Lots of Lenses, Lots of Available Focal Lengths … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Lots of Lenses, Lots of Available Focal Lengths ...

What’s Up?

I got down to the lake early, worked the Green Herons near the pier in pre-dawn light, and liked the results. I am, however, looking forward to doing even better. The weather was gorgeous: sunny and dead calm. I did some Limpkins, some cranes, a Tricolored Heron in a marsh setting, some dragonflies, and a single very young Killdeer — seventeen days old to be exact. I only saw one large chick; the other may have perished.

Today is Saturday 18 June 2022. The forecast for ILE for this morning is calling clear skies with a very gentle breeze from the Southwest. I will be heading down to the lake very early again. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day. This blog post took about an hour to prepare and makes ninety-five days in a row with a new one.

Please remember to use the B&H and Amazon links that are found on most blog pages and to use the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout when purchasing your new gear from Bedfords to get 3% back on your credit card and enjoy free second-day air FedEx. Please, also, consider joining a BAA IPT. You will be amazed at how much you will learn!

BIRDS AS ART Image Optimization Service (BAA IOS)

Send a PayPal for $62.00 to birdsasart@verizon.net or call Jim at 863-692-0906 and put $62.00 on your credit card. Pick one of your best images and upload the raw file using a large file sending service like Hightail or DropBox and then send me the link via e-mail. I will download and save your raw file, evaluate the exposure and sharpness, and optimize the image as if it were my own after converting the raw file in Adobe Camera Raw. Best of all, I will make a screen recording of the entire process and send you a link to the video to download, save and study.

Another Induro GIT 304L Price Drop

Amazingly, we have two, brand-new-in-the-box Induro GIT 304L tripods in stock. They are $699.00 each (were $799.00) and the price now includes the insured ground shipping to the lower 48 states. Weekday phone orders only: 863-692-0906.

And Please Remember

You can find some great photo accessories (and necessities, like surf booties!) 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 who, like me, 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.

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 earn 3% cash back at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout for your major gear purchases. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And always earns my great appreciation.

Brand-New and As-Good-As-Ever Bedfords BAA Discount Policy

Folks who have fallen in love with Bedfords can now use the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout to enjoy a post-purchase, 3% off-statement credit (excluding taxes and shipping charges) on orders paid with a credit card. The 3% credit will be refunded to the card you used for your purchase. Be sure, also, to check the box for free shipping to enjoy free Second Day Air Fed-Ex. This offer does not apply to purchases of Classes, Gift Cards, or to any prior purchases.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would like to enjoy getting 3% back on your credit card along with free 2nd Day Air Fed-Ex 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 check the box for Free Shipping. That will automatically upgrade to free 2nd Day Air Fed-Ex. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The waitlists 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 a 1, 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.

Important Note

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small percentage when you purchase from Amazon after using any of the Amazon links on the blog (including the logo-link immediately above). My link works with Amazon Prime and using it will not cost you a single cent. Huge thanks, BTW 🙂

Please Remember Also

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 (still!) save 3% on every order and enjoy free second-day air shipping. In these crazy times — I lost about fifty thousand dollars in income due to COVID 19 — 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.



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. If you are desperate, you can try me on my cell at 863-221-2372. Please leave a message and shoot me a text if I do not pick up.

Photo Mechanic screen capture for the Dorsal view of juvenile Osprey in flight image

Photoshop Hanky-Panky #1

In yesterday’s Handheld Flight at 800mm with Fat Boy blog post here,, I wrote: If you see any evidence of major changes made to this image in Photoshop, please leave a comment and state your case.

Blog regular Adam a (kindly) left this comment:

The more I stare at this image, the more I convince myself that you created the left wing back to wrist. There’s something funky where the alula and the coverts intersect.

As you can see by viewing the Photo Mechanic screen capture, the optimized image was — but for the crop, exactly as it came out of the camera. There was nothing funky at all. Sometimes you can talk yourself into seeing things that are not there …

Note that the second and third primary feathers on the near wing are either imperfect or misplaced. Even after close examination of the image file, I have no idea what the thin, curved white line on the inner primaries of the far wing is. In this case, I did not mess with any of these as I wanted to avoid the image looking too perfect.

This image was created on 16 June 2022 down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL. Working from the driver’s seat of my SUV, I used the BLUBB-supported Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera). The exposure was determined via Zebra technology with ISO on the thumb dial. ISO 320. 1/1000 sec. at f/8 (wide open) in Manual mode. When evaluated in RawDigger, the raw file exposure was determined to be less than one-half stop too dark. AWB at 8:40:35am on sunny morning.

Tracking: Spot S AF-C with Bird Face/Eye detection enabled performed just fine. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #1: Great Egret — juvenile stretching on The Perch

Lots of Focal Lengths

When I am photographing from my vehicle, I usually have the 400 f/2.8 with a 1.4x TC and an a1 on a pillow on the passenger seat. The 600mm f/4 with either the 1.4X or the 2X TC and my second a1 attached, is placed on that same seat with the lens hood resting on a pillow in front of seat. Extra TCs are placed in woolen watch caps on the seat for easy access when needed. The 70-200 II and the 200-600 G lens are in the rear compartment where I can grab them as needed. With my fascination for and my desire to learn about using the 400mm f/2.8, I have not used the 2-6 in more than a month. Strange as it seems, there is lots of overlap between the 400 f/2.8 and the 200-600 f/6.3 …

Please remember that lenses are simply tools and that in many cases, a single lens and a single focal length is best for a given job.

Working the handsome young Great Egret on The Perch, a variety of images were created using these focal lengths: 400mm, 560mm, 600mm, 840mm, and 1200mm.

Photoshop Hanky Panky?

If you see any evidence of major changes made to this image in Photoshop, please leave a comment and state your case.

Flight Photography at Jacksonville Till You Can’t Lift Your Lens! with Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Join me on the beach at Huguenot Memorial Park to learn about photographing terns in flight. 8,000 pairs of Royal Terns nest there and there are birds in the air all the time, often carrying all kinds of fish and crabs for their young. Learn about how the relationship between the wind and the sun impacts flight photography and about the best gear for shooting birds in flight. Join me on a workshop at Jacksonville this summer.

Cute & Beautiful: Photographing Chicks in Jacksonville, FL with Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

There is an amazing beach near Jacksonville, FL where 8,000 pairs of Royal Terns and 12,000 pairs of Laughing Gulls (along with a few other species) breed each summer. As this video shows, photographing the chicks is easy in the summer. And there is tons of great flight photography as well. If you want to improve your bird photography skills, consider joining me on an Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT).

Click on the composite image to enjoy the incredible quality of the hi-res JPEG.

Clockwise from upper left clockwise and back around to the center: Royal Tern in flight with squid for chick; Royal Tern chick on beach; Royal Tern in flight with shrimp for young; Royal Tern chick — double overhead wing stretch; Royal Tern landing with greenback for chick; Royal Tern in flight with juvenile mahi mahi for chick; Brown Pelican — large chick preening; Laughing Gull in fresh juvenal plumage; Royal Tern chick begging; Many Royal Terns with many chicks on face of dune.

Jacksonville IPT #1: 4 FULL DAYS — the afternoon of FRI 1 JULY thru the morning of TUES 5 July 2022: $2099.00 (Limit 6 photographers/Openings: 5)

Jacksonville IPT #2: 4 FULL DAYS — the afternoon of FRI 15 JULY thru the morning of TUES 19 July 2022: $2099.00 (Limit 6 photographers/Openings: 5)

The first three folks to register on each trip can ride to and on and from the beach with me for no charge.

I first visited the breeding bird colony at Jacksonville in late June 2021. I was astounded. There were many thousands of pairs of Royal Terns nesting along with about 10,000 pairs of Laughing Gulls. In addition to the royals, there were some Sandwich Terns nesting. And there are several dozen pairs of Brown Pelicans nesting on the ground. Flight photography was non-stop astounding. And photographing the tern chicks was relatively easy. Folks could do the whole trip with the Sony 200-600, the Canon 100-500 RF, or the Nikon 500 PF or 200-500 VR. With a TC in your pocket for use on sunny days. Most of the action is within 100 yards of where we park (on the beach). As with all bird photography, there are times when a super-telephoto lens with either TC is the best tool for the job.

Morning sessions will average about three 1/2 hours, afternoon sessions about 1 1/2 hours. On cloudy mornings with favorable winds, we may opt to stay out for one long session and skip the afternoon, especially when the afternoon forecast is poor. Lunch is included on the first three days of the IPT and will be served at my AirBnB. We will do image review and Photoshop after lunch.

We will be based somewhere west and a bit north of Jacksonville where there are many AirBnB possibilities. The deposit is $599.00. Call Jim at the office any weekday at 863-692-0906 to pay by credit card. Balances must be paid by check.

Click on the composite image to enjoy the incredible quality of the hi-res JPEG.

Clockwise from upper left clockwise and back around to the center: Royal Tern feeding chick; Royal Tern/4-week-old chick; ink-stained Royal Tern in flight with squid for chick; Royal Tern/3-week-old chick begging; Brown Pelican in flight on white sky day; fresh juvenile Laughing Gull on clean beach; Laughing Gulls stealing fish from Royal Tern; tight shot of Royal Tern in flight with fish for young.

What You Will Learn on a Jacksonville IPT

  • 1- First and foremast you will learn to become a better flight photographer. Much better.
  • 2-You will learn the basics and fine points of digital exposure. Nikon and Canon folks will learn to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, and SONY folks will learn to use Zebras so that they can be sure of making excellent exposures before pressing the shutter button.
  • 3- You will learn to work in Manual exposure mode even if you fear it.
  • 4- You will learn to evaluate wind and sky conditions and understand how they affect bird photography, especially the photography of birds in flight.
  • 5- You will learn several pro secrets (for each system) that will help you to become a better flight photographer.
  • 6- You will learn to zoom out in advance (because the birds are so close!) 🙂
  • 7- You will learn how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them.
  • 8- You will learn to spot the good and the great situations.
  • 9- You will learn to understand and predict bird behavior.
  • 10- You will learn to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system.
  • 11- You will learn to choose the best perspective.
  • 12- You will learn to see and control your backgrounds.
  • 13- You will learn to see and understand the light.
  • 14- You will learn to see and create pleasing blurs in pre-dawn situations.
  • 15- You will learn to be ready for the most likely event.

The best news is that you will be able to take everything you learn home with you so that you will be a better photographer wherever you are and whenever you photograph.

Typos

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

4 comments to Lots of Lenses, Lots of Available Focal Lengths …

  • avatar Joel Eade

    Oh oh …. after a second look I think I am seeing some evidence of cloning on the far right side of the perch close to the edge of the frame

  • avatar Joel Eade

    Nice image with an unusual pose.

    Don’t see any funny business but you are extremely good at it so I can’t be so sure.

    I do see what I think is a dust spot near the center of the bird’s left wing 🙂

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    Love the image of the juvenile great egret stretching — such an unusual capture!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Love the egret. I never see any Photoshop hanky-panky in your images. Sometimes that’s because there isn’t any.

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