200-400II Versatility and More On Exposing to the Right… Will it ever sink in? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

200-400II Versatility and More On Exposing to the Right... Will it ever sink in?

What’s Up?

I wrote this blog post on Sunday morning. On Saturday, I attended and photographed granddaughter Maya Egensteiner’s last dance school recital and spent most of the rest of the day watching the rain-delayed US Open golf on the tube via TIVO.

I will be watching more golf today and am looking forward to game 7 of the NBA Finals. Will the Warriors put a cherry on top of their fairy tale season or will LeBron James lead his Cavs to the first ever final round comeback from a down three games to one deficit? I will tip my hat to the Dubs if they pull it off but down deep I am pulling for LeBron and the Cavs. I think…

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour June 8-14, 2017: $2499.

Seven full days of photography. Meet and greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 7: $2,499

If you would like to learn about or join the 2017 Palouse IPT, click here.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, makes-no-sense 225 days in a row with a new blog post. And I still have dozens of new topics to cover; there should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. Please remember that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.

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.

Used Gear Sales Testimonial

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener

The BAA Used Gear Page is the best place I’ve found for selling my used cameras and lenses.

I used eBay and Craigslist until I began checking in at BIRDS AS ART. I saw the gear listed for sale at BAA and it struck me that the people who visit the site are like me in some important ways. We own high quality, often expensive gear. It’s important to us, and we likely take care of it. In other words, a good market exists. And I noticed how Artie marketed each item. Informative, without too big a push. That’s why I decided to try BAA.

The process was easy. I clearly accepted the terms of sale, fully and fairly described what I was selling and the good and bad. I listed he stuff to be included with in the sale. Then Artie came back with what he thought was a fair price, leaving it to me to determine the balance between urgency of the sale and receiving a high price. I’ve followed his lead.

The responses I’ve received from potential buyers have been reassuring. Each has been well informed and courteous. They have not expected perfection, but have fully expected fairness and clarity. I’ve found that providing many photographs of what I’m selling is very helpful in the completing the various transactions.

I’m writing this because of how glad I am to find a place where there is a good market for what I want to sell and what I want to buy — I just tried to buy a 300mm f/2.8 II, but it has sold. The buyers and sellers are informed and fair-minded. And artie offers friendly and experienced advice. I’ve enjoyed the process. The BAA Used Gear page is the best experience I’ve had buying and selling gear.

June Used Gear Sales Continue to be More Than Brisk!

  • Long-ago IPT veteran Charles Sleicher sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens in very good plus condition for $3400 in mid-June.
  • Yours truly, Arthur Morris, sold his mint 300mm f/2.8L IS for $4599 in mid-June (to Jim Keener) before it was even listed…
  • Top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in absolute mint condition for $1599 in mid-June.
  • KW McCulloch sold his Canon EOS-1D X in excellent condition for $2459 in mid-June.
  • Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II lens in mint condition for $4499 in early June.
  • Top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the old five) in very good plus condition for a BAA record low price of $3699 in mid-June.
  • National Geographic shooter Tim Laman sold his Canon EOS-1D C in good condition for $2100 in early June. The 1D C is a 1D X with 4K video.
  • Andres Leon sold his Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens in very good plus condition for the full asking price of $7899 in early June.
  • IPT veteran Billy Wingfield sold his Canon EOS-1DX in excellent plus condition for $2400 in early June.
  • Multiple IPT veteran Larry Master sold his near-mint Canon EOS-1DX for $2800 in early June.
  • Moody McCall sold his Canon 100-400L IS USA lens in excellent condition for $599 in early June.


This in-camera Art Vivid HDR image was created on the evening of Day 3 of the second Palouse IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the internal TC engaged at 560mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 800. Evaluative metering (Auto dynamic range) around a base exposure of +2/3 stop: 1/125 sec. at f/5.6 in Av mode. WB = 4400K. Live View with 2-second timer.

I used Rear Focus/Live View Flexi-Zone AF to focus just this side of half way into the frame (and re-compose).

Backlit rolling hills with the sun just above the horizon

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender Palouse Versatility

I used my 200-400 in the Palouse at focal lengths from 200 to 784mm (the latter with the addition of an external 1.4X TC). It’s versatility, especially its ability to extract scenes of extreme interest from grand landscapes, is unmatched. Do understand that the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens with a Canon Extender EF 1.4X III is a viable alternative that will get you out to 560mm with ease. Using my Live View/self timer techniques it is a breeze to make sharp images with either rig at long effective focal lengths an extremely slow shutter speeds.

Expose to the Right

The out of camera JPEG, though not over-exposed–there was no blinkies on the rim light–looked 100% washed out on the rear LCD and on my Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro Laptop Computer with Retina Display & Force Touch Trackpad. A simple Levels adjustment in Photoshop–set the Black and White points by pulling in the sliders while holding down the ALT key, brought the image to life.

When you expose to the right you produce larger, cleaner files with more information and you reduce digital noise (as compared to darker images that look great on the back of your camera…) This was a hard concept for the boys and girls on the two Palouse workshops until they saw the proof in the pudding during the Photoshop and Image Review sessions.


Tame birds and wildlife. Incredible diversity. You only live once…

GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. August 8-22, 2017 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $12,499. Limit: 13 photographers plus the leader: yours truly. Openings: 4.

Same great trip; no price increase!
This trip needs nine to run; in the unlikely event that it does not, all payments to BAA will be refunded in full.

My two-week Galapagos Photo-Cruises are without equal. The world’s best guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), and two great leaders with ten Galapagos cruises under their belts. 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, and North Seymour for nesting Blue-footed Boobies in most years, South Plaza for Land Iguanas, Floreana for Greater Flamingoes, and Urbina Bay, all spectacular in their own right. We visit every great spot on a single trip. Plus tons more. And there will be lots of opportunities to snorkel on sunny mid-days for those like me who wish to partake.

It is extremely likely that we will visit the incredible Darwin Bay and the equally incredible Hood Island, world home of Waved Albatross twice on our voyage. The National Park Service takes its sweet time in approving such schedule changes.

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 skies, 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 and conditions. On the 2015 trip most snorkeled with a mega-pod of dolphins. I eased off the zodiac to find hundreds of dolphins swimming just below me. Note: some of the walks are a bit difficult but can be made by anyone if half way decent shape. Great images are possible on all landings with either a hand held 70-200mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter or an 80- or 100-400. I sometimes bring a longer lens ashore depending on the landing. In 2017 I will be bring the Canon 400mm IS DO II lens. In the past I have brought either the 300mm f/2.8L IS II or the 200-400mm f/4 L IS with Internal Extender.


Do consider joining me for this once in a lifetime trip to the Galapagos archipelago. There simply is no finer Galapagos photography trip. Learn why above.

An Amazing Value…

Do know that there are one week Galapagos trips for $8500! Thus, our trip represents a tremendous value; why go all that way and miss half of the great photographic locations?

The Logistics

August 6, 2017: We arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador a day early to ensure that we do not miss the boat in case of a travel delay.

August 7, 2017: There will be an introductory Galapagos Photography session and a hands on exposure session at our hotel.

August 8, 2017: We fly to the archipelago and board the Samba. Heck, on the 2015 trip some people made great images at the dock in Baltra while our luggage was being loaded!

August 22, 2017: We disembark late morning and fly back to Guayaquil midday; most will overnight there.

Most will fly home on the early morning of July 23 unless they are staying on or going elsewhere (or catching a red-eye flight on the evening of the 22nd).

$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 Guayaquil. 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 11/1/16. The final payment of $3449 per person will be due on 2/1/17. 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 two fairly recent 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 Guayaquil, beverages on the boat, phone calls, your meals in Guayaquil, 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 tentative itinerary or with questions. Please cut and paste “Galapagos 2017 Tentative Itinerary Please” into the Subject line.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, 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 would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right 🙂

6 comments to 200-400II Versatility and More On Exposing to the Right… Will it ever sink in?

  • Ted Willcox

    A very Beautiful! very Different image! Well done

  • David Peake

    you need another adjective artie after totally insane, ‘incomprehensible’ perhaps.
    another beautiful image.
    I have to be up early to comment early on the blog.

  • Jackie Milburn

    Absolutely love this image…I saw it on your Palouse card and I wanted to see a larger version. It reminds me of loose fine silk cloth oscillating in a summer breeze. A wider view would have been sweet…Was there no chance to take a panorama of this scene?

    Getting better at “to the right”…

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks. Art Vivid in-camera HDRs are hard to pull off. Plus, the backlight was concentrated in a narrow area.