My Pissed Off Pano Opinions, and a Big Lesson « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Pissed Off Pano Opinions, and a Big Lesson

This image was created this morning, June 5, 2013 on Great Gull Island with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -2/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/8 in Manual Mode.

One sensor below the central sensor Surround/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF barely on the subject’s tail active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

My Pissed Off Pano Opinions

In the “Pissed Off Pano Questions post here, I asked, Which optimized version better tells the story? Which is more dramatic? Which is the better photograph? Why?

Which optimized version better tells the story? Of the two optimized versions, Version 1 tells the story as the pissed off bird had been perched on the rock. Even though just a cropped version two is somewhat of a lie. I think that most experienced birders would realize from either version I or the original that the pissed off bird had been perched on the rock until it was displaced by the incoming bird.

Thanks to all the folks who commented. I never considered for one second eliminating the wing of the incoming bird as it is a vital part of the story. Remember, while I am the first to clean things up I strive to tell the real story, to share with the viewers what was going on when I pressed the shutter button.

Which is more dramatic?

For me, version II is the most dramatic but also the least truthful.

Which is the better photograph?

When I wrote the blog post I felt strongly that Version 1 was the strongest of the three. I did, however, listen to you all to some degree and created the third version that includes a bit more rock.

I did not like the original composition at all. I wanted to bring the wing of the intruder into the frame from the upper left corner. After doing that, leaving the whole rock left me with a too-boxy composition. Kudos to Nick Clayton on his thoughts on the image design. He was the only one who figgered out what I was thinking :).

And yes, I went with the 5D III for more pixels on the subject and because I was using the 1D X on the 300 II for flight photography.

Any questions? Please feel free to leave a comment.

The Big Lesson

As I wrote in The Art of Bird Photography II, when unexpected action occurs, push the shutter button. Folks, it’s digital. If you waste a frame, it will not cost you one cent. Try to force, train, or otherwise get yourself to push the button the instant anything moves. On occasion, you will be rewarded.

Help Keep Great Gull Island Open For Terns!

This spring crews are continuing to fight vegetation and to rebuild most of the blinds to be ready for the terns when they arrive. 31 of 34 blinds, many already in dire need of repair, were finished off by Hurricane Sandy. Crews are ready to help with both of these projects, but the GGI Project needs funds to purchase lumber and equipment. Contributions of all sizes are both welcome and appreciated AND are tax deductible! Please make checks payable to: AMNH, and send them to:

Great Gull Island Project/AMNH, Department of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, New York, NY 10024

Kudos to Julianna Barrett (UCONN) and Suzanne Peyton (USFWS) who obtained grants to expand the Roseate Tern terraces and rebuild the observation blinds but more help is always needed. Not to mention that the GGI’s best-ever dock that was completed in 2010 was totaled by Sandy. The project is looking to FEMA for help but as above, any and all donations would be greatly appreciated.

You can learn more about Great Gull Island here and visit the GGI Blog here.


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3 comments to My Pissed Off Pano Opinions, and a Big Lesson

  • Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

    The best of the group Artie…
    Love how your mind works…
    Thanks for the lesson

  • All of the subject in the frame. Two shots. Sweet. The cropped version without the rock is most preferred and in no way dishonest. You routinely capture the work you prefer to present that is taken as your first shot or close. What more can be said?

  • Gary Shackelford

    Thank you, Artie, for your insightful and instructive comments. I learn something valuable and useful from nearly all of your posts, and this was no exception.