A Potpourri … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

A Potpourri ...


Went into town for my regular check-up in the morning and followed up with Dr. Cliff Oliver on FaceTime in the afternoon. Blew up lots of balloons and watched a few movies. Answered a ton of Used Gear (and other) e-mails and id a bit of work on the Nikon AF e-Guide. I should have lots of time to work on that tomorrow and start AF Fine-tuning my second D850. Focus peaking makes that easy.

The Streak

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


Please note that BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Patrick Sparkman saved $350 on a recent purchase!

The Used Gear Page

Action on the Used Gear Page recently has been fantastic. You can see all current listings here. March 2018 was surely a record-breaking month:

Jim Brennan sold his Canon 5D Mark III camera body in very good to excellent condition for $1,299.00 and his Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens in good condition for $999.00, both within hours of listing in late March, 2018.
Top BAA Used Gear page seller Jim Keener sold a Fujifilm X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital Camera in like-new condition for $1299.
Katherine Tryon sold her Canon EOS-1D X in excellent condition (with less than 16,000 shutter actuations) for $2324.00 in late March, 2018.
Kevin Hice sold a lightly used Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition for $3099.00 soon after it was listed in late March, 2018.
Ron Thill sold his Tamron SP 150-600 f/5.6-6.5 Di VC USD G2 lens for Canon EF in like-new condition for $949 in mid-March.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 16-55 f/2.8 R LM WR lens in like-new condition for only $549 near the end of March 2018.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for only $1,219.00 on the first day of listing.
Jim Burns sold his EOS-1D Mark IV body in excellent plus condition for a BAA record low $998; not sure exactly when 🙂
David Solis sold a brand new Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA 3 1 TB wireless photo/video memory card backup for $399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 300 mm f/2.8L IS USM (the original version) lens in excellent plus condition for $2399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM (the “old five”) in excellent plus condition with perfect glass for the BAA record low price of $3399.00.
Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM zoom lens in mint condition to a local buyer and is sending me a check for 2 1/2% of the original asking price of $1599.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 50 f/2 R WR lens in like-new condition for only $299 in early March.
Rajat Kapoor sold his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (the “old 1-4”) in near-mint condition the first day is was listed for $649.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in near-mint condition and a Canon EF 1.4 III teleconverter in very good condition for $3,599.00 right after listing them in early March.
Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition for $798 soon after it was listed in early March.

The sale of John Norris’s Canon 1DX Mark II in like-new condition for $3,996.00 is pending.

New Listing

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM Lens

BAA Record-Low Price

Top BAA Used Gear page seller Jim Keener is offering a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens in like-new condition (but for a one-inch scratch on the lens hood) for the BIRDS AS ART record-low price of $1598. The sale includes the front and rear caps, the tan zippered case, and insured ground shipping via major courier to the 48 contiguous states only. The camera will not ship until your check clears. No PayPal.

Please contact Jim via e-mail or by phone at 310-741-7435 (9am-9pm Mountain time).

Y’all know how much I used and loved and miss my 100-400II for its incredible sharpness (even with the 1.4X TC), it’s amazing versatility, and its hard-to-believe close focus. artie

Featured Listing

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

BAA Record-Low, Shock-the-world Price

Greg Morris is offering a barely used EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens in mint to like-new condition with extras for the BAA record low price of $9394.00. The sale includes the LensCoat that has protected this lens since day one, a RRS stuff foot (installed), the original foot, the lens trunk, the original box and everything that came in it: front cover, rear cap, manuals, & the rest, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your personal of certified check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Greg via e-mail or by phone at 1-580-678-5929 (Central time).

WMD: Weapon of Mass Destruction!

The 600 II is the state of the art super-telephoto for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports. When I could get it to my location, it was my go-to weapon. It is fast and sharp and deadly alone or with either TC. With a new one going for $11,499, you can save a cool $2,005.00 by grabbing Walt’s might-as-well-be-new lens right now. artie


Several folks on the Gatorland IPT used the Booking.Com link below and got great rates and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. 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 Thursday, 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 1000 (via ISO Safety Shift). Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops in Tv mode: 1/1250 sec. at f/5.6. K 7500 at 7:43am in quasi-fire-in-the-mist conditions.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: +3.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/shutter button AF as originally framed; the selected AF point Click here to see the last version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see the spectacular larger version.

Canada Goose flapping

Why Photograph a Common Species?

I say it often: I’d rather make a very good image of the most common bird than make a crappy image of a rare bird or a life bird, a species I have never seen before. The key to being successful when photographing a Song Sparrow or a Canada Goose is to learn to see the good situations — nice or unique light, clean distant backgrounds, or neat behavior — anything to make an image special, dramatic, different. During my on my first Phoenix visit, I enjoyed two fire-in-the-mist mornings at Gilbert. On both of those days many other photographers showed up an hour after I did. With no idea as to what they missed. Getting up and out early is always a good plan for a nature photographer.

Tv Mode (S in Nikon)

Many folks believe that real photographers work in Manual mode 100% of the time. My thoughts are that there are certain situations when some of the other shooting modes are far superior to Manual. Here, I set a shutter speed that I thought would pretty much freeze the flapping wings, set the EC at +1 1/3 stops, let the camera set the necessary ISO, and reaped the benefits.

The Canon 600 II Does Not Suck

When I look back on my Canon years I say that when I used my six hundred f/4 lenses that I went with the bare lens about 10% of the time, with the 1.4X TC about 60% of the time, and with the 2X TC at least 30% of the time. With Nikon I have been sticking with the 14TC-E14 most of the time, often cropping the super high quality D850 images. I had a lot more confidence with my Canon 600 II at 1200mm than I do with my Nikon 600 at 1200mm.

Another Optical Illusion?

Is the goose in today’s featured image facing toward us or away?

IPT Stuff

All IPTs include an introductory briefing before the IPT begins so you know what to expect, frequent in-the-field instruction and guidance (priceless), image editing and small group Photoshop instruction during and after lunch. Breakfasts are on your own so that we can get in the field early. Lunches are on me. Dinners are on your own as well so that we can get to bed as the days in spring will be long.

Rides with the leader are available on a limited basis for $50/day.

Registering for an IPT

To register for an IPT call Jim or Jen in the office at 863-692-0906 from Monday morning through Friday lunch with your credit card in hand to leave your $500 non-refundable deposit. Balances may not be paid by credit card so you will be asked to send a check for your balance along with the signed paperwork that you will find here.

Spring at DeSoto is often magical

DeSoto IPT #1 Sunrise: 7:07 am. Sunset: 6:22pm.

3 1/2 DAYS: SUN 15 APR thru the morning session on WED 18 APR: $1599. Limit 5 photographers.

You must purchase a season Parking Pass in advance for early entry. Click here and scroll down for info. If you are not a local, the six month pass if fine. Best to order by mail. Join me to photograph a wide variety of birds of the shore including pelicans, gulls, terns, sandpipers, oystercatchers, heron, egrets, and night-herons. Many in full breeding plumage. Most are ridiculously tame. Osprey likely. Learn to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret DeSoto locations, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations. Enjoy some great sunrises and sunsets.

Which will offer better opportunities, Desoto #1 or DeSoto #2? I have no idea. Both have the potential to be great.

Tame birds in breeding plumage and heron and egret chicks are great fun.

Gatorland IPT #2. Sunrise: 6:48am. Sunset: 7:58pm.

3 1/2 DAYs: THURS 26 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1599. Limit 5 photographers.

(2 1/2 DAY option) FRI 27 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1199.

Must purchase Gatorland Photographers Pass. Click here for details. All early entry. Late stays Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Gatorland IPT #2 should have lots of chicks, and lots of birds in breeding plumage. We will get to photograph Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, and Wood Stork. The Cattle Egrets in full breeding plumage will be present in good numbers. Learn my Gatorland strategy, to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret Gatorland spots, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations.

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 :).

17 comments to A Potpourri …

  • avatar Tony Z

    hi Artie,
    i don’t know if you have revealed which way the bird is facing yet.
    For me, it looks as though the bird is facing away, based on the droplet patterns on the water, in the area close to the tail (i.e. just below the tail). Those droplets appear to be closer to you than the disturbed water from what i assume are caused by the beating wings.


  • Hey Artie,
    I agree about shooting common birds near, and you don’t always need to go far. My most successful image is a red-winged blackbird about ¼ mile from my front door.

    I think the goose is facing away, based on the disturbance on the water surface. The ripples below the wing on the right look closer than the ripples below the wing on the left, making the right wing closer to you and therefore the bird facing away.

  • Hey Arthur, I love photographing the Canada geese at the lake where i live. The upper part of the birds body looks twisted to me and is facing the camera. Canon rules!

  • avatar Rob Stambaugh

    Facing away. The arched neck, with the bird looking straight ahead, is more typical with a wing flap. A severe leftward head turn, if it were to occur, would more likely come with a straightened neck, while standing still. Plus the right-hand leg in the image looks to be casting a stronger reflection, consistent with it being the foreground leg, and thus the bird’s right leg.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    I believe it is facing the camera with it’s head turned to the left.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Beautiful! “the early bird gets the worm”

  • avatar Tim Clifton

    Love your image. To me looking at the legs in the water, it feels like the curve of body to leg feels like it is the right leg. Can’t tell by the wings, however legs and reflection may hold tke key.

    Again nice shot & thanks for making us look so closely.


  • avatar Wayne Tyler

    First let me say, “Long time fan of your work”. Now for the image. I agree with David, the goose is 3\4 facing towards you. If it was facing away from you, it’s right wing (on the right of the photo)would be closer to you,thus larger. It’s not. If it’s facing you, it’s right wing (on the LEFT side of the photo) would be slightly larger. It is to me . That’s how I made my determination.

  • avatar Terry

    Looking at the tail & legs I would say facing away.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I couldn’t agree more about photographing common birds, not least because you get so many more opportunities than with rare birds. My favorite bird photos that I have taken include ones of a raven; a mallard drake; some light geese; some local, common hummingbirds; and king penguins, which are abundant if you’re in the right place. And gulls, of course.

    I love today’s image. To me, the goose seems to be facing toward the camera. I cannot see what Jordan and the others see. I cannot make sense of the wing geometry if it’s facing away. But I won’t be surprised if I’m wrong.

  • avatar Guido Bee

    I am in agreement with Jordan, and for the same reason.
    Be well.

  • Hi Artie
    A good pictorial of Image of a Canada Goose, they have become very common in the the UK. You are right about the best light early morning, I call it on the edge lighting. The Goose is looking away.

    Best and love


  • avatar Jordan Cait

    Goose is facing away from the photographer. The wing covers the neck.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      How do you know that the bird’s left wing is not behind the neck; see David’s comment.

      with love and thanks for your comment.


  • avatar Terry Longenecker

    The goose is facing away.