More on Working a Subject … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

More on Working a Subject ...

What’s Up?

On Thursday morning I was lucky with the birds. I got some nice stuff on a female Boat-tailed Grackle perched on Blazing Star, an adult Osprey perched in the open on a bare branch, and a Great Blue Heron hunting on a small dock. And I was very lucky that I did not get my new SUV stuck in the mud, muck, and wet grass; the X-Drive (4WD) seems to be working great, but as I am not yet 100% confident in it, my heart rate does increase a bit when things get really sloshy …

It poured yet again late yesterday so I will likely concentrate on flowers this morning — Friday 21 AUGUST 2020. The usual forecast is in place: sun becoming cloudy early with afternoon thunderstorms. I will be heading out again early today.

I spent a lot of time cleaning up the Used Gear Page yesterday and should have that work completed today. And now that the big Canon Mirrorless post got done, I will get back to work on the RawDigger Guide this weekend.

Please take a moment and let us know your thoughts on today’s three featured flower images. Which is your favorite? Why? What do you like or not like about each image?

By e-Mail from IPT Veteran Joel Eade

Hope that you received my previous email thanking you for the referral to Steve Elkins at Bedford. I called him as you suggested, and he was able to find an R5 Kit for me quickly. I’ve used it only it for a couple of hours with the RF 800mm f/11 lens; it seems great so far. The animal eye tracking is amazing. I have not attempted to do any birds in flight yet.

Thanks again for setting me up with Steve.

Joel

Please Remember

If you enjoy and learn from the blog, please remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so will not cost you a single penny and if you use Bedfords, you will save at least $50.00 on all orders greater than $1000.00. In these crazy times — I am out at least forty to sixty thousand dollars so far due to COVID 19 (with lots more to come) — remembering to use my B&H link or shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and will be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes can always help out by clicking here if they see fit.

The BAA Used Gear Page

The BAA Used Gear Page is the place to sell your used photographic equipment. We will help you to get your gear sold quickly for 20 to 60% more than what the big guys are offering … Doubt me? Check out the Past Sales list at the bottom of the page.

Price Drop

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR Lens

BAA Record-low Price!
Price Dropped $300.00 on 8/21!

Angie Birmingham is offering a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR in like-new condition for $7696.95 (was $7,996.95). The sale includes the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the original tough front lens cover, the lens strap, and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower-48 US addresses only.

Your item will not ship until your payment clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Angie via e-mail or by phone at 1-361-815-8852 (Central time zone).

This, the lightest,latest, greatest version of the Nikon 400mm f/2.8 lenses, is superb for large mammals in low light and birds at close range. It is superbly sharp alone or with the TC-14E III. It offers the world’s sweetest Boken. As a new goes for $11,196.95 right, you can save a very smooth $3,500 by grabbing Angie’s lens. artie

This super telephoto prime is designed for FX-format Nikon F-mount cameras, however can also be used with DX models where it will provide a 600mm equivalent focal length. Its impressively bright f/2.8 maximum aperture excels in difficult lighting conditions and also enables extensive control over depth of field for isolating subjects using selective focus techniques.Two fluorite and two extra-low dispersion lens elements work to reduce chromatic aberrations; improve overall image sharpness, clarity, and color fidelity; and help to minimize the overall weight of the lens. Vibration Reduction image stabilization helps to reduce the appearance of camera shake by up to four shutter speed stops, benefiting this lens’s use in low-light conditions. Additionally, a designated Sport Mode is well-suited to working in fast-paced conditions and a Tripod Mode helps to suppress subtle ground vibrations when working atop a support system. The Silent Wave Motor affords quick, quiet, and precise autofocus performance along with full-time manual focus override. An internal focusing design is also used, where only the internal lens groups are moved during focusing, to maintain the overall length of the lens during use and to promote faster focusing speeds. Dust- and moisture-resistant magnesium-alloy lens barrel benefits the lens’ use in inclement conditions. A removable tripod collar is included with the lens for well-balanced support when working from a monopod or tripod. The collar ring also incorporates ball bearings for smooth transitions between horizontal and vertical shooting orientations. Specialized electromagnetic aperture mechanism provides greater exposure control stability that is especially beneficial when working with fast continuous shooting rates. This 400 f/2.8 is compatible with optional AF-S Teleconverter TC-14, TC-17, and TC-20 teleconverters. B&H

BIRDS AS ART

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

SONY e-Guide Discount Program

Purchase a (new) qualifying SONY camera body (a7r iii, a7r iv, a9, a9 ii) from Bedfords or using a BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate link, and you will receive a $40 discount on the SONY e-guide. Purchase a (new) SONY 200-600mm G lens from Bedfords or using a BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate link, and you will receive a $25 discount on the SONY e-guide. Purchase a (new) SONY 600mm f/4 GM lens from Bedfords or using a BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate link, and you will receive a free SONY e-guide with one or two videos.

Please send your Bedford’s or B&H receipts to me via e-mail to receive your discount and your ordering instructions. Folks purchasing from Bedfords and using the BIRDSASART code will save $50. Folks sending their B&H receipts may need to wait a few days to have their purchases confirmed. Folks using Bedfords will have their purchases confirmed immediately.

106 sold to rave reviews.

The SONY e-Guide by Patrick Sparkman and Arthur Morris

The Sony Camera User’s e-Guide (and Videos)

Click here to purchase the guide with one Camera Set-up Video. Be sure to e-mail us by clicking here to specify your camera body so that we can send you a link for the correct video.

Click here to purchase the guide with two Camera Set-up Videos. Be sure to e-mail us by clicking here to specify your two camera bodies so that we can send you links for the correct videos.

Click here to learn more about the SONY e-Guide.

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 of more than $1000.00, 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 has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H. Those include the SONY a7r IV, the SONY 200-600, the SONY 600mm f/4 GM, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is eager to please.



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 16 AUGUST 2020 on a roadside near the lake. I used the Induro GIT 404L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens with the Metabones Canon EF/EF-S Lens to Sony E Mount T Smart Adapter (Fifth Generation) and the 61MP monster, the Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital camera body ISO 400. Multi metering +1 stop: 1/5 sec. at f/11 in Av mode. The exposure was confirmed as perfect by RawDigger from a series of bracketed images. AWB at 7:33am on a still, partly cloudy morning.

Picked and Plamped from an occasionally mowed roadside median. Manual focus using the combination of Manual Focus Toggle and Focus Magnifier tips from the SONY e-guide.

Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Image #1: Madagascar Periwinkle

Madagascar Periwinkle in Florida

This species is not native to Florida but has become well-established throughout most of the southern half of the state. It grows in a great variety of habitats. It is an endangered species in Madagascar, where slash-and-burn agriculture has diminished its habitat. Catharanthus roseus is a part of Apocynaceae, or the dogbane family, members of which generally have a latex-like sap that is poisonous. In its home range, this species is widely used in traditional medicine to treat many conditions including diabetes. Researchers in Canada wanted to see if these traditional cures worked and if so, what chemicals were doing the work. They noticed that something in the plant was killing white cells in the lab animals. This led to the discovery of vinblastine, now used to treat leukemias, lymphomas, lung and testicular cancers and, others. Because this species does not dominate habitats to the point of crowding out other plants, it is not considered an invasive species.

Working the Subject

As we saw in the Backing Up for Vulturine Tree-scapes blog post here, it is important to vary your framing, your perspective, and your focal lengths whenever possible. Doing so will give you a variety of images and image designs to choose from. Variety will add spice to your photographs and in the process of working a subject, you will learn a ton about composition and image design.

Take a close look at today’s three images to see how I worked the subject.

This image of the same flower was also created on the morning of 16 AUGUST 2020 on a roadside near the lake. Again I used the Induro GIT 404L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens with the Metabones Canon EF/EF-S Lens to Sony E Mount T Smart Adapter (Fifth Generation) and the 61MP monster, the Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital camera body ISO 800. Multi metering +1.7 stops: 1/80 sec. at f/3.4 in Av mode. The exposure was confirmed as perfect by RawDigger from a series of bracketed images. AWB at 7:37am on a still, partly cloudy morning.

Picked and Plamped from an occasionally mowed roadside median. Manual focus using the combination of Manual Focus Toggle and Focus Magnifier tips from the SONY e-guide.

Image #2: Madagascar Periwinkle

The Canon 180mm Macro Lens

The Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens with the Metabones Canon EF/EF-S Lens to Sony E Mount T Smart Adapter (Fifth Generation) is my workhorse macro lens. It gets me to 1:1. The tripod collar is superb as expected. The lens is mounted with a Wimberley P-20 plate. I often loosen the clamp on the FlexShooter Pro and slide the plate forward or back to make the subject larger or smaller in the frame as needed. When only small changes are needed, this is a much better approach than moving the tripod. With the Metabones adapter, the electronics work perfectly: Zebras and the metering work perfectly. Note: I never use AF with my macro work.

This image of the same flower was of course created on the morning of 16 AUGUST 2020 on a roadside near the lake. For this one I used the Induro GIT 404L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Venus Optics Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO Lens for Sony E and the 61MP monster, the Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital camera body ISO 800: 1/5 sec. at about f/11 in Manual in Av mode. The exposure was confirmed as perfect by RawDigger from a series of bracketed images. AWB at 7:48am on a still, partly cloudy morning.

Picked and Plamped from an occasionally mowed roadside median. Manual focus using the combination of Manual Focus Toggle and Focus Magnifier tips from the SONY e-guide.

Image #3: Madagascar Periwinkle

Need More Magnification?

When I really want to get tight, I go to the Venus Optics Laowa 100mm f/2.8 2X Ultra Macro APO Lens for Sony E. As noted here previously the tripod collar is poorly designed at best. And while Zebras work well, the aperture is not included in the EXIF. Despite those big negatives, I use this lens often when I need magnification greater than 1X. Image #3 was made at 2X. To accomplish this, I set the lens to the closest focus and once the tripod was roughly in position, magnified the image and then slid the plate forward until I noted sharp focus.

If In Doubt …

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Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the BAA Online Store ๐Ÿ™‚

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 or Bedfords, 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 or Bedfords 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 regularly visit the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

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Typos

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4 comments to More on Working a Subject …

  • Art (!),

    Makes sense to do multiple takes on a subject, but for me, like David, and for similar reasons, the third image is best.

    For more magnification, the 180 works fine with a 1.4x TC and (with a 72/77 step-up ring) Canon’s 500D close-up lens.

    Thanks for your comments on the R5. Looks great for Canon shooters, especially being fully compatible with EF lenses. Price is too high for me, but it I succumb to temptation, I’ll use your link.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I have tried all three of those approaches with flowers that are large enough. I say my versions of your third image are inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s flower paintings, and your third image is my favorite of the three. I just made large prints of two I did with rose mallows, but the Post Office, after assuring me that they’d be delivered two days ago, now won’t even tell me where they are. I like the second image least, because it just appears to be out of focus at first glance and you have to pay attention to see that the center is very nice and sharp.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks, David. Obviously COVID is affecting delivery services. The Post Office lost a FlexShooter Pro that we sent to Toronto last week and United Parcel Service lost a Used Gear Package yesterday … You gotta love it.

      a

      ps: the USPO is telling us that we have to wait 32 days from 13 AUG to make a claim for the lost parcel that was sent in mid-July ๐Ÿ™‚

      pps: everything above was insured ๐Ÿ™‚

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