The Wind Direction. And For What It’s Worth … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Wind Direction. And For What It's Worth ...

Following Up

Everything below in today’s post has to do with questions raised in the recent blog post here. Wanna learn? Keep reading.

What’s Up?

I spent most of Wednesday morning watching the Milwaukee Bucks defeat the Phoenix Suns for the 2021 NBA Championship. After the game, I reveled for hours in the celebration and the commentary. When the Bucks were down 2-0 in the best of seven series, I was telling my friends that they would win. They proceeded to take the last four games. Congrats to the whole Bucks team, in particular to Final MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo. The tall, skinny teenager was the fifteenth pick in the 2013 NBA draft.

Adapted from the Wikipedia article here.

Giannis Adetokunbo was born in Athens, Greece, on December 6, 1994, the son of immigrants from Nigeria. Three years earlier, his parents had moved from Lagos, leaving their firstborn son, Francis, under the care of his grandparents. Although Adetokunbo and three of his four brothers were born in Greece, they did not automatically receive Greek citizenship. For the first 18 years of his life, Adetokunbo could not travel outside the country and was effectively stateless, having no papers from Greece or Nigeria. He was eventually issued Greek citizenship on May 9, 2013, less than two months before the 2013 NBA Draft. Adetokunbo grew up in the Athens neighborhood of Sepolia. His parents, as immigrants, could not easily find work, so Giannis and his older brother, Thanasis, helped by hawking watches, handbags and sunglasses in the streets. In 2007, Adetokunbo started playing basketball. After gaining Greek citizenship in 2013, his official surname became Αντετοκούνμπο, the Greek transcription of Adetokunbo, which was then transliterated letter-for-letter and officially spelled on his Greek passport as Antetokounmpo. Because many could not pronounce his surname, he quickly became known as the “Greek Freak.” Antetokounmpo obtained Nigerian citizenship in 2015.

Giannis is now 6′ 11″ tall, has filled out to a svelte 242 pounds, and earns $25 million a year. From humble beginnings, he sits atop the sports world with his teammates as NBA champions. I’d be remiss in not recognizing the contribution of forward Khris Middleton (as well as the rest of the team and the oft-maligned coach, Mike Budenholzer). Without Middleton’s clutch shooting the Suns would have won the series.

Thanks to the many who left insightful comments at yesterday’s A Zebra at ILE ??? Your Thoughts? Be Honest. Be Brutal blog post here. I will be sharing my thoughts on the Zebra Swallowtail image here soon. There is lots to learn.

Today is Thursday 22 July 2021. I will begin packing today for my Auto Train trip after which I will be spending all of August on Long Island. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day.

Thanks for all the comments on yesterday’s images. I will be sharing my thoughts on those with you here tomorrow.

Remember that you can find some great photo accessories (and necessities!) on Amazon by clicking on the Stuff tab on the orange/yellow menu bar above. On a related note, it would be extremely helpful if blog-folks like me, who spend too much money on Amazon, would get in the habit of clicking on the Amazon logo link on the right side of each blog post. As you might expect, doing so will not cost you a single penny, but would be appreciated tremendously by yours truly. And it works seamlessly with your Amazon Prime account.

This blog post took about 90 minutes to prepare and makes 207 consecutive days with a new one. Please remember that if an item — a Delkin flash card, or a tripod head — for example, that is available from B&H and/or Bedfords, and is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great, and greatly appreciated if you would opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to save 3% at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And doing so always earns my great appreciation.

Please Remember

With income from IPTs now close to 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, are invited to help out by clicking here to leave a blog thank you gift if they see fit.

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 second-day air 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

Image #1: Happiness Is …

Wind Direction Question

Two days ago, I wrote:

Study the image and see if you can determine the wind direction on this clear sunny morning. Leave a comment if you figure it out.

Three folks took a stab at it. In reality, being able to read the wind the moment you get to the beach, or even before you leave your house, is a vitally important skill for bird photographers. In the cell phone image above, you needed to note the birds in the air. The one landing bird was angling slightly away from us. The other birds in the air were doing the same but angling a bit more to our left. Understand that when the birds on the ground are involved in doing this or that, especially when the wind is fairly light, they will often not be affected at all by the wind. On a windy day at the beach, most birds resting on the ground will be facing directly into the wind. On the other hand, birds taking flight, will always fly directly into the wind, even a fairly gentle wind. The sun comes up roughly in the east. Birds flying directly away from us would show that the wind was from the west. Above, they were angling away to our left; that clearly indicated that the wind was from the west/southwest. In the morning, that wind is not conducive to good flight photography. That’s why we were atop the ladder working at 1200mm photographing the chicks.

This image was created on 18 July 2021 on a beach near Jacksonville, FL, on the last morning of the second JAX IPT. Standing on the third step of a large step-stool, I used the 81 inch tall Induro GIT505XXL Grand Series 5 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Levered-Clamp FlexShooter Pro-mounted-Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only). ISO 1600. The exposure was determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/640 sec. at f/8 (wide open) in Manual mode. RawDigger showed this exposure to be perfect. AWB at 6:59am on a clear, sunny morning.

Tracking” Expand Spot/AF-C was active at the moment of exposure and performed perfectly. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Image #2: Royal Tern chick begging on ridge of sand dune

Wing or No Wing?

In the same post, I wrote:

Of the three tern chick images, which one is best, and why? Do you like the one with the wing in the upper left, the one with the wing in the upper right, or the one with the clear light-blue sky? Be sure to let us know why you made your choice.

Ten folks left a comment on the wing question. Seven of those folks liked Image #4 best, the one with the wing of the adult eliminated. The other three preferred Image #3, the one where I moved the wing from the upper left corner to the upper right corner. With regards to the wing versus no wing question. Please understand that I cannot tell you what to like and what not to like. But for me, either image with the wing of the adult is far stronger than the final, cleaner version with the wing dispatched. Why? The chick is reacting to the adult flying by. Heck, they react to any bird flying by whether or not it is their parent. The adults recognize the chicks by sight and by call. The chicks recognize the adults only by call.

The wing tells a story, and helps to move the viewer’s eye around the frame. Coming from “Mr. Clean, Tight, and Graphic, that may be a surprise to many. If anything, the ones with the wing are different. By leaving the wing in either corner, the viewer is forced to think: Why did the artist choose to leave the wing? What is the story being told?

You might try this on for size: Image #4, the sterile image, would have zero chance in any prestigious photo contest. #2 would at least have a chance. #3 would not be eligible for most contests because the wing was moved from one side of the frame to the other.

The always-creative Denise Ippolito wrote:

I like the wing in the upper right corner- number 4 looks a bit sterile to me 🙂 but it is a fabulous shot either way.

Then, the highly skilled (and former BAA student) Cliff Beittel wrote:

#3. I agree with Denise, and better with the wing than without. The wing creates tension (with the promise of release), tells a story, gives the eye and brain more to explore instead of just locking on the throat. I like the giant photographers too.

Now this might surprise you even more. I like Image #2 (above), the best — the original with the adult’s wing in the upper left corner. Why? Because that was the reality. I will admit, however, that the image design is better balanced with the wing flopped and placed in the upper right corner.

This Just In

At 10:11am, three hours after publishing this, I finally realized why I prefer the original image with the wing in the upper left corner. With the wind from the west/southwest, the adult was flying from right to left as I viewed the scene. We are seeing the dorsal part of the adult left wing. With the wing flopped, the bird would have had to have been flying in the opposite (wrong) direction … If that makes any sense.


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

7 comments to The Wind Direction. And For What It’s Worth …

  • Howdy Artie
    Went to the Brewers game on Tuesday with Family from California and the game was rather disappointing but we had a great time, Ryan Braun walked thru and i approached him to get a few pictures with Great Nephew and Niece and he was sure and after i thanked him with a fist bump he smiled. Armed with my A1 and 16-35 i got some amazing pictures of Ryan and the Kids!
    After the game we ATTEMPTED to get down to the Deer District outside of the Fiserv Forum yea right we were in traffic for 2 hours and finally decided to get to a spot to watch the game. So heading back to the Dells we found a spot about after the first 10 minutes of the game.
    WOW the excitement was amazing the bar was packed as everywhere packed here in Wisconsin. The final total was an estimated 100,000 people in the Deer District by games end. No wonder we couldn’t get in, let alone find parking but the horns were blasting people shouting Bucks in 6 the excitement was electrifying.
    The Game amazing and the team amazing….BUCKS IN 6 !!
    Your trip also sounds amazing a month on Long Island.
    Always with love b

  • avatar Maggi Fuller

    Doh! Wrong again! Nevertheless, I still prefer the image without the wing…..

  • Artie,

    Speaking of contests, Image #1 would make a solid entry in a possible People in Nature category. I especially like it with the birds and the top of the dune cropped away, leaving just the sand and shadows like an ancient petroglyph showing hunters or (because of the stilts and elongation) aliens.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks, Cliff. It would have been a lot better with an east wind. I love the petroglyph comparison.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Michael Cristina

    Hi Artie, it’s hard to believe that 12 teams, including the Celtics, passed on Giannis in the draft

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hindsight is always 20-20 🙂 And who knew that Giannis would work so hard and turn into a monster, a team leader, and such a great human being off the court.

      with love, a

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