More Mist, and a Nice Relationship With a Tiny Tree « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

More Mist, and a Nice Relationship With a Tiny Tree


I woke at 2:56am Mountain time on Friday, finished yesterday’s blog post, did my Postural Restoration exercises for 1 hour, 14 minutes, threw all of my stuff in the car half packed, grabbed some breakfast, and headed back to the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch for sunrise and arrived a bit late at 7:00am. I finished up by 8:30am, packed my Think Tank bag in the parking lot at the preserve, filled the tank of my rental car, re-packed my two checked bags in the parking lot at Desert Hand Therapy, and was early to my last-for-now therapy session.

After my session with Amy and John I headed to the PHX Rental Car Center. I was amazed that folks flying Southwest can check their bags on the main floor of the facility without having to lug them on the rental car shuttle bus! How convenient; just another reason to love SW.

I did have time during my long and busy Friday to reply to all of the comments left at yesterday’s A Perfect Dramatic Fire in the Mist Image. Made With Lots Of Skill, Vision, and Creativity. And Even More Luck! … blog post here.

I started work on this blog post at the gate for my 3:15 flight to San Diego. And finished it early Saturday morning in San Diego.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred sixty-six 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.

This image was created on morning of Friday, January 12 at the Gilbert Water Ranch in Phoenix, AZ. 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 1.4X III, and the blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/1250 sec. at f/9. K7500 at 7:50am shooting into backlit mist.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -3.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Surround/Rear button AF on the base of the heron’s bill and release. Click here to see the last version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see the spectacular larger version.

Great Blue Heron and tiny mesquite tree

More Mist, and a Nice Relationship With a Tiny Tree

When I got to my Water Ranch sunrise location, there was no ground fog on the water as their had been the day before, despite the cool temps. As the sun rose it warmed the atmosphere things got very sweet with the backlit mist that developed as the sun rose behind the distant trees. I made lots of lovely silhouetted images of the Canada Geese and of this GBH but it took a while for the mist to develop and turn things orange-red and that dramatic lighting did not last very long.

For whatever reason or reasons, this bird had some sort of connection to the tree seedling as it stood in close proximity to it for well more than 45 minutes. (I was unsure that I used the word seedling correctly so I checked on line and found this at Merriam this: a young tree before it becomes a sapling.) It was remarkable that the bird stood at right angles to the back of the camera on the exact same plane as what I believe to be a tiny mesquite for more than 15 minutes. The framing at 840mm was perfect but I did need to back away as far as I could from where I originally stood behind the bullrushes.

In this case f/9 was not leftover from having used the TC; I stopped down four clicks from wide open (f/5.6) for a bit more depth-of-field.

Your Thoughts?

  • 1-Please leave a comment and let us know your thoughts on this image, the good and the bad.
  • 2-Standing in the exact same spot with the same gear and using Rear button focus might there be an alternate image design?

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.

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.

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, 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 :).

13 comments to More Mist, and a Nice Relationship With a Tiny Tree

  • Anthony Ardito

    f9 goes pretty good with teleconverters ;). I enjoyed the image and the tiny tree. I like the legs of the Heron where they intersect the water, and the multiple reflections below. Nice!

  • Anthony Ardito

    Ah yeah…., remember the days before 9/11 where you could pull up to the curb, check your bags outside with a skycap, the skycap would check you in right to the gate on their computer terminal, tip him/her, and be confident everything was taken care of. Then go park your car, or return your rental car. Then hop on a shuttle back to the terminal with nothing more than your paper airline ticket.

    And when you got to the gate, you didn’t have to do anything extra, just sit there and wait to be called on the plane (the skycap at the curb already checked you in!)

    Good to see SW is trying to bring back the convenience of the old days.

    • David Barber

      Curbside check-in hasn’t gone away everywhere. Portland, OR airport has several airlines that do curbside check-in. It works just as you describe. That is one reason Portland is consistently rated the best airport in the US.

  • Warren H

    As far as other compositions, could you do a vertical of the heron and try to pick up those reflections in the water? I love the dark ripples with bright strips through them. Interesting colors!

  • Andrew Grandys

    For my taste it is too cramped. I’d open up a little bit on the right side of the tree.
    Like colors and mood.
    Question, what is causing double shadows ?

  • David Policansky

    Artie: Another killer image. I might have to go to that place. The little tree–a sapling rather than a seedling–definitely adds to the image. Without it, I’d be inclined to crop tighter to focus more on hte GBH. I particularly love the reflection and how the tail feathers barely touch, or don’t quite touch, the water.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi David, Thanks for the sapling stuff 🙂 Think about this: I have never seen a fire in the mist image from Gilbert … Have you? How about anyone else?

      with love, artie

  • James Saxon

    Love the color of the image but feel there is too much space between the bird and small tree or the bird needs a little structure added to break up the black. The image you posted yesterday is my favorite. I took a sheet of paper and cropped out the bird on my screen which just left the tree and all that color. Simple composition but I like it.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi James, I would have like the bird and the sapling a bit closer together. Or wider would have been better. But if I had gone to 600 alone then I would have picked up some background geese. Are you saying that you would have cropped out the bird?

      with love, artie

  • mark harrington

    Artie are you giving up on the 5D Mk IV?

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Mark, Good question but not at all. Canon replaced my oil spattered 1DX II with a new one. I had my first oil spatter after 18 frames. I want to use it to see how bad it gets. There is no denying the killer AF and the frame rate is addictive …

      with love, artie

  • Jake

    Hi Artie, I love the atmosphere of the shot and the exposure and colour. However, the juxtaposition of the heron and the seedling doesn’t really work for me; my eye doesn’t really rest anywhere, instead it jumps between the heron and the seedling. Would a vertical image design have worked, with the heron in the bottom left of the frame?

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Jake. Without the seedling?

      I disagree but only 100% as my eye moves nicely around the frame from the bird to the tree and back. Different strokes. And the answer to my image design question might work even better …

      with love,