The Poser « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Poser


Monday was mostly a day of taking it easy, working on blog posts, and thinking about what to pack for my trip to Long Island/NYC. I leave at about lunch time on Tuesday. I did get in my exercises and a 3/4 mile swim.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred nine days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 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.

Everybody’s Doing It…

Everybody’s buying and selling used gear on the BAA Used Gear Page. Sales of lenses especially have been picking up recently. 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 charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They recently folded. And eBay fees are now in the 13% range. 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 at the top of each blog post.

Canon EF 400mm f/4 IS DO Lens

The Lowest-ever BAA Price!

Pradip Thachile is offering a Used Canon EF 400mm f/4 IS DO lens in excellent condition for the BAA record low price of $2097.00. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the original tough front lens cover, the lens strap, an Arca-Swiss compatible lens plate, 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 Please contact Pradip via e-mail

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 multiple-honored Gannets in Love was created with the old 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.” Pradip’s lens is priced to sell. artie

Latest Used Gear Kudos

via e-mail from Robert Blanke

Hey Artie. Thank you again–the 5D s sale makes four cameras sold at fair prices and commissions, with the first three going in one day! Cheers Robert

New Listings

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

IPT veteran Carolyn Peterson is offering a Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera body in excellent condition for $1399. The sale includes a brand new Vello BG-C9 Battery Grip (an $80 value), the front body cap, one battery (with protective cover), the battery charger, the shoulder strap, the original product box and everything that came in it, 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 Carolyn via e-mail or phone at 1-503-730-9262 (Pacific time/evenings best).

I owned and used this superb, full frame, 22mp digital body for several years. It was always my first choice for scenic, Urbex, and flower photography until I fell in love for a while with the 5DS R (for a lot more money!). In addition, I loved my 5D III body for birds with my big lenses and both TCs. I used mine to create many saleable images. artie

Canon GPS receiver GP-E2

Carolyn Peterson is offering a Canon GPS receiver GP-E2 for EOS camera bodies in Near-mint condition for $149. The sale includes the original product box and everything that came in it, 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 Carolyn via e-mail or phone at 1-503-730-9262 (Pacific time/evenings best).

This item sells new at B&H for $239.95 so if you are interested it makes sense to grab this one and save more than a few bucks. artie

Canon EF 17-40 f/4L USM Lens

Carolyn Peterson is offering a Canon EF 17-40 f/4L USM lens in near-mint condition for ($499). The sale includes the original product box and everything that came in it including the soft lens pouch, the lens hood, the front and rear 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.

Please contact Carolyn via e-mail or phone at 1-503-730-9262 (Pacific time/evenings best).

The 17-40 is a high quality “L” series wide angle zoom that fits both full frame and APS-C sized DSLRs (and offers 27-64mm coverage with the latter bodies). It focuses down to 11 inches so it is great for both wide angle scenics and tight mini/macro scenics. It conveniently accepts 77mm filters. artie


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.

This image was created at Fort DeSoto Park on the late afternoon of Friday, November 10, 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, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite large plover photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 1250. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/60 second at f/5.6. Cloudy WB in dark, overcast conditions.

Two AF points up from the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed on the bird’s neck just catching a piece of the base of the proximal end of the lower mandible.

LensAlign/FocusTune Micro-adjustment: -1.

Black-bellied Plover, worn juvenile

ETTL fill flash at at -1 stop with the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT on the Mongoose Integrated Flash Arm via the Canon OC-E3 Off Camera Shoe Cord (2′). Forgetting my Better Beamer Flash Extender wasted lots of battery power.

The Poser

As you learned in the Sandpiper Photography Tips blog post here, shorebird occasionally pause while feeding. If you are quick, or if you can learn to anticipate their pauses, you greatly increase your odds of making a sharp image. If you are lucky, a foraging shorebird might stop for several seconds. Oftentimes I will make a squeaking sound with my lips in an attempt to get a feeding bird to hold still for a second or two.

Rarely, a feeding sandpiper or plover will stop for a nice rest. Fortunately for me, the young Black-bellied Plover in today’s featured image opted to stop right in front of me as I was seated behind my lowered tripod. And he chose to hold his left leg up. And he stayed so still that the big drop of water on the tip of his bill. Amazingly, he stayed for ten full minutes. With his leg raised. And with the big drop of water in place. With my first (seated) efforts, the shoreline bisected the bird’s belly. So when he stayed, I splayed the legs of my tripod and got flat down on the ground. This moved the shoreline nicely below its belly. As I was on a small rise I wanted to get even lower but could not. If I had brought my Panning Ground Pod I would have run back to the car to get it and could have gotten about six inches lower. When you need to get really, really low, nothing beats the Panning Ground Pod.

As it got darker and darker, I raised the flash output to zero and then to +1 getting closer to flash as main light. All of the results were acceptable.

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.

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.

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here.


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 :).

5 comments to The Poser

  • avatar Tony Z

    Thanks. And lighter is better 🙂

  • avatar Tony Z

    quick question: between the Walt Anderson Panning ground pod, and the Skimmer Ground Pod II on your webstore, which do you prefer using and why?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Tony,

      Both have their place. The Skimmer II offers more freedom with either a Mongoose or a Wimberley on it but places more strain on your back. The Panning Ground Pod is lighter and lets you get much lower. With less up and down freedom you often have to did it into the sand or dirt a bit. Sometimes you can be too low if there is any uneven ground between you and the subject.

      With love, artie

  • avatar Adam

    Handsome plover with the 600 mm is ii and a 1.4x iii tc? Wouldn’t that be 840 mm equivalent and not 476mm? Did you MA in that light or was that your default MA?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Good catch on the cut and paste leftover 🙂 So yes, 840mm.

      It is my default (and only) AFA value (until the next time I test it). Micro-adjusting in the field under different lighting conditions as you are photographing is not feasible.

      Thanks again, and love, artie