Your Call: BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition/Pleasing Blurs « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Your Call: BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition/Pleasing Blurs

The Streak Continues: 163

This post marks 163 consecutive days with a new educational blog post. With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links why quit now? April was a record month! To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we do ask that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I used, tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know the tools that you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

You can find the following items in the store: Gitzo tripods, Mongoose M3.6 and Wimberley heads, plates, low feet, and accessories, flash brackets, , Delkin e-film Pro Compact Flash Cards, LensCoat products, and our unique line-up of educational materials including ABP I & II, Digital Basics, Site and Set-up e-Guides, Canon and Nikon Camera Users and AF e-Guides, and MP-4 Photoshop video tutorials among others.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and visiting the BAA Online store as well.

This post took 1 1/2 hours to put together. Enjoy!


Cinereous Vulture

BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition

The judging of the BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition has been complete for about two weeks. Thanks a stack to our panel of judges: Sandesh Kadur, Scott Elowitz, Lou Coetzer, Mary Ann McDonald, Michael Frye, Peter Kes, Denise Ippolito, and yours truly. You can learn more about the guest judges here.

From 5 to 18 images in the 8 categories were selected to be sent to the judges’ panel. Each judge voted on each image on a 0-5 scale. The votes were tallied and the results are now final. Three categories down, five to go.

Your Call

The images that were presented to the panel of judges in the Pleasing Blurs category are presented to you today here. Please do understand that many very strong images were eliminated in the early rounds of judging because of poor image processing, technical issues including over- or under-exposure, image sharpness, and the failure of folks to take advantage of our lenient digital guidelines that allow for removing distracting elements from an image.

After clicking on each image to view the larger size, we ask that each of you pick your five favorite images and vote them 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 with 5 being the strongest, 4 being your second favorite, and so on down to 1. You can click on each image to view a larger size. Additional comments are welcome as long as they appear below your selections that should look something like this:

Cinereous Vulture: 5
White Stork Legs: 4
Gull in Norway: 3
New Mexico: 2
Cape Petrel: 1

White Stork legs is quite creative!

The selections above are of course arbitrary and should not at all influence your votes. Please read the directions carefully as comments that do not follow the format above exactly will be deleted without notice. The three winning images in this category along with the 4 runner up images and the names of the photographers will be announced here soon along with a tally of the public vote.

The Grand Prize winning image, the image that secured the highest total of judge’s votes, will be revealed when the results of the final category are announced.


Hooded Cranes

Hooded Cranes


White Stork

White Stork


Gull in Norway

Gull in Norway


White Stork Legs

White Stork Legs


Bald Eagle in Snow

Bald Eagle in Snow


Cape Petrel

Cape Petrel

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 advise, usually sells in no time flat as did Dennis Cassidy’s 500 II recently on the blog. Larry Master’s 400 DO and his 800 f/5.6 sold within a week. From Larry via e-mail: Thanks for helping me sell the lenses so quickly!

A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART friend Kitto Kono sold her Nikon 500 to a Blog subscriber in less than a week. Janet Horton’s 7D sold this week after a $100 price reduction. Denise Ippolito’s 100-400 and her 100 macro sold in one day. Peter Kes sold his 70-200 f/2.8L IS II and his 400 DO through BAA in ten days. In the past two months we have sold a Canon 800, a Canon 500 II, 3 400 DO lenses, a Nikon 500mm, and lots more. If you are interested in using our services, please e-mail.

Click here and scroll down for the current listings.


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. đŸ™‚


I hope that you can join us on this great trip. The vertical puffin image was created by David Tipling. The rest–almost all from the UK, are mine :).

UK Puffins and Gannets IPT July 2-9, 2014. 5 full days of puffins and two half-days of gannet boat photography: $4,999 USD. Limit 10 + the 2 leaders.

Desperately needed: 1 female roommate.

Fly to Edinburgh (say “ED-in-BUR-row”), Scotland on a red eye flight on July 1st arriving on the early morning of July 2 or certainly before 10am. UK folks who plan on driving please contact me via e-mail immediately.

There are direct flights to Edinburgh from both Philadelphia and Toronto. If you learn of any others please advise via e-mail so that I may share with all the interested folks. Fly home mid-morning on July 9. UK locals and our many European friends are of course welcome.

With the needed 5 deposits in hand, this trip is a go; you can buy your flights now :).

What’s included:

5 full DAYS on the best UK puffin boat; trips to 2 different islands–all dependent on decent weather, i.e, no major storms. Seabirds including scads of Atlantic Puffin both in flight and perched, Razorbill, Great Cormorant, Shag, and others likely. The trip is times to maximize the opportunities for photographing the puffins bringing fish back to the nests. All boat fares and landing fees are included. The boat leaves at 9:30am. We have two hours on the first island. We are then picked up and head to the 2nd island for a 2+ hour session. The weather is typically cloudy bright.

One late-afternoon (2 July) and one early morning (probably 8 July) trip on a gannet photography boat where the birds are fed and dive very close to the boat. Both are dependent on good weather but we do have some flexibility. Boat fares and the cost of the fish are covered. Each will consist of a one hour outbound ride, two hours of diving Northern Gannet photography (with 6 boxes of fish) and the one hour return trip.

The tentative, weather-dependent itinerary:

July 2: airport pick-up no later than 10am UK time. Lunch on your dime. Drive to hotel. Afternoon gannet boat trip/time TBD.
July 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7: Full Day Puffin Boat trips as noted above.
July 8: early morning Gannet Boat trip. Afternoon: Small group Image review and Photoshop sessions. Pack for the trip home.
July 9: early morning departure for Edinburgh Airport (EDI).

The itinerary is subject to change to ensure the best possible photographic opportunities.

A super-telephoto lens is not required on this trip. The 300mm f/2.8s are ideal. I will be bringing one along with my 200-400mm with Internal Extender, my 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, and a shorter zoom lenses. Plus three 1.4X and two 2X TCs, a Gitzo 3532 LS Carbon Fiber tripod, and my Mongoose M3.6. I may go tripod-less on the puffin trips at times…. Or not…. All photography on the gannet boat will be hand held. It is likely that the 70-200s will be ideal for the gannets.

7 nights lodging in an older but excellent hotel just a few minutes from the puffin boat dock with about a 70 minute ride to the gannet boat. Double occupancy will be the rule though we might be able to offer a single supplement at an exorbitant price. See the hotel info here.

All breakfasts and dinner (at the hotel) from dinner on July 2 through dinner on July 8. And breakfast on our get-away day unless we need to leave earlier than they serve to make our flights home…

Airport pick-up until 10am on July 2–this should not be a problem as there are lots of red-eye flights from the US to Edinburgh.

All ground transportation. Airport return on the early morning of July 9. We may be getting up very early on July 9th.

Two great leaders; Denise Ippolito and yours truly will provide personalized and small group in-the-field instruction. As usual, the closer you stay to us and the more questions that you ask the more you will learn. We will of course point out the best situations. You will learn to see these great situations for yourself, to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, to work in Manual mode, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. You will learn the basics of photographing birds in flight and how the relationship between light direction and wind direction impacts the photography of both birds in flight and perched puffins. And tons more.

We will be conducting informal, small group image review and Photoshop sessions after dinner. All are invited to bring their laptops. Image critiques of your five best images will be done after the trip upon request.

Early morning castle photography right near the hotel is an option for the early risers. In the event of inclement weather or stormy seas there is the possibility of bird photography along the coast. Early evening bird photography along the coast is also optional.

Not included: all lunches–for the most part we will need to pack lunches for the puffin trips, or you may opt to skip lunch. Your round trip airfare from home to Scotland. Booze, wine, and any other beverages other than coffee and tea at breakfast.

A non-refundable deposit of $2,000 USD is required to hold your spot so please check on flights and your schedule before committing. The balance will be due on 15 May so you may wish to pay the whole thing at once. Overseas folks may e-mail for wire transfer info. Our $15 wire transfer fee will be added to your balance.

Trip insurance is highly recommended as your deposit (less a $200 cancellation fee) will not be refunded unless the trip fills completely. I, and my family, use Travel Insurance Services.

After letting us know via e-mail that you will be coming, please send your deposit check made out to “Arthur Morris” to us as follows:

Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
PO Box 7245 (US mail) or 4041 Granada Drive (if by courier).
Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855

My friend David Tipling, with multiple BBC honored images and the author of dozens of photo illustrated books, helped with the planning and arrangements for this trip.

If you have any questions, please contact me via e-mail.

33 comments to Your Call: BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition/Pleasing Blurs

  • avatar Harold Klein

    5. Norway Gull
    4. Eagle in Snow
    3. Cape Petrel
    2. Cinereous Vulture
    1. Hooded Cranes

  • avatar Gary Axten

    Bald Eagle in Snow: 5
    White Stork: 4
    Cape Petrel: 3
    Gull in Norway: 2
    White Stork Legs: 1

  • 5. White stork
    4. Gull in Norway
    3. Cape Petrel
    2. Bald Eagle in Snow
    1. Cinereous Vulture
    I love the sweep of line, the minimalist artistry in White Stork. It’s an emotionally moving image for me.
    I like the gull head in focus with the rest of the bird and water splash blurred
    The petrel in sharp focus contrasts well with the motion implied in the blurred water
    I like the motion as well in the Bald Eagle.
    The vulture’s face being sharp with the rest blurred communicates intent to me.

  • Cape Petrel – 5
    Bald Eagle in snow – 4
    Gull in Norway – 3
    Cinereous Vulture – 2
    White stork -1

  • avatar David Policansky

    5. Gull in Norway.
    4. Hooded cranes.
    3. White stork legs.
    2. White stork.

  • avatar Greg Payne

    5. Cape petrel
    4. Gull in Norway
    3. Hooded cranes
    2. Bald eagle in snow
    1. White stork legs

    All these are quite good and very artistic. They are quite difficult to choose amongst. For a category like this I judge based on what I would enjoy hanging on the wall.

  • avatar Mark A Jordan

    White Stock Legs: 5
    Bald Eagle in Snow: 4
    Cape Petrel: 3
    Gull in Norway: 2
    Hooded Cranes: 1

  • cinereous vulture 5
    gull in Norway 4
    white stork 3
    hooded cranes 2
    bald eagle in snow 1

  • 5 – White Stork
    4 – Cinereous Vulture
    3 – Cape Petrel
    2 – Hooded Cranes
    1 – Bald Eagle in Snow

  • White Stork 5
    Gull in Norway 4
    Cinereous Vulture 3
    Hooded Cranes 2
    Bald Eagle in Snow 1

  • avatar Eddy Vaes

    Cape petrel 5
    Cinereous vulture: 4
    bald eagle in snow 3
    gull in norway 2
    white stork legs 1

  • 5. Bald Eagle in Snow
    4. Gull in Norway
    3. Hooded Cranes
    2. White Stork Legs
    1. White Stork

    • Oops Reversed the order, Here is my vote, 5 being the best:

      5. White Stork
      4. White Stork Legs
      3. Hooded Cranes
      2. Gull in Norway
      1. Bald Eagle in Snow

  • avatar Estelle Chartrand

    White Stork =5

    Cape Petrel =4

    Bald Eagle in snow=3

    Hooded Cranes=2

    Cinerous vulture=1

  • Cape Petrel – 5
    Bald Eagle in snow – 4
    Cinereous Vulture – 3
    Gull in Norway – 2
    Hooded Cranes – 1

  • 5. Cape Petrel
    4. Bald Eagle in snow
    3. Gull in Norway
    2. Cinereous vulture
    1. White Stork legs

  • avatar Sarah Mayhew

    White Stork Legs 5
    White Stork 4
    Cape Petrel 3
    Cinereous Vulture 2
    Hooded Cranes 1

  • 5- White Stork absolutely love this comp. Great image!
    4-Gull in Norway
    3-White Stork Legs
    2-Hooded Cranes
    1-Bald Eagle

  • avatar Janet Schleeter

    Gull in Norway – 5
    Hooded Cranes – 4
    Cape Petrel – 3
    White Stork – 2
    White Stork Legs – 1

  • white stork-5-i love the abstractness of this one! very elegant…very “art”
    white stork legs-4 very creative and different, would pair very well on a wall with “white stork!”
    gull in norway-3 very well done blurring everything except the gulls’s head
    hooded cranes-2 stunning art piece
    cape petrel-1 i like the point of view and the blurring of just the background

  • avatar Ron Gates

    Cape Petrol 5
    Bald Eagle in SNow 4
    Cinereous Vulture 3
    White Stork 2
    Gull in Norway 1

  • avatar Paul Kleister

    5 White stork
    4 White stork legs
    3 Bald eagle in snow
    2 gull in Norway
    1 Cape Petrol

  • White Stork 5
    Cape Petrel 4
    Bald Eagle in Snow 3
    Hooded Cranes 2
    Gull in Norway 1

  • White Stock Legs: 5
    Cinereous Vulture: 4
    Gull in Norway: 3
    Bald Eagle in Snow: 2
    White Stock: 1

  • 5. White stork legs
    4. White stork
    3. Bald eagle in snow
    2. gull in Norway
    1. Cape Petrol

  • 5 Cape Petrel
    4 Cinereous Vulture
    3 Bald Eagle in Snow
    2 Gull in Norway
    1 Hooded Cranes

  • avatar Jay

    Cape Petrel 5
    Gull in Norway 4
    White Stork 3
    Hooded Cranes 2
    Bald Eagle 1

  • avatar Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

    5. Vuture
    4. Hooded Crane
    3. Gull in Norway
    2. White Stork
    1. White Stork Legs

  • avatar Sallyanne Cousans

    5. Cape Petrel
    4. Bald Eagle in Snow
    3. Cinereous Vulture
    2. Gull in Norway
    1. White Stork

  • avatar Marina Scarr

    5. White Stork
    4. Cape Petrel
    3. Gull in Norway
    2. Bald Eagle in SNow
    1. Vulture

  • avatar Timo Tammisto

    Gull in Norway: 5
    Cape Petrel: 4
    Cinereous Vulture: 3
    Bald Eagle in Snow: 2
    White Stork:m 1

  • avatar Ursa Schrepfer

    White Stork Legs 5
    Cinereous Vulture 4
    White Stork 3

    a real “birds as art” category !

  • Gull in Norway: 5
    Cinereous Vulture: 4