Two Surprises … And a Low-budget Used 5D Mark III « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Two Surprises ... And a Low-budget Used 5D Mark III


The Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch is great but is a tough place to shoot. With the constantly changing water levels the spot that was fabulous on Monday is no darned good at all on Tuesday and the location that was excellent on Tuesday is a waste of time on Wednesday … None-the-less, if you walk a lot and put on your thinking cap you can usually find something to photograph every morning.

I enjoyed two extra therapy sessions on Saturday, a nice lunch at Cafe Zupas, and an early dinner at The Original Chop Shop. I will be headed out again in the morning for more avocets.

Nikon AF Problems

If you missed the simple solution to my somewhat mystifying D850 AF problems, click here.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred fifty-two days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 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.

New Used Gear Listing

Canon EOS-5D Mark III Digital Camera Body

Carl Albro is offering a well used Canon EOS-5D Mark III and a Canon Battery Grip BG-E11 both in good condition (plus extras) for the mega-bargain price of $499 as there is corrosion on the bottom of the camera body and the top of the battery grip. Photos are available upon request. The camera and the grip are in excellent working condition. There are scratches on the rear LCD. The sale includes the front body cap, the strap, an extra Watson LP-E6N battery, the original product box, the owner’s manual, a 16GB Compact Flash card, a 16GB SD Card, the cords, a Really Right Stuff Long L-Tripod Bracket (BGE11-L), a Kirk Regular L-Tripod Bracket, and insured ground shipping via to continental US addresses only. The package will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Carl via e-mail.

I owned and used this superb, full frame, 22mp digital body for several years. It was always my first choice for scenic, Urbex (urban exploration), and flower photography until I fell in love for a while with the 5DS R (for a lot more money!). Then I switched to the 5D IV body. In addition, I loved my 5D III body for birds with my big lenses and both TCs. I used mine to create many dozens of high quality images. Then I switched to Nikon. Carl’s body in less than ideal condition would make a great buy for someone on a tight budget who would like to make take advantage of the great 5D III image files for a bargain price. artie


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!


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.

The First Surprise

The MRI Report

This is a summary of the MRI report on my left shoulder that we received on Friday afternoon:

Large L-shaped full thickness rotator cuff tear. Supraspinatus torn and medially retracted 3.2 cm. Small subscapularis tear and Habermeyer type IV biceps pulley injury.

The rest of the report detailed the various damage I’ve done to my left shoulder over the past six decades including my 35 years of photography. An MRI of my right shoulder would reveal a lot more of the wear and tear damage as my left shoulder was always the good one.

I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering +2 stops as framed: 1/500 sec. at f/6.3. AUTO1 WB at 8:30am in the shade on a partly overcast morning.

Center Group (grp) AF point/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The upper AF point in the array was just below the bird’s eye. Click on the image to see a larger version

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +6.

American Avocet pair, male calling

The Second Surprise

On average, I create from a hundred to several hundred images during a decent morning or afternoon photography session. Most days, when I head home, I have a pretty good idea as to which one, two, or three images are likely to be my best of the outing. And I am almost always right. After the images are ingested with Photo Mechanic I will often go cherry picking, looking for those few special images that I am pretty sure will be pretty good. When I find them I make sure not to tag them, saving that task for a complete go-through of all of the images in the folder. If I cherry pick one or two and tag them there is always a chance that I will hit “T” again during the full edit and actually untag them and have the best one or two images wind up in the trash.

Today’s featured image came as a big surprise as I neared the end of the 378 image editing task. I rarely try to create images featuring two birds. And when I first saw this one, I did not even remember pushing the shutter button. So why do I like it so much? Both birds were on the exact same plane at the moment of exposure. The male was calling. The coy pose of the female. And the white sky/high key look really worked well with this handsome pair. Note that the bird on our left is the female, the one with more of an upcurve near the end of the bill. It’s easy to remember; the female is curvier.

Autofocus Note

When photographing shorebirds on the ground my first choice AF mode with Nikon is d-9. As the possibility for flight and action with the avocets existed, I switch to Group (grp) and used that for flight and for the foraging birds.

Shorebirds: Beautiful Beachcombers

If you are interested in learning to identify and age all of the common North American shorebirds and learn about their amazing migrations, their breeding biology, their feeding habits, and everything else you might have wanted to learn on the way to the nearest mudflats, get yourself a copy of my softcover book, Shorebirds: Beautiful Beachcombers.

The Nikon Autofocus Focus Fine-tune e-Guide

There is lots of mis-information out there on Nikon Automatic AF Fine-tune. Working with Patrick Sparkman, we developed a way of using that feature most effectively. Patrick was on a roll and perfected a method for using the Focus Peaking feature available only on the D850 to quickly and accurately micro-adjust all lenses and TC-Es with the D-850. Both Nikon Automatic AF Fine-tune and D850 Focus Peaking AF Fine-tune require a LensAlign Mark II kit so that you can obtain accurate results. I learned recently that the Nikon D500 DSLR and the older D7500 both offer Automatic AF Fine-tune.

Folks who use one of my links to purchase a Nikon D850, a Nikon D5 DSLR Camera (Body Only, Dual XQD Slots), a Nikon D500 DSLR , or any Nikon gear totaling more than $2,000 will receive the new guide free.

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 :).

8 comments to Two Surprises … And a Low-budget Used 5D Mark III

  • avatar Jean-Guy Gallant

    Hi Artie, you said that when you’re back from an outing you usualy have 2 or 3 very good shots. What do you do with all the other ones? Are you saving them to process later…dump them?

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks all and David for the two typos.

    with love, artie

  • Beautiful image, Artie. Love the high key look here.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. If you were a car, you wouldn’t pass inspection! I am glad you can do things normally anyway. Great image. I noticed 2 typos. Carl’s camera is a great by. And your sic decades of activity.

  • avatar frank sheets

    If I have to choose by favorite shore birds, its probably Avocets and Black Neck Stilts. So you made my day twice this week with this image and the pair of Stilts posted previously. Takes a lot of luck to get a pair on the same focus plane for success and you have done it twice in one week. Congratulations! And love the high key here. Two great images Artie and thanks.


  • avatar Don M.

    Hi Artie,

    I enjoy photographing pairs, but it is challenging because of the additional variables – same focal plane, synchronized posture or meaningful interaction, ideally looking at the camera – so it is very easy to miss shots. But when they work, they really work!

    Thanks for sharing the high key image of the avocets. I hope your shoulder continues to improve despite the findings of the MRI report.

    Don M.

  • Love the Avocets…sorry to hear about the shoulder…pretty amazing that you are able to get out shooting with the full tear though.