March 8th, 2010

Birds As Art Bulletin #319


  • KUDOS #1
  • KUDOS #2
  • KUDOS #3

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Great Egrets, aerial battle, Sarasota Bay, FL
Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens with the EOS-7D. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/1600 sec. at f/6.3 set manually.

This was the best Great Egret fight I have seen in more than 26 years. I was lucky to have a short zoom lens in my hand.


Those of you who enjoyed “A Tale of Two Nelsons” will enjoy reading “Carmen’s Tale.” It was great to hear from yet another old student. Plus lots more all at the blog here:


I received this e-mail from the mother of BPN member Aidan Briggs. I sponsored Aidan for a NANPA High School Student scholarship and he was accepted. He will be writing an article on his experience for a future Bulletin. Most folks on BPN do not know that Aidan is a kid.

Dear Artie, How much can I thank you? Never enough! Aidan loved his time in Reno at NANPA. He shared much of the week’s activities with me during our long car ride home from the San Jose airport (at least until he conked out; he was pretty wiped out). The trip meant so much to him on many levels yet when I asked him who he enjoyed spending time with the most, he said “Artie.” I was not surprised as he feels a connection to you that includes respect, admiration but also a passion for and love of birds. The scholarship program was outstanding, the support and learning received was stellar, and the energy fantastic. I felt honored to meet the teachers, view the work created during the outings, and spend time with the kids. I cannot possibly thank you enough for alerting us to this program, nominating Aidan, and then supporting and encouraging him throughout the week. It was nice to connect with you however briefly. I am sure our paths will cross again sometime in the future as Aidan grows and develops further. Congratulations on the well-deserved service award! Enjoy these pivotal times in our ever-changing world. Many thanks! Much love and light, Elizabeth

(Note: I received a NANPA Outstanding Service Award at the 2010 Summit, mostly for my work with and support of both the High School and College Scholarship programs.)

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Snail Kite, West Lake Toho, Kissimmee, FL
Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 2000. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/9.

If you want to photograph Snail Kite you need to take a few boat trips with Jim Neiger before May. He knows every nesting pair on the lake; coming soon: chicks in the nest. Here is Jim’s contact info: Cell: (407) 247-5200. Email:


I received this note from Nancy Bell who attended the President’s Week SW FLA IPT:

Hi Artie, Thank you so much for conducting the SW Florida IPT. arrived eager to learn and found the week to be filled with an abundance of information on photo techniques, equipment, Photoshop procedures, how weather relates to photography, the importance of sun angles, sunrises and sunsets, and photographer position (sometimes you need to stand in very cold water to get the best photo!). The immediate feedback in the field provided me with lasting lessons. Standing beside you in the field and seeing the birds and photo opportunities through your eyes gave me an educational experience that can be had in no other way. And standing behind you and listening to you while you edited your photos on your laptop further continued the flow of knowledge. I just hope I can remember a good portion of it all. I am also especially appreciative of the incredible assistance from the other pros on the trip, Alfred and Fabs Forns, Denise Ippolito, Tim Grey and Robert O�Toole. Their kindness, dedication, knowledge, enthusiasm and creativity flowed like a fountain all week. And last, but not least, the beautiful photogenic Florida birds make me want to join all the other �snowbirds� and spend the winters in Florida. Sincerely, Nancy Bell Livermore, Colorado, USA.

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Barred Owl flying down creek, West Lake Toho, Kissimmee, FL
Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens handheld with the EOS-7D. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops off the white sky set manually: 1/1000 sec. at f/4.

I had a really tough time holding focus on these birds speeding right at us but Captain Jim Neiger got us so many chances that I finally got one right. Here is Jim’s contact info: Cell: (407) 247-5200. Email:


From Bobby Perkins via e-mail:

Dear Arthur Morris, I just wanted to thank you for being such a gifted teacher. I can’t think of another professional bird / nature photographer as committed to teaching as you my friend. You are not only teaching how to be a better bird photographer, but how to be a better photographer in general. For that, I thank you again. You see, it’s taken me awhile to transition to digital photography, I had your first book when I was quite younger and a tuff time understanding exposure theory. I just recently bought a Canon 7D, my first DSLR. I started out with Photoshop Lightroom 2, planning to get CS, and also planning to get a laptop pc soon. Many of my friends and co-workers like my images, started requesting portraits, and said I should start a business, so I did. Thanks to your teaching, I’ve been learning more about histograms, and just some of your beginner basics I cant tell you how much it’s been helping. I can see I need to get The Digital Basics file. I do have your Birds as Art 2 cd-rom and reading and “understanding” exposure and digital photography. It’s tuff because all that info doesn’t come with camera manuals, you know that and I agree you should be the one who writes those. I just got a copy of Alan Murphy’s Guide to Songbird Set-up Photography, and it’s just awesome, a little short not like your 900 some page cd-rom (thank you), but just packed with wonderful ways of attracting birds. Just brilliant. I got this book and the next day I was digging out the old x-mas tree stand for a woodpecker stump, I popped out the end of my old video tripod handle, and used a berry branch as a perch near my kitchen window. Ok I’d better stop: good book!

Right now I’m shooting birds out my window with a 28-135IS (kit lens 7D); I am doing well with just 216mm out of the window. With a few tricks I can get birds in close. And it’s so much fun. I’ll be upgrading to a new lens soon, wasn’t sure if I wanted to get a 70-200IS 2.8 (hope to see a ll version soon), will also double as a portrait lens, or get a 100-400 IS L to get started. Within the next year I plan to get a 500mm f/4, which lens I get now, would you prefer as a companion lens to the 500IS? Art, thank you very much Sir for sharing your knowledge in such a thorough way, and sharing your elegant BIRDS AS ART images with everyone. Sincerely, Bobby Perkins

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Roseate Spoonbill top shot, Alafia Banks, Tampa Bay, FL
Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
I created this image last week aboard the Hooptie Deux with James Shadle. I created a “which is best of five thread” on BPN that got lots of play. To see the other four images, to learn which was the majority winner, and to learn the technical details of all five spoonbill flight images, visit “Five 7D/400 DO Hooptie Deux Images” here: For the best in breeding plumage spoonbill photography, get out with James in the next six weeks: phone: 813-363-2854, e-mail:


San Diego IPT JAN, 2011. DATES TBA. 5 Full Days: $2499 (Limit 8/Openings 6)

I will announce the dates once I get a look at a tide table. Slide program on the evening before the first day of the IPT. A fully refundable $500 deposit now will hold your spot until the dates are announced. Once the dates are announced let me know either way. If you opt in, then your deposit will become non-refundable and you will be asked to complete the registration and release forms. Brown Pelicans, Wood and Ring-necked Ducks, Western and Heerman’s Gulls, Marbled Godwits, and lots, lots more.


If you would like your name placed on the interested list for this IPT, please e-mail me at

BOSQUE del APACHE 2010 IPT: ‘The Complete Bosque Experience.’ NOV 20-26, 2010

Slide program on the evening of Friday, NOV 19. 7-FULL DAYS: $3199. (Non-refundable deposit: $500; see details below.) Limit: 10/Openings; 7. Co-leaders: Robert O’Toole, Jim Heupel., and multiple BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year honoree Chris Van Rooyen of South Africa ( Live, eat, and breathe photography with one of (if not the) world’s premier photographic educators at one of his very favorite locations on the planet. Plus great co-leaders and top-notch Photoshop instruction.

A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold a spot for this IPT. Deposits may be paid by check, PayPal, or credit card. Payment in full (by check or money order only) is due four months before the start of each trip and is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out. You will be required to sign a statement of understanding to this effect. Travel insurance is of course highly recommended. 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, which expands the list of reasons for your canceling to an infinite list, from a sudden work or family obligation to 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. We regret that we must implement this new policy but we have been plagued by last minute cancellations that make it impossible for others to participate and deprive us of essential income.

Important note: please print, fill out, and sign the registration and release forms and include them with your deposit check (made out to “Arthur Morris.” ) If you use a credit card to register, please fill out, sign, and mail the two forms asap. Your registration will not be complete until we receive your paper work. You can find the forms here: Registration and Release Form.

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