Exciting Start??? And a Head Angle Lesson « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Exciting Start??? And a Head Angle Lesson

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Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens handheld with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/320 sec. at f/4.

Anxious to create a few pix with one of my new Mark IV bodies I headed to the cliffs at La Jolla yesterday afternoon.  Within minutes, a cormorant flying by overhead unloaded a ton of whitewash on my bald head.  Pretty stinky stuff.  But when I looked down, I saw that he had scored a double hit: the top of my brand new Canon EOS-1D Mark IV was covered with the white goo.  Yikes.  Well, it is supposed to be good luck and I am a lover of what is, so, ….

The two images in this post teach an important lesson.  In the image above, the head angle is perfect; the bird’s head is turned about two degrees towards me.  In the image below, the bird’s head is turned about two degrees away from me.  (I knew it the instant that I pushed the shutter button but had no time to move to my right.)  It is great that the gular sac is inflated but the head angle is far less than ideal….

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Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens handheld with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/250 sec. at f/5.6.

As always, you can click on each image to see a larger, sharper version.  You can learn lots more about head angle at this BPN thread: http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/showthread.php?t=7781.

10 comments to Exciting Start??? And a Head Angle Lesson

  • Mike Vanecek

    I know you are really busy. However, I am anxiously awaiting an update on the Mk III setting to the Mk IV. Maybe you could just dump out the settings and make them available for download until you have an opportunity to update the article? Your images are so clear and sharp (yes I have the first book and CD); however, even the best technique depends on having optimal settings in the camera (especially since the Mk4 has so many).


    • Mike, I just got home from NANPA and will be leaving for Midway in a few days. I hope to work on a MIV/7D Users Guide the moment that I get home. And yes, it is best to create the very best possible images in camera.

  • Mike Vanecek

    Canon has released the 1.0.6 update (http://web.canon.jp/imaging/eosd/firm-e/eos1dm4/firmware.html).

    Firmware Version 1.0.6 enhances the AF tracking performance for receding subjects and for subjects that are approaching at a low speed.

    Had you encountered any AF abnormalities?

  • Congratulations on your new tools Art. Sorry to hear about your head but I guess your camera got broken in right; it is off to a good start in your hands without a doubt.

  • jaims

    Hi Arthur, and congrats for the busload of good luck going to you 🙂
    Other than that, great pictures -as usual- and looking forward to hearing more of your experience with the 1D4, specially compared to the 1D3.


  • Randy Stout


    The whitewash thing is one way to do product testing for environmental sealing. I don’t suspect Canon did any of that during development.