Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
April 18th, 2020

Musically: And a Great Blue Heron in a pine tree ... Image design, image processing, and depth-of-field questions.

What’s Up?

Friday morning was way dark. It started off slower than slow so I went to my favorite grassy rise and put out some salmon skins, four eggshells, a ribeye bone, and a pork chop bone. I set up the 600 on the tripod with the a9 II in hopes of some vulture flight. Impatient as I am, I had brought down my laptop. So I got back in my car and went to work on the SONY guide. I worked for one hour fifteen minutes. Not a single vulture came.

By 9:45am, it was getting brighter (but not sunny) and I was tired of waiting for vultures. I almost headed home but decided to check out each of the three big fields once more. As I made a left turn onto the North Peninsula I saw an Osprey disappear behind a large bush in the marsh on my right. I moved forward and saw that it had landed in the lake and was bathing. I set up the smaller, lighter Induro 20l with the FlexShooter Mini in my SUV and mounted the 600 GM with the 2X and the a7r iv. I repositioned the vehicle and went to work. What a show. I had as many as six Ospreys flying around and landing in the lake. I had as many as four in the water bathing at once. I had never seen even one Osprey bathing in the lake before. I did not get home for breakfast until 11am.

After I ate, I went for gas at the station on SSR 60 five minutes from my home. I stopped on the way back to pick up a huge just-killed freshwater turtle, possibly a Florida Red-bellied Cooter. I keep some heavy-duty plastic bags in my vehicle. If the wind and sky conditions are good this morning — Saturday 18 APR 2020 — I will put the turtle out and hope that the vultures are hungrier today than they were yesterday.

Last night I watched another blockbuster on TIVO — Apollo 13. What a story, with amazing acting by Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, and others. Incredible film-making, sound, and music. And lots of tears of joy.

I was glad to learn yesterday that multiple IPT veteran Larry Master sold his Canon 200-400 f/4L IS USM lens with internal 1.4X Extender in excellent condition for $4,999.00 (was $5999.00) and that Blog regular Fred Innamorato sold his Sony A9 in excellent condition for a BAA record-low $2349.00.

I will be headed down to the lake at about 7:30am in spite of more clouds in the forecast along with SW winds …

Have fun and be safe.

Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

The SONY e-Guide by Patrick Sparkman and Arthur Morris

The Sony Camera Videos and Pre-publication e-Guide Costs and Discount Info

The cost of the SONY e-Guide is $100.00 US and will include one of the four different camera set-up videos — we offer one video each for the a7r iii, the a7r iv, the a9, and the a9 ii — and the written guide with the galleries. The guide is now 98% done and you will — of course, receive the final version when it is completed. I sent out the third draft today to those who have purchased the Guide with or without the discount.

Folks who have used my B&H links or purchased their SONY gear from Bedfords will receive said discount based exactly on how much they spent. If you spent more than $10,000 you will receive one free video and the e-Guide. Additional camera videos are $25.00 each. If you spent $2400, you will receive a 24% discount, and so on and so forth. And again, additional camera videos will be $25.00 each.

I will need time to verify your B&H purchases so folks will need to send their receipts and then be a bit patient. It is much easier to verify Bedfords’ purchases but I need those receipts as well.

If you have not used BAA links, please do so in the future. If that is the case and you would like the e-Guide now, please send a Paypal for $100 US to birdsasart@verizon.net and be sure to include the words “SONY Pre-publication Guide” in the Paypal e-mail along with the name of your camera or cameras so that you can receive the correct video or videos. Please add $25 for each additional camera video. Be sure to send a copy of the Paypal transaction to me via e-mail.

Folks who have used BAA links to purchase their SONY gear should send their receipts to me via e-mail asap and let me know which camera videos they need. I will verify their purchases as quickly as possible and send a quote to be paid via Paypal as above.

Thanks to all who have properly used my B&H links or gone through the fabulous Steve Elkins at Bedfords, and thanks to everyone for having faith in the information that I provide, knowing that it will be the best available anywhere.

This image was created on the morning of 16 APR 2020 at Indian Lake Estates. On foot, I used the Induro GIT 404L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and the blazingly fast AF King, the Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital Camera Body. ISO 2000. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear dial: 1/500 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode was about +1 2/3 stops on the analog scale. AWB at 7:53:17am on a cloudy/very-dark morning.

Tracking Flexible Spot (M) was active at the moment of exposure and performed to perfection. Click the image to see a larger sharper version.

Image #1: Adult Great Blue Heron atop pine tree

The Situation

For the past several weeks there have been lots more Great Blue Herons around the lakefront at ILE than there have been in years. Last week I saw one — likely the same bird as pictured here today, displaying from the top of the very same pine tree. I was photographing not much at the vulture tree at the north end of the North Field when I saw the heron land well to my right. Since I was out of my vehicle with the big lens on the tripod, I decided to walk rather than drive. No worries, the nearest folks were two fishermen about a quarter-mile away. I’ve been using the larger 404L when I get out of the car since I rarely walk very far; I stow it in the back with the legs fully extended topped by a FlexShooter Pro while the 204 with a Mini on top stays in the front seat with me to be set up when I worked from the car.

Tracking Flexible Spot (M) is simply amazing. Many of the captions that I wrote yesterday went a lot like this: Focus on the bird’s face, re-compose, and push the shutter button. The AF area stays on the bird’s face as you move the lens. Nothing could be simpler or more effective than using Tracking Flexible Spot to create pleasing compositions.

Image Design Question

In image #1, why did I place the bird on the right side of the frame looking out?

This image was also created on the morning of 16 APR 2020 at Indian Lake Estates. On foot, I used the Induro GIT 404L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and the blazingly fast AF King, the Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital Camera Body. ISO 2000. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear dial: 1/500 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode was about +1 2/3 stops on the analog scale. AWB at 7:54:27am on a cloudy/very-dark morning.

Tracking Flexible Spot (M) was active at the moment of exposure and performed to perfection. Click the image to see a larger sharper version.

Image #2: Adult Great Blue Heron atop pine tree

The Stronger Image?

Today’s two featured images were created exactly one minute ten seconds apart. In that short time, I moved to my right and angled a bit closer to the bird thus creating a slightly different perspective. When the bird looked back to its left, Tracking Flexible Spot (M) continued to perform perfectly. Which of today’s two featured images is your favorite? Be sure to let us know why you made your choice.

Image Processing Question

One of today’s two featured images was optimized in Photoshop with great care. The other is pretty much right out of camera (after being converted in Capture One with identical settings). Be sure to enlarge each image and let us know if you see any differences and what they are. This exercise is for eagle-eyed readers only.

Depth-of-field Question

How might f/8 (or even f/11) have improved both of today’s featured images?

April 17th, 2020

COVID-19 Comments. Not Flying With Both Feet Off the Ground! SONY a7r iv Tracking Flexible Spot Amazes at 1200mm. More on Zebras for Difficult Exposures ...

What’s Up?

Thursday morning did turn out to be cloudy-dark. I created lots of perched vulture images along with some Old Gnarly family images, all at high ISO, to send to Arash Hazeghi for the new SONY Capture One e-Guide he is working on. He can use even lousy images to create various best conversion values especially with regards to the noise reduction settings.

I swam my usual 50 lengths on a cold — 59-degree afternoon — it had been ninety the previous day, with a cold rain pelting my back for the last forty.

The forecast for today — Friday 17 APR 2020 is much the same as yesterday’s — cloudy in the am, rain in the pm — except that the winds will be more from the east and less from the north. I will be headed down to the lake at about 7:15am.

Have a great day and be safe.

Some COVID-19 Political Comments …

I do not quite understand why most beaches and natural areas are closed to folks who would like to walk, exercise, and yes photograph, while practicing social distancing while everyone is free to go shopping at Walmarts or huge supermarkets. I do not understand why folks can purchase food but are prevented from buying garden supplies while its business-as-usual at liquor stores and lottery outlets. I do not understand why folks in some states are prevented from attending outdoor religious services while remaining in their vehicles. And I do not understand why folks surfing in California are hassled or even arrested.

Do you?

I will probably get into big trouble with some by suggesting that folks check out the situation in Sweden — where there are no lockdowns and the economy is doing just fine — in the YouTube video here. Comments are welcome on the message but not the messenger.

Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

The SONY e-Guide by Patrick Sparkman and Arthur Morris

The Sony Camera Videos and Pre-publication e-Guide Costs and Discount Info

The cost of the SONY e-Guide is $100.00 US and will include one of the four camera set-up videos — we offer one video each for the a7r iii, the a7r iv, the a9, and the a9 ii — and the written guide with the galleries. The guide is now 98% done and you will — of course, receive the final version when it is completed. I sent out the third draft today to those who have purchased the Guide with or without the discount.

Folks who have used my B&H links or purchased their SONY gear from Bedfords will receive said discount based exactly on how much they spent. If you spent more than $10,000 you will receive one free video and the e-Guide. Additional camera videos are $25.00 each. If you spent $2400, you will receive a 24% discount, and so on and so forth. And again, additional camera videos will be $25.00 each.

I will need time to verify your B&H purchases so folks will need to send their receipts and then be a bit patient. It is much easier to verify Bedfords’ purchases but I need those receipts as well.

If you have not used BAA links, please do so in the future. If that is the case and you would like the e-Guide now, please send a Paypal for $100 US to birdsasart@verizon.net and be sure to include the words “SONY Pre-publication Guide” in the Paypal e-mail along with the name of your camera or cameras so that you can receive the correct video or videos. Please add $25 for each additional camera video. Be sure to send a copy of the Paypal transaction to me via e-mail.

Folks who have used BAA links to purchase their SONY gear should send their receipts to me via e-mail asap and let me know which camera videos they need. I will verify their purchases as quickly as possible and send a quote to be paid via Paypal as above.

Thanks to all who have properly used my B&H links or gone through the fabulous Steve Elkins at Bedfords, and thanks to everyone for having faith in the information that I provide, knowing that it will be the best available anywhere.

BIRDS AS ART

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

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 on 15 APR at Indian Lake Estates. Working from my SUV, I used the Induro GIT 204/FlexShooter Mini-mounted Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x teleconverter, and the 61-MP Monster, the Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO: 800. Exposure determined by Zebras with exposure compensation on the rear wheel: 1/640 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. In bright sun, the trick with Black Vultures is to some Zebras on the legs. AWB at 8:45am on a clear sunny morning.

Tracking Flexible Spot (M) AF-C. Click on the image to see a larger, sharper version.

Black Vulture charging

Smoked Salmon Skin Feeder

Junior’s Fish Market in Lake Wales makes some of the world’s-best smoked salmon right there in his shop on SR 60. I usually buy as much as he has. (His hours right now are quite limited.) I save the fatty skins and keep them in the fridge along with left-over steak and pork chop bones. And I always have my eyes out for road-killed possums or raccoons. On mornings where the wind and sky conditions look decent for flight photography, I will put out the bait in one of two locations that offer decent (read distant) morning backgrounds.

Some days are diamonds, some days are stone. When the birds first arrive there can be lots of good flight photography. But most days I do not have the patience, so I drive around the lakefront in search of subjects and returned to find a pile of vultures already on the bait. That is what happened on Wednesday past. I always find it interesting to watch the interplay between the Black Vultures (BVs) and the larger Turkey Vultures (TVs). In general, the TVs are dominated by the smaller BVs. But at times, if more than a few TVs arrive early, they hold their own. The BVs do their share of squabbling. The bird in today’s featured image was charging a small group that was dining on a still-juicy bit of skin.

That the image is razor-sharp on the eye astounded me; I would not have expected Tracking Flexible Spot to keep up with a bird charging aggressively over the hill at 1200mm.

Click on the image to be able to read the fine print.

Capture One Screen Capture for Black Vulture charging

Capture One Screen Capture

First, note that I added 1/3 stop of light to the exposure (+0.32). And then see the next item.

Note the nasty dust spot to the right of the subject and the extra, o-o-f vulture in the lower- portion of the frame. As always, I used the Spot Healing Brush to eliminate dust spots while working at 100% and scrolling side to side and then up and down. I did a bit of grass clean-up using Content-Aware Fill. I used a large, rotated, warped, horizontally-flipped Quick Mask to cover the extra bird and then refined that with a Regular Layer Mask.

All the techniques mentioned above and tons more (with the exception of Capture One RAW Conversions) — along with all of my personalized Keyboard Shortcuts — are covered in detail in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. Scroll down for details on this great guide.

RawDigger Screen Capture for Black Vulture charging

RawDigger Screen Capture

Again, note that I increased the exposure by 1/3 stop. Then consider that the RawDigger data shows a 99.8% perfect exposure with 30,000 underexposed RED pixels and 1,000 underexposed BLUE pixels out of 61,000,000 pixels. Pretty darned close to perfect. I have been including the RawDigger over/under EXP data to show how amazingly accurate Patrick’s Sparkman’s system — Exposure determined by Zebras with exposure compensation on the rear wheel — combined with his brilliant Zebra’s setting, can be with just a bit of practice. This system is covered in detail in the almost-finished SONY e-Guide and the Camera Useer’s videos.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

You can order your copy from the BAA Online Store here, by sending a Paypal for $40 here, or by calling Jim or Jennifer weekdays at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II)

All the Photoshop techniques mentioned above and tons more (with the exception of Capture One RAW Conversions) — along with all of my personalized Keyboard Shortcuts — are covered in detail in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. Learn more and check out the free excerpt in the blog post here. While the new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow, folks using a PC and/or BreezeBrowser will also benefit greatly by studying the material on DB II. Note: folks working on a PC and/or those who do not want to miss anything Photoshop may wish to purchase the original Digital Basics along with DB II while saving $15 by clicking here to buy the DB Bundle.

Folks who learn well by following along rather than by reading can check out the complete collection of MP 4 Photoshop Tutorial Videos by clicking here. Note: all of the videos are now priced at an amazingly low $5.00 each.

You can learn how and why I converted all of my Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 in the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide here. More recently, I became proficient at converting my Nikon RAW (NEF) files in Adobe Camera Raw. About two years ago I began converting my Nikon and Sony RAW files in Capture One Pro 12 and continue to do so today.

To purchase Capture One, please use this link. Then you can learn more about Capture One in the Capture One Pro 12 Simplified MP4 Video here. The next step would be to get a copy of Arash Hazeghi’s “The Nikon Photographers’ Guide to Phase One Capture One Pro e-Guide” in the blog post here.

You can learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair. Folks can learn sophisticated sharpening and (NeatImage) Noise Reduction techniques in The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and edited by yours truly. Please use this link to purchase NeatImage.

To introduce folks to our MP.4 videos and the basics involved in applying more NeatImage noise reduction to the background and less on the subject, I’d be glad to send you a free copy of the Free Noise Reduction Basics MP.4 Video. Simply click to shoot me an e-mail to get your free copy.

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 :).

April 16th, 2020

The If-the-World-Does-Not-End BIRDS AS ART 2020/2021 IPT Schedule …

What’s Up?

Thursday morning started out cloudy but by 8:15 the sun was out. I did a nice adult sandhill in the marsh, some GBH 1200mm head portraits from the car, and finally had some vultures come to my smoked salmon skin feeder. The afternoon had some promise for a nice sunset but that fizzled. I did photograph a single Osprey holding still in the wind (like a kite) at ISOs ranging from 4000 to 6400. With both cameras.

Today, Thursday 16 APR 2020 dawned cloudy-dark with rain in the forecast for this afternoon. I will be headed down to the lake at about 7:30am.

Thanks to the many who have ordered the almost-finished SONY e-Guide and Video(s). If you purchase, please be sure to include your e-mail address in a note as we do not always receive Paypal notification and please send a copy of your Paypal order that includes your e-mail address to me at the samandmayasgrandpa@att.net address.

Kudos to Dr. Greg Gulbransen

Kudos to fine photographer/friend Dr. Greg Gulbransen who was featured in a Reuters Health News feature here yesterday. The title of the piece is ‘Don’t go to the ER’: how a New York pediatrician is dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

A Tough Chore

Please consider today’s six featured images and let us know your pick as the best. And please also let us know why you made your choice. Comments on any of the images are welcome as well.

Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

The SONY e-Guide by Patrick Sparkman and Arthur Morris

The Sony Camera Videos and Pre-publication e-Guide Costs and Discount Info

The cost of the SONY e-Guide is $100.00 US and will include one of the four camera set-up videos — we offer one video each for the a7r iii, the a7r iv, the a9, and the a9 ii — and the written guide with the galleries. The guide is now 98% done and you will — of course, receive the final version when it is completed. I sent out the third draft today to those who have purchased the Guide with or without the discount.

Folks who have used my B&H links or purchased their SONY gear from Bedfords will receive said discount based exactly on how much they spent. If you spent more than $10,000 you will receive one free video and the e-Guide. Additional camera videos are $25.00 each. If you spent $2400, you will receive a 24% discount, and so on and so forth. And again, additional camera videos will be $25.00 each.

I will need time to verify your B&H purchases so folks will need to send their receipts and then be a bit patient. It is much easier to verify Bedfords’ purchases but I need those receipts as well.

If you have not used BAA links, please do so in the future. If that is the case and you would like the e-Guide now, please send a Paypal for $100 US to birdsasart@verizon.net and be sure to include the words “SONY Pre-publication Guide” in the Paypal e-mail along with the name of your camera or cameras so that you can receive the correct video or videos. Please add $25 for each additional camera video. Be sure to send a copy of the Paypal transaction to me via e-mail.

Folks who have used BAA links to purchase their SONY gear should send their receipts to me via e-mail asap and let me know which camera videos they need. I will verify their purchases as quickly as possible and send a quote to be paid via Paypal as above.

Thanks to all who have properly used my B&H links or gone through the fabulous Steve Elkins at Bedfords, and thanks to everyone for having faith in the information that I provide, knowing that it will be the best available anywhere.

BIRDS AS ART

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

The “If-the-World-Does-Not-End” BIRDS AS ART 2020/2021 IPT Schedule …

If we return to some semblance of normalcy and if photographing in groups, air travel, and staying in hotels or AirBNBs is safe, I am hoping to run the BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours listed below. If COVID-19 is still an issue that is of concern to you, your deposit will be refunded with no questions asked. Pre- and post-IPT days for all of the IPTs below (except for the Land-based Falklands trip) are available for those who wish to get the most out of their travel dollars.

If you have any questions on the IPTs, please leave a comment of get in touch via e-mail.

This image was created on September 27, 2019 while doing a private day with fraternity brother Harry Lerner at Fort DeSoto. I used the Induro GIT 304/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and the 61-MP Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital Camera Body. ISO 400. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear dial: 1/2000 sec. at f/5 in Manual mode was about +2 stops on the analog scale. AWB at 8:10am on a very overcast morning.

Upper Center Zone AF-C was active at the moment of exposure and performed to perfection. The point of sharpest focus was slightly more than halfway down the bill, right on the same plane as the bird’s eye. RAW Digger showed 0% Over-exposed and 0% Underexposed pixels.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Snowy Egret with greenback

Fort DeSoto Fall 2020 Sandbar Secrets IPT

OCT 2 thru the morning session October 5, 2020 (3 1/2 DAYS). Three full and one half day: $1399.00. Deposit: $500.00. Limit: 8 photographers/ Openings: 7.

This image was created on 28 NOV on the 2019 Bosque IPT. I used the Induro GIT 304/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens (at 236mm) and the 61-MP monster, the Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless digital camera body.. ISO 125. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/4 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. AWB at 10:31am on a cloudy-dark morning.

Center Flexible Spot AF-C was active at the moment of exposure. RAW Digger showed 0% Over-exposed and 0% Underexposed pixels.

Click the image to enjoy a larger version.

Image #2: Snow Geese blastoff

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: 5.

This image was created at The Neck on Saunders Island, The Falklands with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and my then-favorite bird photography camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. AWB.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The selected AF point was below and in front of the penguin’s eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Imagee #3: Rockhopper Penguin sneezing

2020 Land-based Falklands Trip

December 10-26, 2020. $8999.00 per person. Deposit $4000.00. Limit four photographers/openings: 2. Please e-mail for a complete itinerary and complete details.

Fly on a red-eye to Santiago, Chile on WED 9 DEC 2020, arriving there on THURS 10 DEC. We will do an add-on condor trip ($450/per person including lunch) that morning assuming that everyone gets there by about 8am at the very latest. And another add-on morning to Del Mar for Inca Terns and Peruvian Pelicans ($450/per person including lunch) on FRI 11 DEC leaving the hotel very early. We fly to Mont Pleasant on SAT 12 DEC. In the Falklands we will visit Bleaker, the Rookery and the Neck on Saunders, and Pebble. Then two nights at the Malvina House on Stanely with a visit to an amazing rockhopper colony. Fly back to Santiago on SAT 26 DEC. Fly home either that night (red-eyes are hard to get) or the following day.

This image was created on the 2020 San Diego IPT. I used the Induro GIT 304/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and the 61-MP Sony Alpha a7R IV Mirrorless Digital Camera Body. ISO 800. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear dial: 1/320 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode was about +1 1/3 stops on the analog scale. AWB at 8:13am on a rare cloudy morning.

Upper Center Zone AF-C was active at the moment of exposure and performed well. The point of sharpest focus was on the as of the bird’s bill just forward of the eye. RAW Digger showed 0% Over-exposed pixels and 0.3% Underexposed RED pixels.

Click the image to see a larger version.

Image #4: Pacific race Brown Pelican with bill distended

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.

This image was created at Kachemak Bay, AK on 25 FEB 2020. I used the hand held Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens (at 200mm) with the blazingly fast AF King, the Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital camera body) that features incredibly accurate AF. ISO 500. Exposure determined via Zebras on the rear wheel: 1/3200 sec. at f/3.2. AWB at 9:20am on a cloudy-bright day.

Wide Continuous (C) AF performed beautifully. Click on the image to see a larger version. Uncropped.

Image #5: Bald Eagle braking to land

The Greatest-ever Bald Eagle Experience IPTs:

Deposit: $2000.00.

  • IPT #1: SAT 20 FEB 2021 through the full day on THURS 25 FEB MAR 1, 2021. Six full days: $5499.00. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 4.
  • IPT #2: SAT 27 FEB 2021 through the full day on WED 3 MAR 2021. Five full days: $4599.00. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 4

This image was created on 6 AUG 2019 at North Seymour Island, Galapagos, Ecuador. I used the hand Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens and my souped up Nikon D850. ISO 500. Matrix metering plus about 1 1/3rd stop: 1/500 sec. at f/5.6. NATURAL AUTO WB at 7:50am on a (typically and blessedly) cloudy afternoon.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Upper Single Point/Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure.

Image #6: Blue-footed Booby dancing

The GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Archipelago Photographic Experience.

August 17-31, 2021 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $14,999.00. Limit: 12 photographers/Openings: 5. Deposit: $5000.00.