Galapagos Day 9/Afternoon, July 14: Punta Cormorant, Floreana « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Galapagos Day 9/Afternoon, July 14: Punta Cormorant, Floreana

[Not a valid template]

This out-of-the-box, back-of-the-head image of a Blue-footed Booby was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X II TC, and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/8. Sometimes pushing the shutter button when other photographers would fail to do so can help you to create some interesting and often abstract images.

Galapagos Day 9/July 14, Afternoon, Punta Cormorant, Floreana

After making the wet landing on a green sand beach along the southern shore of Floreana, Juan went ahead and checked the lagoon for flamingoes. Nada. Several of us–including me–opted to hang out on the beach and photograph while the rest of the group took a short walk to the rather scenic white sand beach just up and over a steep hill. There were two Blue-footed Booby nests on bluff above the beach, but they were difficult to photograph. Without many subjects to photograph I went way out of the box for the next two hours, shared my creations with those who stayed behind, and had lots of fun.

[Not a valid template]

I created this wind-blurred image of Floreana Daisies with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 100. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/3 sec. at f/16 set manually. I composed so that the single protruding blossom on the upper edge was as off-centered as possible while still including the oval spray of about ten blossoms right center (with a border).

Denise Ippolito and I are nearly finished our Guide to Pleasing Blurs. We hope to have it available for purchase in about two weeks. It’s release will be announced both here on the Blog and via Bulletin. It will really open up your creative mind while providing you with the practical how-to info that you will need to learn to make a wide variety of pleasingly blurred images.

[Not a valid template]

After playing with the wind blurs and the same stand of flowers I tried some vertical pans but those did not work at all. (Blurs tend to look better on the back of the camera than on the computer so if they look crummy on the camera’s LCD it is usually best to try another tack.) I followed those efforts up with a few twirl blurs. They showed some promise. I liked the way that this one looked with a 90 degree counter-clockwise rotation: the black rocks were actually below the stand of flowers. The image was created with the same gear that was used for the image above. ISO 200: 1 sec. at f/25. I simply loosened the tripod collar and rotated the lens during the exposure. As with all blurs, it pays to make lots of images while experimenting.

[Not a valid template]

I tried some horizontal pans with a nice Sally Lightfoot crab on a lava rock but those too failed so once again I went to the twirl, something that I rarely do. As usual, there was one that I liked best. Again, it was created with the 800/MIV combo. ISO 160. Evaluative metering at zero: 2 seconds at f/18 while rotating the lens slowly in the tripod collar.

Shopper’s Guide

Here is the gear that I used that afternoon on Floreana.

Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens
Canon EF Teleconverter 1.4X II
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Gitzo 3530 LS Tripod
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head

If you are considering the purchase of a major piece of photographic gear be it a new camera, a long lens, a tripod or a head, or some accessories be sure to check out our complete Shopper’s Guide.

3 comments to Galapagos Day 9/Afternoon, July 14: Punta Cormorant, Floreana

  • avatar Joel Eade


    I am generally not a fan of blurs but those posted this time are very pleasing to my eye, I am going to have to get out and try it for myself.

    Thanks for posting the techniques,


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for dropping by Joel. For some folks blurs are an acquired taste. Too be totally honest, none of the ones that I post here are anywhere near my favorites but it was just that kind of afternoon. Maybe that’s why you liked them 🙂

  • avatar rob

    Something completely different! (although I know you like to experiment from time to time, smile)
    I like the “crab” one the most. The first one makes me a bit nervous, maybe IS will be helpful for me (smile)

    Thank you for sharing!

    Best regards,