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DECEMBER 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
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Thanks to Denise Ippolito for the note card designs (and images).  Be sure to check out her blog here.  Note: there are two openings on Denise's Barnegat Workshop: Saturday December 18, 2010.  That's soon! 
From now until January 7th, 2012, BIRDS AS ART will be glad to include a free personalized gift card with any order upon request.  With products that will be shipped, we will print your card roughly 4 X 6" and include it with your order.  For PDFs sent via e-mail, we will  insert the card into the e-mail.  It will look like this:
For phone orders, Jim will be glad to transcribe your short message.   For PayPal orders, you can type the text of your message into the box that they provide for comments.   Be sure to specify the card that you would like: Rose, Shorebird, X-mas Tree, or Menorah.   If you would like a gift card sent with an order made through the BAA On-line Store, please e-mail Jim the text to within one hour of placing your order.  Be sure to include your order number and again, be sure to mention the card that you would like: Rose, Shorebird, X-mas Tree, or Menorah. 
I have been using Lens Clens to clean my gear for about 15 years.  Their  #1 version is designed for coated optics.  That is all that I use and will be the only Lens Clens product that we carry.  I try to keep a bottle on my desk to clean the laptop screen, a bottle in my X-tra Hand vest for use in the field, a bottle in the Think Tank Rolling Bag that holds an amazing amount of my gear most of the time (including the time that I spend on planes), and a bottle in my laptop bag and my luggage for emergency use, i.e., when I can't find one of the other bottles (which is often).
In the field I put a few drops of Lens Clens on the absorbent cotton that I keep in my vest, clean the front element of the lens that needs cleaning, and then use a second dry piece of cotton to polish the surface.  If I am cleaning the lenses inside at home, I use an old cotton undershirt.  If I am in a motel I use a dirty cotton undershirt.    I moisten one part of the shirt, clean the front element, and then use a dry portion of the shirt to polish it. 
On rare occasion, I actually do clean the outer surfaces of camera bodies and my lenses, especially if I have abused them with dirt or mud.  Same deal except that I put more of the Lens Clens fluid on the the undershirt than I do when cleaning the front elements of the lenses.  I also keep a few Q-tips in my vest.  I moisten one end of a Q-tip to clean the viewfinder.  Then I polish it with the dry end.  Lastly I break the cotton off one end, wrap some cotton or a corner of the undershirt around the shaft, and finish polishing the viewfinder at the same time as I get into the corners.   For the laptop screen its moisten the undershirt time again. 
Not only is the stuff designed to be 100% safe with all the glass and all the surfaces of your gear, it will get your stuff cleaner than you have ever seen it since it came out of the box.  And it dries in seconds.  (Do not of course be tempted to use it on the sensor of your camera; that's what Lens Pens and Sensor Scopes are for.)
I began to investigate the possibility of adding Lens Clens to our mail order line-up as it met the two major criteria: I use it all the time and it works. The final straw was a comment by IPT veteran Myer Bornstein at Nickerson Beach after I loaned him a few drops (generous fellow that I am Smile emoticon ; actually, a few drops is all it takes).  He said something to the effect that the Lens Clens worked about a hundred times better than the stuff he had been using.
Lens Clens product shot, Indian Lake Estates, FL
Image Copyright 2010:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 24-105mm IS L lens (hand held at 70mm) with the EOS-1D Mark IV.  ISO 400.  Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/50 sec. at f/11.
Even with what seems like a nothing image there are lots of lessons to learn:  1: Be creative, all the time.  2: Avoid making images indoors if you can do them outdoors. Why?  Natural light is nicer and light levels are higher during the daytime.  I took one of the two cases of Lens Clens out to the driveway....  3: Know your gear.  With the lens that I was using I knew that sharp at 1/50 sec. with a bit of extra d-o-f was child's play. 
We are pleased to announce that we have two cases of Lens Clens available as follows:
One 1 3/4 ounce bottle:                            $10.99 plus $7.00 S&H to all US address via Priority Mail  =                 $17.99
Two 1 3/4 ounce bottles:                            $9.99 each plus $7.00 S&H to all US address via Priority Mail  =        $26.98
Three or more 1 3/4 ounce bottles            $8.99 each plus $7.00 S&H to all US address via Priority Mail  = you do the math Smile emoticon
A bottle or three would be the perfect holiday gift for any photographer.
Fall Color rainbow blur, shot, Indian Lake Estates, FL
Image Copyright 2010:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens with the EOS-1D Mark IV.  ISO 50. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/4 sec. at f/14.

With the recent cold snaps, the single deciduous tree in my driveway had some nice fall color a few days ago. I had wanted to go down to the lake that morning to try for some birds but it was 100% foggy. By 10am it had brightened just a bit so I popped a Delkin 32gb flash card into one of my Mark IV bodies, mounted the 70-200 f/4L IS lens on it, and made the short trip to the end of my driveway.  I made about 60 images and kept one.  Creating pleasing blurs is like playing the lottery.  For this one I did a diagonal pan blur with a bit of jiggle on the way down.  To learn this technique and dozens more, check out A Guide to Pleasing Blurs.
Below are links to some of our most popular products.  Each would make an ideal gift for the photographer in your life. 
Lens Clens: see immediately above Smile emoticon
Lens Pen Combo Kit:  Use the small Lens Pen to clean your sensor and the large one to clean the rear elements of your teleconverters.  Purchase includes our free detailed instructions (sent by e-mail) for safely cleaning your sensor.
BLUBB (Big Lens Ultimate BeanBag): does your photographer struggle trying to make sharp images while photographing from their vehicle with a big super-telephoto lens?  The BLUBB is the perfect solution.  (Recommended for lenses of 500mm or more.)
The Art of Bird Photography Two Book Bundle: For photographers who are willing to study and see their skill levels increase by leaps and bounds. 
NEOS Overshoes:  With winter coming, this is the perfect gift for those who will be out photographing in the snow.   We have just added the insulated Navigators to our line-up.  Good to -20 F!
Digital Basics:  Do you hear muttering and cursing while your photographer is attempting to optimize their photographs?  DB will teach them to make their images look great in short order.  (Some studying required Smile emoticon)
The 7D User's Guide: If your special person has one of these fabulous and fantastic cameras but is not confident when using it, this reveal-all guide will make the perfect gift. 
A Guide to Pleasing Blurs: The recipient of this great guide will learn to have fun while creating a variety of artistic blurs. 
A Guide to Songbird Set-Up Photography: If your gift-getter has a bird feeder and a telephoto lens this guide will teach them how to create artistically designed set-ups.  And winter is a great time for doing so.  Tip: find some branches with little red berries on them.  The guide teaches how to get the birds to land exactly where you want them to.  
George Lepp's latest book is another winner.  In "Stories from the   Field," George shares his favorite images from several decades behind the camera.  As good as the images are, it's the stories behind the images that make this book special.  The writing is superb. I picked the book up and could not put it down.  I felt as if I were there right beside George, seeing what he saw, understanding what was going on inside his head as he made the myriad decisions that go into a single successful image, and feeling his excitement.  You will learn a bunch along the way, after all, George has been one of the leading nature photography educators since before I ever picked up a camera, but here it will be the writing that grips you.  The essays in the beginning of the book are particularly interesting, moving, and revealing.  Get yourself a copy and learn a lot about what it is that makes nature photographers click Smile emoticon.   This book is about the passion, the thrills, the journey, and at times, the danger that leaves the reader aching to get into the field with their gear as quickly as possible.
You can purchase a copy here or here.  Learn more about George and Kathryn on their web site. On their home page you will find links to several excerpts from the book on where the Lepps are contributing bloggers.
George Lepp at Photo Expo West, Del Mar, CA
Image Copyright 2010:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS lens (hand held at 170mm) with the EOS-1D Mark IV.  ISO 3200.  Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/2.8.  
At times, there is nothing like a fast lens to save the day Smile emoticon.  You've gotta be impressed with Auto White Balance and the ISO 3200 performance of the Mark IV (no flash). George cannot help himself; he loves to make pictures. 
As I just ordered my very own Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens through the Explorers of Light program, I am selling two excellent lenses.  They are priced to leave the building so if you are interested, do not tarry.
Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS lens in very good condition:  $900 includes the tripod collar and front and rear caps only.  No original box.  Just the expected wear marks;   Glass and performance are perfect.   Buyer pays insured shipping.  If I do not know you, I will not be able to ship the lens until your check clears. 
Canon 100-400 IS L zoom lens in very good to excellent condition: hand holders special; includes front and rear covers only.  No tripod collar.   Thus, I am giving this one away for $650.  Buyer pays insured shipping. If I do not know you, I will not be able to ship the lens until your check clears. 
Magellenic Penguin, adult, Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands
Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens with 2X II TC and EOS-1Ds Mark II. ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering -1 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/14. 

This bird was constantly looking from side to side. I waited for the perfect moment to trip the shutter so that the image would feature the perfect head angle. Click here to learn about Head Angle Fine Points.  
Several dozen folks have contacted me for the info on the killer South Georgia/Falklands Expedition that will run October 18 to November 11, 2012.  If you missed that feature, see item one here.  If you are seriously interested in this trip it would be best not to tarry AS 15 BAA folks are already on board at present with lots more in the wings; please e-mail me at immediately for details and the sign-up info.  I am good to go.  And I hope that you can join us. 
King Penguin, immature, "Oakum Boy," Gold Bay, South Georgia
Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 100-400mm IS L lens handheld at 190mm with EOS-1D Mark IIN. ISO 400.
Evaluative Metering at zero: 1/500 sec. at f/5.6.   
We will be seeing thousands of oakum boys on the South Georgia/Falklands trip.  Here is the derivation of the "oakum boy" nickname for the young King Penguins:  Working alongside the shipwrights were the Caulkers, who with the shipwrights were the highest paid  dockyard  workmen. The caulkers filled the seams between the planking with oakum, old hemp rope picked loose by his assistant the "oakum boy " to make the seams of carvel-built ships watertight.  Once the seams had been packed full of the fibres it would be water proofed by smearing the seams with hot pitch .The "oakum boy " brought the pitch in  liquid form from a boiler...
From an interesting article here.
SAN DIEGO IPT: JAN 19-23, 2011.  Slide program on the evening of JAN 18.   5 Full Days: $2399 (Limit 8/sold Out).  Co-leaders Tim Grey and Todd Gustafson.   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 2).  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 below. 
BOSQUE del APACHE 2011 IPT: "The Complete Bosque Experience." NOV 19-25, 2011.  Slide program on the evening of Friday, NOV 18.  7-FULL DAYS:  $3299.  (Non-refundable deposit: $500; see details below.) Limit: 10/Openings: 8. Co-leaders: Robert O'Toole & Jim Heupel.  Geese, cranes, ducks, 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.  Plus great co-leaders and top-notch Photoshop instruction. 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 five 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 policy but we have been plagued by last minute cancellations that make it impossible for others to participate and deprive us of essential income.  Please consider your schedule and your work and family obligations carefully before plunking down your deposit.  
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.    
GREECE/DALMATIAN PELICAN EXPLORATORY IPT.  FEB 27-MAR 5, 2011. 6 1/2+ Full Days of Photography: $2499.  (Limit: 6/openings 1). Co-leaders: Arthur Morris, Robert O'Toole, and Yannis Arvanitis as our bi-lingual guide.  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.  For images and complete information click here.  If you would like additional info on Lake Kerkini please e-mail me at and request same. 

GALAPAGOS 2011 PHOTO-CRUISE OF A LIFETIME IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience: July 3-20, 2011 (July 5-19, 2011 on the boat): 13 1/2 days of photography plus a last morning panga ride: $12, 499. (Limit 11/sold out.) 

If you would like your name placed on the seriously interested list for the SUMMER 2012 trip, please e-mail me at 

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.