July 19th, 2014

Foggy Link Belt Crane...

The Streak Continues: 231

This post was published at 5:45am from my Mom’s home in Holbrook, NY.

This post, which took me about 1 1/2 hours to prepare, marks 231 consecutive days with a new educational blog post. With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links, why quit now? April, May, June, and July have been fantastic as lots of folks are getting the message; using my affiliate links does not cost you a penny and helps support my efforts here. To show your appreciation, I do ask that you use our B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I have used and tested, and know that you can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know the tools that you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

You can find the following items in the store: Gitzo tripods, Mongoose M3.6 and Wimberley heads, plates, low feet, and accessories, flash brackets, , Delkin e-film Pro Compact Flash Cards, LensCoat products, and our unique line-up of educational materials including ABP I & II, Digital Basics, Site and Set-up e-Guides, Canon and Nikon Camera Users and AF e-Guides, and MP-4 Photoshop video tutorials among others.

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, 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 visiting the BAA Online store as well.


osprey-landing-at-nest-on-old-crane-_a1c1551-nickerson-beach-li-ny

This image was created Nickerson Baby Beach Nesting Birds IPT with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens (at 70mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering + 2 2/3 stops as framed: 1/2000 sec. at f/2.8 in Av mode.

Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF on the center of the crane as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Foggy Link Belt Crane…

We were just minutes from turning into the Nickerson Beach parking lot at about 6am on a very foggy morning when Denise asked, “Did you see the Osprey nest on the crane?” “Nope” I replied. “Was it nice? Was there a bird on the nest?” “Yes and yes,” she said.

Thinking of the raven nest on a derelict gold dredge that I had photographed more than a decade ago in Nome, AK, I slowed and indicated to the other cars in our caravan that we would be making a detour. Though one of those Nome Common Raven images had been published in National Geographic, the group members then were also dubious despite my excitement: “How can you make a good image in such heavy fog?”. As it was our first morning I knew that working in the fog would be a great vehicle for teaching the group to expose to the right; please see the original image below. It took us a while to get the right lenses in our hands and to find a good perspective. The Osprey cooperated nicely by flying around and landing several times. In fifteen short minutes we were back in the cars headed for a great morning at the beach.

The Link Belt Crane

The crane in the photo is actually fully operational but once the Ospreys began building their nest a local ordinance prevented the owners from using it. My understanding is that they complied gladly. Click here to learn about Link Belt Cranes. For some really neat, incredibly interesting stuff on the development of this company first click on the “About” tab and the click on the “History” link.

The All Purpose 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II Lens

As regular readers know full well, the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens is one of my very favorite lenses. It is often the only other lens that I take into the field with my tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens. As above, I use it often to create small-in-the-frame or habitat images. I use it for flocks in flight at Bosque with either TC. I use it often to photograph family groups of birds or birds interacting at close range. I use it a ton for scenic images as I did with great success in the Palouse. And I use it either alone (see here) or with either TC to photograph birds in flight at close range. In short, the 70-200 II is an incredibly versatile hand holdable intermediate telephoto lens that offers me a focal length range of from 70 to 400mm.

A used 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II Lens For You

Dale Lorenzen is offering a used Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens in nearly mint condition for $1850. It is like new with a small scratch on the hood. The sale includes the original box, the software CD, the carrying case, the tripod ring, and the front and rear caps. The seller will pay insured UPS shipping within continental US. The lens will ship after the check clears.

Please contact Dale via e-mail. At this give-away price, this lens should sell instantly.

A 300 II Heads Up

There is a brand new listing here for a near mint 300 II for $1,000 less than the current B&H price and the sale includes a CRX-3.5 plate. I expect that this one will also sell instantly….

Selling Your Used Photo 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 advise, usually sells in no time flat.


a1c1551-nickerson-beach-li-ny

This JPEG was created from the large JPEG that is embedded in all RAW files at the moment of capture. It is an accurate representation of the original RAW capture.

Exposing to the Right

Exposing to the right while avoiding significant blinkies produces high quality images while minimizing noise. Be sure to have at least some data in the right-most histogram box, the 5th box on Canon camera bodies, the 4th box on Nikon bodies.

Image Optimization Questions

1-What is the simplest way to get the from the foggy look of the original capture to the high key/high contrast look of the optimized image?

2-How would you move the bird to the right as I did?

3-How did I juice up the Link Belt sign?

Digital Basics

Most everything I did to optimize today’s image is detailed in my Digital Basics File–written in my easy-to-follow, easy-to-understand style. Are you tired of making your images look worse in Photoshop? Have you no clue as to how I optimized the image above? The Photoshop techniques that I used plus tons more are covered in my Digital Basics File, an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro basics, my killer image clean-up techniques, Digital Eye Doctor, creating time-saving actions, and lots more.

The DPP RAW Conversion Guide

To learn why I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) to convert every image that I work on, click here.

APTATS I & II

Learn the details of advanced Quick Masking techniques in APTATS I. Learn Advanced Layer Masking Techniques in APTATS I. Mention this blog post and apply a $5 discount to either with phone orders only. Buy both APTATS I and APTATS II and we will be glad to apply at $15 discount with phone orders only.

Facebook

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


galapagos-composite

Do consider joining me for a once in a lifetime trip to the Galapagos archipelago in July, 2015.

GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 14-28, 2015 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $12,499. Limit 14 including the leader(s)/Openings: 7.

My two-week Galapagos Photo-Cruises are without equal. The world’s best guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), and the best leader with eight Galapagos cruises under his belt. Pre-trip and pre-landing location-specific gear advice. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea!

The great spots that we will visit include Tower Island (including Prince Phillips Steps and Darwin Bay), Hood Island (including Punta Suarez, the world’s only nesting site of Waved Albatross, and Gardner Bay)—each of the preceding are world class wildlife photography designations that rank right up there with Antarctica, Africa, and Midway. We will also visit Fernandina, Puerto Ayora for the tortoises, Puerto Egas—James Bay, North Seymour and Isla Lobos for nesting Blue-footed Booby (most years), South Plaza, Floreana, and Urbina Bay, all spectacular in their own right. We visit every great spot on a single trip. Plus tons more. And there will he lots of opportunities to snorkel on sunny mid-days for those like me who wish to partake.

We will be the first boat on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island every afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast weather, we will often spend 5-6 hours at the best sites. And as noted above, mid-day snorkeling is an option on most sunny days depending on location. Note: some of the walks are a bit strenuous. Great images are possible on all landings with a hand held 70-200mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter. I bring a longer lens ashore on most landings as that fits my style. I generally work with either the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS or the Canon 200-400mm f/4 L IS with Internal Extender.

Do know that there is a NatureScapes Galapagos trip: one week for $8495. Thus, my trip represents a tremendous value; why go all that way and miss half of the great photographic locations?

The Logistics

Fly to Guayacil, Ecuador on July 12, 2015. Travel insurance/rest day: July 13 (We may or may not offer a photo outing on the 13th). Fly to the archipelago on July 14 and board the Samba. Get off the boat on July 28. Fly to Guayacil that afternoon. Fly home on the early morning of July 29 unless you are staying on or going elsewhere (or catching a red-eye flight on the evening of the 28th).

$12,499 includes just about everything: all transfers, guide and park fees, all food on the boat, transfers and ground transportation, your flights to the archipelago, and three nights (double occupancy) in a top notch hotel in Guayacil. If you are good to go, a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 per person is due immediately. The second payment of $4,000 is not due until 11/1/14. The final payment of $3749 per person will be due on 2/1/15. A $200 discount will be applied to each of the balances for couples or friends who register at the same time.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On my past two 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.

Not included: your round trip airfare from your home to and from Guayaquil, beverages on the boat, phone calls, your meals in Guayacil, personal items, and a $600/person cash tip for the crew and the guide—this works out to roughly $40/day to be shared by the 7 folks who will be waiting on us hand and foot every day for two weeks. The service is so wonderful that many folks choose to tip extra.

Please e-mail for the complete itinerary and for additional info and images. Please cut and paste “Galapagos 2015 Info Please) into the Subject line.

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon Canada

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

Typos

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

July 18th, 2014

A Near Perfect Ten Dive...

The Streak Continues: 230

This post was published just before 5:00am from Rockville, Center, Long Island, NY. I am not sure what the plans are right now but I will wind up back at my Mom’s sometime later today.

This post, which took me about 2 hours to prepare, marks 230 consecutive days with a new educational blog post. With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links, why quit now? April, May, June, and July have been fantastic as lots of folks are getting the message; using my affiliate links does not cost you a penny and helps support my efforts here. To show your appreciation, I do ask that you use our B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I have used and tested, and know that you can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know the tools that you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

You can find the following items in the store: Gitzo tripods, Mongoose M3.6 and Wimberley heads, plates, low feet, and accessories, flash brackets, , Delkin e-film Pro Compact Flash Cards, LensCoat products, and our unique line-up of educational materials including ABP I & II, Digital Basics, Site and Set-up e-Guides, Canon and Nikon Camera Users and AF e-Guides, and MP-4 Photoshop video tutorials among others.

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, 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 visiting the BAA Online store as well.


common-tern-diving-from-below-_y5o8974-nickerson-beach-li-ny

This image was created at 6:11pm in very soft sunlight on the Nickerson Baby Beach Nesting Bird IPT with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the
Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops off the light blue sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/4.5 in Manual mode.

Central Sensor/AI Servo/Surround Rear Focus AF on the point where the lower right flank meets the base of the far wing was active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Be sure to click on the image to see the spectacular larger version.

Persistence and Determination Trump Poor Hand Eye Coordination

Good numbers of adult Common Terns were diving for baitfish in the wash, the shallow breaking surf. I stood in the same spot in about a foot of water for about 2 hours. Again.

I created more than 800 flight images. Most of them featured the birds either flying right at me (from east to west into the wind as I looked east) or kiting as they got ready to dive for Atlantic Silversides, the spearing of my childhood that we used as bait for snapper blues. About half of the images were sharp. Of those, more than 9 of every 10 were of what Denise Ippolito and I call the “Who Cares?” variety, i.e., sharp but nothing special. After an hour I noticed that some of the birds that were flying the “wrong” way, from west to east with the wind, would bank and turn nearly upside down as they dove for one of the small fish. I acquired focus on each bird that flew by me and then hoped that it would turn and dive. Most did not. Several, including the bird in today’s featured image, did. I pretty much jerked the lens down hard and right to focus track while striving to keep the bird completely in the frame. Of the very few chances that I had, I wound up clipping something. Except in the single very sharp image above.


brbr-scrn-capt-commonn-tern

This is the BreezeBrowser Main View screen capture for today’s image.

The Breezebrowser Main View Screen Capture

Above is the BreezeBrowser Main View screen capture for today’s image. Note that the illuminated red square shows the AF point that was selected. Remember that with Surround eight additional sensors are active but are not illuminated. Note: in Breezebrowser you need to check “Show Focus Points” under View to activate this feature. To see the focus points in DPP check “AF Point” under View or hit Alt L. Hit Alt M to see Highlight Alert. To learn how and why I use only DPP (Canon Digital Photo Professional) to convert my RAW files, see the info on our DPP RAW Conversion Guide here.

Note the perfect histogram the WHITEs well into the rightmost histogram box. Regular readers know that I use and depend on BreezeBrowser every day of the year. It allows me to sort my keepers and delete the rejects faster than any other Windows browsing program. We use it on the main computer in the home office to catalog our images file-drawer style. And the companion program, Downloader Pro allows me to download my images quickly and conveniently. It automatically adds my IPTC data and the shooting location. I have it set up to create a folder named by the Month/date/year. The Breezebrowser/Downloader Pro combo saves me many hours each week. To learn more or to purchase this great PC only program, click here. As far as the BreezeBrowser/Downloader Pro Combo goes, if you are using a Windows platform and are not using these two great programs you are at best, wasting your valuable time. My understanding is that Photo Mechanic is best for Mac-users who do not opt to run Parallels or VM Ware fusion on their Macs so that they can enjoy the many advantages of BreezeBrowser. See BreezeBrowswer on a Mac for details on the latter.


y5o8974-nickerson-beach-li-ny

This JPEG represents the original unsharpened RAW file.

The Image Optimization

Having exposed well to the right I darkened the image and eliminated the vignetting with the Lens Aberration feature during conversion in DPP. I moved the bird back in the frame using techniques from APTATS II and angled the bird a bit more steeply using techniques from Digital Basics. I selected the bird with the Quick Selection Tool and ran my 50-50 NIK filter on that layer. I erased the effects from the darker areas of the bird using a Regular Layer Mask. I selected the black cap again using the Quick Selection Tool and lightened it considerably by pulling up the curve. After a bit of Eye Doctor work using Tim Grey Non-destructive Dodge and Burn I sharpened the face and bill with a Contrast Mask. Voila.

The DPP RAW Conversion Guide

To learn why I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) to convert every image that I work on, click here.

APTATS I & II

Learn the details of advanced Quick Masking techniques in APTATS I. Learn Advanced Layer Masking Techniques in APTATS I. Mention this blog post and apply a $5 discount to either with phone orders only. Buy both APTATS I and APTATS II and we will be glad to apply at $15 discount with phone orders only.

Digital Basics

Everything above (except as noted) is detailed in my Digital Basics File–written in my easy-to-follow, easy-to-understand style. Are you tired of making your images look worse in Photoshop? Have you no clue as to how I optimized the image above? The Photoshop techniques mentioned above plus tons more are covered in my Digital Basics File, an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro basics, my killer image clean-up techniques, Digital Eye Doctor, creating time-saving actions, and lots more.

Facebook

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

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

…..

Amazon Canada

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

Typos

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

July 17th, 2014

Big Lens Flight Photography with the 1.4X III TC

The Streak Continues: 229

This post was published just after 4:00am from Rockville, Center, Long Island, NY as we get ready for the last morning of the Nickerson Baby Beach Nesting Birds IPT. It is our first morning that might offer some nice sunrise colors…. This post, which took me about 2 hours to prepare, marks 229 consecutive days with a new educational blog post. With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links, why quit now? April, May, June, and July have been fantastic as lots of folks are getting the message; using my affiliate links does not cost you a penny and helps support my efforts here. To show your appreciation, I do ask that you use our B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I have used and tested, and know that you can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know the tools that you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

You can find the following items in the store: Gitzo tripods, Mongoose M3.6 and Wimberley heads, plates, low feet, and accessories, flash brackets, , Delkin e-film Pro Compact Flash Cards, LensCoat products, and our unique line-up of educational materials including ABP I & II, Digital Basics, Site and Set-up e-Guides, Canon and Nikon Camera Users and AF e-Guides, and MP-4 Photoshop video tutorials among others.

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, 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 visiting the BAA Online store as well.


laughing-gulls-chasing-common-tern-w-fish-_y5o8457-nickerson-beach-li-ny

This image was created on the Nickerson Baby Beach Nesting Birds IPT with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 1000. Evaluative metering +3 stops off the white sky: 1/800 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB.

Central Sensor Surround/AI Servo Rear Focus AF on the face of the front Laughing Gull was of course active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Flight Photography with the 600 II

I am not capable of shooting hand held flight with the 600 II for more than a few minutes. Working on the tripod with the Mongoose M3.6 makes it easy to survive long shooting sessions with little or no muscle strain. Most of the time I support the lens barrel near the front from below with my left hand; in addition, my left hand helps guide the lens so that I can easily track the birds in flight. Make sure that your tripod is tall enough so that you do not have to bend over to get your eye comfortably to the viewfinder….


american-oystercatcher-display-flight-imgl8536-nickerson-beach-li-ny

This image was created on the Nickerson Baby Beach Nesting Birds IPT with the hand held Canon 500mm f/4L EF IS II lens, the Canon 1.4x EF tele-extender III, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera (Body Only) w/FREE Bonus Items – $160.75 Value! [expires 11/24]!. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +3 stops off the white sky: 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB.

Central sensor AI Servo AF was active at the moment of exposure but nowhere near the bird that was right near the upper frame edge. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image for a larger version.

Because of its lighter weight and the fact that it is far less bulky than the 600 II, air travel is a lot easier with the 500 II.

Hand Holding the 500 II

Will du Plessis, who drove down from somewhere in Canada to join the IPT, was having trouble focusing with his 500 II/1.4X/5D Mark III so we switched rigs and I tried to figure out what the problem was. The lens would not attempt to focus at all so I checked for the #1 culprit. Will had inadvertently set AF Search to Off; this told the lens not to search to acquire AF. I was sure that this would solve the problem but as it turned out, there is a problem, most likely with the camera; the rig would acquire focus and then lose it quickly…. I was able, with some difficulty, to make a few sharp images hand held. I have one more test to do today to make sure that it is the camera and not the lens.

Hand holding the 500 II is a snap for me as compared to hand holding the 600 II. We were sitting so my rest position had my left forearm resting on my left knee. From there it was a simply matter of raising the lens a few inches to photograph the birds flying right at us into the north/northwest wind.


black-skimmer-ready-to-land-_y5o8509-nickerson-beach-li-ny

This image was also created on the Nickerson Baby Beach Nesting Birds IPT with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +3 stops off the white sky: 1/800 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB.

Central Sensor Surround/AI Servo Rear Focus AF on the upper back of the skimmer as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Sitting Down on the Job

To better separate the incoming birds from the tall grasses of the nesting grounds we had the group sitting. Some were hand holding 300 IIs while others like me were working off a tripod. After trying my rig for a while Will is lusting for both a 1D X and a Mongoose M3.6. In addition, by sitting you increase the chance of having a fledgling Common Tern land right in front of you.

The 2015 UK Puffins and Gannets IPTs

Our first UK Puffins and Gannets IPT was so amazingly productive and so much fun that by the 2nd afternoon Denise and I had already decided to return in very early July 2015. In addition, we may run the first-ever Ireland Puffins and Gannets IPT the week before. If you are interested in receiving early notice for either or both of these great trips, please shoot me an e-mail with the words “2015 Puffins and Gannets IPTs” cut and pasted into the Subject line.

Facebook

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


holland-2015-card

Denise and artie hope that you can join them next spring in Holland and learn to improve both the technical and creative aspects of your flower (and street) photography.


7 1/2-Day/8-Night: A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART/Tulips & A Touch of Holland Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)

Keukenhof—Delft—Amsterdam–Flower Fields—Kinderdijk
April 9 -April 16, 2015: $4995. Limit: 12 photographers/Openings 10. Four more to make the trip a go.

This trip needs 6 registrants to run so please do not purchase your plane tickets until you hear from us that the trip is a go.

Join Denise Ippolito, the author of “Bloomin’ Ideas,” and Arthur Morris, Canon Explorer of Light Emeritus, for a great trip to Holland in mid-April 2015. Day 1 of the IPT will be April 9, 2015. We will have a short afternoon get-together and then our first photographic session at the justly-famed Keukenhof. Our last day, Day 8, April 16 will be a full day of photography.

The primary subjects will be tulips and orchids at Keukenhof and the spectacularly amazing tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulb fields around Lisse and points north. We will spend one full day in Amsterdam. There will be optional visits to the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House and/or the Rijk’s Museum. Street photography and sightseeing will be other options. We will spend a half day at Kinderdijk where we will be photographing the windmills and doing some creative photography. We will spend an afternoon in the lovely Dutch town of Delft where we will do some street photography and shopping. There is an optional church tower tour/climb. We will also enjoy a superb fine dining experience in a traditional restaurant.

Other than the arrival date: April 9, Day 1, and the date of our last day of photography on April 16, Day 8, there is no set itinerary. We will check the weather and play everything by ear to maximize the photographic opportunities. We will try to do Amsterdam, Delft, and especially Kinderdijik, on cloudy days.

There are several huge pluses to this trip. First off, denise is an amazingly skilled and caring instructor. Both her creativity and her willingness to share and to help beginning and intermediate photographers are unmatched. And though artie has learned a ton about flower photography from denise, their styles and techniques do vary considerably. You will have a chance to be counseled by and to learn from both of them. While denise will hunt you down to help you, artie’s teaching style is more “the closer you stay to me, the more you will learn.” Both leaders consistently inspire the participants. And each other. The sky, of course, is the limit.

You will learn to create tight abstracts, how best to use depth-of-field (or the lack thereof) to improve your flower photography, how to get the right exposure and make sharp images every time, how to see the best shot, and how to choose the best perspective for a given situation. And you will of course learn to create a variety of pleasingly blurred flower images. If you bring a long lens, you will learn to use it effectively for flower photography. Denise’s two favorite flower lenses are the Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. Mine are the Canon 100mm f/2.8L IS macro , the Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens ,and the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, all almost always on a tripod. Often with extension tubes and/or either the 1.4X or the 2X (with the 300 II) teleconverters. Denise hand holds a great deal of the time. For flower field blurs denise uses the same lenses mentioned above along with her new 70-200mm f/2.8L IS III lens. Artie’s favorite is that same 70-200 often with a 1.4X TC but he uses both the new Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens and the 300 II as well. Both of us use and love the Canon EOS 5D Mark IIIfor all of our flower photography. The in-camera HDR and Multiple Exposure features are a blast.

One of the great advantages of our trip is that we will be staying in a single, strategically located hotel that is quite excellent. Do note that all ground transfers to and from Schipol Airport will be via the free hotel shuttle bus.

What’s included: Eight hotel nights. All ground transportation except for airport transfers as noted above. In-the-field instruction and small group image review and Photoshop sessions. All meals from dinner on Day 1 through dinner on Day 8. There is good food at the hotel and we will be dining there on occasion; whenever you order off the menu be it at the hotel or at another restaurant only the cost of your main course is included. On these occasions the cost of soups, appetizers, salads, sodas and other beverages, alcoholic drinks and wine, bottled water, and desserts are not included. Snacks, personal items, phone calls, etc. are also not included. The cost of bus or train transportation to and from Amsterdam (about $20 US), museum entry, and tower and church entry fees (optional) are likewise not included.

Beware of seemingly longer, slightly less expensive tours that include travel days and days sitting in the hotel doing nothing as part of the tour. In addition, other similar trips have you changing hotels often and needlessly. One final note on other similar trips: the instructors on this trip actually instruct. On other similar trips the instructors, though usually imminently qualified, serve for the most part as van drivers and van door openers.

A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 per person is required to hold your spot. The second payment of $2,000 due by October 30, 2014. The balance is due on January 15, 2015. Payments in full are of course welcome at any time. All payments including the deposit must be by check made out to “Arthur Morris.” As life has a way of throwing an occasional curve ball our way, you are urged to purchase travel insurance within 15 days of our cashing your check. Artie uses and recommends Travel Insurance Services. All payments are non-refundable unless the trip fills to capacity. In that case, all payments but your deposit will be refunded. If the trip does not run every penny will of course be refunded. Again, please do not purchase your air tickets until you hear from us that the trip is a go. We are very confident that it will.

All checks should be made out to “Arthur Morris” and sent to: Arthur Morris, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. Call Jim or Jen in the BAA office with any additional registration questions: 863-692-0906.

For couples or friends signing up at the same time for the tulip trip, a $200/duo discount will be applied to the final payment.

When you send your deposit check, please print, sign, and include the paperwork here.

If you have any questions on the trip please contact artie by e-mail or denise by e-mail.

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