Another 1200mm Duck (this one with the 1DX Mark II) « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Another 1200mm Duck (this one with the 1DX Mark II)


Sunday was a wonderful day. I met multiple IPT veteran Muriel McClellan who introduced me to my new physical therapist, Amy Novotny, Amy, Bryan Holliday, and his lovely girlfriend Kim, all photographers. We did the Black-crowned Night-Herons at sunrise and then switched to my favorite mudflat where we had some great action with several species of ducks and some Long-billed Dowitchers. Muriel very generously treated the whole gang to lunch at a pita place. After lunch we went to Freestone Park; the three pairs of Canvasbacks were a lot more cooperative than they had been on Saturday.

My Postural Restoration physical therapy is going very well and my very well be life-altering. More on that over time. I did get to answer quite a few e-mails early this morning but I still have tons more today including another dozen or so that arrived today while I was out having fun.

Click on the logo-link above for great holiday savings!
$300 off on the Canon 100-400 II!

The Streak

Today makes one hundred sixty-one days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about an hour to prepare including the time spent optimizing the image. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.


Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

ACR Screen Capture

ACR Screen Capture

Note the perfect histogram. Note that the RGB values for the brightest whites were from the ring around the base of the bill not from the ring around the bill. Note that the RGB values of 245, 245, 244 indicate almost perfectly neutral WHITEs. Note that I did not max out the WHITEs to 254, 254, 254 but opted to leave them about ten points short of that. Moving the Highlight slider to -53 darkened the water to a nice rich blue.

This image was created at the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch, in Phoenix, AZ on the morning of Sunday, January 7. I used the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and my the blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 800. Evaluative metering about +2/3 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. AWB at 8:34am on a sunny morning with a light cloud in front of the sun.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -5.

Two AF points above the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed squarely on the duck’s cheek directly below and right on the same plane as the duck’s eye. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Ring-necked Duck drake partial body shot

Image Question

Do you like this image? Why or why not?

The Image Design

Please leave a comment and let us know what you think of the image design here.

More on Coming Soon

February 2018 Spoonbill Boat IPT: FEB 23-25, 2018/2 1/2 days with three morning spoonbill sessions on the boat (definite!)
Two Fort DeSoto IPTs (April and May, 2018)
Three Gatorland IPTs (March, April, and May, 2018 — including early entry and late stay — tentative)
Three Sandhill Crane chicks and colts Master Classes at Indian Lake Estates (March)

The Master Classes will be small groups — strictly limited to four photographers — with the first folks who register staying at my home and the others staying at a chain motel in Lake Wales. Live, think, and breathe photography from Friday afternoon through lunch on Monday morning; all meals included. We will enjoy three morning photography sessions with the main subjects being tame Sandhill Cranes almost surely with chicks or colts. Also vultures and Cattle Egrets and more. Limpkins possible. There will be three afternoon photo sessions with hopefully glorious sunsets like the ones you have been seeing on the blog recently. I will micro-adjust one of your lenses during a group instructional session and all will be welcome to practice what they have learned during the breaks using my lightingbgear. We will sit together around my dining room table and pick everyone’s keepers, enjoy guided Photoshop sessions, and, on Monday before lunch, folks can make a single large print of their favorite image.

Folks who would like advance notice on any of the above are welcome to shoot me an e-mail. Right now there are two folks signed up for the spoonbill IPT with just four openings left. If you would like to join us, please do not tarry.

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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 please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

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12 comments to Another 1200mm Duck (this one with the 1DX Mark II)

  • Hey Arthur, I look at these and wonder where are the feet. But the more i look the the more i like it. Nice light.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    A vertical crop would look nice….

    • avatar Mitch Haimov

      I just tried a square crop with the pupil right on the upper left rule of thirds point. Works very well IMHO.

  • avatar Brendan

    Hmmmm. Love the head/face, but the framing does bug me. I think a tight close-up of this head/face would be fabulous. I think pulled back a bit so you see the whole bird/feet would be fabulous. This kind of feels stuck in the middle.

    The exposure/light is dead-on perfect, of course.

  • avatar Jake

    Hi Artie, I don’t like the composition; the cutting off of the lower part of the bird seems very awkward. However the bird’s stare is very arresting, have you considered a tight head crop including some of the beautiful smooth blue background for the bird to look into?

  • avatar Doug

    Hi Art

    Wondering why did you opt for the 1DX2?

    What is the downside of using a crop sensor 7D2 at 600mm with or without a 1.4X?

  • avatar Anthony Ardito

    I like it! Perfectly exposed, beautiful detail. Who cares about rule of thirds or feet cut off? No one but picky “internet photographers”. You excluded of course 😉

  • avatar Adam

    Yup, like everything about it and even more so when one considers it was shot at 1200mm 1/250 sec? Without revealing your secrets, how can you get such amazingly sharp captures at this FL and TV? With my 5dmkiv, tripod mounted, at 600mm, I get mirror slap with anything less than 1/400 and struggle with overall sharpness.

  • avatar James Saxon

    I like the image and do not need to see the entire bird. The birds eye is the first thing I see when I look at the image along with the slight tip of the head. The bird’s position and posture projects a confident attitude.

  • avatar Frank Sheets

    I would tend to agree with. Everything Mitch had to say, but I am always awed at the image quality you get with a 2X. Impressive! I’m assuming. You used it vs the 1.4x simply because you were more interested in the portrait rather than a broader view of the bird. Or perhaps there was something about where the bird was standing that was bothersome.

    But the most glaring difference here is your use of ACR vs. DPP4. What gives here?

  • Good afternoon Artie

    A handsome duck in deed, but would like to see it all with a reflection, am I asking to much?

    Best and love Kel


  • avatar Mitch Haimov

    Good morning, Artie.

    You have a handsome subject looking right down your lens in pleasing light. Face and breast nicely lit, ample detail in shadow areas. BG works well. Frame-filling composition shows plenty of detail, but I suspect I would have preferred the 1.4X III to the 2X III. Overall, I like it but it is not one of your family jewels.

    Why ACR rather than your typical DPP 4?