February 6th, 2012



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This image was created in afternoon light at St. Andrews Bay, Falkland Islands with the tripod-mounted Canon 16-35mm L lens (at 16mm) and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV). ISO 200. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/800 second at f/9 in Av Mode. Gitzo 3530 LS tripod with the Giottos MH 1302-655 (Tiny) BallHead, a Wimberley P-5 camera body plate, with a Double Bubble Level in the hot shoe. Rear Focus AF and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial.

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


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.

If you’d like to read all about my great Southern Oceans trip and see lots of the images, click here and scroll down and down.

Here are some links to recent posts of interest:

To learn about my day at St. Andrews Bay–see the image above–see St. Andrews Bay, South Georgia, Southern Oceans Voyage; Best Day Ever?

It’s not too late to enter the Image Caption/What’s Going On Here Contests; there are two $20 BAA store credits up for grabs. Click here for details.

Most folks liked the Fractalius penguin abstract better than the original. To see both images and learn more about the Fractalius plug-in, click here. Note: though Fractalius is Windows only it is relatively easy to run it on a MAC (along with BreezeBrowser) by running Parallels. Details on Parallels to follow soon.

Learn what makes a good bird photograph by reading the comments in Love Is…

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This King Penguin swallowed so many lantern fish that it had trouble trying to stand up after emerging from the surf at St. Andrews Bay. It was photographed with the tripod-mounted Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS II lens, the 2X III teleconverter, and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV). ISO 200. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/1250 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode.


The ORIGINAL Gatorland Photographic Instructional Workshops

Two-Day Weekend Workshops: February 25-26, March 24-25, April 28-29, June 16-17 and July 14-15. Three-Day Long-Weekend Workshop: May 18, 19 and 20. All 2012. Extensive in-the-field instruction at East Central Florida’s best rookery location: Gatorland in Kissimmee, FL. Includes morning and afternoon classroom presentations: Successful Strategies in Avian Rookery Photography and image editing and post-processing workflows. The three-day workshop adds indoor presentations on thinking creatively. In-the-field instruction includes learning to isolate your subject, understanding light, getting the proper exposure, using depth of field to your advantage, using fill-flash and lots more. Classroom sessions are held onsite at Gatorland. A CD with lesson plans is included.

Learn more here.

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Great Egret – Gatorland – ©2010 Robert Amoruso. I envisioned this image for years and finally created it in 2010. Understanding how to balance ambient light with flash exposure allowed me to do this. Canon 7D with 70-200mm @98mm. 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, Manual, Evaluative, ISO 400, E-TTL Flash.

St. Augustine Photographic Instructional Workshop

April 19-22, 2012 – three and one-half days of extensive field and classroom instruction at the famous St. Augustine Alligator Farm with Robert Amoruso and Robert O’Toole. We will be using the Alligator Farm’s Education Center for meetings and equipment storage between morning and afternoon sessions. The weather is pleasant and the birds will be courting, building nests, and copulating. There will likely be a few tiny Great Egret chicks. This workshop includes cover the same topics as the Gatorland workshops. Sigma Pro Robert O’Toole will provide additional in classroom and in-the-field instruction; we will have both Nikon and Canon equipment covered; don’t fret all camera systems are welcome. Robert O’Toole will also be sharing his Quick Masking techniques with you. CD with Amoruso lesson plans included.

Learn more here.

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Roseate Spoonbills – SAAF – ©2011 Robert Amoruso. Understanding bird behavior will help you to capture images like this. Canon 7D with 100-400mm @169mm. 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, Manual, Evaluative, ISO 400, E-TTL Flash.

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.


Canon 1D Mark III. Used. In excellent condition. Regularly maintained with yearly trips to Canon for cleaning and calibration. All factory updates installed. Firmware at 1.2.5. Pictures of the camera available by email. The camera has been a backup for a couple of years and has seen very little use: $1550 with free shipping in the continental US via USPS Priority Mail or UPS 3-day select. Other options available.

Gitzo G1321 Leveling base in excellent condition. Cork pad replaced: $55 + shipping.

Two (2) Canon CP-E3 Flash Battery Packs. 60% of the internal prongs are broken–this is typical–but does not affect its ability to get the job done. $10 plus shipping (each).

Two (2) Canon CP-E3 Flash Battery Pack Magazines. One new in box and one with internal prongs broken. $10 + shipping for both.

Really Right Stuff “L” bracket for the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II. Like-new condition: $55 + shipping.

Mongoose Version 3.5a with flash bracket: $250 + shipping. Excellent condition. (Robert’s name is engraved on it.

Kiboko Guru Gear Bag, Version 1 (original price $429): $325. Excellent condition.

Lowe Pro Lens Trekker 600 AW (original price about $225): $125 plus shipping. Excellent condition; large enough for a Canon 600mm with a camera on it.

For additional information, pictures of items, or to arrange a purchase e-mail Robert or call him on his cell at 407-808-7417. A personal check, bank check, or money order is preferred. PayPal of credit card payments can be arranged.


(Note: Most of what is in the Guide applies also to the D80, the D90, and the D300.)

Here is a recent blog comment from Peter Noyes:

This book is a must for nikon users!! I have a nikon D300 and a D700 and read the book twice, once with each camera on my lap. What a difference it made! I took pictures mostly with flash at Christmas parties at the Dayton VA hospital. Almost all of the pictures were keepers – and that is way up from where I was before. I also noted a significant improvement on pictures taken without flash. Thank you very much, Robert, for taking the time and effort to write this most useful book.

Well, it took long enough–at least two years from concept to the final PDF–but Robert O’Toole has out-done himself by creating a masterpiece user’s guide for Nikon dSLR cameras. When I took my first look at the finished document all that I could say was “Wow! Many Nikon folks show up on IPTs knowing little about properly setting up their cameras. “How do you see the histogram?’ “Don’t know….” “Can you set your camera so that we see the RGB histogram and blinkies in the same frame? “I once saw it done but don’t know how….” For me, it has long seemed that operating a Nikon camera required degrees in Physics, Language, and Logic. With Robert’s new guide those days are over.

You will learn when, how, and why to work in Manual mode and when, why, and how to work in one of the auto-modes (by setting exposure compensation). You will learn the various camera control options and custom settings so that you can fine-tune your camera to suit your shooting style. You will learn how and why many top pros works at higher ISOs than the regular Joes. And you will learn how Robert uses both Auto-ISO Control and Exposure Compensation while working in Manual Mode to routinely create perfectly exposed action photographs. He explains exactly how he sets the important camera controls. And why. Those include Release Mode, Focus Mode, and Rear Button Focus. You will learn how to set your camera and your flash to create flash blurs. You will learn which AF Mode Robert uses 90% of the time and how he sets it up using Menu/Custom Settings Menu.

He will teach you how and why to set a variety of buttons and dials. How and why to use Live View. About the only metering mode he uses. How, why, and when to switch AF points with the Multi-Selector. How and why to use the often-overlooked Info Button and the often over-looked My Menu feature. Then he takes you through the Camera Menus while dealing with the hows and whys of how he sets up the important items.

If you use Nikon gear then you simply cannot live without Robert’s great new guide. You owe it to yourself to make your life easier, to learn to make better images, and to learn exactly how a top professional does things. The Nikon DSLR User’s Guide is a comprehensive 45-page PDF that is sent by e-mail. There are dozens and dozens of diagrams and screen captures and even a few photos to illustrate key points. Your best bet is to save $2 by ordering your Nikon dSLR User’s Guide through the BAA On-line Store here for only $30. Or you can purchase your copy for $32 by calling BIRDS AS ART at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand, by sending a PayPal for $32 to us at birdsasart@att.net, or by sending a check for $32 made out to “Arthur Morris” to us at Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL. If by check be sure to include your e-mail address. (Please remember: no sharing digital files please :))


By e-mail from Andy Hays, Chicago, IL: Robert, Your Nikon treatise was a revelation to me. I am a life-long and fanatic birder, but a notoriously inept, point and shoot photographer; you have moved me to new plateau. Nikon should buy your work product. Not only that the company should make you a board member and a Japanese citizen! I could not have learned from their instruction manual what I learned from your Nikon dSLR Guide. Well done. Andy Hays

By e-mail from Edward Delaney, Ireland: Dear Robert, I can honestly say that I have learned more from your Nikon guide than from all of my other books on the Nikon system put together. Thanks for a wonderful guide. Edward

By e-mail from Yannick Bulicaut: Robert, Your Nikon dSLR Guide is truly useful; even though I’ve been using using SLR’s for almost 40 years–and probably because of that–I never took the time to check all the cool controls that Robert highlights with precision, the view finder focus for instance. The guide is well worth the 30 dollars since I know I could never have sat through the entire Nikon D3S camera body manual! Thanks, Yannick

By e-mail from Dennis Kirland: Hi Robert, I just finished going through your Nikon dSLR User’s Guide and wanted to thank you. It is very well written, clear and concise. I learned more than I thought I would. Excellent job! I mostly photograph static scenes, but I will try your suggestions on 51 point 3D Dynamic AF and see how I like it. I also changed the settings to activate the AF-ON button for AF instead of the shutter button. That’s going to take some getting used to!
Anyway, the guide has lots of great tips! Thanks,

By e-mail from Raleigh & Beret Harmon: Robert, Thank you for writing the “Nikon DSLR User’s Guide,” It is well written, clear and in a word… great! It has made me rethink my entire approach to my camera. I have long been an admirer of your colleagues Art Morris and recently Dennise Ippolito and have often thought, how great it would be to have someone like them who was a Nikon person and who would have a web site with great information focused on Nikon. Please send me the link to your site. Thank you again and keep up the great work. Raleigh & Beret Harmon

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

Remember: you can earn free contest entries with your B & H purchases. Eleven great categories, 34 winning and honored images, and prize pools valued in excess of $20,000. Click here for details.

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 EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Autofocus Lens. This is Canon’s top of the line wide angle zoom lens.
Canon 300mm f/2.8 L IS II lens. This lens proved to be ideal on a tripod for both birds and wildlife with both the 1.4X and 2X III TCs. All images were super-sharp and the lens was light enough for hand-holding both in the zodiacs and when doing flight photograph from the ship.
2X III teleconverter. Designed to work best with the Series II Super-telephoto lenses this TC is noticeably sharper than the 2X II TC.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

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-sale 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….
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Giottos MH 1302-655 (Tiny) BallHead. I spin off my Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head and mount the tiny ballhead whenever I need to use a short lens on the tripod. The camera goes in the clamp via the Wimberley P-5 camera body plate.
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. Also available for the 7D and the Mark III here.
BreezeBrowser. I do not see how any digital photographer can exist without this program.

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