Murphy’s Law at Work in the Fog « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Murphy's Law at Work in the Fog

The Streak Continues: 234

This post was published at 4:55am from my Mom’s home in Holbrook, NY. I am headed out at 5:15am for the beach. Was in bed early again last night.

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The Rusty Nail in an Old Section of 2X4

Murphy’s Law at Work in the Fog Part I

At some point in the early morning I walked back to my new fat wheel beach cart for some reason or another. And got a big surprise. I felt a stabbing pain in my left foot, shifted my weight back to my right foot, bent over, and pulled the board and the nail that you see above out of my foot. It had punctured my surf bootie and gone about 3/8″ into the ball of my left foot. I immediately consulted the doctor. The doctor being Dr. Greg Gulbransen, a pediatrician whom you have read about on the blog before here.

He asked me if I had had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years and I said that I probably had had one but was not positive. He kindly volunteered to give me a tetanus shot the next morning before we hit the beach. Denise suggested that I wash the foot with in the ocean as the saltwater would cleanse the wound. Greg agreed. So I walked into the shallow surf without removing my surf booties and sloshed my foot around. A lifeguard came running up to me from afar and told me that because of the reduced visibility that I needed to get out of the water. He was actually nice about it. The foot hurt pretty good but only for about 30 minutes….


This large Common Tern chick habitat image was created with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III . ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops off the grey sand: 1/800 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode.

Central sensor (by necessity)/AI Servo/Expand Rear Focus on the bird’s eye and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The 5D III vs. the 1D X

I have long argued that if you are not photographing birds in flight or in action or wildlife in action where the super-fast frame rate of the 1D X offers a huge advantage over the EOS-5D Mark III, that the 5D III is as good or better a camera body than the 1D X as it offers a lot more pixels on the subject at the cost of slightly slower initial focusing acquisition (due to the 5D III’s less powerful battery). Simply pre-focusing the lens manually pretty much eliminates that minor problem.

Murphy’s Law at Work in the Fog Part II

As there was not much going on that morning in terms of flight or action I decided to switch from my 1D X to the 5D III and create some images for a future blog post on the subject. After a very few frames Mr. Murphy struck again; the LCD screen on the back of my much-used 5D III flickered and then crapped out. I could see the info in the viewfinder and I could see the top LCD screen but there was no image playback and thus no histogram and no blinkies. I was so confident in my ability to get a good exposure even when flying in the dark that I continued to the 5D III. The image above was created without the benefits of playback, a histogram, or blinkies. As I have long espoused, getting a good digital exposure is easy for those who study and practice just a bit.

The Image Design

Note my careful choice of perspective here that resulted in the bird being placed in the opening between the two bunches of grass…. Things like that do not happen by accident.


A Sticky Situation

The Moment of Truth

Above, Dr. Greg gives me the often quite painful and sometimes dreaded tetanus injection. The truth be told, I did not feel a thing. Once I knew that Greg was done, I asked, “When are you going to give me the shot?” Dr. Greg had heard that one before…. Denise Ippolito observed with apparent glee. Though we could find no entry wound I am feeling fine and so is my left foot.


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14 comments to Murphy’s Law at Work in the Fog

  • avatar Dave Klein

    Hi Artie,
    Apparently it was no accident we had a physician among the group. Kudos to Greg for being able to obtain a tetanus booster so quickly. I was impressed by the fact that you didn’t even wince one bit when it was administered. Patience and changing positions were key with the juvenile terns as they would often hide among the grasses until a parent appeared overhead with a fish. The composition of this juvi is wonderful – thanks for sharing 🙂

  • avatar Carolyn Peterson

    The tern image is lovely. The depth of field is perfect. I like the crisp sand detail in the tern’s immediate vicinity and the blurred background of green vegetation.

  • avatar Bruno cesaroni

    Mi dispiace per l’incidente auguri .Bruno

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Glad you’re OK. That doesn’t sound like any fun. Did the good doctor have a tetanus shot with him, or did you have to go somewhere? In any case, great image. I have to say that thanks to you I now always try to be aware of the background, even if it’s not in focus.

  • Hi Artie,
    When I was younger, I step on a board that had nail sticking up like yours and it went thru the foot, with a opening on top of the foot.
    I was trying for the right angle on some birds, and not watching where my foot was placed.
    Getting a shot is important and booster shots after that, can prevent a much more terrible
    Keep up the great image making.


  • avatar Jim Amato

    You took the best corrective measure to insure your health. That tetanus shot is a life saver. Hooray for Dr. Gulbransen being there and taking his professional stance. Keep up your fabulous work!! Jim Amato

  • Being hurt by something that can cause a tetanus infection is one of my major concerns when I’m in the open. For sure I had my last tetanus shot at 13, so I’m not covered… I’m wondering whether a landscape photographer shouldn’t really have a preventive recall.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I believe that they are recommended every 10 years whether or not you step on a rusty nail. artie

  • avatar Mark

    Sorry for what may be apparent to others, but in these shots with the birds on the ground, are you also on the ground? It doesn’t appear as if you are standing up.
    PS: What does IPT stand for please?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Mark, I believe that I was standing for this image but not at full height. Understand that at 1200mm the the angle of declination to the bird is quite shallow…. IPTs are Instructional Photo-Tours. You get to photograph great stuff while learning a ton and having fun. artie

  • You nailed that tern photo.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist.


  • avatar Stuart Frohm

    Sorry about your injury. I hope you’ll be fine.
    Thanks very much for all the instruction and excellent photographs in your blog postings.