Pissed Off Pano Questions « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Pissed Off Pano Questions

This image was created this morning, June 5, 2013 on Great Gull Island with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -2/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/8 in Manual Mode.

One sensor below the central sensor Surround/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF barely on the subject’s tail active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The Original

The image above is the original image. I was happy to get all of the subject in the frame.

This is my first version.

The Situation

I was photographing a very nice looking Common Tern on the triangular rock perch. It was wearing a single aluminum band. Another bird flew in and chased it off its perch. I fired twice; the first image is presented here.

This is the second version.

Pissed Off Pano Questions

Which optimized version better tells the story? Which is more dramatic? Which is the better photography? Why?


Can you come up with two reasons why I was using the 5D III on the 600 II? My 1D X is fine.

Help Keep Great Gull Island Open For Terns!

This spring crews are continuing to fight vegetation and to rebuild most of the blinds to be ready for the terns when they arrive. 31 of 34 blinds, many already in dire need of repair, were finished off by Hurricane Sandy. Crews are ready to help with both of these projects, but the GGI Project needs funds to purchase lumber and equipment. Contributions of all sizes are both welcome and appreciated AND are tax deductible! Please make checks payable to: AMNH, and send them to:

Great Gull Island Project/AMNH, Department of Ornithology, American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West and 79th Street, New York, NY 10024

Kudos to Julianna Barrett (UCONN) and Suzanne Peyton (USFWS) who obtained grants to expand the Roseate Tern terraces and rebuild the observation blinds but more help is always needed. Not to mention that the GGI’s best-ever dock that was completed in 2010 was totaled by Sandy. The project is looking to FEMA for help but as above, any and all donations would be greatly appreciated.

You can learn more about Great Gull Island here and visit the GGI Blog here.


On all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or leave a comment regarding any typos, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. πŸ™‚

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

If you are considering an item for purchase or comparison shopping be sure to place an item in your cart to see the too-low-to show the actual price. In many cases the prices are so low that B&H is forbidden from publicizing them!

If you are considering an item for purchase or comparison shopping be sure to place an item in your cart to see the too-low-to show the actual price. In many cases the prices are so low that B&H is forbidden from publicizing them!

Support the Blog


Everyone buys something from Amazon, be it a big lens or deodorant. Support the blog by starting your search by typing in the little white box below. No purchase is too small to be appreciated; they all add up. Why make it a habit? Because I make it a habit of bringing you new images and information on an almost daily basis.

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 πŸ™‚ And you will love them in mega-cold weather….
Gitzo GT3532 LS CF Tripod. This one replaces the GT3530LS Tripod and will last you a lifetime. Learn more about this great tripod here.
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.
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.
BreezeBrowser. I do not see how any digital photographer can exist without this program.
Delkin Flash Cards. I use and depend on Delkin compact Flash Cards and card readers most every day. Learn more about their great 700X and 1000X cards here or about my favorite Delkin card here.

22 comments to Pissed Off Pano Questions

  • Neil Hickman

    This is an image of a bird leaping off a rock as another bird comes in ( A ripper and I love it!). It is not a shot of a bird in flight (suggested by the last shot).

    • Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

      Neil.. I’m not sure that I would have gotten that “story” from the photo, as presented… If Artie hadn’t told it…
      So I was looking at the photo from the point of it standing on it’s own… and what was the most compelling “story”…
      Which appears to me, to be that this fellow was dodging away from the intruding bird… expressed by the upper partial wing…

      If the rock stays… I’d go with the larger rock… but this is a great capture… one way or the other…

      Great discussion… Good for Artie.. To set this up…
      Looking forward to what he has to say… Bet he likes the rock or he wouldn’t have fussed with it…
      All is good….

  • I like the 1st and 2nd version. I think they both
    get the point across of the intruder, with or without
    the rock.

    What I do like is how you cropped it so the wing
    of the intruder is coming out of the upper corner
    vs just hanging there from the top in the original.


  • Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

    Forgot to mention the rock…

    I’m going against the group here… I find it distracting…. what is it doing there??

    The photo, for me is all about the agile antics of the tern… not a stolid rock… which doesn’t even add scale… or help with the composition

    SO I like the 2nd image… but I might have left a little more “canvas” at the bottom for the bird to be looking into..

  • Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

    Nick seems to know how small and quick these guys are…

    Photos of these darting and flashing terns are easily compositionally challenged… and having more pixels in your tank.. or on your card….
    allows for greater cropping and flexibility … that the 5DIII provides… 22+ vs 18+ for the 1DX.

    But pixels aren’t everything… the AF of the 5DIII is brilliant… crisp, sharp and fast… great for flight… and action…

    …And if one wanted to go for more freedom to shoot…. Using the light weight 5DIII, say w/the new 500 w/1.4X… you’d have a pretty impressive set up to capture these guys…

  • Ken Clinton

    I like the rock because it fits the.
    I think the Mk 3 delivers a very clean image with great dynamic range.

  • Gary Axten

    I like the rock but I also like the extra detail of the zoomed in version. I don’t feel the wing of the other bird adds anything to the story and is distracting .

  • I prefer the image with the small amount of rock showing because it tells the story better and the rock isn’t too distracting also the Tern has more space to fly into.

    I think you used the 5D III over the 1D X because it has a higher pixel density and also at a low ISO such as 400 there will be no or very little noise benefit using the 1D X.

    Great capture BTW Artie.

  • Jay

    I agree with the others, the rock is important. I like the larger rock in the original capture, but the crop shows details of the terns face that you want the viewer to see.

  • Ron Fullelove

    My own preference is to see more rock, with optimised bird, and dare I say prob without wing of second bird.

  • I agree with Susannah too. The rock absolutely helps telling the story. Otherwise, it looks more like some squabble in flight.

  • Wow!Too beautiful,I love this pictures.

  • Sarah Mayhew

    I agree with Susannah. I think I like the 1st one(with optimization of next 2), with more of the rock. Tells more of a story. Nice image!

  • John Ornelles

    I also like the larger rock version, the smaller one looks like its a result of a missed shot while the larger one tells me there is more going on in the scene.

  • David Policansky

    Great images; I agree with Susannah and Gary that the rock is good but I prefer the crop. There’s still enough of the rock to tell the story. I have been photographing courting and nesting least terns on Nantucket; amazing repertoire of behaviors, including the fish offerings. Today the terns were dive-bombing two oystercatchers and their chicks that were in their colony and the oystercatchers were covered in white patches (tern guano)! I do wish I had a 1DX and a 600 f/4 plus TCs, but I’m making do with the 7D and 400 f/5.6 for now.

  • I also agree – for me the original image is the one I feel tells the story the best.

  • Marr Miller

    Larger Rock works better. The 5DIII? Stealth. The 1Dx is noticeably louder.

  • I actually like more rock of the original capture or no rock, I think the little bit of rock in your first crop is not enough to tell a story and is just a distraction.