Remove me from this list

Birds As Art Bulletin #338

September 15, 2010

Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245  4041 Granada Drive, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855.  Telephone: 863-692-0906.  Computer fax: 877- 265-6955




Important Note: Please give the images a minute or two to load and do make sure that your security settings are not preventing you from seeing them.   Some folks simply need to click on Show (or Allow) Images on the frame of the e-mail. If you have any trouble at all viewing this Bulletin, you can access it in the Bulletin Archives here:


Managing your subscription:  If you need to unsubscribe, change e-mail addresses, or re-subscribe, it is far easier for you to manage your subscription than it is for us to do. At the bottom of the last Bulletin you received you’ll see a grey bar like this:


Sent to Unsubscribe | Update Profile | Forward to a Friend


Only it will show your e-mail address not the one for my laptop <smile>  If you wish to unsubscribe, simply click on that button.  To add a new address, click on update profile and you’ll be able to do so.  (When we attempt to manually manage folks’ subscriptions with our new distribution system it can, for lack of a better term, get us into trouble : )  If you have mysteriously stopped receiving Bulletins recently, please check your Spam Folder and your security settings.  If no luck, try subscribing again by clicking on this link on the home page:  Sign up for our free BIRDS AS ART BULLETINS!


BirdPhotographers.Net: Inspirational, Educational, & Fun.  Honest critiques done gently:  www.BirdPhotographers.Net (It Ain't Just Birds!)


The BIRDS AS ART BLOG: Great info with a personal touch, great images, and our legendary BAA educational captions:













VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are responding to a Bulletin via e-mail please take the time to delete all irrelevant text and images.  Thanks.   



Brown Bear (coastal grizzly) with Chum Salmon, Kinak Bay, Katmai National Park, AK

Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop set manually: 1/100 sec. at f/5.6 set manually.  


When this bear walked up on top of the mound with a huge Chum Salmon I about had a cow.  If folks think that the pros do not get excited when presented with a great situation they should have checked my heart rate at that moment!  To learn what I learned, see item 2 below, "What ISO?  My biggest bear boat lesson."




The recently concluded Bear Boat IPT was a huge success.  I was joined in Anchorage in early September by Monte Brown (3rd bear boat trip) and Bill Keown (2nd bear boat trip), and by Michael and Annie Katz, who had been on several IPTs as well as a few African Photo-Safaris with me.  We flew to Kodiak on the 4th and then continued by float plane to the boat that would serve as our home for the next six nights.  The first day was a bit foggy and was followed by several days of pretty darned cloudy weather and then two days of mixed clouds and sun--one with too much sun.   The last thing that you want for bear photography is blue skies and bright sun.  As the salmon runs in fall take place in creeks that are surrounded by mountains, there is no early morning or late afternoon light.  We did have a bit of drizzle here and there but for the most part we were blessed with great photo weather.   During the first three days at Geographic Harbor we saw at least 20 different bears. 



Brown Bear (coastal grizzly), blonde cub, Geographic Harbor, Katmai National Park, AK

Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 1000. Evaluative metering +1 stop set manually: 1/160 sec. at f/6.3.   


This was one of two cubs that stole our hearts.   They were a bit on the timid side and came very close to us only this once for a few seconds.   Again I was very nervous....  To view this cute little cub with its darker sibling and its mom check out my BPN post here.  And do surf around the Wildlife Image Critique Forum when you visit; there is some great stuff going on there.




Then we headed up to Kinak Bay and as we motored up the creek in the 25 foot skiff we were thrilled to see a ton of large, fresh run salmon in the fast-flowing stream.  But after speaking to bear biologist  Stephen Stringham we learned that the huge salmon run had started four days ago and that the bears were--for the most part--sated.   Still, that afternoon and the following morning we had several good chances on bears catching really big salmon (see two in this Bulletin). 




Brown Bear (coastal grizzly), yearling with head of sockeye salmon, Geographic Harbor, Katmai National Park, AK

Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens hand held with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops set manually: 1/1000 sec. at f/4.   


Annie Katz named this 1 1/2 year old bear "Princess" and joked about taking her home to Aspen as a pet and walking her down Main Street on a leash.  The 800 f/5.6/400 DO combo was ideal for the bear boat. 


Because of a huge minus low tide on our morning at Kinak, we had to hike in from a considerable distance.  At one point we needed to follow a bear trail well away from the creek and up over a ridge.  As we crested the ridge, we were confronted with a gorgeous scene: a beautiful sand flat with some bears on it, the creek, some green, deep water, vegetation covered hillsides, rocks covered with the yellow seaweed that pops when you step on it, and fog enshrouded mountains.   "Get out the shorter lenses," I said, "we will be here for a while."  (Thanks to Monte Brown for the loan of his 70-200 f/4: I had inadvertently left mine on the boat.)  I created the four frame stitched pano but Bill Keown, who is an expert landscape photographer, created what was probably the image of the trip by working wider and going vertical to create his stitched pano.   His version, which I will share with you in the next Bulletin, was much taller than mine and included the fog-covered mountain tops that put it in a league by itself.


Brown Bear family on sandbar, Kinak Bay, Katmai National Park, AK

Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens hand held (horizontally at 78mm) with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops off the sandbar set manually: 1/100 sec. at f/4.   


This was a five frame stitched panoramic.   In Photoshop, File/Automate/Photomerge and be sure to select "Reposition Only."


In spite of the really big salmon at Kinak we decided to head back to Geographic Harbor to enjoy the virtually non-stop action. The days faded into one another with memories of bears and salmon and friends and great food and desserts (thanks to Sherry, the cook).   Before we knew it the float plane was on its way to pick us up for the return trip to Kodiak.  To read the story of our return and see some more great photos including one of Monte and a very large bear, check out the September 11 Blog post here.  (Careful readers will learn the pro trick for getting the right exposure when photographing Brown Bear.)


Important Note:  Robert O'Toole and I are putting together a killer 8-DAY/7 NIGHTS ON THE BOAT bear boat trip for next August that should include cubs nursing and playing, lots of adult bears (with bears catching salmon a distinct possibility), two species of pufffin, a visit to a huge Black-legged Kittiwake colony, and the best sea otter photography you could ever dream of).  Five of the 12 slots are already spoken for.  We will need ten for the trip to run with two leaders.  If you are seriously interested and are a happy camper (or a happy camper couple), please e-mail me here and ask to be placed on the interested list.  We will begin accepting deposits in about one week. 



Brown Bear (coastal grizzly) with Pink Salmon, Katmai National Park, AK

Image copyright 2010/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop set manually: 1/100 sec. at f/5.6.  


This time it was a large Pink Salmon that set my heart pounding.  See item next for the lesson I learned here.




I am often asked, "What it the highest ISO you will use?"  My answer is always the same: "I will not hesitate to set as high an ISO as I need to get the shutter speed that I need."  Well, on the bear trip I did not follow my own advice twice and was very lucky that it did not cost me big time.  Notice that with the two bear holding big salmon images above that I was at ISO 800 and a shutter speed of only 1/100 second.  With the 800's  killer new four-stop IS system I have no problem creating sharp images of still subjects.  But a bear with a fresh caught salmon is anything but still. I created about ten images of the bear with the big Chum Salmon and six of the bear with the Pink Salmon.  Well more than 80% of those images were not at all sharp due to subject movement.  In most cases, the movement of the bear was the problem.   In the two images published images here, I was exceedingly lucky in that both the bear and the salmon held still for an instant; that, just at the right time Smile emoticon.  Ironically in the first sequence, just a moment before the bear caught the Chum Salmon, I had switched from ISO 1600 down to ISO 800.   From now on I will follow my own advice: always set an ISO high enough to give you a shutter speed capable of stopping the expected action, in this case, a bear walking with a big salmon....


Snow Geese, Blizzard in Blue, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM

Image copyright 1994/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/5.6L IS lens (my beloved old "toy lens") with the EOS-A2 body.  Fuji Velvia pushed one stop to ISO 100.  Evaluative metering +1/2/ stop: 1/15 sec. at f/5.6.  


This was my first BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year honored image.  I made it just ten days after the death of my wife Elaine.   At that time, I was pretty much in the dark when it came to creating pleasingly blurred images.  With the advent of digital, I have learned a ton.   On both the Bosque IPT (3 openings) and the Blurry Day in Bosque 1-DAY IPT, you will learn to create pleasing blurs, and if you remember to ask I will even teach you how to create blizzard in blue-type images with digital.  (It was easy with film on cloudy pre-dawn mornings.) 




A BLURRY DAY in BOSQUE del APACHE 2010 IPT:  NOV 27, 2010.  Slide program on the evening of Friday, NOV 26.  1-FULL DAY:  $399.  (Payment in full is due upon registration.) Limit: 15/Openings: 11.  Leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris.


Join Denise and Artie for a day of learning about and creating pleasingly blurred images.  They are nearly finished completing their Guide to Pleasing Blurs; it should be available before the end of September.  Denise is the very creative moderator of the Out of the Box Forum on BPN (BirdPhotographers.Net) and Artie as you all know very well is Mr. Famous Bird Photographer Smile emoticon


There will be an introductory slide program on the evening of  Friday, November 26 at 7pm sharp; meet at K-Bob's.  Artie and Denise will go over the basic principles that separate pleasing blurs from lousy, out-of-focus images and will instruct you on a wide variety of techniques that you can use to create pleasingly blurred images. You will learn to create motion blurs (including slow shutter speed blurs, extreme slow shutter speed blurs, pan blurs and subject-movement- only blurs), zoom blurs (in the field and in Photoshop), camera shake blurs, camera movement blurs, wind blurs, flash blurs and even blurs in bright sun--a polarizer or an ND filter is usually required for the latter.  Heck, we may even do some Fractalius blurs!


There will be two guided in-the-field sessions on Saturday: 6am till 10:30 am & 3:00 pm till after sunset.  And there will be a break after lunch.  This one will likely fill very quickly.


Note: there are still three slots open on the Bosque IPT that features lots of great leaders including Robert O'Toole and Denise Ippolito.  See last item for details.    



Snow Geese, extreme blur, Bosque del Apache, NWR, San Antonio, NM

Image copyright 2007/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 600mm f/4L IS lens with the EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 50.  Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1 second (yes, one full second) at f/22.   


This extreme blur was inspired by Robert O'Toole.   While I did pan with the moving flock I was conscious of the position of the big cottonwood in the frame when I pushed the shutter button.  You will soon be able to learn everything that Denise and I know about creating pleasing blurs in our "Guide to Pleasing Blurs."  Coming very soon! 


You can check out two of my favorite blurs from the bear trip in BPN's Out of the Box forum here and here.  And be sure to tool around the forum to see the great creative stuff that folks are coming up with.  The current weekly them is Insects. 





Burrowing Owl, Cape Coral, FL

Image copyright 2006/Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 600mm f/4L IS lens with the 2X II TC and the EOS-1Ds Mark II.ISO 400.  Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/320 sec. at f/8.  


I have a perfect record with this species on the SW FLA IPTs; on the 7-DAY trip below, we will spend at least two afternoons with this endearing species.




Due to a mix-up with the dates of a speaking appearance at the Winter Wings Festival in Klamath Falls, OR next February, the dates for the SW Florida President's Week IPT have been changed.  TAT (thanks a ton) to Geri Georg, Wayne Guerke, and Louise Burky for graciously agreeing to re-schedule. Here is the new and correct information: 


SW FLA IPT: FEB  9-14, 2011.  Slide program on the evening of FEB 8. 6 Full Days: $2899. (Limit 10/Openings 7).  Escape winter's icy grip to enjoy a wide array of Florida's tame birds, many in full breeding plumage.  Subjects will include herons, egrets, Wood Stork, both pelicans, shorebirds, gulls, terns, skimmers, raptors, and more.  Please see item last for terms and deposit information.  




4th Annual Flight School Goes to Bosque Flight School Photography Workshops

With thousands of migratory birds in flight daily at Bosque Del Apache, what better site for Flight School Photography workshops? Previous years workshops were a huge success, so once again, Flight School Photography returns to Bosque. We are anticipating improved conditions and even more outstanding photographic opportunities than last year. Flight School Photography will be featuring two workshops in November 2010. Each will be led by expert bird photographer Jim Neiger, who has perfected techniques for photographing birds in flight using large telephoto lenses, hand held. The focus of these workshops will be learning and practicing Jim’s hand held, long lens techniques for photographing birds in flight and in action.


Sandhill Crane Landing with fall color background, Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM
Image copyright © 2009: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography  

The workshops will be held before the Festival of the Cranes and Thanksgiving. They will offer spectacular fall color that offers beautiful backgrounds for your photos and adds majesty to the already spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Going early also means there will be fewer photographers. Each workshop will include 3 hours of classroom instruction on the first morning followed by a welcome lunch and an afternoon photography session. The two remaining days include morning and afternoon photography sessions each lasting three to four hours. The workshops are limited to 6 participants. 

Snow Goose (blue morph), landing approach, Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM
Image copyright © 2009: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography  

Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is located in Socorro County, New Mexico along the Rio Grande. A series of canals from the river carry water to various areas of the refuge. These waters are then managed to create numerous shallow ponds and pools. In addition, corn, alfalfa and other crops are grown in the nearby fields, and every year, the farmers leave some of the crops to feed the thousands of migratory birds that flock there. The water, food and shelter create a haven for the thousands of birds that call Bosque del Apache home during the fall and winter. Yearly visitors include Sandhill Cranes, many species of geese and ducks, bald eagles, hawks, and wading birds. In addition, Bosque is home to 377 species of birds throughout the year, so anything is possible.

The thousands of Sandhill Cranes, ducks and geese in flight provide spectacular opportunities for awesome flight images using Jim’s techniques. Jim is known for his consistent production of amazing flight images. A Flight School Photography Workshop is a must for all serious nature photographers.


Snow Goose, early morning light, Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM
Image copyright © 2009: Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

Workshop FSP-B1: November 10, 2010 thru November 12, 2010: $999. Limit 6, Openings 2


*** Late registration discount now available!  Call Jim for details.  407-247-5200  ***  

Workshop FSP-B2: November 14, 2010 thru November 16, 2010: $999.  Limit 6 Openings 2


*** Late registration discount now available!  Call Jim for details.  407-247-5200  ***  

A $499 non-refundable deposit is required. The balance is due 15 days before the start date of the workshop. If you are unable to attend the workshop after paying the balance, the balance payment will be refunded ONLY if your spot can be filled, on short notice, from the waiting list. All workshop payments must be made by check or money order. Credit cards are not accepted.

You may contact Jim Neiger of Flight School Photography via phone or email. Cell phone: 407-247-5200. E-mail: Visit the website: Flight School Photography.





 Leaving the US March 29, 2011, returning April 15: $11,999 double occupancy


Travel with Gustafson Photo Safari (GPS) to India.  Tigers are the main event, but India offers much more, including 9th century temples, wild elephants, one horned rhino, ungulates and great bird photography.  Our host is closely tied to Project Tiger which puts us in great situations for tiger photography.  Experience 16 days of action packed photography in the most dramatic locations at the exact right time of year for only $11,999.00 double occupancy. 

Indian Tiger,  Kanha, India

Image Copyright 2010: Todd Gustafson/Gustafson Photo Safari

GPS is also offering a shorter, more “Tiger Intensive” safari for those who can’t get away for the entire 16 day tour: 


Leaving the US March 29, 2011, returning April 15: $8,999 double occupancy

Request the full color PDF for both trips via e-mail Watch our 2009 HD trip video to see what is waiting for you in India here.

Todd's great safari photo guide: The Photographers Guide to the Safari Experience.


Black-necked Stork,  Baradpur, India

Image Copyright 2010: Todd Gustafson/Gustafson Photo Safari


Jungle Owlet,  Bandhavgarh, India

Image Copyright 2010: Todd Gustafson/Gustafson Photo Safari









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; see details below.) Limit: 10/Openings: 3.  Co-leaders: Robert O’Toole, Jim Heupel, and Denise Ippolito.  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. 


A BLURRY DAY in BOSQUE del APACHE 2010 IPT:  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: 13.  Leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris.


SAN DIEGO IPT: JAN 19-23, 2011.  Slide program on the evening  of JAN 18.   5 Full Days: $2399  (Limit 8/Opening 7) 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 8).  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 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: 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. 


2010 & 2010 & 2011 Galapagos Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPTs/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience: July 2010 & July 2011: two weeks on the boat (Limits: 12/Sold out). 


If you are a happy camper and would like to have your name(s) placed on a waiting list or either the 2010 or 2011 trip or on the the seriously interested list for the 2012 trip, please e-mail us at 


ROBERT O'TOOLE PHOTOGRAPHY HOMER BALD EAGLE INSTRUCTIONAL 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/or you are a truly happy camper and would like your name added to the BAA Friends List, please e-mail me at and include a short note.  


MIDWAY ATOLL IPT, April 2012, (from Oahu, HI). 7-FULL DAYS OF PHOTOGRAPHY.  (Sold Out.)


Best and great picture-making,




Note: Arthur Morris has been a paid Canon contract photographer, part of the Explorers of Light program, since 1996 and continues in that role today.  Hunt's Photo of Boston, MA is a BAA sponsor as is Delkin Devices.  

Sent to << Test Email Address >>. Unsubscribe | Update Profile | Forward to a Friend
Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp