January 31st, 2013


  • Best Blog Post Ever?
  • B&H Canon Lens and Speedlight Specials Expire February 2, 2013/Act Now
  • Fort DeSoto Morning In-the-Field Workshop
  • Weekend Creative Nature Photography Seminar, Tampa, FL: February 23 & 24
  • Swan Island Dahlia Farm Instructional Photo-Tour
  • Used Camera Gear/Including My 800mm f/5.6L IS lens
  • IPT Info

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This winter adult Ring-billed Gull was photographed in flight at Jamesport, NY with the hand held Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens with the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter) and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera body. ISO 800. Evaluative metering + 2 1/3 stops off the light grey sky was 1/2500 sec. at f/4 in Manual mode. This worked out to about +2 stops as framed. Why? Because the gull is slightly darker overall than the sky. Read and study the info below to solidify your understanding.

Central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version. If you own a 1D X be sure to check out the info on our EOS-1D X Autofocus Guide below.

Note that after I adjusted the sliders during RAW conversion in DPP the RGB values for the brightest WHITEs (the uppermost tail feathers) were R: 230, G: 232, and B: 235. To learn how and why I now use DPP for all of my Canon images click here. Note: this JPEG represents a small crop from the right and from below.

Eye Doctor work as in the MP4 videos of the same name here.

Best Blog Post Ever?

On January 28, 2013 I posted Learning to Think Like a Pro In The Field on the BAA Blog. I asked what I thought was a fairly simple exposure question. The responses were all over the place. Those responses spawned the January 30, 2013 blog post: Exposure Confusion and Misconceptions Clarified. This post generated one of our highest-ever single day Views per Day counts. And that trend continues today.

This morning I received notice that James Graham had (in part) posted the following:

This is one of your best blogs…congratulations… Thanks again for your excellent instruction. I wonder if you actually realize what an outstanding contribution you are making.

B&H Canon Lens and Speedlight Specials Expire February 2, 2013/Act Now

As low as the prices might seem when you click on the items below, which, by the way, include many of my favorite intermediate telephoto lenses, be sure to place the item in your shopping cart to learn the actual price. In many instances you save another $100 to $400 or more off the price that appears when you click. The prices are just so low that B&H is not permitted by the manufacturer to publish them on the website. But they will pop up in your shopping cart!

B&H Canon Specials

Click on the page #s above to see additional items. Remember, all of the deals below expire on February 2, 2013 so act now to save big bucks.

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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.

Fort DeSoto Morning In-the-Field Workshop

Fort DeSoto In-the-field Workshop: FEB 25. Pre-dawn -10:30am. Limit 16/openings: 5. Includes a great working lunch: $275.

On Monday morning, February 25, Denise Ippolito and I will be co-leading a morning In-the-field Workshop at Fort DeSoto, south of St. Petersburg, FL. We should get to photograph a variety of very tame herons, egrets, gulls, terns, and shorebirds. Spoonbills possible. There will be lots of individual and small group instruction. We will cover exposure and histograms, seeing the situation, creating sharp images, and lots more. Each registrant will have a personalized gear and set-up check. The more questions you ask, the more you will learn.

A great working lunch at the Sea Porch CafΓ© on St. Petersburg Beach is included. All are invited to bring a laptop along for image sharing at lunch. After the workshop, all are invited to send us three 1024 wide or 800 tall JPEGs for critiquing. Call 1-863-692-0906 to register or send us a Paypal. Either way, be sure to note that the payment is for the Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Workshop.

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Weekend Creative Nature Photography Seminar, Tampa, FL: February 23 & 24, 2013: $149 Limit: 50/Openings: 2

Best to register soon as there are just 4 seats left. The In-the-field Workshop above follows the weekend seminar. You are invited to 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. Sunday critiquing session. Click here for additional details and the complete schedule.

Swan Island Dahlia Farm Instructional Photo-Tour

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All images courtesy of and copyright 2012: Denise Ippolito. Click for a larger version.

A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Swan Island Dahlia Farm Instructional Photo-Tour, September 11-15, 2013: 5 FULL DAYS: $1649

Join Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris at the Swan Island Dahlia Farm in Canby Oregon (just south of Portland) for a great learning and photography experience. Swan Island features more than 40 acres with over 350 varieties of dahlias in a plethora of colors, shapes and sizes, making it one of the largest growers in the United States.

Daily Photo Schedule

We will enjoy four morning (7:00am till 10:30am) and five afternoon (3:30pm till 6pm) photography sessions. While we will do most of our photography at the Swan Island Dahlia Farm, we will also visit the Portland Rose Garden and/or the Portland Japanese Garden on this IPT. The in-the-field instruction will include seeing the situation, the use of selective focus, creative use of depth of field, histogram and exposure guidance, designing creative images, choosing your background, isolating your subject, lens options, and the use of reflectors and diffusers. Our field sessions will include challenging photography assignments geared to make you think creatively. Both personalized and small group instruction will be provided. All times are tentative and subject to change based on the weather and on local conditions.

Seminar Morning: Friday, September 13: 8:30am till 12:30pm

Denise will begin by presenting her “Bloomin’ Ideas” program, an overview of the in-the-field and post-processing techniques that she has used and developed over the past few years to create her signature look. Artie will follow with a Photoshop session that will be geared towards all levels. He’ll be sharing some of his favorite techniques and tips while working on images from the first two days of the IPT. Denise will conclude the seminar portion of the IPT with a Photoshop demo; she will share her creative workflow using a variety of Photoshop filters and effects. The entire morning is designed to give you a peek into the minds of two very skilled and creative folks.

The group will have lunch together daily. All are invited to bring their laptops for image sharing. We hope that you can join us for an intense five days of learning and some of the best flower photography to be had in North America.

Deposit Info and Cancellation Policies:

A $449 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. Your balance is due 5 months before the date of the IPT and is also non-refundable. If the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. 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 print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check (made out to “Arthur Morris.”) You can also leave your deposit with a credit card by calling the office at 863-692-0906. We will be short-handed in the office until January 21 so please leave a message and we will call you back. 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

Used Camera Gear Including Some Great New Items

Arthur Morris

I am offering the following used gear for sale:

Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS Lens

I am offering my used Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS Lens in very good to excellent condition for a ridiculously low $9,500. The sale price includes a P-50 Wimberley Lens Plate and the lens trunk (carrying case). I will pay for insured UPS ground shipping anywhere in the US. This lens quickly became my all-time favorite super-telephoto lens and made a great many of the images that have appeared on the blog and in the bulletins for the past several years. If you are seriously interested please e-mail.

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.

Please contact Ramona with any questions: 1-719 231 5874 or via 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

Price Reduced!

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: $849 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.


On all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or leave a comment regarding any typos, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. πŸ™‚

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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 Hardwood Snow pattern.
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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.

2 comments to BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #431

  • avatar Bertie Bonnell

    I’ve enjoyed your bird photos for more than a year, although I’m not a photographer. In recent months there is a new format and I’m a bit downhearted to find fewer bird photos. I’m hoping you’ll resume publising those again. Wonder if you know that bird lovers as well as photographers are visitng your blog? Thanks for listening. ~ Bertie Bonnell

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Bonnie, There are tons of bird photos on the blog most every day. Do subscribe. artie