July 8th, 2016

BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #481

  • Don’t Faint!
  • Your Very Last Chance to join the Nickerson Beach IPT
  • The Gannet Boat Slaughter
  • The 5DS R versus the 1DX Mark II for hand held flight photography…
  • A Big 5DS R Advantage
  • Sitting Down on the Job
  • The 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT
  • Used Photo Gear Sales Hot!
  • The Blog is the Bomb!
  • My latest e-book birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100
  • Your Help Needed and Appreciated/Affiliate Stuff

Don’t Faint…

It has–to say the least–been a while since I published a BAA Bulletin. Why? I have been super-busy with the blog with a streak right now of 240 days in a row with a new educational blog post. Be sure to see the Blog is the Bomb item below. No matter, there will be more Bulletins coming in the next three months.

Your Very Last Chance to join the Nickerson Beach IPT

Nickerson Beach Terns/Skimmers/Oystercatchers Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT): July 18-22, 2016. 4 1/2 DAYS: $1899. Limit 10/Openings 6. Meet and greet at 3pm on the afternoon of Monday, July 18.

Please e-mail for late registration, repeat customer, or couples discount info, or for info on a 3-day option.

With only four folks signed up, learning situations will abound. The primary subject species on this IPT will be the nesting Common Terns and Black Skimmers. The trip is timed so that we will get to photograph tiny tern chicks as well as fledglings. There will be lots of flight photography including adults flying with baitfish. Creating great images of the chicks being fed will be a huge challenge. In addition to the terns we will get to photograph lots of Black Skimmers courting, setting up their nesting territories, and in flight (both singles and large pre-dawn flocks blasting off). Midair battles are guaranteed on sunny afternoons. And with luck, we might even see a few tiny skimmer chicks toward the end of the trip. We will also get to photograph the life cycle of American Oystercatcher. This will likely include nests with eggs and tiny chicks, young being fed, and possibly a few fledglings.

You can see more at the top of the page here.


northern-gannet-looking-down-for-fish-_a0i5385-bass-rock-scotland

This image was created on the Monday July 4 afternoon gannet boat add-on with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens (at 169mm) with the rugged pro Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with 64GB Card and Reader. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops off the sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/4. AWB.

Center AF point(manual selection)/AI Servo/Shutter Button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The selected AF point was on the left side of the bird’s face, just about perfect and great for me. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Northern Gannets looking down for a tossed fish

Slaughter on the The Gannet Boat

On Monday afternoon, July 4, six of us from the IPT did an add-on Gannet Boat chumming trip. It was a spectacular success. If you want to learn more, check out the Gannet Fireworks: One afternoon, five photographers, more than 12,000 images in just two hours… blog post here.


northern-gannet-vertical-start-of-dive-_t0a1667-bass-rock-scotland

This image was also created on the Monday July 4 afternoon gannet boat add-on with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens (at 169mm) with the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 stops off the grey sky: 1/2000 sec. at f/4. AWB.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Shutter Button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The selected AF point was on the leading edge of the top wing just above the bird’s head. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Northern Gannet in vertical dive

The 5DS R versus the 1DX Mark II for hand held flight photography…

On the two gannet boat chumming trips I used both the 1D X Mark II and the 5DS R with the 70-200mm f/4. The action is so fast and furious that
light weight of the smaller f/4 version makes ones life a lot easier in terms of less fatigue and less neck, shoulder, and back pain… Even though the 1D X III offers a faster frame rate I was very, very happy with my 5DS R images. And remarkably, I found the AF performance of the two bodies about equal.

A Big 5DS R Advantage

When the gannets begin to dive, they often go into a vertically oriented dive, but 95% of the poses fit best into a horizontal frame. If you try for a vertical original, you will be missing most of the action while waiting for one possibly spectacular image. With the 1DX Mark II’s 20.2 megapixels I always want to be greedy, to fill the frame as much as possible. When the birds would go vertical, I’d clip the wingtips every time. But with the 5DS R and its 50.6 megapixels, I did not hesitate to zoom out when I sensed a vertical pose coming as cropping would not be a problem due to the hight pixel counts and the incredible image quality. Though Image #3 was created from a horizontal original, it tipped the scales at an impressive 61.1 mbs.


norther-gannet-mid-dive-_a0i5132-bass-rock-scotland

This image too was created on the Monday July 4 afternoon gannet boat add-on with the hand held Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens (at 169mm) with the rugged pro Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with 64GB Card and Reader. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 1/3 stops off the sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/4. AWB.

Center AF point(manual selection)/AI Servo/Shutter Button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The selected AF point was on the left side of the bird’s face, just about perfect and great for me. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #3: Northern Gannet in mid dive

Sitting Down on the Job

With only six of us on the boat, I was able to sit down on the big center console box and lean back a bit. This gave me a nice angle to the bird’s overhead and eased the strain on my lower back. I only wish that I had thought of it sooner.


uk-puffins-card-ii-layers

Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT
Monday July 3 through Monday July 10, 2017: $5999: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 6). Two great leaders: Arthur Morris and BPN co-owner, BPN Photography Gear Forum Moderator, and long-time BAA Webmaster Peter Kes.

Here are the plans: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on July 2 and arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday July 3 no later than 10am (or simply meet us then at the Edinburgh Airport–EDI, or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe). Stay 7 nights in one of three gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are five days of planned puffin/seabird trips and one morning of gannet photography, all weather permitting of course. In three years we have yet to miss an entire day because of weather… In addition, we will enjoy several sessions of photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level.


uk-puffins-card-iii-layers

Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The Details

We will get to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet; Arctic, Sandwich, and Common Terns, the former with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks. We will be staying in upscale country-side lodging that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with a private bathroom. See the limited single supplement info below.

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared by you in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day.

If you wish to fly home on the morning of Monday July 10 we will get you to the airport. Please, however, consider the following tentative plans: enjoy a second Gannet boat trip on the afternoon of Monday July 10 and book your hotel room in Dunbar. If all goes as planned, those who stay on for the two extra days will make a morning landing at Bass Rock, one of the world’s largest gannetries. We will get everyone to the airport on the morning of Wednesday July 12. (We may opt to stay in Edinburgh on the night of July 11.) Price and details should be finalized at least six months before the trip but you will need to be a bit patient. It would be ideal if I can get all the work done by the end of September so that folks can arrange their flights then.


uk-puffins-card-i

Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2016.

Deposit Info

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome–please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on March 29, 2017. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

Single Supplement Deposit Info

Single supplement rooms are available on a limited basis. To ensure yours, please register early. The single supplement fee is $1575. If you would like your own room, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement; your single supplement deposit check should be for $3,575. As we will need to commit to renting the extra space, single supplement deposits are non-refundable so please be sure that check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options you can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check of running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print careful even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

This trip has sold out far in advance every year so do not tarry. I hope that you can join me.

Selling Your Used Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the yellow-orange tab on the right side of the menu bar above.

Used Gear Sales Testimonial

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener

The BAA Used Gear Page is the best place I’ve found for selling my used cameras and lenses.

I used eBay and Craigslist until I began checking in at BIRDS AS ART. I saw the gear listed for sale at BAA and it struck me that the people who visit the site are like me in some important ways. We own high quality, often expensive gear. It’s important to us, and we likely take care of it. In other words, a good market exists. And I noticed how Artie marketed each item. Informative, without too big a push. That’s why I decided to try BAA.

The process was easy. I clearly accepted the terms of sale, fully and fairly described what I was selling and the good and bad. I listed he stuff to be included with in the sale. Then Artie came back with what he thought was a fair price, leaving it to me to determine the balance between urgency of the sale and receiving a high price. I’ve followed his lead.

The responses I’ve received from potential buyers have been reassuring. Each has been well informed and courteous. They have not expected perfection, but have fully expected fairness and clarity. I’ve found that providing many photographs of what I’m selling is very helpful in the completing the various transactions.

I’m writing this because of how glad I am to find a place where there is a good market for what I want to sell and what I want to buy — I just tried to buy a 300mm f/2.8 II, but it has sold. The buyers and sellers are informed and fair-minded. And artie offers friendly and experienced advice. I’ve enjoyed the process. The BAA Used Gear page is the best experience I’ve had buying and selling gear.

June Used Gear Sales Continue to be More Than Brisk!

  • Walt Novinger sold his Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM lens in very good plus condition for $3,899 in early June.
  • Yours truly, Arthur Morris, sold his Canon 15mm fisheye lens in good condition for $350 in mid-June before it was listed.
  • Moody McCall sold his Canon 300mm F/2.8L IS II in excellent condition for $4199 in mid-June.
  • Long-ago IPT veteran Charles Sleicher sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens in very good plus condition for $3400 in mid-June.
  • Top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in absolute mint condition for $1599 in mid-June.
  • KW McCulloch sold his Canon EOS-1D X in excellent condition for $2459 in mid-June.
  • Many multiple IPT veteran Monte Brown sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III (with the BG-E11 vertical battery grip) both in excellent condition for $1599 in early June.
  • Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II lens in mint condition for $4499 in early June.
  • Top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the old five) in very good plus condition for a BAA record low price of $3699 in mid-June.
  • National Geographic shooter Tim Laman sold his Canon EOS-1D C in good condition for $2100 in early June. The 1D C is a 1D X with 4K video.
  • Andres Leon sold his Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens in very good plus condition for the full asking price of $7899 in early June.
  • IPT veteran Billy Wingfield sold his Canon EOS-1DX in excellent plus condition for $2400 in early June.
  • Multiple IPT veteran Larry Master sold his near-mint Canon EOS-1DX for $2800 in early June.
  • Moody McCall sold his Canon 100-400L IS USA lens in excellent condition for $599 in early June.

Huge Price Reduction

Used Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS Lens, the “old six”

A New BAA Record Low by far Price! Reduced $600 on June 22, 2016.

Charles McRae is offering a used Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS lens in good to very good condition (with the expected wear and tear of use: paint chipped around the knobs and on the rear lens barrel near the mount). Was $4,799; now $4,199! The sale includes the lens trunk, a replacement low foot, the original low foot, and insured shipping via FedEx Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Chas by by e-mail or by phone at home: 843-423-4767 or on his cell: 1-843 409 0837 (eastern time zone).

The old six was my go-to super-telephoto lens for well more than a decade, heck, probably for two decades if you include the monstrously heavy original version. Today I use and depend on the newer, lighter version, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens. Note, the new six sells for a hefty $11,499. The old six is super sharp, works great with both TCs, and offers near-maximum reach along with three focal lengths: 600, 840, and 1200…. artie

The Blog is the Bomb!

Page views have been running at a consistent 2500+ per day mark as the blog has been covering a plethora of timely topics while at the same time teaching folks to become better nature photographers on a daily basis.

Post of recent interest include:

The #1 Reason Not to Join a BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT). Or not… What the heck am I talking about? Find out here.

Find out what I learned from a comment left on the blog in the Old Dog Re-learns a Long Lens Depth-of-Field Trick post here.

Did you ever see a Smiling Blue Truck… ? Learn how I used a very specialized lens to get the truck to smile by clicking here.

In Steamed, Spiked, and Dehazed… learn as I did, again from a blog post comment, how to use the De-haze Filter in Photoshop by clicking here.

Learn why I love the Canon 200-400mm with Internal extender in the Palouse by checking out the backlit image here.

If you are not subscribed to the blog, click here and then click on the Subscriptions tab on the orange/yellow menu bar and follow the prompts.


covera

birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100
The companion e-book to the solo exhibit at TheNat, San Diego, California

The new e-book on CD is available for $23 here. And it is also available via convenient download for $20 by clicking here.

birds as art: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris/The Top 100

If you missed the announcement of my new e-book, click here for complete info that includes details on getting a signed copy.

From Mike Moore

The top 100 collection is almost too overwhelming to absorb at once. I will be looking at it many, many times to be able to drink it all in. I will say I never really appreciated blurs, but Cottonwood Morning Wave is one of my favorite images. The colors and the composition are superb. There is a real feeling of being present at a live event that a sharp photo would not have conveyed, so maybe you won me over. You give a 100 great examples of something for us to strive for. I especially appreciated that you annotated every image to get a sense of what it took to capture it. Brilliant. Congratulations and thanks for sharing and making it so affordable to own this collection of some of the world’s greatest bird images.

Feedback Requested

If you ordered via download or have already received your CD, I would love to hear what you think. Please do leave a comment.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here and on the blog, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

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