Canon EOS Destination: Birds of the Everglades Workshop « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon EOS Destination: Birds of the Everglades Workshop

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This landing Black Vulture was photographing this morning at Anhinga Trail, Everglades National Park with the 70-200mm f.2.8L IS II lens, the 2x III TC (hand held at 342mm), and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Manual mode: 1/800 sec. at f/5.6. One of the big benefits of joining a workshop led by an experienced professional is learning to recognize good situations. With a nice wind from the east northeast and some vultures landing on the roof of a shelter on the boardwalk, I alerted the group to a very nice situation. Lots of good images (including the one above) were the result.

Canon EOS Destination: Birds of the Everglades Workshop

I met a wonderful group of eager photographers last night at the Hampton Inn in Florida City. All had signed up for the 3-Day Canon EOS Destination: Birds of the Everglades Workshop. After our first program folks got to borrow tons and tons of Canon gear that was sent down via Fed-Ex by Kristen Cunningham of the Canon Digital Learning Center who organized this whole gig. Tech specialist Drew MacCallum is along to help with the gear and with gear questions.

This morning we headed down to Anhinga Trail and were greeted by mixed clouds and sun and the usual assortment of Anhingas, Double-crested Cormorants, Black Vultures, Great Blue Herons and more. Teaching in the field with a large (16) group of photographers with a diverse range of skills is always a challenge. Denise Ippolito was a huge help. We dealt with pretty much every imaginable problem in a span of four hours. As always, the folks that stayed close to Denise and me and asked lots of questions learned the most. It was Denise who actually led most of the group into the field while I stayed behind dealing with a variety of tripod, tripod head, and plate issues.

In short order most folks were creating nice head portraits on one particularly cooperative Anhinga and several Black Vultures. We went over the basics of exposure and histograms and explained head angle. With the Anhinga preening its uropygial gland one moment and posing for head portraits the next, we reviewed the necessity of working in Manual mode. (We explained that with the bird’s head set against its own black back rather than the yellow grasses you will over-expose the highlights if you are working in Av mode.)

We explained the role that the background itself and the distance to the background play in creating successful images. The sun was out about half the time. When it was, we stressed the importance of working down sun angle with your shadow pointed at the subject. Some folks listened…. 🙂 We added a bit of natural history information as well. And most importantly we talked about photographic situations, explaining why we would walk by one cormorant while getting excited by another sitting just a few yards away. I need to get back to the group soon for a short session on histograms and digital exposure so I will say bye for now.

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 2X III TC. I am loving my new Series III 2X. Both of the new (Series III) TCs have computer chips that will communicate only with the new Series II Super-telephotos. With those lenses we are hoping to see faster initial focusing acquisition and increased AI Servo AF tracking accuracy.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body 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.

6 comments to Canon EOS Destination: Birds of the Everglades Workshop

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Jim and Nelson, Thanks a stack for your kind comments and for joining us. Hey, you forgot the great pizza!

    Thank you Denise. JFTRB (Just for the record books): With 16 folks along, Denise was an incredible asset on the trip. Without her providing help to so many folks and alerting her flock to special opportunities the workshop would not have been the great success that it was.

    Jim, You need to read more carefully 🙂 The notice appeared just once in a Bulletin and it sold out so quickly that Kristen Cunningham took to calling me “Rock Star.” 🙂 Not sure if we will be doing another one….

  • Jim Bicket

    Artie: How did I miss out? I read your bullitins as soon as they arrive! Canon going to do this again? Soon?


  • Artie, You did a great job with the workshop. Your teaching abilities are second to none.

  • nelson pont

    artie thanks a great meeting learned a lot more on reading light

  • It was a very good workshop for me. Not only did I get personalized advice and instruction from Art and Denise, I was able to borrow the latest Canon equipment and get on site technical advice from Canon experts. Also, while Florida has some really great birding areas, this location, the Anhinga Trail at Everglades National Park, was an excellent location to practice bird photography techniques.
    I learned a lot and have a ton of homework to do now.

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