Sun Angle, Sun Angle, Sun Angle. I Root for the Predators. And Today’s Understanding Photography Podcast! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Sun Angle, Sun Angle, Sun Angle. I Root for the Predators. And Today's Understanding Photography Podcast!

Understanding Photography Podcast Today, Friday August 9, 2018! from Naples, FL

From the lovely and irrepressible Peggy Farren’s Understanding Photography FaceBook page:

This Friday, August 10 at 4 pm EDT – the fabulous Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART will be the guest on our 100th episode of The Understand Photography Show! Get your questions ready as this will be a live question and answer show! With prizes! Be sure to comment or ask questions over on the Understand Photography page while watching the show to enter!

Also, we are selecting a very small studio audience. If you’d like to attend the live show, shoot me an email asap to peggy@understandphotography.com.

From Me

On the podcast we will be talking in depth about my switch from Canon and Nikon, the pros and cons of each system for bird photographers, the best tripod head for bird photography, and the most common mistakes made by bird photographers. And lots more.

ps: you can scroll down on the FB page to see the first episode that I did with Peggy.

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. If you would like to learn how to photograph the skimmers at Nickerson Beach, do consider joining me.

Skimmer Sessions

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): 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.

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.

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 a Wimberley V-2 WH-200 Gimbal Head in very good condition for a ridiculously low $299.00 and a Gitzo GT3532LS Carbon Fiber tripod in good condition for only $249.00, both in early August.
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.

Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS HSM Lens (for Canon EF mount)

Ron Gates is offering a Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS (optical stabilization) HSM Lens (for Canon EF mount) in excellent plus condition (with a smudge on the lens hood) and a Wimberley P-20 plate for the bargain price of $449. The sale includes the front and back lens covers, the Wimberley P-20 plate (a $58 value), the carrying case, and insured ground shipping via major courier. Your lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Ron via e-mail or by phone at 972-890-4105 (Central time.)

I have seen lots of sharp images made with a variety of Sigma telephoto zoom lenses; Ron’s lens would be great for someone looking for an inexpensive quality telephoto zoom. artie

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

Price dropped $749 on 8 AUG 2018!

Mansoor Assadi is offering a barely used Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in mint condition for the astounding BIRDS AS ART record-low price of $6999.00 (was $7748.00). 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 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 a very significant 3000 bucks by grabbing Mansoor’s lens right now. artie

Price Drop!

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

Price Reduced $200 on August 10, 2018.

Todd Koudelka is also offering a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in near-mint condition (but for a few tiny, barely visible scratches) for the BAA record-low-by-far of $2249.00 (was $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 (Central time)

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

Great Buy!

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Todd Koudelka is offering a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (“the “old five”) in very good plus condition for the BAA record-low price of $3199.00. The lens which -functions perfectly — would be excellent but for the fact that Todd used camo tape rather than a LensCoat and when he removed the tape he pulled off some paint. He did paint over the area with the correct Canon paint. The sale includes the lens trunk with key, the rear cap, the front lens cover, the lens strap, 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 (Central time).

The 500mm f/4 lenses have been the world’s most popular telephoto lenses for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. I owned and used and loved my “old five” for many years. If you don’t have the cash for a 500 II and can handle the additional 1 1/2 pounds, then this is your best super-telephoto option. Most everyone can produce sharp images with this lens and a 1.4X TC. Folks with good to excellent sharpness techniques can do the same with a 2X TC. With the new 500 II selling for $8,999 you can save a bundle by grabbing Todd’s lens at this record-low BAA price. artie

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 has a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and an AF-S 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR lens in stock! E-mail Steve about a special deal on either big Nikon lens. The 180-400, 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.

Great-Black-backed-Gull----juvenile-w-skimmer-wing--_T0A3214-Nickerson-Beach,-LI,-NY

This image was created on Juy 20, 2016 at Nickerson Beach, Long Island, NY with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the mega-mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/4.5 in Manual mode. AWB at 6:44pm on a sunny afternoon.

Center AF point/AI Servo (C in Nikon)/Shutter button/Expand AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the bird’s lower mandible.

AF micro-adjustment: fine-tune: -2. See the The LensAlign/FocusTune Micro-Adjusting Tutorial e-Guide here.

Image #1: Great Black-backed Gull, worn juvenile snacking on skimmer wing

Sun Angle, Sun Angle, Sun Angle

Notice that with both of todays featured images I was working almost exactly right down sun angle; do as I say and do as I preach. I will be talking about the most common mistakes made by bird photographers on the podcast; working well of sun angle is #1 by far …. By working on sun angle your subject will be evenly lit and you will minimize the shadows cast by the subject on itself.

The Canon EOS 5DS R

Two Canon EOS 5DS R bodies served admirably as my workhorse camera bodies for more than a year. Sharp image files from a 5DS R body produced almost incomparable fine feather detail …

Great-Black-backed-Gulll-juvenile-swallowing-young-Common-Tern-_T0A3875-Nickerson-Beach,-LI,-NY

This image was created on August 20, 2016 at Nickerson Beach, Long Island, NY with the 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 mega-mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/6.5 in Manual mode (should have been +1 stop). AWB at 5:21pm on a partly sunny afternoon.

One row down and two to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo (C in Nikon)/Shutter button/Expand AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the gull’s neck.

AF micro-adjustment: fine-tune: +2. See the The LensAlign/FocusTune Micro-Adjusting Tutorial e-Guide here.

Image #2: Great Black-backed Gull (2nd yr? or 1st summer?) trying to swallow large Common Tern chick

I Root For the Predators

Gulls gotta eat too. And falcons and shrikes. I have no problem at all photographing successful predators devouring their prey. In late July the young of the year Great Black-backed Gulls prey on tern chicks and adult skimmers. At the West Pond at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge I once saw an adult black-backed walk up to a sleeping skimmer, grab it, and break its neck with one hard shake. And at Montauk, Long Island I saw a single adult Great Black-backed Gull grab a Surf Scoter and hold it underwater. It drowned after 15 minutes and several other gulls joined in to rip the hapless and now dead duck apart.

In mid- to late August it is not uncommon to see either the black-backs or the Herring Gulls chowing down on both fledged and unfledged Black Skimmers. I hope that you can join me for a day at Nickerson. (See the schedule above.)

Your Favorite?

Which of today’s featured images do you find most interesting? Why?

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.

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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 :).

4 comments to Sun Angle, Sun Angle, Sun Angle. I Root for the Predators. And Today’s Understanding Photography Podcast!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. You have taught me many things about photography but I’m confident that the lesson I apply most often is the one about sun angle. Thank you. I think I prefer the first image, but it’s not clear what the gull has in its mouth (or wasn’t until you explained). I have no trouble photographing successful predators but I sometimes have trouble LOOKING at the images for long periods. Yes, nature is red in tooth and claw but I don’t always enjoy watching.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks David. Taking a second look it might be a shorebird wing as it looks too small for a skimmer …

      with love, artie

  • Hi Artie

    This is not a comercial Image, I learnt many years ago human beings don’t like the truth

    that birds often each other. That being said its a good illustration of what they do in the wild

    you ether love it or hate it, I respect it.

    Best and love
    Ken Lewis
    UK

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Ken,

      I am not quite sure what you mean by a commercial image as it is so, so difficult to sell a natural history image today. But if someone needs a photo depicting gull predation for a text book or an article, they will pay for what they need, as always 🙂

      with love, arite