New Rockhopper Riddle. Depth-of-Field Question. Old Riddle Solved. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

New Rockhopper Riddle. Depth-of-Field Question. Old Riddle Solved.

Stuff

For the first time in well more than a week, I enjoyed a pain-free night of sleep by switching from my bed to the recliner section of my couch. On Tuesday I got a bit more work done on the Nikon D850/D5/D500/D7500 Focus Fine-tune Guide and plan on doing the more today. I am just starting the section on D850 Focus Peaking AF fine-tuning. See the details below.

The Streak

Halfway There — to Tie!

Today makes two hundred forty days in a row with a new educational blog post! I began this blog post from scratch at 4am Tuesday morning; it took 90 minutes to prepare including the time spent on the image optimizations. 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.

BIRDS AS ART

Please note that BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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. March 2018 was surely a record-breaking month:

Kevin Hice sold a lightly used Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition for $3099.00 soon after it was listed in late March, 2018.
Ron Thill sold his Tamron SP 150-600 f/5.6-6.5 Di VC USD G2 lens for Canon EF in like-new condition for $949 in mid-March.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 16-55 f/2.8 R LM WR lens in like-new condition for only $549 near the end of March 2018.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for only $1,219.00 on the first day of listing.
Jim Burns sold his EOS-1D Mark IV body in excellent plus condition for a BAA record low $998; not sure exactly when 🙂
David Solis sold a brand new Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA 3 1 TB wireless photo/video memory card backup for $399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 300 mm f/2.8L IS USM (the original version) lens in excellent plus condition for $2399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM (the “old five”) in excellent plus condition with perfect glass for the BAA record low price of $3399.00.
Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM zoom lens in mint condition to a local buyer and is sending me a check for 2 1/2% of the original asking price of $1599.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 50 f/2 R WR lens in like-new condition for only $299 in early March.
Rajat Kapoor sold his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (the “old 1-4”) in near-mint condition the first day is was listed for $649.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in near-mint condition and a Canon EF 1.4 III teleconverter in very good condition for $3,599.00 right after listing them in early March.
Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition for $798 soon after it was listed in early March.

The sale of John Norris’s is offering Canon 1DX Mark II in like-new condition for $3,996.00 is pending.

New Listing

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Mansoor Assadi is offering a barely used Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in mint condition for the BIRDS AS ART record-low price of $7748. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it including the lens trunk along with insured ground shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Mansoor via e-mail or by phone at 415-559-8027 (Pacific time).

This fast, super-sharp, relatively lightweight (8.49 pounds) super-telephoto lens (the Nikon version weighs 10.2 pounds) is a versatile lens for wildlife photographers, especially for those who live in the west and do large mammals in low light. And it is a hugely popular lens with sports photographers. For bird photographers working at close range at feeder set-ups will really love the 3m (9.8 feet) close focus. And best of all, it creates super-sharp images with both the 1.4X III and the 2X III Extenders. It currently sells new at B&H for $9,999. You can save some significant bucks by grabbing Mansoor’s lens right now. artie

Price Drop!

Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS Lens

Price reduced $200 on March 28, 2018

Jeff Guettinger is offering a Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens (the original version) in mint condition for $2499 (was $2,699.00). The sale includes the original lens trunk, the front leather cover, the rear lens cap, the strap, and insured ground shipping via major courier to continental US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Jeff via e-mail or by phone at 715.379.6302.

The older version of the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS is a super sharp lens that is great for hand held flight and action photography and great with both teleconverters. It has long been the favorite focal length of the world’s best hawk photographers. Jeff’s immaculate lens is priced to sell quickly. artie



Booking.Com

Several folks on the Gatorland IPT 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.

Rockhopper-Penguin-head-portrait-_W5A9223--The-Rookery,-Saunders-I.,-Falklands

This image was created on October 17, 2016 on Saunders Island,the Falklands, with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/14 in Manual mode. AWB at 8:31am.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -5.

The center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the top of the head about 1/2 inch beyond and slightly to the left of the base of the bill. Right on the same plane as the penguin’s eye.

Rockhopper Penguins

The Situation

We were carefully making our way down the cliffside rocks to the famed rockhopper shower at Rookery. Many of the handsome small penguins were returning from an early morning fishing run. Seated behind my lower tripod I nestled down in the rocks hoping to get some head portraits as the birds paused on their way back up the hill to the colony. The only thing that I like better than tight head portraits are tight head portraits in early morning light made against distant blue water backgrounds. 🙂 Success is sweet.

Light Angle Considerations and a Real Stumper of a Question

By noting the position of the shadow of the bird’s bill, you can see that the sun was coming ever-so-slightly from over my right shoulder … Here is the real stumper of question: what is wrong in the image, what does not make sense?

Depth-of-Field Question

Why f/14? How many stops down from wide open?

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

Old Riddle Solved

In the You Will Need to Put Your Thinking Caps On to Figure This One Out … blog post here, I wrote, 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.

WGULL-ORIG

Western Gull on clean, grey sand, the original, with the reflection of the undertail coverts and the primary tips.

Note the big YELLOW color cast in the original that was dealt with in post-processing.

The first to the answer was Juan (March 18, 2018 at 10:19am) There is no reflection of the tail …

Then this (slightly amended by yours truly), from blog regular David Policansky (March 18, 2018 at 3:02pm.) 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.

Kudos to David for his correct answer, his explanation as to why, and his answering the second question posed that day. I did in fact get knocked down by a wave a moment after I made the Western Gull image; I remember holding on for dear life to one leg of tripod as the wave went by … The things we do.

David’s only mistake was calling the visible joints on the gull’s leg its knees; they are in fact its ankles. The knees are actually hidden by the belly feathers.

ps: I used the Patch Tool to remove the reflection of the tail.

The Nikon D850/D5/D500/D7500 Focus Fine-tune Guide

There is lots of mis-information out there on Nikon Automatic AF Fine-tune. Working with Patrick Sparkman, we developed a way of using that feature effectively. Patrick was on a roll and perfected a method for using the Focus Peaking feature available only on the D850 to quickly and accurately micro-adjust all lenses and TC-Es with your D-850. Both Nikon Automatic AF Fine-tune and D850 Focus Peaking AF Fine-tune require a LensAlign Mark II kit so that you can obtain accurate results. I learned recently that the Nikon D500 DSLR and the older D7500 both offer Automatic AF Fine-tune.

Folks who use one of my links to purchase a Nikon D850, a Nikon D5 DSLR Camera (Body Only, Dual XQD Slots), a Nikon D500 DSLR , or any Nikon gear totaling more than $2,000 will receive the new guide free.

IPT Stuff

All IPTs include an introductory briefing before the IPT begins so you know what to expect, frequent in-the-field instruction and guidance (priceless), image editing and small group Photoshop instruction during and after lunch. Breakfasts are on your own so that we can get in the field early. Lunches are on me. Dinners are on your own as well so that we can get to bed as the days in spring will be long.

Rides with the leader are available on a limited basis for $50/day.

Registering for an IPT

To register for any of the IPTs below call Jim or Jen in the office at 863-692-0906 from Monday morning through Friday lunch with your credit card in hand to leave your $500 non-refundable deposit. Balances may not be paid by credit card so you will be asked to send a check for your balance along with the signed paperwork that you will find here.

Fort-DeSoto-Card

Spring at DeSoto is often magical

DeSoto IPT #1 Sunrise: 7:07 am. Sunset: 6:22pm.

3 1/2 DAYS: SUN 15 APR thru the morning session on WED 18 APR: $1599. Limit 5 photographers.

You must purchase a season Parking Pass in advance for early entry. Click here and scroll down for info. If you are not a local, the six month pass if fine. Best to order by mail. Join me to photograph a wide variety of birds of the shore including pelicans, gulls, terns, sandpipers, oystercatchers, heron, egrets, and night-herons. Many in full breeding plumage. Most are ridiculously tame. Osprey likely. Learn to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret DeSoto locations, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations. Enjoy some great sunrises and sunsets.

Which will offer better opportunities, Desoto #1 or DeSoto #2? I have no idea. Both have the potential to be great.

Gatorland-Card

Tame birds in breeding plumage and heron and egret 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.

(2 1/2 DAY option) FRI 27 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1199.

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 🙂

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.

Facebook

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 :).

26 comments to New Rockhopper Riddle. Depth-of-Field Question. Old Riddle Solved.

  • avatar Derek Courtney

    Art: “But the link provided only went to a single diagram not to any website and certainly not to gull-research.org”

    The link John provided was: http://www.gull-research.org/indexelements/miscellimages/topofig1.jpg

    So your statement is pretty confusing. If it is “certainly not” on gull-research.org then where in the world is it? 🙂 I surely doubt John was ghosting gull-research to try and make an iffy point with a fake diagram.

    I will endeavor to be much gentler when stating something in the future.

    With much love, Derek

  • avatar Warren H

    Is there a second bird behind the main subject that can only be seen on the far right edge?

  • avatar Vic Sheehan

    Arthur,
    I believe the “older Nikon D750 does NOT offer Automatic AF Fine-tune”. My understanding is this feature is available on D850/D5/D500/D7500. I enjoy your daily Blog & images; many thanks for your efforts & the various ‘challenges’. I was intrigued you changed from Canon to Nikon. Having been a Nikon user for ~40 years, I can appreciate that both Companies present us with some great photographic tools.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks on all counts Vic. If you have a link to the D7500 info please share it. I tried to find it without success. And I agree on how lucky nature photographers are today with so many great systems to choose from.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Rick

    The wind is from the left – see right side head feathers – and the bird is leaning into it which would explain the apparent mis-alignment. Sun is from your right and up. If you shooting down that MAY explain why there is perhaps less LHS shadow that might be expected – unless you are being naughty!

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Eye catchlight?

  • avatar Todd

    Artie,

    I think you placed the head from another photo onto the body of another. I say this because the head looks slightly disproportionate to the body and the white feathers in the breast just below the chin are less sharp than the black of the chin.

    Agree with the rest on 1 2/3 stops.

    Todd

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I don’t know what’s wrong with today’s nice image. The light on the right eye looks OK. That the day is long has nothing to do with sun angle per se. Wide open would have been f/8, so f/14 is down 1 and 2/3 stops. Thanks re my gull answer. I actually did know that what I called “knees” weren’t and forgot to put the word in quotes. I have been knocked down by a wave even when I was facing it.

  • avatar Tony Z

    Hi Artie, I’ll take a swing at today’s questions.
    First up, you said you’re shooting downhill, sun over your right shoulder, casts a shadow on the penguins right side. However his right eye is the same brightness as his left eye, despite the fact that his right side face feathers are a little darker. Did you brighten his right eye a bit?

    Second: why F/14? I agree with Eddy that with the 2X TC the widest aperture is F/8, so closed up 1 2/3 stops. As to why, you would have needed more depth of field to get good focus from beak tip through mid-body if he was leaning towards you (I’m assuming he was leaning forward as he was coming up hill).

    (just guessing here)
    Best
    Tony

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Did not brighten the eye a bit. But that is a trick answer 🙂

      All the rest good to very good to excellent. See you in the Falklands!!!

      with love, artie

      • avatar David Policansky

        Artie: Could you have cloned the bird’s left eye and reversed it, and put it in the place where the right eye originally was? Looking at the pupil it seems to me that you might have done that. This occurred to me only after reading Todd Z’s response and your response to him.

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          You are correct sir. See the Saturday Marsh 31st blog post.

          with love, artie

  • avatar Warren H

    “What is wrong in the image, what does not make sense?”

    You indicated you took the photo in “early morning light,” but the shadow appears nearly vertical. So, the sun had to be relatively high in the sky. This may be due to the long days that far south in October.

    • avatar Warren H

      I also agree that the lens was stopped down 1 2/3 stops.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Yes in part to the long days, and the fact that the sun had been up for a while. And the bird was a bit below below me. Now back to the riddle 🙂

      with love, artie

      • avatar Warren H

        The other thing that doesn’t make sense is the apparent depth of field in the image. The tip of the bill looks pretty sharp and the eyes and most of the tufts are sharp.l At 1000mm focal, even at f14, you should only have at most 1″ of depth of field.

  • avatar Eddy Vaes

    Since f8 is wide open with that rig. f 16 would be two stops, so f 14 will be close to 1 2/3 stops from wide open.

  • avatar John Murry

    David was correct in calling the visible joints knee’s, i’m surprised you think otherwise Artie.

    http://www.gull-research.org/indexelements/miscellimages/topofig1.jpg

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks John, I am not surprised that you believe everything you see on the internet. Try the diagrams here from more knowledgeable folks who actually know what they are talking about. 🙂 with love, artie

      • avatar Derek Courtney

        Art, This is a pretty harsh and mis-informed comment. From a strict anatomical standpoint, you are of course correct. The analogous joint in a bird to a human knee is the femur-tibiotarsus joint. And that is, usually, hidden by the belly feathers. So again, you are absolutely correct. However, in common parlance the proper “ankle” joint is often called the “knee” by those looking to describe a bird. This type of nomenclature is even present in common bird names, Thick-knee birds for example. However, your biggest error here is referring to the folks at gull-research.org as simple-minded or unknowledgeable. That is one of the finest reference pages around for information on gulls and identification. Amar, Peter, Maarten, etc. are all absolutely top notch. And coincidentally, these are the same people you yourself look to for help when trying to identify a gull that you are clueless about on the Facebook Gull ID page. Just my two cents, but I would give credence to actual experts in their field over the yahoo image search that you provided. In this instance I don’t think the semantics of your argument matter terribly when trying describe what is being seen.

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Hi Derek,

          Hard to understand how I am mis-informed when you state “you are absolutely correct.” And you are right, I might have been a bit harsh judging them by one error. But the link provided only went to a single diagram not to any website and certainly not to gull-research.org. If you asked Amar what the joint is he would not tell you it is was the knee. Furthermore, with all those skilled folks, it would be nice if they vetted the site for obvious errors.

          As far as harsh, you might look in the mirror 🙂 Especially with regards to this statement: “… but I would give credence to actual experts in their field over the yahoo image search that you provided.” As you stated, the diagram is simply wrong. And if you look in any credible, serious text you will not see that joint being referred to as the knee.

          It is great that you rise to the defense of friends but there might have been a gentler way to state your case.

          with love, artie