To Pan or Not to Pan? That is the question…/Who will be the lucky couple? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

To Pan or Not to Pan? That is the question.../Who will be the lucky couple?

What’s Up?

Friend and multiple IPT veteran Geri George–Bosque twice, San Diego, SW FLA twice, Panama Hummingbirds and Herps, Everglades twice, and a week of slumming it in SE Florida with Denise and me–hired me for a morning of private instruction on Friday. At first it looked B-O-R-I-N-G with clear skies so we left the Main Impoundment to head for the crane pools and by the time we arrived there were banks of fog–courtesy of yesterday’s rain–to go with the gorgeous pink-purple-blue skies to the west. Then about 15,000 geese rained down upon the scene; it was Bosque at it’s best. I will share images from this surreal morning here on the blog at some point. I have enjoyed so much great photography at Bosque this year that I am sure that I will not get to share much of it with you until I get back from upcoming my Southern Oceans expedition adventure with Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris.

Tonight I meet the sold-out Canon Destination workshop group. Jim Heupel will be co-leading with me with Geri George assisting. This blog post was published from my hotel room in Socorro, NM at 4:07am.

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This image was created on the morning of December 4, 2014 with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 560mm with the internal TC engaged) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 1600. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/15 sec. at f/5.6 in Tv mode.

Central Sensor/AI Servo–Rear Focus AF on the ridge and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: sharp

After the pink and purples…

After the pink and purples of the pre-dawn the sky reddened with a vengeance as we got closer and closer to sunrise. Note that I made the image above at a shutter speed of 1/15 sec. figuring that with good sharpness techniques I would be fine. I was.


This image was also created on the morning of December 4, 2014 with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod), the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 560mm with the internal TC engaged) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: this one at 1/4 sec. at f/7.1 in Tv mode.

Central Sensor/AI Servo–Rear Focus AF on the ridge, re-compose, and pan from left to right. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: pan blur

The Pan Blur

To create the pan blurred image I simply rolled the index finger wheel six clicks counter-clockwise to slow the shutter speed from 1/15 sec. to 1/4 sec. That took about one second. Note that the ISO dropped automatically to 400. That because I set ISO Safety Shift as detailed in all of our Canon camera User’s Guides. Setting Auto ISO yields identical results.

Here again using my Tv mode pre-dawn technique is fast and efficient. Had I been working in Manual mode I would have had to make several changes including many, many clicks of various dials and wheels. One change works much better for me.

Which Image is Stronger?

All are invited to to leave a comment and let us know which is the stronger image. Please let us know why. For me, the choice is a a total no-brainer. 🙂


Do consider joining me for a once in a lifetime trip to the Galapagos archipelago in July, 2015.

GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 14-28, 2015 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $12,499. Limit 13 including the leader:/Openings: 2.

Room for one lucky couple! Please contact me via e-mail me if this is your dream trip…. I can help make it happen.

My two-week Galapagos Photo-Cruises are without equal. The world’s best guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), and the best leader with eight Galapagos cruises under his belt. Pre-trip and pre-landing location-specific gear advice. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea!

The great spots that we will visit include Tower Island (including Prince Phillips Steps and Darwin Bay), Hood Island (including Punta Suarez, the world’s only nesting site of Waved Albatross, and Gardner Bay)—each of the preceding are world class wildlife photography designations that rank right up there with Antarctica, Africa, and Midway. We will also visit Fernandina, Puerto Ayora for the tortoises, Puerto Egas—James Bay, North Seymour and Isla Lobos for nesting Blue-footed Booby (most years), South Plaza, Floreana, and Urbina Bay, all spectacular in their own right. We visit every great spot on a single trip. Plus tons more. And there will he lots of opportunities to snorkel on sunny mid-days for those like me who wish to partake.

We will be the first boat on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island every afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast weather, we will often spend 5-6 hours at the best sites. And as noted above, mid-day snorkeling is an option on most sunny days depending on location. Note: some of the walks are a bit strenuous. Great images are possible on all landings with a hand held 70-200mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter. I bring a longer lens ashore on most landings as that fits my style. I generally work with either the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS or the Canon 200-400mm f/4 L IS with Internal Extender.

Do know that there is a NatureScapes Galapagos trip: one week for $8495. Thus, my trip represents a tremendous value; why go all that way and miss half of the great photographic locations?

The Logistics

Fly to Guayacil, Ecuador on July 12, 2015. Travel insurance/rest day: July 13 (We may or may not offer a photo outing on the 13th). Fly to the archipelago on July 14 and board the Samba. Get off the boat on July 28. Fly to Guayacil that afternoon. Fly home on the early morning of July 29 unless you are staying on or going elsewhere (or catching a red-eye flight on the evening of the 28th).

$12,499 includes just about everything: all transfers, guide and park fees, all food on the boat, transfers and ground transportation, your flights to the archipelago, and three nights (double occupancy) in a top notch hotel in Guayacil. If you are good to go, a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 per person is due immediately. The second payment of $4,000 is not due until 11/1/14. The final payment of $3449 per person will be due on 2/1/15. A $200 discount will be applied to each of the balances for couples or friends who register at the same time.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On my past two cruises a total of 5 folks were forced to cancel less than one week prior to the trip. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and strongly recommend that you do the same.

Not included: your round trip airfare from your home to and from Guayacil, beverages on the boat, phone calls, your meals in Guayacil, personal items, and a $600/person cash tip for the crew and the guide—this works out to roughly $40/day to be shared by the 7 folks who will be waiting on us hand and foot every day for two weeks. The service is so wonderful that many folks choose to tip extra.

Please e-mail for the complete itinerary and for additional info and images. Please cut and paste “Galapagos 2015 Info Please) into the Subject line.

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7 comments to To Pan or Not to Pan? That is the question…/Who will be the lucky couple?

  • avatar Carl

    I prefer the pan blur image although both are nice images. In my opinion the pan is much more artistic and easier on the eyes. Very nicely done as usual Artie.

  • avatar Jerry Murray

    Both are good, but I like the first one the most. Just like the sharp landscape and the colors in the sky of the first one.

  • avatar Barry Ekstrand

    I’ll be the contrarian here – both images are great, but I prefer the first as it is a great silhouette shot with wonderful colors and textures in the sky.


  • avatar Colin Oatley

    The blurred image is stronger because it emphasizes the horizontal lines and de-emphasizes the random shapes of the clouds.

  • avatar Richard Curtin

    Liked the pan blur best. Might consider using the sharp ridge in one with the blurred sky in the other. Makes making a choice easier…

  • avatar Stu

    Thanks very much for both images! I like the cloud texture in the first image. But I vote for the second image. I like its less intense yellow and the absence of grass (or other plant).