Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
August 8th, 2020

August 18th Webinar: Bird Photography Tips Part II

What’s Up?

On Friday morning I did not dare to drive the fields down by the lake because on Thursday afternoon it rained torrentially for about four hours …

I drove the side streets looking for wildflowers but pickings were slim. First I photographed the purple berries of the appropriately named American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana). Next I returned to the spot where the pretty low-growing yellow flowers had been mown. Several had new blosssoms and I found a second yellow flower species growing nearby. I photographed both and am working on the IDs.

This morning — Saturday 8 AUG 2020 I will try for birds as it did not rain at all yesterday and the fields dry up pretty quickly. I will try not to get stuck in the mud …

Bird Photography Tips Part II Webinar with Alan Murphy

To register for Alan’s August 18th webinar, click here or on the image above. Alan’s abililty to create surreally perfect set-ups and attract birds into photographic range is remarkable … I will be there and am looking forward to it with anticipation as I am in the process of turning my living room into a bird photography blind!

Those who register are requested to enter “BAA Blog” in the How did you hear about this webinar? box.

Alan Murphy

Alan is an award-winning photographer with numerous publications, a Nikon Professional Service Member, a Wimberley Professional Service Member, and the author of several e-books and educational videos. He enjoys traveling the country, speaking at festivals and photo clubs. Alan and his wife, Kim, raised their children in the Houston area, travel domestically and abroad, enjoy nature and their rescue dogs.

August 7th, 2020

Why Talk About the Canon EOS R Now?

What’s Up?

Me, early, as is usual. The forecast for today — Friday 7 AUGUST 2020 — is for a sunny morning with a negligible breeze from the NW. I will be heading out to do some photography at about 7:15am (as the days are getting shorter). My morning photo session streak is somewhere around 130!

Late on Thursday, I added the SONY extension tube info to yesterday’s blog post and wound up screwing things up a bit. Scroll well down to see the now-corrected version.

If you would like to get out to do some great photography and learn a ton, see the info below on the 2020 Bosque IPT and the 2021 San Diego IPT.

In Images #3 & #4, take a look at the EXIF data and leave a comment detailing the rookie mistake that he made.

Please Remember

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SONY e-Guide Discount Program

Purchase a (new) qualifying SONY camera body (a7r iii, a7r iv, a9, a9 ii) from Bedfords or using a BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate link, and you will receive a $40 discount on the SONY e-guide. Purchase a (new) SONY 200-600mm G lens from Bedfords or using a BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate link, and you will receive a $25 discount on the SONY e-guide. Purchase a (new) SONY 600mm f/4 GM lens from Bedfords or using a BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate link, and you will receive a free SONY e-guide with one or two videos.

Please send your Bedford’s or B&H receipts to me via e-mail to receive your discount and your ordering instructions. Folks purchasing from Bedfords and using the BIRDSASART code will save $50. Folks sending their B&H receipts may need to wait a few days to have their purchases confirmed. Folks using Bedfords will have their purchases confirmed immediately.

108 sold to rave reviews.

The SONY e-Guide by Patrick Sparkman and Arthur Morris

The Sony Camera User’s e-Guide (and Videos)

Click here to purchase the guide with one Camera Set-up Video. Be sure to e-mail us by clicking here to specify your camera body so that we can send you a link for the correct video.

Click here to purchase the guide with two Camera Set-up Videos. Be sure to e-mail us by clicking here to specify your two camera bodies so that we can send you links for the correct videos.

Click here to learn more about the SONY e-Guide.

The BAA Used Gear Page

The BAA Used Gear Page is the place to sell your used photographic equipment. We will help you to get your gear sold quickly for 20 to 60% more than what the big guys are offering … Doubt me? Check out the Past Sales list at the bottom of the page.

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase over $1000.00, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H. Those include the SONY a7r IV, the SONY 200-600, the SONY 600mm f/4 GM, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is eager to please.



Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

This image was created by participant Muhammad Arif on the 2019 Bosque IPT.

He used the tripod-mounted Canon 500mm f/4L IS II(the “old five”), the 1.4X III teleconverter, and the EOS R. ISO 400. 1/3200 sec. at f/6.3.

Image courtesy of and copyright 2020: Muhammad Arif/Arif Photos

Click on the image to enlarge and see those sharp eyes!

Image #1: Sandhill Crane in flight, Bosque del Apache, NWR, NM

The Canon EOS R

I first had an inkling that Canon might be onto something AF-wise on the 2019 Return to Bosque IPT when I saw multiple IPT veteran Muhammad Arif’s fine flight images. At the time I did not realize that you needed the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R in order to us the EOS R on EF lenses. Or maybe I forgot … IAC, Muhammad raved about the speed and accuray of the AF system. And he made some very fine images.

Note: a second, more expensive Canon EF to EOS-R adapter is available, the Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R. At a glance, there do not seem to be any great advantages with the Control Ring Mount Adapter …

This image was created by participant Muhammad Arif on the 2019 Bosque IPT.

He used the tripod-mounted Canon 500mm f/4L IS II(the “old five”), the 1.4X III teleconverter, and the EOS R. ISO 1600. 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3.

Image courtesy of and copyright 2020: Muhammad Arif/Arif Photos

Image #2: Snow Goose, blue morph in flight

Why Now?

I bring up the Canon EOS R Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) now because Canon recently introduced both the Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) and the Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only). I will be sharing my thoughts (along with some R5 images) in a blog post here soon.

If you are hot to get an R5 or an R6, Bedford is likely your best bet by far because the B&H waiting list is very long and as is usual, production and shipping of the two bodies is currently delayed … IAC, your using either of the BAA links would be greatly appreciated.

Image #3: Brown Pelican, Pacific race resting

Luis Alberto Grunauer and the EOS R

Luis is a great friend and has been on many IPTs. He showed up in San Diego with an EOS R and used it quite a bit with his 800mm f/5.6L IS lens. As you can see here, I was impressed with the sharpness andd the rich color and quality of the proccesed images. Luis preferred his 1DX II over the R for flight photography because of the much faster frame rate. The R is advertised as 8 fps but Luis felt that in reality, the frame rate was about 4 or 5 fps …

Luis put the big lens rig on the ground to do some handheld shooting with his 100-400II and inadvertently left the lens pointed at the sun. Oops! (Been there, done that with a D850.) IAC the sensor was fried and Luis had the camera repaired. And then sold it. He is Number One on the list to receive his EOS R5 from Steve Elkins next Bedfor shipment.

This image was created by participant Luis Alberto Grunauer on the 2020 San Diego IPT.

He used the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/45.6L IS lens and the EOS R. ISO 1000. 1/6400 sec. at f/6.3.

Image #4: Brown Pelican, Pacific race preening

Don’t You Hate It?

Don’t you hate it when you teach someone exactly how to do something and they wind up doing it better than you? I teach the horizontal preening pose on every San Diego IPT; the key I say, is to get the bill perfectly parallel to the ground and perfectly square to the sensor. With this fine EOS R image, Luis did both better than I have ever done. Do I hate that? No, I am actually quite proud of my little brother Luis.

Bosque del Apache 2019 IPT

Notice the incredible variety of images that you can learn to make by developing your skills and your creative vision on a BAA IPT.

Bosque del Apache NWR 2020 IPT

NOV 18 (afternoon session) thru the morning session on November 23, 2020. 5 DAYS. Four full and two half days. $1999.00. Deposit: $500.00. Limit: 8 photographers/Openings: 7.


san-diego-card-neesie

Did I mention that there are lots of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter? Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

San Diego 2021 Brown Pelican IPT

January 12 thru the morning session on January 16, 2021. Four full and one half day: $1999.00. Deposit: $500.00. Limit: 8 photographers/Openings: 7.

SONY Extension Tube Info Corrected

Thanks to Patrick Sparkman

Thanks to Patrick Sparkman for alerting us to the (off-brand) Neewer Metal AF Auto-Focus Macro Extension Tube Set 10mm & 16mm for Sony NEX E-Mount Camera NEX 3/3N/5/5N/5R/A6000/A6300 and Full Frame A7 A7S/A7SII A7R/A7RII A7II.

2 Piece Extension Tube Set for MK-S-AF3A, made of metal.
Compatible with Sony NEX, E-mount series Micro DSLR.
Support Exact TTL Exposure and Auto-focus;Built-in Electronic Pins and internal driver.
New adapter aperture hole design, perfectly support Sony full-frame camera A7/A7R/A7S/A7 II.
Including two tubes (10mm, 16mm), 3 different combinations.

Thanks Also to Byron Prinzmetal

Thanks also to Byron Prinzmetal for letting me know about the (off brand) Kenko DG Extension Tube Set for Full-Frame Sony E-Mount.

For Sony E-Mount Cameras & Lenses
Compatible with Full-Frame & APS-C
Reduces Minimum Focus Distance of Lens
Provides Macro Capability
Retains Autofocus/Auto Exposure
10 and 16mm Tubes
Can Be Used Individually or Combined
Internal Flocking Prevents Reflections
Metal Mount

Reduce the minimum focusing distance of your full-frame or APS-C Sony E-mount optics with this DG Extension Tube Set from Kenko. Featuring both 10 and 16mm tubes, users will be able to gain macro abilities with nearly every lens in their arsenal, while maintaining full autofocus and auto exposure. These tubes can be used individually or combined and they feature internal electrostatic flocking with synthetic fibers to prevent reflections that can be detrimental to image quality.

My Thoughts …

The Neewer Metal AF Auto-Focus Macro Extension Tube Set 10mm & 16mm sells for $39.99 on Amazon. The Kenko DG Extension Tube Set (10mm & 16mm) for Full-Frame Sony E-Mount sells for $129.90 att B&H. Superficially, the two items are quite similar. Patrick thinks that it is likely that they were made in the same factory … Judging from the photos, the build quality of the Kenko set looks far superior to the build quality of the Neewer set. With off-brand extension tubes fit is sometimes a problem. In general, I will almost always opt for the more expensive version of a given item. But with the huge price discrepancy here and given Amazon’z return policy, it might be a good idea to try the Neewer set and see if they are decent.

If In Doubt …

If you are in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.







Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the 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 or Bedfords, 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 or Bedfords 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 regularly visit the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

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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 :).

August 6th, 2020

Cranes, Chilled, and Extension Tubes. Coming Soon: Canon Mirrorless Camera Body Stuff

Photo Mechanic 6 AUG screen Capture

What’s Up?

On the morning of Thursday 6 AUGUST 2020 I decided to go for the birds. The cranes cooperated nicely; it is great to have them to depend on most every day.

Tomorrow we will begin taking a look at the Canon mirrorless camera bodies …

Chilled!

I got back home at about 8:15am and decided to swim before breakfast. With the hot weather in June and July, the pool had been up close to 90 degrees. A few weeks ago I mentioned to the pool guy that the chiller portion of the heater/chiller was not working very well. He told me that when the heater/chiller was replaced a few years ago that it was replaced with a heater. No chiller. That was news to me. The unit was returned to the factory in Punta Gorda, FL by truck. They added the chiller and the unit was re-installed within days.

I set the chiller thermostat to 80 degrees and bingo, I now have a cool pool despite the continuing hot weather. With body temperature being about 98.6 degrees and me being in the pool for an hour each day for my slow 72 length swim, I am quite chilled when I am done.

Extension Tubes

One advantage that the Canon system has over Nikon and SONY is that it offers extension tubes. They are used primarily to allow you to focus closer than the minimum focusing distance of a given lens. I used them most often with my big Canon lenses with and without teleconverters. I missed them when I was using Nikon and miss them ever more with SONY now that I am doing lots of macro photography …

Canon EF Extension Tube Set

BAA friend, California botany expert Bob “BugBob” Allen, is offering the Extension Tube Set, the EF 12 II and EF 25 II, in excellent plus condition for $124.90. The sale includes the front and rear lens caps and insured Fed-Ex Ground shipping to lower-48 US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Bob via e-mail and please include the item name or names in the subject line and be sure to include your full name.

As regular readers know, I used extension tubes often to reduce the minimum focusing distances of my two Canon macro lenses and my super-telephotos. I used them behind a TC to focus closer with AF and at times, in front of a TC to get even closer while having to use manual focus). The pair sells for $224.90 so you can save an even $100.00 by grabbing the pair. artie

SONY Extension Tube Info Corrected

Thanks to Patrick Sparkman

Thanks to Patrick Sparkman for alerting us to the (off-brand) Neewer Metal AF Auto-Focus Macro Extension Tube Set 10mm & 16mm for Sony NEX E-Mount Camera NEX 3/3N/5/5N/5R/A6000/A6300 and Full Frame A7 A7S/A7SII A7R/A7RII A7II.

https://amzn.to/2CbHUbC

2 Piece Extension Tube Set for MK-S-AF3A, made of metal.
Compatible with Sony NEX, E-mount series Micro DSLR.
Support Exact TTL Exposure and Auto-focus;Built-in Electronic Pins and internal driver.
New adapter aperture hole design, perfectly support Sony full-frame camera A7/A7R/A7S/A7 II.
Including two tubes (10mm, 16mm), 3 different combinations.

Thanks Also to Byron Prinzmetal

Thanks also to Byron Prinzmetal for letting me know about the (off brand) Kenko DG Extension Tube Set for Full-Frame Sony E-Mount.

For Sony E-Mount Cameras & Lenses
Compatible with Full-Frame & APS-C
Reduces Minimum Focus Distance of Lens
Provides Macro Capability
Retains Autofocus/Auto Exposure
10 and 16mm Tubes
Can Be Used Individually or Combined
Internal Flocking Prevents Reflections
Metal Mount

Reduce the minimum focusing distance of your full-frame or APS-C Sony E-mount optics with this DG Extension Tube Set from Kenko. Featuring both 10 and 16mm tubes, users will be able to gain macro abilities with nearly every lens in their arsenal, while maintaining full autofocus and auto exposure. These tubes can be used individually or combined and they feature internal electrostatic flocking with synthetic fibers to prevent reflections that can be detrimental to image quality.

My Thoughts …

The Neewer Metal AF Auto-Focus Macro Extension Tube Set 10mm & 16mm sells for $39.99 on Amazon. The Kenko DG Extension Tube Set (10mm & 16mm) for Full-Frame Sony E-Mount sells for $129.90 att B&H. Superficially, the two items are quite similar. Patrick thinks that it is likely that they were made in the same factory … Judging from the photos, the build quality of the Kenko set looks far superior to the build quality of the Neewer set. With off-brand extension tubes fit is sometimes a problem. In general, I will almost always opt for the more expensive version of a given item. But with the huge price discrepancy here and given Amazon’z return policy, it might be a good idea to try the Neewer set and see if they are decent.