The Best Available Subjects … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Best Available Subjects ...

Stuff

At 3am on Sunday, the sky was clear. At 4am on Sunday, the sky was clear. At 5am on Sunday, the sky was clear. At 6am on Sunday, the sky was clear. At 7am on Sunday the sky was clear. Here we go again I thought. Then some heavy cloud cover moved in over Seahouses and the Farnes from the north. Hooray! Sunday morning on Staple was the best morning of the trip by far with flying puffins and flying guillemots (murres to us in the US).

We head to Dunbar early on Monday morning to do the first of our two gannet boat trips. Everyone is excited. Including and especially me.

PHOTOEXPO 2018

If you missed the PHOTOEXPO 2018 announcement and live anywhere within driving or flying distance of Memphis, TN, click here for the info. I have a ride to Beale Street for one night, but am still looking for a ride on the other night.

BIRDS AS ART

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


Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog 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 went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Recent Sales

Ray Maynard sold his Canon 1.4X III teleconverter in near-mint condition for the low price of $299.00 in late June, 2018.
Randall Ennis sold his Canon EOS-1D Mark IV in excellent condition for $849.00 in late June.
Joel Williams sold his Sony Vario-Tessar T FE 16-35 f/4 ZA OSS lens in like-new condition for $629 (was $749) in late June, 2018.
Joel Williams also sold his Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR lens in like-new condition for $749 (was $949) in April 2018.
Pierre Williot sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in like-new condition for a very fair $848.00 in late June, 2018.
Top BAA used gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L IS III USM Lens in like-new condition for the BAA record low price of $1349.00 the first day it was listed in late June.
Jim Keener sold a Canon EOS 5D Mark III body in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $999.00 (was $1149.00) in mid-June.
Jim Keener sold a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for the BAA record low price of $1099.00 in Early June.
Steve Traudt sold an Xtrahand Vest, the Khumbu model, size XL, in very good condition for the BAA record-low price of $179.
Jim Brennan sold a used Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens in good condition for $249.00 in late May.
Larry Padgett sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III body in excellent condition for $1160 soon after it was listed in late May.
Charlie Curry sold his Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens in mint condition for a BAA record-low price of $750.00 on the first day of listing in late May, 2018.

New Listing

Canon EOS-1DX Mark II

Top BAA used gear seller Jim Keener is offering a Canon Canon EOS-1DX Mark II in near-mint condition for the great price of $3999.00. The sale includes everything in the original box including the front lens cover and the cables and the manual and the rest. But not the box. Also included is insured ground shipping via to continental US addresses only. The package will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Jim via e-mail or by phone at 310-741-7435 (9am-9pm Mountain time).

The 1DX Mark II is Canon’s rugged, blazingly fast professional digital camera body. It features a great AF system and high quality image files with great dynamic range. I owned and used two of these for several years. As a new 1DX II currently sells for $5,699.00 you can save $1700 on a practically new body. artie

Price Drop

Canon EOS 5DS R mega mega-pixel dSLR

Price Reduced $200 on July 8, 2018.e-mail or by text message to 1-716-481-7158 (Eastern Time Zone).

Without an anti-aliasing filter, the 5DS R will–for those with good sharpness techniques–produce large high-quality image files that feature hard to believe detail. You have seen the amazing 100% crops showing fine-feather detail in many older blog posts. And it is not bad for flight photography either! artie

Re-run/Great Buy!

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Pierre Williot is offering a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM lens (the original 600 IS) in very good to excellent condition in perfect working order with just a few blemishes for the BAA record-low-by-$800 price of $4199.00. The sale includes a LensCoat, the lens trunk, a low foot, the Canon 52mm Drop-In Circular Polarizer Filter (PL-C 52), the leather front lens cover, the rear cap, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses.

Please get in touch with Pierre via e-mail.

The 600 f/4 lenses are ideal for those who do birds and wildlife. This lens is the original (heavier) version of the Canon 600 IS. The lighter 600mm f/4L IS sells new at B&H for $11,499.00. Pierre’s lens is a great buy for a young, eager, relatively strong nature photographer who would like to save $7,300.00. The original 600 IS served as my workhorse super-telephoto lens for more than a decade. artie

Nikon D850s Sold Out! Next shipment in about 10 days. A Nikkor AF-S 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR Lens! Available Right Now!

E-mail Steve about a special deal on the big Nikon zoom lens that is especially great for a trip to Africa, the Southern Ocean, or the Galapagos.

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!



Booking.Com

Several folks on the UK IPT used the Booking.Com link below for there Edinburgh hotels, 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 photographers 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.

Herring-Gull-chick-and-Nikon-long-lens-_DSC3024islands-off-Seahouses,-UK

This image was created on July 6, 2018 on Staple Island, one of the Farnes Islands. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens (at 155mm) and the Nikon D5 (with Dual XQD slots). ISO 500. Matrix metering at zero: 1/3200 sec. at f/8. NATURAL AUTO WB at 11:54am on a sunny day.

One array diagonally up from the center array/Group (grp)/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The array right on the chick as originally framed. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +4. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #1: Herring Gull, large chick with Induro/Mongoose-mounted Nikon 600mm f/4 VR lens

The Situation

Clear blue skies. North wind. The chances of making a good image of a flying puffin were about zero. The same was true for making a good image of a flying guillemot (murres to us) or a flying Razorbill. The seabirds and gulls perched on the rocks were facing directly away from us when you had the sun behind you. For a change. There were three pretty large Herring Gull chicks on the rocks. They did not care which way the wind was blowing. I spent three hours with them as they were the best available subject … And I made sure that everyone in the group got on them as well.

And oh, by the way, they were pretty tame. 🙂

Working the Subject

As we have seen here several times recently, it pays to work a subject using different lenses and focal lengths, choosing different perspectives, getting closer or moving back, and simply looking for either a neat behavior or some variety.

Herring-Gull-large-chick-begging-_MAI1061islands-off-Seahouses,-UK

This image was also created on July 6, 2018 on Staple Island, one of the Farnes Islands. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens with the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and the Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering + 1/3 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3. NATURAL AUTO WB at 11:13am on a sunny day. 🙂

Three up from the center AF point/d-9/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the base of the bird’s upper mandible right on the same beyond the plane of the bird’s eye.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #2:Herring Gull, large, downy chick begging

Beggar!

After creating many dozen vertical head and neck images an adult Herring Gull flew by and my little friend began to beg nonstop. I made lots of images and share my favorite with you immediately above.

One of my tenets: if you point your lens at a gull it usually does not take long for it to do something special.

Herring-Gull-chick-head-portrait-_MAI1091islands-off-Seahouses,-UK

This image was also created on July 6, 2018 at the Staple Island, one of the Farnes Islands. Again, I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens with the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and the Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering + 1/3 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3. NATURAL AUTO WB at 11:13am on a sunny day. 🙂

Three up from the center AF point/d-9/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the base of the bird’s upper mandible right on the same beyond the plane of the bird’s eye.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #3: Herring Gull, large, downy chick — head portrait

Head Hunter

I love creating tight horizontal head portraits when I can do so without disturbing the subject. With the young gulls, it was easy to get close if you moved slowly and stayed low.

Herring-Gull-large-chick-A-_MAI1007islands-off-Seahouses,-UK

This image was also created on July 6, 2018 on Staple Island, one of the Farnes Islands. For this one I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III (at 410mm), and the Nikon D5 (with Dual XQD slots). ISO 400. Matrix metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/9. NATURAL AUTO WB at 11:29am on a sunny day.

One up and two to the right of the center AF point/Single Point/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed on the bird’s right eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #4: An older large Herring Gull chick

One of the Two Older Birds

Images 2 & 3 are of the same bird, a large chick with lots of downy feathers. Image #4 is one of two obvious siblings that were more advanced than the fuzzy chick. Note that the scapulars, coverts, and tertials are all grown in, each with a dark center and buff edgings. It is possible that the fuzzy bird is the runt of a 3-chick litter. Or, it might be a bird from a different nest. I asked the rangers but none of them had been paying attention to the gull chicks. The more developed birds were fast friends, rarely getting too far from each other. I was thrilled to get a classic field guide portrait of one of the twins.

Your Favorite?

Which of today’s featured images is your favorite? Be sure to let us know why you made your choice.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my 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 :).

7 comments to The Best Available Subjects …

  • Good morning Guru. Hope this message finds you in good health.

    Briefly scanned the sold items list on the Used Gear page. It seems people are getting rid of Canon gear fast!

    Perhaps a new era is dawning in favor of Sony. Saw their 400mm f/2.8 introduced recently. Paired with a 2x extender, it is bound to produce great results in bird photography. Moreover, their high-end mirrorless bodies can fire 20 frames/sec, thanks to their latest state of art AF system.

    No, I’m not gonna request your opinion on this however, getting almost clear indications that Canon’s dominance in this sector is perhaps coming to an end.

    Best regards.

  • Hey Arthur, They look silly time from the first photo. Image #3 is my favorite. It has that classic clean and graphic look. Nice pose on the chick and a killer background as well.

  • avatar Paul Whalen

    Great images as always 🙂
    There is a typo within this quote, (date); “This image was also created on July 16, 2018 on Staple Island”. It appears in a few descriptions.

    Cheers, Paul

  • These photos are nice!!
    Nikon 600mm lens at f/6.3 gets just the head in focus. The Nikon 80-400mm at f/9 looks like the whole bird is in focus. I love Nikons but I have learned that a long lens at a lower f/stop has a narrower depth of field than a shorter zoom lens at a slightly higher f/stop.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Sue,

      You are missing one major point as far as depth of field goes. The greater the distance to the subject, the greater the d-o-f. If you photograph a bird with a 600mm lens and then again with the 80-400 with a 1.4X teleconverter and the bird is the same size in the frame the depth of field will be identical. Only the angle of view will be different .

      The whole bird in Image #4 is in sharp focus because I was effectively a lot farther from the subject than I was in Image #3.

      You did not, therefore, learn what you think that you learned …

      with love, artie

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>