For Your Critique: Image #11 « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

For Your Critique: Image #11

Tern Sunrise, Little St. Simon’s, GA. This image was created with the tripod mounted Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens, the 2X II TC (now replaced by the 2X III teleconverter) and the Canon EOS-40D (now replaced by the Canon EOS-7D). ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at 8. Focused manually by necessity.

Many folks who see this image congratulate me on creating this image in Photoshop. It is, however, straight out of camera :).

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

For Your Critique: Image #11

The image above is presented for your critique; feel free to praise it or rip it to shreds. All suggestions are welcome. Would you keep it or delete it? Let us know why either way, what you like or what you hate. What would you have done differently?

Over the course of the next month or so, I will present nine additional images in this series for a total of twenty in all. The last will be followed by several revelations including two major ones.

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Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s blog 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.

Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens. Surely the world’s most popular super-telephoto lens. And for good reason. And the 500 f/4L IS II promises to be a lot better!
2X III teleconverter. This new 2X TC is considerably sharper than the 2X II model.
Canon EOS-7D). Possibly the best value ever digital camera body….

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders 🙂
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.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
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.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine. Also available for the 7D and the Mark III here.

4 comments to For Your Critique: Image #11

  • Well, the bird makes the image so special, distinguishing it from a “mere” shot of the setting sun.

    Technically speaking, it reminds me that when I was a film photographer I spent lot of money in rolls devoted to the setting sun 🙂 While it seems that there are just so few things on the shot, there are often very funny optic effects. I even remember to have photographed a “novaja zemlja” which is a strange, extreme effect that makes the sun, already beyond the horizon, to appear on the sea as a flat stip of melt metal (I understand that the effect is common at very high latitudes, while I saw it in the Mediterranean).

    Digital cameras have definitely been an improvement for my wallet. On the other side, while I’ve not dedicated myself to shooting at the setting sun as in the past, I’ve got always problems with the exposure. In short, either I have burned out parts, or the rest of the world is extremely dark. Film seemed to handle this kind of shots better, but perhaps it’s just me. Honestly, I didn’t try with my latest 14 bit camera, which could handle the exposure better. So far I’ve found that the only way to get a non burned shot, with a non extremely dark surroundings, is to hope for a thick layer of foggy atmosphere just over the sea. Your opinion?

    Rising sun. Novaja zemlja sounds very special. I’ave been at some high latitudes but have never seen it. No opinion; just fact. If the sun is muted by fog or mist or light clouds you can easily create images of a properly exposed sun with a natural sky color. On clear mornings it is impossible to do that. The sun is so, so bright that when you expose for it properly the surrounding sky will go black. In New Mexico if you try to shoot the huge sun more than 15 minutes after sunrise at ISO 50, 1/8000 sec, at f/64 (with the 2X TC on the lens), you will overexpose the sun (unless you add a 3-stop drop-in ND. Film was exactly the same. artie

  • Dennis Pritchett

    I don’t quite know what to say about this image Art, it grabs my attention, but I don’t know if I’d want a print on the wall. I will say it’s a very interesting image.


  • Bob Boner

    It would be nice if the bird were a little sharper and tilted in the other direction. However, we all know that with nature/wildlife photography, we have to take what nature offers. This is still a nice image. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ron Sprunger

    Very dramatic and apocalyptic. Is the base at the bottom a reflection from earth, or some refractive effect? It would certainly be a keeper for me, though not because of the bird. I love those telephoto views of rising/setting sun, and the blood red color on this one is awesome.

    Hey Ron, Thanks. If you are seeing a red sun you need to calibrate your monitor; this big sun is pink. From here:

    Note the omega shape of the Sun, which is caused by an inferior mirage — the refracted image is below the object’s true position. As the Sun dips below the horizon (in the case of sunsets), its inferior mirage appears to join the “true” Sun, resulting in the omega shape. If an atmospheric inversion is present, the omega shape can be quite evident. The pronated “feet” resting on the horizon, are simply the inverted images of the parts of the Sun above them. artie