Winning the Lottery & Bookmark This Site « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Winning the Lottery & Bookmark This Site

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This Brandt’s Cormorant image was created with the handheld Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS zoom lens with the 2X II TC (hand held at 292mm) and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 50. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops: 1/15 sec. at f/10. Lens micro-adjustment -2. AI Servo AF.

Winning the Lottery

After doing the introductory slide program last night for the San Diego IPT group and several invited guests, we took a look at the 701 images that I created yesterday morning at La Jolla. All groups love to watch me edit, to learn why I kept two images while deleting 11 similar images. I had created about 70 intentionally blurred cormorant images and while reviewing the first 60 or so we had selected about 4 potential keepers. When I hit the forward button in the BreezeBrowser slide show that I use for editing a day’s take everyone agreed that this was the winner by far and that there was not need to keep the others.

That’s how it goes when trying to create pleasingly blurred images. In A Guide to Pleasing Blurs (which I co-authored with Denise Ippolito) I wrote “Creating a killer pleasing blur is like winning the lottery; it takes a lot of tickets to come up with a winner.” As we discuss in the guide, it pays to vary your shutter speeds. I created all of the images in the series at shutter speeds between 1/4 and 1/30 sec. The closer a bird is to you and the faster it is flying or flapping, the greater the apparent blur at a given shutter speed. If you take a look at the focal length for this image you will see that it flew by at close range. Thus the surreal blur.

Some folks hate all blurs. For some they are an acquired taste. Love it or hate it, let me know your thoughts on this one, good or bad 🙂

Bookmark This Site

Serious photographers wake early and stay out late. They are quite concerned about light. They study the natural history of their subjects and realize the influence of the winds and tides on the birds and animals and the implications for their photography. I am sure that most of you have a favorite weather web site; I use Years ago I discovered SaltwaterTides.Com. Here is a link to the home page. And here is a link to the page that I used to plan this IPT.

The site provide data for high and low tides, the height of each tide, the time of sunrise, sunset, moon rise, and moon set as well as the phase of the moon for each location. All in one convenient spots and all available via a click or two. Do remember to bookmark this valuable site.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear that I used to create the image above. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens. Man, I am loving this lens on my shoulder with the 2X teleconverter.
Canon EF Teleconverter 2X II. This 2X is currently being replaced by the EF 2X III TC.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera bod.y And this is the very best professional digital camera body that I have even used..

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Delkin 32gb e-Film Pro Compact Flash Card. Fast and dependable.

If you are considering the purchase of a major piece of photographic gear be it a new camera, a long lens, a tripod or a head, or some accessories be sure to check out our complete Shopper’s Guide.

13 comments to Winning the Lottery & Bookmark This Site

  • Art, I can envision this as a lovely pattern, cloning the bird numerous times with different spacing and making a nice abstract. I’m not against human intervention for the sake of art. Nice job,


  • Joerg Rockenberger

    To add to the discussion re tide maps I very much like the iphone app ‘Tide Graph’. As the name implies it gives you a graphical representation of the tide for a chosen location in the past, present and future. You can choose the location from a list or with help from the iphone GPS location it will give you a selection of your nearest tide station. And it shows you on a map where it is. JR

  • Diana Atwood Johnson

    Art, I use a mac and have a tide calendar synced into my computer calendar through ical from That syncs to my iphone so I always have the tides with me. Also have a moon phases app, compass app, and this incredible new app called Lighttrac which tells you the position of the sun at any location at any time,day or any year. It’s absolutely amazing. So now your students will always know when the sun is directly behind them, in advance. Always enjoy your communiques.

  • Art,
    I like blurs and this one especially. After admiring it a bit, I started wondering what it would look like with some color in place of the white. So, I popped it into Camera Raw and started moving the Temp & Tint sliders – very interesting effects started to appear. Not sure any look better than the original, but a very colorful experience.

  • Nancy Bell

    I’m a big blur fan and love the creativity and watercolor quality that can be achieved through a photograph. This b&w image is lovely in its simplicity and paint brush-looking strokes. For me I would prefer not to have the jagged edges to the back edge of the right wing.

  • Jay

    Your stats on the number of shots you kept compared to the number taken is actually helpful. From time to time I need a reminder that even the experienced/expert shooters have a large percentage of shots that don’t make the grade.

    Let’s not dwell on the question whether your discards would be keepers if I were taking them.

  • I really like this blur. I’m trying to look at it as abstract art as opposed to a bird blur (but not non-representational). It looks like a minimalist piece – the whisk of an artist’s brush. Great movement.

    Also: 1) Gerry, that’s a great quote by Rumi. 2) Art – micro-adjustments FTW. 🙂 I recently discovered how amazing micro-adjustments are. And I didn’t even “do it right;” was just playing. The improvement was stunning. (so now I’m considering buying the Lens Align and doing it right)

  • Karin Smith

    just stunning. took my breath away.

  • Thanks Artie.
    Have you tried ? It’s a graphical tide chart.
    Capt. Froggie

  • For me, I think creating the blur could be lots of fun. One can experiment until one gets it “just right.” But seeing a blur someone else has created often leaves the viewer a bit perplexed. I suspect my love for classical music and classical art hinders my appreciation for blurs, as it does for modern art. Other viewers may be more receptive and prefer more mystique? The Brandt’s Cormorant certainly looks ethereal, which is interesting.

  • Art,
    Several of your recent posts have consistently pointed me to a Rumi quote that seems apropos for you and your life:
    “Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.”
    — Mawlana Jalal-al-Din Rumi
    Thanks for your wisdom.