The R5-RF 100-500 Deed is Done; Thanks Steve! Why? Lots of reasons, but in part, because of Funky Flight Photos … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The R5-RF 100-500 Deed is Done; Thanks Steve! Why? Lots of reasons, but in part, because of Funky Flight Photos ...

What’s Up?

The birds on the pier railings are forever painting the floor boards with whitewash. As I walk, I see all sorts of Rorschach birds and animals in the patterns of the white poop. As it was cloudy-grey on Wednesday morning, I walked the pier with the SONY 100-400 and an a9 ii and photographed many of the whitewash creatures from directly above (thanks to the less-than-one meter MFD of the SONY 100-400 lens.). I will be sharing some of those imaginary creatures with you here soon.

The artie-the-ILE-eagle blog post will be delayed about a week as Patrick and I explore an amazing new program that will thrill SONY Users around the world. More on that soon. Promise.

Work on the RawDigger e-Guide is on temporary hold until I can get with Patrick to iron out a single sticking point. I am hoping that that will happen this coming weekend.

There was an excellent exchange of comments at yesterday’s Geoff Newhouse Short-eared Owl blog post here. Those included two by Geoff as he answered the “which is better SONY a9 ii or Canon R5?” questions.

All are invited to take the Multiple Choice/Fill-in Quiz below.

Today is Wednesday 13 January 2021. I peeked out the door at 7:15am to see that Polk County is currently covered by a huge, grey soft box sky. I will head down with my photo gear to see what’s what. Read on to see why I wish I had my Canon rig for this very cloudy morning. This blog past makes twenty-four days in a row with a new blog post. This one took about three hours to prepare. Please remember …

Please Remember

With income from IPTs approaching zero, please, if you enjoy and learn from the blog, remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so just might make it possible for me to avoid having to try to get a job as a Walmart greeter and will not cost you a single penny more. And if you use Bedfords and remember to enter the BIRDSASART code at checkout, you will save 3% on every order and enjoy free second-day air shipping. In these crazy times — I am out at least forty to sixty thousand dollars so far due to COVID 19 (with lots more to come) — remembering to use my B&H link or to shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes can always help out by clicking here if they see fit.

Via e-Mail from Bill Dummitt

Hi Artie, Everything sold! Thank you for the help with pricing and selling all the lenses. It was invaluable. Some happy folks now own new lenses and I am almost 4K to the good. Bill

The BAA Used Gear Page

The Used Gear page continues to be very active. The BAA Used Gear Page is the place to sell your used photographic equipment. We will help you to get your gear sold quickly for 20 to 60% or more than what the big guys are offering … Doubt me? Check out the Recent Sales list for the past eleven months at the bottom of the page.

RawDigger e-Guide and Video Advance Copy Available

Save $10 Now

The RawDigger e-Guide and Video is almost finished. It will sell for $51.00. If you are anxious to get started with RawDigger, learn to mega-Expose to the Right, and wind up with the highest quality image files, you can save $10.00 and have a chance to review a pre-publication copy of the guide by sending a PayPal for $41.00 to with the words RawDigger e-Guide and Video Pre-publication Copy cut and pasted into the Subject line. The recent delay is the result of my recent conversations with Iliah Borg, the brains behind RawDigger. It is very likely that the Shock-your-World section will shock you.

In the new guide, we teach you why the GREEN channel is almost always the first to over-expose. We teach you how to interpret the Max G values. And most recently, we teach you a simple way to evaluate your exposures using an adapted RawDigger histogram. And tons more, of course. I am planning on having the RawDigger guide ready for sale by next Monday. Folks who saved $10.00 by pre-ordering will of course receive a link to the final PDF.

Canon R5/R6 AF e-Guide Info

So far, 71 folks have sent PayPals for their copy of the Canon R5/R6 AF e-Guide. And 28 who used my affiliate links to purchase their R5 have e-mailed for and received their free copy of the guide. If you e-mailed or sent a PayPal and did not receive your guide, please LMK immediately via e-mail.

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far. Three folks wrote stating that they had a better way of setting up AF on their R5s. When I wrote back explaining why they were in error, two of them back-tracked. One stubborn guy is still doing it his way — less efficiently. Be sure to scroll down to read about my plans for a Canon R5/R6 User’s e-Guide. Understand that the info in the BAA Canon R5/R6 Autofocus e-Guide is so important that I opted to publish the AF guide immediately as the R5/R6 User’s Guide will take at least a month to finish.

BAA Canon R5/R6 Autofocus e-Guide

Twenty-one pages. 3,452 words. 28-DPP4 screen captures showing the R5’s vaunted AF system in action. Note: the AF system of the R5 is identical to the AF system of the R6.

You will learn:

1- The two most useful AF Methods for general bird photography and for birds in flight.

2- How to set up your R5/R6 AF Menus.

3- What boxes to check (and un-check) under Limit AF Methods.

4- How to change the AF Method quickly, easily, and efficiently. Note: the default way of doing this is clunky, cumbersome, and inefficient at best. One person replied that this tip alone was worth the price of admission.

5- The only setting that should be used for Initial Servo AF pt for Face Detection + Tracking.

I you are currently using multiple back buttons either for general bird photography or for birds in flight, what you learn in this guide will change your life. For the better.

Here are the first three paragraphs of this e-Guide:

From the moment I learned about the new Canon mirrorless bodies, I read about using two or three back-buttons to focus using different AF methods. The word on the street said that the way to go for birds in flight was to use one button to acquire focus with Zone AF or with Large Zone: Horizontal AF and then switch to another button to activate Face Detection + Tracking AF and then use the shutter button to make an image. My immediate thought was, β€œThis is insanity! There has got to be a better way.” In short, there is a far superior way to set up AF on your R5 or R6.

Remember that I got away from any form of back-button or rear focusing many years ago after finally realizing that it is always easier to do one thing (press the shutter button), than it is to do two things (press a back button and then press the shutter button).

The default method of switching AF Methods with the R5/R6 bodies is cumbersome at best. It involves first pressing the grid button (my name) on the upper right back of the camera and then pressing the hard-to-access M-Fn button to toggle through the AF Methods. This method is so bad that it will not be mentioned again in this guide.

The guide is free to all who have ordered an R5 or an R6 using my B&H affiliate link or from Steve Elkins/Bedfords using the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout. Please send your receipt to me via e-mail. It will take me a few days to a week to verify the B&H purchases. Bedfords folks should expect their free e-Guides fairly quickly.

To purchase your copy of the e-Guide, please send a PayPal for $25.00 to and be sure to include the words R5/R6 AF Guide in your PayPal e-mail.

Everyone who gets the guide will receive a free update no later than the first week in January.

Canon R5/R6 User’s e-Guide

I am working on a complete Canon R5/R6 User’s e-Guide. This will require a lot of research, a lot of time, and a lot of effort. I am hoping to have it complete by mid- to late January. As always, folks who use the BAA affiliate links to purchase their Canon gear will receive a substantial discount.

Understand that the info in the BAA Canon R5/R6 Autofocus e-Guide is so important that I opted to publish the AF guide right off the bat to help folks get started with their new camera bodies.

Great Topaz News!

Folks who use the BAA Topaz link to purchase Sharpen AI, DeNoise AI, or the Utility Bundle (or any other Topaz plugins) will receive a 15% discount by entering the ARTHUR15 code at checkout. To get the discount you must use my link and you must enter the discount code. Be sure to start with this link.

Topaz Stuff

As I said just a while back and have said often many times before, I should have listened sooner. If you, like me, are new to the Topaz party, please use this link to purchase. Right now I can wholeheartedly recommend both Topaz Sharpen AI and Topaz DeNoise AI. Though I have not yet worked with JPEGtoRAW AI or Gigapixel AI, I have installed both of these plug-ins and look forward to trying them on some I-Phone 11 images fairly soon. If you are thinking like me, consider the Utility Bundle that includes all four plug-ins mentioned above at a money-saving price.

Again, those who purchase Sharpen AI or DeNoise AI using my link, can e-mail to request a short Getting Started with Topaz e-Guide. I had a bit of trouble getting the two plug-ins installed and having them appear in the Photoshop Filter Menu. In addition, I will explain how to best learn about the two plug-ins by applying them on a Layer (in Photoshop).

132 sold to rave reviews.

The SONY e-Guide by Patrick Sparkman and Arthur Morris

The Sony Camera User’s e-Guide (and Videos)

Click here to purchase the guide with one Camera Set-up Video. Be sure to e-mail us by clicking here to specify your camera body so that we can send you a link for the correct video.

Click here to purchase the guide with two Camera Set-up Videos. Be sure to e-mail us by clicking here to specify your two camera bodies so that we can send you links for the correct videos.

Click here to learn more about the SONY e-Guide.

Folks who have used my B&H affiliate links or purchased their SONY gear are invited to e-mail for discount information.

New and Better Bedfords Discount Policy!

You can now save 3% on all of your Bedfords photo gear purchases by entering the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout. Your discount will be applied to your pre-tax total. In addition, by using the code you will get 2nd day air shipping via Fed Ex.

Grab a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and save $14.99. Purchase a Canon EOS R5 and your discount will be $116.97. Purchase a Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and save a remarkable $389.94! Your Bedford’s purchase no longer needs to be greater than $1,000.00 for you to receive a discount. The more you spend, the more you save.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would enjoy free overnight shipping, your best bet is to click here, place an order with Bedfords, and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If an item is out of stock, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592 (Central time). Be sure to mention the BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order to save 3% and enjoy free 2nd-day air shipping. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The wait lists at the big stores can be a year or longer for the hard to get items. Steve will surely get you your gear long before that. For the past year, he has been helping BAA Blog folks get their hands on items like the SONY a9 ii, the SONY 200-600 G OSS lens, the Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 100-500mm lens, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is personable, helpful, and eager to please.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs (remember those?) 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.

Screen Capture courtesy of Steve Elkins

Image #1: Bedfords Receipt for my very own Canon Rig

The Deed is Done; Thanks Steve!

I returned my Canon loaner gear, the EOS R5/RF 100-500/RF 1.4X teleconverter rig, on 4 January 2021. It took less than 10 days for Steve Elkins at Bedford Camera and Video to get a Canon rig for me. Thanks as always, Steve!

Notice that I did not order the vertical battery grip. I’d rather keep one extra battery in my fanny pack than sacrifice any of the weight advantage. I did order an extra battery (out of necessity), but they are back-ordered. I’ve run a Canon battery down while working on the guide without every releasing the shutter!

This image was created on 3 January 2021 on the pier at ILE. I used the handheld Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens (at 500mm) and the highly touted 45MP Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 3200: 1/500 sec. at f/8 in Shutter-Priority AE mode. At 8:01am on a cloudy morning.

Image #2: Double-crested Cormorant funky flight


So why did I purchase the Canon gear above?

  • 1- I need it in order to finish the BAA EOS R5/R6 Camera Users Guide.
  • 2- The rig is relatively small, is light in weight, and is a breeze to handhold.
  • 3- The under 4-foot MFD offers 0.33x magnification at 500mm and makes the lens great for quasi-macro work.
  • 4- The Face Detection + Tracking AF is — though less than perfect — an amazing and intriguing technology that I need to explore further.
  • 5- I did not have many chances to do flight. Oh, how I’d love to head to San Diego right now …
  • 6- The in-camera Multiple Exposure (ME) and HDR (High Dynamic Range) features are a ton of fun and are great for lazy folks like me. Yes, you can assemble your own ME and HDR images after the fact, but that takes a ton of time and effort. The latter approach is not for me.
  • 7- I want to be able to try to create more (and even better) funky flight images on cloudy days.

This image was created on 2 January 2021 on the pier at ILE. I used the handheld Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens (at 500mm) and the highly touted 45MP Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 10000: 1/500 sec. at f/7.1 in Shutter-Priority AE mode. At 5:43pm on a very cloudy afternoon.

Image #3: Cattle Egret flock funky flight

Funky Flight Photos

While neither of today’s feature images is a contest winner, I think that some potential exists. Each of today’s two featured image was a one-off — I had just a single chance at success. And each is a single image as it appeared right out or the camera. I love this technique on cloudy days as an option to creating some pleasingly blurred images. If you’d like to guess which R5 feature I used for today’s images, feel free to leave a comment. I will refrain from responding. I will of course, describe the technique in complete detail in the BAA EOS R5/R6 Camera User’s Guide (in progress).

Lose Which One?

I almost removed one of the birds in Image #3. Which one? And why?

Multiple Choice/Fill-in Quiz

a) I like both images and find them interesting and creative.

b) I like Image #2 best because _____________.

c) I like Image #3 best because _____________.

d) I think that both of these are insta-deletes and that you should not be wasting your time trying to create more lousy images like these.

Image #3A: Topaz DeNoise screen capture for Cattle Egret flock funky flight

DeNoise with ISO 10000

Again, using the Comparison View has paid huge dividends. I continue to be surprised that at times, either Low Light or AI Clear proves to be more effective than DeNoise. With this ISO 10000 image, AI Clear was obviously the best choice.


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

10 comments to The R5-RF 100-500 Deed is Done; Thanks Steve! Why? Lots of reasons, but in part, because of Funky Flight Photos …

  • avatar Warren Howe

    I would guess using HDR with “Art Embossed” “Effect” selected…

  • avatar Jeff Walters

    Please thank Mr. Newhouse for sharing his excellent photos. Eye pleasing everyone! Nice of you to share your blog showing others photographers wonderful pic’s. You Artie seem to be such a humble, loving gentleman. Thank-you for sharing your love of your craft. I’ve enjoyed your books and am so thankful to have found your blog/teaching web site. Put’s a little extra sunshine to my day. Kinda like getting to open a Christmas gift everyday or so! Thanks again. Stay Healthy.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Jeff, Many thanks for your kind words — they are greatly appreciated. I have been working long and hard trying to fool folks into thinking that I am a nice guy πŸ™‚

      with love, a

  • avatar Joel Eade

    For these “funky images” I think you may have created a user defined picture style with customized adjustments to the strength, fineness and threshold under the sharpness tab.

  • avatar Bob Allen

    Hi Artie,
    The second paragraph begins with,

    “The artie the ILE eagle image blog post…”

    Not sure what you’re trying to say there.


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