Indranil Sircar Rocks Roma with the Canon 600mm f/4L IS III/EOS 5D Mark IV Combo! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Indranil Sircar Rocks Roma with the Canon 600mm f/4L IS III/EOS 5D Mark IV Combo!

What’s Up?

Mornings on the Ramirez Ranch have gotten progressively better with Friday morning the best so far. Under cloudy skies we had many many chances with Green Jay, Long-billed Thrasher, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, and White-tipped Dove. And we photographed our first Bronzed Cowbird, sleek black with a bright red iris. In the afternoon, two Lark Sparrows came to the set-up, but did not pose for us 🙁 We have had a bit of gringo car trouble. One vehicle got stuck in the sand during a u-turn — we called the neighboring rancher who pulled the car out with his jeep. And another had a flat tire from a big thorn. Two more days to go. I head back to Florida on Monday morning for the DeSoto IPT

I was glad to learn that the sale of Denny Behn’s Canon 600 II is pending on the first day it was listed.

IPT Updates

There is still one slot open on the Fort DeSoto IPT; please e-mail for to learn about the last minute registration discount. I now have three folks for the UK Puffins and Gannets trip; that leaves two (or seven) openings on what will be an amazing experience and will possibly be my last trip and almost surely the last of the amazing Dunbar gannet boats trips — Gordon is getting old. 🙂

I learned recently that one or possibly two folks will be signing up for the Galapagos trip this week. I may still have one or two openings: please shoot me an e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount for this trip.

  • The 2019 Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/THURS 18 APRIL through the morning session on SUNDAY APRIL 21, 2019: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1549. Limit 8/Openings: 1. Meet and greet at 7PM on the evening of WED 17 APRIL. Free morning session on WED 17 APRIL.
  • 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 5 10) or photographers/Openings: 2 (or 7). This trip is a definite go.
  • 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: 13 photographers/Openings: 3. Please e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount for this trip.
  • The 2020 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) WED JAN 8, 2020 thru and including the morning session on SUN JAN 12: 4 1/2 days: $2099.(Limit: 8/Openings: 7)


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.

New Listing

Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS Lens (the original IS model) plus extras!

Joel Eade is offering a Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS (the original IS model, the “old five”) in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $2999.00. The lens has been covered with a LensCoat (included) since day one. Also included is the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the original tough front lens cover, the original lens foot, and insured ground shipping via UPS to lower 48 US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Joel via e-mail.

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 Joel’s lens right now.

Lessons From the Field/BIRDS AS ART Style is a 1 hour, 15 minute, 314 image,
click and play MP4 video

Lessons From the Field/BIRDS AS ART Style: $10.00

Click here to order or see the Save $10 Bundle offer below.

Lessons From the Field/BIRDS AS ART Style is a 1 hour, 15 minute click and play MP4 video. It is available here in the BAA Online Store, by phone order, or by sending a Paypal for $10.00 to As the file is a large one, be sure to upload it when you have a good internet connection.

The video features 314 of artie’s best images, educational and otherwise. Based on his 35 years of in-the-field experience, it covers all the basics along with many fine points. Are you making mistakes that give you no chance to create a great image? Learning to avoid those and learning to think like a pro will make you a better photographer. If you purchase and study the video, it will surely prove to be the best ten dollars you’ve ever spent on photography.


birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100:

Save Ten Bucks!

Order the Lessons From the Field MP4 video and add a copy of the birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100 (via convenient download — normally sells for $20.00) for an additional 10.00.

Order the bundle for $20.00 by clicking here.

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.


Many IPT folks have been using the Booking.Com link below to get great rates and save 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.


I have been using AirBNB for all of my travel lodging needs. Everyone on the Fort DeSoto IPT is staying at an AirBNB property in Gulfport. 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, their secure messaging makes it easy to coordinate with your host. And Airbnb support teams are available 24/7. And this morning, I made a 17-day reservation for an Airbnb condo for San Diego, 2020. I am staying with Rick again: his place has lots of room, a full kitchen, two bedrooms, and great WiFi. All for a lot less than the price of a chain hotel.

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 link above to save $25.00.

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.

This image was created on the morning of Thursday, April1, 2019 on the Roma, TX IPT by Indranil Sircar. He used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lens and my favorite-ever Canon digital camera body, the EOS 5D Mark IV.. ISO 800. Evaluative metering at about -1/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/5.6 was perfect. Cloudy WB at 8:34am on a clear day.

Image #1: Long-billed Thrasher on petrified wood
Image courtesy of and copyright 2019: Indranil Sircar

Indranil Sircar Rocks Roma with the Canon 600mm f/4L IS III/EOS 5D Mark IV Combo!

Great friend and many multiple IPT veteran Indranil Sircar — he has done a Galapagos trip and a Falklands land-based trip with me, among many others — purchased the new (and still almost impossible to get) Canon 600 III (using my Bedford link thank you very much). As you can see by today’s two featured images, he has been doing quite well with his new super-telephoto lens both without and with the 1.4X III teleconverter. And heck, the 5D IV was long my very favorite Canon body. I have always enjoyed traveling with Indranil — born in Calcutta, India — as he is even more of a foodie than I am. He knows a ton about food and cooking and — as he works for Microsoft — is quite a wizard with most things technical and/or photographic.

Everyone has been trying for a classic Long-billed Thrasher image, Anita North and I for four days. Without success. This species is a skulker far preferring to feed in tangled weeds and under-brush to sitting on a nice perch. We knew from the back of the camera that Indranil nailed a classic “Sibley field guide portrait.” This Rio Grande Valley specialty species is closely related and almost identical to Brown Thrasher, a fairly common breeder and migrant in the eastern and central US. Aside from range, Brown Thrasher is more redder-brown above than long-billed which is a grayer brown.

This image was created on the morning of Thursday, April1, 2019 on the Roma, TX IPT by Indranil Sircar. He used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my favorite-ever Canon digital camera body, the EOS 5D Mark IV.. ISO 800. Evaluative metering at about -1/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/5.6 was perfect. Cloudy WB at 8:34am on a clear day.

Image #2: Male Golden-fronted Woodpecker reaching down for orange
Image courtesy of and copyright 2019: Indranil Sircar

You Never Know …

My advice here (and on IPTs) has long been, “When unexpected action occurs, press the shutter button without trying to change any settings. Indranil did just that here with stunning results. The two neatest features of male Golden-fronted Woodpecker are the red cap and the orange marmalade rear cap. In image #2 Indranil shows both in spectacular fashion and the pattern on the bird’s back are not bad either!

Thanks Indranil!

Thanks to Indranil for being a great friend for so long and for allowing me to share his images with you here.

How Do You Define Success?

My goal, every time that I walk out the door with a long lens, is to try to create one really good image, an image that makes me happy. When you make two really, really good images in a single day as Indranil did on Thursday past, is exceptional.

Your Favorite?

Which of today’s two featured images is your favorite. Please let us know why you made your choice.

Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. All of the images on this card were created on the 2018 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

The New, Expanded 2019 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Seahouses, Bempton Cliffs, and the Dunbar, Scotland Gannet boat to Bass Rock! Thursday June 27 (from EDI) through Tuesday, July 9, 2019 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 10.): $9,999. Limit 5 photographers/openings 2.

Join me in the UK in late June and early July 2019 to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet, Red Kite, and more both in flight and at close range. We will also have great chances with Arctic and Sandwich Terns, both with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many of those chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks; plus Grey Seal. There will be tons of great flight photography. As on all IPTs, if you pay attention, you will learn a ton, especially about sky conditions and the relationship between light angle and wind direction and their effects on flight photography.

Why go all the way to Machias Seal Island off the coast of Maine, endure a two-hour boat ride, and have to photograph Atlantic Puffins from a cramped blind usually in bright sun (and well off sun angle) when you can hop a red-eye flight from Newark, NJ and be in Edinburgh, Scotland early the next morning. First we drive down to Bridlington for easy access to Bempton Cliffs where our primary targets will be Northern Gannet in flight. We will also get to photograph Razorbill, Northern Fulmar, Herring Gull, and Black-legged Kittiwake. While in Bridlington we will spend one afternoon visiting a Red Kite feeding station that should provide lots of flight photography action.

While in Bridlington we will staying at the Lobster Pot by Marston’s Inn, just fifteen minutes from Bempton Cliffs. After 3 1/2 days of photography at there, we drive down to Seahouses in Northumberland to the two lodges that will be our home base for a week. After a short boat ride each day we will have hundreds of puffins posing at close range all day, every day — usually in ideal cloudy-bright conditions. While we are in Seahouses we will do six puffin/seabird trips, all weather permitting of course; last year we did not miss a single landing. In five years we have averaged losing less than one half day per year to bad weather. We land at Staple Island in the mornings and then sail over to Inner Farnes for our afternoon sessions. In addition, we may enjoy a session or two photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level from a rocky beach in Seahouses.

In Seahouses, we stay 7 nights in gorgeous, modern, upscale lodges with Wi-fi. They are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The bedrooms are decent-sized. Each lodge has one double bedroom and two twin bedrooms. (See the single supplement info below.) At the lodges we cook our own breakfasts each morning and prepare our own lunches to be brought on the six puffin boat trips. For dinners we will alternate cooking in the lodges with fine dining at several excellent local restaurants. We stay two nights at the Marston’s Inn in Dunbar. We will enjoy a fine-dining Thank You dinner at the Dunbar Hotel on the Tuesday evening before we fly home.

On the morning of Monday, July 8, 2019, the plan is to sleep late, pack, and head up to Dunbar Harbor, Scotland for lunch and an afternoon gannet boat chumming trip: flight photography until you cannot lift your camera. The next morning, Tuesday July 9, we will enjoy our second gannet boat chumming trip (both weather permitting). On both trips we will enjoy great views of the huge gannetry at Bass Rock. Included will be two nights lodging at the Pine Martin by Marston’s Inn in Dunbar. Very early on the morning of Wednesday, July 10, we will drive up to Edinburgh Airport so that everyone can make their flights home. No moaning please. You will need a flight that leaves at 8:30am or later. Not too much later is generally best. Note: this trip needs a minimum of four photographers to run.

Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. All images were created on the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

The Details

This IPT is all-inclusive except for your airfare and alcoholic beverages. All ground transportation, lodging costs, meals, your National Trust membership, and all boat, entry, and landing fees are included. Weather permitting, we will enjoy three and one-half days (at least six sessions in all) at Bempton Cliffs, an afternoon with the Red Kites, six full days on the puffin boats, one amazing afternoon gannet chumming trip, and one spectacular morning gannet chumming trip. The trip cannot be finalized until I have at least six deposits as we will be renting a lovely 15-passenger bus with our private professional driver who happens to be my web-master, Peter Kes, who is also a skilled photographer and my co-leader 🙂

IPT Details

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome, heck, we actually need two couples — please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on February 28, 2019. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855.

Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

Single Supplement Info

Single supplement rooms in Bridlington and Dunbar are available for those who register early. The cost of the single supplement for those six nights is $600.00. Single supplement rooms at the lodge may be available on a limited basis but only if the trip does not fill with ten photographers. The single supplement fee for those seven nights is $700. If you would like your own room in Bridlington and Dunbar, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement with your deposit: $2,600.00. The single supplement deposits are non-refundable as I will need to make the reservations well in advance.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options you can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check or running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance, be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

I truly hope that you can join me on this exciting venture.

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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In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

8 comments to Indranil Sircar Rocks Roma with the Canon 600mm f/4L IS III/EOS 5D Mark IV Combo!

  • I really like both pics! The eye of the thrasher is so sharp I keep staring into it. But, I think the beautiful colors and back patterns on the woodpecker may just be my favorite. I do have a question, since the depth of field is so shallow the birds tail end is not sharp. Could the lens have been stopped down a little to gain some DOF without losing the nice soft background? I’m jealous of you guys! Would love to hear your answer. Thanks. Is Canon coming back into play????? Have fun!!!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Me too. And I like the woodpecker image best. As for depth of field, are you talking about Image #1 or Image #2? Either way, the answer is no. If you stop down even one stop you bring up unwanted background detail. Remember at close range with long focal lengths depth of field is almost non-existent, measured only in fractions of an inch. And the woodpecker is at least 7 inches long …

      The total depth of field at 18 feet/840mm/full frame is less than 1/2 inch. Stopping down to f/16 would increase that to less than 3/4 inch, nowhere near enough to cover the tail all the while ruining the background …

      with love, artie

      ps: and the situation with the thrasher is just as bad because the background is a lot closer to the bird …

  • avatar Bill Hill

    Absolutely love everything about Indranil’s Woodpecker shot. A classic pose well captured

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    The woodpecker is my favorite because it is a unique photo pose and really shows the coloring.
    Having so much of it sharp is a plus.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Artie: If you get stuck in soft, DRY sand (NOT MUD!!), or if you know you’re going to have to drive through it, let some air out of your tires down to 15 pounds per square inch. That will usually work if you’re not too deeply stuck. I love both images but especially the woodpecker for the beautiful and unusual pose.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks, and a good tip, but for the fact that the rear end of the vehicle — the rear bumper in effect — was stuck up on a ridge so that there was no traction at all on the rear wheels 🙂

      with love, artie

  • avatar James Saxon

    I like the first image with the nice background, the balance in the image with the bird on the rock and the sharp eye.

    Love the color and different pose in the second image but my eye keeps going to the first image.

    Welcome to Texas, next time you need to try Sabine Woods in mid April for the warbler migration. It’s located 4.1 miles out of Sabine Pass Texas. Glad you are having good luck.

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