Student Outdoes Instructor/By a Mile! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Student Outdoes Instructor/By a Mile!

It Was a Long, Strange Night

I can only guess that I have been swimming too long and too hard (even though I go pretty slow). On Thursday everything felt great. My left shoulder that had bothered me a bit at the beginning of the Galapagos trip was feeling fine. It had not bothered me for about six years before that. My chronically bad right shoulder was feeling fine. My chronically bad twice surgically (not) repaired left knee was feeling great. Even my De Quervain’s inflicted left thumb was OK–it had been flaring up recently after being calmed down a few months ago by a cortisone shot (which Dr. Oliver warned against). During my swim yesterday my right shoulder began to ache along with my left knee so I took it a bit easier. After dinner the tendon above my left thumb was hurting pretty bad, the worst it has been since the shot. I figured that rest and sleep would help everything.

Though I slept pretty well: nearly eight hours with one pit stop–great for me, I was aware of my pains all night. Even my left shoulder was aching. At about 2am I took three Advil and was able to sleep a pretty solid four hours. Man, you gotta love getting old. Strange though that everything came on so quickly…. I am feeling much better this morning, probably thanks to the Advil….

Selling Your Used Gear Through BAA

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 nearly everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can see the complete listings here.

Brand New Listing

Canon 600mm f/4 L IS Lens

Multiple IPT veteran Dean Newman is offering a used Canon 600mm f/4 L IS lens, the “old six,”, in very good + condition for the lowest ever BAA price of $4,999.00. There are a few surface wear marks on the lens hood from normal use but nothing significant. The lens barrel is in mint condition as it was protected by a LensCoat since day one. In preparation for this sale, the lens was sent to the Canon Factory Service Center for a checkup and they found it to be in perfect condition after it underwent a general clean and check. The sale includes the lens trunk (hard case), the lens hood, the hood cover, the original LensCoat in forest green, and a low-profile foot. The original foot is also be included as well as is insured shipping via UPS Ground with a signature required on delivery. Your item will not ship until your check clears or other arrangements are made. Please contact Dean via e-mail or by phone at 301.672.5464 between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. Eastern time. Photos of the lens are available upon request.

The old six was my go-to super-telephoto lens for well more than a decade, heck, probably for two decades if you include the monstrously heavy original version. Today I use and depend on the newer, lighter version, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens. Note, the new six sells for a hefty $11,499. The old six is super sharp, works great with both TCs, and offers near-maximum reach along with three focal lengths: 600, 840, and 1200…. At $200 less than the previous record-low BAA price, Dean’s 600 is priced to sell quickly. artie

Updated Listing

Canon EF 500 IS USM Lens and EF Extender 1.4x II

John Gill is offering a Canon lens EF 500mm f/4 L IS USM lens (along with a Canon EF Extender (teleconverter) 1.4X II for $4199.00. The glass is in excellent condition, the paint shows some wear. The sale includes the lens trunk (hard travel case), the hood, the front leather lens cap, the lens strap, a LensCoat, the manual, and insured shipping via UPS Ground. Your item will not ship until your wire transfer clears. Please contact John via e-mail or by phone at (603) 528-6608, eastern time.


This image was created by multiple IPT veteran Phil Frigon on the 2nd Palouse IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens (at 65mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 100: 1 sec. at f/16.

Wind Turbine Blue. Image courtesy of and copyright 2015: Phil Frigon

Student Outdoes Instructor/By a Mile!

I really did not see a shot when I created the IR image that I shared with you in the “Palouse Group Infrared Wind Turbine Image” blog post here. I remember hearing Phil talking about getting his 5-stop ND but even that did not ring any bells for me. Sometimes we can get in a photographic funk so deep that we cannot get out of it even when we are given a clue. The glowing blur of the wind turbine blades really put this one over the top for me. And I love the image design and the wispy clouds. I look forward to seeing and working with Phil again soon on the early September Bear Boat IPT; we still have some room on that one. Call me at 863-692-2806 for late registration discount info if you are interested.

Singh-Ray 5-stop ND

Without a healthy ND filter in place there is no way to get down to a 1 second shutter speed in cloudy bright conditions. Phil used the SINGH-RAY THIN 82mm MOR-SLO ND-5 STOP FILTER in order to be able to work at a variety of slow shutter speeds. He experimented with shutter speeds of 1/4 sec., 1/2 sec., and one full second. The one second exposure was the bomb.

Singh-Ray Filters

Singh-Ray filters have been used by the world’s top photographers for many decades. Most notably the late Galen Rowell. Singh-Ray has been and is the name in quality filters. I often use the Singh-Ray 77mm Warming Circular Polarizer set to dark when photographing rainbows, to eliminate reflections when photographing on or around the water (and when photographing the water itself as with today’s spectacular image), and to juice up a cloud-filled sky on a on bright sunny day, the latter especially when working off sun angle.

And I absolutely love the Singh-Ray 3-stop resin and 5-stop glass Neutral Density Filters. I use the 77mm versions of these filters on my 24-105, my 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS, and my new and beloved 100-400mm IS II lens so that I can create blurs on sunny days without having to stop down to f/too-many dust spots…. With a 5-stop glass ND in place I can easily get down to shutter speeds of 1/2 second and slower on clear, bright sunny days.

BIRDS AS ART has been working with Singh-Ray to produce a 5-stop Neutral Density filter to to fit the filter drawers of Canon Super-telephoto lenses. Info on the filter will be presented here very soon so stay tuned. If you will be heading to Bosque this season, you will want at least one of the 52mm ND filters in your Xtrahand vest.

No other filter manufacturer comes close to matching the quality of Singh-Ray’s optical glass; it is comparable to that used by NASA. And they continue to pioneer the most innovative products on the market like their ColorCombo polarizers and the Mor-Slo 15-stop neutral density filter. When you use their filters, you’ll create better, more dramatic images and, unlike as with other filters, with absolutely no sacrifice in image quality. All Singh-Ray filters are handcrafted in the USA.

Best News: 10% Discount/Code at checkout: artie10

To shop for a Singh-Ray Warming Circular Polarizer (for example), click on the logo link above or the one in the right hand column of each blog post, click on Polarizers/color enhancing on the menu bar, choose LB Warming Polarizer, choose the size and model, add to cart, and then checkout. Click on Continue to checkout. In the “Have a Coupon?” box (the second from the top), click on this active link: “Click here to enter your code” and then type “artie10” into the box. Click on “Apply Coupon” and a healthy 10% discount will be applied to your total. In addition to enjoying the world’s best filter at 10% off you will be supporting my efforts here on the blog. In the same manner, you can shop for a 3-stop or 5-stop ND by first clicking on the Neutral and Color Density menu bar.


Subject and focal lengths from upper left to right and then around to center.

Palouse Falls: 11mm; homemade kiddie race car: 105mm; barn siding pan blur: 798mm; Rolling fields diorama: 110mm; Crayola drums: 343 mm; Hay barn interior: 19mm; vintage gas station: 40mm; Dilapidated farm building: 13mm; Denise’s tree Infrared: 20mm.

Images and card design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Palouse ~ A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. June 3-7, 2016/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12

The Palouse ~ A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. June 10-14, 2016/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12

Double Header!

Maximize both your travel dollars and your learning experience by signing up for both IPTs.


Images and card design by Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure.

The Palouse IPTs

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will likely enjoy spectacular sunrises and possibly a nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. We will take you to some really neat old abandoned barns and farmhouses in idyllic settings. There is no better way to improve your compositional and image design skills and to develop your creativity than to join us for this trip. Two great leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris. Photoshop and image sharing sessions when we have the time and energy…. We get up early and stay out late and the days are long.

After 6 days of back-breaking scouting work in early June 2014 we found all of the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and views. On three additional scouting days in 2015 we discovered several more truly amazing locations. We will teach you what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time.

What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, our newfound but very extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions when possible. There will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before each workshop begins.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills. You will learn to get the right exposure every time. You will learn to develop your creative eye. You will learn the basics of HDR (high dynamic range) photography. You will learn a variety of in-camera creative techniques. Most importantly you will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images. Do see both of our blogs for lots more on that in the coming weeks. You will learn how the quality and direction of light combine to determine the success of your images. And–please don’t gasp–we will be working quite a bit with sidelight when creating landscapes. Lastly, we will be doing some infrared photography.

To Sign Up

A non-refundable $699 deposit is due now. The balance will be due on February 15, 2016. 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. Whether or not your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

With the spectacular success that we enjoyed in 2015 it seems quite likely that this one will fill up very quickly. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining us. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours or send us a check to leave a deposit; the latter is preferred. If by check, please make out to “Arthur Morris” and mail it to: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via e-mail: artie or denise.

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. You can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.


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16 comments to Student Outdoes Instructor/By a Mile!

  • avatar Walt Thomas - Tucson

    Artie,I don’t want to have to set-up an g-Mail account, because it seems to screw up my aol account?? 🙁 , but I want to send you a list of nice canon equip I want to sell, a little over $1,000.00.Can I email this list to you other than GMAIL?
    Walt Thomas

    • avatar David Policansky

      Walt Thomas: What makes you think you have to use gmail to send Artie your list? The email he provides isn’t a gmail account and anyway, you can send an email to any email account from any email account.

      • avatar Walt Thomas - Tucson

        Thanks David, When I clicked on the “email” within the Used Equip. statement (above), it indicated I had to use Gmail or Yahoo??
        At any rate I’ve sent the listing on as Artie’s reply directed me to.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. That is a glorious image, and one that never would have occurred to me to make. Kudos to your student and his teacher. As for your Mets, they are making my Nats look bad, but for some reason, my Nats aren’t needing any help in looking bad. DeGrom, Syndegaard, Harvey, Matts, the list of nasty young Mets pitchers goes on. This might be a good fall for the Amazin’s.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      And to think that just ten days ago the Mets were the subject the jokes of many late night TV hosts and were being lamented by various Sports Center anchors. One sweep later…. a ps: see you Wednesday evening. pps; actually there were two teachers, denise and me 🙂

      • avatar David Policansky

        That’s about 10 days since the trade deadline, when the Mets picked up Yoenis Cespedes and Tyler Clippard, two really good acquisitions for a stretch run, I think. And allows us to somewhat forget the huge mess they made with Gomez, Wheeler, and Flores. 🙂

        Looking forward to seeing you and the other great teacher.

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Not to mention the SWEEP :). And don’t forget the huge run of serious Mets injuries…. Time will tell. a

          • avatar David Policansky

            I have been trying to forget the SWEEP. Thanks a lot, Artie. 🙂

            The Nats have had a ton of injuries as well; Strasburg, Zimmerman, Werth, and more.

  • avatar William Lloyd

    It’s because you’re not eating enough kale!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I tried our local kale here in FLA. The results in terms of its affect on my digestive system were somewhat catastrophic…. a

  • avatar James McIntyre


    Sorry about your aches and pains. Arthritis? Suggest you suspend your ice baths for a while and see what happens.

    You’re not a Mets pitcher.


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      No sympathy needed but thanks 🙂 I have arthritis in my fingers. The left knee and the shoulders have a bit of arthritis of course but that is not what is causing the pain. The ice baths help tremendously with inflammation. The Mets are doing quite well without me lately….


      • avatar James McIntyre

        The Mets are currently in 1st place in the NL East. Could this team be the rebirth of the Miraculous Mets of the 60s?

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Sunny as can be here 🙂 a

  • avatar Maggi Fuller

    Re your aches & pains……. Is it or was it going to rain? Mine are always worse if this is the case!!