Canon EOS-7D Mark II Rocks the Rocks « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon EOS-7D Mark II Rocks the Rocks

On Being Excellent

Here is a quote written by Melvin Tann, the brilliant exercise physiologist, MSc, LAc (Licensed Acupuncturist), and holistic health practitioner in Santa Ana, CA whom I have been working with. Melvin has successfully treated 10 San Diego Chargers, several other NFLers, a few top UFC fighters, and a host of world class athletes from various professional and collegiate sports. Often with beyond amazing results.

“To be unique should not be a stigma or be based on a desire to be different because of ego, but rather a choice to follow your passion that is based on a belief in oneself. Never compromise for mediocrity but strive for higher excellence.”

Those words really struck home with me. Feel free to share you thoughts on this quote.

If anyone would like to get in touch with Melvin regarding Zenergy health care, shoot me an e-mail and I will send you his contact info.

San Diego Natural History Museum Program & The Birds of the World Exhibit

At 9:00am on Saturday morning, February 7, 2015, I will be presenting “A Bird Photographer’s Story” at the San Diego Natural History Museum to kick off the Birds of the World photographic exhibit that will feature the images of about a dozen of the world’s top avian photographers. This program is being generously sponsored by the Canon Explorers of Light program. I am proud to say that both Denise Ippolito and I have six of our images (12 in all) hanging in the show. The exhibit opening will follow the program. Learn more here.


This blog post, which took 1 1/2 hours to prepare, was published at 3:43am Pacific time on Friday morning, 6:43am in the east.

I will be sharing 100-400 images along with additional positives and a very few negatives on the new lens. I used the 100-400 on Sunday afternoon with the 100-400, the 7D II, and the 1.4X TC. I shot all morning in La Jolla yesterday with the hand held 1-4II and the 1D X. With great results. Images and comments soon.

South Georgia October 2015

Do consider joining me in South Georgia next October for the trip of a lifetime. See here for the complete details.

Save $242

Register now for the South Georgia trip and receive a $242 on your return airfare. Please e-mail for details.

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This 3-frame in-camera HDR image was created in La Jolla with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens (at 110mm) and the Canon EOS 7D Mark II DSLR Camera (Body Only). ISO 800. Evaluative metering + 1 stop: +/- Auto around 3.2 sec. at f/9 in Av mode. Color temperature: 4100K.

Rear Focus Zone AF as framed and release. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Rocking the Rocks

Multiple IPT veteran Mike Gotthelf and I began photographing the colorful patterns on the lower cliff face at about the same time, totally independent of each other. Then we collaborated. He was working too tight with horizontals. I suggested that he go wider and vertical and he did. Then he shared an image that included the triangular shaped rock in the upper left and the rock alone blew my socks off. I asked him how he got the rock to look so blue. “K 4100”

Like Mike, I had been using Art Vivid but the colors were way too garish, especially the REDs, GREENs, and YELLOWs. So I switched from Cloudy WB to the much cooler 4100 Kelvin and loved the results. Tip: if you like to use Art Vivid you can tone down the colors by setting a cooler White Balance.

I went with my typical indoor flower sharpness routine: Live View with 2-second timer. I cleaned up the sand a bit but opted to leave a few rocks on the beach.. Other than that the image looks pretty much as the JPEG did right out of camera.

The important lesson here is that finding beautiful patterns and textures is not enough; you need to learn to carefully consider the framing and the arrangement of the various elements of the composition.

Important Notice #1

As a couple was forced to cancel and forfeit their deposit I am in a position to offer substantial four-figure discounts to three additional folks. I have had several bites and no takers…. Please contact me immediately via e-mail for details.


Do consider joining me for a once in a lifetime trip to the Galapagos archipelago in July, 2015.

GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 14-28, 2015 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $12,499. Limit 14 including the leader:/Openings: 4.

My two-week Galapagos Photo-Cruises are without equal. The world’s best guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), and the best leader with eight Galapagos cruises under his belt. Pre-trip and pre-landing location-specific gear advice. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea!

The great spots that we will visit include Tower Island (including Prince Phillips Steps and Darwin Bay), Hood Island (including Punta Suarez, the world’s only nesting site of Waved Albatross, and Gardner Bay)—each of the preceding are world class wildlife photography designations that rank right up there with Antarctica, Africa, and Midway. We will also visit Fernandina, Puerto Ayora for the tortoises, Puerto Egas—James Bay, North Seymour and Isla Lobos for nesting Blue-footed Booby (most years), South Plaza, Floreana, and Urbina Bay, all spectacular in their own right. We visit every great spot on a single trip. Plus tons more. And there will he lots of opportunities to snorkel on sunny mid-days for those like me who wish to partake.

We will be the first boat on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island every afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast weather, we will often spend 5-6 hours at the best sites. And as noted above, mid-day snorkeling is an option on most sunny days depending on location. Note: some of the walks are a bit strenuous. Great images are possible on all landings with a hand held 70-200mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter. I bring a longer lens ashore on most landings as that fits my style. I generally work with either the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS or the Canon 200-400mm f/4 L IS with Internal Extender.

Do know that there is a NatureScapes Galapagos trip: one week for $8495. Thus, my trip represents a tremendous value; why go all that way and miss half of the great photographic locations?

The Logistics

Fly to Guayacil, Ecuador on July 12, 2015. Travel insurance/rest day: July 13 (We may or may not offer a photo outing on the 13th). Fly to the archipelago on July 14 and board the Samba. Get off the boat on July 28. Fly to Guayacil that afternoon. Fly home on the early morning of July 29 unless you are staying on or going elsewhere (or catching a red-eye flight on the evening of the 28th).

$12,499 includes just about everything: all transfers, guide and park fees, all food on the boat, transfers and ground transportation, your flights to the archipelago, and three nights (double occupancy) in a top notch hotel in Guayacil. If you are good to go, a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 per person is due immediately. The second payment of $4,000 is not due until 11/1/14. The final payment of $3449 per person will be due on 2/1/15. A $200 discount will be applied to each of the balances for couples or friends who register at the same time.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On my past two cruises a total of 5 folks were forced to cancel less than one week prior to the trip. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and strongly recommend that you do the same.

Not included: your round trip airfare from your home to and from Guayacil, beverages on the boat, phone calls, your meals in Guayacil, personal items, and a $600/person cash tip for the crew and the guide—this works out to roughly $40/day to be shared by the 7 folks who will be waiting on us hand and foot every day for two weeks. The service is so wonderful that many folks choose to tip extra.

Please e-mail for the complete itinerary and for additional info and images. Please cut and paste “Galapagos 2015 Info Please) into the Subject line.

Important Notice #2

As often happens during IPTs I am days behind in answering some fairly important e-mails, especially those dealing with used photo gear for sale. I will do my best to catch up toward the end of the week.


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8 comments to Canon EOS-7D Mark II Rocks the Rocks

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I like Melvin Tann’s quote. And the image. Thank you for both. And congratulations to you and Denise for having 12 of your images in the show.

  • avatar Geoff

    I think the image is mislabeled with 1DX as the 1DX doesn’t have and HDR mode anyways. I’m sure it was the 7DII as the title suggests.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Great Quote!!!

  • avatar Frank Peelee

    You say your program starts at 7:00 a.m., the San Diego Museum of Natural History says 9:00. Please clarify for those of us looking forward to attending.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      9:00am it is. That’s what happens when you get up and start working before 3:00am :).. c u there. later and love, artie

  • avatar Pat

    Am I missing something? Your blog is titled Canon EOS 7D Mark II Rocks the Rocks – but the image is credited to the 1DX.

    Looking forward to more reports of 7D mkii and 100-400 mkii.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Duh 🙂 That’s what happens when you get up and start working before 3:00am… c u there. later and love, artie

      ps: fixed. It was of course created with the 7D II 🙂

  • Artie
    Your Rock Wall HDR is beautiful. It’s good that you left some rocks on the beach, as you might not recognize it as a beach.
    Great photo!
    Art B