June 24th, 2016

Metamorphosis...

What’s Up?

I got a ton done yesterday but cannot remember exactly what I accomplished… I have been swimming every day and enjoying an evening ice bath.


Nickerson Beach Terns/Skimmers/Oystercatchers Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT): July 18-22, 2016. 4 1/2 DAYS: $1899. Limit 10/Openings 6.

Meet and greet at 3pm on the afternoon of Monday, July 18.

Please e-mail for repeat customer or couples discount info, or for info on a 3-day option.

With only four folks signed up, learning situations will abound. The primary subject species on this IPT will be the nesting Common Terns and Black Skimmers. The trip is timed so that we will get to photograph tiny tern chicks as well as fledglings. There will be lots of flight photography including adults flying with baitfish. Creating great images of the chicks being fed will be a huge challenge. In addition to the terns we will get to photograph lots of Black Skimmers courting, setting up their nesting territories, and in flight (both singles and large pre-dawn flocks blasting off). Midair battles are guaranteed on sunny afternoons. And with luck, we might even see a few tiny skimmer chicks toward the end of the trip. We will also get to photograph the life cycle of American Oystercatcher. This will likely include nests with eggs and tiny chicks, young being fed, and possibly a few fledglings.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, makes-no-sense, 229 days in a row with a new educational blog post. And I still have dozens of new topics to cover; there should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. 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. Please remember 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 appreciate your business.


maya-toddler-a

This image was created in the backyard of my home at Indian Lake Estates well before the pool was built. I used the hand held Canon 100-400 L IS lens (at 170mm, now replaced by the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens) and my first digital camera, the Canon EOS-1D (now replaced by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with 64GB Card and Reader). ISO 250: 1/100 sec. at f/5. AWB.

Maya as toddler–just under a year old in 2002

Metamorphosis…

The years sure have flown by. I learned of a great birthday present the other day when I got a notice to appear for Jury Duty. I got to check the first box under You may be excused for the following exemptions:

Seventy (70) years of age or older–permanently.


maya-in-kitchen-fl-_h2d8428

I think that this image was created in kitchen of my present home in ILE before the complete makeover. I used the hand held Canon 100-400 L IS lens (at 400mm, now replaced by the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens) and my first digital camera, the Canon EOS-1D Mark II (now replaced by the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with 64GB Card and Reader). ISO 3200: 1/25 sec. at f/5.6. AWB.

Maya at 2 1/2 in 2004

Surprises

1/25 sec. ISO 3200. In 2004. Pretty impressive if you ask me.


maya-ballet-_t0a0423-lake-wales-fl_ijfr

This image was created on June 18, 2016 at Maya’s recent dance recital at Frostproof High School with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens (at 135mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 1250. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/3.2 in Av mode. AWB.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Maya today, age 14 1/2, going on 23 🙂

Maya Egensteiner

Granddaughter Maya Elizabeth Egensteiner is the daughter of my daughter, Jennifer Lauren Morris and Erik Egensteiner. Jen and Erik met while volunteering for the Great Gull Island Project, trapping and banding Common Terns in 1990. (I was on GGI for the blessed event. We both met Erik for the first time in late May of that year. When I left the island, I shook Erik’s hand and said, “Take good care of Jennifer.” A few years later I got to tell that story at their wedding. So Maya and older brother Samuel Henry Egensteiner are two of a very few GGI “grandchildren.”)

Maya was born on January 2, 2002. She graduated from junior high school a few weeks ago and will be attending Lake Wales High School this coming fall. She has already been accepted as a member of the LWHS Dance Team. She has loved and excelled at dancing forever, actually since she took her first dance class in 2006.

June 23rd, 2016

Smiling Blue Truck...

What’s Up?

I worked hard most of the day on Tuesday tying up loose ends related to the upcoming UK Puffins and Gannets trip. I fly to Newark on Sunday afternoon and land in Edinburgh, Scotland early on the morning of Monday June 27th. If you would like to join me on the 2017 Puffins and Gannets IPT, please click here for complete details.

I was glad to learn yesterday that Elizabeth MacSwan, whom I met for the first time on the DeSoto IPT, is joining me for her second IPT at Nickerson Beach. She wrote via e-mail:

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us on the DeSoto IPT. I learned a lot during the workshop and I can’t wait to apply what I learned to my photography going forward. I would sign up for every IPT if I could! 🙂 I hope to sign up for more down the line. Elizabeth

You can see and learn a lot from one of her great images from Desoto IPT by clicking here.


Nickerson Beach Terns/Skimmers/Oystercatchers Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT): July 18-22, 2016. 4 1/2 DAYS: $1899. Limit 10/Openings 6.

Meet and greet at 3pm on the afternoon of Monday, July 18.

Please e-mail for repeat customer or couples discount info, or for info on a 3-day option.

With only four folks signed up, learning situations will abound. The primary subject species on this IPT will be the nesting Common Terns and Black Skimmers. The trip is timed so that we will get to photograph tiny tern chicks as well as fledglings. There will be lots of flight photography including adults flying with baitfish. Creating great images of the chicks being fed will be a huge challenge. In addition to the terns we will get to photograph lots of Black Skimmers courting, setting up their nesting territories, and in flight (both singles and large pre-dawn flocks blasting off). Midair battles are guaranteed on sunny afternoons. And with luck, we might even see a few tiny skimmer chicks toward the end of the trip. We will also get to photograph the life cycle of American Oystercatcher. This will likely include nests with eggs and tiny chicks, young being fed, and possibly a few fledglings.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, makes-no-sense, 228 days in a row with a new educational blog post. And I still have dozens of new topics to cover; there should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. 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. Please remember 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 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.

Used Gear Sales Testimonial

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener

The BAA Used Gear Page is the best place I’ve found for selling my used cameras and lenses.

I used eBay and Craigslist until I began checking in at BIRDS AS ART. I saw the gear listed for sale at BAA and it struck me that the people who visit the site are like me in some important ways. We own high quality, often expensive gear. It’s important to us, and we likely take care of it. In other words, a good market exists. And I noticed how Artie marketed each item. Informative, without too big a push. That’s why I decided to try BAA.

The process was easy. I clearly accepted the terms of sale, fully and fairly described what I was selling and the good and bad. I listed he stuff to be included with in the sale. Then Artie came back with what he thought was a fair price, leaving it to me to determine the balance between urgency of the sale and receiving a high price. I’ve followed his lead.

The responses I’ve received from potential buyers have been reassuring. Each has been well informed and courteous. They have not expected perfection, but have fully expected fairness and clarity. I’ve found that providing many photographs of what I’m selling is very helpful in the completing the various transactions.

I’m writing this because of how glad I am to find a place where there is a good market for what I want to sell and what I want to buy — I just tried to buy a 300mm f/2.8 II, but it has sold. The buyers and sellers are informed and fair-minded. And artie offers friendly and experienced advice. I’ve enjoyed the process. The BAA Used Gear page is the best experience I’ve had buying and selling gear.

June Used Gear Sales Continue to be More Than Brisk!

  • Yours truly, Arthur Morris, sold his Canon 15mm fisheye lens in good condition for $350 in mid-June before it was listed.
  • Moody McCall sold his Canon 300mm F/2.8L IS II in excellent condition for $4199 in mid-June.
  • Long-ago IPT veteran Charles Sleicher sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens in very good plus condition for $3400 in mid-June.
  • Yours truly, Arthur Morris, sold his mint 300mm f/2.8L IS for $4599 in mid-June (to Jim Keener) before it was even listed…
  • Top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in absolute mint condition for $1599 in mid-June.
  • KW McCulloch sold his Canon EOS-1D X in excellent condition for $2459 in mid-June.
  • Many multiple IPT veteran Monte Brown sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III (with the BG-E11 vertical battery grip) both in excellent condition for $1599 in early June.
  • Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II lens in mint condition for $4499 in early June.
  • Top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the old five) in very good plus condition for a BAA record low price of $3699 in mid-June.
  • National Geographic shooter Tim Laman sold his Canon EOS-1D C in good condition for $2100 in early June. The 1D C is a 1D X with 4K video.
  • Andres Leon sold his Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens in very good plus condition for the full asking price of $7899 in early June.
  • IPT veteran Billy Wingfield sold his Canon EOS-1DX in excellent plus condition for $2400 in early June.
  • Multiple IPT veteran Larry Master sold his near-mint Canon EOS-1DX for $2800 in early June.
  • Moody McCall sold his Canon 100-400L IS USA lens in excellent condition for $599 in early June.

Huge Price Reduction

Used Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS Lens, the “old six”

A New BAA Record Low by far Price! Reduced $600 on June 22, 2016.

Charles McRae is offering a used Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS lens in good to very good condition (with the expected wear and tear of use: paint chipped around the knobs and on the rear lens barrel near the mount). Was $4,799; now $4,199! The sale includes the lens trunk, a replacement low foot, the original low foot, and insured shipping via FedEx Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Chas by by e-mail or by phone at home: 843-423-4767 or on his cell: 1-843 409 0837 (eastern time zone).

The old six was my go-to super-telephoto lens for well more than a decade, heck, probably for two decades if you include the monstrously heavy original version. Today I use and depend on the newer, lighter version, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens. Note, the new six sells for a hefty $11,499. The old six is super sharp, works great with both TCs, and offers near-maximum reach along with three focal lengths: 600, 840, and 1200…. artie


blue-truck-circle-lens-_t0a0311the-palouse-wa

This image was created on one of our two days off between the first and second Palouse IPTs. I used the hand held Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens (at 8mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R . ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/8 in Av mode. WB = 6500K.

A single AF point (Manual selection) three AF points down from the center AF point/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The active AF point just caught the hood emblem. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Old, blue Chevrolet truck

Smiling Blue Truck…

What would you expect the leaders to do on their day off between IPTs?

Scout and photograph!

We found this truck after an afternoon that was filled with drizzle and new finds that included a killer white barn and a field of wildflowers. I photographed it first with the all purpose Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens (handheld). I photographed the truck from the side and from the front. The images looked pretty boring on the rear LCD so I ran back to the car and grabbed the circle lens On cloudy days I always try to think circle lens… (I know that my shadow will not be in the frame.) I photographed the truck from the front from both a high and a low perspective. Then I moved to my right to work the subject at somewhat of an angle. I tried low first, and then got as high as I could while making sure that my feet were not in the frame. Getting high was Bingo! On the rear LCD I saw that I had created an image of a smiling truck that looked quite human-like.

Palouse IPT Comments

From Joan Bush via e-mail:

I so enjoyed the workshop. It was just one of the best workshops that I have attended, and I’ve been to lots. Believe me. None can compare with both you and Denise. Other workshop leaders could take some lessons. It was so good to meet you finally. Your work is amazing. Keep it up Artie. Joan

From Pam McClure via e-mail:

Hello Artie and all the Palouse gang! Thank you all for a really wonderful time! I enjoyed spending time with each and every one of you and exploring the beauty of the Palouse. I had never visited this area before and was blown away by the special shapes and colors of all those delightful rolling hills and the character of those old barns. And all topped off by fantastic weather!

Thank you so much, Artie, for your direction and feedback. This was my second workshop and I came in without any expectations: I just wanted to go with the flow and see what happened. You and Denise were so helpful in the field and in the classroom and so I left a beautiful location with lots of good photos and memories of a very special trip. I love this hobby and I want to thank you both for helping me to grow it a little more. Pam


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 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.

This trip will run with one participant.


palouse-2017-card-layers

Palouse 2016 Verticals Card

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour June 8-14, 2017: $2499.

Seven full days of photography. Meet and greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 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 a good friend, 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 our 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 🙂

June 22nd, 2016

Catching Up on Learning: Too much depth of field... Why no tripod? And the pano crop for me.

What’s Up?

I wrote this blog post on Tuesday morning. I spent most of Monday doing final edits of three folders: Namibia to Transfer (549 kept out of 1549), Palouse 2016 to Transfer (304 kept out of 1304), and DeSoto-Gatorland-FL Spring 2016 to Transfer (409 kept out of 1252). While I am traveling, images from the trip are kept in Month/Day/Year folders that are edited twice before I get home. On the first edit, if I am not sure about an image, I keep it. On the second edit, if I am not sure about an image, I delete it. Once I am back home I consolidate all of the trip images into a single To Transfer folder (as noted above). The last step in the editing process is the third and final edit: I keep only the very best images and those that might have educational value. Today, Tuesday, I will–with Jim’s help–transfer these three folders to the main computer.


The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, ‘incomprehensible, makes-no-sense, 227 days in a row with a new blog post. And I still have dozens of new topics to cover; there should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. 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. Please remember 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 appreciate your business.


discountpm-promo

You can purchase a copy of Photo Mechanic in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store here. See important details below.

Photo Mechanic: $150

I use Photo Mechanic every day for ingesting (downloading) my images, picking my keepers, and sorting and arranging image files. It is fast and easy to use with great phone support: +1 503.547.2888 Mon-Fri, 9:00am-5:00pm [PST/PDT]. Purchase Photo Mechanic from BIRDS AS ART and your license code will be sent to you via e-mail within 1-7 business days (usually within 1-3 business days). Your copy of Photo Mechanic will be delivered to you via electronic download from the manufacturer’s website.

Photo Mechanic is a standalone image browser and workflow accelerator that lets you view your digital photos with convenience and speed. Photo Mechanic’s super fast browsing and its ability to quickly Ingest, Edit, and Export your photos, takes the hard work out of your workflow. Its powerful batch processing, full support of IPTC and Exif metadata, and innovative use of image variables and code replacements, make Photo Mechanic an indispensable tool for digital photographers.

Photo Mechanic works on both PCs and Macs. Read my Photo Mechanic tips and learn how I use it by clicking here. Folks using a PC who are looking for a good browsing program need to read the fine print to decide between Photo Mechanic and BreezeBrowser. If I were on a PC, I would still be using and loving BreezeBrowser.

Best News

Folks who subscribe to the blog can call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 weekdays before 2pm to receive a small thank you discount. Or, if they wish to purchase Photo Mechanic in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store here, they can e-mail Jim for a discount code.


great-egret-large-chick-_t0a6086-gatorland-kissimmee-fl

This image was created at Gatorland on May 5 with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 360mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/6.3. Daylight WB.

The selected AF point was two to the right and one row up from the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The selected point fell on the bottom part of the bird’s eye. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Great Egret, large chick

Too Much Depth of Field…

In the Gatorland Report, 100-400 II Versatility, and Depth-of-Field Question… blog post here, I posted:

Depth-of-Field Question…

With the bird’s eye super-sharp and the tip of the beak not in sharp focus, would I have been better off going to a small aperture like f/13? Why or why not? I did have lots of shutter speed to work with…

The majority opinion was that I should have stopped down to get the tip of the beak in focus and that doing so would have had a negligible effect on the out of focus background. Folks even quoted depth of field charts to back up their claims that the background would not be affected.

In truth, nothing could be further from the truth. While the distant background would not have been anywhere near truly sharp, unwanted background detail–in this case bushes and a fence–would have been brought up quite unpleasantly. This image is all about the beautiful background which would have been ruined had I stopped down substantially.

I have a series of two Palouse images that I will be posting here soon to drive home the point above.


brown-pelican-at-sunrise-_a0i9986-fort-desoto-park-pinellas-county-fl

This image was created on the Fort DeSoto IPT with the hand held Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with a 64GB Card and Reader ISO 1000. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/5.6.

65-Point Automatic Selection/AI Servo/Shutter Button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The system selected a single AF point the fell squarely on the bird, one row up and four to the left of the center AF point. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Brown Pelican at sunrise

With regards to the image above–originally featured in the 1DX II Automatic Selection AF at Sunrise… blog post here, this was the question of the day:

Tripod Question

Can anyone figure out why I was hand holding the 600 II with the 1.4X III TC in relatively low light rather than working off my Induro tripod?

The true and simple answer was that I inadvertently left the tripod in the trunk of my Sequoia; easy to do when you are using the Wheeleeze to make your life easy. This fat-wheeled cart has extended my beach photography career by a decade or two. You can learn about the Wheeleeze by clicking on the Beach Stuff tab in the center of the top orange/yellow menu bar at the top of each blog post.


stellers-sea-pano-crop-eagle-taking-off-in-snow-_r7a2533-hokkaido-japan

This is a pano crop of today’s featured image. With the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +2 stops off the gray sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF with the selected AF point squarely on the top of the eagle’s back (as originally framed) was active at the moment of exposure. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2 Pano crop of Steller’s Sea-eagle taking flight

2X3 or Pano Crop? Your Call

In the 100-400II/5DS R Flight: 2X3 or Pano Crop? Your Call blog post here, I asked:

Which do you prefer, the 2X3 version or the pano crop? Help keep the blog interactive by letting us know which you like better and why.

Opinions were split about 50-50. My very great preference is for the pano version presented above as it makes the image all about the subject. The large expanse of boring sky in the original 3X2 image does not add anything in my opinion. At least one person who kindly left a comment suggesting that the subject was too centered missed the snow behind the sea-eagle that was kicked up by the bird taking flight. The only way to include all of that snow was to place the bird in the middle of the frame.


japan-2016-card

Consider joining me in Japan in February, 2017, for the world’s best Japan in Winter workshop. Click on the card to enjoy the spectacular larger version.

Japan In Winter IPT. February 9-24, 2017: $11,499 (was $13,999)/double occupancy. Limit 9/Openings: 5.

Price Reduced $2,500 on 3-8-16!

All lodging including the Tokyo hotel on 9 FEB, all breakfasts & dinners, ground transport and transfers including bus to the monkey park hotel, and all entrance fees and in-country flights are included. Not included: international flights, some lunches–a few are on the run, and alcoholic beverages.

Please e-mail for couple and IPT repeat customer discount information.

This trip is one day longer than the great 2014 trip to allow for more flexibility, more time with the cranes, and most importantly, more time for landscape photography. Hokkaido is gorgeous. You will enjoy tons of pre-trip planning and gear advice, in-the-field instruction and guidance, at-the-lodge Photoshop and image review sessions in addition to short introductory slide programs for each of the amazing locations. Skilled photographer Paul McKenzie handles the logistics and we enjoy the services of Japan’s best wildlife photography guide whom I affectionately call “Hokkaido Bear.” His network of local contacts and his knowledge of the weather, the area, and the birds is unparalleled and enables him to have us in the best location every day.


japan-2016-a-card

Amazing subjects. Beautiful settings. Nonstop action and unlimited opportunities. Join me.

The Logistics

Arrive Tokyo: 9 FEB 2017 the latest. 8 FEB is safer and gives you a day to get acclimated to the time change. Your hotel room for the night of the 9th is covered.

Bus Travel to Monkey Park Hotel: 10 FEB: A 1/2 DAY of monkey photography is likely depending on our travel time… This traditional hotel is first class all the way. Our stay includes three ten course Japanese dinners; these sumptuous meals will astound you and delight your taste buds. There are many traditional hot springs mineral baths (onsens) on site in this 150 year old hotel.

Full Day snow monkeys: FEB 11.

Full Day snow monkeys: FEB 12.

13 FEB: Full travel day to Hokkaido/arrive at our lodge in the late afternoon. The lodge is wonderful. All the rooms at the lodge have beds. Bring your warm pajamas. A local onsen (hot springs bath and tubs) is available for $5 each day before dinner–when you are cold, it is the best thing since sliced bread. The home-cooked Japanese styles meals at the lodge are to die for. What’s the best news? Only a small stand of woods separates us from the very best crane sanctuary. During one big snowstorm we were the only photo group to be able to get to Tsurui Ito; we had the whole place to ourselves in perfect conditions for crane photography!

FEB 14-23: Red-crowned Crane, raptors in flight, Whooper Swans, and scenic photography. Ural Owl possible. An overnight trip to Rausu for Steller’s Sea Eagle and White-tailed Eagle photography on the tourists boats is 100% dependent on the weather, road, and sea ice conditions. Only our trip offers complete flexibility in this area. It has saved us on more than once occasion. The cost of 2 eagle-boat trips is included. If the group would like to do more than two boat trips and we all agree, there will be an additional charge for the extra trip or trips. No matter the sea ice conditions, we will do two eagle boat trips (as long as we can make the drive to Rausu; it snows a lot up there). We have never been shut out.In 2016 there was no sea ice but our guide arranged for two amazingly productive boat trips.

Lodging notes: bring your long johns for sleeping in the lodge. At the Snow Monkey Park, and in Rausu, the hotel the rooms are Japanese-style. You sleep on comfortable mats on the floor. Wi-fi is available every day of the trip.

FEB 24. Fly back to Tokyo for transfer to your airport if you are flying home that night, or, to your hotel if you are overnighting. If you need to overnight, the cost of that room is on you.


japan-2016-card-b

Life is short. Hop on the merry-go-round.

To Sign Up

To save your spot, please send your $5,000 non-refundable deposit check made out to “Birds as Art” to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. I do hope that you can join me for this trip of a lifetime. Do e-mail with any questions or give me a buzz at 863-692-0906.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On two fairly recent Galapagos cruises a total of 5 folks were forced to cancel less than one week prior to the trip. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and strongly recommend that you do the same.

Please Remember to use our 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 🙂