August 19th, 2014


  • Exposure Lesson: Plus Three Stops Off the Dreary Sky
  • Festival of the Cranes Early Morning Photography In-the-Field Workshops
  • Bosque del Apache 2014 A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Creative Photography Instructional Photo-Tour
  • Bosque del Apache Two-Part Photography Seminar
  • A Love Affair With Bosque (free program)
  • Finally, the Important Registration Information
  • The Art of Flower Photography
  • Jim Neiger Flight School Photography/2014 Alaska Bald Eagle Workshops, Haines, Alaska
  • IPT Updates and Info
  • Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART


This image was created on the UK Puffins and Gannets IPT with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender, an external Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, (with the internal TC in place at 737mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +3 stops off the dreary grey sky: 1/160 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. AWB.

Thanks again to Jean-luc Vaillant for letting me borrow his 2-4 for the day. Note that adding an external 1.4X III TC to the 200-400 with the internal TC engaged gets you out to 784mm.

Central sensor/AI Servo-Surround/Rear Focus AF on the puffin’s eye and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Exposure Lesson: Plus Three Stops Off the Dreary Sky

Fact: on cloudy days, most folks will under-expose all of their images. As I have said and written a thousand times, when the sun is out at full strength, the meters in digital camera bodies are pretty smart. When it is cloudy or very early or very late in the day, the meters in digital camera bodies are dumb! And the lighter the overall tonality of the framed image, the dumber they are. It is easy to learn to create perfectly exposed images on dreary days. Here’s how:

Start by metering the dreary grey sky, add three stops of light to that, set the resulting exposure manually, re-frame the original image, take one photograph, and check and evaluate the histogram. Ideally your histogram will be well to the right. If the sky is included in the image, you are fine with a very few blinkies there but not on the subject. Note: Nikon folks should begin by adding 2 to 2 1/3 stops to the meter reading off the grey sky (and add a bit more light if needed)..

Here is how that would work for beginning photographers with the image above. Work in Av mode and choose an aperture of f/9 (stopped down 1/3 stop from wide open). Point the lens at the grey sky at zero, that is, with no exposure compensation. The meter would read 1/1250 sec. at f/9. Then go to Manual mode and set that exposure. Now add 3 stops of light by lowering the shutter speed nine clicks. They would wind up at 1/160 sec. at f/9. When they re-frame the image with the puffin exactly where they want it, the meter will read something like +1 2/3 stops on the analogue exposure scale in the viewfinder because of the influence of the puffin’s dark upperparts’ feathers on the meter. But the exposure will still be +3 stops off the sky and will be correct for the puffin and will yield clean, bright WHITEs and BLACKs with more than adequate detail.

Experienced photographers would get to +3 off the sky a lot faster by starting in Manual mode, setting the desired aperture (in this case f/9), pointing the lens at the grey sky, and then adjusting the shutter speed so that the analogue scale showed +3. Done deal. Again, Nikon folks should start by adding 2 to 2 1/3 stops to the meter reading off the dreary sky (and add a bit more light if needed).

Learn more about getting the right exposure by studying the “Exposure Simplified” section of The Art of Bird Photography II (ABP II: 916 pages, 900+ images on CD only). To take things to the next level, master exposure theory as detailed in Chapter 3 of the softcover The Art of Bird Photography, “Making Good Exposures.” Best advice: save $10 by ordering the two-book bundle.


Bald Eagle vertical bank shot/Image copyright 2013: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

Be Sure

Be sure to scroll down in this Bulletin to see more of Jim Niger’s great Bald Eagle images. Click here to see Jim’s Haines, AK Bald Eagle gallery.


The early morning in-the-field Bosque workshops offer lots of great instruction from two great leaders at a low price. Do join us for all four! And then sign up and hang around for the Creative Bosque IPT–see the details on that below.

Festival of the Cranes Early Morning Photography In-the-Field Workshops

Festival of the Cranes Early Morning In-the-Field Photography Workshops: 5:50-10:30am. Limit 16. NOV 20/21/22 & 23: $125/session. Please see the important registration information below.

Join fulltime professional photographers Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART and Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure for four 1/2 hours of fun and learning at the refuge. You will learn how to create pleasingly blurred images in the low predawn light, to spot the good situations, to understand the effects of wind speed and direction on bird (especially in flight) photography, to photograph individual cranes in flight, to see and understand the light, to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, and to design pleasing images. In addition you will learn and live Artie’s early morning Bosque del Apache strategies, strategies based on over two decades of experience at the refuge. This is a caravan event and a refuge pass will be provided. Dress with layers for warmth and bring snacks and plenty of water. Workshop leaves sharply at 6:00 AM. This workshop is being offered on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Combining one or more all of the Early Morning Photography In-the-Field Workshops immediately above with the Bosque del Apache 2014 A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART “Creative Photography Instructional Photo-Tour” (IPT) immediately below and/or the Bosque del Apache Photography Two-Part Seminar (scroll down for details) is a fabulous and economical way to maximize your educational and photographic opportunities on a 2014 Bosque visit. Why not take advantage of these great relatively inexpensive events and learn from two of the world’s most talented, most creative, most caring, and most respected photographic educators, educators with a combined 26 years of Bosque experience?

Please note: the 4-DAY Bosque del Apache 2014 BIRDS AS ART/A Creative Adventure IPT (NOV 29–afternoon photo session through DEC 3–morning session is sold out with a waiting list as is the BIRDS AS ART Bosque del Apache/Canon EOS Destination Workshop (DEC 5-7, 2014).


Join Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris for two great days of photography, fun, and learning at one of our favorite soul places. We will surely be taking you out of the box on this workshop. Please click on the card to enjoy a larger version.

Bosque del Apache 2014 A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART “Creative Photography Instructional Photo-Tour.” (IPT). NOV 24-25, 2014. 2-FULL DAYS: $729. Leaders: Denise Ippolito & Arthur Morris. Introductory Slide program: 7:00pm on Sunday 11/23.

Get Out of Your Box!

The Creative Bosque IPT is perfect for folks who want to learn to think outside the box, to create new and different images. This workshop is the perfect add-on for folks who are planning on attending the Festival of the Cranes. Learn to unleash your creative juices at the wondrous Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in San Antonio, New Mexico with two great leaders including the amazingly talented and creative Denise Ippolito. In-the-field instruction will include tips on gear set-up, on creating a variety of pleasing blurs, on getting the right exposure, and on designing pleasing images. And lots more. From vertical pan blurs to subject motion blurs to zoom blurs to multiple exposures we will cover it all. If conditions are perfect, we will not hesitate to take advantage of them to do some traditional bird photography. This workshop will include an inspirational introductory slide program on Sunday evening, 11/23, after dinner on your own, two morning and two afternoon photography sessions, all lunches, a digital workflow and Photoshop session after lunch on Monday, and an image critiquing session after lunch on Tuesday.

A $329 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 7/25/2014. 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.


Everyone will learn a ton at the 2-part seminar! Design your personalized Bosque education by picking and choosing from the great events detailed in this Bulletin.

Bosque del Apache Photography Two-Part Seminar

Bosque del Apache Photography Two-Part Seminar. Thursday, NOV 20, 2014. 2:00-4:30 pm at the refuge visitor center with Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito: $50.00. Please see the important registration information below.

Part I: Bosque del Apache Photography Basics

Artie and Denise will cover the basics of lens selection, tripod and head selection, image design, getting the right exposure, autofocus options, and the relationship between light direction and wind direction, and will give an overview of the best photographic opportunities at the refuge. Artie and Denise have more than 26 years of experience photographing Bosque and count it high on their list of soul places.

Part II: Creative Photography at Bosque del Apache

Artie and Denise will teach you to think outside the box when photographing at the refuge (and elsewhere!). You will learn to create a variety of pleasingly blurred images by using slow shutter speeds, by photographing moving subjects, and by zooming or by panning with the lens during the exposure. They will teach you to take advantage of spectacular lighting and weather conditions. They will also cover post processing creative techniques.


This Sandhill Crane image was the third frame in a sequence of about six. It was created in the same second as the image above, also with with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 1.4x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop off the white frosted grasses: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode.

One sensor to the left of the central sensor/AI Servo/Surround Rear Focus AF just caught the top of the bird’s neck just behind the head–active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version. This is the full frame original capture.

Join us at Bosque and learn where, how, and exactly when to make images like this on a consistent basis.

“Love Affair with Bosque.” Sponsored by Canon. Friday, NOV 21, 2014; 1:00 to 2:40pm. Free, at the Bodega Restaurant, Socorro.

A slide program by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Limit 200. Please see the important registration information below.

Arthur Morris first visited Bosque del Apache Refuge in December, 1992 while on sabbatical with his late-wife Elaine While leading his first Bosque del Apache photographic workshop in December, 1994, quite soon after Elaine’s death, he created two iconic Bosque images. His “Blizzard in Blue” was honored in the prestigious 1998 BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. “Fire in the Mist” was similarly honored in the 2001 BBC competition and soon thereafter was featured as wrap-around cover art on the coffee table book, Life on the Earth, a celebration of 30 years of the best images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competitions. Those two images laid the foundation for his more than two decade love affair with the refuge. He has returned every year since then at the Thanksgiving season while leading BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tours. In addition, he has two February visits along with two September visits, the latter visits in conjunction with the Bosque del Apache Open Windows Volunteer Program that he founded. Join us for Artie’s photographic celebration of his “Love Affair with Bosque.”

Finally, the Important Registration Information 🙂

Warning: if you do not read this information carefully you will likely screw up and experience some degree of disappointment. Forewarned is forearmed (praemonitus, praemunitus in Latin).

The best way to register for one or more of the Festival of the Cranes Early Morning Photography In-the-Field Workshops, the Bosque del Apache Photography Two-Part Seminar, and/or the free “Love Affair with Bosque” program is to use the registration button at

Here’s the rub: Online early registration for Friends of the Bosque members only will begin on Tuesday September 2, 2014 at 9:00 AM (MDT). Non-member online registration will begin a day later on Wednesday September 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM (MDT). E-mail confirmation of your registration, your receipt and your schedule will be sent automatically when you register online. Your schedule will be your ticket.

What to do?

If you wish to be assured of registering for the events that you wish to attend I recommend strongly that you click here right now and become a member of The Friends of the Bosque. Friends of the Bosque is a non-profit group that was organized in 1993 to support the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and to promote appreciation and conservation of wildlife and habitat through environmental education and natural history experiences. I have been a member for many years. Joining the Friends group now will ensure that you can take advantage of the priority registration process that is reserved that is for their valued members on September 2 at 9:00am Mountain Daylight Time. Learn more about Friends of the Bosque here.

After you join, set your alarm to ring at 8:55am Mountain Daylight Time on September 2, 2014. As you might surmise, we expect that all three festival events will sell out quickly.

The Bosque Site Guide

If you cannot make any of the events above for whatever reasons it would behoove you to get yourself a copy of our Bosque del Apache Site Guide. Simply put, I share everything that I have learned about his world-class photographic location with you. BAA Site Guides are the next best thing to attending an IPT. See the rest of the Site Guide collection here.

The Art of Flower Photography


The Art of Flower Photography, a 203 page eBook/a link to the PDF will be sent via e-mail: $29.00.

The Art of Flower Photography

Click here if you missed the recent eBook announcement.

Ken Kovak: I have been working my way through the “Art of Flower Photography” and it is both a feast for the eyes and quite informative.

Art Buesing: Artie and Denise have outdone themselves with “The Art of Flower Photography.” Gorgeous photos with careful explanations of the production techniques for camera and computer. A valuable addition to my photography library!


Bald Eagle top shot/Image copyright 2013: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

Jim Neiger Flight School Photography/2014 Alaska Bald Eagle Workshop, Haines, Alaska

Flight School Photography introduces a newly developed workshop to take place at the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve near Haines, Alaska. Each fall, hundreds of Bald Eagles gather along the Chilkat river to feed on spawned out salmon that are accessible due to the open running water. A natural phenomenon in the area warms the water in the river and prevents it from freezing. More than three thousand Bald Eagles congregate here each fall to feed on the Salmon in the shallow open water streams flowing thru the river valley. Towering snow covered mountains surround the river valley providing magnificent backgrounds for our Bald Eagle images. The Eagles soar over the valley and swoop down to attack each other as they battle for their share of the Salmon from the river. We will have front row seats for this spectacular show. If you like Bald Eagles in action and gorgeous scenery, this is a workshop that should not be missed. While our focus will be on photographing the Bald Eagles, we will also have opportunities to photograph the magnificent scenery and other wildlife. Possibilities include bear, moose, and other species of birds.


Adult Bald Eagles squabbling/Image copyright 2013: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

The workshop, conducted by expert bird photographer, Jim Neiger, will take place in early November of 2014. Jim has perfected unique techniques for photographing birds in flight using large telephoto lenses, hand held. The focus of the workshops will be to learn Jim’s hand held, long lens techniques for photographing birds in flight and in action. Jim is known for his consistent production of amazing flight images and images of the most desirable subjects. His Flight School Photography Workshops are a must for any serious nature photographer. The workshop will last 6-days and include a four hour classroom session and 5 days of photography in the field. The workshops will be limited to six participants so that everyone may receive personalized instruction in the field.


Incoming Bald Eagle/Image copyright 2013: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

Workshop Dates

Workshop AK-2: November 2nd – November 7th, 2014

Workshop Itinerary

Day 1 (afternoon/evening ): Arrive in Juneau, Alaska which is the base location for the classroom portion of the workshop. There will be a four hour classroom session from 2:00pm to 6:00pm in the hotel meeting room. The classroom instruction will focus on using hand held techniques for photographing birds in flight to prepare participants for the subsequent photography sessions.

Days 2: Morning ferry ride to Haines, Alaska where we will check in to our hotel and spend the afternoon exploring the small town and getting ready for the in the field portion of the workshop.

Days 3-5: In the field photography sessions in the Bald Eagle Preserve.

Day 6: We will spend the day photographing in the preserve followed by an evening ferry ride back to Juneau.


Bald Eagle carrying natural salmon carcass/Image copyright 2013: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

More Info

For more info or questions on this workshop please contact Jim Neiger of Flight School Photography by phone at 407-247-5200 or by e-mail. Jim will be happy to provide you with any additional information.

Learn more here.

Flight School Photography website.

You can enjoy a gallery of Jim’s spectacular Haine’s Bald Eagle images here.

IPT Updates

The 2015 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

There are now just 2 slots left on the 2015 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT; if you are seriously interested in joining us on this truly wonderful trip it would be best not to tarry…. Scroll down here for complete details. artie and denise

Nickerson Beach Update

From Greg Gulbransen: Lots of skimmers feeding chicks out front in the open at Nickerson. Lots of photo ops. Next week will be perfect. For info on my 2-DAY trip click here and scroll down to near the bottom. artie

2015 Palouse IPT #2

The first 2015 Palouse IPT is sold out with a long waiting list. There are now just 3 slots left on the Palouse IPT #2. Scroll down here for complete details.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20% plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. You can see the additional listings here. Immediately below is today’s featured item, a new listing.

Used Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

Walt Anderson is offering a used Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body in near-mint condition for $2899.00. The sale includes an extra battery the original box, and all cables and manuals. The seller will pay insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Your new gear will be shipped after your check clears. Payment may also be made via credit card plus a 2% fee.

Please contact Walt via e-mail or by phone at 847-438-3587 (office) or 847-721-8319 (cell) (Central Daylight Time). Walt, a long time friend, is the inventor of the Better Beamer Flash Extender, the very first BAA mail order item. When it comes to taking care of his gear, Walt is fastidious.

The 1D IV is a 1.3 crop factor camera body that was my workhorse camera body for about 4 years not so long ago. I owned four of them in total. It is Denise Ippolito’s camera body of choice for birds and wildlife. They were selling used just a few months ago for more than $4,000 so Walt’s 1D IV is priced to sell quickly.

Your Help Is Needed

Sales for the first half of August, 2014 via our BIRDS AS ART B&H affiliate links have been microscopically abysmal at best. If you need to purchase some new camera gear, please remember to use either our B&H logo link below or one of the product-specific links in the blog or the Bulletins. All should feel free to write me via e-mailSupport the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!


Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, ay, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. 🙂

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