How Often Do We Get a Second Chance? Redemption in the Snow at Effective 1280mm: 400mm IS DO II + 2X III TC + EOS 7D Mark II « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

How Often Do We Get a Second Chance? Redemption in the Snow at Effective 1280mm: 400mm IS DO II + 2X III TC + EOS 7D Mark II

What’s Up?

I spent a few hours nearly finishing up the 2015 Bosque Current Conditions Guide and an equal amount of time doing critiques on BirdPhotographers.Net where honest critiques are done gently. BPN: it ain’t just birds. With my insane travel schedule, the upcoming San Diego exhibit, and the Bosque IPTs, I have not been spending much time there lately.

Amazing 7D Mark II/PIXMA PRO-100 Printer Kit Deal

Get a 7D II for a ridiculous $1049 and a free PIXMA PRO-100 Printer. With paper!

Y’all know how much I love my 7D II. Heck, look no further than today’s featured image to check out the amazing image quality. That plus the 7D II’s 1.6 crop factor which gives you lots of extra reach with lots of pixels. Also included within this kit is the PIXMA PRO-100 wireless inkjet printer, which prints up to 4800 x 2400 dpi and supports media up to 13 x 19″. An eight-color ink system realizes true color rendition and incorporates three monochrome inks for enhanced density and black and white printing capabilities.

What’s in the Kit?

Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera (Body Only)
Canon PIXMA PRO-100 Wireless Professional Inkjet Photo Printer
Canon SG-201 Photo Paper Plus Semi-Gloss (13 x 19″, 50 Sheets)
Ruggard Commando 36 DSLR Shoulder Bag
SanDisk 32GB Ultra UHS-I SDHC Memory Card (Class 10)

Please note that there is a $350 mail-in rebate with this offer.


This image was created on the 2015 Cheesemans’ South Georgia Expedition with the Induro GIT 304L tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the amazing Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/11 in Manual mode.

Center AF point (Manual selection)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. The active AF point was just below and behind the bird’s gape. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Macaroni Penguin head portrait in snow

How Often Do We Get a Second Chance?

On my 2012 Cheesemans’ Southern Ocean Expedition I snoozed and lost when I decided–worried about my left knee–to stay on the ship on the Cooper Bay landing in a big snowstorm. Thanks to the kindness of friends, you can see what I missed in the November 18, 2012 blog post here.

There was lots of snow on the ground on the 11/6 landing on the great 2015 South Georgia Expedition. There was no way I was gonna miss that landing. And as fate would have it, there was lots of snow on the ground. I brought both the 100-400II and the new 400 DO II up the hill along with a 1D X, a 7D II, and both teleconverters. As the snow and the large stands of tussock grass made it hard to move around I got myself a good seat on a small mound and waited for the birds to oblige. They did.

I went super long with the 400 DO II, the 2X III TC, and the 7D II. With the cloudy bright conditions and all that snow, I was fine working at ISO 400. I set the exposure manually to two stops above the reading off the snow. I stopped down to f/11 both for a little extra sharpness as compared to f/8 and for a bit of extra depth of field; I knew that I would be working tight. The closer you are to the minimum focusing distance of your lens the more you need some extra d-o-f.

I created more than 700 images that morning and kept about 150 of them. This is the single frame that thrilled me. I guess that redemption might just be best served cold. 🙂

Exposure Question

If I set the exposure to two stops above the meter reading off the snow why did the analogue scale show only +2/3 stop as framed?


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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