The Big Sunday Surprise « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Big Sunday Surprise

Higher Res Viewing

Please note that the small JPEGs in each blog post are for display purposes only. Clicking on each blog image to enlarge it will bring up a stunning high resolution image. For unknown reasons, the smaller images simply do not look sharp. I am attempting to rectify that situation. In the meantime, click on the images to be impressed by the quality of the new higher res photos.

What’s Up?

On Sunday morning, I returned to Nickerson Beach. The weather was quite similar so I headed to the same storm surge/rain pool pretty sure of another 5000+ image morning. Scroll down to see how that worked out. After my morning session, I picked my keepers from the 5300+ photos that I created on the wild wind Saturday and the 2500+ images made on Sunday morning. I wound up with about 375 keepers, all made at relatively high ISO ranging from 1600 to 3200. Many of them are quite special and will be shared with you here at some point.

Today is Monday 30 August 2021. After too much bird photography, I will be staying in this morning to get some work done. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day.

Remember that you can find some great photo accessories (and necessities!) on Amazon by clicking on the Stuff tab on the orange/yellow menu bar above. On a related note, it would be extremely helpful if blog-folks like me, who spend too much money on Amazon, would get in the habit of clicking on the Amazon logo link on the right side of each blog post when they shop online. As you might expect, doing so will not cost you a single penny, but would be appreciated tremendously by yours truly. And doing so works seamlessly with your Amazon Prime account.

This blog post took less than an hour to prepare (including the time spent on the image optimization), and makes 242 consecutive days with a new one. Please remember that if an item — a Delkin flash card, or a tripod head — for example, that is available from B&H and/or Bedfords, is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great, and greatly appreciated, if you would opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to save 3% at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And doing so always earns my great appreciation.

Please Remember

With income from IPTs now close to zero, please, if you enjoy and learn from the blog, remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so just might make it possible for me to avoid having to try to get a job as a Walmart greeter and will not cost you a single penny more. And if you use Bedfords and remember to enter the BIRDSASART code at checkout, you will save 3% on every order and enjoy free second-day air shipping. 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 to shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes, are invited to help out by clicking here to leave a blog thank you gift if they see fit.

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.

This image was created on 29 August 2021 at Nickerson Beach Lido Beach, NY. While seated on dry sand, I used the hand held Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only). ISO 2000. The exposure was determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/3200 sec. at f/4 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 8:44am on a cloudy morning.

Zone/AF-C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed to perfection. Click on the image to enjoy a larger, hi-res version.

Image #1: Black Skimmer juvenile skimming in shallow surf

The Big Sunday Surprise

I arrived at about 6am and with the low light/cloudy morning I decided to bring only the amazing 600mm f/4 GM lens. With the lens and an a1 on my shoulder via the lens strap, my tripod in one hand, and a Panning Ground Pod in my vest, I headed straight to the storm surge/rain pool. The big surprise was that the pool had dried up completely. The only bird there was the carcass of a large, dead fledgling skimmer. As I had put the SONY 24-105 in my vest (don’t leave home without it), I made some nice (to my mind) images of the carcass, and then headed down to the beach. With a wind from the northeast I expected skimmers skimming right at me. I enjoyed lots of those, but only after photographing several Great Black-backed Gulls (mostly the handsome juveniles with their checkerboard patterns) picking at and swallowing young skimmers.

The sequence from which today’s featured image was selected was the best flight sequence I have ever created of a single bird. I had about 50 frames all sharp and all with the bird being framed nicely. Picking the best few as a challenge. As all of the frames had the bird coming right at me, wing position and the juxtaposition of the bill to the surf were the main deciding factors. With this frame, I particularly liked the twist of the far wing. All are invited to post a short critique sharing their thoughts on today’s featured image.

Additionally, if you have ever had the experience of expecting a great bird photography session that did not pan out, please feel free to share your story. Don’t get me wrong, I had a great morning on Sunday. It was just not what I had been expecting.

SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group

The SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group is going great guns as more and more folks chime in with thoughtful questions and experience-based answers. As the a1 is becoming more readily available, more and more folks are getting their hands on this amazing body. With two folks joining yesterday, we are now up to an astounding 77 lucky and blessed photographers! Early on, we discussed 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. (Note: it may take me several days to confirm B&H orders.) This same service may be purchased by anyone with an a1 body via a $150.00 PayPal sent to indicating payment for Alpha a1 Info Updates. Alternatively, folks can call Jim weekdays at 1-863-692-0906 to pay via credit card. New members will receive composite e-mails that summarize all previous discussions.


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

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