April 8th, 2013


  • Jam Session: A Brand New MP4 Photoshop Tutorial Video
  • Criminal Transformation?
  • The Fort Desoto/Hooptie Deux–Roseate Spoonbill IPT Report
  • Announcing the 2013 Bosque IPT/New Dates
  • Affiliate Links
  • Alan Murphy’s “Guide to Songbird Set-up Photography”
  • Alan Murphy’s “The Photographer’s Guide to Attracting Birds”
  • Used Camera Gear
  • IPT Info

Jam Session I: A Brand New MP4 Photoshop Tutorial Video

Jam Session I: Photoshop Video Tutorial: $9

On the first Fort Desoto/Hooptie Deux Short Notice IPT we drove from St. Pete to my home in Indian Lake Estates for a chance to photograph Sandhill Crane chicks of various sizes. We succeeded admirably. See “What No Itinerary” here for the whole story.

After our morning photo session the group gathered in my office for a Photoshop session. I worked on one image from the previous morning and on one from that morning. The session was recorded with Camtasia. We are offering you a chance to join the group and look right over my shoulder as I processed the images above and below. Techniques covered include the following: the RAW conversions in DPP, using Detail Extractor from NIK’s Color Efex Pro to bring up the detail in the ibis’s white feathers, creating and using Layer masks, and using the Quick Selection Tool, the Spot Healing Brush, the Patch Tool, and Content Aware Fill for image clean-up. Selective sharpening with a Contrast Mask, Background clean-up with a soft Clone Stamp Tool, cloning on a Layer, using Quick Masks, using Select/Color Range to make selections (including the little used Range slider), and lots more.

To order yours through the BAA store, click here. Or call Jim or Jen weekdays between 9am and 5pm (3pm on Fridays) at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand. Please leave a message in the rare event that we miss your call and we will get back to you. Easiest is to send us a Paypal for $9.00 to birdsasart@verizon.net with the words β€œJam Session I” cut and pasted into the subject line. Sorry, no checks are accepted for the MP4 videos.

Learn more about our MP4 Photoshop Tutorial Videos here or see the whole collection here.

Criminal Transformation?

To see the original for the spoonbill image below and learn about the image optimization process click here.

The Fort Desoto/Hooptie Deux–Roseate Spoonbill IPT Report

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This image of a preening Roseate Spoonbill image was created on the Saturday morning Hooptie Deux trip with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 2x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1 stop as originally framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/10 in Manual Mode.

Central sensor (by necessity) Expand/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the bird’s eye and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

If you want spoonbills you need to get yourself on the Hooptie Deux. Canon users cannot beat the 600II/2XIII TC combo for reach (with phase detection AF).

The Fort Desoto/Hooptie Deux–Roseate Spoonbill IPT Report

Five folks joined me in whole or in part for this Short Notice IPT. Multiple IPT veteran Ken Canning for the whole thing, Mike Dodak for the first 3 days, Ted Thelin and George Golumbeski for the last 3, and Jeff Dyck for Thursday and Friday. On our first full day, Desoto was excellent with lots of good chances on Royal, Sandwich, and Forster’s Terns, Laughing Gull, Black Skimmer, a sun-bathing Double-crested Cormorant, Reddish Egret, and a host of tame shorebirds including lots of Marbled Godwits and the reliable Long-billed Curlew which should be leaving soon.

It was pouring on Thursday morning. I called Captain Shadle who said that we should come to the dock because there would be a window of clearing. Se we did. We got on the boat at about 7am when the rain let up a bit, endured another hour plus of driving rain, did some flight photography from the Hooptie, and when the wind let up made our way around to the south side of the main rookery island at Alafia. Against all odds we enjoyed one good hour with the spoonbills and one good hour with the Cattle Egrets and White Ibis in flight, albeit a high-ISO hour. That afternoon we believed the weatherman and stayed in for a three hour image review and Photoshop session. When the rain quit and it turned cloudy bright we were all wishing that we had had the guts to go back out to Desoto.

On Friday morning we enjoyed a great morning at Desoto that began with the curlew and some Marbled Godwits posing in the surf and ended with a 2+ hour session with a very lovely breeding plumage Reddish Egret. That afternoon we visited Dit Dot Dash Rookery in the Bradenton River aboard the Hooptie Deux. With strong west/northwest winds we enjoyed virtually nonstop flight photography action with tons of exposure lessons that began at ISO 400 with 1/2000 sec. at f/8 for the Wood Storks, 1/2500 sec. at f/8 for the even brighter/whiter Great Egrets, and 1/1000 sec. at f/8 for the Double-crested Cormorants. We quit only when we were down to ISO 800–1/1000 sec. at f/5.6 for the Great Egrets. For the full story of that great day see the “Long, Spectacular, and Exhausting 1445 Image Day” blog post here.

The Saturday morning at Alafia was much nicer and we had a nice morning with the Roseate Spoonbills, mostly in flight, and virtually non-stop flight photography with White Ibis, many in high breeding plumage in their bright red ball-chinian garb. With my responsibilities over I opted to rest on Saturday afternoon and head home early on Sunday to get some work done and get ready for the San Antonio program and the continuing trip to Holland.

It seemed that the photography got even better in my absence. πŸ™‚ Dit Dot Dash was even better on Saturday afternoon than it had been on Friday afternoon. Alafia was active and with calmer conditions a trip to a channel-marker-Osprey nest yielded head portraits and some great flight images. And Sunday afternoon at one of James secret spots in Brandon featured lots of great chances with baby Wood Storks in the nest, and some gorgeous Great and Snowy Egrets and Little Blue Herons. All followed by a great dinner at a local barbecue joint. The info in this paragraph as per my phone conversation with Captain James, Ted, George, and Ken as they were ordering their ribs!

If you would like to get out with James to enjoy some of the great action over the next three weeks call or e-mail to inquire about dates and rates. You can get in touch with James for additional info or to schedule a Custom Workshop or Tour via e-mail, by cell phone at (813) 363-2854 or on his home phone (early evenings best) at (813-689-5307). If by cell phone it is best to call back rather than to leave a message. If you plan on joining James make sure to read “Hooptie Deux Practicalities” by scrolling down here. If you have trouble getting in touch with James please shoot me an e-mail as I should have reliable e-mail in Holland.

Ken Canning Kudos

I received the following from participant Ken Canning via e-mail:

Thank you, Artie, for a great IPT. I learned a lot and made some super images. Though I have been doing wildlife photography for a while now I still come out of your IPTs a better photographer than when I went in. Best, Ken

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Announcing the 2013 Bosque IPT/New Dates

BOSQUE del APACHE 2013 IPT: β€œThe Complete Bosque Experience.” NOV 26-DEC 2, 2013. 7-FULL DAYS: $3399. Co-leader: Denise Ippolito. Introductory Slide program: 6:30 pm on 11/25. Limit: 12.

Tens of thousand of Snow Geese, 10,000 Sandhill Cranes, ducks including point-blank American Wigeon and Wood Duck, amazing sunrises, sunsets, and blast-offs. Live, eat, and breathe photography with one of (if not the) world’s premier photographic educators at one of his very favorite locations on the planet. Top-notch Photoshop instruction. This will make 19 consecutive Novembers at Bosque for me. Nobody knows the place better than I do. Join us to learn to think like a pro, to recognize situations and to anticipate them based on the weather, especially the sky conditions, the light, and the wind direction. Every time we make a move we will let you know why. When you head home applying what you learned will prove to be invaluable. Includes all lunches and the Thanksgiving Buffet at the Crowne Plaza in Albuquerque. I hope that you can join me for what will be an unparalleled learning experience.

A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. Your balance is due 4 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. 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.

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Affiliate Links

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

Regular readers well know that I spend an inordinate amount of time each week preparing blog posts and the BAA Online Bulletins in order to bring you the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information and to share with you my favorite new images. I have long resisted efforts to charge a fee for each. Please Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links below or on the product-specifics links in each post. in this blog post. Both B&H and Amazon offer world class service and the lowest prices you will find anywhere. And using one of our links will not cost you a penny more. When shopping at B&H be sure to place an item in your cart to see the often too-low-to show actual price. In many cases B&H is forbidden by the manufacturer from publicizing their lowest price!

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Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop Amazon here!

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 πŸ™‚ Just type your search in the little white box and hit Go.

Alan Murphy's "Guide to Songbird Set-up Photography"

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This Florida Scrub Jay was photographed on the SW FLA IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF tele-extender III, and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop as framed : 1/800 sec. at f/9 in Av mode.

One sensor above the central sensor Surround/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on front bird's neck active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

This image was created using techniques detailed in Alan Murphy first eGuide, Songbird Setup Guide.

Alan Murphy's "Guide to Songbird Set-up Photography"

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Alan Murphy's "Guide to Songbird Set-up Photography"

Spring is here. The songbirds will be arriving soon. If you would like to learn to create great images in your own backyard or would like to learn to photograph at water features and feeding stations that you have created, get yourself a copy of Alan's amazing "Guide to Songbird Set-up Photography" ($50 on CD only) by clicking here. In addition to teaching you to get your birds to land on the perfect perch, Alan teaches you how to capture images of songbirds in flight without using active AF!

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Alan Murphy's "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 (see above), "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. To learn more about the creation of Alan's 2nd great eBook, click here. This great eGuide is available by download for $50. Click on the link below to get your copy. (PayPal payments accepted.)

Buy Now

Note: those who would like to purchase both books via download can click on the link above and save $10 on the combo.

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Green-winged Teal displaying drake. Image created with the Nikon D4 and the Nikon 600mm lens f/ VR lens. ISO 800, f/5.6 at 1/320 sec. Image courtesy of and copyright Alan Murphy.

This beyond spectacular image was created using techniques from the chapter "Attracting Water Birds using Audio Playback" detailed in "The Photographers Guide to Attracting Birds"

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White-tailed Hawk. Image created with the Nikon D4 and the Nikon 600mm lens f/4 VR lens. ISO 640, f/8 at 1/2000 sec. Image courtesy of and copyright Alan Murphy.

This relatively rare species was photographed using the techniques from the chapter "Attracting Raptors Using Road Kill" in the eBook "The Photographers Guide to Attracting Birds."

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Green Jay in flight. Nikon D4, Nikon 300mm/2.8 lens, ISO 1600, f/9 at 1/3200 sec. Image courtesy of and copyright Alan Murphy.

Like me, Alan finds the 300 f/2.8 lens tremendously versatile.

This image was created using the innovative techniques detailed in the chapter "Attracting Birds for Flight Photography Part I" in "The Photographers Guide to Attracting Birds."

Buy Now

Click on the link above to purchase; those who would like to obtain both books via download can click on the link and save $10 on the pair.

Used Camera Gear

Walt Novinger

Walt is offering a used Sigma 300-800 f/5.6 EX DG APO IF HSM Autofocus Lens for Canon EOS, aka The Sigmonster in like new condition. Used only 4-5 times: $6,000. The sale includes the original shipping box and the original soft lens case. Includes shipping in the continental US. You can call Walt at 1-442.222.4081 or by e-mail. James Shadle used the Nikon mount version of this lens to create many great images. Strong folks can save a bundle as this is a steal at $2,000 below list.

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.


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™‚

8 comments to BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #437

  • avatar Giovanni

    ok Ari I said the MP$.
    Off course I have your Digital Dasic and I would like buy also Guide By Arish…but I am afraid about ny english.
    A video (Mp4) is better because is possible see step to step and no problem more

  • avatar Giovanni

    Hello Art
    the d was ok.
    I am italian and my english is bad bt with a cd (expecially is the Photoshop story is well visible) is possible also for me learn…
    I hope you will go on with those tips (no expensive…but very useful)
    Is important to go on step to step in different topics
    Why no try a cd with a workflow amout how to reduce the noise ?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      What is the “d.”?

      Are you referring to the MP4 videos?

      That is covered in Digital Basics and in an eGuide by Arash. Let me know if you have trouble finding the latter.

  • avatar John Mostert

    Hi Art, Your latest video tutorial “Jam Session I” is pure magic. Thanks for the clear instructions. John

  • avatar Bill

    A real pleasure to meet you and your workshop participants at Fort DeSoto on April 5th. I couldn’t believe your “luck” in getting the reddish egret to position itself exactly where you wanted it. You do know your birds and bird photography.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Bill. If you noticed, part of my luck involved moving, moving, moving with the bird every time it moved. To the point of my being exhausted. That while others stood around and watched :)I did try to lead by example and sometimes when I quickly walked 200 yards to the bird he flew right back to where he was. What did I do then????

      It is all about determination.

  • Art, you don’t have to post this but I have learned so much from Alan Murphy’s cd set I had to give him a plug. If you are landlocked like me (no shore birds) and not close to Floridian tame birds I would HIGHLY recommend his cd’s. I have been using them as much as possible the last year and not one of his methods I’ve tried has not improved my images. I’ve bought a lot of “how to” books but his are the best I’ve found for birds. I’ve never met the man and don’t know if I will be able to afford a workshop with him but if I do I’ll certainly shake his hand with gratitude. Thanks Alan and Art for offering and plugging his material.