Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
June 2nd, 2024

Killdeer Young -- How Old Are You Now?

A Practically Free IPT

If you would like to learn about joining me east of Jacksonville, FL for a week of great photography and instruction this July — for next to nothing, please shoot me an e-mail. Share and AirBnB and ride to, on, and from the beach with me. Airport pickup possible.

Your Call?

Which image do you like best? Why?

Important Notice

After an update on 4 May, WordPress stopped sending post notifications. We are aware of the issue and are working on rectifying it. You can always visit the blog by visiting or bookmarking www.BIRDSASART-Blog.com.

Supporting My Efforts Here

If you enjoy and learn from the blog, please consider using one of my affiliate links when purchasing new gear. It will never cost you a single penny. To support my effort here, please order from B&H by beginning your search here. Or, click here, to order from Bedfords and enter the discount code BIRDSASART at checkout to receive 3% cash back to your credit card and enjoy free Second-Day Air Fed-Ex shipping. It is always best to write for advice via e-mail.

In many cases, I can help you save some serious dollars. And/or prevent you from purchasing the wrong gear.

What’s Up?

Today is Sunday 2 June 2024. This blog post took about more than five hours to prepare — a labor of love. Have a great day.

This image was created by a visiting Clemens Van der Werf on the morning of 1 May 2024 down by the lake near my home at ILE. He used my Robus RC-5558 Vantage Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod/Levered-Clamp FlexShooter Pro-mounted Canon EF 180mm f/3.5L Macro USM lens with Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R and his Canon EOS R3 Mirrorless Camera. ISO 1000: 1/50 second at f/8 (stopped down 2 1/3 stops) in Manual Mode. AWB at 7:28:00pm in the shade of my body on a mostly clear afternoon.

Manual focus with focus peaking. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Image #1: 1-day old at most Killdeer chicks in scrape nest
Image courtesy of and copyright 2024 Clemens Van der Werf

So Much For Being Mister Nice Guy

I had suspected for several weeks that there was a killdeer nest on the ornamental rock garden by the bathroom down by the pier at ILE. But I did not find it until the afternoon of 30 April of this year. After staring at the same spot for several minutes, I finally was able to make out one tiny, perfectly camouflaged chick and two eggs in a small scrape nest. The nest morning I photographed three chicks in the nest with my 600mm lens. You are not seeing it here for a reason; it is not very good.

Clemens, visiting his adopted state from The Netherlands, came by for dinner on May 1st asa we had made a reservation to photograph on a pontoon boat at Lek Blue Cypress the next morning. After we ate, we headed down to the lake to check things out. There were two tiny chicks in the nest and no eggs or eggshells. The first hatched chick must have gone for a walkabout. Shorebird chicks are precocial. Pretty darn soon, sometimes within hours of hatching, they fluff out their feathers and wander away from the nest, picking at bits of food as they go.

Anyhoo, I crabbed my Canon 180 Macro lens, the Metabones adapter, and an a-1 and went to work. Clemens kindly shaded the nest from the late after sun with his body. The two chicks laid there with their eyes close. Clemens mounted his Canon R3 to my favorite macro lens via the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R. As luck would have it both chicks opened their eyes as one of them raised its head. Bingo for Clemens, bummer for me 🙂

Note that the chick on our right has the egg tooth on the tip of its bill. That helps them chip away at the eggshell so that it can escape and hatch. It has disappeared from the bill of the chick on our left so that one is likely older by a day (or two at most).

This image was created on 6 May 2024 down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL. Working from the driver’s seat of my SUV, I used the BLUBB-supported Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera). The exposure was determined via Zebra technology with ISO on the thumb dial. ISO 1600. 1/320 sec. at f/9 (stopped down 1/3-stop) in Manual mode. When evaluated in RawDigger, the raw file exposure was determined to be perfect. AWB at 7:39:41am on variably cloudy morning.

Tracking: Expand Spot/AF-C performed perfectly even at 1200mm. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #2: Killdeer — 7-day old chick
Image copyright 2024: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Seven Days Old

This chick is almost surely seven days old, eight at the very most. On the morning of 6 May, I was thrilled to find all three chicks in the far southwest corner of the ILE “beach.” I posted a shot of one of the three chicks from that morning: Image #2 in the blog post here.

I love the two tone background and the chicks cyan colored ankles. Yes, what you think are a bird’s knees actually correspond to a human’s ankles.

This image was created on 7 May 2024 down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL. Working from the driver’s seat of my SUV, I used the BLUBB-supported Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera). The exposure was determined via Zebra technology with ISO on the thumb dial. ISO 1600. 1/320 sec. at f/.6 (wide open) in Manual mode. When evaluated in RawDigger, the raw file exposure was determined to be perfect. AWB at 7:14:14am on variably cloudy morning.

Tracking: Expand Spot/AF-C performed perfectly even at 1200mm. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #3: Killdeer — adult calling chicks on 7 May
Image copyright 2024: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Good Parent

At the exact same spot the next morning, one of the adults was calling the chicks. All three responded and disappeared under momma or poppa in a few moments. Though in prefect position, I never got to press the shutter button.

This image was created on 25 May 2024 down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL. Working from the driver’s seat of my SUV, I used the BLUBB-supported Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera). The exposure was determined via Zebra technology with ISO on the thumb dial. ISO 3200. 1/400 sec. at f/8 (wide open) in Manual mode. When evaluated in RawDigger, the raw file exposure was determined to be perfect. AWB at 7:00:18am on variably cloudy morning.

Tracking: Expand Spot/AF-C performed perfectly even at 1200mm. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #4: Killdeer — juvenal plumage, 26-days old
Image copyright 2024: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Success!

Two weeks later, in the same spot, I was thrilled to see all three of the young Killdeer along the shore of the lake adjacent to the beach. They were fledged and almost fully grown, except for their long scraggly tails. Note the handsome feather edgings that distinguish the juvies from the adults.

This image was created on 30 May 2024 down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL. Working from the driver’s seat of my SUV, I used the BLUBB-supported Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera). The exposure was determined via Zebra technology with ISO on the thumb dial. ISO 2500. 1/400 sec. at f/8 (wide open) in Manual mode. When evaluated in RawDigger, the raw file exposure was determined to be perfect. AWB at 7:00:18am on variably cloudy morning.

Tracking: Expand Spot/AF-C performed perfectly even at 1200mm. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #5: Killdeer — juvenal plumage, 32-days old, stretching far wing
Image copyright 2024: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Far Wingstretch

If a shorebird is stretching a wing and the head angle is decent, I will almost always hold the shutter button down. Picking this one as best from a long series was easy as it offered the best look at the far foot.

ps: The next day I saw one of the young take flight.

Typos

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

May 31st, 2024

Photographic Cliches???

Take Time to Laugh

When dying of cancer, basketball coach Jim Valvaono was often asked how he found the strength to carry on. Speaking quite emotionally, he would answer: “To me, there are three things we all should do every day every day of our lives. We should find the time to laugh, to think, and to cry.”

I pretty much do all three every day without even trying. Honest. If you are lacking in the laugh department, watch the The Seinfeld ROUNDTABLE video above. The Seinfeld cast and Larry David reminisce on the best Seinfeld moments. Even if you are not a huge fan, you will LYAO (laugh your ass off).

Important Notice

After an update on 4 May, WordPress stopped sending post notifications. We are aware of the issue and are working on rectifying it. You can always visit the blog by visiting or bookmarking www.BIRDSASART-Blog.com.

Supporting My Efforts Here

If you enjoy and learn from the blog, please consider using one of my affiliate links when purchasing new gear. It will never cost you a single penny. To support my effort here, please order from B&H by beginning your search here. Or, click here, to order from Bedfords and enter the discount code BIRDSASART at checkout to receive 3% cash back to your credit card and enjoy free Second-Day Air Fed-Ex shipping. It is always best to write for advice via e-mail.

In many cases, I can help you save some serious dollars. And/or prevent you from purchasing the wrong gear.

Live Life to the Fullest

Join an Instructional Photo-Tour. For nearly a week of private instruction and great flight photography, check out the Jacksonville IPT.

What’s Up?

Photography down by the lake at ILE has been fabulous, the best May ever. Right now I have 2762 images from yesterday to get through, most with the Sony a-1! Sunset last night was good but without the fog, the swath of sunlight reflecting off the water was super-bright. That made the photograph even more challenging than it had been on Wednesday night.

Today is Friday 31 May 2024. I will, of course, be heading down to the pier in fifteen minutes. Whatever you are doing, I hope that you too choose to have a great day.

Please remember to use the B&H 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!

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.

This image was created on 29 May 2024 down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL. Working from the driver’s seat of my SUV, I used the BLUBB-supported Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera). The exposure was determined via Zebra technology with ISO on the thumb dial. ISO 640. 1/640 sec. at f/8 (wide open) in Manual mode. When evaluated in RawDigger, the raw file exposure was determined to be perfect. AWB at 8:07:14am five minutes before sunset.
Tracking: Zone/AF-C with Bird Face/Eye detection enabled performed perfectly even at 1200mm. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Black-bellied Whistling Duck sunset silhouette

The Situation

Though the wind was supposed to be from the northeast on Wednesday afternoon — bad for front-lit flight photography on a sunny afternoon, I opted to head down to the lake to check on the two recently fledged and barely flying young Ospreys. The wind was from the north by slightly west when I arrived so I had hope. But when an adult with a fish landed on the nest tower it angled to the northeast so I gave up. Within a few minutes the wind turned to the northeast. To keep busy until sunset, I created 796 tight head portraits of some cooperative Turkey Vultures with the a1 at 1200mm on the BLUBB.

The Sunset

With some light fog in the western sky the chances for great color were great. And that is exactly what unfolded. The “bad” wind for traditional front-lit flight photography was perfect for silhouettes, but the challenges were large. Isolating a single duck was nearly impossible, even at 1200mm. Finding some clean water was equally difficult as the birds were standing in patches of grass. Throw in the fact that nearly all of the ducks are paired off. I stuck with it till I hurt and never gave up. The very best images were made five minutes before the sun touched the western horizon.

Photographic Cliches?

Lots of folks state that they do not like silhouettes because they are all cliches.

Surfing a bit, I found this a blog post by a landscape/travel photographer named Mitchell Kanashkevich:

So, a cliché in photography is anything that’s overly obvious, lacks originality of idea and has been seen in a similar shape or form countless times.

I checked out his images and quickly saw that he is a talented and accomplished photographer. So I kept reading. You can read the whole post here. Be sure to learn about Mitchell here and follow a few of the links to check out some of his incredible images.

The Question

Do you consider today’s featured image to be a clichĂ©? Why or why not?

RawDigger e-Guide with Two Videos

Ho Hum, Another Perfect Exposure

What can I say? The combination of Zebras live in the viewfinder (with your camera set up properly) and post-capture study of the raw files in RawDigger makes it pretty much child’s play to come up with perfect exposure after perfect exposure. Not o worry. Canon, Nikon and others can still learn a ton by evaluating their raw files in RawDigger.

It would be impossible to overstate how much I have learned by studying RawDigger and how much better my exposures have become since I started with the program almost four years ago. With the G channel approaching the 16000 line, the raw file brightness for today’s featured image is dead solid perfect.

RawDigger — not for the faint of heart …

Nothing has ever helped me learn to create perfect exposures to the degree that RawDigger has. I think that many folks are reluctant to learn that most of their images are underexposed by one or more full stops and that highlight warnings in Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One, and your in-camera histogram are bogus as they are based on the embedded JPEGs. Only your raw files tell the truth all the time. Heck, I resisted RawDigger for several years … Once you get over that feeling, RawDigger can become your very best exposure friend no matter what system you are using. On the recent IPTs and In-the-Field sessions, we have demonstrated that fact over and over again. Convincingly.

RawDigger e-Guide with Two Videos

The RawDigger Adapted (pink) Histogram

In the RawDigger e-Guide, you will learn exactly how to set up the Adapted “pink” RawDigger Histogram and how to use it to quickly and easily evaluate the exposure or raw file brightness of images from all digital cameras currently in use. RawDigger was especially helpful to me when I struggled with R5 exposures and learned my new camera body, the Sony Alpha a1.

The RawDigger e-Guide with Two Videos

by Arthur Morris with Patrick Sparkman

The RawDigger e-Guide was created only for serious photographers who wish to get the absolute most out of their raw files including those like today’s featured image, that were made in extremely difficult situations.

Patrick and I began work on the guide in July 2020. At first, we struggled. We asked questions. We learned about Max-G values. We puzzled as to why the Max G values for different cameras were different. IPT veteran Bart Deamer asked lots of questions that we could not answer. We got help from RawDigger creator Iliah Borg. We learned. In December, Patrick came up with an Adapted Histogram that allows us to evaluate the exposures and raw file brightness for all images created with any digital camera bodies from the last two decades. What we learned each time prompted three complete beginning to end re-writes.

The point of the guide is to teach you to truly expose to the mega-Expose-to-the-Right so that you will minimize noise, maximize image quality, best utilize your camera’s dynamic range, and attain the highest possible level of shadow detail in your RAW files in every situation. In addition, your properly exposed RAW files will contain more tonal information and feature the smoothest possible transitions between tones. And your optimized images will feature rich, accurate color.

We teach you why the GREEN channel is almost always the first to over-expose. We save you money by advising you which version of RawDigger you need. We teach you how to interpret the Max G values for your Canon, Nikon, and SONY camera bodies. It is very likely that the Shock-your-World section will shock you. And lastly — thanks to the technical and practical brilliance of Patrick Sparkman — we teach you a simple way to evaluate your exposures and the raw file brightness quickly and easily the Adapted RawDigger histogram.

The flower video takes you through a session where artie edits a folder of images in Capture One while checking the exposures and Max-G values in RawDigger. The Adapted Histogram Video examines a series of recent images with the pink histograms and covers lots of fine points including and especially how to deal with specular highlights. The directions for setting up the Adapted Histogram are in the text.

If we priced this guide based on how much effort we put into it, it would sell it for $999.00. But as this guide will be purchased only by a limited number of serious photographers, we have priced it at $51.00. You can order yours here in the BAA Online Store.

Typos

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

May 29th, 2024

Two Very Different Whistling Duck Images!

Canon EOS 5D Mark III/24-105 Infrared Rig with Many Extras!

Price reduced $100.00 on 29 May 2024

Morro Bay IPT veteran Dane Johnson is offering a Canon EOS 5D Mark III (converted to infrared, as noted below) in near-mint conditions with the BG-E11 battery grip (in like-new condition) and a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens (also in near-mint condition) for a ridiculously low $899.00 (was $999.00). The Super Color Infrared (590nm) conversion was performed by Life Pixel in November 2017 and included a custom lens focus calibration. The shutter count is approximately 12,330. The sale includes everything above, the front body cap, the front and rear lens caps, the EW-83H lens shade, all the items that came in the original boxes (camera strap, battery charger, cables, manuals, etc.), the original product boxes, a Canon RS-80N3 Remote Switch (cable release), two RRS L-plates (for the camera and for the battery grip), three extra LP-E6 batteries, four Delkin 32GB CF 700X UDMA 6 compact flash cards, a Hoodman loupe for checking focus in the rear panel in live-view mode, a Photoshop action for channel switching the color channels (loaded on the CF card in the camera), and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower-48 US addresses only.

Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Dane via e-mail or by phone at 1-559-593-0989 (Pacific time zone).

When I shot Canon, I dabbled in IR for a while — had a ton of fun and made some good images at Bosque and the Palouse. Dane’s offer above has so many extras that you could toss the camera in the trash and still come out ahead! artie

Important Notice

After an update on 4 May, WordPress stopped sending post notifications. We are aware of the issue and are working on rectifying it. You can always visit the blog by visiting or bookmarking www.BIRDSASART-Blog.com.

Supporting My Efforts Here

If you enjoy and learn from the blog, please consider using one of my affiliate links when purchasing new gear. It will never cost you a single penny. To support my effort here, please order from B&H by beginning your search here. Or, click here, to order from Bedfords and enter the discount code BIRDSASART at checkout to receive 3% cash back to your credit card and enjoy free Second-Day Air Fed-Ex shipping. It is always best to write for advice via e-mail.

In many cases, I can help you save some serious dollars. And/or prevent you from purchasing the wrong gear.

Live Life to the Fullest

Join an Instructional Photo-Tour. For nearly a week of private instruction and great flight photography, check out the Jacksonville IPT.

Your Call?

Which of today’s two featured images is the strongest? Anyone who sees this blog post is invited to leave a comment and let us know why they made their choice.

What’s Up?

I spent five 1/2 hours on the phone yesterday afternoon sharing my laptop screen with a senior tech guy name Mario from HomePage Security. He is a brilliant guy and was worked like a dog fixing many errors on both BPN and the BAA Blog. He has not yet fixed the blog post notification problem. But we are not giving up yet.

The early morning whistling duck flight photography continues to be excellent. By using different lenses and lens/TC combinations with the a9 iii, I have been able to create some strikingly different images. Today is Wednesday 29 May 2024. I will be headed down very soon to look for more different duck stuff. Whatever you are doing, I hope that you too choose to have a great day.

If you plan on purchasing a Sony a9 III Mirrorless Camera (or anything else for that matter), please remember to use or write for either my Bedfords discount code or my B&H affiliate link. Folks who use one of my two affiliate links to purchase the a9 III will receive my .DAT settings (the complete camera set-up) along with a Buttons and Dials Guide.

Please remember to use the B&H 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!

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.

ddc 728w

Save 15%!

If you’d like to try out a new lens or if you need a lens for a specific trip or project (or for an IPT), LensRentals.com is the only way to go. To save 15%, simply click on the logo link above, arrange for your rental, and type in BIRDSASART15. If you type the gear you are looking for in the search box, it will pop right up. LensRentals.com offers affordable insurance. You can decline it, opt for LensCap: Damage Only, or select LensCap: Damage & Theft. Then hit PROCEED TO CHECKOUT. After you enter all of your info but before completing your order, be sure to scroll down to Promo Code box and enter the BIRDSASART15 code to save 15%.

I checked on renting a Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens for a week. The cost is only $122.00. LensCap: Damage Only coverage can be added for a very low $18.00. Going with LensCap: Damage & Theft would be $27.00. The shipping charge varies. They offer an interesting program called Lensrentals HD. By signing up for this shipping discount program ($99.00/year), you’ll get free Standard Shipping on all the orders you place.

Renting a Sony 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens for a week will cost you $536.00. The two coverage options come in at $76.00 or $114.00. Less your 15% discount when you enter the BIRDSASART15 code into the Promo Code box at checkout and enter the BIRDSASART15 code in the Promo Code box at checkout to save 15%.

Remember, to save the 15% on your rental you must start your search by clicking on the logo above, or on this link: LensRentals.com



B&H

To ensure that I get credit for your B&H purchases, you can always click here. The tracking is invisible but greatly appreciated. And, you can use your PayBoo card. You must use the website to order. B&H will reopen on Fri April 14. Thanking me for the past 4000 educational blog posts could not be any easier and will not cost you one penny. Please shoot me your B&H receipt for major purchases.

Many folks have written recently stating that they purchased a Sony a1 from B&H and would like their free membership in the Sony 1 Info and Updates Group, a $150.00 value. When I check my affiliate account, their orders have not been there. When I let them know that they get credit for B&H purchases only if they use one of the many B&H affiliate links on the blog or begin their searches with this link, they are always disappointed. If in doubt, please contact me via e-mail and request a BH link. I am always glad to help and to guide you to the right gear.

Bedfords Simplified

Click here to start your search. Choose standard shipping, and when you get to the payment page, enter BIRDSASART in the discount code box and hit apply. You will be upgraded to free second day air Fed-Ex and receive 3% cash back on your credit card once your stuff ships. Either is greatly appreciated by yours truly.

Bedfords Amazing 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, prior purchases.

Visit the Bedfords website here, shoot Steve Elkins an e-mail, or text him on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592.

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 stave 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 on Thursday 26 May 2024 down by the lake near my home. Standing at full height, I used the handheld Sony FE 300mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens (Sony E) with the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter (at 420mm) and the ridiculously amazing Sony a9 III Mirrorless Camera. The exposure was determined via Zebra technology with ISO on the Thumb Dial. ISO 800: 1/4000 sec. at f/4.5 (stopped down 1/3-stop) in Manual mode. When evaluated in RawDigger, the raw file brightness was determined to be perfect. AWB at 8:17:52 am on a variably sunny morning.

Zone/AF-C with Bird Face/Eye detection enabled performed perfectly. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Blacked-bellied Whistling Duck flock on final approach

Still Great!

The Whistling Duck action continues to be excellent every morning to the left of the pier down by the lake as the clear sunrises continue. You can see with today’s two, totally different flight images, I am always driving for something new. Before I walked into the lake to get a bit closer to any incoming birds, I grabbed the 300mm f/2.8/1.4X TC rig. In this, the first frame of about a twenty-frame sequence, I got really, really lucky: the birds were arranged perfectly — I could not have painted this one any better. In addition, the six ducks were very close to being on the exact same plane.

This image was created on 28 May 2024 down by the lake near my home at Indian Lake Estates, FL. Standing at full height, I used the Robus RC-5558 Vantage Series 3 Carbon Fiber Tripod/Levered-Clamp FlexShooter Pro-mounted Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens with the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter and the ridiculously amazing Sony a9 III Mirrorless Camera. ISO 2500. The exposure was determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/3200 second at f/5.6 (wide open) in Manual mode. RawDigger showed that the raw file brightness was dead-solid perfect. AWB at 7:17:11am on a clear sunny morning.

Zone/AF-C was active at the moment of exposure and performed perfectly. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger, sharper version.

Image #2: Black-bellied Whistling Duck — braking to land

Pano Crop to Maximize the Marsh Grass Background

I expanded canvas right just a bit using Content-Aware Crop. The trick to doing that successfully is to work in small increments. The top of the original frame was mostly clear green while the lower left area had the lovely, mottled colors. Thus, a small crop from above to create the pano crop. In this one I also love the warm early morning light and the neat braking pose.

a9 iii E-mail Set-up and Info Guide

a9 iii E-mail Set-up and Info Guide

For those who think that my comments on the a9 iii are pure hype, know that I sold the second of my three a1 bodies last week. Lots more on the switch coming soon.

If you plan on purchasing a Sony a9 III Mirrorless Camera (or anything else for that matter), please remember to use or write for either my Bedfords discount code or my B&H affiliate link. Folks who use one of my two affiliate links to purchase the a9 III will receive my .DAT settings (the complete camera set-up) along with a Buttons and Dials Guide.

Typos

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