My Very Favorite San Diego 2019 IPT Image. Having Pre-visualized the Image Makes it Even Sweeter! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Very Favorite San Diego 2019 IPT Image. Having Pre-visualized the Image Makes it Even Sweeter!

What’s Up?

As soon as this blog post is published on the early morning of Tuesday, June, 25, I will begin packing in earnest for my trip to the UK. It has been hotter than heck here every day and I have been swimming a half-mile plus each afternoon. Thanks for all the kind comments on my new cue-ball haircut.

Two brand new BAA publications will be released soon. The first will be The BAA Middle of Florida Photographic Site Guide, co-written and co-illustrated by Joe Przybyla and yours truly. Frog Pond Adventures/A Guide to Photographing Frogs and Toads was written and illustrated by Andrew McLachlan and edited for readability by yours truly. Each of these new e-Guides is lavishly illustrated with images that will educate and inspire. Both will sell for $50 via electronic download.

Please take a good look at the turtle image below and see if you can come up with the answer I am looking for in the Image Design Quiz.

Coming Soon

I will be announcing the Fort DeSoto Fall Sandbar Secrets IPT and one or two Bosque IPTs soon.

FlexShooter Pro Update

We currently have FlexShooter Pro heads in stock here. We are sold out on the newly-arrived FLN-60 BigFeet recently re-designed to perfection for the Nikon 600 VR.

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 the 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. Most recently the price of used Canon 600mm f/L IS II lenses have been dropping like a rock with the introduction of the 600 III. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

As used gear sales have slowed a bit in recent months — especially with dSLR bodies, there are lots of great buys right now both below and on the Used Gear Page.

New Listings

Canon EOS 7D

Doug Rogers is offering a Canon EOS 7D in excellent condition for the bargain price of $299.00. The sale includes the front body cap, the strap, the battery charger, and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only.

Please contact Doug via e-mail or by phone at 1-434-409-8156 (Eastern time).

This is a great body for anyone wishing to get started with digital photography, nature or not. artie

Canon EOS 7D Mark II (with grip)

Doug Rogers is also offering a Canon EOS 7D Mark II in like-new condition for only $849.00. The sale includes the BG-16 battery grip in like-new condition, the front body cap, the strap, the battery charger, and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only.

Please contact Doug via e-mail or by phone at 1-434-409-8156 (Eastern time).

I loved my 7D II and to this day I am often amazed by many of the images that I created with it. It is the first choice camera body of highly skilled bird photographer and BPN Avian Moderator Dan Cadieux (whose work has been featured here often — do a search in the little white box at the top right of each blog post for “Cadieux”), and more recently Ravi Harekatur (see the recent blog post here if you missed his great macro shots). artie

Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens

Doug Rogers is also offering a Canon EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens in near-mint condition for a ridiculously low $249.00. The sale includes the front and rear caps and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only.

Please contact Doug via e-mail or by phone at 1-434-409-8156 (Eastern time)

This ideal, all-around and travel EF-S-Mount lens is designed for APS-C Format (crop factor) Canon bodies like the 7D Mark II. It yields a 28.8-320mm equivalent zoom range that makes this image stabilized lens extremely versatile; it covers focal lengths from wide-angle to short telephoto. It sells new for $699.00. artie

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens

Doug Rogers is also offering a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $1197.00. The sale includes the front and rear caps, the tough fabric carrying case, and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only.

Please contact Doug via e-mail or by phone at 1-434-409-8156 (Eastern time)

The Canon 100-400 II was one of my favorite-ever Canon lenses. I loved, loved, loved its versatility and its .98 meter (3.2 feet) close focusing distance. I rarely went into the field without my 1-4 and I used it often with the 1.4X III teleconverter. I used it for general bird photography, bird scapes, and as a quasi-macro lens. It is selling new right now for $1799.00. artie

Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (1.4X teleconverter)

Doug Rogers is also offering a Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (1.4X teleconverter) in like-new condition for the BAA record-low price of $263.00. The sale includes the front and rear caps, the carrying pouch, and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only.

Please contact Doug via e-mail or by phone at 1-434-409-8156 (Eastern time)

Canon Extender EF 2X II (2X teleconverter)

Doug Rogers is also offering a Canon Extender EF 2X II (2X teleconverter) in like-new condition for only $179.00. The sale includes the front and rear caps, the carrying pouch, and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only.

Please contact Doug via e-mail or by phone at 1-434-409-8156 (Eastern time)

I used the 2X II TC for about eight years and made a zillion sharp images with my Canon 500mm and 600mmm f/4l IS lenses. artie



BIRDS AS ART

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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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.


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.

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Nikon Capture NX-D screen cature for Brown Pelican pan blur

Click on the image to see a larger version and read the fine print.

The Nikon Capture NX-D Screen Capture

The only reason I have downloaded Nikon Capture NX-D is that I use it to access the focus point and AF Fine-tune information. Seeing the AF point with Canon is easy in DPP 4. It is not possible to see the AF point after the fact with either the SONY a9 or the a7R iii. With today’s featured image, you can see the large over-exposure. I converted this image in ACR before I began using Capture One Pro-12. The conversion values were quite interesting to say the least: Exposure: +2; Highlights: -100; Shadows: +68; Whites: +5; Blacks: -28; Clarity:+7; and Vibrance: +66. The (color) temperature was raised from 6940K to 8900. Whatever works. The above values prove the often-made point: there is considerable artistry and personal taste involved in doing RAW conversions. And the same is true about the image optimization process that follows. During both of these processes, you need to think creatively while using the tools that you have mastered previously.

So how did Mr. Professional Photographer wind up so under-exposed? At times, the birds were flying against dark areas of the cliff on the other side of the cove so I went with zero to protect the bright YELLOWs and WHITEs on the pelican’s heads. While those images were a bit underexposed when the birds flew past the buff-colored parts of the cliffs, the underexposure was a lot more severe when the light yellowish tones caused the meter to select an ISO that was much too low. In retrospect, I would have been much better off working in Manual mode.

Exposure Quiz

Using the data supplied above and assuming the same shutter speed and aperture, what should the ISO have been if I had been working in Manual mode?

Brown-Pelican-pan-blur-against-cliff-_MAI6126-San-Diego-CA

This image was created on January 20 on the first afternoon of the 2019 San Diego IPT. I used the handheld Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens and my souped-up Nikon D850. AUTO ISO: 640. Matrix metering at zero: 1/15 sec. at f/6.3 in Shutter Priority (S) mode (Tv in Canon) was at least a stop underexposed in a no-light situation with the light buff cliff in the background. AUTO1 WB at 6:14pm on a cloudy dark afternoon.

Center Group (grp) Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) was active at the moment of exposure.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Brown Pelican pan blur

Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

My Very Favorite San Diego 2019 IPT Image. Having Pre-visualized the Image Makes it Even Sweeter!

Patrick Sparkman had joined us for the afternoon and we wound up at a somewhat unusual afternoon location late on a dark afternoon. This location proved to be quite excellent for the remaining two weeks of my San Diego visit. With birds flying in and out of the cove, trying to create some nice pleasing blurs made a lot more sense than trying to create sharp images at ISOs of 6,400, 12,800, or higher.

I said to the group, The winning image here will be made when a bird is flapping in front of the buff-colored portion of the cliff. Intentional blurs of gliding birds are almost always less successful than images of birds that are actively flapping their wings. Despite the big underexposure, I was thrilled with the optimized image. Learning to pre-visualize what you want on your final canvas will help you to grow as a photographer by leaps an bounds. Do consider joining me on the San Diego IPT to do just that and more. Details immediately below.

SD-2019-card

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects, including and especially the Pacific race of California Brown Pelican. With annual visits spanning more than four decades, I have lots of photographic experience there … Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

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)

Introductory Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the evening before the IPT begins; WED JAN 7, 2020.

Join me in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (nesting with eggs and possibly chicks) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heermann’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others are possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lions; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the IPT cards, there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well. Not to mention a ton of excellent flight photography opportunities and instruction.

Please note: where permitted and on occasion, ducks and gulls may be attracted (or relocated) with offerings of grains or healthy bread.

Learning Exposure, Whether You Like It Or Not

Whether you like it or not, we will be beating the subject of exposure like a dead horse. In every new situation, you will hear my thoughts on the exposure situation along with my thoughts on both Nikon and Canon histograms and the subject of blinkies. Whether you like it or not, you will learn to work in manual mode and to get the right exposure every time as long as a bird gives you ten seconds with the light constant. And you will learn what to do when the light is changing constantly. What you learn about exposure will be one of the great takeaways on every IPT.

San-Diego-card-B-2019

Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT, there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

It Ain’t Just Pelicans

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography as well. And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication. You will be guided as to how to make the best of all of those opportunities. And depending on the weather and local conditions and tides, there are a variety of fabulous photo chances available in and around San Diego.


san-diego-card-neesie

Did I mention that there are lots of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter? Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The San Diego Details

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, four lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. And so that we can get some sleep, dinners will be on your own.

A $599 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 3385, or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 10/11//2018. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for both big international trips and US-based IPTs is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality travel 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.


san-diego-card-b

Variety is surely the spice of life in San Diego. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Getting Up Early and Staying Out Late

On all BIRDS AS ART IPTS including and especially the San Diego IPT, we get into the field early to take advantage of unique and often spectacular lighting conditions and we stay out late to maximize the chances of killer light and glorious sunset silhouette situations. We often arrive at the cliffs a full hour before anyone else shows up to check out the landscape and seascape opportunities.

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 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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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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