- Canon Live Learning/Birds of the Everglades/Destination Photography Workshop
- The Blog is the Bomb
- BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Barnegat Jetty IPT Report
- Weekend Creative Nature Photography Seminar, Tampa, FL: February 23 & 24, 2013
- Used Camera Gear Including Some Great New Items
- Posse News: Robert Amoruso
- EOS-1D X AF Guide
- DPP Conversion Guide
- EOS-5D Mark III Guide
- Arctic Pro Muck Boots
- IPT Info
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This image of an Anhinga chick was created on last year’s Canon Live Learning/Birds of the Everglades/Destination Photography Workshop with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Autofocus lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (teleconverter), and the discontinued EOS-1D Mark IV that has been replaced by the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/100 sec. at f/10 in Av mode.
Central sensor (by necessity)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the bird’s bill just below the eye/active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.
I was thrilled to be able to get a long lens on this chick in the nest. It has been years since those opportunities had been available and I am hoping that things continue to get better this year. In both of these Anhinga head portraits, note my concern with the perfect head angle, about 2-3 degrees towards us.
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Canon Live Learning/Birds of the Everglades/Destination Photography Workshop
Join me in the Everglades for a long weekend of great photography and instruction: February 8-10, 2013, based in Homestead, FL. Click here for more information or to register. Click here for the complete schedule.
Last year a great time was had by all. Denise Ippolito will again be along to help out and share her incredible creativity with the group. Having been so busy with travel, photography, teaching, and family, I have been remiss as far as announcing this event; my understanding is that there are still a very few openings. If you are seriously interested in joining us, do not tarry.
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This adult male Anhinga head portrait was also created on last year’s Canon Live Learning/Birds of the Everglades/Destination Photography Workshop with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Autofocus lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (teleconverter), and the discontinued EOS-1D Mark IV that has been replaced by the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/11 in Manual mode.
Central sensor (by necessity)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the spot where the neck meets the base of the bill/active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.
I was able to make similar images of Anhingas that were perched on the railings with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM telephoto zoom lens hand held.
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The Blog is the Bomb
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. You can subscribe to the blog posts by clicking here. 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.
Here are some links to recent posts of interest:
Want to learn to be a more creative photographer, check out “Blacklight and Creativity.”
In “How Did I Get From A to B” I challenged readers to figure out how I improved the composition of a drake Long-tailed Duck image without using Content Aware Fill.
On my way to the Auto Train last Friday traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike was so bad that I did a blog post from the driver’s seat of my SUV. Really. Learn why I was lucky that day by clicking here. Sometimes when we think that we are having a bad day we need to see the wider view. Heck, just like when photographing with a long telephoto lens!
If you have ever misplaced something near and dear to you you will enjoy reading “Barnegat Miracle.”
In “Two Drake Harlequin Duck Images; So Many Lessons” there are tips on using NIK Tonal Contrast’s Tonal Contrast and Detail Extractor filters judiciously and why to use Rear Focus along with the usual image clean-up magic.
How good a flight photography camera is the Canon EOS-1D X? Click here to find out.
You’ll want to bookmark this one: click here for complete specifications and info on all Canon telephoto lenses. Includes weights in lbs and kgs, minimum focusing distance in feet and meters, filter size, and year of introduction.
If you missed me almost buying the farm, check out “So You Want to Visit the Southern Ocean? Be Careful What You Wish for: Zodiac Misadventure Video.”
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This Herring Gull image was created on the recently-concluded Barnegat Jetty IPT. I used the tripod-mounted Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Autofocus lens and the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 800 (obviously a mistake by me). Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/8000 sec. at f/10 in Manual mode. Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF on the gull and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.
When you get served lemons the best plan is to make lemonade….If you like this image or if you have been to the jetty on a calm day you will surely want to check out the first image here.
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NIK 15% Discount
For the image above I used the High Contrast Green Filter in NIK Silver Efex Pro for the B&W conversion. As regular readers know, NIK Color Efex Pro has drastically changed my digital workflow and lately I have begun using Viveza to solve sticky image optimization problems as well. You can save 15% on all NIK products (including Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, and Viveza) by clicking here and entering BAA in the Promo Code box at check-out. Then hit Apply to see your savings. You can download a trial copy that will work for 15 days and allow you to create full sized images.
BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Barnegat Jetty IPT Report
Never wanting to disappoint a single person, Denise and I conducted the Bargnegat Jetty IPT with only two folks. Despite high winds on Friday and Saturday, gusts of more than 50mph, water washing over the jetty, and waves of 40 feet and more in the inlet, a great time was had by everyone. All four of us: Denise and I and Billy Wingfield from South Carolina and David Policansky from the Washington, D.C. area. As David had left after lunch the leaders had the participant out-numbered two to one that last afternoon. We said goodbye to Billy at about 4:30pm on Saturday.
Last year was a poor year at Barnegat. But each year is different. We had dozens of Harlequin Ducks and dozens of Purple Sandpipers, our two main target species. And the weather created an amazing spectacle. We were in awe as two Coast Guard Cutter practiced in the inlet in 40-60 foots waves. The high winds help by pinning down the shorebirds–they are reluctant to fly in such conditions, but they made photographing the swimming ducks quite difficult. We had an excellent brunch at Mustache Bill’s Diner just a block or two from the jetty and a great dinner at Le Sorrelle on Route 72 in Manahawkin where we stayed.
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These high key Dunlins were photographed on the Barnegat Jetty IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Autofocus lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/250 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode.
Central sensor (by necessity)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the head of the bird on our left and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.
This image was actually created from two consecutive images. I grabbed the whole image with the bird with its foot raised and brought it into the previous frame on a layer. Then I reduced the opacity of the top layer and lined up the bird on the left with the bird below. Then I added a regular later mask, painted away the bird on the left, and fine-tuned the selection. It sounds complex but it took all of 30 seconds. All principles are of course detailed in our amazing Digital Basics File which includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, all of my keyboard shortcuts, “Layer Masking for Dummies,” and NIK Color Efex Pro basics. This PDF which is sent via e-mail will be the best $25 that you ever spent on photography.
I used Control Point Technology in NIK’s Viveza to lighten the white sand background and accentuate the high key look. I love the raised foot and the juxtaposition of the two shorebirds. See the NIK discount info item above. Speaking of shorebirds, if you cannot age these two as being in first winter plumage get yourself a copy of my Shorebirds; Beautiful Beachcombers.
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Barnegat Jetty IPT Kudos
I received this via e-mail from Billy Wingate:
Hi Artie & Denise, Thank you both for a superb experience at the Barnegat Jetty IPT. I learned a lot from you both and appreciate your patience with me; I know I have a lot to learn, and I’m determined to continue. One of these days maybe I’ll be able to make a photograph close to what you two can do. I’ll send a couple photos for you to review soon I did finally get a nice one of the BB Plover with his feet showing. The birds were remarkable and each of our five field sessions was a real treat for me. I appreciate your going on with the IPT knowing you had only me coming. (Note; David signed up at the last second.) That says a lot about your character and I appreciate your doing that. I hope we can get the two of you down for one of the CNPA meetings. I’d love to have Artie talk to some of my diabetic patients. Thanks again for a great trip. Billy, Charleston, SC.
And by e-mail from David Policansky:
Hi, Artie, Welcome back. The wind was fierce but it made for some great sights and some interesting bird behavior. I learned on the IPT that you need to take what the conditions offer, and that when you do, there’s usually something good there. Thanks for following up with the image critiques; It’s finally getting through that when working in horizontal format we need to keep the bird out of the middle of the frame and use the various AF points to improve the composition. So thank you for that and your other comments. And thanks again for sharing that wonderful place and for your and Denise’s photographic insights. David
I may head back up to New York in mid-January (2013) and am considering doing a second Barnegat Jetty IPT. If you are seriously interested, please shoot me an e-mail.
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Weekend Creative Nature Photography Seminar, Tampa, FL: February 23 & 24, 2013: $149. Limit: 50/Openings: 20
Join Denise Ippolito and me on the weekend of February 23-24 on the outskirts of Tampa, FL for a great weekend of fun and learning. Learn to improve your photography skills, your skill at designing images in the field, your creative vision, and your image optimization skills. There will be a Sunday critiquing session. Click here for more info, the complete schedule, terms, more NYC Seminar kudos, or to register.
Best Western Brandon Hotel & Conference Center, 9331 East Adamo Drive, Tampa, FL.
New Staten Island Seminar Kudos
Adapted from a Mark Hendricks e-mail:
I wanted to sincerely thank you again for the excellent seminar that you and Denise put on in Staten Island. It was very inspiring, educational, and informative and I received so much from the experience. I also wanted to thank you for the evening of friendship you showed to Carolina and me on Saturday after the seminar. I never dreamed in my lifetime that I would have dinner with a personal hero of mine and that that time would be filled with laughter and great conversation. What you have contributed to nature photography is nothing short of legendary as you are one of the best to ever pick up a camera. You’re an excellent photographer but what is more important is that you are a hell of a dude and a great man. I hope one day to convince you to have an IPT at Assateague Island and Blackwater! Either way you gotta come hang one day and have some of Carolina’s paella! I plan to make some images to make you proud. Again, my sincerest thanks to you brother. Mark
By e-mail from Sherb Naulty:
Hi Denise and Artie, Wow! I am still trying to process all that we went over in those two days at the NY Seminar and feel incredibly lucky to have been able to attend! You both bring such positive energy, amazing insights, and a world of experience to share with those who participate in your workshops. I am just in awe at the amount of information that we covered and have already begun to review my notes while they are still fresh. Artie said on the first day that thankfully he hadn’t built a business solely on stock photography world but on education; we are the lucky ones! Attending your workshops is a must a for anyone who is inspired by photography ….Your passion for the art/craft is contagious and evident each minute of the time we were there You both complement each others’ strengths and are downright superstars. I just loved these weekend and can’t wait to put some of the new info and techniques to use. I am especially eager to play with some of the software. And yes, CS6 is downloaded already.
In addition, I am tickled too that I won a tripod!! Thank you and thanks to your generous sponsors. Denise, I have already put on the head that I won at the Sunflower shoot. It will be my go-to set-up for macro work! I will let you know within a day or two about your Longwood Gardens workshop; I just have to see about a couple of things. Thank you very much. My very best, Sherb
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Thei image of a drake Surf Scoter (one of my very favorite birds) was created on the Barnegat Jetty IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM Autofocus lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR . ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode.
Central sensor (by necessity)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the head of the duck active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.
Image quality with the 1D X is so good that I cropped this from the horizontal original to a near-square. If you know why I did not crop this to a 3X2 vertical please leave a comment.
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Used Camera Gear Including Some Great New Items
Ramona is offering the following used items for sale:
Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS lens with its trunk, leather cover, hood, rear lens cap, drop in filter holder, forest green Lens Coat, strap, and 4th generation NP 51 low foot. All in very good condition. Just serviced by Canon: $5900.
Canon EOS-1D MK IV, 49103 shot count, in excellent condition. Original box and everything that came with it. Just serviced Canon: $3300
Please contact Ramona with any questions: 1-719 231 5874 or via e-mail.
Bob is offering a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV in like-new condition with the original box and all contents and a brand new extra Canon battery: $3350 firm. Shipping and insurance is included; item will ship when the check clears.
Contact Bob here: 1-520-780-1677 or e-mail.
Mary is offering a used Canon (USA) EF 400mm DO-IS f/4.0 (USM) lens for sale for $5,300.00, firm. No taxes or buyers fees plus free shipping to anywhere in USA. The lens, used only twice, is in like-new condition. Purchase includes lens hood, strap, protective cover, manual and storage case – plus tripod collar and Wimberley Arca-Swiss P-20 Lens Plate. (No key for the carrying case but can get from Canon USA if this is a problem.)
Shipping is first business day after funds are received via USPS, Priority with insurance and delivery confirmation. Accepted form of payment: PayPal (which includes credit cards). No money orders or money grams. Serious folks can contact Mary by phone/text at 512-366-0320 (CST) or via e-mail
I used and loved the 400 DO for years. It is a great flight lens, great from any type of watercraft, and, at only 4.28 pounds, makes a great super-telephoto prime for folks who cannot carry either 500mm f/4 L IS lens. It weighs less then 4 pounds with the removable tripod collar removed. Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II: 5.19 pounds–tripod collar not removable. Canon 500mm f/4L IS II lens: 7.04 pounds. Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens: 8.54 pounds. You can check out the weights and specs for all Canon telephoto lenses here.
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/Price Reduction
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 $6699.
Contact Shelly by phone at 1-646-423-0392 or via e-mail.
Posse News: Robert Amoruso
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Note: Robert leads trips to two great spots that I used to visit regularly when I lived in Deltona, FL and traveled a lot less than I do now! I will be getting up to Gatorland this spring and hope to make it back to St. Augustine in May or June. I know that Robert knows his stuff because I taught him. 🙂
Avian Rookery Photographic Workshops
Join Robert at Gatorland (February 23–24, March 23–24, April 12 to 14, or May 18–19) or St. Augustine Alligator Farm (April 26 to 28). Both of these native avian rookeries allow unparalleled up-close access to beautiful birds in full breeding plumage and to mating and nesting birds. Morning and afternoon classroom presentations include “Successful Strategies in Avian Rookery Photography” (a mainstay of my rookery programs), “Manual Exposure” and image editing and post-processing workflows. The three-day workshop adds indoor presentations on thinking creatively including my presentation “How I Create”. In-the-field instruction includes learning to isolate your subject, understanding light, getting the proper exposure, using depth of field to your advantage, fill-flash, and lots more. Classroom sessions are held onsite at Gatorland. A CD with lesson plans is included. Prices lower than 2012. Book now as they fill fast.
Learn more here.
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.
Robert is an Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART approved photographic instructor. 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.
EOS-1D X Autofocus Guide
Learn the ins and out of this great pro bodies killer AF system including my personalized Case for flight photography here.
DPP Conversion Guide
All of the 1D X and 5D III images that have appeared on the log or in Bulletin for the past 4 months were converted with Digital Photo Professional. I have obviously been loving the results. Learn about the DPP Conversion Guide that I wrote with lots of help from Arash Hazeghi and learn also why you might wish to switch by clicking here.
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.)
Arctic Pro Muck Boots
On my first trip to the Southern Oceans in 2007, I ordered a pair of Arctic Pro Muck Boots on the advice of many. I returned them and went with too-large and too-heavy neoprene waders. For my two 2012 trips I ordered a pair of Arctic Pro Muck Boots. I got them large enough to wear with one pair of heavy socks and one pair of regular socks. Wow! My feet were always dry and always warm. They were tall enough for all the wet landings, even those in heavy surf. This year I wore them at Bosque. My always cold feet were never cold. Last week I wore them on the Barnegat Jetty. Never cold at all. They enabled me to stand in the saltwater pools next to the jetty on the crazy wind-driven high tides that we encountered. And on the jetty, they provided firm footing at all times. (Warning: unless you have ice creepers, never walk on black, dark green, slimy jetty rocks….)
You can find other types of Muck Boots by simply typing “muck boots” in the little white box below and hitting Go. Thanks!
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.
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 Realtree AP (All Purpose) 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.
SW FLA IPT
As noted below, there is only a single opening on the SW FLA Instructional Photo-Tour. If you would like to join us, do not tarry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card
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 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.
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.
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.
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?
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 …
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?
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.