I Cannot Decide Which is More Amazing … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

I Cannot Decide Which is More Amazing ...

Your Fave?

Please take a moment to let us know which of today’s two featured images you feel is the stronger, and why you made your choice. Comments on either or both images are of course welcome.

What’s Up?

I enjoyed a great morning session on my own at Stick Marsh on Thursday. I tried some new and different stuff (one of which is below). On the way home I met a nice cop who kindly issued me a $281.00 speeding ticket. I deserved it. I had not had one in probably eight years …

Today is Friday 9 April 2021. DeSoto #1 IPT participant, good friend, fellow Brooklyn Technical High School graduate, and many multiple IPT veteran John Johnson came by last night for a pool deck rib eye and Brussels sprouts dinner. He kindly brought two fine bottles of wine. We are headed to Stick Marsh and the weather looks dead-solid perfect: clear skies with a southeast breeze. The spoonies should be landing right at us. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you have a great day.

This blog post took more than an hour to prepare and makes 108 consecutive days with a new one. Please remember to use my B&H affiliate links or to save money at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout. Doing either often earns you free guides or discounts. And doing so always earns my great appreciation.

New and Better Bedfords Discount Policy!

You can now save 3% on all of your Bedfords photo gear purchases by entering the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout. Your discount will be applied to your pre-tax total. In addition, by using the code you will get 2nd day air shipping via Fed Ex.

Grab a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and save $14.99. Purchase a Canon EOS R5 and your discount will be $116.97. Purchase a Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and save a remarkable $389.94! Your Bedford’s purchase no longer needs to be greater than $1,000.00 for you to receive a discount. The more you spend, the more you save.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would enjoy free second-day air shipping, your best bet is to click here, place an order with Bedfords, and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If an item is out of stock, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592 (Central time). Be sure to mention the BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order to save 3% and enjoy free 2nd-day air shipping. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The wait lists at the big stores can be a year or longer for the hard to get items. Steve will surely get you your gear long before that. For the past year, he has been helping BAA Blog folks get their hands on items like the SONY a9 ii, the SONY 200-600 G OSS lens, the Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 100-500mm lens, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is personable, helpful, and eager to please.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs (remember those?) 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 8 April 2021 at Stick Marsh. I used the Induro GIT 404L/Levered-clamp FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless digital camera. ISO 640. Exposure determined via Zebras with ISO on the rear dial: 1/4000 sec. at f/4 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 7:59am on a still, clear morning.

Wide/AF-C was active at the moment of exposure and performed perfectly. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Breeding plumage Roseate Spoonbill in flight

Going Wide for Something Different

With the wind from the southwest, I abandoned the traditional spot at D (on the annotated Stick Marsh Site Guide map) and headed to spot H with the tripod-mounted 600 GM and the a1 (with the 1.4X teleconverter in my pocket) to try something different. I wanted to get some wider stuff with the spoonies smaller in the frame and lots of blue water and perhaps a bit of marsh in the backgrounds. I was further rewarded when some spoonbills landed right in front of me to gather nesting material on the rocks.

Sony Alpha a1 AF Magic …

The AF system of the a1 — set up as detailed in e-mails to the Sony Alpha a1 Info & Updates group, continues to amaze me. Early on there was lots of discussion within the group with many preferring multiple back button approaches. For me a simple shutter button approach with the right AF settings that yield 99% sharp-on-the-eye images is best. By far. Super-simple and mega-effective. Note: info on the program that I use to ascertain SONY AF point information is detailed in one of the SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group e-mails. I plan on making that information available here soon for all SONY camera users.

SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group

The SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group is going great guns as folks chime in with thoughtful questions and experience-based advice. We are now up to an astounding 30 folks. Early on, we discussed many of the myriad AF options. I gave my opinion as to the best one for flight and general bird photography. More recently, we have been in contact with folks at SONY sharing our thoughts, experiences, and frustrations with the EVF blackout problem.

All who purchased their Alpha a1 bodies via a BAA affiliate link will receive a free subscription to the Sony Alpha a1 Set-Up and Info Updates after shooting me their receipts via e-mail. This same service may be purchased by anyone with an a1 body via a $150.00 PayPal sent to birdsasart@verizon.net indicating payment for Alpha a1 Info Updates. Alternatively, they can call Jim weekday afternoons at 1-863-692-0906 to pay via credit card. New members will receive composite e-mails that summarize all previous discussions.

This image was created on 8 April 2021 at Stick Marsh, Fellsmere, FL. I used the hand held Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens (at 300mm) and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless digital camera. Auto ISO set 640. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the Thumb Dial: 1/3200 at f/6.3 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 9:06am on a still, clear morning.

Wide/AF-C was active at the moment of exposure and performed perfectly.

Image #2: Roseate Spoonbill landing

Parting Shot

After a very successful hour creating lots of new and different types of images, I headed back to D. I worked for a bit with the hand held 600GM/1.4X TC/a1 rig doing head shots of Limpkin and the roseates. I even made a few decent head shots of incoming spoonbills in flight! After 9am — relatively late in terms of light, I went to the hand held 200-600. A small group of bird photographers were voicing their opinions on various aspects of bird photography. Tuning out the mindless chatter ,I kept my mouth shut. I nailed this bird and turned around out of curiosity only to see that not a single one of the chatters had even raised their lens…

I Cannot Decide Which is More Amazing …

At this point, I cannot decide which is more amazing, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless digital camera or the photographic opportunities at Stick Marsh … It just might be a tie.

The Stick Marsh Site Guide Subscription Service

The Site Guide Subscription Service is a new concept. I e-mailed the first issue last week: Stick Marsh Site Guide e-Mail #1: The Basics. The Basics e-mail includes specific directions to the site, and a map of the rookery area with specific instructions and wind, weather, and where-to-be advice. I e-mailed the second installment recently. In it, I shared several new shooting locations and strategies. I will be sending e-mail #3 on Monday with lots more to come.

To sign up for the Stick Marsh Site Guide Subscription Service, call Jim in the office weekday afternoons at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand or send a PayPal for the $100.00 to us at birdsasart@verizon.net. Please be sure to include the words Stick Marsh with your PayPal. At some point, we will get this item in the BAA Online Store.

I fully understand that you can go to Google Maps, find the Stick Marsh, visit, and likely make some good or great images. You might think, I can do fine just without artie’s advice. But you will do a whole lot better with it. The annotated map alone is worth the price of admission.


With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

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