Philly’s Mike De Rosa Hits a Home Run! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Philly's Mike De Rosa Hits a Home Run!

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM Lens

BAA Record-low Price!

Multiple IPT veteran Bill Wingfield is offering a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS III USM lens in Excellent Plus Condition fora BAA Record-low by far $9499.00. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the front lens cover, a LensCoat, and insured ground shipping via UPS or Fed Ex when the check clears. The sale does not include the lens trunk. The lens has a few small blemishes, mostly on the hood.

Contact Billy via e-mail.

The 600mm f/4 lenses have been the state of the art super-telephotos for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many years. When I was using Canon and could get it to my location, my 600 II was always my go-to weapon. It is fast and sharp and deadly alone or with either TC. With a new 600 III going for $12,999 and used version 600 IIs hard to find, you’d do well to grab Billy’s lens ASAP. artie

On Getting Better

Consider joining me on a BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT). The San Diego, Homer, and the yet-to-be announced Spring DeSoto IPTs, the July 2023 Jacksonville IPT, and the July 2024 Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime, all offer the opportunity for you to dramatically improve your skills both in the field and at the computer and to make some astounding images as well. Click here and see which IPT might be best for you.

What’s Up?

Early on, in the pre-dawn light, a huge flock of Red Knots blasted off many times provided lots of opportunities to create pleasing blurs with just about any lens. There were about 600 American White Pelicans on the bar on Tuesday morning, day two of the third DeSoto IPT. We waited, waited, and waited, confident that they would fly off right at us in small groups as they had done on Monday morning. Aside from a very, very few of the huge birds that flew off sporadically, the flock sat on the sandbar and did nothing.

We gave up and headed to Hidden lagoon where we found several wading birds. That’s when Mike De Rosa made today’s amazing featured image. Then we headed back to the recalcitrant pelican flock. While waiting for them to not fly :(, we worked several handsome young Great Egrets foraging along the shoreline. Still no luck. On our way out we worked two dancing Reddish Egrets and a handsome fishing Snowy Egret.

Mike and Norma stayed in on Tuesday afternoon while Bob Reis and I went after shorebirds at ground level. We had lots of great chances with adult and juvenile Semipalmated Plovers, young Piping Plovers (one banded, one unbounded), two Black-bellied Plovers, and a Least Sandpiper. We went past the white pelican flock and photographed some swimming birds at ground level. Not a single pelican flew. As the sun set, I spotted the Bar-tailed Godwit and Bob made a few images of the very rare bird.

Today is Wednesday 2 November 2022, day 3 of the third DeSoto IPT. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day. This blog post took about an hour to prepare including the time spent on the image optimization and makes two hundred twenty-one days in a row with a new one.

Please remember to use the B&H and Amazon links that are found on most blog pages and to use the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout when purchasing your new gear from Bedfords to get 3% back on your credit card and enjoy free second-day air FedEx. Please, also, consider joining a BAA IPT. You will be amazed at how much you will learn!

You can find some great photo accessories (and necessities, like surf booties!) on Amazon by clicking on the Stuff tab on the orange/yellow menu bar above. On a related note, it would be extremely helpful if blog-folks who, like me, spend too much money on Amazon, would get in the habit of clicking on the Amazon logo link on the right side of each blog post when they shop online. As you might expect, doing so will not cost you a single penny, but would be appreciated tremendously by yours truly. And doing so works seamlessly with your Amazon Prime account.

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, is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great, and greatly appreciated, if you would opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to earn 3% cash back at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout for your major gear purchases. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And always earns my great appreciation.

Brand-New and As-Good-As-Ever Bedfords BAA Discount Policy

Folks who have fallen in love with Bedfords can now use the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout to enjoy a post-purchase, 3% off-statement credit (excluding taxes and shipping charges) on orders paid with a credit card. The 3% credit will be refunded to the card you used for your purchase. Be sure, also, to check the box for free shipping to enjoy free Second Day Air Fed-Ex. This offer does not apply to purchases of Classes, Gift Cards, or to any prior purchases.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would like to enjoy getting 3% back on your credit card along with free 2nd Day Air Fed-Ex 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 check the box for Free Shipping. That will automatically upgrade to free 2nd Day Air Fed-Ex. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The waitlists 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 a 1, 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.

Important Note

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small percentage when you purchase from Amazon after using any of the Amazon links on the blog (including the logo-link on the right side of each blog post page). My affiliate link works fine with Amazon Prime and using it will not cost you a single cent. Huge thanks, BTW 🙂

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs 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. And the same is true in spades when ordering new camera bodies or lenses. My advice will often save you some serious money and may help you avoid making a seriously bad choice. Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. If you are desperate, you can try me on my cell at 863-221-2372. Please leave a message and shoot me a text if I do not pick up.

This image was created by Mike De Rosa on 1 November 2022, on the second morning of the third DeSoto IPT. He used the hand held Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens (at 600mm) and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless digital camera. ISO 1600. Exposure determined via Zebras with ISO on the rear dial: 1/1250 sec. at f/6.3 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 8:58:16am in the shade on a partly cloudy morning.

Tracking Zone/AF-C with Bird Face-Eye enabled was active at the moment of exposure and performed perfectly. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version

Little Blue Heron juvenile taking flight
Image courtesy of and copyright 2022: Mike DeRosa
Post-processing by BIRDS AS ART

Mike De Rosa

Micheal De Rosa, of Italian and Puerto Rican Heritage, was born in Spanish Harlem in NYC. He is eighty years old. He was a chemistry teacher in the USA and Venezuela for forty-six years retired as a Professor Emeritus at Penn State Brandywine. Two years ago, he e-mailed me stating that he was befuddled by his Sony a1. I convinced him that he could become a much better bird photographer by attending a Jacksonville IPT after purchasing a Sony 200-600 lens. He did and he has. You can read more about Mike and see some of his JAX images in the blog post here.

Mike De Rosa Scores in Hidden Lagoon!

Mike had been shooting JPEGs since his last IPT to avoid having to do raw conversions. I’d advised him to raise the ISO to the point of Zebras, and then, shoot one or two clicks darker; when shooting JPEGs, you should never have blinkies on your thumbnails. Mike had been working with a1 Firmware v1.10. I upgraded him to v1.31 and loaded my settings onto his camera body. Neither of us realized that he was now shooting only raw files.

With the juvie Little Blue Heron in the dark green water, and thinking that Mike was still shooting JPEGs, I grabbed his rig and set the exposure for JPEGs. He made a few images of the foraging bird, and when it took flight, he panned with the bird and made about eight images.
When unexpected action happens, press and hold the shutter button first and ask questions later The first image, the best in the series by far, is one, today’s featured photograph. Had he zoomed out from 600mm, he would have had a few more good ones.

After helping Mike set the diopter properly, upgrading the Firmware, and reviewing his AF techniques, Mike marveled continuous on Tuesday about how well the a1 found and tracked the bird’s eyes. In short, he was amazed at the improvement.

From Joe Barranco via e-Mail

Thanks for your great ideas on the A1 set up. I have been getting MANY more keepers doing things your way!

From Barbara White via e-Mail

Wow, I just gotta say – I learn so much from the SONY Alpha a1 Set-up and Info group! My camera is on my desk, and I’m always picking it up and changing something that I’ve read about in the e-mails.

Thanks, Barbara

From Janet Horton via e-Mail

Hi Artie, Mystery solved. Yes, I was able to replicate what you did. I forgot that you have to set self-timer using the upper dial. I am used to that being just a selection in Menu.

Thanks much, Janet

Click on the image to better see the green eye-AF boxes in action.

Sony Alpha 1 Flight Photography AF Points!

The SONY Alpha a1 Set-up Guide and Info Group: $150.00 (or Free)

The SONY Alpha a1 Set-up Guide and Info Group is going great guns as more and more folks chime in with thoughtful questions and experience-based answers. As the a1 is becoming more readily available, more and more folks are getting their hands on this amazing body. The group is now up to up to an astounding 131 lucky and blessed folks, and more than a few folks own two or more a1 bodies! Early on, we discussed the myriad AF options. I gave my opinion as to the best one for flight and general bird photography. The best news is that everyone in the group receives an e-mail that includes a .DAT file with my a1 settings on it, and explicit directions on how to load my settings onto your a1; talk about convenience! I am now offering a .DAT file compatible with firmware update 1.20. Your entry into the group includes a consolidated Sony a1 CAMSETA2 INFO & GUIDE. New a1 folks will now receive six e-mails instead of the previous 28! You will receive new e-mails as they are published. Simply put, this e-mail guide is an incredible resource for anyone with an a1.

All who purchased their Alpha 1 bodies via a BAA affiliate link — B&H or Bedfords — will receive a free Sony Alpha a1 Set-Up Guide and free entry into the Info Updates group after shooting me their receipts via e-mail. (Note: it may take me several days to confirm B&H orders.). Others can purchase their guide here in the BAA Online Store.


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

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