La Jolla Has Gone to the Dogs, But Oh How I Love Photography! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

La Jolla Has Gone to the Dogs, But Oh How I Love Photography!

What’s Up?

I am somewhere in South America. I hope that you are well. Jim and Jen are at the office most days to help you with your mail order needs and Instructional Photo-Tour sign-ups. I still need folks for San Diego, Japan, Galapagos, the Palouse, and the Bear Boat (Grizzly Cubs) trips. Among others 🙂 Please e-mail for couples and discount info for all of the above. Click here for complete IPT info.

I will have intermittent internet access for the rest of my South American adventure. I get back home late on December 25, 2016. Best and great picture making, artie

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of the folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

The Streak: 401!

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 401 days in a row with a new educational blog post. 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 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/7.1 in Manual mode. Daylight WB.

Two AF points up and two to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The selected AF point just caught the top of the dog’s right eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Beagle on a leash out for a walk

La Jolla Has Gone to the Dogs, But Oh How I Love Photography!

When I was 13, my Grandma Selma–my Dad’s mom—the only grandparent that I ever knew, got me a beagle for my birthday. The first time I played with it, it bit me. Since then, I never liked dogs much. Before long, my grandma had a new pet of her own. But dogs are cute and many of them have interesting faces. At La Jolla, lots of folks walk their dogs along the sidewalks and often stop to ask about the birds. This was especially true in the late winter of 2016, when the Brandt’s Cormorants were nesting above the swimming cove.

As you see here, there are times when it is impossible to resist photographing them. Do understand that whenever you photograph a subject that is out of the ordinary for you, that you should take the same care that you would had you been photographing your favorite subject. Be sure to get the exposure right, to create a sharp image, and to strive for a pleasing image design. To do otherwise is, in my book, is to disrespect photography. I guess that that is my way of saying that there are no grab shots.


This image was created at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 286mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 1000. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AWB.

Two AF points to the left and two rows up from the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The selected AF point was on the dog’s left eye. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Is this a Pekingese?

Your Favorite?

Which of today’s featured images do you like best? Why?

Which of these two dogs would you like to own? Why? (Neither is a fine answer.)


San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

2017 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) JAN 11 thru and including the morning session on JAN 15: 4 1/2 days: $1999.

(Limit: 10/openings 6)

Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the evening before the IPT begins; Tuesday 1/10/17.

Join me in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lions; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well.

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography. And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication.

Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter?


Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings.

The San Diego Details

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, four lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility.

A $599 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 9/11//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. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.

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 please remember that I am 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, 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 La Jolla Has Gone to the Dogs, But Oh How I Love Photography!

  • I love dogs! I cannot imagine life without one, but I personally prefer friendly happy dogs. Both images are beautiful, but I prefer the Beagle. I also think #2 looks like a Shi Tzu.

  • avatar Cheri

    I prefer the beagle image .. I find dogs the most loyal companion you could have. Total unconditional love, always had one and always will. Love photographing them, their facial expression and eyes say it all. Sorry you had a bad early experience with yours .. I have a few friends that fear all dogs. Totally respect that opinion tho. I personally wouldn’t want to have either, I prefer large breed dogs! Safe travels

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    I have been in the company of dogs all my life, would not want to be without their company. Both are my favourites. Great images great subjects!

  • avatar Maggi Fuller

    Definitely NOT a Pekingese! I’m with Dave… prefer German Shepherds, but if you are going to have a small dog, Beagles are great! Hence, I prefer the first shot!

  • avatar Jack D Waller

    Nice except for that distracting photographer in the eye! (:>)


  • I think pic #2 is a Shihpoo. It looks an awful lot like my two little girls.

  • avatar Janet Delight

    The beagle is much more appealing. I like the eyes and the way it is looking out from behind someone’s leg. And I like the rock wall background.
    No small dogs for me. I have Belgian Sheepdogs.

  • avatar Dave kenny

    I prefer the first shot I find the eyes of the beagle more engaging. I believe the second shot is a Shi Tzu? Not sure if that’s the correct spelling. I prefer german shepherd’s.