My Favorite Part « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Favorite Part


I woke early on Saturday to spend the morning with BPN-friend Joe Przybyla who kindly shared his favorite spots in Lakeland with me. It was my first time out with my new, very own Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens. As I already knew after borrowing IPT veteran Michael Goodman’s 500 PF and taking (and using) it on the Emperor Penguin trip, the lens is amazing. It is tiny for a 500mm and pretty much anyone can hand hold it for hours. And the lens is beyond sharp … It is no wonder that this lens is pre-order only and is virtually impossible to get right now. And with only a trickle of these lenses becoming available that situation may persist for quite some time. Though we did not have a great day bird photography-wise we both had a great time and we both made some great images. You gotta love tame Florida birds.

I was glad to learn that IPT veteran Morris Herstein signed up for the Hooptie Deux Spoonbill IPT. That makes four; I believe that there is just one slot left.

DeSoto Early Winter IPT Late Registration Discount!

Please e-mail me directly if you are interested in learning about the substantial late registration discount for this IPT. Because both folks who have signed up have expressed an interest in learning to micro-adjust their gear, I will be bringing my LensAlign unit and the complete lighting set-up. Do consider joining us if you would like to do the same. See below for details. From Ed Dow via blog comment: For anyone contemplating the Fort Desoto trip, jump on it. I don’t think anybody knows that area like Artie. I was pretty much new to bird photography and he got me into position to create many shots that I treasure.


  • The 2018 Fort DeSoto Early Winter IPT/Thursday December 7 through the morning session on Monday December 10, 2018: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1549. Limit 8/Openings: 5.
  • Falklands Land-based IPT DEC 22, 2018 thru JAN 5, 2019/Two Weeks: Sold out.
  • 2019 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) SUN JAN 20, 2019 thru and including the morning session on THURS JAN 24: 4 1/2 days: $2099. (Limit: 8/Openings: 1) Introductory Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the evening before the IPT begins: THURS, 6 DEC.
  • The 2019 Hooptie Deux/Roseate Spoonbill Boat 3 1/2 DAY IPT — FEB 16 thru 19, 2019: $2599.00. Limit: 5 photographers/Openings: 1.
  • The New, Expanded 2019 UK Puffins, Gannets, & Red Kites IPT. Thursday June 27 (from EDI) through Tuesday, July 9, 2019 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 10.): $9,999. Limit 10 photographers — needs four to run. Co-leader: Peter Kes.
  • The GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 23 to August 6, 2019 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $14,499. Limit: 12 photographers/Openings: 4.


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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 here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

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. Steve currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.

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 September 27, 2018 on the last day of the Fort DeSoto Fall IPT. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR AF lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and my souped up Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering at about zero: 1/2500 sec. at f/8 in Manual Mode. NATURAL AUTO WB at 8:41am on a dead-clear morning.

Center/Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuous (AI Servo with Canon) AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure. The array was centered on the bird’s neck just behind and below its face.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune was a significant +5. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Roseate Spoonbill foraging/tight head, while seated

What to Do When the Spoonbills Get Too, Too Close? Go for Head Shots!

In the What to Do When the Spoonbills Get Too, Too Close blog post here, I wrote: What is your favorite part of this image. I’d bet that nobody picks my favorite part … My answer in two or three days.

My favorite part of Roseate Spoonbill foraging/tight head, while seated

My Favorite Part of the Image

The full frame image proved to be very popular. Different folks liked different parts of the image. Lots of folks go close to my favorite parts but no cigars were lit; thanks to all who commented. As above, my part part of the image was and is the three bits of pink reflections in the blue water. I am intrigued as to just where the pink reflections came from; are they from an unseen bird in the background or a reflection of some part of the subject? Feel free to share your thoughts.

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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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7 comments to My Favorite Part

  • avatar Dr. Allen Rothman

    As a loyal fan of Canon cameras and lenses, including multiple lenses from super wide to 600 mm and multiple bodies and accessories, what do you recommend considering that a new series of fixed mirrors and systems are now available by Nikon and Canon?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Allen, I am not sure what you are referring to when you say “a new series of fixed mirrors and systems.” Are you referring to the mirrorless bodies like the EOS R and the Nikon Z7?


  • Hey David, your comment and question made me smile. No relation that I know of but I do see her on television occasionally. Thank you for asking.


    • avatar David Policansky

      Thank you, Joe. Is it a Polish name? Is it pronounced “Prisbila”? You and Carl Yasztremski (Hall of Fame left fielder for the Boston Red Sox in the 1960s and 1970s). πŸ™‚


  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I love the reflections of the water on the bird–called “caustics”–especially around its neck and wing. It’s a wonderful image.

    I can’t help asking if Joe is related to the journalist Heidi Przybyla. That’s not a name you see every day.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks David. I just love learning new words and concepts. I took greater pleasure watching the caustics in the pool as I swam on a sunny afternoon yesterday than I did in the past!

      Do you remember how and when you learned that word?

      with love, artie