Fabulous Foggy Flight at Gatorland! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Fabulous Foggy Flight at Gatorland!

Stuff

In the morning I was down at the lake with my new 600mm f/4 and the D5. I had a few good opportunities on flying Great Egrets so I hand held it out the window with some success. Then it was my postural restoration exercises followed by my fourth half mile plus swim in a row. Then I packed up and headed over to Brandon to meet friend//client Jake Levin. We micro-adjusted his Canon 500mm lens with the 1.4X TC and his 5D IV. Then dinner and early to bed. The first spoonbill IPT will be me and three others. Good luck to us.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred three days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about two hours 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 and my continuing insanity willing.



Booking.Com

Several folks on the Spoonbill IPTs used the Booking.Com link below and got great rates and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. 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. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

New Listings

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

BAA Record-Low, Shock-the-world priced

Greg Morris is offering a barely used EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens in mint to like-new condition with extras for the BAA record low price of $9394.00. The sale includes the LensCoat that has protected this lens since day one, a RRS stuff foot (installed), the original foot, the lens trunk, the original box and everything that came in it: front cover, rear cap, manuals, & the rest, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your personal of certified check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Greg via e-mail or by phone at 1-580-678-5929 (Central time).

WMD: Weapon of Mass Destruction!

The 600 II is the state of the art super-telephoto for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports. When I could get it to my location, it was my go-to weapon. It is fast and sharp and deadly alone or with either TC. With a new one going for $11,499, you can save a cool $2,005.00 by grabbing Walt’s might-as-well-be-new lens right now. artie

Canon EOS-1DX Professional Digital Camera Body

Greg Morris is also offering a Canon EOS-1DX in near-mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $2499.00. The sale includes the front cap, the strap, 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 Greg via e-mail or by phone at 1-580-678-5929 (Central time).

Two 1DX bodies served admirably as my workhorse digital camera bodies for several years. The original 1DX has a superb AF system and produces high quality image files. It is fabulous for photographing birds in flight and in action. Some folks wish that they had kept there 1DX bodies and not upgraded to the 1DX Mark II … artie

Great-Egret-turning-left-in-flight-_DSC0411--Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

This image was created on the foggy morning of Sunday February 18 with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 380mm) and the Nikon D850. ISO 800: Matrix metering about +2 1/3 stops off the foggy sky: 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3 in M (Manual) mode. AWB at 8:22am in the fog.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF as originally framed. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Great Egret turning left in flight

Moving About

Unless I have a fabulous situation in front of me I am always moving along looking for a great situation. Even when doing flight photography. This bird flew in from the west over the small moat in front of the railroad tracks.

Snowy-Egret-top-shot-_DSC0487--Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

This image was created on the foggy morning of Sunday February 18 with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the Nikon D850. ISO 800: Matrix metering about 2 1/3 stops off the foggy sky: 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3 in M (Manual) mode. AWB at 8:40am.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF as originally framed. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Snowy Egret top shot

Top Shots

Top shots show the dorsal surface of a bird’s spread wings. If you know Gatorland it should not take you too long to figure out the best location from which to make these types of images.

Great-Egret-in-flight-approaching-nest-_DSC0770--Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

This image was created on the foggy morning of Sunday February 18 with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the Nikon D850. ISO 800: Matrix metering at about +2 stops off the somewhat brightening sky: 1/2500 sec. at f/6.3 in M (Manual) mode. AWB at 9:09am.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF as originally framed. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #3: Great Egret landing top shot

Head and Neck Replacement

The first and third images in a three-frame sequence were sharp on the face. The middle one with the very best wing position was a bit off so I decided to do a head and neck-ectomy. I painted a Quick Mask of the head and neck from frame three and placed it on top of the slightly soft head and neck from frame two. Then I refined it with a Regular Layer Mask. All in all the operation was both quite successful and pretty much un-detectable.

Snowy-Egret-3-4-down-stroke-_DSC0815--Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

This image was created on the foggy morning of Sunday February 18 with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the Nikon D850. ISO 800. Matrix metering at about +2 stops off the somewhat brightening sky: 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3 in M (Manual) mode. AWB at 9:17am.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF as originally framed. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #4: Snowy Egret flight

Breeding Plumage Snowy Egrets

None of the Snowies perched near the boardwalk had the beautiful red lores but surprisingly, most of the birds that I photographed in flight did. You usually do not see them in full breeding plumage for at least another six weeks or so.

Great-Egret-landing-tight-_DSC0838--Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

This image was created on the foggy morning of Sunday February 18 with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the Nikon D850. ISO 800. Matrix metering about +1 1/3 stops off the brightening sky: 1/3200 sec. at f/6.3 in M (Manual) mode. AWB at 9:23am.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF as originally framed. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #5: Great Egret jumping off shelter roof

What the Heck

I had just finished mentioning to someone that with my new gear I will often stay at 500mm rather than zoom out when a bird gets too big in the frame. So when this handsome bird jumped off the roof of a rain shelter to its nest I fired away and made two sharp on the eye images.

Great-Egret-flight-undersides-_DSC0843--Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

This image was created on the foggy morning of Sunday February 18 with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the Nikon D850. ISO 800: Matrix metering about +1 1/3 stops off the brightening sky: 1/3200 sec. at f/6.3 in M (Manual) mode. AWB at 9:26am.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF as originally framed. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #6: Great Egret in flight from below

The End

I ended the morning the way I began, with a Great Egret flying almost directly overhead. By studying the shutter speeds with each image you can see how I handled the brightening skies.

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Typos

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