September 27th, 2012


  • BIRDS AS ART on Social Media
  • The Blog is the Bomb!
  • Used Camera Gear for Sale
  • Announcing: “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds”
  • BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Barnegat Jetty IPT Announced
  • The Barnegat Jetty Site Guide
  • New York City Weekend Nature Photography Seminar
  • Woman Roommates Needed
  • Africa Photo Safari: August 2013
  • IPT Updates

BIRDS AS ART on Social Media

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

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This image of an adult Laughing Gull molting to winter plumage was created at Fort DeSoto with the hand held Canon 500mm f/4L EF IS II lens, the Canon 1.4x EF tele-extender III, and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/2000 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode.

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

For more on hand holding the 500 f/4L IS II click here and here.

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. 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.

Here are some links to recent posts of interest:

Enjoy the two great posts on hand holding the 500 f/4L IS II with lots of great pix including some high ISO stuff from the 1D X here and here.

Learn which image stood head and shoulders above 5,500 others in “And the Grand Prize Winner Is.”

If you’ve heard that the 7D is not capable of producing quality image files and that the Canon 100-400mm L IS is not sharp especially at the long end, you will want to click here and here to learn the truth as told by super-skilled bird photographer Dan Cadieux.

Learn about the 1D X and DPP (Digital Photo Professional in the Pissed Off blog post.

If you photograph nature the Field Etiquette blog post is a must read.

Learn why BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours (BAA IPTs) are head and shoulders above most other photography tours by clicking here.

Learn why I prefer CF cards to SD cards in “Why I Hate SD Cards.”

Used Camera Gear for Sale

Denise Ippolito

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

Bob Hawkins

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

Steve Vige

Steve Vige is offering the following used gear for sale:

Gitzo series 3 carbon fiber tripod #G1348 – excellent condition: $375 buyer pays shipping.
Canon 70-200 f4L IS lens in excellent condition includes pouch and original Canon box: $949 buyer pays shipping.
Canon 100-400 in excellent condition includes pouch and original Canon box: $999 buyer pays shipping.

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

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Announcing: “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds”

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

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Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Harris Co, TX. Nikon D2Xs (Replaced by the D4), Nikon 600mm lens, 1.4x TC, ISO 250, f/8 at 1/500 sec. Image courtesy of and copyright Alan Murphy.

In “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds” you will learn to use audio safely and efficiently while eliminating or minimizing any potential stress on the birds.

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Ruddy Turnstone and Blue Crab, Galveston Co, TX. Nikon D3 (Replaced by the D4), 600mm lens, ISO 200, f/6.3 at 1/800 sec. Image courtesy of and copyright Alan Murphy.

Who ever heard of feeding shorebirds to attract them into photographic range? In “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds” you will learn exactly how to do just that. In detail.

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Great Kiskadee, Hidalgo Co, TX. Nikon D3 (replaced by the D4), Nikon 300mm/2.8 lens, ISO 1250, f/2.8 at 1/6400 sec. Image courtesy of and copyright Alan Murphy.

In “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds” the section on photographing songbirds in flight and routinely capturing them in spectacular poses will blow your mind. I cannot wait to try these incredible techniques.

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Audubon’s Oriole, Hidalgo Co, TX. Nikon D3 (Replaced by the D4), 600mm lens, ISO 800, f/7 at 1/1250 sec. Image courtesy of and copyright Alan Murphy.

In “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds” you will learn to create ground-level bird baths.


“The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds” ($50 for the downloaded 186 page e-Book) will be available for purchase right here in a week to ten days.

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This image shows the jetty and the lighthouse in front of a very pink pre-dawn sky. The image was made with the Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS EF USM AF lens hand held at 58mm with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/20 sec. at f.11. If you head to a new spot to photograph birds it is always a great idea to create a few establishing shots that show the place or a few folks birding. Such images are great for slide programs and can help sell an article or two. Don’t think of this B-roll stuff as “just snapshots.” Look for wonderful light, design a pleasing image, and take as much care as you would with an image of a hard to photograph sea duck.

I never leave home without the 24-105mm lens in one of the large pockets of my Xtrahand vest.

BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure Barnegat Jetty IPT Announced

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

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

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

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This vertical front-end portrait of a Harlequin Duck drake was created at the Barnegat Jetty, Barnegat, NJ in 2009 with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X III TC, and the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 500. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/250 sec. at f/8.

I was pleasantly surprised to meet old friend IPT veteran Alan Nodes at the jetty that day. After Alan had created some images of this bird and seemed to be done, I asked if I could try for a close approach and he said, “Go for it.” I positioned myself so that there was a big jetty rock between the birds (he was with a hen) and me. Once I showed myself over the top of the huge boulder, I made sure to move very slowly. I started off in horizontal format but quickly realized that I was missing out on the beautiful mahogany-red patch on the side of the breast….


Thursday, December 20, 2012. Meet at the Jetty at 1:30 pm sharp after lunch on your own to go over basic safety rules and our approach to jetty photography. Photograph till dark. After a quick dinner Artie and Denise will share the Barnegat possibilities with you in a joint slide program. Friday, December 20: Early morning field shoot, break for lunch (included), break time for downloading images, etc… followed by an afternoon field shoot., group dinner, evening Photoshop instructional program. Saturday December 21: Early morning field shoot, break for lunch (included) with image sharing–be sure to bring your laptops. Afternoon field shoot. Goodbyes.

Artie and denise combine to form a powerful and effective teaching team. Click here to see what folks on the recent Nickerson Beach IPT had to say about the dynamic duo. From beginners to professionals, Nikon folks and Canon users, all were thrilled with our efforts.

The Barnegat Jetty Site Guide

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Though I lived in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area for nearly two decades as a birder and bird photographer (and for 46 years in all), I never made it to the famed Barnegat Jetty until December (2009). Why famous? It is the best place in the Northeast to view and photograph a variety of sea ducks and wintering shorebirds most noticeably Harlequin Duck and Purple Sandpiper. When I got there, a 26″ snow storm sent me running back to my Mom’s home in Holbrook, Long Island, leaving the motel in Ship Bottom at 3am to drive through the storm. Yikes! I returned a week later and with Denise Ippolito as my guide and created many wonderful images. The jetty is very long. And can be very dangerous. Denise, who spends many days each winter season on the jetty, knew right where the birds would be, took me right to them, and gave me more than a few tips on how to avoid killing myself

Denise Ippolito has written a fabulous Site Guide for the Barnegat Jetty. (I helped out just a bit.) The Barnegat Jetty Site Guide will help to ensure that your very first visit to this great bird photography location is both productive and safe. Denise explains the effects of the winds and the tides and the light on the photographic opportunities. She lets you know what birds you will find there and where and when you will find them. She shares her favorite conditions and her tricks for getting close. And she will keep you safe while you are there, the same way she kept me safe. A good portion of the guide deals with safety issues. Kudos to Denise for a job well done.

The Barnegat Site Guide (6190 words, 68 images) is available from BIRDS AS ART by e-mail as a PDF for only $22. You can call Jim with a credit card in hand at 863-221-2372, send us a Paypal to, or purchase it through the store here.

Just for the record book, Barnegat is located on Long Beach Island less than 30 minutes from Manahawkin, NJ.

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

NYC Weekend Nature Photography Seminar

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

Click here for complete details including the Saturday and Sunday schedules, club and group discount info, and registration incentives and for more info on the In-the-Field Seminar Follow-up Workshop.

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

What You Will Learn:

  • How to become a better nature photographer and to create technically perfect, artistically designed images in the field. How to get the right exposure every time in ten seconds or less.
  • How to make your images look better during the image optimization process: RAW conversions, image clean-up, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, saving the WHITEs, and lots more.
  • New ways to photograph flowers and trees, how to create the truly pleasing blurs that are so popular today in many prestigious contests, and a slew of flight photography tips.
  • Why the longest lens in your bag is often not the best lens for bird or wildlife photography.
  • How to use NIK Color Efex Pro to revamp your digital workflow and dramatically improve the look of your images.
  • How to evaluate your images; each registrant will be asked to submit two 1400 X 1050 jpegs via e-mail before November 25; a selection of the submitted images will be chosen for critiquing at the seminar.
  • Pro Gear Handling Tips including tripod, lens handling, and flight photography tips. How to clean your sensor without trepidation!
  • How to develop and expand your creative vision.
  • And a heck of a lot more than we have room for here!
  • Woman Roommates Needed

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

    Africa Photo Safari: August 2013

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

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

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

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

    Happy Campers only please.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Shopper’s Guide

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    3 comments to BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #419

    • avatar Peter Unstead

      Couldyou please email a pdf of Africa itinaerary, thanks Peter

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        I sent it via e-mail Peter. Thanks for your interest. I hope that you can join us. I think that we need only one or two more checks for the trip to go…