SIX WIMBERLEY HEADS ($571.50 INCLUDES SHIPPING)
AND 100 DOUBLE BUBBLES NOW IN STOCK.
PRIBS TRIP REPORT
From July 24 through August 7 I was on St. Paul Island in Alaska's
Pribilofs. I was joined the first week by 10 additional folks, and 9
the second week. The photographic opportunities far exceeded everyone's
wildest dreams. On my two previous visits in late June/early July,
a few puffins was somewhat of a chore. At these later dates, both
and Tufted Puffins were much more numerous. Of the 113 rolls that I
in the two weeks, surely 2/3 were of puffins. On the last morning,
who did not opt to stay in and pack were rewarded with a point-blank
Puffin with a mouthful of small fish with large eyes. The bird posed
posed and posed at Reef Wall.
During the first IPT, several of us got to photograph a Northern Fur
Seal giving birth at fairly close range. On the last morning with the
group, those who went out experienced a clear sunrise--my first ever in
eight weeks on St. Paul. I tired to think of a single spot on the
where the early morning sun would be on some cliff-nesting birds in a
situation where the photographers could point their shadows at the
finally came up with a section of cliff west of Ridge (Tourist) Point.
we first arrived our targeted nests were in shadow, but within 10
got to photograph a nest-ful of small, down-covered baby Red-Faced
Cormorants. In the 90 minutes that we were able to spend at this spot,
birds were fed several times.
On the second IPT, we had great chances with Rock Sandpipers (both
and juveniles). Several participants got to photograph Gray-tailed
Tattler--a Siberian vagrant. Lastly, on consecutive afternoons, strong
south/southwest winds at Southwest Cliffs found numerous Northern
holding in the up-currents just 25 feet from 6-8 eager photographers and
posing for top shots. It was by far the best sustained flight shooting
I have ever encountered. (Sorry L.F, Darrell, et. al.)
When a slight wind shift altered the bird's flight patterns a bit, I
switched to vertical format with the Canon 100-400 mm IS lens (that I
exclusively with the EOS 1v this trip for flight shooting ). The first
that came by, an intermediate phase, angled himself perfectly to me and
posed for 6 or 7 top-shots at about a 150mm focal length! I could have
Many rare wildflowers in bloom (in perfect condition) were
by both groups at Whitney Lake and other locations. I was a bit worried
about taking so many photographers on a St. Paul Island Tour bus, but
plan worked out superbly. After the first day or two, we began dropping
folks off at their preferred sites as per their requests. In addition,
of the locations
were suitable for 5-10 (or more) photographers.
I may return even later in the season next year. I've heard that
are even MORE puffins then.
Using a Wimberley Head with Short Lenses
It was a still Thanksgiving morning. The entire eastern sky at Bosque
Apache NWR in south-central New Mexico flamed red-orange from north to
south. Thousands of Snow Geese swirled about through the intensifying
color. As it seemed that fully half the sky was lit up, the situation
screamed for a wide shot. While reaching for my short zoom lens,
realized that my ballhead was still in a suitcase back at the motel
had arrived the night before.) . A Wimberley head was mounted atop my
tripod. This gimbal-type head is ideal for flight shooting; big
lenses are rendered practically weightless and handling them is a
made many wonderful photographs that morning, but the wide image that I
visualized was not to be, for mounting a camera body with a short lens
Wimberley head was not possible. Or so I had thought.
To mount a short lens on a Wimberly head follow these steps:
1-Affix a Really Right Stuff camera body plate to the bottom of your
body or power winder. (Each RRS stuff plate is designed for a specific
camera body or power winder).
2- Place a Hama Double bubble in the camera's hot-shoe.
3-Mount a short lens onto your camera.
4-Remove the clamp platform from the swing shaft by loosening the knob.
5-Loosen the swing knob, point the swing shaft towards the sky (instead
at the ground), and then tighten the swing knob.
6-Place the clamp platform onto the swing shaft by sliding it on from
7-Slide the clamp platform up as far as it will go and then tighten it.
8-Mount the camera body onto the clamp platform with the lens pointing
from the swing shaft.
9-Point one leg of the tripod at the center of the scene that you wish
10-Adjust the vertical framing by adjusting the length of the forward
pointing leg by loosening the leg lock, lengthening or shortening the
as needed, and then tightening the leg lock when the desired framing is
achieved. An option is to pull the leg-stop tab on the forward pointing
out and adjust the vertical framing by changing the leg angle.
11- Loosen the swing knob and check the double bubble level in the
hot shoe to square the camera to the world before re-tightening the
knob. (To make a vertical scenic image, rotate the camera to vertical so
that the swing shaft is parallel to the ground and then check the double
bubble as above.)
12-Make the image.
This technique is perfect for folks who photograph birds or
wildlife almost exclusively and who only occasionally attempt to make
scenic images. Some folks have complained that step 10 is "too
for them. To them I say, "Get a life!" Adjusting the vertical framing
simple and the directions are straight-forward. Thanks to good friend
IPT participant Darrell Miller for improving on my original method by
suggesting step 5 which allows you to shoot any wide angle off of the
The upper photograph below (or attachment Wimberley 5) shows the set-up
making horizontally formatted images. The lower photograph below (or
attachment Wimberley 4) shows the correct set-up for making vertically
BIRDS AS ART INSTRUCTIONAL PHOTO-TOUR UPDATES.
Still only two folks have signed up for the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
Shorebird IPT (AUG 28-30). Ideal early morning high tides should make
some great photography for those who would like to crawl through the
The OCT 1-3 Cape May Raptor IPT has one spot left (limit three). The
other two are sold out.
The SEPT 9 JBWR FIELD SHOOT is sold out. There is room on the AUG 26
SHOOT. And lots of room for the two "The Art of Nature Photography"
Day How-To Seminars in the NYC area;
AUG 27--Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY, and SEPT 10--Bayside, Queens, NY
See the web site for details and additional INFO.
Best and great picture making to all.
Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART