October 4th, 2012


  • Announcing:”The EOS-1D X Autofocus Guide”
  • Denise Ippolito’s Killer MiniMag
  • “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds” is Available Now!
  • Used Camera Gear for Sale
  • BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Barnegat Jetty IPT
  • BIRDS AS ART on Social Media
  • New York City Weekend Nature Photography Seminar
  • Woman Roommates Needed
  • Africa Photo Safari: August 2013
  • IPT Updates

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In the brand new 1D X AF Guide I share everything that I have learned about the killer AF system of the 1D X including how best to use the Orientation linked AF point feature. For both birds and people!

See more of this bird in How Sharp is Sharp? and read of my experience hand holding the new Canon 500mm f/4L IS II lens with the 1.4X III TC and the 1D X here.

Announcing:”The EOS-1D X Autofocus Guide”

I am proud to announce that yesterday I completed work on the EOS-1D X Autofocus Guide, here-in-after the 1D X AF Guide. But for iTR AF, the 1D X has the same great autofocus system that was introduced with the 5D Mark III. Only better. The 30-page eBook includes 19 screen captures like the one above. It includes everything that I know about the 1D X AF system. Instructions on how to use all AF-related buttons, dials, and wheels and my settings for all AF-related Menu Items.

Of special interest to bird photographers will be my comments and strategies involving Cases 1-6, the custom-Case that I created and use for most of my bird photography (with detailed instructions for setting it up of course), my strategy for Select AF area selection mode (on AF4, the fourth purple menu), and pretty much anything that has to do with 1D X autofocus….

This eBook is written in my customary easy-to-read, easy-to-understand, easy-to-follow style. Few realize the time and effort that goes into creating a guide of only 7,000 words. Do note, however, that writing how-to requires a huge amount of study, writing, re-writing, and fact checking in order to come up with something that is clear and concise. As is usual, I needed lots of help on this guide and as usual, I got it from my friend Rudy Winston, Canon Advisor, Technical Information. Rudy’s knowledge of the various Canon digital camera bodies is encyclopedic and is exceeded only by his helpfulness and generosity.

I am not sure if I will ever publish a complete 1D X User’s Guide as most everything is covered in the 5D III User’s Guide. Be sure to save the e-mail that brings you your 1D X AF Guide PDF because if I wind up doing a 1D X User’s Guide you will receive a $25 discount.

To order your copy now, click here, call Jim at 863-692-0906, or send a check for $25 to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If the latter, be sure to let us know what you are paying for and include your typed or clearly written e-mail address.

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If you wish to create an image of a speeding Sanderling with the bird well back in the original frame you’d better have a camera with a great AF system and you’d better know how to use it….

The winter plumage Sanderling was photographed at Nickerson Beach with the tripod-mounted Canon 500mm f/4L EF IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera body.ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6 in Av mode. As always with the Gitzo 3532LS CF tripod with the lightweight, sturdy, rigid, and efficient Mongoose M3.6 on top.

Left of center sensor/Surround/AI Servo Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image for a larger version.

Denise Ippolito’s Killer MiniMag

What can I say? The MiniMag is incredible. Great photography, tons of information, and best of all, it’s free. The only negative is that if you click on the link you will spend a good chunk of time there reading, enjoying, and learning…. Huge kudos go to Lady D for getting the MiniMag off to such a great start. You can view the October issue here. Learn more about Denise Ippolito here.

There are 14 great articles in all including mine on Galapagos Photography Tips. To access an article you can click on an image or select the title from the drop-down menu at October Edition, 2012 on the black bar at the top of the page.

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Clams on a LightPad, courtesy and copyright 2012: Cheryl Slechta.

Cheryl is a moderator in the Out-of-the-Box Forum on BirdPhotographers.Net (It Ain’t Just Bids!) You can read her MiniMag article, “LightPads–A Cure for Blocked Creativity” by clicking here. Learn more about Cheryl here and be sure to check out her Artisti Interpretations gallery while you are there.

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Over-Under Bullfrog, image courtesy and copyright 2012: Andrew McLachlan.

Learn how Andrew created this image in his MiniMag article here. Andrew is the author of the eBook “A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape” and is working on another great eBook on frog photography for BIRDS AS ART books.

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Red Trains, image courtesy of and copyright 2012: Dennis Bishop. From an 8-frame HDR with the Nikon D3s (replaced by the D4) and the Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 zoom at 17mm.

Read the excellent article on Museum Photography by Dennis in the current issue of the MiniMag here. He offers a great tip on creating sharp images hand held in situations where tripods are prohibited.

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Dahlia Fractalius, image courtesy of and copyright Denise Ippolito.

You can read Denise’s article, Fractalius on a Mac here in the current issue of the MiniMag.

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“The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds”

Alan Murphy taught the world to create killer images at backyard set-ups in his 106 page eBook, “Guide to Songbird Set-Up Photography.” In his latest effort, “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds,” he has out-done himself. As I proofread this new e-Book for readability, I was amazed not only by the images, but by Alan’s innovative and creative techniques. Heck, in many cases, I was stunned by his cleverness.

This great, brand new eBook is available by download right now for $50. Click on the logo-link below to get your copy. (PayPal payments accepted.)

Buy Now

A while back, Alan asked me to write the forward for”The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds.” Here’s what I had to say:

That Alan Murphy is a superb avian photographer and workshop leader goes without saying. His spectacular images—most often of songbirds in surreally perfect settings—have graced the covers of many popular magazines, the pages of countless books, magazines and calendars, and dozens of websites around the world.

The idea for Alan Murphy’s first eBook, “The Guide to Songbird Set-up Photography,” popped into my head not ten minutes into the great program he did for the Nature and Wildlife Photographers of Long Island group three years ago, almost to the day. I let him know my thoughts right after the conclusion of that program and thus, the songbird set-up guide was born. When we first teamed up to tackle that project, he shared the following story with me:

“Twenty years ago when I first became interested in bird photography, I purchased a copy of the original ‘The Art of Bird Photography.’ I was confused about several topics, including and especially the use of extension tubes. So I got Arthur Morris on the phone. Though he did not know me from Adam, he generously shared 30 minutes of his time with me and answered all of my questions. That is why, to this day, I go out of my way to be help other photographers.”

As I had zero memory of that phone call, I felt that it was most kind of Alan to share the story with me.

In his first eBook, Alan shared many long-held secrets that were carefully developed over time. It was a spectacular start and has helped thousands of folks—including me—to improve their craft and create stronger images. In his next effort, “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds,” Alan has continued his tradition of sharing in ten, all-new, wide-ranging chapters. While the first eBook dealt mainly with attracting songbirds into photographic range, the new book teaches you to attract birds from many different families: shorebirds, roadrunners, quail and raptors. The latter group includes eagles, vultures, buteos, caracaras and accipiters. And there are, of course, dozens of never-before-revealed tricks for attracting those colorful songbirds: tanagers, flycatchers, warblers, orioles, thrashers, jays, longspurs, cardinals, larks, buntings and woodpeckers, among others. From your backyard to the deserts to the woodlands to arctic tundra, Alan covers it all.

As you read through the new eBook, the words amazing, simple, brilliant, clever, innovative, and practical will come to mind frequently. You will constantly find yourself saying aloud, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

His tips for feeding individual songbirds and then photographing them in flight are simply remarkable, as are those for dealing with bird species that habitually land on barbed wire. Who would think of attracting shorebirds into photographic range? Alan Murphy. And not only does he share his methods and techniques with you, he shares several of the great images he created using each of the strategies.

The chapter on using audio playback to attract birds into photographic range is alone worth the price of the book. In addition to a complete synopsis of the techniques he uses, it contains tips on the recordings themselves, the needed gear and the techniques he uses for specific bird families. And most importantly, he teaches you how to minimize any potential stress on the subjects.

The chapter on blinds and camouflage is full of practical suggestions that will help you in the field. And the one on using decoy owls to attract raptors into range for both flight and perched photography includes lots of stuff that is new to me even though I first began using my very own Cabela’s plastic owl—affectionately nicknamed “Hootie”—more than 15 years ago.

From constructing and designing effective ground perches to using insects and—yes, even road kill—as bait, it seems that every conceivable avian photography situation is covered in detail and includes easy-to-read, easy-to-follow instructions.

I for one can’t wait to get out in the field to try some of the great new techniques that Alan shares with us in “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds.” Kudos, my friend!

Arthur Morris

Author of The Art of Bird Photography, The Art of Bird Photography II, and the remarkable BIRDS AS ART Blog.

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King Eider drake, Barrow Alaska. Image courtesy of and copyright Alan Murphy.

Nikon D3 (replaced by the D4), Nikon 600mm lens, ISO 640, f/6.3 at 1/2000 sec.

Who would think of calling in ducks on a tundra pond with audio?

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Red-winged Blackbird, Alamo, Texas. Image courtesy of and copyright Alan Murphy.

Nikon D3 (replaced by the D4), 600mm lens, ISO 1000, f/5 at 1/3200 sec.

I’ve dreamed of creating an image like this for years. Using one the the songbirds in flight techniques from “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds” now at least I will have a chance.

Remember, this great, brand new eBook is available by download right now for $50. Click on the logo-link below to get your copy. (PayPal payments accepted.)

Buy Now

Used Camera Gear for Sale

Denise Ippolito

Denise Ippolito is offering a Canon EOS-1D Mark III in very good condition for $1200.00 and a Canon EOS-5D Full Frame Sensor 12 mp Digital SLR Camera in excelent condition for $800.00. Please contact Denise via e-mail.

Bob Hawkins

Bob Hawkins is offering a used Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens–my old “toy lens,” killer for flight, in like-new condition for $1,000 including ground shipping in the continental U.S. The lens was used for only 2-3 hours. Guaranteed payment or a cleared check is required before making shipment. You can reach Bob via e-mail or try him on his cell at 727-363-1687. If no answer try his wife’s cell at 727-385-1658.

Steve Vige

Steve Vige is offering the following used gear for sale:

Canon 70-200 f4L IS lens in excellent condition includes pouch and original Canon box: $949 buyer pays shipping.

Please contact Steve on his cell at 661-305-0307 or via e-mail.

BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Barnegat Jetty IPT

Barnegat Jetty IPT, Barnegat Light, NJ: 2 1/2 DAYS. DEC 20 (1:30pm), 21, and 22, 2012: $999. Limit 8. Includes 5 photo-sessions, both lunches, introductory slide program (DEC 20), Photoshop session (DEC 21), and image sharing at lunch DEC 22.

Join Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito for a 2 1/2 Day Instructional Photo-Tour at the infamous Barnegat Jetty in Barnegat Light, New Jersey. Artie and Denise will teach you how to get close to the ducks and shorebirds that frequent this famed winter birding and photography hotspot, how to get the right exposure every time, and how to see, understand, and tackle a variety of photographic situations. Each will conduct a killer Photoshop session. We should have some excellent chances with Harlequin Duck and Purple Sandpiper, the two headliner species. With any luck we should get to photograph most of these species: Long-tailed Duck (formerly Oldsquaw), Common Loon, Red-throated Loon, Red-breasted Merganser, Surf Scoter, Black Scoter, Common Eider, Brant, Dunlin, Ruddy Turnstone, Black-bellied Plover, and Sanderling . Great Black-backed, Herring, and Ring-billed Gulls are also likely. Sunning Harbor Seals are possible. With the right winds we may have some good flight photography also.

Having at least a 500mm f/4 lens with a 1.4X teleconverter is recommended. Participants should be in good physical condition with a good sense of balance. A $500 per person non-refundable deposit by check only made out to “Arthur Morris” is required to hold your spot. Please click here and then scroll down and read our cancellation policies. Then please print, read, and sign the necessary paperwork here and send it to us with your deposit check. Deposit due immediately. That leaves a balance of $499, due on NOV 20, 2012.

BIRDS AS ART on Social Media

All are invited to follow us on Facebook and Twitter by clicking on each of the logo-links above. Re-tweeting is always appreciated.

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“The Birds and the B’s and the Flowers and the Trees”
The B’s: Become a better nature photographer. Best ways to optimize your images. Bone up on lenses; when and how to use them. Bring forth your creativity. Brush up on your in-the-field stalking and sharpness techniques.

NYC Weekend Nature Photography Seminar

Presented by Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure and Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Hilton Garden Inn, Staten Island, New York. December 8-9, 2012 from 9am-4:30pm.
Weekend: $169. SAT or SUN: $99. Lodging available for out of town guests.
Saturday: Image Capture Sunday: Image Evaluation and Processing

We will soon be announcing a spate of valuable door prizes that will be given away at the seminar. Click here for complete details including the Saturday and Sunday schedules, club and group discount info, and registration incentives and for more info on the In-the-Field Seminar Follow-up Workshop.

Artie, the grizzled veteran, is widely noted as one of the premier bird photographers, tour leaders, and educators on the planet. Denise, who specializes in flowers, is the mega-creative up-and-comer, a popular lecturer, a skilled field instructor, and an amazing Photoshop wizard who will share her tips and tricks with you. Both artie and denise are full time professional nature photographers.

Woman Roommates Needed

We are looking for single female roommates for both the Galapagos July 2013 trip and the September 2013 Bear Boat/Bears Catching Salmon IPT. See below for details on these great trip. Please e-mail for additional info and discount info.

Africa Photo Safari: August 2013

Serengeti Summer Migration Safari: 12 full and two half-days of photography: $12,999/person double occupancy. Limit: 12/Openings: 7.

Leaders: Todd Gustafson, Denise Ippolito, and Arthur Morris.

Leave the US AUG 3, 2013. Fly home from Arusha, Tanzania on the evening of August 18. Day 1 of the safari is August 5. Our last morning of photography is August 18. We will be visiting Taranagire National Park, Seronera Lodge–aka Leopard City!–twice, an exclusive mobile tented camp in the Serengeti, and at the end, the spectacular wildlife spectacle that is Ngorongoro Crater.

A deposit of $4,000 is due now. We will not cash your check until we have 7 deposits in hand. If the trip does not run, we will return or tear up your check. As there has been great interest already, we fully expect that the trip will run.

Happy Campers only please.

Once we cash your check you will be strongly advised to purchase travel insurance. While we all assume that we will be fine, health and family emergencies do arrive unexpectedly. You may wish to consider using Travel Insurance Services. Do understand that most policies must be purchased within two weeks of our cashing your deposit check.

The 2nd payment of $4000 is due NOV 30, 2012. The final payment/balance is due MAR 30, 2013.

Sign up with a friend or a spouse and apply a $300 per person discount.

Minimum to run as noted above: 7 photographers. Guaranteed maximum no more than 12 photographers plus the three great leaders. 3 persons/van. You get a row of seats for yourself and your gear. In addition to rotating in-the-field instruction with each of the co-leaders, artie, Todd, and denise will be available for image sharing and review and informal Photoshop instruction during breaks and after meals. And–with apologies to Miss Manners–even during meals!

The lodging is all first class. Please e-mail for a PDF with additional details, the complete itinerary, and a description of the unparalleled photographic opportunities that we will enjoy.

Please write or call with any questions. As always, we will work with the first 12 deposits that we receive. I hope that you can join us.

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12 comments to BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #420

  • avatar Stan Burman

    Art, Have you heard any word about conditions at Bosque del Apache NWR this year? Thanks!

  • avatar Gloria

    The rwbb is AMAZING!!

  • I have a Canon EOS 5D mark III.
    Will the new autofocus guide be applicable?
    Brad Stanton

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Brad, You should get yourself a copy of the 5D III Guide right now. I will be updating it this weekend and finishing it. In part I will be incorporating some of the new stuff that I learned from doing the 1D X AF Guide. I suggest getting the pre-publication version now and saving $10 :). The price will go up when it is finished. You can order a 5D III Guide here or call Jim now at 863-692-0906 with credit card in hand. Thanks for your interest. artie

      • avatar Jim Kranick

        Brad and Artie,

        Thanks for the question and answer. I ordered the 5D III when it was first offered and also wondered about getting the 1D X AF Guide.

        Artie, Your killing this former NYC/LI person with all the different programs you are doing up there. Not to mention Denise and her NYC skyline workshop from the Jersey side of the Hudson.


        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Hey Jim, Which Q&A?? Do you own a 1D X? Hey, plane flights are cheap and if you win one of the door prizes–more coming on them soon, you will come out ahead! artue

          • avatar Jim Kranick

            Which Q&A?
            Brad’s Q about buying the 1D X AF Guide as someone who owns a 5D III which has similar AF. And your A that the final 5D III Guide will have new stuff learned from using the 1D X. And I should have said I ordered your 5D III GUIDE when you first offered the “in progress” versions. Not to clear minded prior to that first cup of coffee in the morning.

            I have a 5D III kit, 17-40 and 24 TS-E all bought for my June birthday so I don’t think I will get an OK for the 1D X soon. But it does cost less than the 500mm II that I have been lusting after since you brought yours to the talk at Leu Gardens. My first series 500 f/4L IS is a little heavier than I would like.

            Thanks for all the free info in your blog and bulletins.

            Got it. Thanks. Non-stop flights on Jet Blue MCO/EWR as low as $100. Come on up :). artie