November 15th, 2012

BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #422

  • South Georgia/Falkland Islands Southern Oceans Trip Report
  • EOS-5D Mark III User’s Guide
  • Bosque/Albuquerque Thanksgiving Buffet Invite
  • Bosque del Apache IPT Late Registration Discount Announcement
  • Bosque on Facebook
  • Tim Grey’s Pixology Magazine
  • Used Camera Gear for Sale
  • BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Barnegat Jetty IPT
  • NYC Seminar Door Prizes!
  • Woman Roommates Needed
  • IPT Updates

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This three-frame Art Vivid in-camera HDR image of two adult King Penguins standing above a plain of young oakum boys was created at St. Andrews Bay with the tripod mounted Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS EF USM AF Lens (hand held at 84mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera (Body Only) w/FREE Bonus Items – $160.75 Value! [expires 11/24]!. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/125 sec. at f/16 in Manual mode.

Central sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus AF and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

I thank the two penguins in the foreground for remaining stock-still during the exposure. Though the views from the ridge at St. Andrews Bay were not as spectacular as they are in January when the colony is filled with hundreds of thousands of adults, it was still very impressive. Most who were on the October trip expressed a desire to return three months later.

When even the remotest possibility of doing some serious land-scape or bird-scape work with a short lens exists, I make sure to have a Wimberley P-5 plate and my Giottos MH 1302-655 Ballhead in my vest. It takes less than two minutes to mount the plate on the camera body, spin off the Mongoose M3.6, and replace it with the tiny ballhead.

South Georgia/Falkland Islands Southern Oceans Expedition Report

Denise Ippolito and I just got back from a killer Cheesemans’ Ecology Safari Southern Oceans Expedition to South Georgia and the Falkland Islands. There were about 70 participants in all, 16 of those folks signed up under the auspices of BIRDS AS ART. In addition there were other BAA friends aboard. Special thanks to all who had faith in me: (Rusty-)Chuck & Nancy Bell, Soren & Vibeke Breiting of Denmark, Bill Fraser, Aravind Krishnaswamy, Bob and Hanno Lewis, Alan & Pat Lillich (please say a prayer or send some extra love, strength and energy to Pat who is undergoing surgery today), Christopher Marsham of the UK, Paul Mckenzie of Hong Kong, Joshua Ong, Clemens van der Werf, and Michael and Lyndsey VIljoen of South Africa. In addition, I made many new photograph friends. As you can see, folks from all over the world travel with Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris.

After a nearly 3-day navigation from Port Stanley in the Falklands to the island of South Georgia, we made about 15 landings (or zodiac cruises) over the course of 10 days. These included full days at the two spectacular King Penguin colonies at St. Andrews Bay and Salisbury Plain. In addition, we completed the rare circumnavigation of South Georgia. Having done really well there with both weather and opportunities we left a day early to spend another 3 days at sea en route to the Falklands. We wound up having to leave there a day early to get the ship to Ushuaia ahead of an approaching storm. But the extra day off was appreciated by most folks as the action in the Falklands was spectacular and the days and the hikes had been long, challenging, and exhausting. We hiked about 7 miles on the first landing at Sea Lion Island on the first Falklands day. It drizzled a bit on us at Steeple Jason but many folks including me stayed out until 4pm. And our last landings at New Island were fabulous.

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This image of a breeding plumage King (or Imperial) Cormorant (aka Blue-eyed Shag) was also created with the hand held Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Lens, the Canon 1.4x EF tele-extender III, and the
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera (Body Only) w/FREE Bonus Items – $160.75 Value! [expires 11/24]!. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1600 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. Left of center sensor/AI Servo Surround/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.

Then it was 2 more days at sea to get back to Ushuaia to catch our Saturday morning flights home. I got back to Indian Lake Estates at about 2pm on Sunday and Denise arrived at her home in Brielle, NJ at about 6pm. She was glad to learn that her home did not suffer any damage at all from Hurricane Sandy (though there was tremendous devastation nearby).

Kudos to expedition leader Ted Cheeseman for putting together the great itinerary and pulling it off. He made several major changes due to sea conditions and all were spot on. The Cheesemans’ staff greatest skill is in getting folks safely in and out of the zodiacs and onto shore even in condition where most other tour companies would call it a day. In addition all were knowledgeable and helpful, and trust me, at 66 I appreciated their help.

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This image of a Northern Royal Albatross was created from the ship as we sailed from South Georgia to the Falklands with the hand held Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Lens, the Canon 2x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera (Body Only) w/FREE Bonus Items – $160.75 Value! [expires 11/24]!. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2 stops off the sky: 1/4000 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/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.

I used the 300 II with the 1.4X III and the 5D III for most of the photography from the boat but for whatever reason the giant albatross species, Southern and Northern Royal and Wandering) stayed far back while following the boat so I went to the 2X III TC in an effort to get more pixels on the bird. This is a crop from a horizontal capture. CES staffers Joe Kaplan (auctioneer supreme) and Dave Shoch kindly helped me with the seabird IDs when they were not on the bridge helping others while spotting the rarer seabirds and a variety of marine mammals.

As you can see above, most days at sea provided some excellent opportunities for photographing seabirds from the Ushuaia, the ice-worthy vessel that was our home for three weeks. This one was created on a very rough afternoon…. To see lots of great King Penguin images from the trip click here and here. To see a wonderful collection of Denise’s images (including her killer head and neck portrait of the rare Grey-headed Albatross), click here. To see a killer collection of Clemens van der Werf’s images, many executed in the BIRDS AS ART style, click here and give the two South Georgia portfolios a minute or two to load.

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This image of a groups of molting adult King Penguins and snow-covered hillsides was created at Right Whale Bay, South Georgia with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Zoom Lens (at 190mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera (Body Only) w/FREE Bonus Items – $160.75 Value! [expires 11/24]!. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/400 sec. at f/7.1 in Av mode. Central sensor/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see the spectacular larger version.

I visualized this image as soon as I got off the zodiac but had to wait a while until several other trip participants were out of the scene. We had so much fun at Right Whale Bay that Ted arranged for us to make this landing again right before departing for the Falklands.

EOS-5D Mark III User’s Guide

With the wreck of my EOS-1D X (see “Wrecked. And Loving It” for complete details), I went to my 5D Mark III as my workhorse camera body. It performed flawlessly surviving some heavy drizzle, sand, grit, and extensive use. I used it almost exclusively for seabird flight photography from the ship. As I have said from the get-go, the 5D Mark III’s new AF system is superb.

You can learn everything about it including my custom case for flight photography, my favorite AF Area Selection Modes, how I use the great HDR and Multiple Exposure Features, and pretty much everything that I know about this great lightweight camera here. I will be updating the guide in January. All updates are free.

Learn more or purchase here.

To thank us for all the free info that we provide on the blog, in Bulletins, and via e-mail, or if your decision to purchase a 5D III was influenced by what you learned here, please use one of our B&H affiliate links immediately below to order and e-mail me a copy of your receipt. The upper logo-link is for the body alone (along with ($154.83 of free items), the lower link for a kit with the body and my B-roll lens, the 24-105mm zoom. (I never leave home without it.)



Bosque/Albuquerque Thanksgiving Buffet Invite

For the past ten years or so I have hosted a midday Thanksgiving Day meal, in part to honor the memory of my late-wife, Elaine Belsky Morris, and in part because I love meeting others who love Bosque as I do. At first it was held at the wonderful and relatively elegant Val Verde Steak House in Socorro, now defunct. Then it was held at the lovely and historic Luna Mansion. Luna Mansion closed a few years ago and recently re-opened but no longer serves Thanksgiving Day. In 2009 we had fun and a fine meal at the Stage Door Grill but that wonderful little joint recently bit the dust also. Socorro is a tough place for businesses to survive. In 2010 we went a bit upscale and dined in the New Mexico Ballroom at the Hilton Albuquerque hotel. There was tons of food and it was all delicious.

The Hilton is now a Crowne Plaza and the good news is that they are having the buffet again this year as they did in 2011. I will be picking up the tab for the IPT group, but as always, all visiting birders and photographers are invited to join us. If you would like to take part in the fun and camaraderie this year please send a check for $45.00 per person made out to “”Arthur Morris”” to cover the cost of the buffet that will include all the traditional items plus lots more as well as tax and tip. Drinks are on you. Please mark ““Thanksgiving Buffet” on your check and mail it to; BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 4041, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. Be sure to include your e-mail address on your check and in a short note. Sorry, no PayPals or credit cards for this. I do hope that you can join us.

I have group reservations for Thanksgiving Day (of course). Those joining us will need to be at the hotel at 11:30 am sharp. It is located at 1901 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87102, about an hour up I-25 from the Super 8 Motel in Socorro where I have stayed happily with my groups for well more than a decade. I do hope that you can join us.

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Are IPTs expensive? Of course they are. For good reason. The most experienced, knowledgeable, and hardest working leaders. Great Photoshop instruction. Great folks. And great food. For a greater appreciation of the composite image, click on the photo. Click on the enlarged version to close it.

Bosque del Apache IPT Late Registration Discount Announcement

With four openings on this IPT and me headed out of town till 11/11 we are glad to announce a healthy late registration discount for this great IPT. Please call Jim weekdays from 9-5 eastern time at 863-692-0906 for details and leave a message if he is at the post office.

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Nobody alive or dead knows Bosque better than I do. Do consider joining us for the educational experience of a lifetime. For a greater appreciation of the composite image, click on the photo. Click on the enlarged version to close it.

BOSQUE del APACHE 2012 IPT: “The Complete Bosque Experience.” NOV 21-27, 2012. 7-FULL DAYS: $3399. Co-leaders: Denise Ippolito, landscape photography expert Jim Heupel, and Photoshop expert Mike Hannisian. Introductory Slide program: 6:30 pm on 11/20. Limit: 12/Openings 4.

Tens of thousand of Snow Geese, 10,000 Sandhill Cranes, ducks including point-blank American Wigeon and Wood Duck, amazing sunrises, sunsets, and blast-offs. 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. Top-notch Photoshop instruction. This will make 18 consecutive Novembers at Bosque for me. Nobody knows the place better than I do. Join us to learn to think like a pro, to recognize situations and to anticipate them based on the weather, especially the light and the wind direction. Every time we make a move we will let you know why. When you head home applying what you learned will prove to be invaluable.

Bosque on Facebook

Visit Bosque on Facebook here and bookmark the page. It’s a great way to keep up on current events and refuge conditions.

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Tim Grey’s Pixology Magazine

Pixology magazine, an e-Magazine written and produced by Photoshop guru Tim Grey, debuted this past August. Tim kindly sent me the last three issues for review. Ruined my night. I had planned to get some work done before hitting the sack but I became engrossed in each issue…. Educational, amazingly thorough, interesting, and revealing are a few words that come to mind. Tim has a knack for taking a simple subject that you think you know everything about–the Spot Healing Brush (Cleanup in a Pinch/OCT 2012) or Levels (Levels in Detail/SEPT 2012) for example, and creating a 5 or 10 page treatise that really opens your eyes. Travel and gear pieces, articles on Photoshop 6, Lightroom, NIK stuff, and Elements 11 tips and issues, and interviews with top pros are all written in Tim’s pleasant, easy-to-read, easy-to understand style with a good sprinkling of his wry sense of humor sprinkled throughout; in the November issue Tim interviews himself and does a great job of it.

You can subscribe today by clicking here or on the logo-link above.

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This image of a Rockhopper Penguin carrying nesting material was created at New Island, the Falklands with the hand held Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto Lens, the Canon 1.4x EF tele-extender III, and the
Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera (Body Only) w/FREE Bonus Items – $160.75 Value! [expires 11/24]!. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode. Left, slightly above center sensor/AI Servo Surround/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.

After I destroyed my 500mm f/4L IS II/EOS-1D X combo–see the “Wrecked. And Loving It” blog post–the 300 f/2.8L IS II/EOS-5D Mark III combo provided a fabulous back-up rig. I got lucky here as I kept underexposing this image but the bird held its pose for more than a minute until I got it right. In retrospect, I should have been at 1/320 sec. at f/8. Leave a comment if you think that you know why.

Lots of 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 excellent 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 (price reduced!) in excellent condition includes pouch and original Canon box: $899 buyer pays shipping.

Please contact Steve on his cell at 661-305-0307 or via e-mail. Note: I used this sharp, lightweight lens for about two years and loved it.

Shelly Goldstein

Multiple IPT-veteran and all around nice guy Sheldon Goldstein is offering the following Canon lenses for sale; each of them has recently been checked and cleaned by Canon Jamesburg. Wire transfers preferred or wait until your check clears. All sales include shipping and insurance.

Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens in excellent condition with LensCoat, the RRS LCF-50 Arca style replacement foot, the original foot with all the screws, and all the original stuff including the lens trunk and leather hood. This one is an absolute steal at $6899. It will likely sell in minutes as we have sold others recently with less extras for more.

Contact Shelly by phone at 1-646-423-0392 or via e-mail.

Cindy Cox

Cindy Cox is offering the following used gear for sale:

Canon EOS 5D Full Frame Sensor 12 mp Digital SLR Camera in excellent condition for $750.00 (mirror recently replaced by Canon). Buyer pays shipping.
Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS EF USM AF lens in excellent condition for $750.00. Buyer pays shipping. (This is artie’s favorite B-roll lens; he never leaves home without it.)

Please contact Cindy 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. Payment in full is due now. 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 check.

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NYC Seminar Door Prizes!

Wow! We have put together a killer collection of door prizes for the NYC Seminar. If you live in the northeast and are not yet registered click here to join us and have a chance at winning some of the great and valuable loot below.

From ThinkTank: an Airport AirStream™ Rolling Camera Bag; meets all International carry- on regulations. A $324.75 value.
From LensCoat: a Standard LensCoat® RainCoat. A $79.99 value.
Manfrotto/Gitzo will be contributing one or more items.
From Delkin: a 32 gb 700X Compact Flash Card plus give-aways. The card is a $134.99 value.
NIK has sent a gift certificate for one copy of NIK Color Efex Pro, the Photoshop filter plug-in that has changed my digital workflow. Enter the code BAA at checkout to save 15%.
Topaz is sending a gift certificate for their black and white effects filter program.
Micheal Tapes at RAW Workflow has chipped in with a Lens Align Mark II. A $79.95 value.
You might also win a copy of The Art of Bird Photography II by Arthur Morris or a copy of A Guide to Pleasing Blurs by Arthur Morris and Denise Ipplito.

Thanks a stack to all of our generous sponsors.

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 two great trips. Please e-mail for additional info and discount info.

Shopper’s Guide

Thanks a stack to all who have used our B&H affiliate 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.

Shop B&H

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Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins. We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of the links above. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!

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 🙂 And you will love them in mega-cold weather….
Gizo GT3532 LS CF Tripod. This one replaces the GT3530LS Tripod and will last you a lifetime. Learn more about this great tripod here.
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.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
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.
BreezeBrowser. I do not see how any digital photographer can exist without this program.
Delkin Flash Cards. I use and depend on Delkin compact Flash Cards and card readers most every day. Learn more about their great 700X and 1000X cards here or about my favorite Delkin card here.

BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo Tours (IPTs)

Click here for BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) General Information.

Click here for BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) Deposit and Cancellation Policies.

Click here for BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) Registration and Release Forms.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

Please scroll down for info on each of the following:

  • Gatorland Mini-IPT: 1 1/2 days: AM and PM shooting sessions on Saturday, March 4 and a morning session on Sunday, March 5.
  • BIRDS AS ART Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Meet-up Workshop (ITFW) on the morning of April 22, 2017: $99
  • Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/April 19, 2017 (meet & greet and afternoon session) through the full day on April 22, 2017. 3 1/2 DAYs: $1599.
  • 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT, July 3-10, 2017: $5999.
  • 2017 Bear Boat Coastal Brown Bear Cubs IPT: July 18-24, 2017 from Kodiak, AK: 5 FULL & 2 Half DAYS: $6699
  • 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour: June 8-14, 2017: $2,499
  • GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. August 8-22, 2017 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half DAYS of photography: $12,499. Limit: 12 photographers plus the leader: yours truly. Sold out!.
  • 2018 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART IPT: Monday, JAN 15 thru and including the morning session on Friday, JAN 19, 2018: 4 1/2 days: $2099

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Great Egrets in breeding plumage are a beautiful sight …

Gatorland Mini-IPT: 1 1/2 days: AM and PM shooting sessions on Saturday, March 4 and a morning session on Sunday, March 5: $749. Limit 6/Openings 4.

Join me in Kissimmee, FL in early March, prime time to to photograph Great Egrets in breeding plumage. We should get to make lots of head portraits with most any lens and to photograph them building nests, displaying, copulating, and flying. Eggs for sure. Tiny chicks likely. And most likely breeding Wood Storks as well. Learn to see, find, and make the shot in cluttered settings. Learn exposure and how to handle the WHITEs. Learn fill flash and flash as main light. Includes a working lunch on me on Saturday with image review and Photoshop. We may see and photograph some early Snowy Egrets and Tricolored Herons. And of course, we will see and photograph the captive American Alligators. All of the birds are free and wild.

To pay in full via credit card, call Jim or Jen in the office weekdays at 863-692-0906. You will be responsible for the cost of your Gatorland Photographer’s pass. Early entry both mornings and late stay on Saturday.


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DeSoto in spring is rife with tame and attractive birds. From upper left clockwise to center: breeding plumage Dunlin, dark morph breeding plumage Reddish Egret displaying, breeding plumage Laughing Gull/front end vertical portrait, breeding plumage Laughing Gull with prey item, Laughing Gull on head of Brown Pelican, screaming Royal Tern in breeding plumage, Royal Terns/pre-copulatory stand, Laughing Gulls copulating, breeding plumage Laughing Gull/tight horizontal portrait, Sandwich Tern with fish, and a really rare one, White-rumped Sandpiper in breeding plumage, photographed at DeSoto in early May.

Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/April 19-22, 2017. (meet & greet at 2pm on Wednesday April 19 followed by an afternoon session) through the full day on Saturday April 22. 3 1/2 DAYs: $1599. Limit 10. To save your spot, please call and put down a non-refundable deposit of $499.00.

I will be offering small group (Limit 3) Photoshop sessions on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning if necessary. Details on that TBA.

Fort DeSoto is one of the rare locations that might offer great bird photography 365 days a year. It shines in spring. There will Lots of tame birds including breeding plumage Laughing Gull and Royal and Sandwich Terns. With luck, we will get to photograph all of these species courting and copulating. There will be American Oystercatcher and Marbled Godwit plus sandpipers and plovers, some in full breeding plumage. Black-bellied Plover and Red Knot in stunning breeding plumage are possible. There will be lots of wading birds including Great and Snowy Egrets, both color morphs of Reddish Egret, Great Blue, Tricolored and Little Blue Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and killer breeding plumage White Ibis. Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork are possible and likely. We should have lots of good flight photography with the gulls and terns and with Brown Pelican. Nesting Least Tern and nesting Wilson’s Plover are possible.

We will, weather permitting, enjoy 7 shooting sessions. As above, our first afternoon session will follow the meet and greet at 2pm on Wednesday April 19. For the next three days we will have two daily photo sessions. We will be on the beach early and usually be at lunch (included) by 11am. We will have three indoor sessions. At one we will review my images–folks learn a ton watching me choose my keepers and deletes–why keep this one and delete that one? The second will be a review of your images so that I can quickly learn where you need help. For those who bring their laptops to lunch I’d be glad to take a peek at an image or three. Day three will be a Photoshop session during which we will review my complete workflow and process an image or two in Photoshop after converting them in DPP. Afternoon sessions will generally run from 4:30pm till sunset. We photograph until sunset on the last day, Saturday, April 22. Please note that this is a get-your-feet and get-your-butt wet and sandy IPT. And that you can actually do the whole IPT with a 300 f/2.8L IS, a 400 f/4 ID DO lens with both TCs, or the equivalent Nikon gear. I will surely be using my 500 II as my big glass and have my 100-400 II on my shoulder.


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DeSoto in spring is rife with tame and attractive birds. From upper left clockwise to center: Laughing Gull in flight, adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, copulating Sandwich Terns, Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egret with reflection, Short-billed Dowitcher in breeding plumage, American Oystercatcher, breeding plumage Royal Tern, white morph Reddish Egret, and Snowy Egret marsh habitat shot.

What You Will Learn

You will learn to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to understand the effects of sky and wind conditions on bird photography, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you are scared of it).

The group will be staying at the Red Roof Inn, St. Petersburg: 4999 34th St. North, St Petersburg, FL 33714. The place is clean and quite inexpensive. Please e-mail for room block information. And please call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 to register. All will need to purchase an Annual Pass early on Tuesday afternoon so that we can enter the park at 6am and be in position for sunrise opportunities. The cost is $75, Seniors $55. Tight carpools will be needed and will reduce the per person Annual Pass costs. The cost of three lunches is included. Breakfasts are grab what you can on the go, and dinners are also on your own due to the fact that we will usually be getting back to the hotel at about 9pm. Non-photographer spouses, friends, or companions are welcome for $100/day, $350 for the whole IPT.

BIRDS AS ART Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Meet-up Workshop (ITFW): $99

Fort DeSoto Spring In-the-Field Cheap Meet-up Workshop (ITFW) on the morning of April 22, 2017: $99

Join me on the morning of April 22, 2017 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images. Teleconverters are always a plus.

You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. This inexpensive morning workshop is designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tours. I hope to meet you there.

To register please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours with a credit card in hand to pay the nominal registration fee. Your registration fee is non-refundable. You will receive a short e-mail with instructions, gear advice, and meeting place one week before the event.


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Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT
Monday July 3 through Monday July 10, 2017: $5999: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 6). Two great leaders: Arthur Morris and BPN co-owner, BPN Photography Gear Forum Moderator, and long-time BAA Webmaster Peter Kes.

Here are the plans: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on July 2 and arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday July 3 no later than 10am (or simply meet us then at the Edinburgh Airport–EDI, or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe). Stay 7 nights in one of three gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are five days of planned puffin/seabird trips and one morning of gannet photography, all weather permitting of course. In three years we have yet to miss an entire day because of weather… In addition, we will enjoy several sessions of photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level.


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Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The Details

We will get to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet; Arctic, Sandwich, and Common Terns, the former with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks. We will be staying in upscale country-side lodging that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with a private bathroom. See the limited single supplement info below.

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared by you in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day.

If you wish to fly home on the morning of Monday July 10 we will get you to the airport. Please, however, consider the following tentative plans: enjoy a second Gannet boat trip on the afternoon of Monday July 10 and book your hotel room in Dunbar. If all goes as planned, those who stay on for the two extra days will make a morning landing at Bass Rock, one of the world’s largest gannetries. We will get everyone to the airport on the morning of Wednesday July 12. (We may opt to stay in Edinburgh on the night of July 11.) Price and details should be finalized at least six months before the trip but you will need to be a bit patient. It would be ideal if I can get all the work done by the end of September so that folks can arrange their flights then.


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Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2016.

Deposit Info

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome–please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on March 29, 2017. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

Single Supplement Deposit Info

Single supplement rooms are available on a limited basis. To ensure yours, please register early. The single supplement fee is $1575. If you would like your own room, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement; your single supplement deposit check should be for $3,575. As we will need to commit to renting the extra space, single supplement deposits are non-refundable so please be sure that check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. 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 that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even 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. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print careful even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.


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Images and card copyright Arthur Morris/BEARS AS ART 🙂

2017 Bear Boat Coastal Brown Bear Cubs IPTs: July 18-24, 2017 from Kodiak, AK: 5 FULL & 2 Half DAYS: $6699. Happy campers only! Maximum 8/Openings 3.

Join me in spectacular Katmai National Park, AK for six days of photographing Coastal Brown Bears. Mid-July is prime time for making images of small, football-sized cubs. The cubs, and these dates, are so popular that I had to reserve them three years in advance to secure them. There are lots of bears each year in June, but the mothers only rarely risk bringing their tiny cubs out in the open in fear of predation by rival bears. In addition to making portraits of both adults and cubs, we hope to photograph frolicking and squabbling youngsters and tender nursing scenes. At this time of year, the bears are either grazing in luxuriant grass or clamming. There will also be some two- and three-year old cubs to add to the fun. And we will get to photograph it all.

We will live on our tour operator’s luxurious new boat. At 78 feet long its 24 foot beam makes it quite spacious as well. And the food is great. We will likely spend most of our time at famed Geographic Harbor as that is where the bears are generally concentrated in summer. On the odd chance that we do need to relocate to another location we can do so quickly and easily without having to venture into any potentially rough seas. We land via a 25 foot skiff that has lots of room for as much gear as we can carry.

Aside from the bears we should get to photograph Horned and Tufted Puffin and should get nice stuff on Mew Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Harbor Seal, and Steller’s Sea Lion as well. A variety of tundra-nesting shorebirds including Western Sandpiper and both yellowlegs are also possible. Halibut fishing (license required/not included) is optional.

It is mandatory that you be in Kodiak no later than the late afternoon of July 17 to avoid missing the float planes to the boat on the morning of July 18. Again, with air travel in Alaska (or anywhere else for that matter) subject to possible delays, being on Kodiak on July 16 is a much better plan.

Barring any delays, we will get to photograph bears on our first afternoon and then again every day for the next five days after that, all weather permitting of course. On our last morning on the boat, July 24, those who would like to enjoy one last photo session will have the opportunity to do so. The group will return to Kodiak via float plane from late morning through midday. Most folks will then fly to Anchorage and to continue on red-eye flights to their home cities.

What’s included? 7 DAYS/6 NIGHTS on the boat as above. All meals on the boat. National Park and guide fees. In-the-field photo tips, instruction, and guidance. An insight into the mind of a top professional nature photographer; I will constantly let you know what I am thinking, what I am doing, and why I am doing it. Small group image review, image sharing, and informal Photoshop instruction on the boat.

What’s not included: Your round trip airfare to and from Kodiak, AK (almost surely through Anchorage). Your lodging and meals on Kodiak. The cost of the round-trip float plane to the boat and then back to Kodiak as above. The cost of a round trip last year was $550. The suggested crew tip of $200.

Have you ever walked with the bears?

Is this an expensive trip? Yes, of course. But with 5 full and two half days, a wealth of great subjects, and the fact that you will be walking with the bears just yards away (or less….), it will be one of the great natural history experiences of your life. Most folks who take part in a Bear Boat IPT wind up coming back for more.

A $2,000 per person non-refundable deposit by check only made out to “BIRDS AS ART” is required to hold your spot. Please click here to read our cancellation policies. Then please print, read, and sign the necessary paperwork here and send it to us by mail to PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855.

Your deposit is due when you sign up. That leaves a balance of $4699. The next payment of $2699 will be due on September 15, 2016. The final payment of $2000 is due on February 15, 2017. I hope that you can join me for what will be a wondrously exciting trip.


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Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card

Why Different?

Announcing the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour

In what ways will the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour be different from the most other Palouse workshops?

There are so many great locations that a seven-day IPT (as opposed to the typical three- or five-day workshops) will give the group time to visit (and revisit) many of the best spots while allowing you to maximize your air travel dollars. In addition, it will allow us to enjoy a slightly more relaxed pace.

You will be assured of being in the right location for the given weather and sky conditions.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills.

You will learn to design powerful, graphic images.

You will visit all of the iconic locations and a few spectacular ones that are much less frequently visited.

You will learn long lens landscape techniques.

You will learn to master any exposure situation in one minute or less.

You will learn the fine points of Canon in-camera (5D Mark III, 5DS R, and 7D II) HDR techniques.

You will be able to share a variety of my exotic Canon lenses including the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, aka the “circle lens.”

You will learn to use your longest focal lengths to create rolling field and Urbex abstracts.

You will learn when and how to use a variety of neutral density filters to create pleasing blurs of the Palouse’s gorgeous rolling farmlands.

As always, you will learn to see like a pro. You will learn what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time. You will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images.

You will learn to use super-wide lenses both for big skies and building interiors.

You will learn when, why, and how to use infrared capture; if you do not own an infrared body, you will get to borrow mine.

You will learn to use both backlight and side-light to create powerful and dramatic landscape images.


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Palouse 2016 Verticals Card

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour
June 8-14, 2017. Seven full days of photography. Meet and greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 7: $2,499. Limit 10/Openings: 7.

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will enjoy spectacular sunrises and at least one nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. I will bring you to more than a few really neat old abandoned barns and farmhouses in idyllic settings. There is no better way to improve your compositional and image design skills and to develop your creativity than to join me for this trip. Photoshop and image sharing sessions when we have the time and energy…. We get up early and stay out late and the days are long.

Over the past three years, with the help of a friend, we found all the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and vistas. What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, my extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions. As above, there will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before the workshop begins.

To Sign Up

Your non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining this IPT. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours to arrange for the payment of your deposit; if by check, please make out to “BIRDS AS ART” and mail it to: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail: artie.

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 that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. 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. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.


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Tame birds and wildlife. Incredible diversity. You only live once…

GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. August 8-22, 2017 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $12,499. Limit: 12 photographers plus the leader: yours truly. Sold out!

Same great trip; no price increase!

My two-week Galapagos Photo-Cruises are without equal. The world’s best guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), and two great leaders with ten Galapagos cruises under their belts. Pre-trip and pre-landing location-specific gear advice. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea!

The great spots that we will visit include Tower Island (including Prince Phillips Steps and Darwin Bay), Hood Island (including Punta Suarez, the world’s only nesting site of Waved Albatross, and Gardner Bay)—each of the preceding are world class wildlife photography designations that rank right up there with Antarctica, Africa, and Midway. We will also visit Fernandina, Puerto Ayora for the tortoises, Puerto Egas—James Bay, and North Seymour for nesting Blue-footed Boobies in most years, South Plaza for Land Iguanas, Floreana for Greater Flamingoes, and Urbina Bay, all spectacular in their own right. We visit every great spot on a single trip. Plus tons more. And there will be lots of opportunities to snorkel on sunny mid-days for those like me who wish to partake.

It is extremely likely that we will visit the incredible Darwin Bay and the equally incredible Hood Island, world home of Waved Albatross twice on our voyage. The National Park Service takes its sweet time in approving such schedule changes.

We will be the first boat on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island every afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast skies, we will often spend 5-6 hours at the best sites. And as noted above, mid-day snorkeling is an option on most sunny days depending on location and conditions. On the 2015 trip most snorkeled with a mega-pod of dolphins. I eased off the zodiac to find hundreds of dolphins swimming just below me. Note: some of the walks are a bit difficult but can be made by anyone if half way decent shape. Great images are possible on all landings with either a hand held 70-200mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter or an 80- or 100-400. I sometimes bring a longer lens ashore depending on the landing. In 2017 I will be bring the Canon 400mm IS DO II lens. In the past I have brought either the 300mm f/2.8L IS II or the 200-400mm f/4 L IS with Internal Extender.


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Do consider joining me for this once in a lifetime trip to the Galapagos archipelago. There simply is no finer Galapagos photography trip. Learn why above.

An Amazing Value…

Do know that there are one week Galapagos trips for $8500! Thus, our trip represents a tremendous value; why go all that way and miss half of the great photographic locations?

The Logistics

August 6, 2017: We arrive in Guayaquil, Ecuador a day early to ensure that we do not miss the boat in case of a travel delay.

August 7, 2017: There will be an introductory Galapagos Photography session and a hands on exposure session at our hotel.

August 8, 2017: We fly to the archipelago and board the Samba. Heck, on the 2015 trip some people made great images at the dock in Baltra while our luggage was being loaded!

August 22, 2017: We disembark late morning and fly back to Guayaquil midday; most will overnight there.

Most will fly home on the early morning of August 23 unless they are staying on or going elsewhere (or catching a red-eye flight on the evening of the 22nd).

$12,499 includes just about everything: all transfers, guide and park fees, all food on the boat, transfers and ground transportation, your flights to the archipelago, and three nights (double occupancy) in a top notch hotel in Guayaquil. If you are good to go, a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 per person is due immediately. The second payment of $4,000 is not due until 11/1/16. The final payment of $3449 per person will be due on 2/1/17. A $200 discount will be applied to each of the balances for couples or friends who register at the same time.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On two fairly recent cruises a total of 5 folks were forced to cancel less than one week prior to the trip. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and strongly recommend that you do the same.

Not included: your round trip airfare from your home to and from Guayaquil, beverages on the boat, phone calls, your meals in Guayaquil, personal items, and a $600/person cash tip for the crew and the guide—this works out to roughly $40/day to be shared by the 7 folks who will be waiting on us hand and foot every day for two weeks. The service is so wonderful that many folks choose to tip extra.

Please e-mail for the tentative itinerary or with questions. Please cut and paste “Galapagos 2017 Tentative Itinerary Please” into the Subject line.

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2017 in San Diego was a very good year ….

2018 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART IPT: Monday, JAN 15 thru and including the morning session on Friday, JAN 19, 2018: 4 1/2 days: $2099.

Limit: 8: Openings: 4

Meet and Greet at 6:30pm on the evening before the IPT begins; Sunday, Jan 14, 2018.

Join me in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (usually nesting and displaying) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Wood Duck and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Whimbrel, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seal (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lion; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well. Please note: formerly dependable, both Wood Duck and Marbled Godwit have been declining at their usual locations for the past two years …


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San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography. And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication. You can do most of your photography with an 80- or 100-400 lens …

Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter?


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Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings.

The San Diego Details

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, four lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. Dinners are on your own so that we can get some sleep.

A $599 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 9/11//2016. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

7 comments to BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #422

  • avatar Nigel Boon

    320/f8 – depth of field? All of the bill and nesting material would have been in focus.

    Would like to take this opportunity to say how much I’ve learned from your two Art of Bird Photography guides and the 5D3 guide – am a bird photography beginner and still “only” using Canon’s 100-400, but am having a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!

  • avatar Louise Burky

    Hi Artie, The Bosque photos are fantastic! I cannot make it this year, but I definitely want to come again next year. It was the best time ever…..

    Have a great time, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Not sure that I will be going next year as there are many things in the works. Heck, maybe in DEC. later and love, artie

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks G!

  • avatar Gloria

    Also, the Royal Albatross composition is EXQUISITE. You are the very best at composing single subjects with nothing else. PERFECT!

  • avatar Gloria

    I think the King Cormorant must be the most handsome bird I’ve seen lately. WOW!! Love the eye – no catchlight – but very beautiful. Can’t wait to read the whole bulletin!!!