It’s Always Satisfying When … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

It's Always Satisfying When ...


I spent all day on Friday with IPT veteran Jim Dolgin. He was floored by Nickerson! The morning was excellent and the afternoon was even better. It is still not too late to join me next Tuesday and Wednesday. And there is still room for the JBWR shorebirds in the mud sessions; scroll down for the details. I was glad to learn that the sale of Todd Koudelka’s Can 5D Mark IV has been finalized and that the sale of his old Canon 500mm f/4L IS is pending. (He wanted to lower the price on the lens but I told him that the price as spot on and asked him to be patient.

News on the Galapagos Front

Right now I have six deposits for the 2019 Galapagos Photo Cruise … The trip needs ten registered in about two months to run. If the archipelago is on your bucket list, please get in touch via e-mail with questions. If you might be registering with a friend or a spouse do ask about the two at a time discount. See the complete details here.

The Podcast YouTube Link

You can view and comment on the Understand Photography podcast on YouTube here.

The Topics

As many of you know, I had great fun doing the 100th Understand Photography episode with Peggy Farren in Naples last Friday afternoon past. We talked in depth about my getting fired by Canon as an Explorer of Light, my switch from Canon to Nikon, the pros and cons of each system for bird photographers, the best tripod head for bird photography, and lots more. And we did get to include the Long Lens Sharpness Misconceptions and Tips demo.

Long Island Small Group Instruction

I will be returning to my old haunts on Long Island from 15-27 August, prime time for bird photography. The schedules below may be expanded based on demand.

Skimmer Sessions

Join me at Nickerson Beach to photograph Black Skimmers and lots more. Gull predation of young skimmers is likely. With full frame bodies, a minimum of a 500mm lens with TCs is recommended. 400mm OK with crop factor bodies.

Skimmer Morning: Tuesday AUG 21, 2018. 5:30 – 9:00am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4.
Skimmer Afternoon (usually best for flight): Tuesday AUG 21, 2018. 5:00pm till sunset: $250/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.
Skimmer Morning: Wednesday, AUG, 22, 2018. 5:30 – 9:00am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4.
Skimmer Afternoon (usually best for flight): Wednesday AUG 22, 2018. 5:00pm till sunset: $250/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.

Please inquire e-mail for multiple session discounts.

To register, please call Jim or Jen with your credit card in hand: 863-692-0906. I hope that you can join me.

Shorebird Sessions

Join me at the East Pond at Jamaica Bay WR on the ideal tides to photograph southbound migrant juvenile shorebirds. With full frame bodies, a minimum of a 500mm lens with TCs is recommended. 400mm OK with crop factor bodies.

Important note: The Shorebird Mornings are dependent on suitable water levels at the East Pond. If the pond is flooded, the sessions will be conducted at Nickerson Beach.

JBwR Shorebird Morning: Friday, AUG 24, 2018. 6:00 – 9:30am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.
JBwR Shorebird Morning: Saturday, AUG 25, 2018. 6:00 – 9:30am plus a working brunch: $375/session. Limit 4/Openings 3.

Please inquire via e-mail for multiple session discounts.

To register, please call Jim or Jen with your credit card in hand: 863-692-0906. I hope that you can join me.


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

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Pierre Williot

I would encourage anyone who wants to sell some of their photographic equipment to contact Art. High-end photographic equipment can be difficult to sell. Art, with is widely read daily posts, will allow you to sell your equipment fairly easily for a reasonable price and commission. Please, seriously consider the price that he suggests as it can be hard to face the reality of the actual value of well loved equipment! Art is well aware of the current market for second-hand photographic equipment.

Used Gear Page News

After a month or so in the summer doldrums, sales on the Used Gear page have been picking up recently.

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!

Hard to Find Nikon Stuff Available Now

Steve Elkins has several Nikon D850s in stock right now. In addition, he has a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and an AF-S 180-400mm f/4E TC1.4 FL ED VR lens in stock! E-mail Steve about a special deal on either big Nikon lens. The 180-400, like its Canon counterpart, the EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM with Internal Extender 1.4x lens — is especially great for trips to Africa, the Southern Ocean, or the Galapagos.


Several folks on the UK IPT used the Booking.Com link below for there Edinburgh hotels, 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 morning of Friday, August 17 at Nickerson Beach. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 800. Matrix metering -2/3 stop off the grasses: 1/1250 sec. at f/4.5 in Manual mode. AUTO1 WB at 7:46am just as the sun was breaking through the very light clouds on the eastern horizon.

Center Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. Though the upper point in the array was on the base of the bird’s tail as originally framed, the image is sharp on the eye. This image was cropped a bit from the left and from below. Sharp D850 images stand up well to even larger crops.

Phase detection AF Fine-tune value: +1. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Black Skimmer backlit braking to land

It’s Always Satisfying When …

It is always satisfying when you analyze a situation, visualize the best possible image, and then create it. As the sun broke through the haze, I said to Jim, “With the breeze from the southwest, the money shot will be the incoming skimmers braking to land while backlit by the rising sun.”

The Lesson

For front-lit bird photography, you want both the wind and the sun from behind you. That was the birds are flying and landing toward you and toward the light. But for backlit bird photography, the opposite conditions are perfect. So with the southwest wind in the sun rising in the northeast, going for backlit images was an obvious choice. Understand also that with brightly colored skies at sunrise and sunset that wind against sun conditions are perfect for creating dramatic silhouettes.

Like it Or Hate It?

Feel free to critique today’s featured image. Like it or hate it, please be sure to state why.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my 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 :).

14 comments to It’s Always Satisfying When …

  • The image in terms of the bird’s pose and your capture is quite stunning…as I would expect.

    There is however a processing issue which reveals itself in both wings. There appears to be a selection line which I can see running in the proximate part of the primaries. It appears there is an abrupt change in contrast and possibly noise with individual feathers. I also see a line in the tail feathers and can only imagine that this is part of the same selection line.

    Hope this helps.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Adrian, Good eyes and you are most correct. That was some sloppy work by me; I need to re-do the image, with thanks.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Shiraz Matheen

    Hello Artie,
    Love the image, in beautiful light and the golden color effect on the wing tips.

  • avatar Jake Levin

    Love it! Not sure what there would be to hate in this image except that it’s not done in the orthodox front-lit style. Colours are beautiful, great pose, and the composition is excellent.

  • Hi Artie

    This Contrejours image is what Birds is Art is all about, now and again we get something special, ” this is special ”

    Best and love

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Great image! Why, because it is Beautiful!

  • avatar Byron Prinzmetal

    Could not be more perfect. It is the best image I seen that you have published with your Nikon gear.

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    Everything is beautiful in this image–the sun backlighting the wings with gorgeous color; the OOF background; the water sparkles in the grass; the bird just at the top of the grass for perfect composition; excellent detail in the shadows. All gorgeous.
    I’m curious what your ACR adjustments were?

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    hi Artie,
    Stunning! i absolutely love everything about this. I love the way you framed it, love seeing how the light highlights the wing tips, love the look on the bird’s face, love the white feather detail. The light reflecting off the grass is stellar!
    Absolutely beautiful!

  • avatar Carol Nichols

    Absolutely stunning image. The light shining through the wings and reflecting off the grasses really makes it for me.

  • avatar Guido Bee

    Super image. Exposure of the whites under the wings with detail and the color coming through the wing tips is impressive to me. Even held white in the eye. Be well.

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    Gorgeous! Love the back-lighting.

  • avatar Paul

    Absolutely love this shot! One of my favorites of yours! Bravo!