Bempton Cliffs Part VI: What To Do With Wind Against Sun Flight Conditions … And Ageing Gannets « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Bempton Cliffs Part VI: What To Do With Wind Against Sun Flight Conditions ... And Ageing Gannets

Stuff

On Monday afternoon I spotted a Walking Stick on the pool cage. Closer inspection showed that there was a small male atop what I assumed to be the much larger (about five inches in length) female. I corralled them onto a stick, set the stick up with a Plamp in the shade along the west side of my home, photographed the insects, and then released them unharmed. The full story will be posted here soon and include the technique, the gear, and the best image.

Both Fall Fort DeSoto IPTs are wide open — scroll down for more info. Please note that there have been no red tide problems at DeSoto or anywhere north of Bradenton. Details for the 2019 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT will be announced here soon. We will be visiting Seahouses for the puffins and other seabirds and both Bempton Cliffs and Dunbar (two boat trips) for the gannets. If you are interested in the pre-publication details, please shoot me an e-mail. Limit: 10 photographers.

Airbnb

Airbnb

For the past few months, I have been hearing folks use the word Airbnb, most notably, Amy Novotny. Out of curiosity I asked a few questions. What I learned amazed me. Join Airbnb and become part of a community that connects global travelers with local hosts across the world. Find a place to stay and discover things to do. Airbnb lists more than 4.5 million homes across 200 countries; you’ll find spacious, affordable options for every occasion. With Airbnb you will travel with confidence as reviews from past guests help you find the right fit. Once you do, our secure messaging makes it easy to coordinate with your host. And Airbnb support teams are available 24/7. Last night I made a reservation for an Airbnb apartment for my upcoming January San Diego visit: 13 nights with a full kitchen and two bedrooms.

Yikes. I almost forgot the best part: Airbnb rates average less than half of even the least expensive chain hotels and motels. If you would like to save $40 on your first booking sign up by using this link: Airbnb. Airbnb does charge clean-up and service fees that make short stays less attractive bargains than long stays.

Those who prefer to stay in a motel or hotel are invited to use the Booking.com link below to save $25.00.

Booking.Com

Several folks on the UK IPT used the Booking.Com link below for their 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.

News on the Galapagos Front/Limit 12/Openings: 3

Right now I have nine folks committed to the 2019 Galapagos Photo Cruise. A friend who had committed to the trip learned that he and his wife might not be able to attend. Thus, I have room for a couple or for two same-sex roommates, and for a male single. If the archipelago is on your bucket list, please get in touch via e-mail asap with questions. If you might be registering with a friend or a spouse do ask about the two at a time discount. See the complete details here.

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.

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 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.

Used Gear Page News

After a month or so in the summer doldrums, sales on the Used Gear page have been red hot for the past two weeks:

I sold my Canon 1.4X III teleconverter for $329.00 in early September before listing it.
Amy Novotny’s Nikon TC-E-20 (teleconverter) sold the first day it was listed in early September for $249.00.
Richard Gollar sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS (the original IS model, the “old five”) in near-mint condition for $3399.00 in early September.
I sold my Canon 100-400 L IS II in very good plus (almost excellent) condition and in perfect working order for $1399.00 in late August.
Anthony Ardito sold a Canon EOS-1DX Mark II body (with extras) in like-new condition (less than 41,000 actuations)for $3,999.00 in late August.
Roger Williams sold a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS II USM lens in like-new condition (but for a single faint scratch on the front element)for the “it’s-your-lucky-day” price of only $899.00 a week after it was listed.
Dane Johnson sold a Canon EOS 40D kit with the body converted to Deep Infrared by Life Pixel in near-mint condition for $549.00 in August, 2918 on the first day it was listed.
Jamie Baker sold his Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III in near-mint condition for $299.00 in late August.
John Lowin sold a (men’s extra large) Xtrahand Magnum vest by Vested Interest for $229.00 within a day or two of listing it in late August, 2018.
Anthony Ardito sold his Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM lens in like-new condition for BAA record-low by far price of $449.00, his Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for $1,499.00, his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for $1,099.00, his Canon Speedlite (flash) 600EX-RT flash in like-new condition for $399.00, his Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 lens (for Canon mount) in near-mint condition for $250.00, and his Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon EF mount in like new condition for $399.00, all with a day or two of their being listed.
Pierre Williot sold his Canon EOS-1DX Mark II in mint condition with less than 75,000 actuations (rated to 400,000) for $4,199.00 in late August.
Todd Koudelka sold his 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.
Pierre Williot sold his canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM lens (the original 600 IS) in very good to excellent condition for $3999.00 in mid-August.
Todd Koudelka sold 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) in early August.
Ron Gates requested that the listing for his Canon 70-200mm lens be removed and kindly sent me a check for 4% of the original asking price.
Julie Brown sold her Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens (the original version) in excellent condition for $2099 in early August.

You can see all the listings here.

Insane Price Drop!

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 (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

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. Steve currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.

Via e-mail from Anthony Ardito

FYI, I got a D850 & a 200-500 from Bedfords using your BIRDSASART code at checkout. Plus, Steve Elkins gave me a discount and some nice XQD freebies. I have to thank you for that!

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.

Northern-Gannet-braking-rear-view-_MAI8973-Bempton-Cliffs,-UK

This image was created on June 30, 2018 at Bempton Cliffs, UK with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and my souped up Nikon D850. ISO 400: 1/5000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode (is the equivalent of 1/2500 sec. at f/9, the standard super-bright white in full sun ISO 400 exposure). Natural Auto WB at 5:18pm on an absolutely clear afternoon.

Center group (grp) Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The lower point in the array was centered on the bird’s back; again, that is about as good as I can do.

Phase detection AF Fine-tune value: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Image #2: Northern Gannet — sub-adult braking to land, rear view, Bempton Cliffs, England, UK
Image copyright 2018: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

What To Do With Wind Against Sun Flight …

As mentioned here very often, things are tough when you encounter wind against sun conditions. On the afternoon of June 30 we had clear blue skies, the sun heading down on the northwest, and a brisk southeast wind. What do to? One option is to be on the lookout for banking birds like the gannet featured in the Bempton Cliffs Part V: Northern Gannet Top Shots with Blue Water Backgrounds, a Dime a Dozen blog post here.

On rare occasion, I may attempt to make some images of birds landing directly away from me and that is just what I did that afternoon. I tried to make images from the rear with the wings fully spread and both feet in full view. I had first noticed the feet while reviewing images on rear LCD.

If the forecast 100% calls for wind against sun, you might opt to stay home or in the hotel room. In many cases, you will come to regret that decision as I have done on many occasions …

Northern-Gannet-immature-braking-in-flight-_MAI8978-Bempton-Cliffs,-UK

This image was created on June 30, 2018 at Bempton Cliffs, UK with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and my souped up Nikon D850. ISO 400: 1/5000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode (again, the equivalent of 1/2500 sec. at f/9, the standard super-bright white in full sun ISO 400 exposure). Natural Auto WB at 5:21pm on an absolutely clear afternoon.

Center group (grp) Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The lower point in the array was on the base of the bird’s left wing as originally framed. This is a small crop to 3X2 from the the left and from above.

Phase detection AF Fine-tune value: +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Northern Gannet — immature braking to land, rear view, Bempton Cliffs, England, UK
Image copyright 2018: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Ageing Gannets

When attempting these rear braking shots, it was fairly obvious that the younger gannets with variegated black markings on their wings and backs would make really interesting subjects. It takes 5 years for the gannets to achieve their almost all-white adult plumage; the bird in Image #1 is in its fourth year — note the black markings on the secondary feathers and the single black rectrice (tail feather). Above, Image #2, is a 2nd year bird. The wings and backs of first year birds appear completely brown.

Choice of BLUE

Do you like the tone of the BLUE ocean best in Image #1 or in Image #2? Why?

Your Favorite/Multiple Choice

Which of today’s featured images is your favorite?

A- I like Image #1 best because …
B- I like Image #2 best because …
C- I do not like either image because …
D- I like them both because …


desoto-fall-card-b

Fort DeSoto in fall is rife with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or very early October. I hope that you can join me there this September. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Clockwise from upper left to center: Long-billed Curlew, Marbled Godwit, Caspian Tern, Great Egret, Sandwich Tern with fish, Willet, Black-bellied Plover threat display, Snowy Egret, 2-year old Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron, juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron.

The 2018 Fort DeSoto Fall Weekend IPT/September 23-24, 2018: 2 FULL DAYS: $949. Limit 8/Openings 7.

If you would like to combine the above with the 3 1/2 Fall Fort DeSoto IPT, please e-mail for the substantial discount information.

Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for migrant shorebirds and terns in fall. There they join hundreds of egrets, herons, night-herons, and gulls that winter on the T-shaped peninsula. With luck, we may get to photograph two of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit and the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher almost guaranteed. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, and White Ibis are easy as well and we will almost surely come up with a tame Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or two. We may very well get to see and photograph the amazing heron/egret hybrid that has been present for three year. And we should get to do some Brown Pelican flight photography. In addition, Royal, Sandwich, Forster’s, and Caspian Terns will likely provide us with some good flight opportunities as well. Though not guaranteed, Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork might well be expected. And we will be on the lookout for a migrant passerine fallout in the event of a thunderstorm or two.

On the IPT you will learn basics and fine points of digital exposure and to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. Most importantly you will surely learn to evaluate wind and sky conditions and understand how they affect bird photography. And you will learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

There will be a Photoshop/image review session after lunch (included) each day. That will be followed by Instructor Nap Time.

This IPT will run with only a single registrant (though that is not likely to happen). The best airport is Tampa (TPA). Once you register, you will receive an e-mail with the hotel information. Do know that it is always best if IPT folks stay in the same hotel (rather than at home or at a friend’s place).

Payment in full is due now. Credits cards are OK. You can register by calling Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand or by sending a check as follows: make the check out to: BIRDS AS ART and send it via US mail here: BIRDS AS ART, PO BOX 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions, clothing, and gear advice. Please remember that we will meet early on Saturday morning. Please shoot me an e-mail if you plan to register or if you have any questions.


desoto-fall-card-a-layers

Obviously folks attending the IPT will be out in the field early and stay late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. The good news is that the days are relatively short in late September. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Clockwise from upper left to center: Long-billed Curlew, juvenile Tricolored Heron, Marbled Godwits, Great Blue Heron, juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper, Wood Stork, smiling Sea Scallop, Ruddy Turnstone scavenging needlefish, Great Blue Heron sunset silhouette at my secret spot, and southbound migrant tern flock blur.

Early and Late

Getting up early and staying out late is pretty much a staple on all BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours. Being in the field well before the sun comes up and staying out until sunset will often present unique photographic opportunities, opportunities that will be missed by those who need their beauty rest. I really love it when I am leaving the beach at 9:30am on a sunny morning after a great session just as a carful or two of well-rested photographers are arriving ….

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 :).

4 comments to Bempton Cliffs Part VI: What To Do With Wind Against Sun Flight Conditions … And Ageing Gannets

  • avatar David Barber

    I like the colors in the first image better. The blue is ‘cleaner’ by which I mean it is not so mottled. I like the fact that you can see the feet more clearly because they are black in contrast to the white bird. In the second image, you have to look hard to find the left foot. And I like the way the white bird stands out against the blue background.

    But I like everything else about the second image better. You can see the head which adds a bit more color to the image. I much prefer the upturned wings to the straighter wings in image one. I also like the slight twist of the tail in image two. It adds a bit more interest for me even as it obscures the left foot a bit. I even like the way the wind is ruffling the feathers in image two.

  • avatar Jake Levin

    The second image is definitely my favourite. There is more colour variation on the bird, and you can see the back of the head and the yellow mask. Not a bad result when the wind has all the birds shooting the moon your way!

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