June 29th, 2013


  • The BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Contest
  • On the Road Again
  • Denise Ippolito’s MiniMag
  • The Blog is the Bomb
  • Heads-up on the January 2014 Florida IPTs
  • Fractastic
  • How Cool?
  • What’s Not to Love?
  • Holland 2014
  • Bosque del Apache 2013 IPT: β€œThe Complete Bosque Experience.”
  • Affiliate Links
  • Used Camera Gear
  • IPT Info

no images were found

Jacana chick on Lily-leaf. Image copyright 2012 Lou Coetzer. This image was the Grand Prize winner in the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Contest. We’d love to see your best in this year’s contest!

The BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Contest

We are proud to announce that plans are in the works for the BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Contest. The entry fee will be $25 for every ten images and you can enter as often as you like. B&H will be again be the major sponsor. You can earn free contest entries by making B&H purchases as long as you use one of our affiliate links. You will receive a single free contest entry with a purchase of $1,000 or more. Purchases of $3,000 or more will be good for two contest entries, of $5,000 or more for three entries, and of $10,000 of more for five competition entries. Additional details will follow. You can, however, start gathering your best images now and saving your B&H receipts for major purchases as long as they are made using a BAA B&H affiliate link. You can use one of the many product specific links in the Bulletins or on the blog or you can start your search by clicking here.

Warning πŸ™‚

If you purchase a $13,000 lens and a $7,000 camera but do not use one of our B&H links you will not, no matter how much you beg and cry, receive any free contest entries.


1-Bird Portraits (whole bird or tight including body parts)
3-Small in the frame/Environmental
4-Pleasing Blurs
5-Action & Behavior
6-Hand of Man (the composition may include man-made elements) & Captive (including zoos and rehab birds)
7-Digital Creations (anything goes including the use of filters and effects)
8-Youth (high School or younger)

The image upload period will begin on September 1, 2013 and end on December 31, 2013. All images must of course feature a bird or birds in the frame. Once again our digital guidelines will be the least restrictive of those for any major contest. We will continue to require that RAW files be submitted for winning and honored images.

The complete list of sponsors and the prize pool will be announced in late August. There will be prizes awarded for 1st place, runner-up, and honorable mention in each category. The photographer whose image garners the most votes will be named the Bird Photographer of the Year and be awarded the Grand Prize. A change from last year is that the grand prize image will not also be awarded first place in a category. The Grand Prize pool will include a check for $500 US.

no images were found

As I have said before and often, photographing from a panga (Zodiac) is–with the boat rocking from the waves and the wind–very challenging. Thanks a stack to Bart Pembroke who loaned me his 300 f/2.8 IS for this panga ride. As we floated by this Galapagos Penguin the backgrounds were changing constantly. I know that the distant buff rock wall was the winner. Having this bird call at just the right moment was pure luck. I do remember praying that I would be able to keep the sensor on the bird as we swept past the perch rock. This is the sharper of a two-frame sequence.

This image was created with the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS lens, the Canon EF 1.4X III TC, and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/5 in Manual mode.

Once I had the exposure right for the bird I set it manually so that I did not have to worry about the tonality of the background be it light buff as here or black rock the next moment. As described in detail in Digital Basics, I added canvas to the top of this image. Losing the bit of rock was an option but I feel that it adds to the image.

I can’t wait to get back to the Galapagos! I will using my new 200-400 on all of the panga cruises. I will be returning most likely in July 2015. Please e-mail if you are interested.

On the Road Again

Denise Ippolito and I leave for the Galapagos on Sunday morning. We drive to Miami to catch a non-stop LAN flight to Quito. I will not have any internet access while in the archipelago. I will be home briefly on July 19th and 20ieth before flying to Long Island for the sold out Nickerson Beach Baby Birds IPT. Jim will be here every day to help you with your mail order purchases and Jen will be here handling IPT registrations. The blog will continue to be active as I have prepared ten posts in advance for you to enjoy during my absence.

If you have a gear or an image processing question please e-mail me after July 19th.

no images were found

Fireworks! Image courtesy of and copyright 2013: Scott Vincent. You can check out Scott’s article on creating and converting this image the current issue of the MinMag here.

Denise Ippolito’s MiniMag

The July issue of Denise Ippolito’s free MiniMag is online right now and can be accessed here. There are lots of great images and featured articles. BAA friend Gaurav Mittal offers “Keeping It Real in Post-Processing.” “In With the Old,” by Cheryl Slechta, “Improving Flower Photos” by Mary Stamper, “Delaware for Photography” by Nancy Bell, Frgo-scapes by Andrew McLachlan, and “Creating Textures” by Anita Bower will educate and inspire you. Most will likely enjoy my “Top Ten Bird Photography Tips” and Denise’s “Step Away From Easy.” If you visit just once you will be hooked and surely wish to subscribe to this free monthly photography treasure trove.

The Blog is the Bomb!

I continue to put in 20+ hours a week towards making the blog informative, timely, and beautiful. Many of the educational features that formerly appeared in BAA Bulletins now grace the BAA Blog. 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. If you have a problem subscribing, please contact us via e-mail.

Here are some more links to recent posts of interest:

Learn a ton in “Saving a Stunning, Under-exposed Bald Eagle Top-Shot Pose.”

Could a Sandhill Crane landing among 8 others make a nice image? Find out here.

See if you can answer the image design question here.

See how I did with my new 200-400 at the ballet here.

See some of my favorite images from the Holland IPT in the Tulips, Tulips, Tulips! post.

Learn about my first outing with the new Canon EF200-400mm f/4L IS/Internal 1.4 Extender and find out what the unexpected surprise was here.

Check out David R. Neilson’s killer sweet bear image and learn a ton in “Excellence All Around.”

You can find another stunning Roseate Tern image and lost on Billy Joel in “And every time I’ve held a rose It seems I only felt the thorns…”

You will find a stunning Roseate Tern courtship image in Passing Fancy here.

Learn about the release of the long-awaited “Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender” in the popular blog post here.

You can learn what drives me to work so hard and to excel here.

Best-ever Hand Holding Tip” is one of my most popular blog posts ever.

To learn why there is never a detailed itinerary on a BAA Instructional Photo-Tour click here.

Like flowers or photography? Check out Depth-of-Field Lesson.

Learn why I love my 5D Mark III here.

You can find complete Canon telephoto lens specs here; be sure to bookmark this page for quick reference. The cart now includes data for the new Canon 200-400.

no images were found

This breeding plumage Great Egret was photographed at Little Estero Lagoon with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/13 in Manual Mode.

Two sensors above and two to the left of the central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF on the bird’s 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.

Heads-up on the January 2014 Florida IPTs

There will be no traditional SW FLA IPT this year. We will instead, be offering a series of shorter IPTS towards the end of January, one at Everglades National Park/Anhinga Trail, one at Little Estero Lagoon, and one at the Venice Rookery. They will be co-led by yours truly and Denise Ippolito. The will be clustered around a one day mini-Seminar near Englewood, FL on Tuesday, January 28, 2014. So stay tuned and keep your calendar clear. Details will follow. Feel free to e-mail if you would like to receive advanced notice.

no images were found

Fractastic is the latest in a long line of eGuides published by BAA Books. Kudos to Andrew and denise.


A Creative User Guide for the Redfield Fractalius Filter

BAA is proud to announce–at long last–the recent publication of Fractastic, a creative user guide for the Redfield Fractalius filter. Fractalius is a Windows Photoshop plug-in. Mac folks will need to run Bootcamp, Parallels, or VM Ware to use Fractalius; they can learn more here. It is hard to describe what Fractalius actually does to an image but this is how the Redfield Company explains it: the Fractalius plug-in creates unusual, eccentric artworks in a single step. The effects are based on the extraction of the so-called hidden fractal texture of an image. You can also simulate various types of exotic lighting and high-realistic pencil sketches. Each individual image will react differently to the filter, so exact results are not guaranteed.

Denise Ippolito gave Fracting a huge boost in popularity about three years ago as moderator of the Out-of-the-Box Forum at BirdPhotographers.Net. One of those whom she introduced to Fractalius was Andrew Mclachlan who since wrote the popular “Ontario Landscapes – A Photographers Guide” for BAA Books. Denise came up with the idea of teaming up with Andrew to write and illustrate a Fract eGuide more than a year ago. The spectacular result: Fractastic.

In this fantastic eGuide the authors begin by explaining the usually mystifying Fractalius interface in clear, easy-to-understand terms. They even managed to make sense of the Colorize Mode button and the two large Asterisks at the top of the interface. The main body of the guide consists of more than two dozen intriguingly beautiful Fracted images with explanatory notes and screen captures of the settings that Andrew and Denise used to create their artistic works. You can use these settings to replicate the various effects that they have developed. Many of their creations are based on Fractalius pre-sets. The guide will teach you how to effectively apply many of the Fractalius pre-sets and how to create and save your own. The final section is an inspirational gallery of more than 35 superb Fracted images by Andrew, Denise, yours truly, and Cheryl Slechta who helped with the final proofreading.

You can purchase your copy of Fractastic for only $27 by clicking here, sending a Paypal for @$27 to us via e-mail being sure to note that you are paying for “Fractastic,”or by calling Jim at BIRDS AS ART at 863-692-0906 during regular business hours. A download link to Your eGuide will be sent via YouSendIt. Weekend and holiday orders will be fulfilled the next working day.

To purchase Fractalius, the plug-in program, please click here.

no images were found

White Admiral Fract, Image courtesy of and copyright 2013: Andrew Mclachlan

How Cool?

How cool is this image? Andrew is currently working on an frog photography eGuide for BAA Books.

no images were found

Holding Hands–leaves, Allaire State Park, NJ. Image courtesy of and copyright 2013: Denise Ippolito.

What’s Not to Love?

Here I love the soft touch Fracted look, the touching leaves, and the bits of yellow in the BKGR.

no images were found

Images copyright 2012: Denise Ippoltio & Arthur Morris. Card design by Denise Ippolito. Click on the image to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

Holland 2014 7 1/2-Day/8-Night: A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART/Tulips & A Touch of Holland IPT. April 17-April 24, 2014 :$4995 Limit: 12 photographers/Openings 9

This trip needs 8 registrants to run so please do not purchase your plane tickets until you hear from us; right now we need 5 more folks.

Join Denise Ippolito, Flower Queen and the author of “Bloomin’ Ideas,” BPN Photo Gear Moderator, former Nikon shooter, and technical expert Peter Kes, and Arthur Morris, Canon Explorer of Light and one of the planet’s premier photographic educators for a great trip to Holland in mid-April 2014. Day 1 of the IPT will be April 17, 2014. We will have a short afternoon get-together and then our first photographic session at the justly-famed Keukenhof. Peter who is originally from Holland, will be our local guide/interpreter/driver. Most days we will return to the hotel for lunch, image sharing and a break. On Day 8, April 24, we will enjoy both morning and afternoon photography sessions.

The primary subjects will be tulips and orchids at Keukenhof and the spectacularly amazing tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulb fields around Lisse. In addition we will spend one full day in Amsterdam. There will be optional visits the Van Gogh Museum in the morning and the Anne Frank House in the afternoon; there will be plenty of time for street photography as well. And some great food. On another day we will have a wonderful early dinner at Kinderdijk and then head out with our gear to photograph the windmills and possibly some birds for those who bring their longs lenses. We will spend an afternoon in the lovely Dutch town of Edam where we will do some street photography and enjoy a superb dinner. All lodging, ground transportation, entry fees, and meals (from dinner on Day 1 through dinner on Day 8) are included.

For those who will be bringing a big lens we will likely have an optional bird photography afternoon or two or possibly three. The big attraction should be gorgeous Purple Herons in flight at a breeding marsh. We would be photographing them from the roadside. And we might be able to find a few Great-crested Grebes at a location near Keukenhof.

Click here for complete details and some previously unpublished images. And/or click here and see item one for lots more tulip photos and complete trip details.

no images were found

Sandhill Crane composite, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM. Click on the image for a larger version.

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.

Mention the Bulletin and we would be glad to apply a $300 discount to your balance.

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.

no images were found

Snow Goose composite, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM. Click on the image for a larger version.


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™‚

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!

If you are considering an item for purchase or comparison shopping be sure to place an item in your cart to see the too-low-to show the actual price. In many cases the prices are so low that B&H is forbidden from publicizing them!

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.

Used Camera Gear

Rich Wear

Rich is offering a Gitzo 1548 CF tripod and a Wimberly V2 Head, both in very good condition for $850. Pictures of these items are available upon request via e-mail. You can reach Rich via e-mail or by phone at 780-690-8868.

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.


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™‚

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 Hardwood 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 πŸ™‚ And you will love them in mega-cold weather….
Gitzo 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.

IPT Info

For complete IPT info, please click here.

Comments are closed.