The Continuation… And “It’s not bragging if you can do it” « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Continuation... And “It’s not bragging if you can do it”

What’s Up?

Yesterday was one of those rare days where lots of wonderful things happened and weeks of hard work paid off in spades. The latter several times over.

In the morning I tried to call Shawn Marie Greene, the 1979 sixth grade student of mine at PS 106 in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn who had commented on my Facebook page on Tuesday. She did not pick up so I called her friend Dr. Joylene John and by luck she picked up the phone in her office. She was thrilled to learn that Shawn wanted to touch base with her. Joylene mentioned that she had been telling a friend a few weeks back that in sixth grade her class did a great performance of The Wiz and that she sang “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News!” Her friend said, “I thought that you went to the worst elementary school in New York City. How is it possible that you did a Broadway show with your class?” She responded, “I did. But I had the best teacher ever.”

Right after I hung up Shawn called me and we had a long, wonderful chat reminiscing on the good old days. “Mr. Morris, I can honestly say that sixth grade was the best year of my life.”

Now on to the hard work. My efforts to gain sponsorship for the San Diego exhibit finally paid off. Yesterday I learned that Wimberley, 4th Generation Design, and Cheeseman’s Ecology Safaris would join Delkin Devices as exhibit sponsors. And B&H generously committed to becoming the exhibit’s major sponsor. Last but not leastly, old friend Mark Lukes of Fine Print Imaging in Fort Collins, CO will be printing the 67 exhibit images on Fuji Crystal Archive Matte finish paper. FPI does all the printing for iLCP, the International League of Conservation Photographers.

Wow and thanks to all who will be involved in the exhibit.

Paraphrasing Frankie Valli, the Four Seasons, and Jersey Boys “Oh What a Day!” (December 1963: Oh What a Night.)

More Bosque IPT Kudos

“It’s not bragging if you can do it”

From good friend, multiple IPT veteran, and Bosque #2 participant Greg Ferguson of Atlanta via e-mail:

Artie, I’m writing to thank you for everything you did to make the recent Bosque IPT a photographic success. As Dizzy Dean said about his pitching performance “It’s not bragging if you can do it.” You can say the same thing about your Bosque IPTs. On your recent IPT you certainly demonstrated you can put your students in the right place at the right time for outstanding shooting opportunities. We were in perfect position to catch a snow geese blast-off silhouetted against the pre-dawn glow in the sky. After only about two minutes of continuous shooting you yelled “We have one minute before we leave for our next location.” Warren Hatch and I started laughing because we thought you were kidding. Why leave when we were getting good shots? Well, much to our surprise, we left and found out why. At the next location we were much closer to the geese and got them blasting off directly toward us and over our heads.

So you aren’t bragging about getting people in the right position at the right time because you can do it. Thanks for the wonderful shooting opportunities and the personal care and attention from both you and from Denise Ippolito. And take some personal time to recover from your health issues! Greg.

From first-timer, Bosque #2 participant Barrett Pierce via e-mail:

Hello Artie, Denise and all the Bosque #2 IPT group, I really enjoyed the Bosque del Apache IPT. The reserve is an enchanting place to be at any hour of the day and it was terrific to be there with the IPT group. Your instruction and comments were very valuable and I appreciate everyone’s help. During the trip I identified 48 different bird species at Bosque del Apache NWR and photographed 18 of them. On this trip I took my first photograph using a tripod and for the first time attempted to create an intentionally blurred image that was pleasing. And I did! I also downloaded my first digital images to my laptop during this IPT. Over 98% of my processing is to hit the delete key and the other 2% is cropping; so I am just getting started in that regard. I selected five handheld images for critique and I would appreciate comments on the photos such as they are, and also on the improvement possibilities from using a good tripod, longer lens, improving my image optimization skills, etc. Best regards and best wishes to all. Barrett Pierce

Selling Your Used 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 advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about 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 all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the yellow-orange tab on the right side of the menu bar above.

After somewhat of a summer lull, things have really been heating up on the Used Gear page recently.

  • Kenton Rowe sold his Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS lens with Internal 1.4X Extender in early December for $9799.
  • Brent Bridges sold his Canon 600 II for the full asking price, $9799,in early December 2015.
  • David Bell sold his Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens yesterday for the full asking price, $699, on the day it was listed!
  • Alan and Sara Levine sold their old 300 f/2.8L IS lens in early December for $3175.
  • Two Canon 500mm f/4L IS lenses (two) were sold by Pat & Stokes Fishburne for $3799 each in late November, 2015.
  • A Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Camera Body was sold by Alice Garland for $1350 in mid-November, 2015.
  • Mike Ederegger sold his AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm F/4 G ED VR II in excellent condition for $ 5199 right after it was listed.
  • Alan and Sara Levine sold their old five, the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS for $4200 in late August, 2015.

New Listing

Canon 500mm f/4L IS II Lens

Troy Duong is offering a Canon 500mm f/4L IS II lens in excellent condition for the new BAA record-low price of $7500.00. The sale includes a LensCoat, the lens trunk, the leather front hood, the rear lens cap and strap, all original manuals and straps, and insured shipping via UPS Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Troy by e-mail or by phone at 1-714-321-3022 (Pacific time).

I have used various versions of the 500mm f/4 lenses for more than two decades. They are the world’s most popular super-telephoto lenses. I owned the Series II 500 and regret selling it as the 600 II is so much heavier and bulkier…. With good sharpness techniques most folks should be able to learn to make razor sharp images with this lens and the 2X III TC. It is light enough so that many folks can hand hold it easily both for flight and general bird photography. The short story: this lens is sharp, relatively light, and much easier to travel than the 600 II. artie


This image was created at Bosque on November 23, Day 2 of the first Bosque IPT, with the Induro tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 400mm) and the Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 200. Evaluative metering +2 stops: 1/30 sec. at f/6.3. Color temperature: K7800.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Small flock of geese/mega-sunrise

The Continuation of Yesterday’s Lesson…

In yesterday’s blog post here we saw two images made at relatively slow shutter speeds, 1/10 and 1/4 sec. Such shutter speeds can be used to create high degrees of blurring. For many, including and especially me, the results–which imply motion–can be quite pleasing. I wrote, Note that when photographing distant flocks images made at 1/60 and even 1/30 sec. will render most of the individual birds relatively sharp. Today’s featured image, created at 1/30 sec., shows that individual birds in a distant flock, will be rendered pretty darned sharp as long as you concentrate on panning at the same speed as the birds are flying.

And again, by working in Tv Mode with the correct exposure compensation (EC) dialed in, you can quickly and easily vary your shutter speeds several times during an individual blast-off.

EC Question

What was the danger of being at +2 exposure compensation? You need to be specific to get it right….


This image was created on the 2015 Cheesemans’ Southern Ocean Expedition with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens and the amazing Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +3 stops (was really pushing it…): 1/640 sec. at f/6.3.

The fourth AF point to the right of the center AF point (Manual selection)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The selected AF point fell on the breast of the closest penguin (on our right). Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: only 12 King Penguins walking across a snowfield

My Favorites

In yesterday’s blog post my favorite of the two images was the more extreme blur, “Image #2: Snow Goose clear morning flock blur 1/4 second shutter speed.

In the “Fortunate in the Snow at Fortuna Bay” post here I far, far preferred the super-high key rendition above (Image #2: only 12 King Penguins walking across a snowfield) to the more standard capture (Image #1: 14 King Penguins walking across a snowfield). I did like the elimination of the two merged penguins in #2 but it was the mega-high key look that really captivated me with its creativity. Most folks who commented did not agree with me 🙂


All images on the card were created on the 2015 Cheesemans’ South Georgia Expedition. From top left clockwise to center: King Penguin resting on Snow, Fortuna Bay; Macaroni Penguin in snow, Cooper Island; Grey-headed Albatross, Elsehul; King Penguin neck abstract, Godthul; Northern Giant Petrel, Undine Harbor; adult Wandering Albatross, Prion Island; Elephant Seal, Undine Harbor; South Georgia Pipit fledgling/thanks Joe Kaplan! Fortuna Bay; high key King Penguins in snow, Fortuna Bay.

Card design and all images copyright 2015: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Cheesemans’ 2016 OCT/NOV South Georgia/Falklands Expedition

If reading last Saturday’s blog post here put a thought in your mind about joining the BIRDS AS ART group on the Cheesemans’ 2016 OCT/NOV South Georgia/Falklands Expedition, please shoot me an e-mail with the words “Cheesemans’ Last South Georgia Expedition” cut and pasted into the Subject Line with any questions or if you wish to receive additional inspiration. This will surely be my last ship-based trip to the Southern Ocean as well.


All of the images on this card were created in the Falklands on the 2014 Cheesemans’ Southern Oceans Expedition. From top left clockwise to center: Black-browed Albatross tending chick, Steeple Jason Island; Black-browed Albatross courting pair, New Island; the Black-browed Albatross colony at Steeple Jason Island; Black-browed Albatross landing, New Island; King Cormorant head portrait, New Island; hull detail/derelict minesweeper, New Island; Rockhopper Penguin head portrait in bright sun, New Island; Striated Caracara, Steeple Jason Island; Magellanic Snipe chick, Sea Lion Island.

An Expedition Overview

Experience the vibrant spring of South Georgia, a true Antarctic wildlife paradise. Observe and photograph wildlife behaviors seldom seen beneath the towering, snow-blanketed mountains that dominate the island’s landscape. Southern Elephant Seal bulls fight for breeding rights while females nurse young, overlook vast colonies of loafing King Penguins, watch Macaroni Penguins cavort in the snow, photograph handsome Gray-headed Albatrosses in flight or attending to their cliffside nests and awkward Wandering Albatrosses attempting first flight. The itinerary includes six landing days on South Georgia and three landing days in the Falklands to observe too cute Rockhopper Penguins, Magellanic Penguins standing watch at their nesting burrows, and more Black-browed Albatrosses than you could ever imagine. To commemorate Shackleton’s famous self-rescue crossing South Georgia, CES also offers an optional trek retracing his steps. With Cheesemans’ twenty years of experience in the Antarctic region, they commit to an in-depth exploration of one of the densest wildlife spectacles found anywhere in the world, and with only 100 passengers, they routinely give you the opportunity to completely immerse yourself on each landing.

Two of the scheduled Falklands’ landings, New Island and especially Steeple Jason Island, rival the best locations on South Georgia. Those will likely include Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Elsehul, Fortuna Bay, and either Cooper Island or Hercules Bay (for Macaroni Penguins).

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. There will likely never be another trip like this as the best outfit in the Southern Oceans business will not be returning after 2016…. Quit dreaming and act now. Though I will not be an expedition staff member on this trip, those who have traveled with me know that I cannot help but teach. And I will be doing a introductory photography program for the entire ship on our crossing to South Georgia. All who sign up via BAA will receive a free copy the new Southern Ocean Photography Guide (a $100 value) that I am currently working on. It will include pre-trip gear and clothing recommendations and a ton of info that you will find to be invaluable.

I will hold informal pre-landing briefings aboard ship so that when you land you know exactly what to expect and where to go. I will be available on the ship to review your images, answer your 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 shipboard birds in flight and marine mammal photographic sessions.

Again, if you would like to join me on what will truly be a once in a lifetime opportunity to a wondrous place, please shoot me an e-mail with the words “Cheesemans’ Last South Georgia Expedition” cut and pasted into the Subject Line.

You can learn more about the trip here. If you sign up on your own be sure to mention that you would like to be part of the BAA Group. I’d be glad to answer any and all question via e-mail or by phone at 863-692-0906.

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.

For additional details on the trip and the ship, see Saturday’s blog post here.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. B&H is recommended for you major photography gear purchases, Amazon for your household, entertainment, and general purpose stuff. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod heads, Gitzo tripods, Wimberley heads and plates, LensCoats and accessories, and the like. We sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. I just learned that my account was suspended during my absence; it should be up and running by Monday at the latest.

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.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right 🙂

4 comments to The Continuation… And “It’s not bragging if you can do it”

  • avatar Mike Cristina

    Re the +2: It appears that you are panning directly across the sunrise which will cause changes in the exposure.


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      While true to some degree, that would not cause any problems….. Hint, compare the EC here with the EC for the images from the two previous blog posts…. a

  • avatar Collier Smyth

    Artie – Thanks for all the effort you put into your blog. Look forward to reading it every day – always informative. I was on one of your Florida IPTs a few years ago. I learned a lot by listening to and watching you for a few days. Got some great pictures as well. I also bought two of your canvases more than a year ago.

    The reason I am writing: I’d love to see the 67 photographs you selected for the SD show. Did you pull them from your entire digital history or are they weighted to more recent pictures?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Collier, Thanks for your kind words an purchases. The great likelihood is that we will be offering a “Top 100” CD featuring the 67 images in the show and my next 33 all-time favorites. Thanks for your interest. artie