December 26th, 2011



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Jim, Jennifer, and I would like to send each and every one of you best wishes for a joyous holiday season and a wonderful, productive, rewarding, and healthy 2012 filled with great photographic opportunities and wonderful travels. Jennifer will not be back to work until 2012! Jim will be here Monday through Thursday this week (DEC 26-29). He will, however, be out of the office on Wednesday, DEC 28 from 1-4pm and all day on Friday; please leave a phone message and we will get back to you on January 2, 2012.

Please note that as I will be on a Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica cruise from DEC 28, 2011 through JAN 26, 2012 without internet access except possibly for a day or two at the beginning and/or the end of the trip. Then I am home for a bit spending a week on the road for the sold-out SW FLA IPT. The I disappear again for a month-long (17 FEB to 13 MAR) trip to Japan. (There is lots of room there if you would like to join us.) Jim will be here to help you with your mail order and other needs and Jennifer as always will be handling the IPT registrations; do note that the Morro Bay IPT is now half full.

I simply will be unable to respond to questions in my usual timely fashion until at least mid-March so please hold off with your photography questions till then. You can learn the answers to practically all of your questions in ABP, ABPII, and Digital Basics. In addition, there is a killer-good search feature on the blog, the little white box in the upper right of the blog pages. It will lead you to information both on the blog and in the Bulletins. At all times we ask that you try to find the answers to your questions either in the books or on-line before e-mailing. That said I look forward to receiving your fresh, new questions via e-mail this spring.

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BIRDS AS ART is proud to announce the publication of “A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape,” a new e-book by Andrew McLachlan of Thornton, Ontario. Andrew’s guide is the latest in a long line of beautiful, inspiring, educational, how-to and where-to treatises brought to you by BAA Books. If you want to skip the spiel you can click here to order. 🙂 Or see more options below.

A Photographer’s Guide To The Ontario Landscape: $24; YouSendIt file downloads are sent via e-mail.

The vast and varied landscapes of Ontario, Canada’s second largest province, provide photographers with a great variety of outstanding destinations and opportunities. “A Photographer’s Guide To The Ontario Landscape” by Andrew McLachlan is an easy-to-read, easy-to-follow resource that will make it a snap for both local and visiting photographers to plan their outings and to maximize their time afield. Why spend days looking for the best spots when Andrew has already done the legwork?

From the remote Abitibi Canyon in the northeast to Point Pelee in the southwest, from the Ottawa Valley in the southeast to the Algoma Highlands north east of Sault Ste Marie, Andrew has-with skill and passion–photographed them all in every season. In addition he will guide you to the regions famous for fall colour including the Haliburton Highlands and Muskoka.

You will learn where and when to go to create dramatic landscapes. Andrew’s images will educate and inspire you. And his e-book contains dozens of excellent tips (each in its own sidebar) for folks who enjoy creating scenic landscape images. He covers all the bases including exposure and histograms, composition and image design, shutter speed, aperture, and depth-of-field, creative vision and perspective, matters of weather and light, and tips on all types of gear including lens choice, tripods, tripod heads, lens and camera body plates, & filters.

This e-book, the first-ever comprehensive guide to photographing Ontario’s landscapes, is a must for all who enjoy making great images of nature’s vistas.

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The simplest and fastest way to order your copy of “A Photographer’s Guide to the Ontario Landscape” is through the BAA On-line Store by clicking here. Alternatively, you can order your copy by sending a check for $24 made out to “Arthur Morris” to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. Be sure to include your e-mail address (written legibly). If you prefer to use PayPal you can send $24 to us via e-mail; be sure to include the title of the book.

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Haliburton Highlands, Fall colour at Kennisis River, Ontario. Nikon D200, Nikon 12-24mm lens, polarizing filter. Image copyright 2011: Andrew McLachlan.


I continue to put in 20+ hours a week towards making the blog informative, timely, and beautiful. Most of the educational features that formerly appeared in BAA Bulletins now grace the BAA Blog. If you have a problem subscribing, please contact us via e-mail. If you are not subscribed, you are missing a ton of great stuff almost daily. You can subscribe to the blog posts by clicking here.

Important Note

As noted above, I will on a Falklands, South Georgia, Antarctica cruise from DEC 28, 2011 through JAN 26, 2012 without internet access except possibly for a day or two at the beginning and/or the end of the trip. Despite my absence on the Southern Oceans trip, blog folks will scarcely notice that I am gone: Peter Kes will be posting lots of great stuff for me on the blog pretty much every other day. (I have been working hard preparing posts in advance.) I will not, of course, be able to respond to your comments until I get back.

Here are links to recent posts of interest.

Is artie Nuts? Why Would He Spend $11,499 (plus 7% sales tax and shipping) On a Lens He Has Preached Against for More Than Two Decades? is surely the longest blog post title ever. Check it out and let me know if you think I am nuts (or not….)

If you are at all concerned about digital ethics in nature photography you will surely want to give Digital Manipulation and Nature Photography Competitions a good read. And do check out the comments as well.

Check out the time-saving recipe that I use on many images when working with NIK’s great Color Efex Pro 4 plug-in. You can find this great workflow tip here. With Tonal Contrast, Detail Extractor, and White Neutralizer, Color Efex
has completely re-vamped my workflow and vastly improved the quality of my images.

Nikon folks do not want to miss Robert O’Toole’s relatively new Nikon dSLR Guide here.

I have added several new names and links to Inspirational Photography Websites. If you are interested in looking at great images–one of the very best ways to improve your own photography–you will want to bookmark this post and visit it often.

If you are looking for an ultra-light tripod for landscapes or for your intermediate telephoto lens check out the extensive info on the Gitzo GT1542T.

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After a forced absence in 2012 (can you say a month in Antarctica and a month in Japan?) I will be returning to San Diego in January 2013 to photograph the glorious California Brown Pelicans in full breeding plumage plus lot more. Nobody knows the spots, the winds and weather, and the techniques better than me. I hope that you can join the group for a great learning and photographic experience.

SAN DIEGO IPT: JAN 24-28, 2013. Slide program: 6:30pm on 1/23. 5-FULL DAYS: $2399. Limit: 10.

Breeding plumage California Brown Pelicans, Wood Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Ring-necked Duck, shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Black-bellied Plover, Sanderling, & Spotted Sandpiper, gulls including Western, California, Ring-billed, & the spectacular breeding plumage Heerman’s Gulls, Harbor Seals, & lots more!

A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot.

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.

B&H Specials

B&H has two great specials that run till the end of December.

Canon EOS-5D Mark II Package

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Canon EOS-5D Mark II

You can get a Canon EOS-5D Mark II package that includes a 16GB CompactFlash Card, a Lowepro Adventura 170 Shoulder Bag, and the Red Giant B&H Video Production Software Bundle (a $719.85 value) for only $1,999.95 with free USA shipping by clicking here. The 5D Mark II is everyone’s favorite landscape camera body; see the lead image here. I took one to Bosque to create some very wide images and will be taking one to Antarctica along with the circle lens. Not to mention that it is a killer video camera…. (No questions on video please!)

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Zoom Lens

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Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Zoom Lens

If you own a 7D, a 60D, or a 50D, and you like to do landscape and/or side angle photography this would be the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS zoom lens will thrill you. (Note: this lens will not fit on an EOS-1D Mark IV or other 1D series bodies and it will not on the EOS-5D Mark II.) The $41 instant rebate is good only till the end of the month; you can purchase this lens here.


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Wildebeests grazing, Serengeti, Tanzania. Image copyright 2010/Todd Gustafson/Gustafson Photo Safari

GUSTAFSON PHOTO SAFARI: SERENGETI MIGRATION SAFARI 2011. Dates: Leaving US July 28 2012/Returning August 12. $11,999.00 double occupancy.

Chapters of the great migration take place all across the wildlife corridors of Kenya and Tanzania. It begins in Tanzania during February; in the short grass plains of Ndutu. The middle chapters take place in Kenya’s Masai Mara. This year’s August safari follows the migration story as it unfolds in the extreme Northern Serengeti. We will begin in Tarangire. Known for its baobab-dotted landscape, huge herds of elephants and diverse birdlife, it is one of the best dry season game parks in Africa.

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Leopard leap, Serengeti, Tanzania. Image copyright 2010/Todd Gustafson/Gustafson Photo Safari

From there we journey to the Seronera Wildlife Lodge, in the heart of the Serengeti, famous for its hippo pools and frequent leopard sightings. The next stop is Lobo Wildlife Lodge where we will concentrate on big cat photography. From there we will travel to our Exclusive Mobile Camp located wherever the herds are. River crossings are possible as the herds gather on stretches of the Mara River as it winds through the Northern Serengeti. Our last stop is the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the natural wonders of the world; it teams with big game.

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Lion Lunch, Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania. Image copyright 2010/Todd Gustafson/Gustafson Photo Safari

GUSTAFSON PHOTO SAFARI: Brazil-Jaguar Quest. Leaving US September 18, 2012/Returning September 30. $7,995.00 double occupancy.

Travel with Gustafson Photo Safari (GPS) to Brazil’s Pantanal. Jaguars are the main event, but Brazil offers much more, including Pantanal caiman, anaconda, Brazilian tapir, giant anteater and birds, birds, birds!!!. Just a few on the list of easily seen and photographed birds are jabiru stork, toco toucan, black collared hawk, bare-faced curassow, blue-necked piping guan, whistling heron, limpkin and capped heron (to name just a few). We will have 10 days of action packed photography in the most dramatic locations at the exact right time of year for only $7,995.00 double occupancy. Photography in 2 locations (from boats and on land) offers a wide variety of habitat and species.

Last year this trip sold out in 4 hours!!! Sign up now and avoid disappointment.

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Jaguar on a River Bank, Pantanal, Brazil. Image copyright 2010/Todd Gustafson/Gustafson Photo Safari

Please send an e-mail to request a full-color PDF for both trips. You can read a great interview with Todd here; there are lots of great images too. You can check out several Todd Gustafson Safari Videos here. You can get yourself a copy of Todd’s great he Photographer’s Guide to the Safari Experience here.


Suzanne Weinheimer is offering a rarely used Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens in excellent plus condition for $5500. And an older Gitzo 1321 tripod in excellent condition for $250. Both plus shipping and insurance. Please contact Suzanne directly via e-mail here:

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

More and more folks are earning multiple contest entries with their B & H purchases. See here for details on that. Eleven great categories, 34 winning and honored images, and prize pools valued in excess of $20,000. Click here to visit the competition home page.

Shopper’s Guide

Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

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