January 1st, 2013


  • 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IS USM Autofocus lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (teleconverter), and the discontinued EOS-1D Mark IV that has been replaced by the Canon EOS-1D X digital SLR .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.

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.

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.

In “Chestnut-mandibled Toucan Magic” I shared my NIK Color Efex Pro repost of a fine image from the Avian forum at BPN (Bird Photographer’s.Net).

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.

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.

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.


Mention the seminar: $65/night + tax. Regular rate: $109.95.

10 minutes from Tampa–40 minutes from St. Petersburg–less than an hour from Sarasota

1 hr 15 minutes from Orlando–less than 2 hours from Fort Myers

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.

Used Camera Gear Including Some Great New Items

Ramona Boone

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 Wenrick

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 Dillon

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.

Denise Ippolito

Denise Ippolito is offering a Canon EOS-5D Full Frame Sensor 12 mp Digital SLR Camera in excellent condition for $800.00. Please contact Denise via e-mail.

Steve Vige

Steve Vige is offering the following used gear for sale:

Canon 70-200 f4L IS lens (price reduced!) in excellent condition includes pouch and original Canon box: $899 buyer pays shipping.

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

Shelly Goldstein/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….)

I can enthusiastically and unequivocally recommend a pair of Arctic Pro Muck Boots for all cold weather situations (wet or dry!). You can order yours using the link above and help support our efforts on the blog and in the Bulletins.

Shop Amazon

Consider doing all of your Amazon.com shopping using the search link below. You’ll be getting the same low prices and great service that you are accustomed to and at the same time, supporting my efforts in the Bulletins and on the Blog to bring you great images, timely product news and info, and tons of free educational articles on an almost daily (and sometimes almost back-breaking) basis 🙂 Just type your search in the little white box and hit Go.

You can find other types of Muck Boots by simply typing “muck boots” in the little white box below and hitting Go. Thanks!

Shopper’s Guide

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

Shop B&H

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

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in 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.


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.

2 comments to BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #427

  • avatar Don Nelson

    For those of us that have size 16 feet, the Muckboots Arctic Pro stops at size 15.
    A note from the Muckboots website owner:

    “The Arctic Pro does not come in a men’s size 16. However we carry another line of boots that do – Grub’s boots. This is a new line of boots that were actually designed by the same two brothers that founded The Original Muck Boot Company back in 1999. They then sold the company to Honeywell Safety Products in 2002.
    Check out the Grub’s Treeline 10.5 in camo http://www.muckboots.com/grubs/TRE-MOBUH.htm (also in black)…they have them up to size 16.

    I have both a pair of Arctic Pro Muck Boots size 15 (quite tight on the feet) and the Treeline 10.5 size 16 — both pair are quite well made. I don’t have a preference for either – except the size 16 fits better…

    And for those with >16 feet…good luck. Custom Order?


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Don. The last thing that you want in the cold is tight boots as they restrict circulation.