September 27th, 2011



  • BOATLIFT, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience

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High key adult Semipalmated Sandpiper foraging. I made this one sitting in six inches of water at the East Pond, Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, Queens, NY behind my tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, with a 25mm Extension tubeand the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 2/3 stops: 1/640 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AF sensor one to the right and one above the central sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus AF active at the time of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial.

My birding and photography roots go all the way back to New York City…. See item 1,BOATLIFT, below.

Lens/TC/Camera Body Micro-Adjustment: -4.

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

BOATLIFT, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience

Old friends from NYC Audubon days Alan and Sara Levine (they knew and loved Elaine) sent me this e-mail pass along: BOATLIFT, An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience. It languished in my Inbox for a few days. Today I clicked on it and was moved. To say the least. I never liked hearing bad stuff about New Yorkers. If you do not click on this one you will be missing some wonderful stuff. Narrated by Tom Hanks, whom I love. The captain of the Amberjack, a party boat from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn; I caught many a bluefish from her decks. Too many decades ago I was fishing from some wooden steps below one of the piers to catch some snapper blues to use for bait. The rotten steps gave way and the little kid with me and I wound up in the water. He couldn’t swim so I grabbed him and passed him up somehow. It was no big deal. I am pretty sure that the boat that I went on was the Amberjack. And that the young boy was the captain’s son. But I digress. The video is less than 12 minutes long with a Great Egret near the end to boot. Click and cry.

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Turkey Vulture sunning, from the car this morning with the BLUBB. Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. Central sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus AF and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Now that I have finished my taxes I have been getting down to the lake on clear mornings for some photography. Vultures are our best-selling bird family; go figure….

Lens/TC/Camera Body Micro-Adjustment: -4.


Lots of BAA folks have been earning free entries into the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition in the last few days. Recent purchases have included two Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS II lenses, two 500mm f/4L IS lenses, a 100-400, two Mark IV bodies, and an EOS-5D Mark II! B&H is our #1 sponsor. I would like to wish all of my friends there (and all BAA members of the tribe) a happy Jewish New Year: l’shanah tovah tikatev v’taihatem, (may you be inscribed and sealed for a good year).

For your info from the B&H website:

Upcoming Rosh Hashanah Closing

The B&H SuperStore and offices will close at 1:00PM EDT on Wednesday, September 28, in observance of Rosh Hashanah and will reopen on Sunday, October 2 at 10:00AM EDT. All Standard Shipping orders placed before Wednesday, September 28, at 7:00AM EDT and Rush Shipping orders placed before Wednesday, September 28, at 10:30AM EDT will be processed normally. Orders placed after the above times will be processed when B&H reopens on Sunday, October 2nd.
Online ordering will be unavailable from Wednesday, September 28, at 6:30PM EDT through Saturday, October 1, at 8:00PM EDT. We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patronage.

Mark IV Alert III

Mark IV bodies have been in short supply ever since the earthquake tragedy in Japan. If you are looking for one, be advised that B&H just received a third very small small shipment. To purchase, please use this link: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. I have been using Mark IV bodies exclusively for almost two years. Get yours right now to avoid disappointment and you can earn three free entries into the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition.

Canon 300 f/2.8L IS II B&H Alert

The release of the eagerly-awaited Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS Version II lens was delayed by the earthquake tragedy in Japan. Be advised that B&H has two in stock right now. To purchase, please use this link: Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II lens and earn three free entries into the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition.

Refurbished Gear

B&H carries a wide range of manufacturer refurbished cameras and lenses from both Canon and Nikon at considerable savings. The items are constantly changing. Click here for the current offerings. Right now there is a Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS for $2000 less than new on page 1 and a Nikkor 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S G ED VR LENS for only $849.95 on page 4.

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Submarine Cell Block From an 8-frame (manually) bracketed sequence with the Canon EOS-5D (that I borrowed from Denise Ippolito) and the 15mm fisheye lens. (Be sure to change only the shutter speed while keeping the aperture constant.) On Denise’s Eastern State Penitentiary workshop; it was great fun. Giotto’s tiny ballhead, Wimberley P-5 camera body plate, and Gitzo 3530 LS tripod.

Denise has one sold out Eastern State Penitentiary Creative Photography Workshop and one with several openings coming up soon. Click here for details.

This quasi-HDR Grunge was reated in Photomatix. To purchase Photomatix and save 15% click here and be sure to enter birdsasart as the coupon code. You can download and use a trial copy of Photomatix before you buy. (It is fully operational; the processed images will have a visible watermark on them.) I was intimidated by both HDR and HDR Grunge for several years but once I tried each I quickly got the hang of it. And it is great fun. If I ever finish my 2010 taxes I will get to work on the HDR Grunge Guide that Denise and I are writing. See my BPN Out of the Box post here.

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

More and more folks are earning multiple contest entries with their B & H purchases. See here for details on that. Eleven great categories, 34 winning and honored images, and prize pools valued in excess of $20,000. Click here to visit the competition home page.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide 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.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon EF 25mm Extension tube. I am never out without one of these in my vest; it allows for closer focus in a variety of situations.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Digital Camera. This full-frame body with killer video replaces the old 5D; great for landscapes and wide angle lenses.
15mm fisheye lens. Takes time to learn you use this little one but when you do it is too much fun.

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 🙂
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
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.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
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.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine.

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