Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
February 28th, 2019

What am I, chopped liver? On crafting a self-realized response ...

What’s Up?

I was in a bit of a funk on Wednesday and spent most of the day on the couch watching movies. The best was Training Day with a very evil Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. I was back in top form on Thursday morning after sleeping 10 hours, a record for me. I was glad to learn the IPT veteran Chuck Murphy signed uo for the DeSoto Spring IPT. That leaves just two spots open.

I am sure that Anita will be thrilled to see all of your comments on her work. Right now she is in northern Manitoba hoping to photograph baby polar bears coming out of their dens. At -50 below F. …

with love, artie

Cheap Gatorland Saturdays

You are invited to join me at Gatorland on SAT 2 MAR as below. I will be offering these sessions from here on until further notice. If you are interested in this or any upcoming Saturday, please get in touch via e-mail or call my cell at 863-221-2372. Limit three photographers.

Morning Session — 7-10am: $200
Morning Session with working lunch including image review and Photoshop: $300.
All of the above with a late afternoon session from 4pm till closing: $400.



IPT Updates

I still need three folks for the Galapagos trip, and the UK Puffins and Gannets trip is wide open with only a single registrant. Please shoot me an e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount on the Galapagos trip.

  • The 2019 Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/THURS 18 APRIL through the morning session on SUNDAY APRIL 21, 2019: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1549. Limit 8/Openings: 4. Meet and greet at 7PM on the evening of WED 17 APRIL.
  • The New, Expanded 2019 UK Puffins, Gannets, & Red Kites IPT. Thursday June 27 (from EDI) through Tuesday, July 9, 2019 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 10.): $9,999. Limit 10 photographers/Openings: 9. This trip needs four to run. Co-leader: Peter Kes.
  • The GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 23 to August 6, 2019 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $14,499. Limit: 12 photographers/Openings: 4. Please e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount for this trip.


BIRDS AS ART

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. Most recently the price of used Canon 600mm f/L IS II lenses have been dropping like a rock with the introduction of the 600 III. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Important Used Gear Note

All sales include insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only.

Sony a7R III Mirrorless Camera Body

John Bowden is offering a Sony a7R III mirrorless camera in near-mint condition for $2298.00. The body was purchased from an authorized Sony dealer on 9/12/18. Included is the original box and everything that came in it (except the hot shoe cap): the front body cap, the neck strap, the manuals, the original battery, the battery charger and power cord, the USB Type C cable, the cable protector, the reference guide and insured ground shipping via UPS to the lower 48 after their check clears.

Please contact John via e-mail or by phone at 919-358-5717 (Eastern time zone).

With 10 fps and an excellent AF system the 42.4MP a7R III image files are spectacular. As it sells new for $2998.00 you can save a neat $700.00 by grabbing John’s lens now. artie

Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS Lens

John Bowden is also offering a Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens in like-new condition for $998.00. It was purchased from an authorized Sony dealer on 9/18/18. Included is the original box and everything that came in it, the the front and rear caps, the lens shade, the soft case, the instruction manual, and insured ground shipping via UPS to the lower 48 after their check clears.

Please contact John via e-mail or by phone at 919-358-5717 (Eastern time zone).

The versatile lenses in this focal length range are in the never-leave-home-without-them class. They are great for bird scapes, scenics, quasi-macro stuff, people, and just about anything else. As the lens sells new for $1398 you can save 400 of your hard-earned dollars. artie

Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens

John Bowden is also offering a Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS lens in near-mint condition for $848.00. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it: the front and rear caps, the lens shade, the soft case, the instruction manual and insured ground shipping via UPS to the lower 48 after their check clears.

Please contact John via e-mail or by phone at 919-358-5717 (Eastern time zone).

This outstandingly sharp versatile lens is a landscape and general photographers dream for fill frame Sony camera bodies. It sells new for $1248.00 so you can save $400.00 by getting in touch with John now. artie

bedford-logo-w-code

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, 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 currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.

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.

Brown-Pelican-angled-flight-_MAI2397-Lakeland,-FL

This image was created on the third afternoon of the Spoonbill Boat IPT. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and my souped up Nikon D850. ISO 800. Matrix metering plus 1/3 stop off the sky: 1/2500 sec. at f/8 was more than a stop under-exposed. (Even though the skies were clear, it was late in the day; the light was very soft and, in addition, it was a bit hazy.) NATURAL AUTO WB at 5:27pm on a clear afternoon.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: 0. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Center Group (grp)/Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The array was centered on the bird’s face; good on me. This image is perfectly sharp on the eye.

Brown Pelican — forward-facing/turning left flight pose

What am I, chopped liver?

The following comment came up for moderation last week on the Flight Poses and Wings Positions: Part I of Many. And a killer forward-facing/turning left flight image made with the 500 PF/TC-E14/D850 Rig blog post here.

Andrew Browne

Sorry Art. On my iMac the brown pelican looks very plastic and over processed. I have the PF 500mm lens on my D500, don’t use a teleconverter on it because the images just lose so much detail, and much more if you crop the images. I concentrate on trying to get closer to the birds or just don’t bother to keep the images. I definitely wouldn’t post such an image. Cheers AB

My initial response was to delete it rather than to defend and attack as the image in question (above) is one of the finest flight images I have made over the course of the past 35 years. It is sharp and well processed and the image quality is superb. (Don’t forget to ask yourself, what the heck does he know?) In any case I deleted it.

The question remains, How do you come up with a civil, self-realized response to off the wall comments?

On Crafting a self-realized response …

After some thought, I came up with this:

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Andrew. I asked myself if your comments could in any way be accurate. To check on that, I posted the image in the Avian Forum on Bird Photographer’s where I participate daily. We specialize in honest critiques done gently, and trust me, the boys and girls do not hesitate to take shots at Mr. Famous Bird Photographer. You can see their comments on the image in question here.

Pretty much everyone thought that the image quality was excellent. Arash Hazeghi, the super-critical sharpness king of the world wrote, Sharpness and IQ look great from here. Krishna Prasad Kotti commented that the details on the bird looked over-sharpened to me on my monitor. Then Dorian Anderson countered that with I don’t see any sharpening issues. The lighting on the face is really nice, and I love how we can see every feather in the wings. The flight angle and diagonal position really work well. I cannot believe how long the wings appear. The detail looks good …

Therefore Andrew, I must respectfully disagree with your assessment of the image. As your opinion was somewhat vehement (I definitely wouldn’t post such an image) and might be considered insulting by some, I would offer several suggestions:

  • 1-If you wear glasses, clean them.
  • 2- If not, get a pair.
  • 3- Purchase a new, high-quality laptop. See the blog post here and please remember to use my link.
  • 4- Join an IPT so that I can see your work up close and personal.
  • 5- Consider joining BPN.
  • with love, artie

    Thoughts?

    So you post an image that you know based on 35 years of bird photography is pretty darned good and someone tells you that it is pretty much garbage …

    Would you have deleted his comment?

    If not, how would you have responded?

    Please note that I wanted to post my response to Andrew’s comment but had already emptied the Spam folder … (When comments are deleted they are marked as Spam.)

    Fort-DeSoto-2019-new-card

    Fort DeSoto in spring is rife with tame birds, many in full breeding plumage. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

    Clockwise from upper left around to center: Laughing Gull landing on head of Brown Pelican, Laughing Gull in flight, Reddish Egret sunrise silhouette, Great Blue Heron with needlefish, Yellow-crowned Night Heron with ghost crab, Roseate Spoonbill, Sanderling in breeding plumage, and white morph Reddish Egret in glorious breeding plumage.

    The 2019 Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/THURS 18 APRIL through the morning session on SUNDAY APRIL 21, 2019: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1549. Limit 8/Openings: 4. Meet and greet at 7PM on the evening of WED 17 APRIL.

    Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for a great variety of migrant shorebirds, gulls, terns, and passerines in Spring. Many of the gulls and terns will be courting and copulating. There the migrants join hundreds of Florida resident egrets, herons, night-herons, and pelicans on the T-shaped peninsula. We should get to photograph one of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher almost guaranteed. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, and White Ibis are easy as well and many of those will be in their spectacular breeding plumages. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron is a strong possibility. We may get to see and photograph the amazing heron/egret hybrid that has been present for three years. And we should enjoy some great Brown Pelican flight photography. In addition, 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 might well be expected. And we will be on the lookout for a migrant passerine fallout in the event of a thunderstorm or two. Yikes, I almost forgot to mention that nearly all of the birds are ridiculously tame!

    Fort-DeSoto-Card

    Yes, Fort DeSoto in spring is rife with tame birds, most in breeding plumage. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

    Clockwise from upper left around to center: breeding plumage Dunlin, dark morph Reddish Egret displaying, Laughing Gull vertical front-end portrait, Laughing Gull with prey item, landing on head of Brown Pelican, breeding plumage Royal Tern displaying, Royal Terns — pre-copulatory stance, Laughing Gulls copulating, Laughing Gull head portrait, breeding plumage Sandwich Tern with fish, and a rare treat, a breeding plumage White-rumped Sandpiper.

    Just some of the stuff you will learn …

    On the IPT 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 many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. Most importantly you will surely learn to evaluate wind and sky conditions and understand how they affect bird photography. And you will learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

    Fort-DeSoto-Card-B

    Again, Fort DeSoto in spring is rife with tame birds, most in breeding plumage. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

    Clockwise from upper left around to center: Laughing Gull in flight, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Sandwich Terns copulating, Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egret with reflection, breeding plumage Short-billed Dowitcher, American Oystercatcher, Royal Tern, white morph Reddish Egret, and Snowy Egret in marsh.

    What we do

    There will be seven shooting sessions in all: four 3+ hours morning session and three 2 1/2 hour afternoon sessions. There will be a Photoshop/image review session during or after lunch (lunch is included) on each of the three full days. That will be followed by Instructor Nap Time.

    The best airport is Tampa (TPA). Once you register, you will receive an e-mail with the hotel/lodging information.

    DeSoto-recent-CARD

    You got it, Fort DeSoto in spring is rife with tame birds, most in breeding plumage. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

    Clockwise from upper left around to center: Roseate Spoonbill, immature Brown Pelican in flight, the heron/egret hybrid, American Oystercatcher feeding, immature Royal Tern on railing, Great Egret morning silhouette, Black Skimmer in surf, and underside head portrait of Great Blue Heron.

    Signing Up

    A $500 deposit is due when you sign up and is payable by credit card. Balances must be paid by check after you register. Your deposit is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with eight folks so please check your plans carefully before committing. You can register by calling Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand or by sending a check as follows: make the check out to: BIRDS AS ART and send it via US mail here: BIRDS AS ART, PO BOX 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions, clothing, and gear advice. Please remember that the meet and greet will take place on the evening of WED 17 APRIL. Please shoot me an e-mail if you plan to register or if you have any questions.


    desoto-fall-card-a-layers

    Folks attending this IPT will be out in the field early and stay late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

    Clockwise from upper left to center: Long-billed Curlew, juvenile Tricolored Heron, Marbled Godwits, Great Blue Heron, juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper, Wood Stork, smiling Sea Scallop, Ruddy Turnstone scavenging needlefish, Great Blue Heron sunset silhouette at my secret spot, and southbound migrant tern flock blur.

    Early and Late

    Getting up early and staying out late is pretty much a staple on all BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours; on this particular trip we will get lots of sleep as the days are short. Being in the field well before the sun comes up and staying out until sunset will often present unique photographic opportunities, opportunities that will be missed by those who need their beauty rest. I really love it when I am leaving the beach on a sunny morning after a great session just as a carful or two of well-rested photographers arrive.

    Help Support the Blog

    Please help support my efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

    If In Doubt …

    If 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 New BAA Online Store 🙂

    To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

    As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

    I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

    Facebook

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

    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 :).

    February 27th, 2019

    A Student's Great Work

    What’s Up?

    Disaster Averted

    I arrived early on Monday evening past for the Orlando Camera Club presentation: Lessons from the Field/BIRDS AS ART-Style. As we were setting up it dawned on everyone that we did not have the proper cable connectors, we could not hook up my new computer to the projector … My one and only photographer teacher, old friend Milton Heiberg, was in attendance so I turned to him for help. It took a while but he came up with the perfect solution. He advised that I export the Keynote program as a PDF. We copied the PDF to a thumb drive and stuck that into an ancient PC that was hooked up to the projector. My Logi-tech mouse worked! And even better, the images looked great. The show was well-received by the more one hundred folks in attendance.

    What Else?

    Today’s post features some great images made on the February Spoonbill Boat IPT by many times over multiple IPT veteran Anita North of Toronto, Canada. Please leave a comment letting us know which of Anita’s five images is your favorite. And why. Many tanks!

    Anita-preening-WHITE_DSC4217-Alafia-BanksFEB--2019-Edit-Edit

    This image was created by Anita North on the February Spoonbill Boat IPT. She used the the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR..

    Image #1: Roseate Spoonbill walking on white sand beach

    Image courtesy of and copyright 2019: Anita North

    A Student’s Great Work!

    Anita North has been on many IPTs. She has worked very hard for several years improving her skills. On the spoonbill boat IPT she pretty much killed me … Sometimes the students simply get too good; can you say Loren Waxman, Clemens Van der Werf, and George Golumbeski among others?

    Anita-landing-_DSC2530-Alafia-BanksFEB--2019-Edit

    This image was created by Anita North on the February Spoonbill Boat IPT. She used the the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II, and my souped up (9 fps) mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR..

    Image #2: Roseate Spoonbill braking to land

    Image courtesy of and copyright 2019: Anita North

    Shooting Flight with a Tripod-Mounted Super-telephoto Lens

    Shooting flight with a tripod-mounted super-telephoto lens is a difficult skill to master. I am still working on improving in that area. Anita has long professed that she “couldn’t do it.” But here she did quite well …

    Anita-bathing-_DSC4490-Alafia-BanksFEB--2019-Edit-2

    This image was created by Anita North on the February Spoonbill Boat IPT. She used the the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR..

    Image #3: Roseate Spoonbill bathing

    Image courtesy of and copyright 2019: Anita North

    Bathing Spoonbills

    Getting to photograph a bathing spoonbill is a rare treat. Here Captain James Shadle was in the water maneuvering the Hooptie Deux into perfect position. Anita did the rest!

    anita-flight-_DSC5357Riverdale-Alafia-Banks-FEB-2019-Edit

    This image was created by Anita North on the February Spoonbill Boat IPT. She used the the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR..

    Image #4: Roseate Spoonbill in flight

    Image courtesy of and copyright 2019: Anita North

    Flight Photography at Alafia Banks

    There is lots of great flight photography on the spoonbill boat IPTs. Mornings are mostly off the tripod while in the water, afternoons are mostly hand holding with intermediate telephoto lenses or zooms.

    ANITA-blur-_ART0570Riverdale-Alafia-Banks-FEB-2019-Edit

    This image was created by Anita North on the February Spoonbill Boat IPT. She used the the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.

    Image #5: Roseate Spoonbill pre-dawn blur

    Image courtesy of and copyright 2019: Anita North

    Pre-dawn Blurs

    Many IPTs allow for the creation of pre-dawn blurs. On those trips I teach the Tv (S with Nikon) Shutter priority Auto ISO (or ISO Safety Shift) with Exposure Compensation (EC) technique. That works perfectly if the birds are flying only against the sky. But when the birds are flying low with vegetation in the background it is mandatory to go to Manual mode to keep the meter from overexposing the subjects. And that is just what Anita did to create this quite pleasing blur of an early morning spoonbill.

    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 :).

    February 25th, 2019

    The Toughest Camera Body Quiz Ever. And SONY a7R III (bad) News ...

    What’s Up?

    For the past few hours I’ve been putting the finishing touches on the Orlando Camera Club program — Lessons from the Field/BIRDS AS ART-Style. An MP4 video of the show will be available for purchase later in the week. Jim and I are on the way up to Orlando as I type this afternoon, Monday . Thanks again to Bedford Camera for sponsoring the program. As I have a few more slides to add I am not quite done yet …

    I was glad that I sold my Nikon D5 and my Nikon 80-400 VR on Monday morning, just minutes after the third price drop on each. And I learned that Galapagos participant Randy Strickland is joining us for most of the DeSoto Spring IPT. As a relative beginner he wants to make sure that he knows what he is doing once we get down to the archipelago!

    More SONY News

    Dear friend, multiple IPT veteran, and BAA Technical Advisor Patrick Sparkman who has committed 100% to SONY had a chance to try out a Sony Alpha a7R III this past weekend. He states that if he were a landscape photographer he would keep the one he purchased as the files are fabulous. But loves bird photography so he will be returning it. This sums up what he told me: The A7R III is not very good at all for bird photography. It is hard to live with the viewfinder blackout after using the Sony a9. Autofocus performance and frame rate pale when compared to the a9 and a7R III AF is pretty much worthless with teleconverters, especially with the 2X.



    IPT Updates

    I still need three folks for the Galapagos trip, and the UK Puffins and Gannets trip is wide open with only a single registrant. Please shoot me an e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount on the Galapagos trip.

    • The 2019 Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/THURS 18 APRIL through the morning session on SUNDAY APRIL 21, 2019: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1549. Limit 8/Openings: 4. Meet and greet at 7PM on the evening of WED 17 APRIL.
    • The New, Expanded 2019 UK Puffins, Gannets, & Red Kites IPT. Thursday June 27 (from EDI) through Tuesday, July 9, 2019 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 10.): $9,999. Limit 10 photographers/Openings: 9. This trip needs four to run. Co-leader: Peter Kes.
    • The GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 23 to August 6, 2019 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $14,499. Limit: 12 photographers/Openings: 4. Please e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount for this trip.


    BIRDS AS ART

    BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

    Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

    Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. Most recently the price of used Canon 600mm f/L IS II lenses have been dropping like a rock with the introduction of the 600 III. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

    Important Used Gear Note

    All sales include insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only.

    bedford-logo-w-code

    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, 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 currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.

    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.

    Albatross nesting cliff IMG_0984

    This handheld image was created by yours truly on the Falklands Land-based IPT.

    Image #1: Black-browed Albatross nesting cliff, Rookery Cabin, Saunders Island, The Falklands

    Black-browed Albatross Nesting Cliff

    If you are lucky and privileged, you will get to spend a few day photographing at Rookery Cabin, Saunders Island. I know of no other location where it is easier to photograph the adults, nests, and young of this species. Why? It is relatively easy to get to and the cliffs are flatter and easier to traverse than those at other locations. Having been there three times, I can speak from experience. And yes, I have been very lucky.

    shag shelf

    This handheld image was also created by yours truly on the Falklands Land-based IPT.

    Image #2: King Shags on rocky shelf, Sea Lion Island, The Falklands

    King Shags

    As to the best place on the planet to photograph King (Blue-eyed or Imperial) Shag (or cormorant) I would rate Sea Lion Island and Bleaker Island as a toss-up with Bleaker boasting a single huge colony that I believe is the world’s largest. Both are superb in the afternoons for incoming flight photography …

    The Toughest Camera Body Quiz Ever

    I would appreciate your thoughts as to which camera I used to make both of today’s featured images and welcome your comments on image quality as well. Lastly, which of the two is your favorite. And why? Tanks a stack.

    Fort-DeSoto-2019-new-card

    Fort DeSoto in spring is rife with tame birds, many in full breeding plumage. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

    Clockwise from upper left around to center: Laughing Gull landing on head of Brown Pelican, Laughing Gull in flight, Reddish Egret sunrise silhouette, Great Blue Heron with needlefish, Yellow-crowned Night Heron with ghost crab, Roseate Spoonbill, Sanderling in breeding plumage, and white morph Reddish Egret in glorious breeding plumage.

    The 2019 Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/THURS 18 APRIL through the morning session on SUNDAY APRIL 21, 2019: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1549. Limit 8/Openings: 4. Meet and greet at 7PM on the evening of WED 17 APRIL.

    Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for a great variety of migrant shorebirds, gulls, terns, and passerines in Spring. Many of the gulls and terns will be courting and copulating. There the migrants join hundreds of Florida resident egrets, herons, night-herons, and pelicans on the T-shaped peninsula. We should get to photograph one of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher almost guaranteed. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Tricolored Heron, and White Ibis are easy as well and many of those will be in their spectacular breeding plumages. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron is a strong possibility. We may get to see and photograph the amazing heron/egret hybrid that has been present for three years. And we should enjoy some great Brown Pelican flight photography. In addition, 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 might well be expected. And we will be on the lookout for a migrant passerine fallout in the event of a thunderstorm or two. Yikes, I almost forgot to mention that nearly all of the birds are ridiculously tame!

    Fort-DeSoto-Card

    Yes, Fort DeSoto in spring is rife with tame birds, most in breeding plumage. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

    Clockwise from upper left around to center: breeding plumage Dunlin, dark morph Reddish Egret displaying, Laughing Gull vertical front-end portrait, Laughing Gull with prey item, landing on head of Brown Pelican, breeding plumage Royal Tern displaying, Royal Terns — pre-copulatory stance, Laughing Gulls copulating, Laughing Gull head portrait, breeding plumage Sandwich Tern with fish, and a rare treat, a breeding plumage White-rumped Sandpiper.

    Just some of the stuff you will learn …

    On the IPT 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 many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. Most importantly you will surely learn to evaluate wind and sky conditions and understand how they affect bird photography. And you will learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

    Fort-DeSoto-Card-B

    Again, Fort DeSoto in spring is rife with tame birds, most in breeding plumage. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

    Clockwise from upper left around to center: Laughing Gull in flight, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Sandwich Terns copulating, Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egret with reflection, breeding plumage Short-billed Dowitcher, American Oystercatcher, Royal Tern, white morph Reddish Egret, and Snowy Egret in marsh.

    What we do

    There will be seven shooting sessions in all: four 3+ hours morning session and three 2 1/2 hour afternoon sessions. There will be a Photoshop/image review session during or after lunch (lunch is included) on each of the three full days. That will be followed by Instructor Nap Time.

    The best airport is Tampa (TPA). Once you register, you will receive an e-mail with the hotel/lodging information.

    DeSoto-recent-CARD

    You got it, Fort DeSoto in spring is rife with tame birds, most in breeding plumage. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

    Clockwise from upper left around to center: Roseate Spoonbill, immature Brown Pelican in flight, the heron/egret hybrid, American Oystercatcher feeding, immature Royal Tern on railing, Great Egret morning silhouette, Black Skimmer in surf, and underside head portrait of Great Blue Heron.

    Signing Up

    A $500 deposit is due when you sign up and is payable by credit card. Balances must be paid by check after you register. Your deposit is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with eight folks so please check your plans carefully before committing. You can register by calling Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand or by sending a check as follows: make the check out to: BIRDS AS ART and send it via US mail here: BIRDS AS ART, PO BOX 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions, clothing, and gear advice. Please remember that the meet and greet will take place on the evening of WED 17 APRIL. Please shoot me an e-mail if you plan to register or if you have any questions.


    desoto-fall-card-a-layers

    Folks attending this IPT will be out in the field early and stay late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

    Clockwise from upper left to center: Long-billed Curlew, juvenile Tricolored Heron, Marbled Godwits, Great Blue Heron, juvenile Pectoral Sandpiper, Wood Stork, smiling Sea Scallop, Ruddy Turnstone scavenging needlefish, Great Blue Heron sunset silhouette at my secret spot, and southbound migrant tern flock blur.

    Early and Late

    Getting up early and staying out late is pretty much a staple on all BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours; on this particular trip we will get lots of sleep as the days are short. Being in the field well before the sun comes up and staying out until sunset will often present unique photographic opportunities, opportunities that will be missed by those who need their beauty rest. I really love it when I am leaving the beach on a sunny morning after a great session just as a carful or two of well-rested photographers arrive.

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