Watch My Back « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Watch My Back

Hand Report

The hand continues to improve. The tendon of the middle finger remains tight as a bowstring but with gentle stretching the range of motion–with both extension and flexion–increases a bit every day. The incisions are almost completely healed. A bit of swelling from the surgery remains but all in all things are looking excellent with zero signs of any remaining or recurring infection. My overall strength is returning as well. It is likely that soon the whole thing will be just a memory.

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Thanks to Charles Scheffold for creating this rear view of yours truly upon request on Denise Ippolito’s Creative Photography Workshop at Nickerson Beach, NY this morning. He created the image with the Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/800 at f/5.6 set manually. Lens/Camera Body Micro-Adjustment: 0.

After a long absence, B&H now has Canon EOS-1D Mark IV camera bodies in stock.
Click on the link for yours.

Watch My Back.

I love my custom-made X-tra Hand Vest created by John Storrie at The Vested Interest. My personally designed Big Lens Vest is based on his Magnum model. I love the two huge side pockets on my vest as they can hold tons of stuff. In the right hand pocket this morning I had my 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, a big bottle of spring water, and some extra head gear stuffed in. In the left hand pocket I had the 24-105mm IS L zoom lens, the 2X III TC, a 25mm Extension Tube, and another bottle of water. Note also the LegCoats to save my shoulder.

In the big rear pocket I had–all packed in LensCoat gear–my flash with extra batteries (FlashKeeper), my Canon External Battery Pack (in another FlashKeeper), my Better Beamer (BeamerKeeper), and my flash cord and the Mongoose Integrated Flash Arm (in a third FlashKeeper). My favorite feature on the vest are the two storage straps that here allowed my to stow the sweatshirt that I had needed on the chilly morning and my sneakers. (I could not stand the sand packed around my toes so I simply removed them and had fun in my socks.)

I take sun protection seriously; I am never at the beach without my Sun Protection Hood. It is much, much better to protect yourself with clothing than with chemicals, aka, sun block or sun screen. My blue blouse is 30 SPF from Sun Precautions.

Careful observers will note that my left hand supports the lens from below as detailed in the Advanced Sharpness section of ABP II (916 pages on CD only).

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear mentioned in today post. 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.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

Why waste time comparison shopping when you know that B&H will always offer the lowest prices?

Mark IV bodies are back in stock at B&H!

And here is a list of my favorite gear:

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens. Man, I am loving this lens on my shoulder with the 2X III teleconverter. I also use it a lot with the 1.4X III TC which is designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse 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.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Better Beamer. Using a Better Beamer with long lenses concentrates the light from the flash and yields an increase in flash output of about 2 2/3 stops, allows you to work at greater distances with smaller apertures, reduces battery drain, weighs just 2 1/2 ounces, and holds the Fresnel lens in place with no sagging or flopping. It fits in your pocket and set up and removal is quick and easy.
ProMaster Flash Cord. This flash cord is sturdy and reliable.
Mongoose Integrated Flash Arm. The Integrated Flash Arm allows the Mongoose user to instantly attach a flash 8 inches above the camera. This goes a long way to preventing red eye, flash eye, and steel eye in many situations. Ideal for use with a Better Beamer.

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. 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.

6 comments to Watch My Back

  • Bill Richardson

    A note on the 3530 tripod: I was not going to buy one because of the short over all height in the B&H specs. Then I read your note re the height being misstated. Since I got the correct info from you, I bought it from you. I have loved it ever since. Don’t know if the factory specs were ever corrected. Just wanted to let you know your advice and correct info was and has been appreciated!

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Hey Charlie, I figured that you would get a kick out of that :). It could use a sliver more room above but it was otherwise perfect. Thanks again.

  • Charles Scheffold

    Great day yesterday, Artie – thanks again! Lots of fun as usual. I laughed out loud when I saw that the shot you chose for the blog was the one that you made me re-do. Priceless 😛

    Oh and thanks for book recommendation (Pain Free) and back exercises. Already working on that.

    Hope to see you again soon…


  • Shall do. Thanks. Joy & Peace. C …

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Give John a buzz. He will be glad to let you know what he made for me and will be glad to discuss other options. He is a good man.

  • Seeing You Healed, Balanced, & Whole …

    Artie, I have been putting off getting a Vested Interest X-tra Hand Vest for a long time. Is there any reason why I should not get one that is a CUSTOM design just like yours ? I don’t see any reference to it in the Store. Am I correct, then, I must order it direct from John Storrie ?
    If so, do I say ” make me one just like Artie’s ? ”

    Over the years I have followed your discussions about the Vest, and the best I can tell I have [ or will have ] the same requirements as you have discussed … taking into consideration ” balancing ” the weight my 77 yr body will sustain. We are about the same size.

    Recommendations please …