Click White Balance. And Gull Feeding Questions — ethical or not? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Click White Balance. And Gull Feeding Questions -- ethical or not?

Stuff

It’s great to be home and eating well. My jet-lag is abating. Last night I slept from 8pm until 5:45am: 9 hours and 45 minutes. I have spent a good deal of the past few days napping and resting and reading; perhaps I can get some work done today. I will be starting on my 2017 taxes today and need to get to work on my two programs for the Memphis Photo Expo.

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 rides to Beale Street for both nights. If you are attending, please stop by the BAA table for a handshake and a hug.

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

Bill Ketterer sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens in excellent condition for the lowest ever BAA price of $3399.00 in early June.
Jim Keener sold his Canon EOS-1DX Mark II in near-mint condition for $3,999.00 the first day it was listed.
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.

Nikon D750 DSLR Camera

Top Used Gear seller Gary Meyer is offering a Nikon D750 DSLR Camera in like-new condition (less than 100 shutter actuations!) for the low price of $1,375.00. The sale includes the body cap and everything else that came in the box including one battery, the charger, the cables and manuals, 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 Gary via e-mail or by phone or text at 1-612-221-0150 (Central time).

The D750 is the predecessor to my beloved D850 with a lot lower price tag: $1,696.95 as compared to $3,296.95. Both bodies are full frame just as I like them. Grab Gary’s practically new D750 today and save a cool #321.95. artie

Championing a multimedia approach to photography, Nikon’s D750 DSLR is an FX-format camera well-suited to both still imaging and video recording. Featuring a 24.3MP CMOS sensor, along with the EXPEED 4 image processor, this camera is capable of producing high-resolution imagery with smooth color gradations, low noise, and sensitivity to an expandable ISO 51200, at a continuous shooting rate of up to 6.5 fps. In regard to video recording, Full HD 1080p/60 is supported, along with the ability to record uncompressed video to an optional external recorder. Working from high and low angles is possible due to the tilting 3.2″ 1,229k-dot LCD monitor or, for remote shooting, the D750 also features built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. Designed for the contemporary image-maker, this DSLR is poised to benefit still photographers and videographers alike with the versatility and performance to match any working situation.

Benefitting the imaging capabilities of the D750, an equally apt 51-point AF system, with 15 cross-type points, is available and can be configured to utilize five AF points as a single focusing point in the Group Area AF setting for heightened initial subject recognition. The 3D Color Matrix Metering III system, along with the 91,000-pixel RGB sensor, also benefits the focusing abilities as well as provides accurate exposure metering to suit a vast array of subjects and lighting conditions. Furthermore, benefitting creative applications, the D750 supports in-camera creation of time-lapse movies with automated exposure smoothing, and a range of Picture Control profiles can be applied to refine the color and tonal handling of imagery. B&H

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!

Via e-mail from Gary Meyer

Thanks for posting instructions on where to get the Nikon D850 quickly. Bedford shipped mine the same day. Wow, you sure got good connections!



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.

Western-Gull-w-spray-from-wave-_W5A5188-La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created on the 2017 San Diego IPT with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 340mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering plus +1/3 stop as framed: 1/4000 sec. at f/6.3 as originally framed. AWB at 10:36am on a cloudy but very bright day.

Center (single) AF point/AI Servo/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. Though the center AF array was on the bird’s tail just to our left of the bird’s head the image was sharp enough to benefit from a Contrast Mask on the face. It is likely that the AF system was tracking properly until the last milli-second.

Image #1: Western Gull in flight with spray from a wave/version I (baited)

The Good and the Bad?

I love the spray from the breaking wave. The bird is looking down for a piece of balled up whole wheat bread that I had just tossed into the Pacific. There is one thing about this image that I do not like. It was a bit of bad luck. What do you think bugs me about this image?

Western-Gull-w-spray-BLUER-_W5A5188-La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created on the 2017 San Diego IPT with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 340mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering plus +1/3 stop as framed: 1/4000 sec. at f/6.3 as originally framed. AWB at 10:36am on a cloudy but very bright day.

Center (single) AF point/AI Servo/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. Though the center AF array was on the bird’s tail just to our left of the bird’s head the image was sharp enough to benefit from a Contrast Mask on the face. It is likely that the AF system was tracking properly until the last milli-second.

Image #2: Western Gull in flight with spray from a wave/version II (baited)

Click White Balance

I optimized this image on the plane home from Scotland. I am not sure why, but after I saved and closed the master file I re-opened the RAW file to convert it again in ACR. I clicked on the White Balance Tool (I), the first eyedropper icon and then clicked on the brightest WHITE on the gull’s forehead. The change in the color of the water was dramatic. As I had done with the first version, I cleaned up a large spray drop that merged with the tail and the base of the left wing with a Quick Mask refined by a Regular Layer Mask. I saved the second version with the same file name adding the word BLUER.

Grayer or Bluer?

Which version of today’s featured image do you prefer? Why?

Bread

Would you toss bits of whole wheat bread to a gull to practice flight photography? How about fish? Either way, why or why not?

SD-2019-card

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects, including and especially the Pacific race of California Brown Pelican. With annual visits spanning more than four decades, I have lots of photographic experience there … Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

2019 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) SUN JAN 20, 2019 thru and including the morning session on THURS JAN 24: 4 1/2 days: $2099.

(Limit: 10/Openings: 8)

Introductory Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the evening before the IPT begins; SAT JAN 19, 2019.

Please see the Dancing Grebe Morning Add-On Info below

Join me in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (nesting with eggs and possibly chicks) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heermann’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others are possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lions; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the IPT cards, there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well. Not to mention a ton of excellent flight photography opportunities and instruction.

Please note: where permitted and on occasion, ducks and gulls will be attracted (or re-located) with offerings of grains and healthy breads.

Learning Exposure, Whether You Like It Or Not

Whether you like it or not, we will be beating the subject of exposure like a dead horse. In every new situation you will hear my thoughts on the exposure situation along with my thoughts on both Nikon and Canon histograms and the subject of blinkies. Whether you like it or not, you will learn to work in manual mode and to get the right exposure every time as long as a bird gives you ten seconds with the light constant.And you will learn what to do when the light is changing constantly. What you learn about exposure will be one of the great take-aways on every IPT.

San-Diego-card-B-2019

Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT, there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

It Ain’t Just Pelicans

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography as well. And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication. You will be guided as to how to make the best of all of those opportunities. And depending on the weather and local conditions and tides, there are a variety of fabulous photo chances available in and around San Diego.


san-diego-card-neesie

Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter? Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The San Diego Details

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, four lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. An so that we can get some sleep, dinners will be on your own.

A $599 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 3385, or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 10/11//2018. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.


san-diego-card-b

Variety is surely the spice of life in San Diego. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Getting Up Early and Staying Out Late

On all BIRDS AS ART IPTS including and especially the San Diego IPT, we get into the field early to take advantage of unique and often spectacular lighting conditions and we stay out late to maximize the chances of killer light and glorious sunset silhouette situations. We often arrive at the cliffs a full hour before anyone else shows up to check out the land/sea scape opportunities.


clarkes-x-western-grebe-hybrid-courtship-rush-_r7a3968-lake-hodges-san-deigo-ca

This image was created in San Diego, CA with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the simply amazing, astounding, mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 500. Evaluative metering -2/3 stop: 1/2500 sec. at f/6.3 in Av mode. AWB.

61-Point (Automatic selection)/AI Servo/Shutter Button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when photographing moving subjects). Though the optimized image above was a healthy crop from the original the result was a high quality 148+ MB 16-bit file. Click on the image to see a larger version. The AF system selected two AF points, one above the other, between the two birds;the eye of the bird on our right is razor sharp.

Clarke’s X Western Grebe courtship rush

The Dancing Grebe Add-On. FRI JAN 25, 2019: $399.

Those registering for the 2019 San Diego IPT might wish to join me for the Dancing Grebe Add-On Morning as above. Please read the details carefully. You will need to wade at least mid-thigh deep with your tripod over an uneven bottom. Lightweight chest waders are advised. Long lenses are needed; a 100-400 will not cut it at this spot, even with a TC. Chances at this location (easily accessible from the IPT hotel), vary from day to day so there will be no guarantees. But when those grebes dance, it can be an amazing rush. We may also enjoy chances to photograph both species, Western and Clarke’s Grebes, at fairly close range.

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 :).

12 comments to Click White Balance. And Gull Feeding Questions — ethical or not?

  • Hey Arthur, Nice frame love that spray in the background. I prefer the second image. The specular highlights stand out much more. I’m going with everybody else about the bill and the leg.

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Hi Artie,
    right below the bird there are some tiny droplets of water or perhaps the bird went to the bathroom?

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I agree with Marvin T. Smith; the only thing I can see that could possibly bug me would be the way the bird’s right leg seems to be an extension of its bill. But it doesn’t bug me! I also love the spray. As for the color, it’s one of those things I wouldn’t notice if you hadn’t pointed it out, and I don’t have a preference.

    On the ethics question, I always start from the premise that anything we do as photographers to alter a bird’s behavior is unethical, and work backwards from there. Does it actually hurt the bird at all? Is the alteration of behavior so trivially small as not to be worth thinking about? Is the species threatened or endangered? Can I help protect the species by making a spectacular image? Does the benefit of the image to me outweigh, in my judgment, any potential or actual harm to the bird? My specific answer to your question is that I wouldn’t throw bread to any wild bird but I might throw fish to a seabird or more appropriate food to a land bird. I really like your image in any case.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi David,

      re: My specific answer to your question is that I wouldn’t throw bread to any wild bird but I might throw fish to a seabird or more appropriate food to a land bird.

      That is a mighty fine line …

      with love, artie

  • avatar Jim Crane

    Artie, looks like the bird’s head is wrong. Maybe from England.

  • avatar Guido Bee

    I’m with Marvin on the bill / leg alignment.
    Great shots. Feeding / baiting with wheat bread seems OK if acknowledged.
    I know plenty of folks disagree with any feeding.
    Glad you’re back safe. Be well.
    Off to Katmai bear boating for a week and then Denali. Hope to not be feeding bears…
    All the best.

  • avatar Marvin T. Smith

    The leg lining up with the bill?