Eyes Burning, Butt in Severe Pain…. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Eyes Burning, Butt in Severe Pain....


It is 4:38am Alaska time as I start this short blog post, 8:38 Eastern time.

We safely made it from JFK to Juneau yesterday.

This blog post was published at about 9:45am Eastern time from my motel room in southeastern Alaska.

Eyes Burning, Butt in Severe Pain….

I left my Mom’s at 5:55am and denise headed to the airport from her home on the Jersey shore. We both arrived way early for our JFK flight to Salt Lake City. At 5+ hours, it was long flight. The seats were more uncomfortable than comfortable. We shared and worked on images, denise’s from Iceland, mine from the Galapagos and the Nickerson Beach IPT. We had a two hour layover in SLC for our next flight to Seattle. By this time, we were both very tired.

It was a beautiful new plane but again the seats were uncomfortable. And they did not recline. Neither of us slept a wink. Last, after another two-hour layover, was our two hour flight to Juneau. An old plane but the seats were a bit roomier. We both slept for the first 1 1/2 hours until the “we are now descending” announcement. For me, that last half hour was brutal and painful, the longest 30 minutes of my life. Oh, did I mention that we were an hour late out of Seattle due to a late-arriving aircraft?

They kept warning of our impending landing but the plane seemed to keep on flying forever. After more than 20 hours of travel my eyes were burning fiercely and my butt ached. Finally we landed at our destination. Though there is a gale warning for today and Sunday, we are hoping to enjoy some good photography over the next seven days. Without anyone getting seasick.


This is one of my very favorite 1D s Mark III images. At the Venice Rookery with the old 600mm f/4L IS lens.
Image copyright Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Two Brand New Listings

Used Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III

Brian Miller is offering a used Canon 1Ds Mark III in excellent condition for $1,399. The sale includes the manual, an extra battery, the battery
charger, and insured shipping via FED-EX Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Brian by e-mail or by phone at 225-936-6730 (Central time zone).

The 1Ds Mark III produces superb 21.1 mp files and AF is superb as well. The 1Ds III suffered none of the AF system problems that some encountered with the EOS-1D Mark III. I owned and use one for about three years. artie


I created this image on the last Southern Oceans trip with the 300 II, the 2X III TC, and the 7D II.
Image copyright Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Used Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Joseph Higbee is offering a used Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS ll USM lens in excellent condition for $4750. The sale includes all the items in original box: lens trunk, lens hood, fabric front cover, rear lens cap, wide lens strap, strap for lens case, CD and instruction papers. Also included is a very worn Black LensCoat and a Kirk Enterprises LP 59 lens foot. And insured shipping via UPS Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Joe by e-mail e-mail or by phone at (253) 846-1254 or (253) 318-8280 (Pacific time zone).

The 300 II is a superbly sharp and versatile lens that kills with both TCs. In addition, it is a great flight lens. Joe’s price matches the lowest-ever BAA price…. Act now. artie


All of the images on the card were made on South Georgia. This remote wilderness island offers both spectacular scenery and hordes of tame wildlife and birds. From top left clockwise to the center: Southern Elephant Seal, courting King Penguin pair, King Penguin abstract, Grey-headed Albatross, King Penguin rookery on Salisbury Plain, Macaroni Penguin head portrait, King Penguin molting Okum Boy, Macaroni Penguin pair, King Penguin preening, Southern Elephant Seal yawning, the view of Gold Harbour from a Light-mantled Sooty Albatross nest.

Click on the image to see an extra large version.

The Southern Ocean

South Georgia Expedition Voyage

I’ve been blessed. I’ve now made four trips to the Southern Ocean, three expeditions that visited the Falklands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula, and one to the Falklands and South Georgia. Each was a truly amazing experience. South Georgia has been the star of the show each time: rugged snow covered peaks, tame and abundant wildlife including Southern Elephant Seal and Southern Fur Seal, and penguins: more King Penguins than you could ever have dreamed of. Gentoos. And my favorite, the golden-yellow spaghetti-topped Macaronis. With four trips to South Georgi under my belt, I have a pretty good idea about how to make great images at each of the iconic landings. In addition, we should have some pretty good flight photography sessions from the stern of the ship. I would love the chance to share my knowledge with you.

Going Light

On my recent trip, I found myself going with shorter lenses and lighter gear than on any previous Southern Ocean Expedition. In part that was due to the crop factor of the 7D Mark II, in part because going light makes life (and landings!) much easier. I made many landings with just the 7D II and the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. I refined the way that I got my gear safely from ship to shore. Lots more on that here soon.

Cheesemans’ Well Deserved Kudos

I know from personal experience that if you are a photographer who is going to invest in Southern Ocean voyage, you will want to put your money on Cheesemans’. No other tour company goes as far out of their way to ensure making every possible safe landing. And no other tour company will have you spending more time on land. Michael Viljeon from South Africa was aboard the Ortelius on a Southern Oceans voyage that preceded the Cheesemans’ trip that we were both on. As we headed back to Ushuaia, he said, “The folks that ran that first trip were pathetic. Too rough. No landing today. Surf too high today. No landing. Wind wrong direction. No landing. Cheesemans’ routinely and safely gets folks on land in conditions where the leaders of other tour companies do not even bother getting out of their bunks.”

Here, from the” Way to Go CES! (Cheeseman’s Ecology Safaris)” blog post here, is one of my favorite Cheesemans’ stories:

The landing at Bailey Head, Antarctica, was especially rewarding to me as I had been sitting in a zodiac 100 yards off shore on my 2007 trip when the zodiac in front of mine swamped and the captain of the ship called off the landing…. Early that day it looked as if my weather Karma might not be working. Ted’s “Good morning shipmates” was followed by the news that we would not be able to land at Bailey Head that morning as the swell was too big. The beach there is sloped tremendously and the sea strives to pull the zodiacs back into the ocean before folks have gotten off with their gear. Tom Murphy had said to me several days before, “We will get you on the beach at Bailey Head.” Ted concluded his morning greetings by saying, “We are sending out a scout team to see if landing is possible.”

After breakfast I was thrilled to hear Ted’s voice again on the PA, “We will be landing at 8am.” Afterwards folks noted that it was the calmest landing ever at this amazingly beautiful spot. My good weather Karma (courtesy of late-wife Elaine) had come through one last time. Along with St. Andrews Bay, it was one of my two favorite super-great once-in-a-lifetime days of the trip. And we even got to enjoy three additional hours at Hannah Point, Antarctica before calling it a wrap and heading for the feared Drake Passage. All thanks to Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris.

Why Sign Up Through BIRDS AS ART?

If you have been thinking and dreaming of finally visiting South Georgia, this is the trip for you. Quit dreaming and act now. Though I will not be an official leader on this trip, those who have traveled with me know that I cannot help but teach. I will make pre-trip gear recommendations. I will hold informal pre-landing briefings. In the same vein, everyone will receive a free copy of our Antarctica Site Guide once they are paid in full (July 2, 2015). I will be available on the ship to review your images,, answer questions, and conduct informal over-the shoulder Photoshop sessions. And best of all, everyone who signs up under the auspices of BAA are invited to tag along with me on the landings where I will be glad to offer invaluable in-the-field advice. And the same goes for the ship-board birds in flight and marine mammal photography opportunities.

Do join us. To learn how to be part of the BAA group please e-mail me with the words Antarctica/Extended Expedition BAA Info Please cut and pasted into the Subject line. Learn a bit more by scrolling down here.

Important Notes

#1: If you fail to e-mail me as noted directly above, and register directly with CES you MUST let them know that you would like to be part of the BIRDS AS ART group.

#2: Joining the BIRDS AS ART group as above will not cost you one penny.

The Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris South Georgia Expedition Voyage

An in-depth Adventure aboard the Ortelius: October 29 to November 17, 2015

From the CES website:

We are very excited to be able to bring this special in-depth expedition to you. This is a product of years of experience leading voyages to South Georgia and a passion for everything found here. Our itinerary is specifically designed to take advantage of the vibrant early season on South Georgia when snow blankets the mountains and early summer brings special wildlife treats seldom experienced. We will explore vast colonies of King Penguins, elephant seals in their peak of breeding activity, and colonies of Wandering, Gray-headed, Light-mantled, and Black-browed albatross. This cruise allows us many days to explore this truly unique island, the crown jewel of the Antarctic. The landscape filled with expanses of glaciers pouring into the sea provides rare beauty and photogenic impressiveness that words cannot convey. We will enjoy about nine days in the midst of the most beautiful and wildlife-rich island on the planet! Exceptional leadership expertise will enrich your experience throughout the voyage. Our priority on this special expedition is to give you the maximum time possible in the field so you can explore at your own pace during a special time on South Georgia. Come explore South Georgia with us!

I can personally attest to the accuracy of everything above. 🙂


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4 comments to Eyes Burning, Butt in Severe Pain….

  • avatar wtlloyd

    I mentioned this briefly in SeaHouses to Denise, but the ThermaRest Travel Cushion really made a huge difference in my travel comfort. So much so, that I use it while driving long distance as well. Weighs only a couple ounces, self-inflating (the key is to let out the air until it is only about 1/3 full) and rolls up tight to slip into the top of those TT Urban Disguise bags. If you don’t try it, you’ll never know.

    If I HAVE to get some sleep on a plane, the cushion, foam earplugs and even those silly sleep mask blind folds are a must…but they DO work.

    You’ve got my sympathy, keepin’ the nether regions happy is a top priority for me when I travel!

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks. I am pain free and feeling great after a nice breakfast. I use all of the above when available and often use the Mobile hotspot on my Droid. It is pretty pricey but is also a business deduction. a

  • Hope you are feeling better! Question about travel: do you use the hotel/motel WiFi or public WiFi to upload your blog? Or do you have something else personal to use. Thanks and have a great shoot in Alaska!