Gems Found « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Gems Found

Laughing Gull with Black Skimmer background. This image was created at Fort DeSoto Park on April 26, 2008 with the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark III (replaced by the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV). ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/3200 sec. at 4.

As I had no recollection at all of this image I have no recollection as to whether I saw the skimmer enter the frame and then pushed the shutter button or if it were completely serendipitous…. Probably the latter.

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

Gems Found

I am working on a folder with more than 13,000 optimized TIFFs on a 1tb external hard drive. After I get done deleting the doubles and the poor quality stuff and re-doing a few dozen images (mostly film scans) the HD will go to Peter Kes in Switzerland. He will be putting together a searchable stock site. Don’t hold your breath….

As I work my way through the images a few that I am not familiar with catch my eye. Some of them are so unfamiliar that my first reaction is often, “Did I make that image?” Today I will share with you a few of the gems that I have found. Do let us know which of the three images you like best and why.

This image was created at LaJolla, CA on January 23, 2008 with the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens and the EOS-1Ds Mark III. ISO 200. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/2500 sec. at 4.

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

I will miss being in LaJolla this year but Antarctica and Japan call. 🙂

Northern Gannet with nesting material, Bonaventure Island, Quebec, Canada. This image was created with the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens (now replaced by the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens) and the 1.4X II TC (now replaced by the 1.4X III TC (handheld at 154mm) with the EOS-1D Mark III (replaced by the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV). ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/1250 sec. at 6.3.

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

Which Do You Like Best?

Please take a minute to leave a comment and let us know which of the three images you like best and why. If you need to make a correction in what you type, the only way to do so it to use the backspace key.

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Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens. Surely the world’s most popular super-telephoto lens. And for good reason. And the 500 f/4L IS II promises to be a lot better!
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens. Man, I am loving this lens on my shoulder with the 2X III teleconverter. I also use it a lot with the 1.4X III TC.
Canon 1.4X III Teleconverter. Designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.
EOS-1Ds Mark III. Canon’s full frame professional digital camera body; ideal for landscape photography.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders 🙂
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine. Also available for the 7D and the Mark III here.

15 comments to Gems Found

  • The Northern Gannet in flight image is my favorite. I love his eye contact, wing position, tail flare, and the overall light color of the image. The position of his feet adds just a bit of goofiness, which is always fun.

  • I liked both the Pelican and the Gannet but I like the Gannet (3rd) best.

  • Ditto David Peller! Love the nesting material too!

  • David Policansky

    Artie: All three are great images, but the pelican is my favorite. I like the ocmposition, the color, and of course the bird. I wouldn’t remove the skimmer from the gull photo because it’s quite atmospheric and adds to the image. The gannet one is fascinating because one almost never sees a gasnnet doing that–I’ve been watching gannets for decades and never seen that–and its face is quite remarkable. They are among the most graceful of all fliers but the one in your image doesn’t look graceful, which adds to the interest. But the pelican is the one I’d want on a wall in my house.


  • Chuck Mohr

    First, my prejudices – I like simplified, realistic watercolor paintings. I think that the gull picture is terrific, and not the least of the attractiveness is the rendering of the grass. If this picture was mine, I’d work to eliminate the skimmer – which I find distracting – crop a bit off the left side, and hang it prominently in my living room. This gem was hidden for 3+ years??

  • Artie #3 really appeals to me all action and head on also one of my must do species.

    I spend half the year in the USA and half back home in the UK we seem to have a difference of opinion in respect of positioning of subjects central or off set either side of the pond. No doubt you have covered the subject previously sorry to create repetition if that’s the case but asking questions aids my learning curve interested to hear your opinion.

  • Sherman Robinson

    I agree with Jon that there is a sharpening artifact around the gull’s head. However, I had to go back and take a closer look to see it. I think my selection for the one I like best is the Northern Gannet and it may be because of my having been there and shot many many rolls of the gannets. I think they are beautiful, and it is amazing to me because they don’t have much coloration. They have just enough color on their heads and their blue eyes with “eyeliner” to make them a standout. The laughing gull is a very close second for me.

  • Jay Gould

    While #1 is my favorite because it present a story, a community, I am always very partial to your Gannet images.

  • Esther Corley

    I really like the pelican in La Jolla and, in fact, hope to get out to La Jolla early next year.

    I like the various lines of the photo, some pointing forward, some backward…but they all give a sense of motion even in a very still photo.

  • Jim Swinehart

    I like # 3 action, action, action

  • The Gannet image brings back a great memory because I was there when you shot it. My favorite of the 3 is the Gull.

  • I must agree; the Laughing Gull is the best of the trio. The placement clear over to the right provides room for the Skimmer to enter the image sometime in the future, it is sharp and invokes a lovely day at the beach. I have to believe that some part of your mind was aware the skimmer was floating out there.

  • For me it’s the Northern Gannet. When you enlarge the image and view those compelling eyes — it’s haunting.

  • Jon

    The laughing gull is a lovely shot, I would suggest however that there is a halo (sharpening artefact?)it appears round the head and bill – what do you think?

  • Number 1 by a mile for me. I LOVE FT. D and shoot there often. To me this image just sums up the venue magnificently; copious amounts of birds in a beautiful setting. BTW, I see many photographers at Ft. D that won’t point a lens towards a gull. This image is proof they’re missing out on some amazing opportunities