November 23rd, 2010

Birds As Art Bulletin #348


Snow Geese cottonwood Blur, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM
Image copyright 2010: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 50. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/2 sec. at f/32 in Tv mode.

Here I put a (hard-to-find) 3-stop drop-in ND filter into the filter slot of the 800. This allowed me to get down to the 1/2 second shutter speed that I wanted. Thanks to Robert O’Toole for inspiring me at Bosque a few years back; he pioneered the use of shutter speeds between 1/2 and one full second to create pleasing blurs.


With lots of corn and lots of birds, Bosque is as good as it has been in many, many years. And better yet, we are now enjoying warm weather and winds from the south. The latter makes for incredibly good flight photography. To learn more and see more great images, check out my blog post, “Bosque is Rocking,” here.

Snow Geese, Flying to Roost, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM
Image copyright 2010: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens (hand held at 88mm) with the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/500 sec. at f/3.2 in Tv Mode.

You can learn where to be and when while photographing at Bosque, even on your first visit. How? Get yourself a copy of the Bosque Site Guide here. It’s the next best thing to being on an IPT.


The NOV 2010 7D User’s Guide Update was sent successfully last week. Everyone on the list received their updates. AOL was kind enough to zip the PDF. This rendered it un-openable. We have heard from dozens of AOL folks and successfully e-mailed them the PDF…. If you have purchased the guide and did not receive it, please e-mail Jim at and let him know how you paid. He will then send you the update as an attachment to an e-mail.

I worked very hard on the current update guide for more than 40 hours. In addition to adding many relevant camera-function-related images with captions and a completely new section on making micro-adjustments, I wrote several all new sections on a variety of camera functions and clarified and expanded many others.

Here are two of the early comments:

By e-mail from Mike Matthews:

“Much improved. Worth the cost. Nice job.”

And by e-mail from Rob Duncalf:

The pictures in the original added little to the text but in the Update, however: Fantastic! A picture is worth 1000 words and the captions make everything jump into place. As my daughter would say, “awesome.” Every keen wildlife photographer with a Canon 7D should get this User’s Guide. Kind regards – Keep up the Good Work.

New folks can purchase the 7D User’s Guide here. They will of course receive the updated guide.

Snow Goose, blue morph in flight, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM
Image copyright 2010: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 400: 1/2000 sec. at f/8 determined by histogram check.

At ISO 400 1/2500 at f/8 was perfect for the white geese, 1/2000 at f/8 for the Blue Geese, and 1/1600 at f/8 for the young snow geese, the Sandhill Cranes, and the blackbird flocks.


Dalmatian Pelican Exploratory IPT.

FEB 27-MAR 5, 2011: 6 1/2+ Full Days of Photography: $2499. Co-leaders: Arthur Morris, Robert O’Toole, and Yannis Arvanitis as our bi-lingual guide. Limit: 6/Openings 3. Payment in full is due immediately. Please call to hold a spot pending the arrival of your check made out to “Arthur Morris.” Europeans please e-mail for wire transfer details. No discounts at present other than $200 off each fee for a couple or for folks registering with a friend.

For images and complete information click here. If you would like additional info on Lake Kerkini please e-mail me at and request same.

Snow Goose, white morph braking to land, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM
Image copyright 2010: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 400: 1/2000 sec. at f/9 determined by histogram check.

(Note that 1/2000 at f/9 is equivalent to the 1/2500 at f/8 mentioned above.) In the original (below), I clipped the tip of the first primary. As detailed in Digital Basics I added canvas above quickly and easily and then repaired the wingtip as detailed in APTATS I.


Monte Brown, friend and client, is offering a used Canon EOS-1D Mark III Professional Digital Camera body in excellent condition (with only 10,000 actuations) for $1500. Includes the original box and everything that came in it. Buyer pays for insured shipping. Contact Monte by cell phone (765-744-1421) or by e-mail to

Snow Geese cornfield blast off, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM
Image copyright 2010: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens with the 1.4X II TC (hand held at 215mm) and the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 50. Evaluative metering 1 +2/3 stops: 1/8 sec. at f/20 in Tv Mode.

Here I used a 77mm 3 stop neutral density filter to allow for a low shutter speed and a wider aperture than would have been possible without the filter screwed onto the front of the lens.


“A Guide to Pleasing Blurs” by Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito is a 20,585 word, 271 page PDF illustrated with 144 different, exciting, and artistic images. The guide covers the basics of creating pleasingly blurred images, the factors that influence the degree of blurring, the use of filters in creating pleasing blurs, and a great variety of both in-the-field and Photoshop techniques that can be used to create pleasingly blurred images.

Artie and Denise teach you many different ways to move your lens during the exposure to create a variety of pleasingly blurred images of flowers and trees and water and landscapes. They will teach you to recognize situations where subject movement can be used to your advantage to create pan blurs, wind blurs, and moving water blurs. They will teach you to create zoom-blurs both in the field and during post-processing. Artie shares the techniques that he has used and developed for making blurred images of flocks of geese in flight at his beloved Bosque del Apache and Denise shares her flower blur magic as well as a variety of creative Photoshop techniques that she has developed.

With the advent of digital capture, creating blurred images has become a great and inexpensive way to go out with your camera and have fun. And while many folks think that making successful blurred images is the result of being a sloppy photographer nothing could be further from the truth. In “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs” Artie and Denise will help you to unleash your creative self.

The book is laid out in landscape format to make for easy viewing and easy reading on any decent computer monitor.

You can order your copy of “The Guide to Pleasing Blurs” PDF now for only $33 either by PayPal to or by phone: 863-692-0906. A download link will be delivered to you via e-mail within 12 hours or less (except on weekends). Please note: this book is available only as a digital file in PDF form. You will need either Adobe Acrobat Reader or Fox-it to read the file. Both are free downloads. Instructions will be included with your purchase.

Click here to view the cover.

Snow Geese, Morning Fly-Out, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM
Image copyright 2010: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens (hand held at 200mm) with the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 200. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/13 sec. at f/8 in Tv Mode.

With the wind from the north on our second morning, I brought the group to my favorite location for that difficult wind. I was surprised to find another photographer and his wife at my little known spot. It turns out that it was Bob Cameron from Sarasota, Florida; he had done his homework and learned of the spot by studying the Bosque Site Guide….. You can get yourself a copy of the Bosque Site Guide here.


Here is the gear that I used to create the images for this Bulletin:

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens

Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L II lens

Canon EF 1.4X II teleconverter

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Gitzo 3530 LS Tripod
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head
Double Bubble Spirit Level

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 complete Shopper’s Guide. You will learn to find the lowest prices, comparison shop, and help us to keep offering tons of great free info and images.

Mallards, Northern Pintails, and the Full Moon, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM
Image copyright 2010: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D MIV. ISO 400. Evaluative Metering +1 stop: 1/2500 sec. at f/5.6.

For small groups of birds in flight I recommend the use of 45-Point AAFPS and that is what I did here successfully. You can learn to better use your EOS-1D MIII, MARK IV, or 7D camera bodies by consulting our User’s Guides. Learn more here.



NOV 27, 2010. Slide program on the evening of Friday, NOV 26. 1-FULL DAY: $399. (Payment in full due upon registration.) Limit: 15/Openings: 10. Please call me at 863-221-2372 for late registration discount info and do leave a message and a call-back #. Leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris. Learn to create a variety of pleasingly blurred images of Bosques geese and cranes. Techniques covered will include pan blurs, subject motion blurs, flash blurs, zoom blurs, sunny day blurs, and lots more.

SAN DIEGO IPT: JAN 19-23, 2011.

Slide program on the evening of JAN 18. 5 Full Days: $2399 (Limit 8/Openings 1). Co-leaders Tim Grey and Todd Gustafson. See the blog for a discount on this IPT. 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 IPT: FEB 9-14, 2011.

Slide program on the evening of FEB 8. 6 Full Days: 2899. (Limit 10/Openings 4). 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 more. Please see terms and deposit info immediately below.

Terms and deposit info:

A non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold a spot on 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.

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