Impossible Situation? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Impossible Situation?

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Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens (at 123mm) with the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/5.6 in Av Mode.

Impossible Situation?

I created the image above by resting the 70-200 atop the lens barrel of my 800. The large, rounded out-of-focus blob in the lower right corner is actually the hood of the 800; you can see the hood’s black band closest to the camera in the very corner of the frame.

As always, we were the first panga to land. A visit to North Seymour Island is always one of my favorites as it holds the promise of dancing Blue-footed Boobies and the inflated pouches of two species of frigatebirds, Great and Magnificent. The frigatebirds almost always nest in cluttered situations. To maximize the photographic opportunities we walked the trail backwards expecting to encounter cluster of the dancing boobies. Instead, we found a cluster of nesting Magnificent Frigatebirds, many of the males with their almost comically huge and red bill pouches inflated to attract passing females. Most everyone in the group walked right past the bird pictured in the image above as there were several relatively unobstructed nests in a clearing just ahead.

When folks see a wall of branches and twigs between themselves and a potential subject they often give up too easily without taking the time to look for a perspective that might yield a clear view of the bird. Take your time. Get tall. Or squat down. If you find the right spot and the bird is facing away, be patient; bird’s rarely stay in the same position for long. Above, the clear view was just below eye level and required precise positioning of the tripod. And I am talking millimeters. Up or down, right or left even a sliver found unwanted branches protruding into the frame. But the rewards, as you can see below, were great: a beautiful bird with a clean inflated pouch, a sweet yellow background of distant out-of-focus grasses, and not a single Murphy’s Law branch to ruin things. Kudos to James Fuller who searched out the bushes and found a second window to my left and a bit lower. Heck, he is a bit shorter than me anyway.

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This image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/80 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode.

Lens/camera body Micro-adjustment: +3.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the images in today’s 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 educational 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.

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.
Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
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.
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.

4 comments to Impossible Situation?

  • Nancy Bell

    Very good lesson and outstanding result! Thanks, as always.

  • cheapo

    Heh. That’s why you’re the prof and they’re the students Artie. No doubt about it. The second image is great. That dude could do with a razor!

  • Amazing work. I’d have probably passed up that location, so it is good to see what can be accomplished under such conditions. 😀

  • Threading the needle. Patience and careful study of the situation paid off!