November 24th, 2012


  • Bosque Conditions and Kudos
  • The Bosque Site Guide Current Conditions Update
  • The Blog is the Bomb
  • A Photographer’s Guide To The Ontario Landscape by Andrew McLachlan
  • Posse News: Robert Amoruso
  • NYC Seminar & Door Prize Info
  • Used Camera Gear (including some great new listings!)
  • IPT Info

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This image was created at Bosque del Apache NWR in San Antonio, NM on the morning of 23 NOV on the Bosque IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Autofocus lens and the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 100. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/8 sec. at f/18 Manual mode. Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

In bright sun, I used a 3-stop drop-in ND filter to get down to the slow shutter speed that I wanted. At present I cannot find the correct “slim” filter that fits the Canon 52mm Drop-In Filter Holder for Super-telephoto lenses. When I find it I will post it on the blog and here as well. The technique that I used are described in detail in the hugely popular eBook, “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs” by Denise Ippolito and yours truly.

Take a moment and let us know what you think is the single best thing about this image aside from the degree of blurring.

Bosque Conditions and Kudos

Early morning conditions at Bosque del Apache NWR are excellent this year. The main impoundment and both crane pools are brimming with water and have been disked–cleared of most vegetation. Nearly all the irrigation ditches have been cleared of tall vegetation providing unobstructed lines of sight to the birds. Kudos to Deputy Refuge Manager Aaron Mize, to the rest of the management team, and to the great crew of volunteers for getting one of the crown jewels of the national wildlife refuge system in the best shape it has been in more than a decade.

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This backlit Snow Goose image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Autofocus lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/200 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. The shaded side of the bird was lit with ETTL flash at zero with the Canon’s top of the line professional flash, the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT with a Better Beamer and the Canon CP-E4 Compact Battery Pack.

Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The Bosque Site Guide Current Conditions Update

If you are at Bosque right now or are heading to the refuge in the next week or two and you own a copy of the Bosque Site Guide, you are invited to e-mail and request a copy of the Bosque Site Guide Current Conditions Update. You will receive a short e-mail describing other current strategies and letting you know exactly where to be in the pre-dawn.

Important Notes

If you would like to receive this update, please cut and paste the words “Bosque Site Guide Current Conditions Update” into the subject line and be sure to include proof of purchase. The simplest thing to do is to include a screen capture of the first page of the guide. No updates will be sent unless you include some sort of proof of purchase. Please do not call or e-mail Jim as he knows nothing about this :). The Current Updates e-mail will be sent on Saturday November 24, 2012. This will give me time to figure out what is going on after 8am and in the afternoons.

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This Snow Goose fly-in image was created at Bosque del Apache, NWR, Sand Antonio, NM with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Lens, the Canon 2x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and teh Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera (Body Only). ISO 400. Evaluative metering + 1 stop: 1/8 sec. at f/5.6 in Tv Mode. I used the techniques for pre-dawn shooting that are described in detail in the hugely popular eBook, “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs” by Denise Ippolito and yours truly.

Central sensor Surround/AI Servo Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

There are several important changes in shooting strategies. The Bosque Site Guide Current Conditions Update will have you in the right place at the right time.

The Blog is the Bomb

I continue to put in 20+ hours a week towards making the blog informative, timely, and beautiful. Most of the educational features that formerly appeared in BAA Bulletins now grace the BAA Blog. If you have a problem subscribing, please contact us via e-mail. If you are not subscribed, you are missing a ton of great stuff almost daily. You can subscribe to the blog posts by clicking here.

Here are some links to recent posts of interest:

If you’d like to see me almost buy the farm, check out “So You Want to Visit the Southern Ocean? Be Careful What You Wish for: Zodiac Misadventure Video.”

See what I missed by skipping a landing in a snowstorm at Cooper Island, South Georgia in “You Snooze…

Learn about two great Event Space Events in December by clicking here.

Learn about our first MP4 Photoshop Tutorial Video in “A Rare Sidelit Image.”

I fell at Fortuna Bay and destroyed my brand new 500mm f/4L IS II lens and my new EOS-1D X body. Read the whole wonderful story here.

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A Photographer’s Guide To The Ontario Landscape by Andrew McLachlan

Andrew’s e-book guide, which has been selling well, is another the long line of beautiful, inspiring, educational, how-to and where-to treatises brought to you by BAA Books. The vast and varied landscapes of Ontario, Canada’s second largest province, provide photographers with a great variety of outstanding destinations and opportunities. Andrew’s guide is an easy-to-read, easy-to-follow resource that will make it a snap for both local and visiting photographers to plan their outings and to maximize their time afield. Why spend days looking for the best spots when Andrew has already done the legwork? If you love to photograph landscapes and never plan on setting foot in the province of Ontario you will still learn a ton of great stuff from this eGuide as it it packed with tips, tricks, and tutorials for folks who like to create dramatic scenic images.

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This dramatic sunrise image was created at Tiny Marsh. It illustrates many of the important points that Andrew covers in his e-book; one is that good landscape photographers visit their favorite sites time after time after time to experience new and different light and to experiment with new ideas, techniques, and framing options. Image copyright 2012: Andrew McLachlan.

Nikon D200 (replaced by the D300s) with the Nikon 12-24mm lens at 18mm. ISO 100. 1/30 sec. at f/22. White Balance: Fine Weather. Image copyright 2011: Andrew McLachlan.

From the remote Abitibi Canyon in the northeast to Point Pelee in the southwest, from the Ottawa Valley in the southeast to the Algoma Highlands northeast of Sault Ste Marie, Andrew has-with skill and passion–photographed them all in every season. In addition he will guide you to the regions famous for fall colour including the Haliburton Highlands and Muskoka.

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Here is another new image, this one created at the High Falls on the Muskoka River, also with the Nikon D200 (replaced by the D300s)and the Nikon 12-24mm lens at 12mm. ISO 100. 4 sec. at f/22. White Balance: Fine Weather. In his his eGuide Andrew shares all of his favorite locations in each of the parks and lets you know how to get there with clear, explicit directions. Image copyright 2011: Andrew McLachlan.

You will learn where and when to go to create dramatic landscapes. Andrew’s images will educate and inspire you. This e-book contains dozens of excellent tips (each in its own sidebar) for folks who enjoy creating scenic landscape images. He covers all the bases including exposure and histograms, composition and image design, shutter speed, aperture, and depth-of-field, creative vision and perspective, matters of weather and light, and tips on all types of gear including lens choice, tripods, tripod heads, lens and camera body plates, & filters. If you like landscape photography, this e-book is a must-have resource.

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This new image was created at Katherine Cove with the Nikon D200 (replaced by the D300s)and the Nikon 200-400 at 400mm. ISO 100. 20 sec. at f/36. White Balance: Fine Weather. Image copyright 2011: Andrew McLachlan.

You can order your PDF ($24/sent by e-mail via YouSendIt) by clicking here.

Posse News: Robert Amoruso

Note: Robert leads trips to three great spots that I used to visit regularly when I lived in Deltona, FL and traveled less than I do now. I will be getting up to Gatorland very soon and hope to make it up to St. Augustine in May or June. I know that Robert knows his stuff because I taught him. 🙂

The ORIGINAL Gatorland Photographic Instructional Workshops

Two-Day Weekend Workshops: February 23-24, March 23-24, May 18-19. Three-Day Long-Weekend Workshop: April 12, 13 and 14. All 2013. Extensive in-the-field instruction at East Central Florida’s best rookery location: Gatorland in Kissimmee, FL. Morning and afternoon classroom presentations include “Successful Strategies in Avian Rookery Photography” (a mainstay of my rookery programs), “Manual Exposure” and image editing and post-processing workflows. The three-day workshop adds indoor presentations on thinking creatively including my presentation “How I Create”. In-the-field instruction includes learning to isolate your subject, understanding light, getting the proper exposure, using depth of field to your advantage, fill-flash, and lots more. Classroom sessions are held onsite at Gatorland. A CD with lesson plans is included. Prices lower than 2012. Book now as they fill fast.

Learn more here.

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Great Egret Chicks – Gatorland – ©2010 Robert Amoruso. Featured in the 2012 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards calendar. Canon 5D Mark II with Canon 600mm f/4 IS L (Replaced by the 600mm f/4L IS II) + 1.4x TCII, 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, Manual, Evaluative, ISO 400.

St. Augustine Photographic Instructional Workshop

April 26-28, 2012 – three days of extensive field and classroom instruction at the famous St. Augustine Alligator Farm with Robert Amoruso. This workshop covers the same topics as the Gatorland three-day workshop above. CD with lesson plans included. Learn more here.

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Wood Storks – SAAF – ©2012 Robert Amoruso. Understanding bird behavior will help you to capture images like this. Canon 1D Mark IV with Sigma OS 50-500mm @287mm. 1/2000 sec, f/8, Manual, Evaluative, ISO 2500, E-TTL Flash.

Learn more here.

Private Photographic Instructional Workshops

As good as a group workshop can be, sometimes private one-on-one instruction is the ticket. My private workshops cater to your individual needs. In advance of the workshop we will discuss your objectives and how they can best be met. Then I design your workshop to meet those goals. These workshops generally include areas close to my home as I know them well but I can travel to other locations in Florida if you have a specific locale in mind.

Learn more here.


E-mail Robert to receive his educational newsletter. Robert’s blog covers photographic locations, how-to tips, workshop information, and more.

Learn more about Robert and check out his images here. You can contact him with questions via e-mail or call him on his cell: 407-808-7417.

NYC Seminar & Door Prize Info

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Do consider joining Denise Ippolito and I in Staten Island in December for a great weekend filled with learning, fun, and great door prizes.

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Wow! We have put together a killer collection of door prizes for the NYC Seminar. If you live in the northeast and are not yet registered click here to join us and have a chance at winning some of the great and valuable loot below.

From ThinkTank: an Airport AirStream™ Rolling Camera Bag; meets all International carry- on regulations. A $324.75 value.
From LensCoat: a Standard LensCoat® RainCoat. A $79.99 value.
Manfrotto/Gitzo will be contributing one or more items.
From Delkin: a 32 gb 700X Compact Flash Card plus give-aways. The card is a $134.99 value.
NIK has sent a gift certificate for one copy of NIK Color Efex Pro, the Photoshop filter plug-in that has changed my digital workflow. Enter the code BAA at checkout to save 15%.
Topaz is sending a gift certificate for their black and white effects filter program.
Micheal Tapes at RAW Workflow has chipped in with a Lens Align Mark II. A $79.95 value.
You might also win a copy of The Art of Bird Photography II by Arthur Morris or a copy of A Guide to Pleasing Blurs by Arthur Morris and Denise Ipplito.

Thanks a stack to all of our generous sponsors.

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Join denise (images above) and artie (below) in Staten Island to learn get inspired, give your creativity a big boost, and improve both your in-the-field techniques and your image optimization skills.

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Used Camera Gear (including some great new listings!)

Patrick Sparkman

Good friend, skilled photographer, and multi-IPT veteran Patrick Sparkman is offering the following used Canon gear for sale:

Canon 800mm f/5.6 L IS lens in excellent condition: $9,900. The lens is three years old and includes the original case and box as well as the Lenscoat covering (which has always been on the lens) and the 4th Generation Design lens foot (as well as the original lens foot). (This is a great buy on my favorite-ever super-telephoto lens.) Buyer pays shipping.

Canon EOS-5D Mark II full frame 21 mp camera body in excellent condition. Includes the box and all original accessories along with a Really Right Stuff camera plate: $1,300. Buyer pays shipping.

Canon 24-105 f/4 L IS zoom lens in excellent condition with the original box: $750. Buyer pays shipping.

Combo: the EOS-5D II plus the 24-105: $1,950. Buyer pays shipping.

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens in excellent condition with the original box and Really Right Stuff lens plate: $1,700. Buyer pays shipping.

Contact Patrick via email at or on his cell at 903-654-3359 (leave message & callback # if no answer).

Denise Ippolito

Denise Ippolito is offering a Canon EOS-1D Mark III in very good condition for $1200.00 and a Canon EOS-5D Full Frame Sensor 12 mp Digital SLR Camera in excellent condition for $800.00. Please contact Denise via e-mail.

Bob Hawkins

Bob Hawkins is offering a used Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens–my old “toy lens,” killer for flight, in like-new condition for $1,000 including ground shipping in the continental U.S. The lens was used for only 2-3 hours. Guaranteed payment or a cleared check is required before making shipment. You can reach Bob via e-mail or try him on his cell at 727-363-1687. If no answer try his wife’s cell at 727-385-1658.

Steve Vige

Steve Vige is offering the following used gear for sale:

Canon 70-200 f4L IS lens (price reduced!) in excellent condition includes pouch and original Canon box: $899 buyer pays shipping.

Please contact Steve on his cell at 661-305-0307 or via e-mail. Note: I used this sharp, lightweight lens for about two years and loved it.

Shelly Goldstein

Multiple IPT-veteran and all around nice guy Sheldon Goldstein is offering the following Canon lenses for sale; each of them has recently been checked and cleaned by Canon Jamesburg. Wire transfers preferred or wait until your check clears. All sales include shipping and insurance.

Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens in excellent condition with LensCoat, the RRS LCF-50 Arca style replacement foot, the original foot with all the screws, and all the original stuff including the lens trunk and leather hood. This one is an absolute steal at $6899. It will likely sell in minutes as we have sold others recently with less extras for more.

Contact Shelly by phone at 1-646-423-0392 or via e-mail.

Cindy Cox

Cindy Cox is offering the following used gear for sale:

Canon EOS 5D Full Frame Sensor 12 mp Digital SLR Camera in excellent condition for $750.00 (mirror recently replaced by Canon). Buyer pays shipping.
Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS EF USM AF lens in excellent condition for $750.00. Buyer pays shipping. (This is artie’s favorite B-roll lens; he never leaves home without it.)

Please contact Cindy via e-mail.

Click Heres

Click here for NYC Seminar information.

Click here if you missed the caption contest.

Click here to see BAA Bulletin #423. It includes info on the first MP4 Photoshop Tutorial Video and NYC Seminar info.

If you missed the South Georgia/Falkland Islands Southern Oceans Trip Report, see BAA Bulletin #422.

Shopper’s Guide

Thanks a stack to all who have used our B&H affiliate 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.

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Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins. 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 the links above. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

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 🙂 And you will love them in mega-cold weather….
Gizo 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.

5 comments to BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #424

  • avatar Nancy Bell

    What I like about the blur image: The layers of colors, blues to mallard colors to browns of the trees in the bkgd and a bit of bluish sky. I also like that I can see individual green heads of some mallards. Sorry this is not a single best thing, but double best things.

  • avatar Gloria

    This is seriously the longest bulletin OF ALL TIME! for freaks sake Arthur … that GE heart is wholly freaking PHENOMINAL!! (didn’t spell that wright :)) UNREAL Totally freaking beautiful man 🙂 xoxoxoxo

  • Artie,

    You know my feelings about most blurs…but I was glad to see the pretty green heads still stood out! That was the best thing for me. 😉