Icebreaker… And an insane 400 DO Price Reduction! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Icebreaker... And an insane 400 DO Price Reduction!

What’s Up?

I sent a Western Digital 2TB My Passport Ultra Portable Hard Drive (Black) with the 67 exhibit images on it to Mark Lukes at Fine Print Imaging in Fort Collins, CO. The prints will be ready to go to San Diego to be matted and framed by the middle of next week. Hooray.

I began work on the 2015 Bosque Current Conditions Update. Though I still have lots to do I hope to be finished by Monday. I felt pretty good all day, the best that I have felt in weeks.

Selling Your Used Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the yellow-orange tab on the right side of the menu bar above.

After somewhat of a summer lull, things have really been heating up on the Used Gear page recently.

  • Stephen Zarate sold his used Canon 100-400mm L IS zoom lens yesterday for $650 one day after it was listed.
  • Kenton Rowe sold his Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS lens with Internal 1.4X Extender in early December for $9799.
  • Brent Bridges sold his Canon 600 II for the full asking price, $9799,in early December 2015.
  • David Bell sold his Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens yesterday for the full asking price, $699, on the day it was listed!
  • Alan and Sara Levine sold their old 300 f/2.8L IS lens in early December for $3175.
  • Two Canon 500mm f/4L IS lenses (two) were sold by Pat & Stokes Fishburne for $3799 each in late November, 2015.
  • A Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Camera Body was sold by Alice Garland for $1350 in mid-November, 2015.
  • Mike Ederegger sold his AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm F/4 G ED VR II in excellent condition for $ 5199 right after it was listed.
  • Alan and Sara Levine sold their old five, the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS for $4200 in late August, 2015.

New Listings

Canon 400mm f/5.6L Lens

Sorry: sold in 15 minutes!

Elizabeth “Annie” Fluke is offering a used Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens in excellent condition for only $698, yet another record-low BAA price (for this item). The sale includes both caps, the tough fabric case (LZ1132), the tripod collar, the original box, and insured ground shipping via UPS or Fed-Ex ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Annie by e-mail or by phone at 1-(509) 366-9408 (Mountain time zone.)

I put my then-beloved “toy lens” on the map more than 20 years ago by pioneering its use for photographing birds in flight. Wow, did I love that lens along with the Canon A2 camera body and Fuji Velvia pushed one stop to ISO 100! Though I sold mine a few years back it is still a great lens for flight for those who do not depend on IS and it makes a great starter lens as well. Put it on a tripod with the 1.4X III TC, a 7D II, and the Mongoose M3.6 and you will enjoy 896mm of effective reach. This lens is priced to sell quickly. artie

Used Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS Lens

Diane Miller is offering a used Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS lens in excellent condition for $2899, a BAA record-low price for this item. The sale includes the front and rear lens caps, the lens trunk, an Arca Swiss compatible Really Right Stuff tripod adapter plate (the RRS B61D), the lens strap, and insured shipping via UPS Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Diane via e-mail or by phone at 1-707-544-2416 (Pacific time zone). Note: Diane will provide photos of the lens upon request.

The 300mm f/2.8 lenses are the #1 choice of the world’s best hawks in flight photographers. And they make a great hand holdable rig when coupled with either TC. If you own a 7D Mark II or work around tame birds, this can be your workhorse super-telephoto lens. artie

Used Canon Series II Teleconverter Set

Sorry, sold in 10 minutes!

Diane Miller is also offering a Series II TC (Extender) set, a 1.4X II and a 2X II teleconverter, for the “giving them away” price of $169 for the pair. Both are in excellent condition. Each TC has both the front and rear caps. Insured shipping via UPS Ground is included. Your items will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Diane via e-mail or by phone at 1-707-544-2416 (Pacific time zone).

The 1.4X II TC is as sharp as the 1.4X III while the 2x II is not quite as sharp to the edges as the 2X III. IAC, this is a steal for anyone just entering the world of teleconverters. artie

Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO Lens

The Already Record Low BAA Price Reduced $200 on DEC 10, 2015.

Stephen Zarate is offering a used Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens (the old 400 DO) in very good plus condition for a new record-low BAA price, an insanely low of $2699.00. The lens is covered by a well-worn “digital camo” LensCoat and the tripod ring shows minor signs of wear. The sale includes the lens trunk, the front and rear lens caps, the leather front lens cover, the aforementioned LensCoat, and insured ground shipping via UPS ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Stephen by e-mail or by phone at 949-697-8194 (Pacific time).

I used this lens for several years with great success, especially for birds in flight and while working from various type of water craft. In addition, it would make a great prime super-telephoto lens for folks with a 7D II. Gannets in Love was created with the 400 DO. You can see that one and 13 other killer images that I made with my old 400 DO here. The title of that blog post is “The Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO Lens: Fourteen Images that Prove that the Internet Experts are Idiots.” Stephen’s lens is priced to sell. artie


This image was created at Fortuna Bay, South Georgia, with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 349mm) and the amazing Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 200. (Don’t ask me why.) Evaluative metering -1 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/7.1 was about 1/2 stop too dark. The image was lightened during the RAW conversion in DPP 4. AWB.

One AG point to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The active sensor fell on the left side of the penguin’s head. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

King Penguin icebreaking


This penguin considered his options for about five minutes before diving into the shallow river. There was some clear water but most of the surface was covered by a sheet of ice about 1/8 inch thick. Though the bird could have easily gotten to the opposite bank it decided to go icebreaking, swimming down the river while whacking and cracking the ice with its bill as it pushed forward with spray flying everywhere. Why? I have no idea but it seemed as if it was having fun.

My NIK Color EFEX Pro 50-50 recipe did wonders for this originally much-too-high-contrast image. Details are in my Digital Basics File along with my complete Digital Workflow and dozens of great Photoshop tips.


All images on the card were created on the 2015 Cheesemans’ South Georgia Expedition. From top left clockwise to center: King Penguin resting on Snow, Fortuna Bay; Macaroni Penguin in snow, Cooper Island; Grey-headed Albatross, Elsehul; King Penguin neck abstract, Godthul; Northern Giant Petrel, Undine Harbor; adult Wandering Albatross, Prion Island; Elephant Seal, Undine Harbor; South Georgia Pipit fledgling/thanks Joe Kaplan! Fortuna Bay; high key King Penguins in snow, Fortuna Bay.

Card design and all images copyright 2015: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Cheesemans’ 2016 OCT/NOV South Georgia/Falklands Expedition

If reading last Saturday’s blog post here put a thought in your mind about joining the BIRDS AS ART group on the Cheesemans’ 2016 OCT/NOV South Georgia/Falklands Expedition, please shoot me an e-mail with the words “Cheesemans’ Last South Georgia Expedition” cut and pasted into the Subject Line with any questions or if you wish to receive additional inspiration. This will surely be my last ship-based trip to the Southern Ocean as well.


All of the images on this card were created in the Falklands on the 2014 Cheesemans’ Southern Oceans Expedition. From top left clockwise to center: Black-browed Albatross tending chick, Steeple Jason Island; Black-browed Albatross courting pair, New Island; the Black-browed Albatross colony at Steeple Jason Island; Black-browed Albatross landing, New Island; King Cormorant head portrait, New Island; hull detail/derelict minesweeper, New Island; Rockhopper Penguin head portrait in bright sun, New Island; Striated Caracara, Steeple Jason Island; Magellanic Snipe chick, Sea Lion Island.

An Expedition Overview

Experience the vibrant spring of South Georgia, a true Antarctic wildlife paradise. Observe and photograph wildlife behaviors seldom seen beneath the towering, snow-blanketed mountains that dominate the island’s landscape. Southern Elephant Seal bulls fight for breeding rights while females nurse young, overlook vast colonies of loafing King Penguins, watch Macaroni Penguins cavort in the snow, photograph handsome Gray-headed Albatrosses in flight or attending to their cliffside nests and awkward Wandering Albatrosses attempting first flight. The itinerary includes six landing days on South Georgia and three landing days in the Falklands to observe too cute Rockhopper Penguins, Magellanic Penguins standing watch at their nesting burrows, and more Black-browed Albatrosses than you could ever imagine. To commemorate Shackleton’s famous self-rescue crossing South Georgia, CES also offers an optional trek retracing his steps. With Cheesemans’ twenty years of experience in the Antarctic region, they commit to an in-depth exploration of one of the densest wildlife spectacles found anywhere in the world, and with only 100 passengers, they routinely give you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself on each landing.

Two of the scheduled Falklands’ landings, New Island and especially Steeple Jason Island, rival the best locations on South Georgia. Those will likely include Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Elsehul, Fortuna Bay, and either Cooper Island or Hercules Bay (for Macaroni Penguins).

Why Sign Up Through BIRDS AS ART?

If you have been thinking and dreaming of finally visiting South Georgia, this is the trip for you. There will likely never be another trip like this as the best outfit in the Southern Oceans business will not be returning after 2016…. Quit dreaming and act now. Though I will not be an expedition staff member on this trip, those who have traveled with me know that I cannot help but teach. And I will be doing a introductory photography program for the entire ship on our crossing to South Georgia. All who sign up via BAA will receive a free copy the new Southern Ocean Photography Guide (a $100 value) that I am currently working on. It will include pre-trip gear and clothing recommendations and a ton of info that you will find to be invaluable.

I will hold informal pre-landing briefings aboard ship so that when you land you know exactly what to expect and where to go. I will be available on the ship to review your images, answer your questions, and conduct informal over-the shoulder Photoshop sessions. And best of all, everyone who signs up under the auspices of BAA are invited to tag along with me on the landings where I will be glad to offer invaluable in-the-field advice. And the same goes for the shipboard birds in flight and marine mammal photographic sessions.

Again, if you would like to join me on what will truly be a once in a lifetime opportunity to a wondrous place, please shoot me an e-mail with the words “Cheesemans’ Last South Georgia Expedition” cut and pasted into the Subject Line.

You can learn more about the trip here. If you sign up on your own be sure to mention that you would like to be part of the BAA Group. I’d be glad to answer any and all question via e-mail or by phone at 863-692-0906.

Important Notes

#1: If you fail to e-mail me as noted directly above, and register directly with CES you MUST let them know that you would like to be part of the BIRDS AS ART group.

#2: Joining the BIRDS AS ART group as above will not cost you one penny.

For additional details on the trip and the ship, see Saturday’s blog post here.

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To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod heads, Gitzo tripods, Wimberley heads and plates, LensCoats and accessories, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. I just learned that my account was suspended during my absence; it should be up and running by Monday at the latest.

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