Upside-Down BLUBB for Ground Level Photography. More on Subject in Shade, Background in Sun! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Upside-Down BLUBB for Ground Level Photography. More on Subject in Shade, Background in Sun!

Your Favorite?

Which is your favorite image from the composite below. Please leave a comment and let s know why you made your choice.

My nine favorites from a great morning at ILE: 16 December 2021.

This Just In!

Your Pick In-the-Field Sessions

I had a great morning down by the lake. I created 876 images by 9:00am and kept 75. The nine images above are my very favorites. During this great session, I came up with a plan for Your Pick In-the-Field Sessions. The beauty of the plans below are that I am free most days from now till mid-January. We can schedule sessions to coincide with the perfect weather forecast. They are ideal for central Florida locals or folks visiting the region for whatever reason. The Friday morning weather is looking dead-solid perfect for both ILE and Lakeland and Saturday is looking good as well. Interested? Get in touch via e-mail or better yet, try my cell at 863-221-2372. Please leave a message and shoot me a text if I do not pick up. Inquire for couples and group rates.

Indian Lake Estates In-the-Field Sessions

Two hours of intensive instruction: $300.00. Add a working brunch with image review: $100.00. Sunset shoot: $100.00. Guest room lodging available. Mix and match.

Sunny mornings with east winds are best. Likely subjects include Sandhill Crane, Black and Turkey Vultures, Crested Caracara, Limpkin, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, and more.

Lakeland or Circle B Bar Preserve

Two hours of intensive instruction: $325.00. Add a working brunch with image review: $100.00. Guest room lodging available. Mix and match.

Sunny mornings with east winds are best at Lakeland. Likely subjects include point-blank American White Pelican, Anhinga, Limpkin, Common Moorhen, White Ibis, a variety of wintering ducks including Ring-necked and Wood Ducks, and more.

Cloudy mornings or afternoons (shooting session only) are best at Circle B Bar Preserve. Likely subjects include Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Little Blue Heron, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, White Ibis, Common Moorhen, Osprey, Red-shouldered Hawk, American Alligator, Wild Boar, and more.

What’s Up?

Wednesday morning dawned clear and sunny. I spent some time with a pair of Sandhill Cranes and with a Great Blue Heron and some Mottled Ducks in the marsh. Then the clouds came. Right before I got into the pool for my swim, it poured for five minutes. By the time I was finished, the sun was out. I had hopes for some nice sunset color. I peeked at the western sky and things were looking good, but when I got down to the lake, the sun dropped behind a single large cloud on the western horizon. I made a few high-ISO images of the same pair of cranes and a pair of Crested Caracaras. I stayed till a good ten minutes after the time of sunset hoping to create some blurs of the large flocks of Icterids that had been present the night before at dusk. Aside from a very few small groups of grackles and blackbirds, nothing decent materialized. Tomorrow is another day.

Today is Thursday 16 December 2021. Again, the forecast is for sunny early, followed by clouds, all with a northeast breeze. That sounds good to me. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day. This blog post took almost three hours to prepare and makes 37 consecutive days with a new one.

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Folks who have fallen in love with Bedfords can now use the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout to enjoy a post-purchase, 3% off-statement credit (excluding taxes and shipping charges) on orders paid with a credit card. The 3% credit will be refunded to the card you used for your purchase. Be sure, also, to check the box for free shipping to enjoy free Second Day Air Fed-Ex. This offer does not apply to purchases of Classes, Gift Cards, or to any prior purchases.

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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. If you are desperate, you can try me on my cell at 863-221-2372. Please leave a message and shoot me a text if I do not pick up.

Image #1: My rig at ground level supported by an upside-down BLUBB

Upside-Down BLUBB for Ground Level Photography

One of the many photo-blessings that comes with living at Indian Lake Estates is that I can often work close to my vehicle. On my sunset outings, I set up my ladder and tall tripod just yards from my SUV. When I saw a pair of cranes standing on the North Field, it looked like a decent opportunity. I drove to Palmetto Drive and parked. Then another new idea popped into my head. Rather than using the challenging ankle-pod technique or taking the time to set up the flattened tripod, I plopped the BLUBB on the ground and flipped it upside down. I placed the big lens on the “wrong” side of the BLUBB as it afforded a very low perspective. My rig balanced nicely.

I sat on the pavement, flipped up the rear screen, activated the electronic level, set 1/500 sec. at f/4, and dialed down the ISO until there were Zebras on most, but not all, of the sky — that to ensure not under-exposing the birds. I made only a very few images before the cranes began walking towards the road, and towards me. This, the first one, was the best of the lot.

This image was created on 15 December 2021 down by the lake near my home in Indian Lake Estates. Working at ground level off the tilted rear screen the a1 with my rig supported by an upside-down BLUBB, I used the Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera.. The exposure was determined via Zebras with ISO on the wheel; rear dial. ISO 800: 1/500 sec. at f/4 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 7:29:30am on a sunny morning.

Tracking: Spot S AF/C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed perfectly. Click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #2: Sandhill Crane pair on the North Field

Subject in Shade, Background in Sun!

It is a rare combination, but when you find it, the results can be quite lovely, especially if there are some yellow grasses in the background. The trick, as noted above, is to be sure to expose for the subject(s), rather than for the background. Here, as often happens, the yellow grasses, lit by the still low-in-the-sky sun, seem to glow. The birds were still in the shadow of the houses behind me. Bingo!


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

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