My Third Best Snowy Owl Image From the Long Island Trip « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Third Best Snowy Owl Image From the Long Island Trip

What’s Up?

Today is Thursday 2 December 2021. I am sitting at the gate for my flight from Islip to Orlando. Jim will be picking my up at MCO. All in all it was a great trip. I came for Snowy Owls and had many great chances. On Wednesday, in the field with long-time friend Tom Pfeiffer, we found two owls and had a ball. And I ended with a nice sunset near the Ponquogue Bridge. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day. This blog post took about 90 minutes to prepare and makes 23 consecutive days with a new one.

One more lucky photographer joined the SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Group yesterday; we are now up to 99 lucky folks! Details below.

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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.

This image was created on 1 December 2021 at Westhampton Beach on Long Island. While standing at full height, I used the no-longer available GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Levered-Clamp FlexShooter Pro-mounted-Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only). ISO 500. The exposure was determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/1000 sec. at f/8 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 9:07am on a sunny morning.

Tracking: Spot S AF-C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed perfectly. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger higher-res version.

Image #1: Snowy Owl on clean sand beach

The Situation

This bird was parked for more than an hour right next to a snow fence. After way too many images, I gave it a wide berth to check out a second Snowy Owl perched atop a nearby dune. Having two of these majestic birds sight at once was a first for me in 45+ years of looking at birds. Are anyhoo, the bird by the snow fence took flight and landed in front of my right down sun angle. I froze and made about a dozen images before the bird took flight again. After just a bit of beach clean-up, I debated about eliminating the swatch of disturbed sand in front of the bird. So I created a second version below.

This is the same photograph with the swatch of sand removed.

Image #1A: Snowy Owl on cleaner sand beach

The Completely Clean Beach

Which version do you prefer, Image #1 with the swatch of disturbed sand, or the cleaner version, Image #1A? Why?

SONY Alpha 1 Bodies in Stock at Bedfords!

Bedfords still has a very few SONY Alpha 1 bodies in stock. Order yours, save 3% by using the BIRDS AS ART discount code at checkout, enjoy free second day air Fed-Ex, and earn free entry into the BIRDS AS ART Sony Alpha a1 Set-up and Info Notes Group. As part of the attraction, the first e-mail that you will receive includes a .DAT file with my a1 settings and explicit directions on how to load my settings onto your a1; talk about convenience! Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day. This blog post took more than two hours to prepare.

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 another photographer joining yesterday, we are now up to an astounding 99 lucky and blessed folks. Early on, we discussed the myriad AF options. I gave my opinion as to the best one for flight and general bird photography. The best news is that the first e-mail you will receive includes a .DAT file with my a1 settings on it, and explicit directions on how to load my settings onto your a1; talk about convenience!

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 group 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.


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15 comments to My Third Best Snowy Owl Image From the Long Island Trip

  • avatar Sonofnothing_

    I just found $30,000 in my laundry, I’ll run out and grab a Sony A1 and 600mm f/4, let me put my socks on.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      With $30K you can buy two a1 bodies, a 600mm f/4 GM,, and have enough left over to come on an IPT. Please remember to use Bedfords!

      with love, artie

  • avatar John Storjohann

    To my eye, the first image is the stronger of the two; the line draws the viewer into the imagej and adds depth/dimension to the shot. Beautiful Snowy Owl.

  • avatar Jay

    Image 1, it looks more natural to me.

  • avatar Keith Solberg

    First comment, first image. Natural look. Undisturbed beach hard to believe. Tides, wind, people & other animals disturb the sand. If it had been garbage, then, of course, remove it electronically and physically. Glad for your successful trip. Impressive images. I’m hoping the snowy that visited Seattle last winter will return, but it’s a rare event.

  • avatar David Pugsley

    I prefer #1 as it adds a bit of depth to the image.

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    #1 for me.

  • avatar Jeff Walters

    #1, would liked to have seen what the original image looked like before any cleanup. I know it’s birds as art but I do feel sometimes the removal of the natural from around your subjects sterilizes the scene & well makes things somewhat unnatural. Just me. The sand is so minimal that everyone seems to agree to leave it be. Your touch up skills are smokin’ good. And, we all love the tips. Thanks

  • avatar James Saxon

    No. 1 for me. I didn’t notice the swatch of sand until you said something. Looking forward to seeing more Snowy Owl images.

  • Artie
    I would leave the sand swatch as in image #1 it gives it a little bit of dimension of the sand, when i click on the image it really looks noisy but i believe it is the sand and not the image, so i opened it on my iMac and it is perfect! It looks 100% better in birds photographers when i open it there!
    I am jealous of this capture it is amazing i cannot wait to see more if you have them.
    Always with love b

  • avatar Chuck Carlson

    Amazing image for a 600 w/2X!

  • avatar David Policansky

    I would even have noticed the disturbed/fixed sand if you hadn’t mentioned it. Great image.

  • #1 looks more realistic to me. #2 looks contrived. Magnificent birds!!

  • avatar Roger Smith

    absolutely the first image with the swatch of sand texture. With it removed, the sand grain gives the image an impression of noise.

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