Shut the Door! Plus Answers and Opinions (and lots of learning …) « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Shut the Door! Plus Answers and Opinions (and lots of learning ...)

Stuff

The left knee continues to feel a bit better each day. The daily rains and thunderstorms continue. Amy and I fly to Memphis today for the 2018 Memphis Photo Expo.

Three folks have sent deposit checks for the 2019 Galapagos Photo Cruise of a Lifetime. We need seven more folks in the next few months for the trip to go. Click here and scroll down a bit for the details.

Long Island Small Group Instruction

I will be returning to my old haunts on Long Island from 15-27 August, prime time for bird photography. The schedules below may be expanded based on demand.

Skimmer Sessions/New Expanded Scehdule

Join me at Nickerson Beach to photograph Black Skimmers and lots more. Gull predation of young skimmers is likely. With full frame bodies, a minimum of a 500mm lens with TCs is recommended. 400mm OK with crop factor bodies.

Skimmer Morning: Thursday, AUG 16, 2018. 5:30 – 9:00am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.
Skimmer Morning: Friday AUG, 17, 2018. 5:30 – 9:00am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.
Skimmer Morning: Wednesday, AUG, 22, 2018. 5:30 – 9:00am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4.

Skimmer Afternoon (usually best for flight): Thursday, AUG 16, 2018. 5:00pm till sunset: $250/session. Limit 4.
Skimmer Afternoon (usually best for flight): Friday, AUG 17, 2018. 5:00pm till sunset: $250/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.
Skimmer Afternoon (usually best for flight): Tuesday AUG 21, 2018. 5:00pm till sunset: $250/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.
Skimmer Afternoon (usually best for flight): Wednesday AUG 22, 2018. 5:00pm till sunset: $250/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.

Please inquire e-mail for multiple session discounts.

To register, please call Jim or Jen with your credit card in hand: 863-692-0906. I hope that you can join me.

Shorebird Sessions

Join me at the East Pond at Jamaica Bay WR on the ideal tides to photograph southbound migrant juvenile shorebirds. With full frame bodies, a minimum of a 500mm lens with TCs is recommended. 400mm OK with crop factor bodies.

Important note: The Shorebird Mornings are dependent on suitable water levels at the East Pond. If the pond is flooded, the sessions will be conducted at Nickerson Beach.

JBWR Shorebird Morning: Friday, AUG 24, 2018. 6:00 – 9:30am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.

JBWR Shorebird Morning: Saturday, AUG 25, 2018. 6:00 – 9:30am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.

Please inquire via e-mail for multiple session discounts.

To register, please call Jim or Jen with your credit card in hand: 863-692-0906. I hope that you can join 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 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

IPT veteran Bill Wingfield sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens in excellent to near-mint condition for $1049.00 in late July 2018.
Pierre Williot sold his Canon EOS 5DS R in like-new condition for the BAA record-low-by-far price of $1999.00 (was $2399.00).
Carolyn Peterson sold a Canon GPS receiver GP-E2 for EOS camera bodies in near-mint condition for $149 in mid-July.
BAA-friend “Bug” Bob Allen sold a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Zoom lens in excellent condition for the a BAA record low price of $527.00 in mid-July.
NANPA President Don Carter sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens in excellent condition for the BAA record-low-by-far price of $525 the first day it was listed. Yours truly sold his like-new Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens for $699 in late June.
Ray Maynard sold his Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens (the original version) in near-mint condition for the BIRDS AS ART record-low price of $2349.000 and a Canon 2X III teleconverter in near-mint condition for $285.00 both in mid-July.

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Pierre Williot

I would encourage anyone who wants to sell some of their photographic equipment to contact Art. High-end photographic equipment can be difficult to sell. Art, with is widely read daily posts, will allow you to sell your equipment fairly easily for a reasonable price and commission. Please, seriously consider the price that he suggests as <em>it can be hard to face the reality of the actual value of well loved equipment! Art is well aware of the current market for second-hand photographic equipment.

New Listings

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Todd Koudelka is offering a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in near-mint condition (but for a few tiny, barely visible scratches) for $2449.00. The body has less than 7,000 shutter actuations. The sale includes the front body cap, the lens strap, the original battery and charger, the USB cord, the two CDs, the manual, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Todd e-mail or by phone at 1-608-577-5375 — 7:00- 9:00 Central time only.

What can I say. The 5D IV was my favorite-ever Canon dSLR. Fabulous image files and an excellent AF system. I owned and use three of them while my 1DX II sat on the shelf in my garage for two years. If you have been dreaming of a 5D IV, grab Todd’s practically new copy asap. The 5D IV currently sells new for $3099.00 so you will be saving a cool $650. artie

Price Reductions

Wimberley V-2 Tripod Head

Price Reduced $100 on July 31, 2018.

Bill Wingfield is offering a Wimberley V-2 WH-200 Gimbal Head in very good condition and perfect working order for a ridiculously low $299.00 (was $399.00). The sale includes insured ground shipping too US addresses. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Bill via e-mail or by phone at 1-843-729-6670 (Eastern time zone).

Gitzo GT3532LS Carbon Fiber tripod

Price Reduced $50 on July 31, 2018.

Bill Wingfield is also offering a Gitzo GT3532LS Carbon Fiber tripod in good condition for $249.00 (was $299.00). The sale includes insured ground shipping too US addresses. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Bill via e-mail or by phone at 1-843-729-6670 (Eastern time zone).

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!

Hard to Find Nikon Stuff Available Now

Steve Elkins has several Nikon D850s in stock right now. In addition, he just received a Nikkor AF-S 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR Lens! E-mail Steve about a special deal on the big Nikon zoom lens that — like its Canon counterpart, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM with Internal Extender 1.4x lens — is especially great for trips to Africa, the Southern Ocean, or the Galapagos.



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.

Shut the Door!

Remember, be careful out there …

When you remove your flash card and the battery from your camera be absolutely sure to close the compartment doors firmly. If you accidentally leave either door ajar, only bad things can happen. In the past few months, two friends, one Canon and one Nikon, inadvertently left the battery chamber door open after removing the battery and then accidentally whacked the camera and ripped off the door. In both cases, repairs were time-consuming and relatively expensive. Remember: be careful out there … That was the trademark phrase of Sergeant Phil Esterhaus (played by Michael Conrad — 1925–1983) on Hill Street Blues.

Boat-tailed-Grackle-immature-with-immature-Anhinga-_BUP3277Indian-Lake-Estates,-FL

This image was created on July 23 at Indian Lake Estates with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and my back-up Nikon D850. ISO 1600. Matrix metering +1 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3 in S mode( Shutter priority in Canon). NATURAL AUTO WB at 6:09pm late on a cloudy, drizzly afternoon.

Single AF point one below and two to the left of the center AF point (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the face of the grackle right below and on the same plane as the eye.

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

Image #2: Boat-tailed Grackle, immature with immature Anhinga on railing

Why the Careful Choice of Perspective?

In the recent Soup From a Storm: Part II. A Creative Choice of Perspective … blog post here, I posted:

Careful Choice of Perspective

Once I had the concept in mind, why was it vitally important that I choose my perspective precisely?

Stu gave the perfect answer when he wrote on July 31, 2018 at 2:33 pm:

The head and beak of the bird in the foreground need to be within the shape of the body of the bird in the background — not protruding from the shape of the bird in the background. That is why you needed to precisely choose your perspective, in my humble opinion.

plant-growing-on-piling-in-water---W-O-SKY-REFLECTIONS-_BUP3306Indian-Lake-Estates,-FL

This image was created on July 25 at Indian Lake Estates with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens (at 155mm) and my back-up Nikon D850. ISO 6400. Matrix metering at zero: 1/160 sec. at f/8. NATURAL AUTO WB at 7:50pm just after sunset (I believe).

D-25/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon)/Shutter button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the leaf that intersected with the top of the piling.

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

Image #2: Plant growing on pier piling with sky reflections removed and the water darkened

Your Choice? Nobody cared …

In the recent Tenacity. Simplicity. blog post here, I posted:

Your Favorite?

Which of today’s two featured images do you like best, Image # 1 or Image #2? Be sure to let us know why.

Since there was not a single comment on that post — did anyone see it? — here are my thoughts. I far preferred the simpler cleaner look of Image #2 above. I have been thinking of moving the remaining reflection well down and a bit to the right for better compositional balance.

BTW, If you can identify the plant in the photo, please leave a comment.

Blue-footed Retrospective Questions, Answers, and Opinions

In the Blue-footed Retrospective … post here, I asked lots of questions and got very few answers. The question that went with Image #9 (immediately below) stumped everyone …

Blue-footed-Boobies-diving-PHOTO-ILLUSTRATIION-one-bird-added--_Y9C7660--Punta-Vincente-Roca,-Isabella,-Galapagos

This image was created on the 2010 Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime. I used the hand held Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens (at 70mm) with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/30 sec. at f/20 in Tv mode. AWB on a cloudy morning.

Image #9: Blue-footed Boobies diving during feeding spree/blur

What was my big error with Image #9?

Study the EXIF and let us know what you think was the big error in my choice of settings with Image #9.

No one came close. When you are photographing blurs you do not want to work at small apertures. At f/20 there was much too much background detail brought up and in addition, dust spots were a major problem (because of the small aperture). ISO 500 was the big error. All that I needed to do was lower the ISO to 100. That would have resulted in a much wider aperture, a smoother background, and the elimination of nearly all of the dust spots.

If you care to do the math and figure out the aperture at ISO 100, please leave a comment.

A Guide to Pleasing Blurs

The principle discussed above (use low ISOs for blurs) is hammered home in A Guide to Pleasing Blurs by Denise Ippolito and yours truly. This 20,585 word, 271 page PDF is illustrated with 144 different, exciting, and artistic images. The guide covers the basics and the very fine points of creating pleasingly blurred images, the factors that influence the degree of blurring, the use of filters in creating pleasing blurs, and a great variety of both in-the-field and Photoshop techniques that can be used to create pleasingly blurred images.

Blue-footed-Booby-large-chick-_P3A9956--North-Seymour-Island,-Galapagos,-Ecuador

This image was created on the 2017 Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime with the hand held Canon 100-400mm L IS II zoom lens, the 1.4X III TC, and the EOS-5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/11 in Manual mode on a sunny morning.

Image #10: Blue-footed Booby chick/head portrait

TC Question

Why did I have the TC mounted on the 100-400 II if I wound up at only 358mm?

If I had known that I was gonna be fine at 358mm, it would have been best to remove the TC. But … I had the TC in place in case I needed a longer focal length once I got on the ground. It is a lot easier to zoom out than it is to add or remove a teleconverter. You add the TC in advance so that you have the potential to go longer if need be.

Blue-footed-Booby-with-two-chicks-in-nest-_A1C1415--Isla-Lobos,-Galapagos

This image was created on the 2013 Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime. I used the tripod/Mongoose mounted Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS with Internal TC (at 274mm) and the EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/125 sec. at f/6.3. AWB on a cloudy morning.

Image #5: Blue-footed Booby adult brooding two chicks

Bokeh Question

Bokeh refers to the quality of an out-of-focus background. Which of today’s images has the worst Bokeh?

Take a look at the upper left corner of Image #5 and you will see an example of horrific Bokeh.

Blue-footed-Booby-dancing-on-path--_W3C4702--North-Seymour,-Galapagos,-Ecuador

This image was created on the 2011 Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime IPT with the hand held Canon 100-400mm L IS lens (the much-maligned original version) and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/5.6 in Av mode on a sunny morning.

Image #1: Blue-footed Booby dancing

Image Clean-up Question

In which image did I do the most background clean-up?

Image #1 required a ton of image clean-up. You might have known that booby nesting and courting locations are slathered with whitewash …

Blue-footed-Booby-eggs-and-feet-_T9J1293-Suarez-Point,-Hood-Island,-Espanola,-Galapagos-I

This image was created on the 2005 (yes, 2005!) Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens (the original IS version) at 145mm and the EOS-1D Mark II. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/100 sec. at f/8 in Av mode late on a very cloudy morning.

Image #2: Blue-footed Booby eggs in nest

…..

Blue-footed-Booby-BILL-REPAIR-diving-against-mangroves-_W5A3555-Elizabeth-Bay,-Isabela,-Galapagos

This image was created on the 2017 Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime with the hand held Canon 400mm f/4L IS II DO lens and the EOS-5D Mark IV. ISO 2500. Evaluative metering +1 stop off the gray sky: 1/3200 sec. at f/4.5 in Manual mode.

Image #3: Blue-footed Booby diving

Your Favorite?

Which of today’s ten featured images do you like best?

Though I really love many of the image, my two favorites — it was a really difficult choice — are Images #2 and #3. And Image #10 is right up there. Number two because of the soft light, the sand, the eggs, and remembering how happy I was that I did not clip the feet! Number three because it was so, so difficult to make sharp flight images against backgrounds other than sky with my Canon gear. As a substantial crop, this one also reminds me of the superb image quality of a sharp 5D Mark IV file.

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 :).

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