B&H Event Space Programs. And the Beyond-amazing SONY a9 II « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

B&H Event Space Programs. And the Beyond-amazing SONY a9 II

What’s Up?

Dr. Cliff Oliver’s intermittent fasting/keto diet/no insulin plan (suggested originally in part by good friend Anita North), seems to be working quite well. My blood sugar levels are getting close to normal. I weighed 173 pounds this morning, December 8, 2019, and have been feeling and sleeping great. And swimming a half-mile or more every day in a cold (73-degree) pool. I fly to Long Island this coming Tuesday.

Kudos to the incredible Steve Elkins at Bedford Camera; he secured two SONY 600 f/4GM lenses for BIRDS AS ART folks this past week. In the past month, he has delivered many SONY 200-600s, many a7r IV bodies, and several a9 II bodies. He currently has several of the latter in stock.

This blog post took two hours to prepare. Please remember to use a BIRDS AS ART affiliate link when purchasing new gear 🙂 Many thanks for that.

You gotta love that not a single person noted their favorite grackle tree image in the recent blog post on Seeing here. SONY folks might learn a ton from the exchange of comments in the blog post here.

B&H Event Space Programs This Weekk

Photographing Birds in Flight

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 1:00 PM ET – 3:00 PM ET. Speaker: Arthur Morris. Skill Levels: Basic, Intermediate, Advance. Location: B&H Event Space: Second Floor of B&H NYC SuperStore at 420 9th Avenue, New York NY 10001.

This slide-illustrated lecture will feature more than two hundred of Artie’s spectacular photographs of birds in flight. As he shares images from his favorite locations around the globe, he will teach us everything we need to know in order to create striking images of flying avian subjects. The topics to be covered include gear (lenses, camera bodies, tripods, and heads), understanding the importance of wind direction and sky conditions, ideal wing positions, shooting strategies, the best AF modes to use for flight photography with Canon, Nikon, and SONY, the importance of using a good stance, post-processing, getting the right exposure, and image design.

To register to attend or to stream live online, click here.

Photographing Nature in the Galapagos Archipelago

Thursday, December 12, 2019 11:00 AM ET – 1:00 PM ET. Speaker: Arthur Morris. Skill Levels: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced. Location: B&H Event Space: Second Floor of B&H NYC SuperStore at 420 9th Avenue, New York NY 10001.

This slide-illustrated program will feature more than two hundred of Artie’s spectacular photographs of birds, pinnipeds and reptiles created on fourteen BIRDS AS ART Photo-Cruises around the Galapagos. You will learn about the best landings and locations, the great variety of photographic subjects, gear choices, getting the right exposure, image design, and post-processing.

To register to attend or to stream live online, click here.

IPT Updates

  • The 2020 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) WED JAN 8, 2020 thru and including the morning session on SUN JAN 12: 4 1/2 days: $2099.(Limit: 8/Openings: 5)

Click here for complete IPT info and details.


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 over $1000.00, 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 has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H. Those include the SONY a7r IV, the SONY 200-600, the SONY 600mm f/4 GM, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is eager to please.

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 EOS-1DX, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. Most recently the price of used Canon 600mm f/L IS II lenses have been dropping like a rock with the introduction of the 600 III. 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.

The Used Gear page has been hot for the past two months with the continuing price drops on Canon and Nikon gear. There are still lots of great buys right now on the Used Gear Page. In addition to the recent sales below, there are many pending sales.

Recent Sales

Blog-regular Anthony Ardito sold a Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED AF-S VR Zoom lens in like-new condition for the very low price of $799.95 (was $899.95) in early December, 2019.
Ken Siegel sold a Sony A9 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body in mint condition for $2598.00 (was $2698.00) ten days after it was listed.
Josh Anon (son of noted photographer and Photoshop expert Ellen Anon) sold a SONY a7R IV Mirrorless Digital camera body in like-new condition for only $2998.00.
Joe Randle sold his Canon 400mm f4L IS DO USM Telephoto lens (the original 400 DO) in near-mint condition for $1999.00 and a Canon Extender EF @x teleconverter in near mint condition for $229.00 on the second day of listing.
Joe Randle sold a used Canon Extender EF 1.4X teleconverter in near mint condition for $229.00 moments after it was listed in late November 2019.
Ken Siegel sold a Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition for $3299.00 in mid-November soon after listing.
Jerry Barrack sold a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Digital Camera Body in near-mint condition for $ 1,999.00, a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition for $5,799.00, a Canon EOS 7D Mark II camera body in near-mint condition for a BAA record-low $648.00 in early November, 2019.
BAA friend and multiple IPT veteran Paul Reinstein sold his Canon EOS-1D X Mark II body with a shutter count of 40,759 in near-mint condition for $3,599.00 and his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L S II USM lens in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $1195.00 both in mid-November 2019.
I sold my SONY a9 in near-mint condition for $2,597.00 on November 11, 2019.
Jerry Barrack sold his Canon Extender EF 1.4X III teleconverter in near-mint condition and his Canon Extender EF 2X III teleconverter also in near-mint condition, both for a very low $224.00 in early November.
Jerry Barrack also sold a Wimberley WH-101 Gimbal Head w/QR C-30 clamp (the original) and a heavy-duty Gitzo 410 tripod for the silly low price of $399.00.
Peter Noyes sold his Sony Alpha A7R III Mirrorless Digital Camera body in like-new condition with a shutter count of less than 1,000 for $1998.00 the first day it was listed in early November.

Canon EOS-1D X Professional Digital Camera Body & Canon 24-105mm Kit

Price reduced $200 on 7 DEC 2019

IPT veteran Dane Johnson is offering a Canon EOS-1D X in like-new condition (with a low shutter count of < 7,100) along with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Lens in mint condition for the crazy low price of only $2,399.00 (was 2,599.00) with extras!. The sale includes the front body cap, a RRS B1DX-L L-plate (a $250 value), an extra LP-E4N battery (a $165 value), the charger, the original product box with user documents and all cables, the front and rear caps, the original box for the lens along with the EW-83H lens hood, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US lower 48 addresses only. Please contact Dane via e-mail or by phone at 1-559-593-0989.

Several rugged 1D X bodies served as my workhorse cameras for about four years. I made many hundreds of family jewels in all types of weather all around the world. And the Canon 24-105mm was great for B-roll stuff: bird-scapes, quasi-macros, photographers and people, scenics, and just about everything else on the planet. Whenever I would decide to leave it in the car I would not get far before I was wishing that I had taken it along for the ride. Dane’s kit is an incredibly great value for the money. artie

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 December 3, 2019. I used the Induro GIT 404/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter and the blazing fast Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless Digital camera body) that features incredibly accurate AF. ISO 640. Exposure determined by Zebras: 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB at 7:26am in soft early morning light.

Click on the image to see a larger, inexplicably sharper version.

Sandhill Crane, angled flight (slightly off sun angle …)


Simply put, the SONY a9 II has the best AF system by far of any camera body that I have ever used. It performs superbly for birds in flight with the 200-600, the 600GM alone, the 600GM plus the 1.4X teleconverter, and astoundingly, with the 600 GM and the 2X teleconverter. I will be sharing images made at 1200mm with you here soon. In addition, as mentioned here previously, Animal-Eye worked amazingly well on swimming ducks with the tiny box grabbing the eye and not letting go … All of the above despite the fact that I do not fully understand the various AF tracking modes …

Image Question

Does it bother you that the crane was slightly off sun angle? Why or why not?

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects, including and especially the Pacific race of California Brown Pelican. With annual visits spanning more than four decades, I have lots of photographic experience there … Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The 2020 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) WED JAN 8, 2020 thru and including the morning session on SUN JAN 12: 4 1/2 days: $2099.(Limit: 8/Openings: 5)

Introductory Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the evening before the IPT begins; WED JAN 7, 2020.

Join me in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (nesting with eggs and possibly chicks) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heermann’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others are possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lions; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the IPT cards, there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well. Not to mention a ton of excellent flight photography opportunities and instruction.

Please note: where permitted and on occasion, ducks and gulls may be attracted (or relocated) with offerings of grains or healthy bread.

Learning Exposure, Whether You Like It Or Not

Whether you like it or not, we will be beating the subject of exposure like a dead horse. In every new situation, you will hear my thoughts on the exposure situation along with my thoughts on both Nikon and Canon histograms and the subject of blinkies. Whether you like it or not, you will learn to work in manual mode and to get the right exposure every time as long as a bird gives you ten seconds with the light constant. And you will learn what to do when the light is changing constantly. What you learn about exposure will be one of the great takeaways on every IPT.

Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT, there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

It Ain’t Just Pelicans

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography as well. And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication. You will be guided as to how to make the best of all of those opportunities. And depending on the weather and local conditions and tides, there are a variety of fabulous photo chances available in and around San Diego.


Did I mention that there are lots of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter? Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The San Diego Details

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, four lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. And so that we can get some sleep, dinners will be on your own.

A $599 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 3385, or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 10/11//2018. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for both big international trips and US-based IPTs is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality travel insurance. Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options you can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check or running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance, be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.


Variety is surely the spice of life in San Diego. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Getting Up Early and Staying Out Late

On all BIRDS AS ART IPTS including and especially the San Diego IPT, we get into the field early to take advantage of unique and often spectacular lighting conditions and we stay out late to maximize the chances of killer light and glorious sunset silhouette situations. We often arrive at the cliffs a full hour before anyone else shows up to check out the landscape and seascape opportunities.

If In Doubt …

If you are 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 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 or Bedfords, 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 or Bedfords 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.


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

9 comments to B&H Event Space Programs. And the Beyond-amazing SONY a9 II

  • avatar Jess

    Most diets are fads that come and go. Be very mindful of keto diet which encourages high fat intake, which can be extremely dangerous for the heart.

    If you are looking for a healthy lifestyle, then please watch the movie Game Changers on Netflix. Good luck.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Jess,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I learned long ago that fat is bad for us only in diets that are high in simple carbs and sugars, i.e., SAD: the standard American diet … The point of keto is to burn fat for energy instead of sugar. In total, your thinking which reflects that of Western Medicine, is know in Alternative Medicine circles as the Big Fat Lie. Also a believer in Big Fat Lies is the nooted endocrinologist Dr. Richard K. Bernstein, author of the The Diabetes Solution.

      As far as fads, I agree. Unless you look at a program as simply a new way of life. At age 18 I weighed 264. Probably in the 220s in my twenties. Then down into the the 190s and then the 180s. Now I am seeming pretty constant between 173 and 174. So I have pretty much managed to eat consistently well and not do the roller coaster thing that I did when I was younger. On a grand scale it has all been downhill since 264 pounds 🙂

      In addition, Dr. Oliver started me on a program of three 30-second bursts with short rest periods in between. I keep a detailed record of my pulse rates during the exercises an d in about a month the improvements have been startling — resting pulse rate well down, and recovery time improved.

      I’ll see if I can get hold of the movie.

      withj love, artie

      • avatar Jess

        Having been on paleo and then keto, and now being on whole food plant based, the changes for me have been amazing. Cardiologist Dr Ornish and Dr. Esselstyn put all their patients on WFPB, saving their lives. And the best part of WFPB, you get to eat carbs which gives you energy and there is no weight gain. I have more energy now then when I was on keto or paleo. Basically, it’s ALL plant based food in its whole form.

        I have very selfish reasons to post this here – your blogs are very helpful and I need you to be around a long time Good luck and yes, please watch the movie!

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Glad that it works for you. I tried vegan for a while but my blood sugars ran too high, that with insulin. My waking blood sugar this morning was 77 and six hours later without food it was 78. No dawn effect! I will see how I do without the cold-water swimming …

          with love, a

  • avatar James Saxon

    No, it doesn’t bother me. I like the shadow under the wing because it adds some depth.

  • avatar Warren Howe

    I also like the way the closer wing is more fully lit by being slightly off sun angle. If you were right on sun angle, there may have been a slight shadow under BOTH wings. I like this look better.

  • avatar Paul Burdett

    My eye seems to be drawn to the shadow, on the wing, so for me it’s somewhat distracting.

  • avatar Ray Rozema

    I agree with David. Being slightly off sun angle made for pleasing shadow.

  • avatar David Policansky

    No, it doesn’t bother me a bit that the crane was slightly off sun angle. Sometimes the shadows are really pleasing.

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