1 in 400 « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

1 in 400

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This image was created with the Canon 180mm macro lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 50. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/4 (not 1/1600!) sec. at f/11 in Tv (not Av!) Mode.

1 in 400

On Friday afternoon past, I helped out Denise Ippolito as co-leader on her Chanticleer Gardens Creative Flower Photography Workshop. A great time was had by all, including me. There was one huge flower bed at the bottom of the hill with everything colorful in bloom. I started using a slow shutter speed in an effort to create some nice wind blurs, but after a while, I realized that creating vertical pan blurs was the way to go. The images looked great on the back of the camera but I warned the group that when creating pleasing blurs images that looked fantastic on the LCD often did not make the grade once you viewed them on the computer. So I kept on and on and on.

I shared stuff from our “Guide to Pleasing Blurs” with the group: set your lowest ISO; choose and use a variety of slow shutter speeds; work in Tv mode for complete control of the blur speed; take lots of images. In addition I advised them to adjust their side to side framing and then lock the horizontal pan knob while leaving the vertical pan knob loose. Creating vertical pan blurs is much easier to do with the Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head than with any ball head. When several folks with ball heads became frustrated I advised them to hand hold. They did, with much better results. After we went to the top of the hill to set up a group picture I went back down to the bottom of the hill with a few of the folks to do more blurs. I was glad that I did because that is when I created the image above.

In all I created about 400 flower-bed blurs. I kept about six of them. And only one made me very happy, the family jewel above. It is one of my favorite-ever blurs. My younger daughter Alissa and husband Ajiyniaz are closing on their new home on Thursday and when I suggested a large canvas print for their new digs Lissy was thrilled by the idea. And so was I.

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. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon 180mm macro lens. With its telephoto effect, the 180 is my favorite macro lens.
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.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.

Delkin 32gb e-Film Pro Compact Flash Card. These high capacity cards are fast and dependable. Clicking on the link below will bring you to the Delkin web site. There is lots of great stuff there. If you see a product that we do not carry let us know via e-mail; we will be glad to have it drop-shipped to you and save you a few bucks in the process.

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 gift with each order over $50.

16 comments to 1 in 400

  • Mary Stamper

    Beautiful image, Artie! I still haven’t got those pan blurs down, but you inspired me to keep trying. Thanks for all of your great advice in the workshop. As you’ve said before, it ain’t just birds. The fundamentals of photography apply, no matter what the subject. We also enjoyed the highly informative dinner conversation! I’m taking a hard look at my diet this week!

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Mary. It was great meeting you and Don. Thanks for sharing Chanticleer with us! I grabbed your e-mail address and will forward you the latest version of the Health Basics File. Later and love, artie

  • Arla

    Beautiful image! It would also be a phenomenal background for a hummingbird.

  • cheapo

    That’s great fun! Stonking colours!

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks Becky and Denise. 🙂

  • Artie, It’s a beauty and congrats to your daughter and her family on the new house. The print will surely be a center piece!

  • “that one” = yours above.

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Becky, That one??

  • That blur is one of the best I’ve seen. I love some of Denise’s, and that one is special too.

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    John, George, and Doug, Thanks for catching my brain typo on the shutter speed. You guys actually alerted me to a second brain typo: I always work in Tv mode when creating pleasing blurs to maintain complete control of shutter speed.

  • Jay Gould

    Artie, anyone who is a fan of hot Latin color – ME! – would drool to have that image on their wall. I love it!!

  • Doug Schurman


    This is fabulous. I think you hit the “monet” on this one.

  • Doug Schurman

    I’m sure that is a typo. In full sun (Sunny 16 rule) shutter speed would be 1/100th.

  • Great to see that you are able to shoot again, Artie! That blur is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Beautiful!

  • George Cottay

    The 1/1600 also has me confused. Possible typo?

  • Hi Artie,

    I just read your article 1 in 400 and I am a bit confused. You mentioned “set your lowest ISO; choose and use a variety of slow shutter speeds; take lots of images”. I then noticed that the info on the posted image you used was “ISO 50, 1/1600 sec. at f/11”. It’s the slow shutter speed that you used that has me asking the question. By the way, it is a beautiful image and I am sure it will look great on the wall of the home of your daughter and son-in-law’s home.