Canon 600 II/1.4X/5D IV Image. My Bad Weather Strategy. You Will Need to Put Your Thinking Caps On to Figure This One Out … And an Angle of Declination Note. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon 600 II/1.4X/5D IV Image. My Bad Weather Strategy. You Will Need to Put Your Thinking Caps On to Figure This One Out ... And an Angle of Declination Note.

Stuff

On Saturday I did my usual two rounds of Postural Restoration exercises, worked on this blog post, took a nap, and got some more work done on the Nikon Focus Fine-tune Guide. And that afternoon as my range of motion and freedom of movement kept on improving, I was feeling good enough for the first time since the fall that I had realistic hopes of making a complete recovery … Time will tell. I was feeling so good that I turned into a 100% couch potato for four hours after my short nap. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got back to work at about 6:30pm.

The Streak

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

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Patrick Sparkman saved $350 on a recent purchase!

The Used Gear Page

Action on the Used Gear Page recently has been fantastic. You can see all current listings here.

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 or 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

Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens

Price dropped $200 on 17 MAR 2018

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR lens in like-new condition for $749 (was $949). The sale includes the original box, and everything that came with the lens, and insured ground shipping via UPS, to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

This versatile lens sell new for $1499 so you can save a nifty $550 by grabbing it. artie

Fujifilm XF 16-55 f/2.8 R LM WR lens

Price dropped $100 on 17 MAR 2018

Joel Williams is also offering a Fujifilm XF 16-55 f/2.8 R LM WR lens in like-new condition for only $549 (was $649). The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

A standard-length zoom built to handle harsh conditions, this weather-sealed lens offers the 35mm focal length equivalence of 24-82.5mm for versatile wide-angle to portrait length perspectives. With a constant f/2.8 maximum aperture, it is effective in low light conditions and able to control focus placement with a shallow depth of field. Compatible with all Fujifilm X-mount mirrorless digital cameras, it features a sophisticated lens design, internal focusing and a Twin Linear Motor AF system for exceedingly fast and near silent autofocus operation. The lens sells new for $1049. B&H

Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Mount Lenses to Fujifilm X Mount Digital Cameras

Price dropped $20 on 17 MAR 2018

Joel Williams is also offering a Novoflex Adapter for Leica M Mount Lenses to Fujifilm X Mount Digital cameras bodies in like-new condition for only $79 (was $99). The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. This item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

One of the most appealing aspects of mirrorless cameras like those of the Fujifilm X series is the availability of a wide range of compatible interchangeable lenses, including non-Fuji lenses. The Adapter for Leica M Mount Lenses to Fujifilm X Mount Digital Cameras from Novoflex makes it possible to mount a Leica M lens to your Fujifilm X-Pro1, XE-1 and XM-1 Mirrorless Digital Cameras. This precision mechanical adapter does not transfer functions from the camera to the lens, such as automatic focus, however automatic exposure metering in aperture priority and stop-down metering is possible. The lens will focus to infinity using this adapter. This item sells new for $206.25. B&H

Sony Vario-Tessar T FE 16-35 f/4 ZA OSS Lens

Price dropped $120 on 17 MAR 2018

Joel Williams is also offering a Sony Vario-Tessar T FE 16-35 f/4 ZA OSS lens in like-new condition for only $629 (was $749). The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

A compact and weather-resistant option, the Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS lens from Sony will satisfy nearly all the wide-angle needs of full-frame E-mount shooters. It also features a constant f/4 aperture for consistent performance and illumination throughout the zoom range. Ensuring optimal image quality, the lens design incorporates five aspherical elements, including one Advanced Aspherical (AA), three extra-low dispersion elements, and the Zeiss T* anti-reflective coating. This combination delivers images that are free from aberration and flare. The lens sells new for $1248.00 B&H

Sony FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS Lens

Price dropped $150 on 17 MAR 2018

Joel Williams is also offering a Sony FE 70-200 f/4 G OSS lens in like-new condition for only $829 (was $979). The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

Capture more distant subjects while keeping your kit lightweight with the FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS Lens from Sony. This full-frame lens is designed for use with mirrorless E-mount cameras where it delivers an excellent telephoto zoom range. It also uses a maximum aperture of f/4 to keep size and weight down. Incorporated into the optical design are a series of specialized elements to ensure aberrations are suppressed, this includes two extra-low dispersion elements, one super extra-low dispersion element, two advanced aspherical elements, and one aspherical element. Along with these capabilities, a Nano AR coating will help minimize the appearance of flare and ghosting. The lens sells new for $1398.00 B&H

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.

Western-Gull-adult-on-clean-sand-_W5A6756--La-Jolla-Shores-Beach,-CA

This image was created at La Jolla Shores Beach on the afternoon of January 17, 2018. I was standing behind my Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. Cloudy WB at 4:43pm.

One to the left and two rows up from the center AF point/AI Servo/Surround AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the back of the base of the bird’s neck on the same plane as the bird’s eye.

LensAlign/FocusTune AFA micro-adjustment: -1.

Western Gull on clean, grey sand

The Situation

I love clear sunny afternoons for La Jolla Shores Beach. (Learn when and how to photograph at LJSB and the rest of the great San Diego hotspots in the San Diego Site Guide.) When we finished our Photoshop session and poked our heads out the door it was totally foggy. Several folks decided to skip the afternoon against my advice. When we first began photographing it was pretty much +3 stops everywhere in the thick fog. But not longer after we arrived the sun struggled to break through and did to some degree. With dark clouds in the east and gentle sun on the birds from the west conditions were spectacular; I love the dark grey wet sand background in today’s featured image.

My Bad Weather Strategy

  • #1: Don’t even bother looking at the weather forecast the night before. I have seen many evening forecasts that guarantee horrific weather from 5 to 10am the next day only to wake to clearing or even clear skies …
  • #2: Even if it is pouring rain when you head out, head out. Even if you are driving only ten minutes the weather might be better at your destination. If it is pouring rain when you get there, be patient. At times the rain may let up just enough for you to get in some photography. I always bring my laptop so that I can get some work done in the car if the bad weather continues.
  • #3: It is often fun and productive to use fill flash after the rain subsides. I need to get a flash for my Nikon system … Any suggestions?
  • #4: As you have seen here often, foggy conditions are great as long as you are using digital capture.
  • #5: The same goes here for snow. When it is precipitating, be sure to make provisions for protecting your gear from the elements.
  • #6: Likewise, strong winds, even winds from the wrong direction, can provide different and exciting photographic conditions.
  • #7: If you are good with apps on your cell phone, the weather radar stuff can be helpful though I have seen that be very wrong too …
  • #8: One thing is for sure, if you cancel a nature photography outing because of bad weather, you will not make any good photographs.

If you remember a time when a lousy forecast or just plain bad weather resulted in some great photography please share by leaving a comment below.

You Will Need to Put Your Thinking Caps On to Figure This One Out …

If you can figure out what is wrong with this image, please leave a comment. Note: the beach was perfectly clean in the RAW file; no shells, no pebbles, no nothing. Thus, there was no beach clean-up needed.

An Angle of Declination Note

When you are standing at full height behind your tripod and working at 840mm your angle of declination is not bad. If you pull out the leg tab on the forward-facing leg and then pull the leg out, you can get a foot or two lower quickly without have to adjust the length of the legs. Depending on your height and physique and the height of your tripod, you can now get lower by squatting down a bit, bending at the waist, or kneeling. This is a quick method of reducing your angle of declination quickly.

If you read the fine print in this blog post you can figure out why kneeling might not have been a good idea and why sitting might have been disastrous. If you do, please share by leaving a comment.

MasterClass

Early Spring Photo Opportunities at ILE

BIRDS AS ART First-ever Master Class

Master Class. Two Full and two Half Days/Friday afternoon, March 30 through lunch on Monday, April 2, 2018. Limit: 4/Openings 3.

The Master Classe will be a small group โ€” strictly limited to four photographers โ€” with the first folks who register having the option of staying at my home ($50/night) or at a chain motel in nearby Lake Wales. Live, think, and breathe photography from Friday afternoon through lunch on Monday (late-morning); all meals included. There will be three afternoon photo sessions (FRI – SUN) hopefully with glorious sunsets like the ones you saw one the blog in December we should have good opportunities with the cranes even in the afternoon. We will enjoy three morning photography sessions (SAT – MON) with the main subjects being tame Sandhill Cranes almost surely with chicks or colts. Also vultures and Cattle Egrets and more. Limpkins are possible. Intermediate telephoto lenses are fine for the cranes, even the chicks at times. A 500 or 600mm lens would be best for many of the situations that we will encounter.

During the day we will sit together around my dining room table and pick everyoneโ€™s keepers and enjoy guided Photoshop sessions. On Monday before lunch, folks can make a single large print of their favorite image from the weekend. If you so choose, I will micro-adjust one of your lenses (at one focal length with your #1 camera body–Canon or Nikon) during a group instructional session. All will be welcome to practice what they have learned during the breaks using my set-up and my lighting gear.

To register, please first shoot me an e-mail to check on availability. Then you will be instructed to call Jim or Jen at 863-692-0906 during weekday business hours (except for Friday afternoons) to leave you non-refundable (unless the session sells out) $500 deposit. Only the deposit may be left on credit card. Balances must be paid by check immediately after you register (unless you wish to pay by credit card plus 4% to cover our fees).

I hope that you can join me on this new adventure.

with love, artie

ps: bring your bathing suit if you would like to try my pool.

Gatorland-Card

Tame birds in breeding plumage and chicks are great fun.

Gatorland IPT #2. Sunrise: 6:48am. Sunset: 7:58pm.

3 1/2 DAYs: THURS 26 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1599. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 3.

Must purchase Gatorland Photographers Pass. Click here for details. All early entry. Late stays Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Gatorland IPT #2 should have lots of chicks, and lots of birds in breeding plumage. We will get to photograph Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, and Wood Stork. The Cattle Egrets in full breeding plumage will be present in good numbers. Learn my Gatorland strategy, to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret Gatorland spots, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.

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 :).

22 comments to Canon 600 II/1.4X/5D IV Image. My Bad Weather Strategy. You Will Need to Put Your Thinking Caps On to Figure This One Out … And an Angle of Declination Note.

  • avatar Warren H

    If you were in the water and shooting back to the beach (east), I’ll bet that water was really cold in January…

  • Hey Arthur, I stuck it out one morning at my Local national wildlife refuge in an absolute downpour that lasted about 2 hours. All the other photographers left. When the rain let up i ended up getting some nice frames of some drenched birds. Than a great blue heron nailed a massive catfish. All in all it was a very good morning.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Artie: I agree with Juan that there should have been a reflection of the bird’s tail as it is on the same level as the bird’s knees, which are reflected. I agree with Rob Stambaugh: kneeling or sitting on the sand with an incoming tide and the waves coming behind you is a bad idea with a certain amount of danger involved.

  • avatar Sachin S

    I find it little strange that the reflection is towards camera and you are not necessarily shooting with the sun behind gull. And gull seems well lit without flash.

  • avatar JDupps

    I just upgraded from the Nikon SB 900 to the SB 5000. It’s worth the money as well as being the latest model from Nikon.

  • That gull has an evil eye! Watch up for that one! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • avatar Guido Bee

    Regarding the flash, I use an old 600 (I think it’s really SB-600) which is long out of production. The current versions are about 900 or 910 (Model #), and they are a bit more powerful. I found the logic of controls on the Nikon to be more intuitive for me than the Canon (back in the day of T-90 body and TTL-300 flach units). For the distances you work at, I’d probably go for the highest power I could get: SB-910 or the like.
    No clue on the image, but it is very nice. Best guess is to never turn your back on the ocean (old Hawaiian saying, also goes for volcanoes).
    All the best, and get better soon.

  • avatar Juan

    Another thought: you were low, with a very long focal length… the horizon should be in your picture, but maybe the sky was all white and cutting the head in half so you decided to fill it with smooth sand instead.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Not at all. I was shooting uphill and the lens was still about 3 feet above the beach…

      with love, artie

  • March, 23, 2017 I was at my favorite spot close to home but conditions were poor (cloudy, wind SSE 12-18)… I was watching migrating White Pelicans when I saw an immature mink slowly loping along the edge of the lake with a large Yellow Bass in its mouth. The mink acted like I was not there and I got several great shots (even though I was using the mediocre in poor light performing 7DII with 100-400 II)…

  • avatar Pierre Williot

    This bird was not on the beach, but on a sand bar in the water. He was far enough that the angle of declination was minimal with a 840mm lens (600 x 1.4)

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      It was on the beach where a wave had just receded … Confused by your angle of declination question; I would estimate it at about 20 degrees ….

      with love, artie

  • avatar Juan

    There is no reflection of the tail… I think that you cloned it

  • Hey Artie, the image is leveled for the lines in the sand which makes the gull appear to be leaning.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Joe, The legs are straight up and down so it looks level to me. When the answer is revealed folks are gonna kick themselves for not seeing it ๐Ÿ™‚

      with love, artie

  • avatar Rob Stambaugh

    Hi Artie,

    As for what’s wrong – maybe still having cloudy WB set with the sun breaking through “to some degree”? Looks like you had at least some sunlight on the gull.

    Nope. I was fine with Cloudy WB. It is easy to tweak the WB during a RAW conversion but in this case I did not have to. What I am looking for is something that you can see (or not see …)

    As for why kneeling or (worse) sitting might not have been a good idea – you were shooting the gull from the water, pointing back toward the beach. (The sun was coming from the west.)

    You are correct but why not a good idea?

    Question, if you have time: I’m considering attending a finance conference in San Diego from June 17-20, and one reason I might go is to break away and do some bird photography. Is June a particularly good or bad time for birds there? (If I go, I’ll definitely pick up your San Diego site guide.) Thanks,
    Rob

    Not particularly good. The pelicans are the big attraction from DEC through FEB at least … But there are always gulls and shorebirds around.

    with love, artie

    • avatar Rob Stambaugh

      Thanks for answering the San Diego question. Sorry I whiffed on the image.

      Why not a good idea to kneel or sit in the water? I’d think because a wave coming from behind could soak your gear. The tide would have been coming back in, as low tide was a bit earlier (at 4:19pm).

      • avatar David Policansky

        Rob Stambaugh: I have been in San Diego in June and there are lots of shorebirds and lots of gulls and lots of pelicans (but not breeding). Also skimmers on a few of the lagoons, hummingbirds everywhere, and others. It’s also foggy a lot (called “June gloom”). You won’t get the spectacular breeding-plumage shots Artie shows us but there are lots of birds around.

        Thanks David. The pelicans never breed in San Diego, they just visit while they are in breeding plumage ๐Ÿ™‚
        with love, artie

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        YAW Rob. I just about got knocked on my butt by a wave that afternoon. Good on the tide research ๐Ÿ™‚

        with love, artie

  • I think you used the patch tool for the 1/4 of the image. Thats why the legs in the water [reflection] is pretty wrong.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Frank, Unless I am confused, you think that the leg reflections are wrong. Is that correct? If not, please explain. In any case, the reflections of the legs are exactly as they appear in the NEF file …

      with love, artie