honest! Would they all be insta-deletes for you? Do you have favorite? If yes, which one and why? If not, why? It should not be too difficult here to be honest without being malicious 🙂 As we say on BPN, “”Honest critiques done gently.”

a-guide-to-pleasing-blurs

A Guide to Pleasing Blurs

As some folks believe, pleasing blurs are not out of focus mistakes. Most successful pleasing blurs are a result of pre-visualization, creative thinking, and perfect technical execution. If you would like to learn how to create a great variety of these increasingly popular images, get yourself a copy of A Guide to Pleasing Blurs by Denise Ippolito and yours truly.

More Cheap Weekend Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Instruction

Sign up for the full day Saturday 11 NOV and the Friday afternoon session (4:30pm till sunset) on 10 NOV is free!

Saturday, November 11, 2017: Morning session — 6:45am for 3 1/2 hours: $149. Add lunch, image review, and Photoshop session: $249 (total).

Saturday, November 11, 2017: Afternoon session — 4:30pm for 3 hours: $99.

Saturday, November 11, 2017, both sessions including lunch: $329. Sign up for the full day Saturday and enjoy a Friday afternoon session for free.

Sunday, November 12, 2017: Morning session — 6:45am for 3 1/2 hours: $149.

Learn to get the right exposure every time, to approach free and wild (and often tame!) birds, and to design a pleasing image. And learn the location of my new Fort DeSoto hotspot along with my favorite sunset location (sky conditions permitting). To register call Jim or Jen at the office at 863-692-0906 or shoot me an e-mail.

Canon lens rentals are available on a limited basis: 600 II, 500 II, 400 DO II, and 200-400 f/4 with Internal TC.

Cheap but great instruction.

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt 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.

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Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

9 comments to Tough Stormy Conditions Part II. Willets in the Surf; do any of these four images have merit? Be honest!

  • avatar Arrow Myers

    I like the second one the most because it has the eye and face in focus but shows an artistic aspect on the image. Very good though!

  • Hey Arthur, Image #1 bugs you because the further birds legs combine with the closer bird. Image #2 would be a better head turn. Image #3 more room for the virtual feet. Number #2 is my favorite the sense of motion and the soft colors works well.

  • avatar Brian E. Small

    Image #2 is awesome!! The others do nothing for me.

  • avatar Don Thompson

    I like the second one. As Ajit said, sharp where it needs to be. The blur is very nice. My only issue, and it is minor, is that the underbelly at the back of the bird gets lost, but I still love the photo.

  • avatar Brendan

    For me, #2 is head and shoulders above the others, and is a real classic. I absolutely love it. the colors are cool and beautiful. I love how the bill and leg colors complement the blue background water. I love how the angle of the head and body align with the wave lines in the water. I struggle to find anything to criticize, so I’m not sure what bugs you about it. I suppose it could be framed somewhat differently, with a bit taken off the top, or pulled back a bit so the bird was slightly smaller in the frame, but I dunno, looks pretty ideal to me.

    None of the others are nearly as memorable to me. The blurs aren’t quite blurred enough to please my eye. I either want sharp or real blurred. The water in other pictures aren’t as complementary to the bird as in #2 (at least to me). They are all OK, but if I had #2, I’d delete the others.

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    The subtle blues and tans/grays of the bird are beautiful
    #1 I like the legs and the receding water. The double bill is what I like least. And in blurs I almost always like one small thing to be sharp—like bird’s eyes and upper bills.
    #2 Love the sharper head. Bothersome are the double circles above the leg (but in the larger image, the circles don’t show up that much) and the OOF leg that looks detached from the bird
    #3 All the compositions look great to me, so I can’t find your problem with this one unless it’s too much head turn making the bill sharp but the eye not sharp. I really like the feather lines. This is my favorite water as well, with some sharpness under the bird’s feet. It gives the bird something to stand on. So if I could put the sharper head from #2 on this bird it would be my favorite.
    #4 Least favorite because of the double tail

  • avatar John Patton

    I think the second one is the best. The bent leg could be sharper but other than that I like it.

  • The second one is fabulous – very sharp where it has to, on the face, and the rest of it blurred really pleasantly. I especially like the blue blur in the top of the frame. The composition, too, is spot on! If these were mine, I’d delete the rest.

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