Optimism Increasing & Why Bend The Lens? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Optimism Increasing & Why Bend The Lens?

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This image of a displaying Great Egret was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens, the EF 1.4X III TC, and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -2 stops: 1/1250 sec. at f/11 in Manual Mode after histogram and blinkies check. With all that black it was obvious that I needed lots of under-exposure to keep from burning the WHITEs. In order to achieve the framing that I wanted it was necessary to bend the lens; see more on that below. AI Servo AF with rear focus.

Optimism Increasing

Even though I knew that I was getting out of the hospital today I was a bit down in the dumps all morning. Is the hand still infected? Why is the back of the hand still so swollen? Why does flexing the left middle finger as instructed practically bring me to my knees in pain? It was not a long road from there to thoughts of becoming the world’s best one handed bird photographer…. I did the Work on my runaway thoughts (TheWork.Com: “Who would you be without your story?” Byron Katie) and that helped a bit but it was not until spoke to Dr. Puopolo that my spirits were lifted.

“The infection is likely gone. If not, the oral antibiotic that you will be on after being discharged should do the job.” (Just for the record books: Zyvox (linezolid), $3,400 for 24 pills. Bargain price for me: $965 co-pay :). Hope that the stuff works at those prices. The ID doc asked me if the price as OK. I said to him, “Heal my hand by tomorrow and I will gladly write you a check for $50,000.” He smiled.

“The back of your hand is still swollen because you had extensive surgery just four days ago. The hand looks great and your incisions are healing beautifully. You do not have to push the flexion so hard this weekend; just open and close the fist without using your other hand to force it. We needed to do that to prevent any scarring following the surgery. You will begin the really hard rehab work after the stitches are out.”

Optimism increasing.

Why Bend The Lens?

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This is a screen capture of the BreezeBroswer Main View for the RAW image. Note the placement of the central sensor on the edge of the bird’s neck and then keep reading below. (Note; with the 800, the 1.4X III TC, and the MIV only the central AF sensor was active.) Note the Lens Micro-Adjustment of +3. Note also the significant data in the fifth or highlight box of the histogram, just as I teach it.

Why Bend The Lens?

I was positive that I had written about bending the lens in The Art of Bird Photography II (ABP II: 916 pages on CD only) but a quick Adobe Acrobat Reader search revealed that I had not…. Every tripod head–be it the Mongoose M3.6 Action Head that I use or the Wimberley V-2 that many others prefer for big glass–has some play in it, even when both the horizontal pan and vertical pan locking knobs are fully tightened. By bending the lens I mean pressing somewhat forcefully on the top, bottom, or side, or heck, anywhere on the lens barrel as needed to fine-tune the framing. If the bird is too close to the left frame edge, pressing on the right side of the lens will give the subject more room. And so on and so forth. Because I tend to shoot locked down a great deal of the time, I use this technique quite often, most often with verticals. In addition to enabling you to come up with the precise framing that you desire, bending the lens is will result in sharper images as described in “Essential Sharpness Techniques” (pages 461-470 in ABP II–916 pages on CD only).

When I created the Great Egret image here, I remember bending the lens almost frantically in an effort to keep the sensor on the bird’s neck. Of about 15 frames, this was my favorite.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear that I used to create the images above (along with some related items). 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. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon 1.4X III TC. This new Series III TC is designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My workhorse professional digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.

Delkin 32gb e-Film Pro Compact Flash Card. These high capacity cards are fast and dependable.

I pack my 800 and tons of other gear in my ThinkTank Airport SecurityTM V2.0 rolling bag for all of my air travel and recommend the slightly smaller Airport InternationalTM V2.0 for most folks. These high capacity bags are well constructed and protect my gear when I have to gate check it on short-hops and puddle jumpers. Each will protect your gear just as well. By clicking on either link or the logo below, you will receive a free gear bag with each order over $50.

27 comments to Optimism Increasing & Why Bend The Lens?

  • Art, I have been following your hand saga. Glad to hear you are on the comeback trail. 🙂

  • Art: Listen to Tom – Do you want to take a few more pic now, or a whole lot later, when you have given you hand a chance to heal – Just stop what you are doing for a bit to give your hand a chance to heal – unless you want to do everything thing with just your left hand later – take a short sabatical, give your body time to heal – then when all is good hit the road again – Play it smart Artie everyone is looking for lot of bird years ahead with you leading the pack or should I Say flock. Be careful

  • tom merigan

    Infectious Diseases was my field. Your hands are your business Can not afford a misstep. be patient and go with the drugs and phyisical therapy which should begin as you tolerate it. You have have had both infection and surgical trauma which it takes time to deal with. All we care about is that the.final function is normal. So give your body a chance to heal. Take a break You deserve it. Best wishes. Tom

  • Hey Artie,
    Wishing you a speedy recovery. Hope to see you and Denise at Nickerson one of the days, soon.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Lloyd, You missed me at the horseshoe crab egg beach this morning in the cold but it took a lot out of me so I quit at 7:30…

  • Good news is always recieved gratefully. Looking forward to seeing you in the field with a healed paw.
    All the best.

  • Artie,

    All best wishes for a rapid and complete recovery ! I know your fierce determination and positive outlook in the face of this adversity will carry the day.

    See you back in the field real soon !

    – Bill

  • nelson pont

    artie glad to here you are better the swelling will go it takes time keep eye out for any redness

    or drainage zyvox is good hbot very good germs do not like o2

  • I did look at the screen capture – with Nikon, the red square shows up whether you use a single square, 9 squares, 21 squares or 51 – That is why I asked which option did you use or did you just use the single option. With Nikon if you use 9 squares for auto focus, only one square will show red, if you use 51 option, only 1 square will be red.

    So what option did you use with Canon – or are you shooting with AF being only a single square.

    Well I guess I see where the confusion is, with your Mark IV, you use the 45 sensors and the camera selects the one that you aim at, it is much different with the Nikon as Nikon allows you to choose one of 4 groupings or just one sensor with a click of the switch. You would think that the 2 camera companies can have AF detection to have common grounds, but that would probably be confusing as well.

    So I guess that you only have one choice of 45 with your Mark IV, and you cannot break down the 45 sensors to making only 9 active, or 21 active or 51 active like Nikon can . And if one doesn’t like any of those choices (with Nikon 9,21,1,51eD) , with a flick of the switch, you can chooose only a single sensor, (so Nikon has a single sensor option, or a dynamic range option of 9,21,51 or 513D which you make in the Camera Menu)

  • Beverly Kune

    Artie –

    I would at the very least take a round of (internal… either 30C or 200 C) Arnica to address the trauma of the surgery itself (as well as the initial injury); I would most likely follow that with a round of Calendula (again, internal … either 30 C or 200 C) which addresses a different aspect of the surgery & would help aid the healing overall. These both should help the swelling and the pain, and aid in speeding up the healing process. Since it is (as I’m following it) an injury to the tendon, I would follow that with an additional remedy, either Ruta or Rhus Tox, depending on your progress in healing.

    None of this would interfere with what you are currently taking, or any future therapies you do. I could send any of these to you if you would like (I’m a Naturopathic Doctor & have a full homeopathic pharmacy at my disposal).

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Ken, Did you look at the screen capture?????????

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Beverly, If the infection comes back, or is not really gone, I am looking at HBOT and Ozone therapy. What do you have in mind? (The incisions are healing nicely.)

  • World War 11 Infection remedy: If you still have infection visible, this is what they did during WW11 and it is a remedy in the Northern Communities even to this day.

    If you have Plantain weeds in your area, not too sure if you do, Collect the green leaves only with your left hand, now break up the leaves, this starts the reaction, and just cover the infected area with the leaves and wrap some gauze around the wound to keep the leaves in place. The leaves withdraw the infection, and change the leaves every two hours. It’s not hocuspocus, this is what they used before penicilin was discovered and very successful.

  • Beverly Kune

    Artie –
    Have you been using homeopathics to help with the hand-healing? I’d be happy to advise or send you a care package if you would like ….


  • Hi Art: I guess you are feeling a bit better – Gosh Central means Central – that certainly clarifies a definition – I guess does central mean just one point you are using with the auto focus. With Nikon central can mean a grouping of 4 choices – not too sure how Canon explains central. I guess another way of asking is what groupings are you using with your AF when you have the coloured sensor on the neck of the bird. – Glad to hear you are healing.

  • harvey tabin

    Wow- 3400 for 24.

    Happy to see you improving.

  • Jim Crane

    Artie, how many good books did you read. Lee Childs new book is great. I’m glad your finger is better. Get back out there and start shooting. Jim

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Jim, Zero books. I was able to get on line :). Got out today. Thanks for the tip.

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks. Shoot me an e-mail Juan.

  • Very glad to hear you are doing better-best wishes!
    As coincidence would have it I was “bending the lens” just yesterday while making images of a spoonbill at Ft. DeSoto. Now I know what to call the technique. 🙂

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    KC, Central means central…. To confirm that you can either read the post or looks at the sceeen capture.

    Loren, Once I was able to get on line with my cell phone going nuts was not a problem. And thanks. artie

  • don

    why not give us hints that do not require us to buy something for you first.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Don, Though I am not positive as to exactly what you are talking about there is tons of free info here and there are plenty of hints. You are not required to do anything. I put in about 20+ hour per week providing free info here so yes, it is nice to make a sale or two everyday to folks who appreciate both the blog and the Bulletins.

      ps: And your certainly do not have to buy anything for me….

  • Leo

    G’day Artie,
    Glad to hear things are looking brighter.
    Reading the chronology of your saga, it seems likely that you acquired the infection during the removal of the stitches rather than the original operation. Is that your understanding of it?
    Best wishes for a complete and speedy recovery.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Leo, Most of the docs feel that way but some think that the infection might have gotten in during the surgery…..

  • With this photo, you said only the central AF sensor was active. Does central mean just 1, 9, 51 or 513d. Or with Canon not sure of your choices, but must be similiar. Well let us all know what was your selection so the comment can be more specific.

    As a Canadian, that is a lot of cash for drugs – your arm better get healed – look after yourself and heal – all the best with your recovery

  • Artie –

    Glad they’re finally springing you! You must have been going nuts cooped up in the hospital. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!