Anything Funky Here? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Anything Funky Here?


The morning of Monday, April 9, 2018 at the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert Water Ranch was magical. I found a great spot with perfect reflections and zero wind, made lots of wonderful avocet and stilt images, and was able to cross a nemesis bird off my list: drake Cinnamon Teal. Got both flight and swimming images of a gorgeous male in sweet early morning light. Images to follow.

Thanks to all who commented on the Why did I go with 1/60 second when photographing from a boat? question in yesterday’s blog post here. I will follow up on that fairly soon.

The shoulder is the shoulder and the inguinal hernia is the inguinal hernia. Both were again feeling fine all day on Monday. I will be headed out briefly on Tuesday morning and then get ready to fly home that afternoon.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred fifty-four 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.


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.

This image was created on April 7, 2018 at the Riparian Preserve at the Gilbert Water Ranch in Phoenix, AZ. 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 1000. Matrix metering +2/3 stops as framed: 1/500 sec. at f/6.3. AUTO1 WB at 6:42am on a partly overcast morning.

Center Group (grp) AF point/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The array was on the right side of the flock as originally framed. Click on the image to see a larger version

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +6.

Long-billed Dowitchers landing

The Situation

This image was made on the not-so-great Monday morning past. There were lots of flocks of Least Sandpipers flying around. I made about 60 images but kept only one. This is the only frame that I made of the Long-billed Dowitchers and I was quite happy with it. The 600 f/4/TC-E14/D850 combo is quickly becoming an extension of my being, my heart, and my soul.

Anything Funky Here?

Please click on Today’s featured image and if you see anything funky, please leave a comment. Any sloppy Photoshop work? Any mismatches? Anything that does not belong. The more folks take a crack at this one the more fun I will have.

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.

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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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In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

15 comments to Anything Funky Here?

  • avatar James Saxon

    The birds on the far right side of the image don’t seem to have any type of reflection in the water, however, the bird in the top of the photo may be casting a reflection out of the image.

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Warren was close, but … The bird with the apparent one leg is as it was in the original.

    with love, artie on the plane

  • avatar Don M.

    Hello Artie,

    I was shooting in intense snow today, so it’s nice to see an image from a warmer setting!

    I’m wondering about the fifth bird from the left. It’s brighter than the two birds on each side. Its reflection seems more intense and defined, and it doesn’t include the bird’s wing.

    Don M.

  • avatar Jeff

    Reflections seem more vertical than would expect from the apparent direction the birds are moving

  • avatar Joel Eade

    I am wondering about a possible head transplant on the bird in the left half of the frame that is just touching the water…’s neck and head seem to be in a somewhat unnatural position. Or not 🙂

  • avatar Warren Robb

    I think that you removed something objectionable from the right side of the image that also obscured part of one leg of the last bird in the formation. I’ve seen your guide on how to repair clipped wingtips, so maybe there is an orthopedic solution to? Really nice image.

  • avatar David Peake

    Nothing funky that I can see here Artie.

  • avatar Gregg Hunt

    One bird missing a leg . . . .

  • avatar David Policansky

    Good morning, Artie. I don’t see anything “funky,” but I don’t know what the blurry gray band across the image is, about 1/4 of the way from the top and which passes through the two highest birds on the right.