A Canon R6. Changeable Weather in Sunny Photo Locations and an Orange Marmalade Pelican Bill Pouch Pano « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

A Canon R6. Changeable Weather in Sunny Photo Locations and an Orange Marmalade Pelican Bill Pouch Pano

Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless Camera Body

BAA Record-low Price!

Chip Schilling is offering a Canon EOS R6 Mirrorless Camera Body in like-new condition with the latest firmware update for a BAA record-low $1699.00. The sale includes the original box, the front cap, one battery and the charger, the strap, the manual, and insured ground shipping to lower-48 US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Chip via e-mail or by phone (or text him) at 315-481-0916.

The R6 is virtually identical to the R5 but for the 20 MP raw files and the smaller price tag. The Menu is easy to navigate. The Face Detection plus Tracking technology (though not perfect) is superb. The Custom shooting modes (C1-C3) allow the user to save many items including and especially Customize Buttons, Customize Dials, and Shutter Mode settings. That makes the Custom shooting modes a huge plus for users who do not need to waste time fiddling around with various settings. One of three different Mount Adapters EF-EOS R enable folks to use their Canon EF lenses seamlessly with all of the great R6 features maintained. AF performance with the adapters and EF lenses is superb. With an R6, a Standard Mount Adapter EF-EOS R, and the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, you will have a great rig for bird and nature photography.

Purchase Chip’s body and enjoy a $25.00 discount on the R5/R6 Camera User’s Guide. artie

What’s Up?

In the pre-dawn, we had our best morning of pelican blur photography. “Bad” weather often makes for great photography; we dealt successfully with a big fog bank on Friday morning. I was hoping for some fire in the mist when the sun crept over the hill, but the fog behind us dissipated almost instantly and the sun broke through only a few minutes later. While the sun shone for an hour, we enjoyed some great flight photography and then worked the perched pelicans at close range. And then the fog rolled back in so we walked down the hill and had some more good flight photography. On the way, I had grabbed the 70-200 II and created some neat images of the pelican-covered cliffs.

We returned to the cliffs at about 3:00pm and found that the fog had returned. Dozens of pelicans were in the air at any given moment. Then I found the male Anna’s Hummingbird. After that, we worked some of the pretty pelicans perched just down from the sidewalk. I took Anar and her husband to the Shiku Sushi Bar for a thank you dinner.

Each of the three pelican mornings has been among the best I have enjoyed in three decades of photographing in San Diego. Remembering that you only live once, you just might want to call Jim at the office at 863-692-0906, leave a deposit for the second or third San Diego, or e-mail me and ask about doing a few In-the-Field Days in January, and then get yourself a flight to San Diego.

Today is Saturday 24 December 2022. We will be headed early to Santee Lakes to see how the ducks are doing. This blog post took an hour to prepare and makes two hundred seventy-one days in a row with a new, educational post just for you. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day.

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!

You can find some great photo accessories (and necessities, like surf booties!) 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 who, like me, 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 when they shop online. As you might expect, doing so will not cost you a single penny, but would be appreciated tremendously by yours truly. And doing so, works seamlessly with your Amazon Prime account.

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.

The offshore pre-dawn fog bank and pelicans on the bottom left shelf.

Changeable Weather

Many folks will opt to stay home when the forecast calls for clouds, fog, drizzle, high winds, or even rain. At photography locations like San Diego (and Bosque Del Apache NWR in NM when it use to be good), the weather is typically clear and sunny. I get excited when changeable weather is coming as it will almost always present a variety of different and often excellent photography conditions. Such was the case in San Diego yesterday day.

This image was created on 23 December on the third morning of the first San Diego IPT. I used the handheld Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens (at 371mm) and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless digital camera. ) The exposure was determined using Zebra technology with ISO on the Thumb Dial. ISO 1000. 1/1000 second at f/8 (stopped down 2/3-stop) in Manual Mode. AWB at 8:11:25am on a then-sunny morning. RawDigger showed the exposure to be dead solid perfect.

Expand Flexible Spot AF-C with Bird Face-eye Detection enabled performed perfectly. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Brown Pelican sub-adult preening

Orange Marmalade Pelican Bill Pouch Pano

It was clear in the pre-dawn with a distant fog bank offshore. And then the fog rolled in. And then the sun broke through. We were sitting on the lower shelf when a gorgeous young pelican landed on a pedestal rock about thirty feet from us and began preening. The bill was orange marmalade color at the base, while the distal 1/2 was strangely yellow rather than dark olive colored.

I created 813 images of this unique bird. After the first edit of the morning session folder, 67 of the 196 keepers were of this handsome pelican. I just love the variety of plumages of the various ages of Pacific-race Brown Pelicans.

You Call?

Is today’s featured image more doofy or more beautiful?

From the Urban Dictionary

goofy — adjective: descriptive of or pertaining to acts or behaviours that come across in a somewhat off-kilter or awkward.

San Diego IPT #1 & #2 Late Registration Discount Info and In-the-Field Instructional Photo Sessions

Please shoot me an e-mail if you would like to receive the San Diego IPT #1 & #2 Late Registration Discount info. Note that due to one cancellation and one switch, there are now two opening on San Diego #2. As I will be in San Diego for five weeks, I have lots of free days for In-the-Field Instructional Sessions, again, e-mail for rates and details.

This all-new card includes images created on my JAN 2022 visit to San Diego. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The 2022/23 San Diego Brown Pelicans (and more!) IPTs

San Diego IPT #1. 3 1/2 DAYS: WED 21 DEC thru the morning session on Saturday 24 DEC 2022. $2099.00. Deposit: $699.00. Limit: 6 photographers/Openings: 5.

San Diego IPT #2. 4 1/2 DAYS: SAT 7 JAN thru the morning session on WED 11 JAN 2023: $2699.00. Deposit: $699.00. Limit: 6 photographers/Openings: 2.

San Diego IPT #3: 4 1/2 DAYS: THURS 19 JAN thru the morning session on MON 23 JAN 2023: $2699.00. Deposit: $699.00. Limit: 6 photographers/Openings: 5.

Please e-mail for information on personalized pre- and post-IPT and In-the-Field Sessions.

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) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Ducks; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Northern Shoveler 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 and California Sea Lions (both depending on the current regulations and restrictions). 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 re-located) with offerings of grains or healthy bread.

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.

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 exposure along with my thoughts on both Nikon and Canon histograms and SONY Zebras. Whether you like it or not, you will learn to work in manual mode so that you can get the right exposure every time (as long as a bird gives you ten seconds with the light constant). Or two seconds with SONY zebras … 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, often with 70-200mm lenses! 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 those opportunities. Depending on the weather, the local conditions, and the tides, there are a variety of other 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

These IPTs will include four or five 3-hour morning photo sessions, three or four 1 1/2-hour afternoon photo sessions, and three or four working brunches that will include image review and Photoshop sessions. On rare cloudy days, we may — at the leader’s discretion, stay out in the morning for a long session and skip that afternoon. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. And so that we can get some sleep, dinners will be on your own as well. In the extremely unlikely event that Goldfish Point is closed due to local ordinance (or whimsy) — that has never happened in the past fifty years, I will of course do my very best to maximize our photographic opportunities.

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.

Deposit Info

A $699 deposit is required to hold your slot for one of the 2022/23 San Diego IPTs. You can send a check (made out to “BIRDS AS ART”) to us here: BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855, or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, is due three months before the trip.


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.


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

5 comments to A Canon R6. Changeable Weather in Sunny Photo Locations and an Orange Marmalade Pelican Bill Pouch Pano

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