September 24th, 2016

Simplicity at f/2.8... On Diagonal Compositions. And a What You See is What You Get Depth-of-Field Reminder

What’s Up?

After some early Friday morning work on even more blog posts–I have about 40 stock-piled as I type–and an early swim and core exercise session, Jim and I headed to Fort DeSoto on Friday afternoon to do some scouting for the upcoming IPT. I had planned on heading farther south to visit the new spoonbill pool but it has dried up quite a bit. If there is a storm at that location, we will head down there at some point in hope of getting in on the action on Sunday morning.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of the 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.

The Streak: 316!

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 316 days in a row with a new educational blog post. There should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. Or not… As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major 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 new BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would 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. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the yellow-orange tab on the right side of the menu bar above.

September Used Gear Sales Continue to be Flaming Hot!

  • Yours truly, Arthur Morris, sold one of his two Canon EOS 5DS R bodies in excellent condition but for a very small, very fine sort of x-shaped crack in the upper-right corner of the top LCD screen, for $2549 in late September.
  • Doug Rogers sold his Vortex Razor 85mm Ultra High Definition Scope in like-new condition for $795.00 in mid-September.
  • Ed Hutchinson sold his Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM lens, the “old 1-4,” in like-new condition for $649 and his EOS 5D Mark III in like-new condition for $1499 within days of listing them in mid-September.
  • Hisham Atallah sold his Canon 600mm f/4L IS II lens in excellent condition for $9499 in mid-September within days of listing it.
  • Good friend and BAA Japan IPT co-leader–the oft-honored BBC and Nature’s Best photographer Paul McKenzie–sold his Canon EOS 1DX in excellent condition with an extra Canon battery for $2299 in mid September two days after it was listed.
  • Eric Karl sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal Extender in excellent condition for the full asking price, a very low $8,099 in mid-September.
  • Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in mint condition for $1599 with an off-brand battery grip in mid-September.
  • IPT veteran Ken Siegel sold his Canon EOS-1DX in excellent condition with several extras for $2899 in early September.
  • Roger Doughty sold his Canon EOS-1DX in “like-new” condition for $2,749 and his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in like-new condition for $1,049 both within hours of listing them in early September.
  • Multiple IPT veteran Phil Frigon sold his barely used Canon EOS 5DSR in like-new condition for $2799 within three hours of listing it on September 6.
  • Joe Alexander sold his Gitzo GT3532LS carbon fiber tripod and a Wimberley V-2 WH-200 gimbal head both in like-new condition for $799 within an hour of listing it on September 6.
  • IPT veteran Larry Master sold his Canon EOS 5DSR in like-new condition for $2799 in early September.
  • Top pro Jim Zuckerman sold his Canon 7D Mark II in excellent condition for $899, his 5D Mark II in excellent condition for $799, and his Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM lens in very good condition for the amazingly low price of $1049 in early September, all within a week of listing.
  • Yours truly sold his Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II lens in near-mint condition for $4783 in early September.

New Listings and More…

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM Lens

Joe Alexander is offering a Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM lens, in excellent plus condition for $599. There are no scratches, scuff marks, or other blemishes. The lens comes in the original box with all original stuff: the tripod Collar, the E-77 II 77mm lens cap, the rear Lens Dust Cap E, the ET-83C lens hood, and the LZ1324 Lens Case with Strap. The cost of insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only is also included. Paypal is preferred and the seller will pay Paypal fee. If paying by check, your item will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Joe via e-mail or phone at 301-639-0783 or 301-371-9607 (Eastern time).

The 100-400 is a versatile intermediate telephoto zoom lens with 1,000+ uses. It makes a great starter lens especially for folks who do general nature and wildlife in addition to birds. I’ve sold 100s of images made with the old 1-4. Joe’s 100-400 is priced to sell quickly. And from what I can tell, this lens is closer to like-new than it is to excellent plus. artie

Canon EF 1.4x III and EF 2x III Extenders

Sold in one hour!

Joe Alexander is also offering one of each of these: Canon EF 1.4x III and Canon EF 2x III Extender. Each is in excellent plus condition. The price of each TC is $249. Buy the pair for $498. There are no scratches, scuff marks, or other blemishes on either TC. The extenders come in the original box with the lens pouch LP811 included. The cost of insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only is included. Paypal is preferred and seller will pay the Paypal fee. If paying by check, Your item will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Joe via e-mail or phone at 301-639-0783 or 301-371-9607 (Eastern time).

As everyone here knows, both TCs are vital to my work and my style. I routinely travel with three 1.4X TCs and two 2X TCs. These two, the latest versions, sell new for $429 so you can save a bundle by grabbing the pair asap. And from what I can tell they are closer to like-new than they are to excellent plus. artie

Canon 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 Telephoto Zoom Lens

Gerold Hanck is offering a Canon 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 telephoto zoom lens, the “old 1-4,” in excellent condition for $549. The sale includes the original lens case and strap, the front lens cap, the rear lens cap, the lens hood, the removable tripod collar, 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 Gerold via e-mail or by phone at 773-263-6730 (Central time).

The 100-400 is a versatile intermediate telephoto zoom lens with 1,000+ uses. It makes a great starter lens especially for folks who do general nature and wildlife in addition to birds. I’ve sold 100s of images made with the old 1-4. Gerold’s 100-400 is priced to sell. artie

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM Lens

Price Reduced $200 on SEPT 22, 2016.

Ron Ozuna is offering a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens in near-mint condition for $2775 (was $2975). The sale includes the original lens front lens cover, the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the original Canon product box, and insured Ground Shipping via FedEx Ground to US addresses only. This lens was recently cleaned and checked at the Canon Service Center in Costa Mesa, CA. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Ron via e-mail or by phone at 1-626-799-7616 (Pacific time).

The older version of the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS is a super sharp lens that is great for hand held flight and action photography and great with both teleconverters. It has long been the favorite focal length of the world’s best hawk photographers. artie

Canon EOS-5DS R with Extras!

Dear friend and multiple IPT veteran Patrick Sparkman is selling his Canon EOS 5DS R with the Canon battery grip in like-new condition for $2899. Includes the original box and everything that came in it, an extra battery for a total of two, and insured ground shipping via FedEx.

Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Patrick via e-mail.

I waited a bit too long to get my first 5DS R but once I did, I quickly added a second. I used each of them more for birds than I did my EOS-1DX Mark II. Go figure. I fell in love with the amazing sharpness and fine feather detail of the 5DS R image files and the AF system was great as well. It is the premier landscape body in the Canon system. artie


sea-oats-_36a2411-indian-lake-estates-fl

This image was created on the 2014 DeSoto Fall IPT with the hand held Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens with the greatest ever buy in a digital camera body, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 1000. Evaluative metering +2 2/3 stops: 1/1000 sec. at f/2.8. Cloudy WB.

65-point Automatic selection AF point/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The system activated and array of 4 AF points in the center of the frame. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Sea Oats in low light

Simplicity at f/2.8…

I created this image with the sea oat frond positioned pretty much horizontally in the frame knowing that I would want to optimize it with the frond oriented diagonally. To do that, I created a duplicate layer and used the Transform command to tilt and position the frond so that it entered the frame from the bottom right. As there was a slight gradient to the sky I needed to use the Clone Stamp Tool to even things out after the crop.

Remember That What You See is What You Get…

If you are curious as to why I did not stop down more for this photo, remember that if everything looks sharp through the viewfinder, then everything will be sharp in the final image; there is no need to stop down. In addition, when working with a 1.6X crop factor camera body the increased distance to the subject will yield additional depth of field. Lastly, I positioned myself so that I was parallel to the plane of the subject.

On Diagonal Compostions…

I have long believed and taught that diagonals are usually most powerful when they enter the frame precisely from a corner (as in today’s featured image). Others are equally adamant in feeling that diagonals should never enter the frame precisely from a corner. Please leave a comment and let us know which camp you are in.

Notice…

Notice here another fine image created with the EOS 7D Mark II.


desoto-fall-card-b

Fort DeSoto in fall is rife with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or early October. I hope that you can join me there this fall one way or another. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

BIRDS AS ART Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Meet-up Workshop (ITFW): $99

Join me on the morning of October 2, 2016 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. 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. This inexpensive morning workshop is 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.

To register please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours with a credit card in hand to pay the nominal registration fee. Your registration fee is non-refundable. You will receive a short e-mail with instructions, gear advice, and meeting place one week before the event.


desoto-fall-card-a-layers

Folks attending the IPT will be in the field early and stay out late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. The good news is that the days are relatively short in early fall. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Fort DeSoto Short Notice Fall IPT/September 28 (meet & greet at 2pm followed by our afternoon session) through the full day on October 1, 2016. 3 1/2 DAYs: $1549. Limit 10/Openings: 5. Sunday morning ITFW free to IPT registrants.

Late Registration Discount: please call 863-692-0906 for discount info

Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for migrant shorebirds in fall. There they join dozens of egrets, herons, night-herons, gulls, and terns who winter on the T-shaped peninsula that serves as their wintering grounds. With any luck, we should get to photograph two of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit and the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher likely. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Tricolored Heron are easy as well and we will almost surely come up with a tame Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or two. We should get to do some Brown Pelican flight photography. And Royal, Sandwich, Forster’s, and Caspian Terns will likely provide us with some good flight opportunities as well. Though not guaranteed, Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork would not be unexpected.

Folks who sign up for the IPT are welcome to join me as my guest on the ITFW on the Sunday morning following the workshop. See above for details on that.

On this and all other IPTs you will learn basics and fine points of digital exposure and to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify and age many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, to, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

At brunch (included) we will review my images–folks learn a ton watching me edit–why keep this one and delete that one? If you opt to bring your laptop, we can take a look at a few of your images from the morning session. We will process a few of my images in Photoshop after converting them in DPP. That followed by Instructor Nap Time.

As I already have one signed up for this workshop, it is a go. Hotel info will be e-mailed when you register. The best airport is Tampa (TPA). It is always best if IPT folks stay in the same hotel so if you are interested it would be a good idea to register now and make your hotel reservations as soon as you hear from us. We can, however, coordinate with local folks who opt to stay at home.

Because of the relatively late date, payment is full is due upon registration either by check or credit card. If the former, please e-mail us immediately so that we can save you a spot. If the latter, please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand to register. Your registration fee is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with eight so please check your plans carefully before committing. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions and gear & clothing advice a fairly soon.

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 we are 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 we, 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.

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 🙂

September 23rd, 2016

(Not So) Blasting Highlights Intensity and Aperture Lessons... More Proof That the 7D Mark II Does Not Suck

What’s Up?

On Wednesday, my planned late swim was cancelled by a thunderstorm so on Thursday I swam early in the day after doing my shoulder stretching and exercises. I spent a good part of the day stock-piling blog posts and working on Used Gear Sales stuff. The latter has taken up a lot of my time lately 🙂 I did learn on Thursday that Doug Rogers sold his Vortex Razor 85mm Ultra High Definition Scope in mid-September and that Ed Hutchinson sold his Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM lens, the “old 1-4,” his EOS 5D Mark III, and his old five, the Canon 500mm f/4L SI lens, all within a day or two of listing.

If anyone would like to join the Fort DeSoto Fall IPT for a day or two on a pro-rated basis, please contact me via e-mail. Scroll down for the IPT details and late registration info.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of the 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.

The Streak: 315!

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 315 days in a row with a new educational blog post. There should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. Or not… As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major 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 new BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.


laughing-gull-blasting-highlights-_36a0107-fort-desoto-county-park-pinellas-fl

This image was created on the 2015 Fort DeSoto IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the 1.4X TC engaged at 513mm) and the best-ever digital camera body value, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 100. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/400 sec. at f/11 in Tv mode. AWB.

65-point (Automatic selection)/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF on the gull’s bill and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Image #1: Laughing Gull silhouette at f/11

(Not So) Blasting Highlights Intensity Lesson

In The Art of Bird Photography II (ABP II: 916 pages, 900+ images on CD only) in the section on Creating 11 a.m. Silhouettes I detail the suggested exposure compensation settings for true blasting highlights situations. The backlight in today’s featured images was somewhat muted; this allowed me to work with much less negative ECs and at wider than typical apertures than I would in true blasting highlights situations.

Images Question

Why ISO 100?


laughing-gull-bright-highlights-_36a0112-fort-desoto-county-park-pinellas-fl

This image was of course also created on the 2015 Fort DeSoto IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the 1.4X TC engaged at 519mm) and the best-ever digital camera body value, the Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 100. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6 in Tv mode. AWB.

65-point (Automatic selection)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the gull’s bill and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Image #2: Laughing Gull silhouette at f/5.6

(Not So) Blasting Highlights Aperture Lesson

By comparing today’s featured images you can see that with the smaller aperture in Image #1, f/11, that the specular highlights are much more sharply defined than the specular highlights in Image #2 that was created wide open at f/5.6.

Which look do you like better? Why?

Please Don’t Ask Me…

Please don’t ask me why I was in Tv (Shutter priority) mode or why I chose 65-point Automatic selection AF. Neither make much sense but they worked quite well…

The Image Conversions and Optimizations

With two pretty much perfect exposures the RAW conversions in DPP 4 were quite straightforward. I warmed the image up a bit by raising the color temperature and then warmed it up a bit more with a Color Fine-Tune adjustment. All that I did in Photoshop was save the master files as TIFFs and then size (1200 pixels wide) sharpen (Unsharp Mask: 110/.3/0) and save the two JPEGs.

To learn why and how Arash and I use only DPP 4 to convert our Canon image files see the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide click here.


desoto-fall-card-b

Fort DeSoto in fall is rife with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or early October. I hope that you can join me there this fall one way or another. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

BIRDS AS ART Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Meet-up Workshop (ITFW): $99

Join me on the morning of October 2, 2016 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. 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. This inexpensive morning workshop is 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.

To register please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours with a credit card in hand to pay the nominal registration fee. Your registration fee is non-refundable. You will receive a short e-mail with instructions, gear advice, and meeting place one week before the event.


desoto-fall-card-a-layers

Folks attending the IPT will be in the field early and stay out late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. The good news is that the days are relatively short in early fall. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Fort DeSoto Short Notice Fall IPT/September 28 (meet & greet at 2pm followed by our afternoon session) through the full day on October 1, 2016. 3 1/2 DAYs: $1549. Limit 10/Openings: 5. Sunday morning ITFW free to IPT registrants.

Late Registration Discount: please call 863-692-0906 for discount info

Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for migrant shorebirds in fall. There they join dozens of egrets, herons, night-herons, gulls, and terns who winter on the T-shaped peninsula that serves as their wintering grounds. With any luck, we should get to photograph two of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit and the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher likely. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Tricolored Heron are easy as well and we will almost surely come up with a tame Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or two. We should get to do some Brown Pelican flight photography. And Royal, Sandwich, Forster’s, and Caspian Terns will likely provide us with some good flight opportunities as well. Though not guaranteed, Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork would not be unexpected.

Folks who sign up for the IPT are welcome to join me as my guest on the ITFW on the Sunday morning following the workshop. See above for details on that.

On this and all other IPTs you will learn basics and fine points of digital exposure and to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify and age many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, to, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

At brunch (included) we will review my images–folks learn a ton watching me edit–why keep this one and delete that one? If you opt to bring your laptop, we can take a look at a few of your images from the morning session. We will process a few of my images in Photoshop after converting them in DPP. That followed by Instructor Nap Time.

As I already have one signed up for this workshop, it is a go. Hotel info will be e-mailed when you register. The best airport is Tampa (TPA). It is always best if IPT folks stay in the same hotel so if you are interested it would be a good idea to register now and make your hotel reservations as soon as you hear from us. We can, however, coordinate with local folks who opt to stay at home.

Because of the relatively late date, payment is full is due upon registration either by check or credit card. If the former, please e-mail us immediately so that we can save you a spot. If the latter, please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand to register. Your registration fee is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with eight so please check your plans carefully before committing. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions and gear & clothing advice a fairly soon.

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 we are 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 we, 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.

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 🙂

September 22nd, 2016

Southwest Florida Free Site Guide Update (or should we call it a Downerdate?) And Roseate Spoonbill Photos & Info...

What’s Up?

I realized this week that I lost one of the two sets of my keys for my Toyota Sequoia so I decided to drive over to Vero Beach to the dealer. Purchase two keys… Simple matter, no? Actually not. It took more than 3 1/2 hours, and at that, they were only able to make me one key… But I had my laptop so I answered e-mails and worked on blog posts. My planned late afternoon swim was cancelled by thunderstorms…

I was thrilled to learn yesterday of the sale of Hisham Atallah’s 600 II for the full asking price of $9499 just a day after it was listed. Another gem of a 600 II is listed below.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of the 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.

The Interview Now on YouTube

The interview by Peggy Farren of Understand Photography can be seen and heard on YouTube. And, the sound is now synched perfectly. If you missed it (or not), you can access it here.

The Streak: 314!

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 314 days in a row with a new educational blog post. There should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. Or not… As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major 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 new BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.

Canon 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

Another Weapon of Mass Destruction!

IPT veteran Mark Overgaard is offering a Canon EF600 f/4L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for $9,495. The sale includes a LensCoat, the rear lens cap, the front lens cover, the lens trunk, the monopod mount, and both the lens and lens trunk straps, the lens manual and warranty card–the latter included for record-keeping purposes only since the warranty is expired, and insured ground shipping via either FEDEX or UPS to US addresses only.

The lens just underwent an 11-point clean and check service from Canon Professional Services.

The lens will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Mark via e-mail.

As y’all know, the 600 II has been my go-to long lens since its introduction several years ago. It is relatively lightweight and super-sharp. It goes great with the 1.4X III TC and with a bit of practice and good sharpness techniques, you should be able to make sharp images with the 2X III TC down to 1/60 sec. As a new one goes for $11,499 you can save a nice $2005 by grabbing Mark’s lens right now. artie


covera

birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100
The companion e-book to the solo exhibit at TheNat, San Diego, California

The new e-book on CD is available here.

birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100

My latest e-book, created on a wing and a prayer in less than two weeks–see Harebrained Scheme here–includes the 67 spectacular images that hung last winter and spring in the Ordover Gallery at the San Diego Natural History Museum in a career-retrospective solo exhibition. In addition, there are 33 additional images in the spectacular e-book that barely missed making the show.

This exhibition companion e-book makes it possible for everyone to “visit” TheNAT gallery and, in addition, to enjoy seeing my top one hundred bird photographs under one roof. Each image includes a title, the species name, the location, relevant EXIF data, and an anecdotal caption. The short story: the collection is inspirational.

birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100: $23 for the professionally produced CD (includes shipping to US addresses only)

Please click here to purchase the physical CD. As above, your purchase price includes shipping to all US addresses. If you would like your CD signed on the inside cover with a black Sharpie, you will need to place your order by phone and request a signed copy: 863-692-0906. For our Canadian friends we are offering the CD for $28 with shipping to Canada via phone orders only: 863-692-0906.

Those who purchase the CD are advised to copy the file to their computers and then archive the CD.


e-bookcover

The new e-book via is also available via convenient download for $20 by clicking here.

birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100: $20 via convenient download.

Overseas folks, and anyone else as well, can purchase the e-book via convenient download for $20 by clicking here.

Kindly Note

Please share this e-book only with your spouse or significant other. If a friend asks you to share a copy with them, please direct them either to this blog post or to the appropriate link in the BAA Online Store as above. All of the images and text are protected by international copyright law and may not be copied or printed without written permission from the photographer/author. Many thanks for honoring these requests.

You will–of course–need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PDF.


jrspoonie-wings-up

This image was created by multiple IPT veteran Jim Robellard with the hand held Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens for Canon EF (at 600mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II.

ISO 1000: 1/1250 sec. at f/9.

Roseate Spoonbill with wings raised.
Image #1: Courtesy and copyright 2016: Jim Robellard

Southwest Florida Free Site Guide Update (or should we call it a Downerdate?)

As most of you know, Ding Darling has gone downhill over the past decade in large due to anti-photographer management attitude and policies. Though I have not been in years, I hear that on occasion it can still be worth a visit at times at different seasons. Be clear though, that it is no longer close to being the crown jewel of the National Wildlife Refuge System that it was in the 1990s and a bit beyond.

Little Estero Lagoon on Fort Myers Beach has also hit the skids as the lagoon has pretty much dried up after being cut off from the Gulf. Least Terns and Black Skimmers nest on the beach most years about 3/4 mile east of the Wyndham Garden Hotel (formerly the Holiday Inn).

The Venice Rookery ain’t what it used to be, but neither am I; both are still pretty good. And lastly, my understanding is that Corkscrew has been poor forever most likely due to small ecological changes related to the water levels. And to the fact that the Wood Storks have been moving north for more than a decade.

There are however, still lots of tame birds in Southwest Florida and lots of great places to photograph them. Pretty much all of them are covered in detail in the Southwest Florida Site Guide.


jrspoon-feeding-edit

For this image Jim used the hand held Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens for Canon EF (at 470mm) and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II

ISO 800: 1/400 sec. at f/6.3 @ 1/400.

Roseate Spoonbill dipping bill before preening.
Image #2: Courtesy and copyright 2016: Jim Robellard

Southwest Florida Roseate Spoonbill Site Guide Update

Multiple IPT veteran Jim Robellard and all-around nice guy, who kindly supplied the images for today’s blog post, recently alerted me of a new hotspot with spoonbills and skimmers and an assortment of wading birds and shorebirds. The birds are coming to a fairly large but surely temporary rain pool. We are not sure how long it will last. But it is quite active right now.

Folks who have previously purchased the Southwest Florida Site Guide (and those who purchase it now) who would like to learn about this location must contact us via email. You must click on the preceding link and you must cut and paste either the first page of the site guide or your order confirmation e-mail. E-mails from folks who do not include proof of purchase will be deleted.


jrr_rososp1

This image was created by multiple IPT veteran Jim Robellard with the hand held Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports lens for Canon EF (at 600mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II.

ISO 640: 1/1250 sec. at f/9.

Roseate Spoonbill foraging.
Image #3: Courtesy and copyright 2016: Jim Robellard

Your Favorite?

Which of Jim Robellard’s fine spoonbill images is your favorite? Please let us know why you made your choice.

More on the Sigma 150-600 Zoom Lenses…

After seeing Jim’s images I learned that the Sigma 150-600 is not only available as a Nikon-mount version (the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Nikon F) but that they make a lighter inexpensive version in each mount for folks on a budget ( the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens for Canon EF and the Sigma 150-600mm f/5-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary Lens for Nikon F.) And the lighter weight Contemporary versions are just as sharp as the Sport versions. What times these are: you can get a sharp, lightweight hand holdable zoom lens that gives you 600mm of reach for under $1000. Amazing.

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 we are 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 we, 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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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 🙂