Drawing to a Close Times Two… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Drawing to a Close Times Two...

What’s Up?

Arrived at Nickerson at 5am. On the way home by 8. Nap. Swim. Chiropractor. Played catch with grandson Idris–he has improved so much in about a month that it is hard to believe. Watched some Olympics. Hit the sack early. JBWR on Wednesday morning… You already know how that went…

I fly home early on Friday morning.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 280 days in a row with a new educational blog post. 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. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the new 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 Continue to be Brisk

  • Eric Karl sold his Canon 7D Mark II camera in like-new condition with the BG-E16 battery grip for $1,099 in mid-August.
  • Tom Mast sold his Canon 300mm f/4L IS USM lens in excellent condition for $625 in late July.
  • Henry Raymundo sold his Gitzo 1325 tripod and a Wimberley V-2 head both in very good plus condition for the very low price of $699 and two used Canon 100-400mm IS L Zoom lenses, one in excellent condition for $599, the other in very good plus condition for $549–all in late July.
  • Jonathan Ward sold his Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent condition for $2,000 CAD in early July.
  • Long ago multiple IPT veteran Charles McRae sold his Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS lens in good to very good condition in early July for a record low $4,199.
  • Jeffrey Fredberg sold his EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM L series lens in like-new condition for the record-low BAA price of $749 in late June.
  • Jim Burns sold his Canon 200-400mm F/4L IS zoom lens with Internal 1.4X Extender in brand new condition for the insane BAA record-low price of $8499 in late June.

New Listings

Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS Lens

Annthy Nguyen is offering a Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS lens (the original version) in excellent plus condition for $2,950.00. The sale includes the original lens trunk (with 2 keys), the front cover, the rear lens cap, the original product box, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Ann via e-mail or by phone at 1-714-386-8083 (Pacific time zone)

The older version of the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS is a super sharp lens that is great for hand held flight and action photography and great with both teleconverters. It has long been the favorite focal length of the world’s best hawk photographers. artie


This image was created at Nickerson Beach on Tuesday morning, August 16, 2016. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops as framed: 1/500 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode was about 1/ stop underexposed. Shade WB.

One AF point above and two to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. (This is a small crop all around.) The active AF point fell on the bird’s neck right below the eye. spot where the wing attaches to the bird’s body, right on the same plane as the eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: +2.

Black Skimmer–fledged young on beach

Drawing to a Close Times Two…

The nesting season at Nickerson is drawing to a close, as is my five-week Long Island visit.

Nickerson seemed a bit forlorn at 5:45am this morning. There was not a single skimmer behind the colony ropes. Nearly all of the young of the year are fledged and were hanging out on the beach with the adults in about five widely spread out groups. The powers that be at Nickerson put up one decent sign at the end of the blue walkway from the parking lot, explaining that disturbing the birds on the beach might lead to the death of young skimmers. But on the beaches, there were more than half a dozen “Danger Stay Back 150 feet” signs. The problem was that those signs were two-sided and both sides said the same thing. The only sane explanation would be that there was a bomb planted beneath the sign… I would think that the end result is that the regular folks, that is, the beach-goers, would not think that any of the signs were serious.

There was only one other photographer at the beach; she was sitting in a chair a good ways from the largest group of adults and fledged young. I four-wheeler drove right past her to empty a huge garbage. When they dumped it, all of the adult took flight leaving the young exposed to predation by Great Black-backed Gulls. Just as the sign that made sense explained. Wouldn’t it be nice if the teen-aged garbage men underwent a bit of skimmer conservation education?

I took a long walk with just the 100-400 and the 1DX II in search of a really big flock of Sanderlings. I found a few thousand birds and created a few decent blurs but for the most part the birds never coalesced into a large swirling flock. I walk back east and noted lots of young skimmers on the clean wet sand as the tide started to fall. Though there was a west/southwest wind there was a single large cloud blocking the sun so I hiked back to the car, loaded the 600 and the tripod onto the Wheeleeze, and trekked back to the birds. All of which had been driven back up onto the beach by the early morning health walkers. I made a few images including the one above, not on clean wet sand, and then headed home before 8am.


Fort DeSoto in fall is rife with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or early October. I hope that you can join me there this fall one way or another. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

BIRDS AS ART Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Meet-up Workshop (ITFW): $99. Limit 12/Openings: 10)

Join me on the morning of October 2, 2016 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images, especially with a 7D Mark II. Teleconverters are always a plus.

You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. This inexpensive morning workshop is designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tours. I hope to meet you there.

To register please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours with a credit card in hand to pay the nominal registration fee. Your registration fee is non-refundable. You will receive a short e-mail with instructions, gear advice, and meeting place one week before the event.


Folks attending the IPT will be in the field early and stay out late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. The good news is that the days are relatively short in early fall. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Fort DeSoto Short Notice Fall IPT/September 28 (meet & greet at 2pm followed by our afternoon session) through the full day on October 1, 2016. 3 1/2 DAYs: $1549. Limit 10/Openings: 7. Sunday morning ITFW free to IPT registrants.

Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for migrant shorebirds in fall. There they join dozens of egrets, herons, night-herons, gulls, and terns who winter on the T-shaped peninsula that serves as their wintering grounds. With any luck, we should get to photograph two of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit and the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher likely. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Tricolored Heron are easy as well and we will almost surely come up with a tame Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or two. We should get to do some Brown Pelican flight photography. And Royal, Sandwich, Forster’s, and Caspian Terns will likely provide us with some good flight opportunities as well. Though not guaranteed, Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork would not be unexpected.

Folks who sign up for the IPT are welcome to join me as my guest on the ITFW on the Sunday morning following the workshop. See above for details on that.

On this and all other IPTs you will learn basics and fine points of digital exposure and to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify and age many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, to, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

At brunch (included) we will review my images–folks learn a ton watching me edit–why keep this one and delete that one? If you opt to bring your laptop, we can take a look at a few of your images from the morning session. We will process a few of my images in Photoshop after converting them in DPP. That followed by Instructor Nap Time.

As I already have one signed up for this workshop, it is a go. Hotel info will be e-mailed when you register. The best airport is Tampa (TPA). It is always best if IPT folks stay in the same hotel so if you are interested it would be a good idea to register now and make your hotel reservations as soon as you hear from us. We can, however, coordinate with local folks who opt to stay at home.

Because of the relatively late date, payment is full is due upon registration either by check or credit card. If the former, please e-mail us immediately so that we can save you a spot. If the latter, please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand to register. Your registration fee is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with eight so please check your plans carefully before committing. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions and gear & clothing advice a fairly soon.

Please Remember to use my 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 🙂

2 comments to Drawing to a Close Times Two…

  • avatar Peter Noyes

    Could I sell a Mac Book Pro through you?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Used laptops do not retain their value very well but if the price is decent there is a good chance that we can sell it. Please e-mail me for the Items for Sale Info missive.