August 26th, 2009

Birds As Art Bulletin #296



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Rufous-tailed Hummingbird, near Canopy Tower, Panama
Image Copyright 2009: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 400mm f/4L IS DO lens with a 25mm Extension tube and the EOS-50D. Eight flash set-up. ISO 400: 1/250 sec. at f/20 in manual mode. (Flash as main light via 6 flashes set at 1:32 power; 2 BKGR flashes.)

This is one of my all-time favorite hummingbird images. Why? The lovely wing position, the superb sharpness throughout, and an absolutely perfect head angle. To learn everything that you always wanted to know about high speed flash hummingbird photography but were afraid to ask, check out Linda Robbin’s great guide here:


After 10 days of seemingly endless and insurmountable technical problems that inconvenienced our loyal and valued customers, the BAA On-Line Store is back in business. We are sorry if you encountered any problems while trying to order.

We have found that several with several orders made between August 12 and August 26 the credit cards were billed but no other information was sent or is available to us. We will begin refunding those monies to the correct credit card tomorrow. If you had a problem ordering on line, or if you placed an order but have not received it, please e-mail us at or call us at 863-692-0906 with the details asap. If you could include the date and the last four digits of your credit card that would be a huge help.

To thank you for your continued patronage, we will be refunding the shipping charges on all orders sent to continental United States addresses until the close-of-business on Friday, September 4, 2009.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience that may have resulted from this unavoidable snafu.

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Red-eyed Tree-frog, captive, Canopy Lodge, Panama
Image Copyright 2009: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 180mm macro lens with the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/125 sec. at f/4.5.

The group had a ball working with the frogs and snakes. I find it best to focus manually when using my macro lens but I do rely on the focus confirmation beep.


Ten happy photographers joined Linda Robbins, our assistant Rich Garrett, and me for a great trip to Panama. We spent our first three nights at Canopy Tower ( and our last four at Canopy Lodge ( We spent a good deal of time working at Linda’s killer hummingbird set-ups and a good deal more working with a local reptile and amphibian wrangler do macro at set-ups. In addition, we did have some success photographing perched tropical bird species (though that action was nowhere as good as it was when Linda and I visited in December 2008.

Included in the group were IPT veterans Joe Barranco, Jane Ellison, Geri George, Alejandro (who flew up from Chile), Patti Corapi, Eleanor Briccetti, and Bob Wilmschen (and wife Betty who served as our administrative assistant during the hummingbird sessions; her job was to keep track of the times and rotations. Hers was such an important task that she was offered several bribes.) Joining the veterans were Bob Lewis and wife Hanno and Peter Hawrylyshyn (whom Linda and I met on BPN). Peter (say hah-ver-LISH-un) like Linda is addicted to hummingbird photography.

You can get a pretty good idea of the fun that was had by reading the e-mails below.

Artie & Linda – A quick thank-you to say how much I enjoyed the Panama IPT. The lodges were great and the photography was amazing. The hummingbird action at the RFDC rivaled the best sites I’ve visited in Costa Rica and Ecuador. Looking down at the sloths, toucans, and cotingas from atop the Canopy Tower offered unique photographic perspectives. The macro sessions (frogs and bugs) added another new dimension to our rain forest experience. It was, however, the nonstop instruction from both of you on technical details, set-ups, Photoshop tips and techniques that was most valuable. I couldn’t have asked for more. Thanks again and take care. Peter Hawrylyshyn

Artie, First of all, I loved the trip. It was the best hummingbird workshop I have ever been on. The reason of course was the photography of the hummingbirds and the great setups by Linda and Rich. There were a lot of subjects and I was always pissed when my hour was up! Linda’s system is awesome. I have attended two other hummingbird workshops but using the long lens with the optical triggering of the flashes made this one great. I can’t say enough about Linda! She is a very hard worker and will do anything to help you and to make it right. I was also very surprised and pleased that you both agreed with Mikie G’s idea of suggestion to have an extra day of hummingbird photography even though it meant lots of time on the bus. It meant a lot of extra work for Linda and Rich and they both jumped on it. I would do this workshop again and I will only do a hummingbird workshop with Linda! The other reason I loved the workshop was the participants. I am not a “birder” but everyone never hesitated to help me find a bird or identify a bird. Plus everyone was fun to be around. I made some great friends on this trip. All in all it was an awesome trip. Linda is outstanding and her methods are the best. Rich knows his stuff and helped every time anyone needed it. The participants were great. I had a lot of fun. What more could you ask for? Joe Barranco

Hi Arthur: I hope you are home by now and have had the chance to get a well deserved rest after 2 back to back trips. For me Panama completely surpassed my expectations. After 10 continuous hours of editing together with Linda on the last day, I was left with a large number of pictures that have really pleased me as well as people that have had a chance to review them. Many thanks for a great trip, and if you have a chance, please convey my thanks to Linda and Rich for all of their efforts and positive energy. At this time I would like to remind you to write down my name for the Galapagos 2011 trip. Best regards, Alejandro Furman

Lastly, here is an e-mail exchange that I had with Robert Lewis:

AM: Howdy Bob. Well, I got home yesterday after a great visit with my Mom and some good NY photo opps mostly with skimmers.

RL: Artie, many thanks for a very educational experience in Panama.

AM: You are most welcome and thanks a ton for your kind words.

RL: Both Hanno and I enjoyed our time, and I learned a lot. The hummingbird photography was a totally new experience and tremendous fun (with some really nice images as a bonus!)and the instruction on flash as main light made a lot of sense and I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to apply it down the road.

AM: 🙂

RL: As a rank amateur in Photoshop, I’ve a long way to go, but I’m out of the starting blocks now, removing dust specks and extra eye highlights with great finesse, and even cleaning up dirty bills. I’ve lots of images on which to practice, so perfection must be close at hand! I haven’t posted anything on the forums yet, but did at least open it up, so maybe soon. I’ve sent Linda 4 favorite hummer images as she requested… and posted a few on my flickr site so friends can see the results.

AM: Super. I enjoy working with talented serious students who are anxious to improve their skills and willing to work hard to do just that.

RL: So, you gave me a week of fun, a lot to think about and work on, and a bunch of nice images – thanks for all. And it was a pleasure to finally meet the person that goes with the name I’ve heard for so long.

AM: 😀

RL: Hope your New York adventure was great, and you got down and dirty.

AM: That I did. Later and love to you both and hope to see you again somewhere down the road. Artie

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Green Honeycreeper, male near Canopy Tower, Panama
Image Copyright 2009: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with a 25mm Extension tube and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 800. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/60 sec. at f/5.6. Fill flash at -3 stops.

Though there were more feeder birds on my DEC 2008 visit I struck out on this attractive species so getting a nice male was a plus. With the dark green background and a super-saturated subject I knew that I did not need to add any light to my exposure here.


Be sure to check out the three Panama posts at the BAA Blog by clicking here and then scrolling down. You’ll find lots of great info and great images each with our legendary educational captions.

“Photoshop Magic/Panama”

“Panama: Back to the Basics and More#4: Composition” (Back to the Basics and More posts feature info for beginning and intermediate photographers but always include a tidbit for the more advanced folks.)

“Been Away Too Long/Panama to Jamaica Bay”

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Black-breasted Puffbird with lunch, near Canopy Tower, Panama
Image Copyright 2009: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/80 sec. at f/8. Fill flash at -2 stops.

One afternoon while we were doing the hummers all heck broke loose: first, a Broad-billed Motmot posed for us, then we were surrounded by a family of puffbirds with the adults feeding young. Then it was a Chestnut-mandibled Toucan feeding in a tree above the ramp. And there were lots more that I cannot remember!


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Great news: I just learned that this image will be one of eighteen honored images in this year’s National Wildlife Federation’s contest. More great news: I just learned that this image is in the finals of the Nature’s Best contest.

BIRDS AS ART proudly announces the limited sale of another classic Arthur Morris image, “Gannets in Love.”

This endearing image was created at Bonaventure Island, Perce, Quebec, Canada. The thick gallery wrap (1 ½ inches) canvas is hand-made in the US under the supervision of the artist and is available only through BIRDS AS ART.

This is the second in a series of Arthur Morris’ digitally signed, numbered, limited edition gallery-wrapped canvas prints. The canvas is stretched over custom-made wood supports. The canvas has no frame and appears to float on the wall. There’s no need for a frame for stability since the structure is inside the art. These fine canvas limited edition prints are covered with a rear black dust cover. The hanging wire is neatly attached and a courtesy package with two clear bump-ons, a nickel plated hanger and nail are included.

This edition will be limited to 100 pieces of any size. Once the final print is sold the edition will be permanently closed making each Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART print a valuable collectible. Each 16 x 24 inch print is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

The first fifty prints will sell for only $349 plus $20 shipping and handling to all US addresses. Once 50 prints are sold, the price will rise to $424. The last five prints will sell for $499. (Please e-mail for prices on other sizes and for framing options.)

Prints ordered before September 30, 2009 may apply a $50 discount. These prints are in stock and ready to ship now.

Shipping and handling to Canada will require an additional $35 handling fee. (Canadian orders may be subject to Customs delays and duties and require payment via personal check or money order in US funds.)

Each image will be professionally packed to avoid damage during transit. All fees are due and payable in advance in US funds. (We cannot be responsible for delays at customs.)

Payment may be by check or money order mailed to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855, by Paypal to, or by credit card. Please call 863-692-0906 for credit card orders.

We offer a 100% money back guarantee. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied we will gladly accept a return for exchange or refund provided that the item is returned within seven days of receipt and is in saleable condition. We refund only the purchase price plus the shipping and handling. Return shipping is the responsibility of the customer. This guarantee does not include prints that you damage or that are damaged in shipping. If your print is damaged in shipping, please let us know and we will arrange to have a replacement sent. Please allow 14 days for your check to clear.

We are 100% positive that ”Gannets in Love” will join “Fire in the Mist” and become a treasured collector’s item; thank you for your support of my work.

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Snowy-bellied Hummingbird, Canopy Lodge, Panama
Image Copyright 2009: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with a 25mm Extension tube and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 640. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/40 sec. at f/10. Fill flash at -3 stops.

Working at f/10 here with such a slow shutter speed was a mental error. The 800 f/5.6’s four-stop Image Stabilization saved the day!

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