June 26th, 2013


  • Fractastic
  • How Cool?
  • What’s Not to Love?
  • Cheryl Slechta
  • Fracting Fun
  • Holland 2014
  • Bosque Prayers
  • Bosque del Apache 2013 IPT: β€œThe Complete Bosque Experience.”
  • Affiliate Links
  • Used Camera Gear
  • IPT Info

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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 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.

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Johnstone’s Whistling Frog Fract, Image courtesy of and copyright 2013: Andrew Mclachlan

How Cool?

How cool is this image? Andrew is currently working on an eGuide to frog photography.

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Tulips and path Fract, Keukenhof Gardens, Lisee, Holland. Image courtesy of and copyright 2013: Denise Ippolito.

What’s Not to Love?

Here I love both the Fracted effect and the curved leading lines of the path.

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Summer House, Kanapaha Garden Fract, Image courtesy of and copyright 2013: Cheryl Slechta.

Cheryl Slechta

Special thanks to Cheryl Slechta for her skillful proofreading of the final draft of this eGuide and for her help with the Fractalius interface. Her images including the one above are a fine addition to the guide.

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A Bosque Snow Geese Main Impoundment Fract, Image copyright 2013: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Please, please, please click on this one to appreciate the larger version.

Fracting Fun

After I bought a license for Fractalius for denise for Christmas several years ago she taught me everything that I know about this great plug-in. Please know that above all else Fracting is fun. This eGuide teaches you to apply the Fract on its own layer and details the addition and use of Layer Masks to reveal parts of the original image below. As I did with the Bosque image above. Note: this Fracted image is not included in the guide.

From Denise:

Thanks to Arthur for the great job he did editing the guide. He spent many hours going over each section making sure that everything was just right. Without artie’s help this guide would not have been possible.

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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.

Bosque Prayers

When visiting Bosque you should spend your time praying for weather: clouds, fog, overcast, snow, or even rain–it rarely rains hard in the Rio Grande Valley, are all to preferred to blue skies. Northwest winds in the morning are death. South or east winds in the morning are to die for.

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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.

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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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

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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.

6 comments to BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #443

  • William Brown

    Can Fractastic be used in Elements 9

  • Is it possible to use Fractastic on the Mac??


    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Larry, As above, “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.”

  • Richard fisher

    Great newsletter (again). On a 1Dx, how fast is the delkin 700 vs1000 speed cards. Do you notice differences in how fast the buffer fills?

    Is the Delkin 700 similar to the Lexar 700 and the Sandisk Extreme?

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Not sure on the comparison. There is no advantage to the more expensive 1000X Delkin cards unless you are shooting lots of video. I have never filled the buffer on the 1D X with the Delkin 64gb Delkin card… best, artie