Sea Of Colors–What Are You Willing to Do for a Great Image? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Sea Of Colors--What Are You Willing to Do for a Great Image?

What’s Up?

Had a great visit with Dr. Dan Holland at True Sports care in Nesconset on Tuesday afternoon. The guy is a magician. My shoulder is feeling 500% better and I plan on getting back in the pool on Wednesday.

Wind and weather are looking good for FRI and SAT mornings at Nickerson. If anyone is interested in cheap ($350) private or small group instruction (limit 3) please shoot me an e-mail. The session includes a working brunch and image review. More dates to follow. Inquiries welcome.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 259 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.


While everyone knows that you can see some fine bird photography in the Avian Forum on BPN, many are not aware that their are lots of other great critique forums for nature photographers. Those include Landscapes, Cityscapes and Travel, Wildlife, Macro and Flora, Out of the Box, and Eager to Learn (among others).

There is no way around it: having your images critiqued and critiquing the work of others is the best way to improve as a nature photographer.


This image was created at Costa Vicentina, Porto Covo, Portugal by BPN member Luis Patacão. He used a tripod-mounted Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM Autofocus Zoom Lens For Nikon Cameras and the Nikon D7000 (now replaced by the Nikon D7100. A 2-stop soft-edge neutral density filter was used to help achieve a slow shutter speed.

Sea of Colors. Image courtesy of and copyright 2016 Luis Patacão

What Are You Willing to Do for a Great Image?

I first saw today’s featured image a few weeks ago in the Landscapes, Cityscapes and Travel Critique forum on BirdPhotographer’s.Net (BPN; it ain’t just birds!)

In his BPN post here, Luis wrote:

A image in one of my favorite coastal peaces of Portugal (Costa Vicentina, Porto Covo). Here I was almost completely in the water playing with the shutter and motion of the sea.

To me the most important word is playing. Digital has given all of us the ability to experiment, often with slow shutter speeds, the ability to play. To play with light, to play with motion, to play with color, and to play with photography. That is the single thing that I love most about digital.

After reading the thread here and leaving a comment, I asked a few questions and learned that Luis took his camera gear into the waves with his tripod and positioned it so that his camera was just inches from the surface of the water.

I was curious as to whether Luis owned a more expensive camera and took his backup D7000 into the ocean to reduce risk. But as it turns out, his D7000 is the only camera that he owns. Thus, he was risking pretty much everything to create today’s image.

From Luis via e-mail: I own a budget setup.

What’s the Big Lesson?

You do not need a $6,000+ camera body and the best lenses to create truly memorable images. Desire, heart, brains, skill, determination, and imagination and creative vision always trump (sorry about that, but I am apolitical…) the most expensive gear.

Related Questions

What’s the craziest thing that you have ever done with your expensive camera gear?

What are your thoughts on Luis’s image?


Big time thanks to Luis for allowing me to share his image with y’all here. And for his BPN membership support. I am proud to say that the BPN community includes extremely talented photographers from every corner of the globe.


Learn the secrets of creating contest winning images in our “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs.”

A Guide to Pleasing Blurs

In A Guide to Pleasing Blurs the authors discuss just about every technique ever used by mankind to create pleasingly blurred images. Ninety-nine point nine percent of pleasing blurs are not happy accidents. You can learn pretty much everything that there is to know about creating them in this instructive, well written, easy to follow guide.


Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card

Why Different?

Announcing the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour

In what ways will the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour be different from the most other Palouse workshops?

There are so many great locations that a seven-day IPT (as opposed to the typical three- or five-day workshops) will give the group time to visit (and revisit) many of the best spots while allowing you to maximize your air travel dollars. In addition, it will allow us to enjoy a slightly more relaxed pace.

You will be assured of being in the right location for the given weather and sky conditions.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills.

You will learn to design powerful, graphic images.

You will visit all of the iconic locations and a few spectacular ones that are much less frequently visited.

You will learn long lens landscape techniques.

You will learn to master any exposure situation in one minute or less.

You will learn the fine points of Canon in-camera (5D Mark III, 5DS R, and 7D II) HDR techniques.

You will be able to share a variety of my exotic Canon lenses including the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, aka the “circle lens.”

You will learn to use your longest focal lengths to create rolling field and Urbex abstracts.

You will learn when and how to use a variety of neutral density filters to create pleasing blurs of the Palouse’s gorgeous rolling farmlands.

As always, you will learn to see like a pro. You will learn what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time. You will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images.

You will learn to use super-wide lenses both for big skies and building interiors.

You will learn when, why, and how to use infrared capture; if you do not own an infrared body, you will get to borrow mine.

You will learn to use both backlight and side-light to create powerful and dramatic landscape images.

This trip will run with one participant.


Palouse 2016 Verticals Card

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour
June 8-14, 2017. Seven full days of photography. Meet and greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 7: $2,499

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will enjoy spectacular sunrises and at least one nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. I will bring you to more than a few 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 me for this trip. 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.

Over the past three years, with the help of a friend, we found all the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and vistas. What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, my extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions. As above, there will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before the workshop begins.

To Sign Up

Your non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining this IPT. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours to arrange for the payment of your deposit; if by check, please make out to “BIRDS AS ART” 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 me via e-mail: artie.

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.

Please Remember to use my 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.


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 🙂

8 comments to Sea Of Colors–What Are You Willing to Do for a Great Image?

  • avatar Jon

    Some one told me P is for Professional and M is for Muppet, is that right?
    I think the image is absolutely beautiful.

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    Thanks for sharing Luis Patacao’s image — just lovely!

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Craziest thing i’ve done with my gear?
    Probably having my camera around my neck and not secured in a pack, while climbing up, then down a mountain via rope.
    Luis’s image is simply beautiful. Lots of movement in the foreground, yet it’s very serene. Love the colors!

    Artie – good to hear your shoulder is better!

  • avatar Tony Botelho

    Outstanding photo that Luis Patacao captured. Many, many years ago when I was going to photography school I remembered another outstanding image taken by a visiting professional photographer with his Kodak point and shoot film camera which proved to me that it’s not the camera but the person behind the camera.

  • avatar Jackie Milburn

    I’ve taken quiet a few risk…scaling rock face cliffs, traversing across swift moving water on a slippery concrete bridge (that was the scariest). Being chased by a bear and my only weapon was my camera and tripod. Wading in a pond that had a dramatic drop off with about 2 feet of muck…love taking the risk!!

    Oh! I found P mode a life saver this past weekend at a hot and sultry CW reenactment…I’m still recouping from that one 🙂

    • avatar Jackie Milburn

      BTW – Luis Patacão Beautiful capture!!

      Artie, I’m with you – apolitical all the way!

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Hey Doug, That P mode comment is too funny. As for the rest, par for the course 🙂


  • Years and years ago, when I joined you after a Florida IPT on James Shadle’s boat.

    At that time, it was the first time I was ever on a boat. Then actually getting into the bay with the water up to almost my chest, along with my camera gear? That was crazy for me. I was so worried my gear would end up in the water. Not to mention that I was always looking for sharks 🙂

    Nowadays, about the only crazy thing I do with my camera is use P mode every once in awhile 🙂