Keep or Delete? Why? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Keep or Delete? Why?

What’s Up?

Back home and working hard. Swimming every day. If you have a moment, please check out yesterday’s blog post here and let us know which of the six featured images is your favorite and why? Only two folks left their opinions yesterday … The blog is designed to be interactive; the more folks who comment, the more everyone learns — including me.

Last Gatorland In-the-Field Session of the Season: Sunday May 12, 2019.

Join me at Gatorland this Sunday and learn a ton. It will be prime time for Cattle Egrets in breeding plumage, we might even have a shot at some Little Blue Herons, and there will still be lots of chicks of all sizes. There were still some nests with eggs on my last visit. Learn to shoot in the shade on sunny days! Most folks who visit Gatorland simply have no clue. Join me to learn how to photograph at easily accessible rookeries. An intermediate telephoto lens is all that you will need. I will have two of those and my 600 VR. Learn to think and see like a pro. A loaner FlexShooter Pro will be available.

Morning Session — 7-10am: $200.00
Morning Session with a 90-minute working lunch including image review and Photoshop: $300.00.

FlexShooter Pro

You can order your FlexShooter Pro from the BAA Online Store right now for $599.00 plus the shipping by clicking here, or by phone at 863-692-0906. We started with twenty units and expect the rest of those to be gone quickly as we have sold four already by word of mouth …

More on the FlexShooter Pro

We have already sold 19 of the 20 heads that we received in our first shipment. We have re-ordered and should have them in stock by the very end of next week (or the following Monday at worst). Folks are encouraged to place their orders now by phone; your card will not be charged until your head ships. Once folks have a chance to play with a friend’s FlexShooter Pro, or meet me in the field with my 600 VR, I expect sales to boom. Think that I am full of it? Do you remember when everyone used Gitzo tripods? Today, all that you see in the world of nature photography are Induro tripods. Folks always gravitate to gear that is better, well made, more efficient, and less expensive …

This Just In!

We are now officially sold out. I do have one barely used FlexShooter Pro head, the one with the very slightly smaller knob (11/16″ vs 7/8″) for sale. If I had not mentioned the difference in the size of the knobs nobody would have noticed. In any case, if you would like to save $50 I’d be glad to sell it for $549.00. Phone orders only to 863-692-0906 between 10:15am and 1:00pm Friday or any time on Monday (if it lasts that long). Again, if you want to be assured of getting one from our next shipment it would be to place a phone order as above. Your card will not be billed until your item ships.

A Comment by Daniel Gomez-Ibanez

I’ve had a chance to try the FlexShooter Pro that I ordered from BAA a few times during the last week. I am using it in place of my 4th Generation Design Mongoose 3.6. I really like the new head, not only because it maintains the level but especially because it is much, much easier to adjust the tension than on the Mongoose. It is easy to find and set exactly the right amount of tension on the rig — in my case a Canon 800mm f/5.6 or a 300mm f/2.8 (sometimes with 2x extension) and the 1D-X Mark 2. I think the smoother tension makes it easier to keep the rig perfectly steady when photographing with the FlexShooter (as compared to the Mongoose). Sometimes the Mongoose jiggled a bit even when I was using your good bracing (sharpness) techniques, but that doesn’t seem to happen with the FlexShooter. I’m wondering if you’ve experienced the same advantage with the FlexShooter’s tension adjustment. It is nice also having the FlexShooter’s single tension knob rather than two as on the Mongoose. Has that been a factor aS FAR AS using the new ball head for flight photos?

Thanks for making this good ballhead easily available in the U.S. — and at no greater cost than ordering it from Hungary.

My Reply

Thanks for your purchase Daniel. Yes, the tension settings on the FlexShooter are mega. And I agree that the single control is a big plus; as I’ve been saying, the Silver Bullet Knob is our best friend! I used the Mongoose for well more than a decade because it was the best and lightest available, and it was and is a lot, lot better than some of the crappy knock-offs, and a lot, lot lighter than the Wimberley V2. And yes again — both the smooth, easily adjustable tension and the ease of operation were factors that I considered before deciding to go to the FlexShooter Pro full time.

YAW, and thanks again for your purchase. I hope to see you on an IPT one of these days.

with love, artie

ps: Please note that we are able to sell them for less than if you had to have them shipped from Hungary . 🙂

This image was created on May 6, 2019, on the last afternoon of the DeSoto Sandbar Secrets IPT. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens and my souped-up Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering as framed: 1/640 sec. at f/7.1 in Manual mode was, as you can see by the histogram, close to three stops underexposed. AUTO1 WB at 8:06pm just after sunset.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +4. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

One down and one to the right of center Group (grp) AF/Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) was active at the moment of exposure. See the Nikon Capture NX-D screen capture below to learn a ton.

Photo Mechanic screen capture

Click on the image if you would like to read the fine print.


#1: What is the bird?

##2: Would you keep this image? (There were no others in the series.) Why or why not?

#3: If you have any idea has to how I wound up so many stops under-exposed, please leave a comment?

If In Doubt …

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17 comments to Keep or Delete? Why?

  • avatar Ned

    Its not a flaming orange, so the silhouette doesn’t look that great. I would only keep it in a “learning” catalog – for days when I want to review missed chances from the past.

  • Hey Arthur, I think this is a tern. Sandwich or royal i don’t know. I would delete this. Bird is to small in the frame. Would require a massive crop. I’m guessing you didn’t have time to change settings so just hit the shutter.

  • 1 type of tern, Royal or Sandwich based on yesterdays blog?
    2 I like it I’d keep, he’s a little centered but you saw the action and
    3 were shooting sunset with sun in the shot when the bird came thru and had no time to make any exposure compensation or adjustments. When you see action make the shot and don’t worry about changing settings. (Someone once or twice has said). Your asking David what was in the frame makes me think the sun.

  • avatar Ryan Sanderson

    Structure of the bird suggests Least Tern.

  • I would crop from the bottom and right side a lot to put the tern? in the bottom right third of the photo, then keep if sharp enough.

  • Hi, Artie. I would keep the image as a silhouette of the bird against an orange background. With the great dynamic range of D850, you can recover a lot of the underexposure and with the megapixels, do a tight crop to make the bird bigger in the frame. This would be similar to your little blue heron pic posted on Feb 12th. (or similar to mine here

  • avatar Brendan

    I like the photo. The color and light is beautiful. The bird looks like a skimmer to me, though its hard to tell. I’d probably try to re-position the bird more towards the bottom right. It feels too central as it is.

  • avatar David Policansky


    #1: What is the bird? A: It looks like a tern to me, I’d guess a big one like a royal tern. It seems to be carrying a fish.

    ##2: Would you keep this image? (There were no others in the series.) Why or why not? : A: I don’t know. I’d try to process it, probably by trimming (cropping) it some and making it lighter. Depending on how successful my efforts were, I’d keep it or not.

    #3: If you have any idea has to how I wound up so many stops under-exposed, please leave a comment? A: I’d guess you were photographing the sunset (or sunrise), perhaps with birds, and then you saw this bird and quickly took the photograph without adjusting the exposure.

  • avatar Jeff Friedhoffer

    1. Skimmer
    2. With significant work it might be decent, shows environment.
    3. Should have been in manual mode

  • avatar Jonathan Ashton

    the Flexball looks very much the same as the “Uniqball” to me apart from the fact it is black as opposed to red. What changes have been made?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Looks can be deceiving. I tried the UniqBall many years ago. As it did not (and still does not) have the patented spring-loaded counter balance feature, it was (and still is) pretty much worthless, and double that for long lenses …

      with love, artie

      ps: I would love to read your comment on the image 🙂

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