A More-Green Heron-Success Composite … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

A More-Green Heron-Success Composite ...

What’s Up?

On Monday 13 June, there were Green Herons fishing from the short, rotted pilings just north of the pier. I worked with the tripod mounted Sony 600mm f/4 GM lens. In addition, I did some Ospreys in flight and a fly-by Great Blue Heron. And I spotted a new opportunity to create morning silhouettes from the pier just after the sun rose.

On 14 June, my birthday, I celebrated by staying an extra hour down by the lake! I stood in the water just to the left of the pier with the tripod-mounted 600mm f/4 with the 1.4X TC. I had lots of chances with one of the Limpkin families and a pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. It was looking to be a dead-clear morning, but just after sunrise a large fog bank rolled in front of the sun. Astoundingly, I made four very good ISO 4000 flight images when the ducks took flight. I spent a good part of my second hour with the two fully grown colts and their parents.

I got two great birthday presents: On Tuesday, via TiVo, I learned that on Monday evening the Golden State Warriors had defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. One more win and the Dubs will be champions again. And I learned that the installation of our hard-wired fiber optics cable system should be (finally) completed today, Wednesday 15 June 2022. The ILE forecast for this morning is calling for sunny skies early followed by increasing clouds with a soft breeze from the NE. I will head down to the lake very early for a quick walk on the pier as I have an 8:30am doctor’s appointment for my regular check-up. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day. This blog post took about less than an hour to prepare and makes ninety-two days in a row with a new one.

Please remember to use the B&H and Amazon links that are found on most blog pages and to use the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout when purchasing your new gear from Bedfords to get 3% back on your credit card and enjoy free second-day air FedEx. Please, also, consider joining a BAA IPT. You will be amazed at how much you will learn!

Induro GIT 304L Price Drop

Amazingly, we have two, brand-new-in-the-box Induro GIT 304L tripods in stock. They are $699.00 each (were $799.00) and the price now includes the insured ground shipping to the lower 48 states. Weekday phone orders only: 863-692-0906.

And Please Remember

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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, 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 earn 3% cash back at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout for your major gear purchases. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And always earns my great appreciation.

Brand-New and As-Good-As-Ever Bedfords BAA Discount Policy

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.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would like to enjoy getting 3% back on your credit card along with free 2nd Day Air Fed-Ex 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 check the box for Free Shipping. That will automatically upgrade to free 2nd Day Air Fed-Ex. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The waitlists 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 a 1, 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.

Important Note

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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.

Click on the screen capture to view the larger, sharper high-res version. That will make it easier to read the fine print.

Photo Mechanic screen capture: four Green Heron on rotted piling images

More Green Heron Success

There were two Green Herons on the short pilings on Monday, but none on my birthday the following day 🙁

Be sure to click on the screen capture to better read the fine print.

The first three images (starting with the top row and going from left to right) 4580, 4621, and 4600, were created with the bare 600mm f/4 GM. The last image, 4604, was created with the 600mm f/4 GM and the 1.4X TC.

The first two images, 4580 and 4621, depict the bird about to strike. Which of those two is the stronger image? Why? Note: there are some good things about each image … What caused the problems with 4621?

Compare the last two images, 4600 and 4604, to see how much larger the subject is in the frame with the 1.4x TC in place (4604) than it is with the 600 alone (4600).

Light Angle Question

How do you know that the sun is coming from the right, i.e., from the northeast?

Flight Photography at Jacksonville Till You Can’t Lift Your Lens! with Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Join me on the beach at Huguenot Memorial Park to learn about photographing terns in flight. 8,000 pairs of Royal Terns nest there and there are birds in the air all the time, often carrying all kinds of fish and crabs for their young. Learn about how the relationship between the wind and the sun impacts flight photography and about the best gear for shooting birds in flight. Join me on a workshop at Jacksonville this summer.

Cute & Beautiful: Photographing Chicks in Jacksonville, FL with Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

There is an amazing beach near Jacksonville, FL where 8,000 pairs of Royal Terns and 12,000 pairs of Laughing Gulls (along with a few other species) breed each summer. As this video shows, photographing the chicks is easy in the summer. And there is tons of great flight photography as well. If you want to improve your bird photography skills, consider joining me on an Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT).

Click on the composite image to enjoy the incredible quality of the hi-res JPEG.

Clockwise from upper left clockwise and back around to the center: Royal Tern in flight with squid for chick; Royal Tern chick on beach; Royal Tern in flight with shrimp for young; Royal Tern chick — double overhead wing stretch; Royal Tern landing with greenback for chick; Royal Tern in flight with juvenile mahi mahi for chick; Brown Pelican — large chick preening; Laughing Gull in fresh juvenal plumage; Royal Tern chick begging; Many Royal Terns with many chicks on face of dune.

Jacksonville IPT #1: 4 FULL DAYS — the afternoon of FRI 1 JULY thru the morning of TUES 5 July 2022: $2099.00 (Limit 6 photographers/Openings: 5)

Jacksonville IPT #2: 4 FULL DAYS — the afternoon of FRI 15 JULY thru the morning of TUES 19 July 2022: $2099.00 (Limit 6 photographers/Openings: 5)

The first three folks to register on each trip can ride to and on and from the beach with me for no charge.

I first visited the breeding bird colony at Jacksonville in late June 2021. I was astounded. There were many thousands of pairs of Royal Terns nesting along with about 10,000 pairs of Laughing Gulls. In addition to the royals, there were some Sandwich Terns nesting. And there are several dozen pairs of Brown Pelicans nesting on the ground. Flight photography was non-stop astounding. And photographing the tern chicks was relatively easy. Folks could do the whole trip with the Sony 200-600, the Canon 100-500 RF, or the Nikon 500 PF or 200-500 VR. With a TC in your pocket for use on sunny days. Most of the action is within 100 yards of where we park (on the beach). As with all bird photography, there are times when a super-telephoto lens with either TC is the best tool for the job.

Morning sessions will average about three 1/2 hours, afternoon sessions about 1 1/2 hours. On cloudy mornings with favorable winds, we may opt to stay out for one long session and skip the afternoon, especially when the afternoon forecast is poor. Lunch is included on the first three days of the IPT and will be served at my AirBnB. We will do image review and Photoshop after lunch.

We will be based somewhere west and a bit north of Jacksonville where there are many AirBnB possibilities. The deposit is $599.00. Call Jim at the office any weekday at 863-692-0906 to pay by credit card. Balances must be paid by check.

Click on the composite image to enjoy the incredible quality of the hi-res JPEG.

Clockwise from upper left clockwise and back around to the center: Royal Tern feeding chick; Royal Tern/4-week-old chick; ink-stained Royal Tern in flight with squid for chick; Royal Tern/3-week-old chick begging; Brown Pelican in flight on white sky day; fresh juvenile Laughing Gull on clean beach; Laughing Gulls stealing fish from Royal Tern; tight shot of Royal Tern in flight with fish for young.

What You Will Learn on a Jacksonville IPT

  • 1- First and foremast you will learn to become a better flight photographer. Much better.
  • 2-You will learn the basics and fine points of digital exposure. Nikon and Canon folks will learn to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, and SONY folks will learn to use Zebras so that they can be sure of making excellent exposures before pressing the shutter button.
  • 3- You will learn to work in Manual exposure mode even if you fear it.
  • 4- You will learn to evaluate wind and sky conditions and understand how they affect bird photography, especially the photography of birds in flight.
  • 5- You will learn several pro secrets (for each system) that will help you to become a better flight photographer.
  • 6- You will learn to zoom out in advance (because the birds are so close!) 🙂
  • 7- You will learn how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them.
  • 8- You will learn to spot the good and the great situations.
  • 9- You will learn to understand and predict bird behavior.
  • 10- You will learn to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system.
  • 11- You will learn to choose the best perspective.
  • 12- You will learn to see and control your backgrounds.
  • 13- You will learn to see and understand the light.
  • 14- You will learn to see and create pleasing blurs in pre-dawn situations.
  • 15- You will learn to be ready for the most likely event.

The best news is that you will be able to take everything you learn home with you so that you will be a better photographer wherever you are and whenever you photograph.


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

12 comments to A More-Green Heron-Success Composite …

  • avatar Esther Corley

    My birthday is coming up on June 23, so we are fairly close in our celebrations. A friend is giving me a big 91st party.

  • avatar Nelson

    i have heard (through Fred Miranda forums) that firmware 1.30 for the A1 brings Birds Eye-AF improvements. A few users claim the improvement is very obvious. Please let us know your thoughts Arthur. Thanks!

  • avatar Steve Schiff

    I think heron image #1 is the strongest of the three. It shows the coiled tension as the bird prepares to strike, as well as its singleminded focus on its target. The second image, with the extended neck and ruffled feathers, lacks these elements. (It almost looks like a post-strike image, a strike that missed.)

    I’m not crazy about the last two images, which are very placid, as well as showing more of the top of the bird’s head (a less photogenic angle, in my opinion.)

  • Artie
    WOW amazing you put on the 1:4 in that short of time and the difference is also amazing I love the lower right, upper right is also cool to see the out stretched neck of Greenie.
    The 600gm with 1:4 is outstanding.
    Doctor already your birthday was just yesterday 1 day shouldn’t have made you OLDER. You are an inspiration to people that you keep on keeping! lol

    Always with love b

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks, Robert. The greenies are very patient fisherman so you usually have lots of time to add or change TCs. That said, I can do that very quickly.

      with love, a

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    Hope you had a great birthday!

  • avatar Alan Ross

    Any thoughts on the Sony a1 firmware update 1.30?

  • avatar ChicagoJeff

    Happy (slightly belated) 40th birthday.

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