Laughing Gull as Devil? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Laughing Gull as Devil?

What’s Up?

Despite absolutely perfect conditions, Monday morning was close to a bust. For about two weeks, I had been creating between 850 (on a bad day) and 2800 images (on a good day) in a single session. On the last morning of May, I headed down in hopes of creating a few killer head shots of one of the stilts. I set up well away from the nest. The female walked back to the nest, sat down on her 3-egg clutch, and stayed put even after I packed up my milk crate and left. The male walked in front of me just once and I came away with one decent head portrait. That in contrast with the previous day: when the crane family walked by the nest the frantic male landed right in front on me and posed for ten minutes at point blank range. But I only had the 200-600 with me … I checked on the three crane families; all was well. I took a ride around looking for some good flowers, but it was one of those days …

I finally finished the second edit of the APRIL 2021 folder: 480 keepers remained out of more than 2500 first edit survivors. May is next.

Today is Tuesday 1 June 2021.The forecast for ILE for this morning is a carbon copy of Monday’s weather: clear with a light breeze from the southeast. I have a new plan for my morning photo session. GNPA friend Eric Boles invited me to do a webinar for the Nikonian Speaker Series on June 15; I need to get to work on that and will begin today. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you have a great day.

This blog post took more than an hour to prepare, and makes 157 consecutive days with a new one. Please remember that if an item — a Delkin flash card, or a tripod head — for example, that is available from B&H and/or Bedfords and is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great if you opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to save 3% at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And doing so always earns my great appreciation.

ILE In-the-Field Sessions
Sandhill Crane colts and small chicks guaranteed!

Any morning from now til …
2-hour session (6:30 to 8:30am): $300.00/session

The crane colts family and the crane chicks family continue to be utterly dependable. Join me for a morning at Indian Lake Estates with a money-back guarantee: if we do not get to photograph either the colts and/or the chicks at close range, you will get every penny back. Point blank Black-necked Stilts are guaranteed as well.

Lodging and Photoshop lessons available. If you are seriously interested in joining me for one or more sessions, get in touch via e-mail or call or text me on my cell at 863-221-2372.

Huguenot Memorial Park and/or Jacksonville Nesting Beaches Info Requested

If you photograph regularly at Huguenot Memorial Park and/or any of the other of the publicly accessible beaches north of Jacksonville that have nesting Laughing Gull, Royal and Sandwich Terns, and possibly Brown Pelican, please get in touch via e-mail or call or text me at 863-221-2372.

Please Remember

With income from IPTs now close to zero, please, if you enjoy and learn from the blog, remember to use one of my two affiliate programs when purchasing new gear. Doing so just might make it possible for me to avoid having to try to get a job as a Walmart greeter and will not cost you a single penny more. And if you use Bedfords and remember to enter the BIRDSASART code at checkout, you will save 3% on every order and enjoy free second-day air shipping. In these crazy times — I am out at least forty to sixty thousand dollars so far due to COVID 19 (with lots more to come) — remembering to use my B&H link or to shop at Bedfords will help me out a ton and be greatly appreciated. Overseas folks who cannot order from the US because of import fees, duties, and taxes, are invited to help out by clicking here to leave a blog thank you gift if they see fit.

New and Better Bedfords Discount Policy!

You can now save 3% on all of your Bedfords photo gear purchases by entering the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout. Your discount will be applied to your pre-tax total. In addition, by using the code you will get 2nd day air shipping via Fed Ex.

Grab a Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III and save $14.99. Purchase a Canon EOS R5 and your discount will be $116.97. Purchase a Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens and save a remarkable $389.94! Your Bedford’s purchase no longer needs to be greater than $1,000.00 for you to receive a discount. The more you spend, the more you save.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would enjoy free second-day air shipping, your best bet is to click here, place an order with Bedfords, and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If an item is out of stock, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592 (Central time). Be sure to mention the BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order to save 3% and enjoy free 2nd-day air shipping. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The wait lists at the big stores can be a year or longer for the hard to get items. Steve will surely get you your gear long before that. For the past year, he has been helping BAA Blog folks get their hands on items like the SONY a9 ii, the SONY 200-600 G OSS lens, the Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 100-500mm lens, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is personable, helpful, and eager to please.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs (remember those?) and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

This image was created at the washover pool at Fort DeSoto on the 2nd DeSoto IPT. I used the Panning Ground Pod-mounted Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens with the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter (at 503mm) and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 500: 1/1000 sec. at f/11 (stoped down 2/3 stop) in Manual mode. RawDigger confirmed that the RAW file was close-enough-to-perfect. AWB at 19:29am on a sunny morning.

Wide/AF-C was active at the moment of exposure and performed quite well.

Image #1: Laughing Gull as Devil?

Laughing Gull as Devil?

We were just about wrapping up our morning when a handsome pair of Laughing Gulls flew in. What the hay? We got down on the ground and went to work. The bird here had just finished bathing and when it ruffled I fired away. One of the amazing things with the a1 is that you do not miss a whole lot with 30 frames per second. Yes, you need to edit ruthlessly but if you know what you are looking for it’s great to have multiple frames to choose from. That said, the crossed tail behind the head was visible in only two frames of a long series.

When photographing walking or foraging birds with a a Panning Ground Pod-mounted lens, the biggest problem is with the-side-to-side framing, getting the bird well back in the frame without clipping the tail. With a bird or birds facing you and standing still, life is much easier. Acquire focus and blast away.

Multiple Choice Crop Quiz

What percentage of the original frame does the optimized TIF file represent (as represented by the JPEG above)?

  • a- 11%
  • b- 22%
  • c- 44%
  • d- 66%
  • e- 88%


With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

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