A Unique Concept. And Fort DeSoto Weekend In-the-Field Instructional Photo-Sessions « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

A Unique Concept. And Fort DeSoto Weekend In-the-Field Instructional Photo-Sessions.


Thursday was another mile in the pool and lots of exercise. My plan is to share some of the images that I received as part of the The First-Ever RAW File/Image Optimization Challenge with you here on Saturday. Along with my version. And on Sunday to will chime in on the recent Black Skimmer images from the blog post here. Very few folks participated in that editing exercise but it is not too late for you to go back and take a crack at it.

If you missed the announcement of the The LensAlign/FocusTune Micro-Adjusting Tutorial e-Guide, click here. San Diego IPT #1 is now sold out. See the info on San Diego #2 below.


Very Recent Fort DeSoto Images

From bottom left clockwise back to center: Great Egret, blasting sunrise highlights; Black Skimmer, winter plumage in pre-dawn light; Roseate Spoonbill foraging; Brown Pelican, juvenile landing; hybrid heron X egret; American Oystercatcher feeding; Royal Tern, worn juvenile; Great Blue Heron from below.

Cheap Weekend Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Instruction

Saturday, October 21, 2017: Morning session — 6:45am for 3 1/2 hours: $149. Add lunch, image review, and Photoshop session: $249 (total).

Saturday, October 21, 2017: Afternoon session — 4:00pm for 3 1/2 hours: $99.

Saturday October 21, 2017, both sessions including lunch: $329.

Sunday, October 22, 2017: Morning session — 6:45am for 3 1/2 hours: $149.

Learn to get the right exposure every time, to approach free and wild (and often tame!) birds, and to design a pleasing image. And learn the location of my new Fort DeSoto hotspot. To register on Friday call Jim at 863-692-0906 before noon. After that, shoot me an e-mail or call or text me at 863-221-2372.

Canon lens rentals are available on a limited basis: 600 II, 500 II, 400 DO II, 200-400 f/4 with Internal TC, and 100-400 II.

Cheap but great instruction.

The Streak

Today makes eighty-five days in a row with a new educational blog post! This blog post took more than two hours to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not…), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of (I think) four hundred eighty something … Good health and good internet connections willing.

New Listing

Xtrahand Vest

BAA friend Jim Roetzel is offering an Xtrahand Vest, green — size XL — for $275. The vest is in like-new condition with the thick shoulder pads, two large and two small front pockets, the large rear pocket, the rear tripod pocket, and 2 extra side pockets. Jim is including a slightly used BLUBB along with the vest. Full disclosure: a mouse ate a dime-sized hole in the BLUBB to get at the birdseed inside so you will need some sewing skills or sticky heavy-duty tape to it fully functional. The price includes insured ground shipping via UPS to U.S. addresses only. Check or Paypal OK. If by check, the kit will ship when your check clears. Please contact Jim via e-mail or by phone at 1-330-687-4073 (Eastern time). Photos available upon request.

Price Reduction

Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Price Reduced $115 AUD/Australia and New Zealand Sale Only

IPT veteran Barry Barfield from Down Under is offering a used Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in excellent condition for $4900 AUD ($3825 USD) was $5015 AUD ($4050 USD). The sale includes the lens trunk with keys, the front leather cover, the rear lens cap, a Max 4 LensCoat, a Forest Green Hoodie, and insured ground shipping to Australia and New Zealand. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Photos are available upon request.

Please contact Barry via e-mail or by cell phone at +61.418780575.

The 500 f/4s have been the world’s most popular telephoto lenses for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. I owned and used and loved my “old five” for many years. If you live Down Under and don’t have the cash for the 500 II and can handle the additional 1 1/2 pounds (exactly), then this is your next best option. artie


Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of 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.


This image was created on the last morning of the 2017 Fort DeSoto Fall IPT by participant Jim Miller with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and the EOS 5D Mark II( (now replaced by and my favorite heron eyeball photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/320 sec. at f/16 in Av mode. Daylight WB.

Great Blue Heron from below

Image courtesy of and copyright 2017: Fall DeSoto IPT participant Jim Miller.

A Unique Concept

Here is a unique concept that you can use to learn to create great images:

1-Stay close to the leader.

2-Listen carefully.

3-Follow the simple directions.

4-Ask questions if you get confused.

5-Make lots of great images!

Thanks to Jim for the use of his wonderful image. He stayed close to me for the whole IPT as did most of the group. Most everyone went home with many wonderful images. He made his while standing right next to me as I made the image featured in the Here’s Looking Down at You! And another depth-of-field lesson … blog post here and on the DeSoto composite image card above. You know, come to think of it I just might like Jim’s image better than mine …


2017 in San Diego was a very good year ….

2018 San Diego 3 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART IPT #2: Sunday, JAN 28 thru and including a morning session on Wednesday, JAN 31, 2018: 3 1/2 days: $1699.
Limit: 8: Openings: 7

Meet and Greet at 6:30pm on the evening before the IPT begins; Saturday, Jan 27, 2018.

San Diego IPT #2: Shorter and Less Expensive!

Please remember: I go with one.

Join me in San Diego near the end of January to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (usually nesting and displaying) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Ring-necked Duck; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Wood Duck and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Whimbrel, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seal (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lion; 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. Please note: formerly dependable, both Wood Duck and Marbled Godwit have been declining at their usual locations for the past two years …


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….

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. You can do most of your photography with an 80- or 100-400 lens …

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 four 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, three 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, three lunches, and after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. Dinners are on your own so that we can get some sleep.

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 11/1/2016. 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.

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt 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.


Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use the logo link above.

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here.


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 :).

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