I was Wrong: My Errors & South Georgia HA Fine Points…. UK Puffins/Gannets IPT Openings « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

I was Wrong: My Errors & South Georgia HA Fine Points.... UK Puffins/Gannets IPT Openings

What’s Up?

Jim drove me to Orlando Airport yesterday late morning. I went to Chili’s for lunch. I took my cold pouch out from between the two gel ice packs to inject for lunch. There was only one small problem. My insulin was on the shelf in my refrigerator at home :). I called WalMart in Spartanburg, SC and was able to order the three vials of insulin that I use every day. After my uneventful direct flight to Charlotte, NC I picked up my scrips with no problem.

Adam Jones presented a great program chock full of spectacular general nature images. The guy shoots everything and he is talented. My Keynote program, sponsored by Canon USA/Explorers of Light, is tomorrow morning. I still have a bit more work to do on it.

This blog post took about 1 hour to prepare. It was published at 4:59am from the CNPA Annual Meeting hotel in Spartanburg. Now I need to put the finishing touch on this morning’s program, “What Makes a Great Natural History Image.”


Like music? Check out ThePianoGuys’ “One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful” (5 Piano Guys, 1 piano) on You Tube here. Great sound and music but more incredible to listen and watch.

South Georgia October 2015

Do consider joining me in South Georgia next October for the trip of a lifetime. See here for the complete details.

Save $242

Register now for the South Georgia trip and receive a $242 on your return airfare. Please e-mail for details.

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I was Wrong in part: My Errors

Thanks to comments first left by first by John Armitrage and backed up by Steve Soderling the major premise of yesterday’s blog, that camera shake is greater with a crop factor camera, was incorrect. I was tricked (if you were) into this error because the shake appears much more evident when you are looking through the viewfinder of a crop factor camera than when you are looking through the viewfinder of a full frame or 1.3X crop factor camera. I apologize for my error.

Thanks to John and Steve for setting me straight. Note: I also appreciated Steve’s comments on 7D II resolution.

The principles discussed having to do with creating sharp images, however, remain good advice for folks hand holding telephoto lenses regardless of the camera that they are using. I do believe that my comments regarding 7D Mark II image quality and the other advantages of using a crop factor camera are indeed accurate. It was quite evident that Last night’s speaker, Canon Explorer of Light Adam Jones, concurs.

In addition to the error mentioned above I mistakenly noted that yesterday’s pelican image (sorry Prudence) was created with the 7D II when it was in fact created with the 1D X. That was an honest mistake.

Lately, there has been a slew of insightful comments.


This image was created in cloudy conditions on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia with the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/7.1. Cloudy WB.

AI Servo/Rear Focus/Zone AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure and nailed the bird’s eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1

Head Angle Fine Points

Compare the two images presented here today. Which image has the better head angle? Why?


This image was created in cloudy conditions on Salisbury Plain, South Georgia with the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/7.1. Cloudy WB.

AI Servo/Rear Focus/Zone AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure. With this image the three AF points activated by the AF system were just forward of the eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2

Oakum Boys

A young King Penguin–featured in today’s images–is known as an Oakum boy. “Oakum is a preparation of tarred fibre used in shipbuilding for caulking or packing the joints of timbers in wooden vessels…” (From Wikipedia here.) The color of the young penguins–this one about eight months old–resembled the color of oakum, thus their nickname.

My Opinion

In my humble opinion, one of the two head angles here is superb and one is lousy. Let’s see how many agree with me….


Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The 2015 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

June 29 through July 5, 2015: $5499: Limit 10 photographers/Formerly sold out/Now: three openings due to two cancellations. Two great leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris.

Due to a cancellation there are now two openings on this trip.

Here are the plans for next year: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on 28 June arriving in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday 29 June (or simply meet us then either at the Edinburgh Airport (EDI) or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe. Stay 7 nights in two gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are 5 days of planned puffin/seabird trips—weather permitting, and 1 full day of gannet photography with 2 sessions on the boat.


Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The Details

We will be staying in upscale country-side cottages that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for image sharing and Photoshop lessons. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with two roomy single beds and a private bathroom. See the single supplement info below.

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day and a farewell fine dining thank you dinner. The cost of your National Heritage Trust is also included; that covers the twice a day landing fees.

Plan to fly home on the early morning of Monday 6 July or to continue your stay or travels.


Images and card design copyright 2014: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2015.

Single Supplement Info

The single supplement is $1475. As we will be renting a third cottage the $1475 is due with your deposit and is also non-refundable.

If you are good to go please send your $2,000 deposit check now to save a spot. The balance will be due on March 29, 2015. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you cancel and the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Whether or not your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

We do hope that you can join us.


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17 comments to I was Wrong: My Errors & South Georgia HA Fine Points…. UK Puffins/Gannets IPT Openings

  • avatar Steeph

    The first one.
    It’s a bit more depth to it, which makes it more interesting to look at. I seem to be in the minority though.
    Second one looks a wee bit sharper though and I wouldn’t call any of them lousy.

  • avatar Moe Ali

    I definitely prefer #2. The head angle is much more natural and the eye is nice and level too. Image #1 just seems to be more static than dynamic. I also prefer #2 because the beak is below the top of the birds head. In #1 it sticks up too high and throws the image off balance. At least to my eye…..

    Beautiful detail in both these shots Artie. I always look forward to your blogs…. keep them coming.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I wouldn’t go so far as to call either head angle lousy, but I do prefer the second one. The head is angles slightly toward the camera and the eye seems to be a bit more visible. Wonderful image.

  • #2 because just a bit more of left side shows. Birds aren’t like us. Unlike humans they see better looking at something to the side. So perhaps the eye of #2 is better able to see in the direction the pupil is focused also?? Anyway I just like it better.

  • avatar byron prinzmetal

    I looked at both quickly. My eye went to the bird’s eye quickly in the first image and all over the place in the second. I went back and looked to see why. The eyeball in the first image is a little off center which drew my attention (kind of like rule of thirds) and in the send the eyeball was centered. So while technically one image might be better than another, everyone says number 2 is better, I look to see where my eyes go and what image sends more emotion (J. Maisel calls it jester-sp?) into my brain. But, everyone’s brain and what turns them on is different, so who knows what is better.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    #2 is the better head angle

  • #2 is better IMO:
    Reasons :
    1. Better HA : it is looking at us.
    2. Tip of the beak is sharp, not on #1
    3. the threads in the beak are completely seen, not on #1
    4. no dust spot : there is one in #1 at breast level

    OVERALL, A sharp beautiful head portrait, Artie.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Yves. Interesting that the dust spot in #1 is lost in the feathers in #2 due to a small shift in framing 🙂


  • avatar Warren H

    I also agree with Number 2. At first I thought it was that the side of the head (plane) was more vertical and parallel with the camera. But then I noticed the eye! The eye position and direction it is looking is MUCH better in Number 2. It is looking straight at the camera and has better shape t the eye lids.

    Amazing what you see when you REALLY look!

  • avatar Bill Richardson

    Of course it is #2. The interesting thing is what a dramatic improvement such a slight change made. My mantras are “background, background, background” followed by “head angle, head angle, head angle.” Oh, and, “turn on camera” but that is more swearing than a mantra. ;-0

  • avatar Kevin Hice

    I think the second one is better and with a few degrees more The head is catching more light . If you didn’t lighten it up. I think the second one as far as the ear hole is less distracting as the first your eye is drawn to the ear hole. Also with the focus points forward of the eye makes the bill a little sharper Artie why not at 5.6 or higher?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Agree. Confused by “what not f/5.6 or higher.” f/7.1 is “higher” than f/5.6…. Please explain.

      later and love, artie

  • avatar Richard Curtin

    Would also pick #2. Slightly turned more to camera and iris/pupil position better. Amazing what a difference a few degrees make.

  • In #2 the bill tip is sharp while in #1 it is not as sharp due to the head angle turned away a bit. And I like the bit of extra space in front of the bill in #2.

  • My vote would be for #2 simply due to the slight head turn toward the camera.

    #1 isn’t bad either since he looks to be at the very least parallel with the
    film plane (that still sounds weird in this digital age), but if I had to be
    really, really picky, the strands in his beak being cut off on the right hand edge
    is a teeny, weeny minus vs #2 where you can see all the strands, with a little
    extra room is better. I do like seeing the whole ear on #1.