Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
May 17th, 2017

Free DeSoto Friday Afternoon Session, Black Grouse Hen Mystery Answers, Great Egret Marsh Grass Answers, and a Free ABP II Excerpt

What’s Up

I spent a good part of Tuesday fighting a quick-developing but nasty sore throat using a mega-gargling protocol from Dr. Oliver. Right now, Tuesday evening at 6:36 as I type, I seem to at least be holding me own. Time will tell.

Free Friday Afternoon Desoto In-the-Field Session

Sign up (details below) for the four DeSoto sessions and join Machine-gun Mike Hankes and me for a free Friday instructional outing from 4pm till sunset.

Black Grouse Hen Mystery Answers

From the Black Grouse Hen Mysteries blog post here:

I created Image #1. Multiple IPT participant Anita North created Image #2.

The focal length for Image #1 was 1200mm.
The shutter speed for Image #1 was 1/250 sec. (ISO 800 at f/9).
The focal length for Image #2 was 600mm.
The shutter speed for Image #2 was a surprising 1/500 sec. (ISO 800 at f/4).

The shutter speed for Image #2 was quite surprising. Most folks thought that it would have been a lot slower. The high shutter speed gives you an idea that that lady was really moving when the bird decided to split.

Though the seemingly simple Image #1 was one of my very favorites of the trip, I loved Anita’s blur, mostly for the fact that she pushed the shutter button when most folks would not have thought to try. Hers is one accidental pleasing blur that turned out superbly. Thanks Anita for allowing me to share your image with the group here.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks 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.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use our B&H links for your major and minor gear purchases. For best results, use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

ed-blanton

This image was created on the 2017 Spring For DeSoto IPT by participant Ed Blanton with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II (at 270mm — 405mm full frame equivalent), and the Nikon D500. ISO 400. Matrix metering -1 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/5.6.

Image #1: Great Egret and marsh grasses.
Image courtesy of and copyright 2016: Ed Blanton

Somebody Listened …

After each IPT, the group is invited to submit five of their favorite images for an online critique. All of the image critiques are shared with the group. I was pleased to see that Ed Blanton opted to follow my advice and photograph the fine looking Great Egret foraging along the edge of the marsh. I like Ed’s image design with the marsh grasses playing a big role in the success of the image. The bird is sharp and well back in the frame and the final tonality of the optimized photo was right on. Thanks Ed for joining us on the IPT and for allowing me to share your image here on the blog.

Notice …

Notice that there are grasses both in front of and behind the bird … That of course varied a bit as the bird foraged.

Great-Egret-in-wispy-march-grasses-_W5A4501-Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra,-Verde,-FL

This image was created on the 2017 Spring For DeSoto IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and
and my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/250 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. AWB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -5.

Center Large Zone AF/AI Servo/shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The system activated a cluster of three AF points that caufht the bottom of the base of the bird’s bill, right on the same plane as the bird’s eye. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Image #2: Great Egret and marsh grasses

The Big Misconception

In the original Ignored … Tripod Basics and An Advanced Tripod Tip, Large Zone AF Info, and Image Questions blog post here, I posed two questions:

#1: Why did I want to get 9 inches lower (quickly)?

#2: Why, once I acquired and held focus, did I opt to create long series of images. In other words, why did I opt to make a lot of images in this specific situation?

Pretty much everyone who commented nailed #2; I created several long series of images in hopes of getting one where the arrangement of grasses around the bird’s head and neck were pleasingly perfect. With Image #2, immediately above, I believe that I did just that. No grasses intersect with the bird’s head or upper neck and the bird is framed just right (for me).

The answers to #2 revealed the big misconception: most folks thought that my wanting to get low had to do with the grasses around the bird’s head. By taking a look at the situation revealed in Image #1 you can see or imagine that my being 9 inches higher or low would have little effect on the image as far as the juxtaposition of the bird’s head and the marsh grasses. Why? Both were pretty much on the same plane with some grasses just in front of the bird and some just behind.

Elinor Osborn left this comment for #1: To get the grass up closer to the bird’s head? To get the strip of green at the top? To get level with the bird’s eye and bill? Her #1 did not make much sense to me. Her #2 was bingo. Her #3 was true but, due to the extremely long focal length (1200mm), it was true only to a very small degree.

Elinor added: The green oof background at the top matches the green on the bird so well. The grass and the OOF green make this a gorgeous composition.

So yes, the reason that I wanted to get lower was to include the strip of color at the top. The color came from the distant marsh grasses on the other side of the lagoon, perhaps 200 yards away.

Below, verbatim, is an excerpt from the Chapter II, Advanced Composition and Image Design, in The Art of Bird Photography II. It is quite on point. (ABP II: 900+ images, 918 pages, on CD only.)

Creative Vision

Are some folks born with an artistic eye? Can the skills needed to design photographs that are compositionally pleasing and those needed to create dynamic and powerful images be taught? If a group of photographers looks out on a grand scene and only one or two see the most powerful composition instantly, is there hope for the others? Is it possible for one person to teach another to see and think creatively? For the past two decades I have struggled with the answers to these questions. I believe that the answer to each of them is “Yes.” Some folks are—for sure—born with an artistic eye while others are not, but the folks in the latter group can learn to design images that are both pleasing and powerful; they can learn to develop and improve their creative vision.

Folks with creative vision venture afield with eyes wide open, looking about in all directions. As they observe the natural world, much of it looks ordinary, but there is often something that catches their eye. Why? There are countless factors that come into play. Color (either bright hues or the more subtle earth tones) may provide the initial spark. Shapes, lines (especially diagonal and curved lines), textures, reflections, silhouettes, and movement often play a role, as can the quality and direction of the light. For bird photographers it can be a new species or a plumage they have not seen before, interesting behavior, or even a common bird in a wonderful setting that catches their eye. When you see something that sparks your interest, ask yourself, “Is what I see interesting enough or beautiful enough to photograph?” (When a situation is really good you will scarcely be able to contain your excitement…) Now visualize the image that you would like to create and decide which lens would best be used to capture it. In bird photography, the choice is often—but not always—your longest lens.

Do you need to change your position to make the image that you want? Do you need to get closer or move farther away? How would moving left or right or up or down affect the angle of the subject relative to the imaging sensor or the film plane, the arrangement of compositional elements within the frame, or the play of light upon the subject? Some may need to physically change their position in order to see how a change in perspective would affect the image. Others are able to imagine how the image would look if they were, for example, to move ten feet left and kneel (rather than stand) behind their (lowered) tripod. If you fit into the former category, the best advice that I can give is to begin by physically changing your position and noting how each new perspective affects the image. Do this often enough and one component of your creative vision will improve: you will find that in more and more situations you will be able to “see” from other vantage points without having to physically change your position. This is one big key to developing your creative vision.

In situations where there seems to be nothing exciting to photograph, or when low light levels are a problem, creative photographers may think about slow shutter speeds and the possibility of creating some intentional (or necessary) blurs. And in addition, they will sometimes think this way even when there is lots of light. In these cases, choosing and using a low ISO or a slow film can help you get a shutter speed that is slow enough to yield the blurred results that you want. For single birds flying close to the camera, a shutter speed in the range of 1/30 to 1/125 second will yield pleasing blurs, while shutter speeds as slow as 1/6 second (or even slower) will create pleasingly blurred images of distant flocks. An option for creating blurred bird-scapes is to move or shake the camera during relatively long exposures while hand-holding or by shaking the lens or panning with it when working on a tripod.

I tend to view the world “tele-photographically,” that is, as if looking through a telephoto or super-telephoto lens. I see the world in small rectangular frames (either horizontal or vertical ones) at various focal lengths. Four of my favorites are 700, 840, 1000, and 1200mm. Walking down Broadway, most folks would be taken in by the grandeur, by the kaleidoscope of color and the tumult, and by the sheer height of the buildings. My eye would more likely be drawn to the reflections in a skyscraper’s mirrored windows or the craggy features of a sleeping wino, this the result of years of looking through long lenses at a variety of natural history subjects. It is, for the most part, how I see the world.

The next section in ABP II’s Chapter II is Guidelines for Advanced Composition and Image Design. It has been some time since I revisited ABP II but I must say with complete modesty that the writing is simple and straightforward (and brilliant) and the concepts covered and detailed are exactly what folks need to improve their nature photography. It is surely the most under-appreciated work in existence on how to become a better bird photographer.

As with many of the chapters in ABP II, the chapter on Advanced Composition and Image Design is followed by a gallery. The Composition and Image Design gallery features 81 images each with its own BAA legendary educational caption.

On a related topic, as far back as the original The Art of Bird Photography, I wrote something to this effect, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could simply walk up to our subjects and physically move the other elements in our images around in the frame. As that of course would be impossible the only way for us to do that is to change our perspective, to move left or right or up or down.” That is as true today as it was two decades ago.

You can save $10 by ordering the two-book bundle here. Do just that and get to work.

BIRDS AS ART May 20-21 Fort DeSoto In-the Field Instructional Meet-Up Sessions

Sign up for the the four sessions below and Friday afternoon is free!

Join me in Tierra Verde, FL for all or part of the weekend of May 20-21, 2017. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images. Teleconverters are always a plus. You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. These inexpensive sessions are designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tours. I hope to meet you there.

May 20-21, 2017 Schedule

  • Saturday May 20 Meet-up Morning: 6:30 till 10:00am: $99.
  • Lunch and Image Review: $99.
  • Saturday afternoon: 4pm till sunset: $99.
  • Sunday May 21 Meet-up Morning, Meet-up Morning: 6:30 till 10:00am: $99.

Cheap Canon lens rentals available: 600 II, 500 II, 400 DO II, or 200-400.

To pay for one or more sessions in full via credit card, call Jim or Jen in the office weekdays at 863-692-0906. You will be responsible for the cost of your park entry fee. Please shoot me an e-mail with questions.








Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

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 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 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 will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here.

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

May 16th, 2017

You Could Be Saying These Things ...

What’s Up

I photographed down by the lake for a bit on Monday morning and learned some neat stuff that I will be sharing with y’all here soon. Got a lot done (though I am not sure what) and enjoyed my late afternoon swim — I go so slowly that it is actually more mediation than exercise …

The Used Gear Page (see more below) continues to perform amazingly well especially with high ticket stuff. From yesterday only:

  • Tom Phillips sold his Canon EOS-1DX Mark II (Premium Kit) in near-mint condition for $4499 and his Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO II USM lens in like-new condition for $5,798 both within two days of listing them in mid-May.
  • Ron Paulk sold his Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II USM zoom lens in excellent condition for $1100 and the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT & Canon ST-E3-RT Transmitter/package for $425 on May 14, 2017, the day after it was listed.
  • Larry Peavler sold a Canon EF 100-400 zoom f/4.5 – 5.6 L IS Telephoto Zoom lens, the old 1-4, in excellent condition for $549 soon after it was listed.

And, I learned that the sale of Larry Peavler’s Canon Extender EF 2X III is pending.

More Opinions Needed

Only two folks commented on yesterday’s Black Grouse Hen Mysteries … blog post here. If you have a moment, your thoughts on the two images would be appreciated. With love. artie


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear (such as nearly all of the ballheads featured in the B&H banner above …) 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.

ps: I love my Induro Ballheads; click on the Induro link to the right to see which ones are in stock.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use our B&H links for your major and minor gear purchases. For best results, use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.


double-crested-cormorant-w-crest-erect-_y8a8360-la-jolla-ca

This image was created on the 2015 San Diego IPT with the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 400mm with the internal 1.4X TC in place) and the amazing Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/5.6 was almost a stop too dark. AWB.

AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus Zone AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. It activated two AF points above the center AF point. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Breeding plumage Double-crested Cormorant with crest erected

All BIRDS AS ART Images …

All BIRDS AS ART images are available as signed photographic prints. If you see an image that you love and would like to hang in your home or office, please shoot me an e-mail with a link to the photo and the size that you would like and I would be glad to send you a no-obligation quote.

Thanks to Marj Kao (see more below) who ordered a 16 X 16 inch print of the cormorant image above.

You Could Be Saying These Things …

Unsolicited, via e-mail from Char Hulse, a beginning bird photographer who attended her first BAA In-the-Field Meet-up session on Sunday at Gatorland:

Artie, thank you for the great time. It was worth every cent. You are a great teacher. Thanks again, Char

Unsolicited,, via e-mail from Marj Kao, who attended two Gatorland and one Fort DeSoto BAA In-the-Field Meet-up sessions this spring:

Hi Artie and Jim!

I received the PDFs for the two site guides (Central Florida and Merritt Island/Brevard County) and was able to view both of them with no problem. They seem to be well worth the money.

Please let me know when you ship the cormorant print so that I can be on the lookout for the package. We occasionally have a problem with package theft in my neighborhood. A tracking number would be very useful.

On a side note, I compared the pictures that I took at Gatorland in early February with the images from yesterday’s outing. After participating in my third meet-up sessions, I saw that the vast amount of improvement is astounding! The “before” files were in focus with some interesting poses, but the “after” files have far better lighting and cleaner backgrounds. Basically, the old pics were “meh” while the new ones are much more impressive looking with a lot of “pop”.

Thanks, and I’m looking forward to seeing the Cormorant print. Marj

It’s Not Too Late

It is not too late to join us at DeSoto this coming weekend (as below). I have one client for the full program and one for Saturday morning only so there is lots of room for you. I hope that you can join us. Heck, I almost forgot, the dates match up almost perfectly with last year’s amazing Laughing Gull on Brown Pelican heads action.


fort-desoto-card

DeSoto in spring is rife with tame and attractive birds. From upper left clockwise to center: breeding plumage Dunlin, dark morph breeding plumage Reddish Egret displaying, breeding plumage Laughing Gull/front end vertical portrait, breeding plumage Laughing Gull with prey item, Laughing Gull on head of Brown Pelican, screaming Royal Tern in breeding plumage, Royal Terns/pre-copulatory stand, Laughing Gulls copulating, breeding plumage Laughing Gull/tight horizontal portrait, Sandwich Tern with fish, and a really rare one, White-rumped Sandpiper in breeding plumage, photographed at DeSoto in early May.

BIRDS AS ART May 20-21 Fort DeSoto In-the Field Instructional Meet-Up Sessions

Join me in Tierra Verde, FL for all or part of the weekend of May 20-21, 2017. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images. Teleconverters are always a plus. You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. These inexpensive sessions are designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tours. I hope to meet you there.

May 20-21, 2017 Schedule

  • Saturday May 20 Meet-up Morning: 6:30 till 10:00am: $99.
  • Lunch and Image Review: $99.
  • Saturday afternoon: 4pm till sunset: $99.
  • Sunday May 21 Meet-up Morning, Meet-up Morning: 6:30 till 10:00am: $99.

Cheap Canon lens rentals available: 600 II, 500 II, 400 DO II, or 200-400.

To pay for one or more sessions in full via credit card, call Jim or Jen in the office weekdays at 863-692-0906. You will be responsible for the cost of your park entry fee. Please shoot me an e-mail with questions.








Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

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 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 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 will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

Amazon.com

Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here.

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

May 15th, 2017

Black Grouse Hen Mysteries ...

What’s Up

Gatorland was great on Sunday morning especially with the small Snowy Egret chicks in the nest. The two clients, Marj Kao and Char Hulse (who was in Orlando for the weekend) had a great time and learned a ton. It was Marj’s third BAA meet-up. Char had only rarely pointed her lens at a bird before and was amazed by both Gatorland and by how much she learned in such a short time. It took us a while to figure out the blinkies on her Nikon D-500.

I was glad to learn yesterday that multiple IPT veteran and all around nice guy, Dwayne Marrott is also joining us in the Palouse. That makes five. There is still room for you.

The Used Gear Page (see more below) continues to perform amazingly well especially with high ticket stuff. The above-mentioned Dwayne Marrott purchased Ron Paulk’s Canon 16-35 and his 100 Macro. In addition, Ron sold his ST-E3-RT Transmitter. And the sale of the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT and the Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II USM Zoom lens is pending. The sale of Tom Phillips’ 1DX II and 400 DO II is also pending. As I said, amazing.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks 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.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use our B&H links for your major and minor gear purchases. For best results, use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

Selling Your Used Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar above.

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Gerry Keshka

Hi Artie, I wanted to share how much I appreciate your Used Gear “service.” You have posted how you help sellers, but the other side of the equations is how much this service helps buyers. I have purchased three lenses (Canon 200-400, 500 f4 II, and 70-200 F2.8) all lovely experiences and I saved almost $5K over retail. Each of the sellers was delightful, willing to help me assess if the purchase was right for me by sharing their experience with the lens. Each lens was in the condition advertised (or better), and typically included several “add-ons” that would have cost several hundred dollars.

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Sandra Calderbank

Hi Artie, I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you. I have sold two camera bodies on your BAA used gear site. Your friendly expertise and knowledgeable, trustworthy buyers have made this an extremely satisfying experience. Selling on BAA Used Gear page is the best transaction experience I have ever encountered. Thank you for all you do for our photography community. Sincerely, Sandra

Recent Successful Used Gear Sales
Big Ticket Items Continue to Sell Like Hotcakes on the Used Gear Page in April and May!

  • Larry Peavler sold a Canon EF 100-400 zoom f/4.5 – 5.6 L IS Telephoto Zoom lens, the old 1-4, in excellent condition for $549 soon after it was listed.
  • Ron Paulk sold his Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens in excellent condition for $999and his Canon EF 100mm Macro f/2.8L IS USM lens in excellent condition for $549 the day they were listed.
  • Ron Paulk sold a Canon EOS-1D X Professional Digital Camera Body in excellent condition for $2699 and a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens in mid-May before they were listed and is kindly sending me a check for the 2 1/2%.
  • Hisham A. sold a Canon EOS 7D Mark II in excellent plus condition for the BAA record low price of $847 in early May.
  • John Stuhlmuller sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS Lens with Internal 1.4 Extender in mint condition with lots of extras for a very low $8149 in early May.
  • John Stuhlmuller also sold his Canon EOS 5DS R digital camera body in like-new condition with lots of extras for an amazingly low $2799, also in early May.
  • Multiple IPT veteran and good friend Doug Holstein sold his Canon 500mm f4/L IS USM Super Telephoto lens and a 1.4X II teleconverter, both in in excellent condition, for the great low price of $3699 in early May, 2017.
  • Larry Peavler sold his Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition for the amazingly low price of $4199 soon after it was listed in late April.
  • KW McCulloch sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS lens with Internal 1.4X Extender in excellent plus condition for $8294 in mid-April.
  • Stan Hoyt sold his Canon 500mm f4L IS USM Super Telephoto lens in like-new condition (with extras) for the great low price of $3899 soon after it was listed in mid-April.
  • Leonard Malkin sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f2/.8 L IS lens excellent condition for $899 in mid-April, 2017.
  • Paul Abravaya sold his Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO II lens in excellent condition for $5,799 soon after it was re-listed in mid-April.

New Listings

Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Multiple IPT veteran Duncan Douglas is offering a lightly used Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in like-new condition (but for some small scratches on the bottom of the original lens foot) for $4199. The sale includes the original box, lens trunk, the lens strap, the front leather cover, the rear lens cap, a 4th Generation Designs CP-51b replacement foot with all the wrenches, the original Canon lens foot, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. The lens is expected back today, Monday May 15, 2017 after being cleaned and checked by Canon.

Please contact Duncan via e-mail.

The 500 f/4s have been the world’s most popular telephoto lenses for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. I owned and used and loved my “old five” for many years. We have sold more than a few recently for $3999 and even two for $3799. Bill’s lens is priced a bit higher as it is in pristine condition. If you don’t have the cash for the 500 II and can handle the additional 1 1/2 pounds (exactly) then this is your next best option. The 500 II goes for $8999 so you will be saving a cool $4,800 and getting a virtually brand new lens to boot. artie

Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a RRS L-bracket

David Ramirez is offering a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (with extras) in near-mint condition (but for two small rub marks/nicks on the upper part of the body. Photos available upon request) for $4149. The camera had only 7963 shutter actuation’s on it. It has had Vello glass screen protectors on both LCDs from the beginning. Included are the original box, one battery, the charger,the discs, the strap,the manual, the front lens cap, a RRS L-bracket, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact David via e-mail or by phone at 541-892-3726 (Pacific time.)

I owned and used this superb, full frame, 22mp digital body for several years. It was always my first choice for scenic, Urbex, and flower photography until I fell in love for a while with the 5DS R (for a lot more money!). In addition, I loved my 5D III body for birds with my big lenses and both TCs. artie

Canon Extender EF 2X III

Price reduced $70 on May 15, 2017.

Larry Peavler is also offering a Canon Extender EF 2X III in like-new condition for $299 (was $369). The sale includes the TC pouch, the front and rear caps, the original product box, and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Larry via e-mail by phone at 1-317-908-0729 (Eastern time.)

The 2X III TC is a valuable accessory for folks who can use it to make sharp images with f/2.8 or f/4 telephoto lenses. artie

Black-Grouse-hen-on-lek-_A0I0093-Kuusamo,-Finland

This image was created on the 2017 Finland IPT by somebody with the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

Image #1: Black Grouse hen on lekking ground
Image copyright 2017: ???

Black Grouse Hen Mysteries …

One of today’s images was created by yours truly, Mr. Famous Bird Photographer. The other was created by one of the IPT participants. Please leave a comment and let us know which one I made and which one was created by the for now un-named participant.

Then try your hand at these:

Image #1 focal length? (Note: a TC might or might not have been used to create each image …)
Image #1 shutter speed?
Image #2 focal length? (Note: a TC might or might not have been used to create each image …)
Image #2 shutter speed?

Your Favorite?

Please also let us know which of the two images you feel is the stronger of the two. And let us know why you made your choice.

am_Q7A5780Kuusamo-1

This image (of the same bird) was also created on the 2017 Finland IPT by somebody with the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

Image #2: Black Grouse hen leaving lekking ground
Image copyright 2017: ???

Black Grouse Hens …

Black Grouse hens rarely visit the lekking grounds. Our guide noted that the females visit most often on windless mornings. On the very calm morning of May 4, 2017, our second morning in the Black Grouse hides, his prediction came true. We were all thrilled.


palouse-card-2017layers

Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card

Why Different?

Announcing the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour

In what ways will the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour be different from the most other Palouse workshops?

There are so many great locations that a seven-day IPT (as opposed to the typical three- or five-day workshops) will give the group time to visit (and revisit) many of the best spots while allowing you to maximize your air travel dollars. In addition, it will allow us to enjoy a slightly more relaxed pace.

You will be assured of being in the right location for the given weather and sky conditions.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills.

You will learn to design powerful, graphic images.

You will visit all of the iconic locations and a few spectacular ones that are much less frequently visited.

You will learn long lens landscape techniques.

You will learn to master any exposure situation in one minute or less.

You will learn the fine points of Canon in-camera (5D Mark III, 5DS R, and 7D II) HDR techniques.

You will learn to create this look in Photoshop from a single image while winding up with a higher quality image file.

You will be able to share a variety of my exotic Canon lenses including the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, aka the “circle lens.”

You will learn to use your longest focal lengths to create rolling field and Urbex abstracts.

You will learn when and how to use a variety of neutral density filters to create pleasing blurs of the Palouse’s gorgeous rolling farmlands.

As always, you will learn to see like a pro. You will learn what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time.

You will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images.

You will learn to use super-wide lenses both for big skies and building interiors.

You will learn when, why, and how to use infrared capture; if you do not own an infrared body, you will get to borrow mine.

You will learn to use both backlight and side-light to create powerful and dramatic landscape images.

You will learn to create the very popular detailed, slightly grungy, slightly over-saturated look in Photoshop.


palouse-2017-card-layers

Palouse 2016 Verticals Card

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour
June 8-14, 2017. Seven full days of photography. Meet and greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 7: $2,499. Limit 10/Openings: 7.

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will enjoy spectacular sunrises and at least one nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. I will bring you to more than a few really neat old abandoned barns and farmhouses in idyllic settings. There is no better way to improve your compositional and image design skills and to develop your creativity than to join me for this trip. Photoshop and image sharing sessions when we have the time and energy…. We get up early and stay out late and the days are long.

Over the past three years, with the help of my friend Denise Ippolito, we found all the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and vistas. What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, my extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions. As above, there will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before the workshop begins.

To Sign Up

Your non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining this IPT. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours to arrange for the payment of your deposit; if by check, please make out to “BIRDS AS ART” and mail it to: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail: artie.

Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options. You can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.








Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

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 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 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 will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

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Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here.

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Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).