BPN Avian Mods are Killing It … You be the contest judge. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

BPN Avian Mods are Killing It ... You be the contest judge.


I will be away for almost a month while leading the 2018/2019 Falklands land-based IPT. I should be back in the office (and back in the pool) on the afternoon of Monday, January 14, 2019. Happy new year! I should have good internet access until Friday December 21 and then again on the weekend of January 12/13. I will surely not be online from December 23-27 and then again from January 4-7. I may or may not have limited internet access at other times.

Jim and Jen will be in the office weekdays to help you with your online orders and with IPT registrations.

I was thrilled recently to learn that first-timer Shonagh Adelman of Chattanooga, TN signed up for the 2019 Puffins and Gannets and Red Kites IPT. As he is the first registrant, we need three more for the trip to go. I am counting on it and hope for a sellout with ten plus the two leaders; there are lots of puffins and gannets. πŸ™‚

I still need three or four folks for the Galapagos trip. If you would like to explore the possibilities, please get in touch via e-mail. No reasonable offer will be turned down.

BIRDS AS ART B&H Essential Gear Bags

BIRDS AS ART B&H Essential Gear Bags

Click here or on the logo-link above to check out some great B&H year-end deals in the category that best suits you and your photography.

The iPhone Photography e-Guide

If you missed the long-awaited announcement yesterday, click here to learn about Cliff Oliver’s great new iPhone e-Guide. To order your copy of the The iPhone Photography e-Guide, please click here. The PDF is sent link by e-mail for downloading: the file is relatively huge at 216 MB.

  • 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: 4) Introductory Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the evening before the IPT begins: THURS, 6 DEC.
  • The 2019 Hooptie Deux/Roseate Spoonbill Boat 3 1/2 DAY IPT — FEB 16 thru 19, 2019: $2599.00. Limit: 5 photographers/Openings: 2.
  • The New, Expanded 2019 UK Puffins, Gannets, & Red Kites IPT. Thursday June 27 (from EDI) through Tuesday, July 9, 2019 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 10.): $9,999. Limit 10 photographers/Openings: 9. This trip needs four to run. Co-leader: Peter Kes.
  • The GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 23 to August 6, 2019 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $14,499. Limit: 12 photographers/Openings: 4.


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    BPN Mods

    Among the BirdPhotographers.Net Avian moderators are some of the very best bird photographers in the world. In today’s blog post, enjoy some of their best work. And let us know which of the three featured images would win your bird photography contest. In addition, be sure to check out the fine work of some of our other Avian mods including David Salem and Randy Stout.

    If you click on the links to each of today’s featured images and read the comments you will realize two things:

    1- More than anything, BPN is a community of friends with similar interests.

    2- BPN is a place to get honest critiques done gently.

    If you surf around a bit you might enjoy some of the other Forums and the same sense of community that is present in each of them. My BPN streak is still alive: I have commented on every image posted in the Avian Forum since August 8, 2018. That despite being away for three weeks on the Emperor Penguin expedition. It did take me a while to catch up on those images!

    This image was created by BPN Avian moderator Stu Bowie. He used the hand held Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens,
    the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the EOS 1D Mark IV (now replaced by the rugged, blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II.) ISO 800. 1/2500 sec. at f/6.3.

    Incoming Grey Heron/Photo courtesy of and copyright 2018: Stu Bowie
    This is my reposed version of the image that Stu posted on BPN — link below

    Click on the image to see a larger version.

    Stu Bowie/Grey Heron

    You can check out Stu’s original post (and image) in the BPN thread here. Which version do you like best? Stu lives in Centurion, South Africa.

    This image was created by BPN Avian moderator Isaac Grant. He used a tripod-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the rugged, blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. See the BPN post here. for additional details and the comments of others.

    First-winter Dunlin
    Photo courtesy of and copyright 2018: Isaac Grant

    Click on the image to see the larger version.

    Isaac Grant/First-winter Dunlin

    Here is what I had to say about this wonderful image:

    Killer, killer bird and image; everything is perfect. Ditto all other positive comments here. Can you age it?

    What can I say? I love shorebirds. I love soft light. I love low perspectives. I love perfect poses, head angles, and image designs.

    You can see what others had to say here.

    This image was created by BPN Avian super-moderator Dan Cadieux. He used the hand held Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the often maligned Canon EOS 7D Mark II. See the BPN post here. for additional details and comments from the peanut gallery.

    Female Pine Grosbeak
    Photo courtesy of and copyright 2018: Daniel Cadieux

    Click on the image to see the larger version.

    Dan Cadieux/female Pine Grosbeak eating crab apples

    Here is what I had to say about this wonderful image:

    Though the males rock and the male that you posted was outstanding, this one is beyond the beyond amazing. Too bad that ISO 1600 and the 7D Mark II suck. Not in your hands!

    I’d add that the soft light and the impeccable framing put this one way over the top for me.

    You can read the rest of the accolades here.

    This image was created by long-time BPN Avian moderator with the hand held (yes, hand held) Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR AF lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the Nikon D850. See the BPN post here. for additional details and comments by BPN members and some of our other great Avian Mods.

    White-tailed Kite midair interaction
    Photo courtesy of and copyright 2018: Arash Hazeghi

    Click on the image to see the larger version.

    Arash Hazeghi/White-tailed Kite midair interaction

    Here is what I had to say about this wonderful image on BPN:

    Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! Center Group (grp) AF Area Mode?

    (The answer to my question was “yes, and then a crop.” That is what I figgered. πŸ™‚

    Arash swears that the Nikon D5 is better than the D850 for Af and flight photography but when he posts images like this made with the D850 I like to bust him on that. See what the rest of the gang had to say here.

    You Be the Contest Judge

    Which of today’s four featured images would you put in first place?

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    8 comments to BPN Avian Mods are Killing It … You be the contest judge.

    • avatar Joe Subolefsky

      If I could make one of them mine it would be Stu’s heron. I like everything about it the head angle,the wing position but the open mouth puts it over the top for me.

    • Smile at ’email all. 1) Kites 2) Grey Heron. Beauties one and all!

    • avatar Jay

      I like the grey heron (and actually, the original shot on BPN). The bird’s crest and facial expression is great. I also like the tree/shrub in focus, which is lost on the version posted here. My second favorite is the pine grosbeak. It’s just a nice clean rendition of the bird.

    • avatar Steven Schiff

      I’d award First Place to Isaac Grant’s First-winter Dunlin — I like the sharpness, color, exposure, composition, and background of the photo. The Pine Grosbeak photo has excellent composition and background (and the bird is doing something interesting), but the bird itself looks rather flat. The Dunlin is so sharp it almost looks 3-dimensional!

    • avatar Nicholas Liu

      Hi Arthur,
      Arash’s image of the kites was taken with the latest and lightest Nikon 600mm F4 E FL. It’s a handhold-able lens versus the previous generation lens you’ve quoted and linked which is about 3 pounds heavier which makes handholding(esp shooting BIF) almost impossible.

    • avatar David Policansky

      Artie: I agree with Barrett Pierce and for the same reasons.

    • avatar Barrett Pierce

      My first place pick is Arash Hazeghi’s White-tailed Kite Photo. It is a great photo of the pair interacting in flight with a nice pleasing background. My second place pick is Daniel Cadieux’s Pine Grosbeak photo. I particularly like the way he framed the grosbeak in the “Y” of the branch with the curved branch directing my attention to the bird with the fruit hanging below/on the way to the bird.