The Best That I Can Do … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Best That I Can Do ...


John Dupps and Jim Dolgin and I spent Saturday morning at Gatorland as planned. 2018 has been the worst year in recent memory for the rookery; Saturday morning yielded few good opportunities other than some early morning Cattle Egret head portraits, a bit of Wood Stork with nesting material flight photography, and a young Water Moccasin along the Swamp Trail.

John Dupps learned that he would need to leave on Saturday afternoon so I broached the idea to Jim about our getting up very early and driving to Black Point Drive at Merritt Island NWR on Titusville. It is 5:32am on Sunday morning and we are less than an hour away.

The answer to the Nikon Dummy quiz and a few more “catch-ups” will be the subject of tomorrow’s blog post.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred seventy-two days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one about 90 minutes 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.

Thanks to the Patient Ones …

With the injured shoulder, the recently concluded DeSoto IPT, and the hernia surgery, I have gotten more than a bit behind on e-mails; many thanks for your patience. I have had lots more time coming up and should be completely caught up soon.


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 DeSoto IPT used the Booking.Com link below, 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 photographers 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 the 2nd afternoon of the 2018 Gatorland IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the blazingly fast Nikon D5 DSLR Camera (Body Only, Dual XQD Slots). ISO 800. Three clicks open from the bright white exposure got me to 1/3200 sec. at f/5.0 in Manual mode. SUNNY WB at 6:41pm on a clear day.

Center Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. See below for the placement of the array.

Click on the image to see a larger version and enjoy the incredible sharpness of today’s featured image.

Double-crested Cormorant in Breeding plumage

The Situation

The three of us spent Friday afternoon photographing cormorants coming into the nest tree across the gator moat. Other subjects included fly-by Wood Storks, Great and Snowy Egrets, and Black Vultures. And just before we left, we had a gorgeous below-eye-level fly-by immature Little Blue Heron; I was sure that I nailed a top shot but did not; operator error. In any case, the sun was going in and out and with the white and black and black & white subjects conditions were perfect for working in Manual mode. One of the more recent improvements that I have made in my technique is to go immediately from ISO 400 to ISO 800 or 1000 as soon as the sun slips behind a cloud. After that, it will usually take only one or two more shutter speed clicks to wind up with the perfect exposure That said, I do not mind working at IS 800 when the sun is out for black subjects so that I am able to maintain a high shutter speed. Had I dropped down to ISO 400 for today’s featured image my shutter speed would have been reduced to 1/1600.

I made today’s featured image when this bird jumped off the perch tree and flew slightly to our left.

The Nikon View NXi Screen Capture

The Best That I Can Do

With a perfect histogram, a nicely designed image, the Group AF points positioned almost perfectly, and the D5 doing its job well, today’s featured image is about as good as I can do. With many of the landing images my panning was less than perfect and I wound up with the Group array too far down on the bird, on the belly, or even worse, on the feet. The results there were the absence of the superb sharpness on the eye that we see in today’s featured image.

In an absolutely perfect world the Group array would have been centered on the bird’s head …

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.


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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 :).

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