August 8th, 2010



  • GALAPAGOS 2012

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Galapagos Tortoise, yawning teenager, captive, Floreana, Galapagos
Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
This image was created with the Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS L zoom lens, the 1.4XII TC (hand held at 280mm), and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/160 sec. at f/6.3.

We visited a center where tortoises of various races from the various islands are kept only for educational purposes and for research. As the animals are well fed it was easier to create images of them with their mouthes open than it had been at Peurto Ayora when we were photographing them in the wild. This relative teenager was in its mid-20s..


2012 Galapagos Photo Cruise of a Lifetime/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. Tentative dates: July 15-August 1, 2012 (July 17- 31, 2012 on the boat): 13 1/2 days of photography plus a last morning panga ride: price: to be determined, but < $12, 999. (Limit 11.)

I am in the final stages of planning the Galapagos 2012 trip. The dates and price are both tentative. The 2011 trip has been sold out for more than a ear. Happy campers only please. 🙂 If you would like to see the complete itinerary, please e-mail us at And do see the last Bulletin and the blog for lots of great images and lessons. I am posting my 2010 Galapagos Journal on the blog one landing or one day at a time.

The tentative dates are July 15-August 1, 2012, July 17-31 on the boat. The group will be flying to Quito on their own to arrive on July 15, 2012. There will be a travel insurance day on July 16th. On the morning of July 17 we fly to the Galapagos and board the boat around midday. We leave the boat two weeks later on the morning of July 31 after our last photo session, a short panga ride. We fly back to Quito on that same day, July 31, overnight in Quito, and fly home on the morning of August 1.
Most of you know the main attractions of the two week trips that I have pioneered: a killer itinerary that will visit all the great spots to ensure that you do not miss a thing. The highlights include Tower Island—tons of nesting seabirds at eye and knee level, Punta Espinoza (Marine Iguanas and Flightless Cormorants), Puerto Ayora (tortoises in their natural habitats), Hood Island (Waved Albatross and lots more nesting birds), South Plaza—tropicbirds and Land Iguanas, and North Seymour—nesting frigatebirds and Blue-footed Boobies with chicks in most years. Each of these locations is on a par with Antarctica or East Africa when it comes to spectacular photographic opportunities. And if you make only a one week cruise you will miss at least half of these great locations. With two full weeks we will enjoy a relaxed pace with shorter navigations and lots of time for snorkeling, image sharing, and small group Photoshop instruction. A great photographic leader (that would be me) with 7 years of Galapagos experience teamed with the very best most knowledgeable guide in the entire archipelago. We will be the first group on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island each afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast weather we may spend as long as 6 ½ hours on our morning sessions. Jeez, I almost forgot our spectacular and romantic motor sailing ship, the Beagle

Note: some of the walks are strenuous. Though I will be bringing the 800, great images are possible on all landings with a hand held 70-200mm lens.

Included: three nights in the luxury hotel–the Hilton Quito Colon, round trip airfare to and from the Galapagos, all meals on the boat, a killer buffet lunch with the tortoises!, all park fees and related costs, and all transfers. Not included. Your round trip airfare from your home to and from Quito, beverages, phone calls, the $40 airport exit tax, and the $500/person tip for the guide and the crew.

A $5,000 deposit per person is required to hold a spot pending the announcement of final date and cost. At that time you will have one week to let me know if you are in or out. If I do not have nine deposits within a month or so, I may choose to return all deposits without penalty. Leasing the boat requires a commitment of more than $100,000 by yours truly. You will not be asked to print, sign, and return the two forms here until the final dates and cost are announced, along with the payment schedule. Once the dates are announce do know that travel insurance will of course be highly recommended as none of your payments are refundable. You will need to protect yourself in case of an unexpected illness or accident or other unforeseen developments.

If you opt not to make a deposit at this time but would like your name placed on the seriously interested list, please e-mail us at Couples are advised to register well in advance, as are females who will be traveling on their own. As are anyone who wants and needs to make this amazing trip. 🙂

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Galapagos Sea Lion, pup biting rear flipper, Gardner Bay, Hood Island, Galapagos
Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
This image was created with the handheld Canon 70-200mm f/4 IS L zoom lens hand held at 185mm with the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 1000. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/320 sec. at f/6.3.

Gardner Bay is the premier location in the world for photographing these animals. As we were approaching the beach in the panga, one of the participants remarked, “I thought that there were supposed to see a lot of sea lions. By the time the afternoon was complete, we had counted more than 225 sea lions on a relatively short stretch of beach, all of them quite tame. To make this image I lay flat on my belly in the sand..


As a service to BAA Bulletin and Blog subscribers we offer the following contact information: Philip Anthony Alarcon, SMB Inside Sales Representative, Hewlett-Packard Company. Phone: 1-800-277-8988. Philip’s extension is 7717722.

I have been using HP laptops for years and much prefer them for their durability to the Toshibas that I had been using previously. And I just ordered a new office computer from HP as well. (Both with Windows 7 of course.) Once you have picked out an HP machine simply call Philip at the number above and ask for the BIRDS AS ART discount. A 15-25% discount will be applied to your order. In addition, you will receive free shipping. And the worst part of it? I do not make a cent 🙂

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Blue-footed Booby feeding newly hatched chick. North Seymour Island, Galapagos
Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
This image was created with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, the 1.4X II TC, and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/8.

The six hours that we spent on North Seymour was one of our best landings. We had lots of chances with frigatebirds–from flying adults to chicks in the nests. And then we spent about three hours photographing several pairs of the always comical Blue-footed Boobies displaying, on eggs, and with chicks. One chick was hatched during our visit. .


Fractalius is compatible with CS-5 (and runs only on Windows platforms). Just download and install it–it takes about 10 seconds in all. It will appear automatically at the bottom of the drop-down Filter menu in Photoshop as Redfield. Click on that and then click on Fractalius. The commands for Glow 100 and for all the presets appear in two sets. Adjust the top set and then you can fine tune with the bottom set of identical controls. They each do exactly the same thing. (Don’t ask me why; I only work here. :))

All is done by trial and error with Glow 100 and all the other presets as well. Here is a great way to experiment: when you open the preset and are about to move the first slider, note the value. Then move it all the way to the right and see what it does. Then move it all the way to the left and see what it does–all the while remembering the original value. Then adjust the slider to taste and repeat all the way down with the various sliders. If you love the effect that you wind up with you can save it and give it a name for future use. If you do purchase, please use our link.

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Frigatebird species, male in flight with nesting material, North Seymour Island, Galapagos
Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
This image was created with the hand held Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens (at 113mm) with the EOS-7D. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/5.6.

The 70-200 f/4 IS and the 7D make a great, lightweight combo. And AI Servo AF tracking accuracy with the 7D is superb..


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Frigatebird species, male in flight with nesting material, North Seymour Island, Galapagos
Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
This image was created with the hand held Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens (at 113mm) with the EOS-7D. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/3200 sec. at f/5.6.

Here I tweaked the Glow 100 Fractalius preset to create the image here from the image immediately above. As you work on a separate layer when Fracting, I was able to erase the eye, the bill, the twig, and the red pouch for added impact. .


March 12-16, 2011 (slide program the evening of March 11) 5-FULL DAYS: $2799. Absolute limit: 5/Openings 4.

Due to popular demand, and to the fact that both of the Homer trips that Robert and I will be co-leading sold out within 36 hours, and lastly, to the fact that I actually am trying to slow down a bit. 🙂 Robert will be running this trip on his own; you will be in great hands. To save space here I will not give you the big Homer pitch. Briefly Robert is the person who devised a way to bring folks back to Homer to feed and photograph the eagles legally. Experience Homer as it was in the good old days. And do bring your 70-200; the birds are close! I fully expect that this trip will fill within hours of being announced. Registration for this trip will be handled only by BIRDS AS ART. Please call (863-692-2806) first to check on availability and leave a message if there is no answer. You will then be asked to send your non-refundable deposit check for $1,000 made out to “Arthur Morris” and to print, sign, and include the paperwork here. First come, first served.

To learn more, click here. And do check out Robert’s Bald Eagle gallery here

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Photographer with Bald Eagles, Homer, AK
Image copyright 2008/Robert O’Toole Photography
This image was created by Robert with the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS L zoom lens (hand held at 105mm) and the EOS-1Ds MII. ISO 200: 1/2660 sec. at f/2.8.

That’s me in the photo with the Canon 300mm f/4L IS lens and flash with the Better Beamer. It could be you! But only if you act quickly..


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Photographer with Bald Eagles, Homer, AK
Image copyright 2010/Robert O’Toole Photography
This image was created by Robert with the Sigma 150-500mm lens (hand held at 275mm) and the Nikon D-700. ISO 1000: 1/1250 sec. at f/8.

Robert created this image on his June Homer trip. Everyone on that trip went home happy. In March there will be hundreds more eagles in March..


If you are considering the purchase of a major piece of photographic gear be it a new camera, a long lens, a tripod or a head, or some accessories be sure to check out our on-line Shopper’s Guide.

Here is a list of the equipment that I used to create the images in this Bulletin:

And from the BIRDS AS ART On-line store:

Gitzo 3530 LS Carbon Fiber tripod

Mongoose M3.6


Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge/Nickerson Beach/Shorebird/Nesting Skimmer Photography-Tour (JBWR/NB IPT): August 22-24, 2010. Slide program on the evening of August 21. 3-DAY: $1399. Limit: 6/Openings 1.

Co-leader: Denise Ippolito. Photograph and learn about migrant shorebirds, nesting skimmers, gulls, terns, and more. Three full days of photographic immersion. Please see terms and deposit info below. Please call for late registration discount info.

Bosque del Apache 2010 IPT: “The Complete Bosque Experience.” NOV 20-26, 2010. Slide program on the evening of Friday, NOV 19. 7-FULL DAYS: $3199. (Non-refundable deposit: $500; please see the details below.) Limit: 10/Openings: 3.

Co-leaders: Robert O’Toole, Jim Heupel, and multiple BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year honoree Chris Van Rooyen of South Africa ( 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. Plus great co-leaders and top-notch Photoshop instruction. Please see terms and deposit info below.

San Diego IPT: JAN 19-23, 2011. Slide program on the evening of JAN 18. 5 Full Days: $2399. (Non-refundable deposit: $500; please see the details below.) Limit 8/Openings 6.

Brown Pelicans in spectacular breeding plumage with their bright red bill pouches, Wood and Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Scaup, Western, California, and Heerman’s Gulls, Marbled Godwit, and lots, lots more. Please see terms and deposit info below.

SW FLA PRESIDENT’S WEEK IPT: FEB 18-23, 2011. Slide program on the evening of FEB 17. 6 Full Days: 2899. (Non-refundable deposit: $500; please see the details below.) Limit 10/Openings 7.

Escape winter’s icy grip to enjoy a wide array of Florida’s tame birds: herons, egrets, Wood Stork, shorebirds, gulls, terns, skimmers, raptors, and m

Terms and deposit info:

A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold a spot fn the above IPTs. Deposits may be paid by check, PayPal, or credit card. Payment in full (by check or money order only) is due four months before the start of each trip and is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out. You will be required to sign a statement of understanding to this effect. Travel insurance is of course highly recommended. Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options is Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to an infinite list from a sudden work or family obligation to a simple change of mind. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. You can learn more here. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check or running your credit card. Travel insurance protects you against unexpected developments, injuries, or illnesses. We regret that we must implement this new policy but we have been plagued by last minute cancellations that make it impossible for others to participate and deprive us of essential income.

Important note: please print, fill out, and sign the registration and release forms and include them with your deposit check (made out to “Arthur Morris.” ) If you use a credit card to register, please fill out, sign, and mail the forms asap. Your registration will not be complete until we receive your paper work. You can find the forms here

2011 Galapagos Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience: July 2011: two weeks on the Beagle (Limit: 12/sold out).

If you are a happy camper and would like to have your name(s) placed on a waiting list for the 2011 trip or on the seriously interested list for the 2012 trip, please e-mail us at

Robert O’Toole, Homer Bald Eagle Instuctional Photo-Tour with Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. March 18-22, 2011 & March 24-28. 5-FULL DAYS: $3249. Limit: 12 (including the leaders/both sold out)

Both of these trips sold out with long waiting lists within hours after being announced to the BAA Friends List. The Friends List consists of IPT veterans who fit in the happy camper category. If you have been on an IPT and would like your name added to the BAA Friends List, please e-mail me at and include a short note.

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