Serendipitous Gull-bow and the Singh-Ray 77mm Warming Polarizer… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Serendipitous Gull-bow and the Singh-Ray 77mm Warming Polarizer...

What’s Up?

I got some BAA work done and spent a lot of time on BPN on Saturday as my jet-lag continued to improve. On the recently concluded 2016 Puffins and Gannets IPT long-time friend and client Mike (Mikeegee) Goldhamer was back for a second go-round. And yesterday, I learned that George Golumbeski who was also on the first puffin IPT, will be joining me in 2017 for a second shot at the puffins and gannets.

I prepared this blog post in about 90 minutes on Sunday morning.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, unbelievable, incomprehensible, makes-no-sense, 244 days in a row with a new educational blog post. And I still have dozens of new topics to cover; there should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. AND Please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the new BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.


This image was created on the puffin boat as we headed back to the harbor at Seahouses on July 2, Day 5 of the 2016 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. I used the hand held Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens (at 105mm) and the fast, rugged, professional Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with 64GB c-Fast Card and Reader. ISO 800. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop in Av mode: 1/2000 sec. at f/7.1. AWB.

Center AF point/AI Servo Spot AF/Rear Focus AF on the horizon and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Herring Gull flying under rainbow

Serendipitous Gull-bow and the Singh-Ray 77mm Warming Polarizer…

“Rainbow” was the call, off of the port side of the boat that had carried us to the puffins, Arctic Terns, murres, Razorbills, and Black-headed Gulls. I grabbed my most accessible camera body, the 1DX II, got my 24-105 and the Singh-Ray 77mm Warming Circular Polarizer from my Xtrahand Vest, and spun the polarizer to dark. Then I went to work. I started wide at about 28mm and was surprised that I was able to get the whole rainbow into the frame. As the central part of the rainbow began to fade, it became evident that the section of the rainbow on our right was the brighter side so I zoomed in to 105mm. In both cases I rear focused on the horizon and re-composed upwards. As the boat was moving parallel to the rainbow and the distance was great, I was not worried about any focusing accuracy problems; I had a ton of depth-of-field. When I saw the gull flying towards the boat in the perfect position under the rainbow I held the shutter button down for about ten frames. The best wing position was the one in today’s featured image.

Singh-Ray Filters

Singh-Ray filters have been used by the world’s top photographers for many decades. I always have my 77mm Singh-Ray Warming Polarizer in the upper left pocket of my Xrtrahand vest where I can grab it quickly in case of a rainbow; they are few and far between… I also used my 5-stop 77mm ND to do some diving gannet videos; it enabled me to work with wide apertures to minimize dust spotting.

No other filter manufacturer comes close to matching the quality of Singh-Ray’s optical glass that is comparable to that used by NASA. And they continue to pioneer the most innovative products on the market like their ColorCombo polarizer, Vari-ND variable and Mor-Slo 15-stop neutral density filters. When you use their filters, you’ll create better, more dramatic images and, unlike 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 5-Stop Mor-Slo Filter (for example), click on the logo link above, click on “Neutral and color
Solid Neutral Density Filters (glass), then click on “Mor-Slo™ 5, 10, 15 and 20-Stop Solid Neutral Density Filters (glass),” choose the size and model, add to cart, and then checkout. At checkout, type artie10 into the “Have a coupon? Click here to enter your code” box, 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.

Xtrahand Vest

On the 2016 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT, my Xtrahand Vest proved to be incredibly valuable on the two island landings each day. It enabled me to bring a ton of extra gear every day along with extra clothing, my lunch, lots of water, and my insulin and needles. I use a custom-designed Magnum Vest that John Storrie knows as the BIRDS AS ART Big Lens Vest. It is based on their Magnum vest. If you do a search for “vest’ or vested “interest” on the blog it will take you to many mentions in both the blog and the Bulletins with lots of additional info. See especially the blog posts here and here.

Once you call John you can discuss customizing your vest. Be sure to have a tape measure in hand. Please let him know that BAA sent you.

The Xtrahand Vest website:

John’s e-mail.

U.S. Only: 1 800 928 0157
Outside U.S.: 1+ 940 484 2222


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT
Monday July 3 through Monday July 10, 2017: $5999: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 6). Two great leaders: Arthur Morris and BPN co-owner, BPN Photography Gear Forum Moderator, and long-time BAA Webmaster Peter Kes.

Here are the plans: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on July 2 and arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday July 3 no later than 10am (or simply meet us then at the Edinburgh Airport–EDI, or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe). Stay 7 nights in one of three gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are five days of planned puffin/seabird trips and one morning of gannet photography, all weather permitting of course. In three years we have yet to miss an entire day because of weather… In addition, we will enjoy several sessions of photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The Details

We will get to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet; Arctic, Sandwich, and Common Terns, the former with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks. We will be staying in upscale country-side lodging that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with a private bathroom. See the limited single supplement info below.

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared by you in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day.

If you wish to fly home on the morning of Monday July 10 we will get you to the airport. Please, however, consider the following tentative plans: enjoy a second Gannet boat trip on the afternoon of Monday July 10 and book your hotel room in Dunbar. If all goes as planned, those who stay on for the two extra days will make a morning landing at Bass Rock, one of the world’s largest gannetries. We will get everyone to the airport on the morning of Wednesday July 12. (We may opt to stay in Edinburgh on the night of July 11.) Price and details should be finalized at least six months before the trip but you will need to be a bit patient. It would be ideal if I can get all the work done by the end of September so that folks can arrange their flights then.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2016.

Deposit Info

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome–please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on March 29, 2017. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. 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. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

Single Supplement Deposit Info

Single supplement rooms are available on a limited basis. To ensure yours, please register early. The single supplement fee is $1575. If you would like your own room, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement; your single supplement deposit check should be for $3,575. As we will need to commit to renting the extra space, single supplement deposits are non-refundable so please be sure that check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. 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. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. 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 of running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print careful even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

This trip has sold out far in advance every year so do not tarry. I hope that you can join me.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, 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 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, and for everything else in the new store, 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 those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


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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 Serendipitous Gull-bow and the Singh-Ray 77mm Warming Polarizer…

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Beautiful image Artie.
    Perfectly framed!
    I am impressed how straight the horizon is. Even with a grid, must have been challenging. 🙂

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks g-K,

      It is even easier when you know how to use the Ruler Tool and Image > Rotate > Arbitrary in Photoshop 🙂

      Getting it perfect from a rocking boat is not easy even with the grid and the in-camera level. Best tip: frame a bit wide so that you have the canvas to level with…


      • avatar Kerry Morris


      • avatar Jackie Milburn

        Kerry expressed my very thoughts!

        Plus, it was one of those moments of being in the right place at the right time and knowing how to handle the situation. Singh-ray is now on my want list.

        Have a great swim today!
        🙂 J