The Photography Workshop Leader’s Role … And Congrat’s to Diana Rebman! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Photography Workshop Leader’s Role ... And Congrat's to Diana Rebman!

What’s Up?

I have been working hard on the new BAA Gallery each day. I went to bed early and have been up for a while. It is now 5:25am. I just poked my head out the back door to check for stars (they were out) and was surprised at how chilly it was … Yesterday I walked and swam and plan to do the same today along with a bit of photography.

IPT Stuff

Please e-mail for DeSoto IPT late-registration discount info.

IPT Updates

  • The 2019 Fall Sandbar Secrets Fort DeSoto IPT/September 27-30, 2019: One-half and three FULL DAYS: $1499.00. Free Morning Session on Tuesday, October 1. Limit 6/Openings 2. Afternoon session on Friday, September 25 at 4pm, followed by three full days. We photograph till sunset on Monday, September 30
  • The Return to Bosque Reduced Rate Scouting IPT. NOV 26-28, 2019 — 3 FULL DAYS: $1199.00. Limit: 8/Openings: 6. Extra Day Options: Join me for one to three extra In-the-Field Days at the end of the IPT as follows: FRI 29 NOV, SAT 30 NOV, and SUN 1 DEC for only $300.00/day.
  • The 2020 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) WED JAN 8, 2020 thru and including the morning session on SUN JAN 12: 4 1/2 days: $2099.(Limit: 8/Openings: 5)

BIRDS AS ART

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

BigFoot-COMPAT

FlexShooter Pro News

All FlexShooter Pro BigFeet are now in stock in the BAA Online Store. You can click on the chart above or here for more information.

Coming Soon

The FlexShooter Mini

Several months ago I had a FlexShooter Mini to test on both the UK Puffins and Gannets IPT and the Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime. It is a smaller, lighter (one pound!) version of the amazing FlexShooter Pro. I used it often with both the Nikon 500 PF and the SONY 100-400 GM with great success and in a pinch, I was able to make sharper images with the Nikon 600 and the TC-E14. All with the Mini mounted on the lighter Induro GIT 204. I suggested to developer/manufacturer Csaba Karai that the Mini needed a bit more spring tension. A new batch with my suggested changes should be in stock in about two weeks.

The FlexShooter Mini with the lighter Induro GIT 204 is dead-solid-perfect for those whose intermediate telephoto or telephoto zoom is their workhorse lens for bird and nature photography. It will sell for $579 plus shipping. Folks who wish to be assured of getting one from our first shipment can order theirs by phone by calling Jim at 863-692-0906 asap. Your card will not be charged until your Mini is shipped. We already have five orders to ship from our first shipment.

FlexShooter Pro Update

We currently have only four FlexShooter Pro heads in stock here. We have all but one of the BigFeet in stock (phone orders only for now: 863-692-0906) but are sold out of the new FLN-60 BigFoot that was recently re-designed for the Nikon 600 VR. Click here to access the pretty much complete FlexShooter Pro story with videos.

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Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Steve currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is getting folks the hot new SONY stuff: the 200-600, the 600 f/4 GM, and the 7R iv. And the wait-list is short for the Nikon 500 P.



Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers 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. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

Long-tailed-tit-for-AM

This image was created on the 2017 Japan in Winter IPT by participant Diana Rebman. She used the tripod/Mongoose-mounted Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 VR lens with the TC-E17 teleconverter and the Nikon D500: ISO: 1600: 1/1600sec. at f/8.

Long-tailed Tit, drinking from melting icicle, Lake Kusharro, Hokaido, Japan
Image courtesy of and copyright 2017: Diana Rebman

Notice how Diana carefully chose her perspective so that the subject was framed by the branches that were closer to her and thus more in focus and more prominent. (I did mention that out loud in the field.)

One of Many Prize Winners!

On September 9 I received the following e-mail from a very proud and happy Diana Rebman:

Hi All, I am thrilled to be able to let everyone know that my image a Long-tailed Tit taken in Hokkaido, Japan, is Highly Commended in the 2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. It will be part of the exhibition at the Museum of Natural History in London. It was also one of the highly commended images selected to be included in the exhibit “preview.” And thus, it was released to the press today. I am honored to be part of this amazing exhibit. Out of 48,000 entries, only about 100 images are chosen. The exhibit will open in London in mid-October. After closing in London, it will tour the world for the following year or so. I am hopeful that the exhibit will run at some US venues sometime next year.

I sent her a “mazel tov” e-mail and asked if she would like to have the image featured in a BAA blog post. I remember the situation well. Several Long-tailed Tits were coming to an icicle sipping the water melting at the tip. at first, the sun was out, so I prayed. Judging by the soft light in Diana’s honored photo, it worked. I did not do as well as Diana who was working with an effective focal length of 765mm (300 X 1.7 X the 1.5 crop-factor) at f/8 with a high shutter speed of 1/1600 sec. Good on Diana for going to a high enough ISO.

Then I got this one from her:

Hi Artie, I’d be delighted to have this image featured in a blog post. I have resized the photo but am terrible at knowing if it is less than 400KB. If it is too big, let me know and I’ll try again. Also, moved the signature. The date in the EXIF data shows 2-19-2017 but since I frequently forget to reset the clock in my camera, I believe the real date was 2-20-2017.

I was going to email you this AM anyway to ask for your help. Could you tell me again, exactly where this photo was created. I know that it was near the onsen (outdoor steam bath) near the lake with the Whooper Swans, but don’t know the name of the lake or the exact area of Hokkaido. Someone from BBC wants to speak with me later this week about this photo, and I’d like to give them as correct a location as possible. I really appreciate your help.

Over the past several months I have been thinking a lot about the Japan 2017 trip. I’ve done several trips where I made one or two award-winning images — particularly Rwanda 2011 with another WPTOY commended image and a Nature’s Best image. The Japan IPT, however, was the first trip I’ve ever made that rewarded me with so many winning images. This award makes at least 5 and possibly 6 or 7 … I have concluded that you got us to amazing locations and then gave me the freedom to photograph the scenes that really spoke to me. I know you might have preferred we stay a bit closer so as to learn more from you, but I felt I was able to learn from you at the same time pursuing my personal vision. I am incredibly indebted to you for providing me that opportunity. Thank you 🙂

Cheers,
Diana

I replied:

YAW. The JPEG sizing was perfect; thank you. We were at Lake Kussharo, and yes, it was 2-20-17. Some folks stay close, some want and need freedom. I am glad that it turned out to be such a great trip for you. I had a Nature’s Best-honored Red-crowned Crane from that trip. Feel free to send another few of your honored images from that trip. Please also send the EFIX data — lens, camera, TC, shutter speed, ISO, and aperture.

Thanks with love, a

As it turned out, all of her honored images were of a Long-tailed Tit drinking from the icicle! (I had assumed that the honored images featured other subjects.) In any case, it proves the points that I make here often: don’t quit after making one (good) image and thinking, “I’ve got that.” Work a good subject and keep working it. In short, if you’ve got a good horse, ride it! Diana did send several other contest-honored versions but the one above was my favorite.

The Photography Workshop Leader’s Role …

When it read this, I have concluded that you got us to amazing locations and then gave me the freedom to photograph the scenes that really spoke to me. I know you might have preferred we stay a bit closer so as to learn more from you, but I felt I was able to learn from you at the same time pursuing my personal vision, it really struck me and I realized that it would make a great topic for the blog. So here goes.

On the BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) General Information page here, I write:

Do know that the leader, that’s me: Arthur Morris (and the co-leader if any), photographs during IPTs. I will always let you know what I am doing and why and am always available to answer your questions. I often teach by example. In addition to the in-the-field sessions, there is much teaching done during the lunches (and even during dinners on rare occasions as most evening meals are on your own so as to save time…). Many folks take advantage of these times to ask a multitude of questions on a great variety of photography topics. In addition, many folks (including me) often learn a ton from skilled IPT participants.

At the start of each IPT, I say to the group, “The closer that you stay to me the more you will learn. And the more questions that you ask, the more you will learn.” That said, many experienced photographers choose to stay away from the group and do their own thing. That is especially true on international trips to astounding locations like Japan, the Falklands, and Galapagos. I strive not to take that personally. Heck, as we learned from Diana’s e-mail, many folks do better on their own.

As far as teaching in the field goes, the more folks who stay with the leader, the more folks who ask questions, and the more folks respond to the leaders’ suggestions and advice, the more involved and energized the leader becomes. On some trips, most recently the 2019 Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime, pretty much everyone was doing their own thing as tame subjects were plentiful and the situations were often hard-to-believe amazing …

My very favorite is when a client who has gone off by themselves for days and never asked a single question tells me after the trip that my teaching in the field was not up to their standards. 🙂

What Do You Want From a Photo-Tour Leader?

Please leave a comment and let us know what you want from your photography tour leader, or to share your thoughts on anything covered above.

Bosque-2019-big-card

Bosque del Apache 2019 IPT

Notice the incredible variety of images that you can learn to make by developing your skills and your creative vision on a BAA IPT.

2019 Bosque del Apache IPT

Return to Bosque Reduced Rate Scouting IPT #1. NOV 26-28, 2019 — 3 FULL DAYS: $1199.00. Limit: 8/Openings: 6. Introductory Meet and greet at 7pm on MON 25 NOV.

Extra Day Options: Join me for one to three In-the-Field Days as follows: FRI 29 NOV, SAT 30 NOV, and SUN 1 DEC for only $300.00/day.

I quit going to Bosque several years ago as conditions had worsened each year for several seasons running. My understanding is that things have improved dramatically in recent years. Photography-wise, I know Bosque better than anyone. Join me to learn how wind and sky conditions influence bird photography, how to create dramatic sunrise and sunset silhouettes, how to be in the right place at the right time, and how to create contest-winning blurs. As usual, you will learn to get the right exposure every time, to use your camera’s AF system to create pleasing, balanced image designs, and to improve your flight photography skills.

We should get to photograph many thousands of Snow Geese, more than a few blast-offs, some Ross’s Geese, and lots of Sandhill Cranes in the water, taking flight and flying. Depending on local conditions we may get to shoot some ducks: point-blank American Wigeon and Wood Duck. With any luck, we might enjoy sunrises and sunsets that leave you in tears. Live, eat, and breathe photography with one of (if not the) world’s premier photographic educators at one of his very favorite locations on the planet. Top-notch Photoshop instruction. Join me to learn to think like a pro and to recognize situations and to anticipate them based on the weather. Every time we make a move, I will let you know why. When you get home, applying what you learned will prove to be invaluable.

Lunch is included.

To Register

To register, send your non-refundable $500 deposit — check made out to BIRDS AS ART — via US Mail to PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. Or call Jim weekdays at 863-692-0906 to put your non-refundable deposit on a credit card. Balances must be paid in full by check no later than two months before the IPT. If you cancel, all but your deposit will be refunded only if the IPT sells out.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for both big international trips and US-based IPTs is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality travel 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 or running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance, be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.


If In Doubt …

If you are 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 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 or Bedfords, 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 or Bedfords 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.

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Typos

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

5 comments to The Photography Workshop Leader’s Role … And Congrat’s to Diana Rebman!

  • avatar Joel Eade

    There are so many ways to learn I suspect it is challenging to satisfy everyone all the time….but I think one should never adopt the attitude that they can only learn one way. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open….I bet there would be something to learn by just listening to your conversations with other participants.

    My workshop experience is very limited. The only workshop I have ever been on was a private outing with you at Ft DeSoto during which you were essentially teaching continuously. I not only learned a ton we had great fun too.

    If you run your groups the same way then I would say your advice is spot on ….. stick close …. listen and ask anything you need to. Most of all enjoy the experience of being in a primo location capturing images as well as great memories.

  • avatar Mike Cristina

    Hi Artie,

    We find one of the more difficult challenges as a tour leader is to spend equal time with everyone on the trip. Some tend to ask more of you, some are more timid, some are more interesting. It’s easy to gravitate to, or get pulled in by certain individuals. It’s no one’s fault but we have to remind ourselves to be attentive to everyone.

    Mike

  • avatar Richard

    Hi Artie,

    The following is duplicated text:

    rel=”noopener noreferrer” target=”_blank”>Do know that the leader, that’s me: Arthur Morris (and the co-leader if any), photographs during IPTs. I will always let you know what I am doing and why and am always available to answer your questions. I often teach by example. In addition to the in-the-field sessions, there is much teaching done during the lunches (and even during dinners on rare occasions as most evening meals are on your own so as to save time…). Many folks take advantage of these times to ask a multitude of questions on a great variety of photography topics. In addition, many folks (including me) often learn a ton from skilled IPT participants.

    Regards,
    Richard

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