Martin Mikulas 400 DO II Group Photo/Finding Subjects in the Shade On a Sunny Afternoon… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Martin Mikulas 400 DO II Group Photo/Finding Subjects in the Shade On a Sunny Afternoon...

Gotta Run!

The luggage truck will be here at 4:30am UK time. It is just after 8pm and I gotta get to bed soon. The alarm is set for 3:45am. Then to Edinburgh Airport, then Newark, then Orlando to be picked up by Jim after dinner east coast time…

Good night!


Part of the UK Puffins and Gannets IPT group at a kittiwake wall. Image courtesy of and copyright 2015 Martin Miulas.

Martin Mikulas 400 DO II Group Photo

Martin made this beautifully designed image with 400 DO II and the EOS-5D Mark III. Take a look at my image below. As far as the nest I was photographing–thats me in the brown pants on the right–what two things are of special note?


Black-legged Kittiwake pair at nest with the female incubating.

A Favorite

This image was created with tripod-mounted 100-400II at 153mm and the EOS-5D Mark III. It is one of my very favorite images from the trip.

Exposure Question

What do you think the exposure compensation for this image was as framed?


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18 comments to Martin Mikulas 400 DO II Group Photo/Finding Subjects in the Shade On a Sunny Afternoon…

  • avatar Neil Hickman

    Two things: Shade and Portrait. Large dark areas will need +1 because there is also a fair bit of white so don’t want to overdo it.

  • avatar David Peake

    Beautiful image Artie.
    I reckon all the darker area amounts to about 75% of the image area so the meter will bump the exposure up a bit.
    Therefore my call is you used – 2/3 of a stop.
    David Peake.

  • avatar Terry

    Hi Art, I traveled up from Yorkshire (where I’m visiting) the same day to also go out to the puffin islands and had to abandon the trip too for the reasons stated but did return two days later for a wonderful all day excursion. I’ve been looking forward to the trip all year and will try to do another day there before returning home. Got plenty of puffin, shag, arctic and common terns as well as razorbills and kittiwakes but there’s always room for improvement. I’m with Doug above in thinking that you shot at +1/3 since you’re shooting in the shade… and as I’m still learning (courtesy of your books) I might have even tried a shot using a bit of fill flash since I’m beginning to try using it on odd occasions but might have had to back off 1/3 then. If that is nonsense then I welcome constructive criticism as a neophyte. I too am traveling but with a 7D and 400mm DO, both Mk I. – Best Regards.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Terry, Sorry that we missed saying “Hi” to you. For fill flash at close range you want to be between -1 and -3 full stops. See the section on Flash Simplified in ABP II. I will answer the exposure question fairly soon. a

  • Hi Artie. Love the kittiwake image and think it could have been shot with -1 1/3 ev.

  • avatar Doug

    +1 for Warren.
    I’ll add 2 things, 1) side light 2) diffused light. The sidelight would create shadows on the subjects in the more full sun areas. The diffuse light gave more light in the shadows so it wasn’t too dark.

    Exposure is tricky. My first reaction is the whites would cause the meter to underexpose the image so you would have needed to add about 1 1/3 stops. But the other tones seem darker than “average” so the meter may have overexposed in which case you’d probably dial back about 1 stop. So my guess would be to add about 1/3 of light to bring up the whites without blowing them out.

  • avatar Joe.

    Your image was taken more to the left of where you are in the group shot.

  • avatar Cris Hamilton

    Two things of note:
    1. Two people followed you. They are smart!!!
    2. You picked an area with some shade on the nest.

  • avatar Warren

    You are shooting in the shade to prevent the harsh shadows. Also, you are shooting at a bird level with you so it’s not just the bottom of the bird. Much better composition.

    I also think you went – ev compensation. My guess is -1.

  • avatar Jeff Sielski

    Hi Art, Excellent image, you are standing straight up at your tripod, all others look bent more over????
    2nd Image, +3 -maybe even +4 EC , you and Denise have a great, safe flight home!!

  • avatar J L Turner

    You are on the one bird that is close to eye level and is in the shade. Exposure I would guess at -2/3 to not blow out the whites.

  • avatar Nikhil

    I think the exposure would be -ve compenstation. maybe -2/3 or -1

  • Re : Kittiwake Pair … WOW ! … that Image is beyond special

  • avatar Rick

    Artie, travel home safely!
    i’m about to set off on an Arctic cruise/land journey, with my Canon 5D Mk III, and have to make a choice between a Canon f 2.8 70-200 IS Ii (which i would use with a 2X converter), or a 100-400 f4.5/5.6 IS II . Weight is a restriction and a lot of time it would be hand held. What would be your advice?

  • avatar Geoff

    Two things I notice about you Artie are you have your tripod at a correct height so you aren’t bent over like everyone else. Also you are shooting the nest in the shade instead of the full sun. With white birds and dark rocks that was a good choice.

    I think your EC is probably +2/3.

  • avatar Jon

    I recognise the kittiwake colony at Seahouses – this is where I took most of my kittiwake images. I won’t comment on the exposure – because I did it!