Bright Ideas: You be the Photo Editor « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Bright Ideas: You be the Photo Editor

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This yawning Ring-billed Gull was photographed in bright sun on a clear, blue sky day at Fort DeSoto Park, near St. Petersburg, FL. Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-50D. ISO 250. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/2000 sec. at f/10.

Bright Ideas: You be the Photo Editor

I am in the final stages of working with Helen Longest-Saccone, Editor-in-Chief of Nature Photographer magazine, on my next article, “Photographing Nature in Bright Sun.”

Here are the topics that I cover in the text:

  • Work right on sun angle
  • When the light is bright, think tight
  • Use lots of flash
  • Create pleasing blurs with the help of light-robbing filters
  • Utilize strong backlight (gasp!)
  • Create shade for your subject
  • Find a subject in the shade

Okay, you are the photo editor. Click here to see my lightbox submission of 53 images. Then click on the first image to enlarge it and then click next to make your way through the images. Pick eight to illustrate the article, keeping in mind the fact that it would be great to have at least one image for each category. (Note: you will find the image name in the lower right corner of the screen.

The HTML slide show was created in Breezebrowser Pro in about 20 seconds and then uploaded to our server by my right-hand man, Jim Litzenberg. It is just one of the things that I love about Breezebrowser. To learn more about Breezebrowser and Downloader Pro click here.

In a few days, I will share my picks and include the category for each. And a few days after that, I will share Helen’s picks with you.

Shopper’s Guide

Here is a list of the gear (or the current replacement) that I used to create the image above.

Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens
Canon EOS 7D

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Gitzo 3530 LS Tripod
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head
Delkin 32gb e-Film Pro Compact Flash Card

If you are considering the purchase of a major piece of photographic gear be it a new camera, a long lens, a tripod or a head, or some accessories be sure to check out our complete Shopper’s Guide.

17 comments to Bright Ideas: You be the Photo Editor

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Jim, Thanks for your kind words. Sorry that I missed your question. The Ring-billed Gull image was indeed created with the 50D. Sorry for the confusion 🙂 artie

  • Hugh Fitzmorris

    For work on the sun angle:American Wigeon EoW5665, For when light is bright:Great EgretV5W0598, for lots of flash:Yellow billed kite, for blurs with filters:Snow Geese blast Polarizer, For strong backlight:Galapagos Hawk B7Z0050, for create shade for subject:Samboro woman T9J2828, For find subject in shade:Purple Sandpiper 9M409720

  • Ted Miller

    * Work right on sun angle
    hood mockingbird threat posture robt_w3c1366 punta suarez, hood island, galapagos
    brown pelican preening tight _mg_6837 lajolla, ca
    * When the light is bright, think tight
    northen gannet feeding chick _mg_3837 bonaventure island quebec canada
    * Use lots of flash
    olive baboon yawning _l8x1074 lake manyara n
    * Create pleasing blurs with the help of light-robbing filters
    snow geese blast off 215 mm 1-8 at f-20 _y9c0246 bosque del apache nwr, san antonio, nm
    * Utilize strong backlight (gasp!)
    horned puffin flared flight backlit _v5w0623 lake clark national park, ak
    * Create shade for your subject
    mexican milkweed blossoms _h2d1249 hidalgo county, tx
    * Find a subject in the shade
    purple sandpiper in shade 9m4o9720 barnegat inlet, nj

  • Artie, thx. I have learnt a lot from your boooks and also John Shaw’s. And of couse bulletins, blog entries and forums like BPN. Thx again for this neat workout for the brain.

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    KD. Great stuff! Thanks for playing. You pretty much nailed the categories. That shows an excellent understanding of both nature photography and light 🙂 Where did you learn all that stuff???

  • Okay Artie – Here it is an remember you get what you pay for:
    (In the order your categories are listed):
    1. Ring-billed Gull Yawning
    2. Great Egret Robt. Little Estero (my favorite!)
    3. Snowy Owl AND Galapagos Hawk
    4. Snow Goose Blast-Off (though these 2 blurs don’t send me)
    5. Sunflower Backlit vert
    6. Samburu Young Woman (I assume she’s easier to move than the lion)
    7. African Lion Face Big Male (harder to move a lion)

  • Artie, thx for this kinda mini project. I enjoyed going through all the spectacular images and thinking through all the things you have done right and putting them in context with the 7 topics. Here are my votes:

    * Work right on sun angle:


    I think its because of the sun angle that we are seeing so much detail & texture in the bird’s feathers.

    * When the light is bright, think tight
    Black-footed Albatross courtship display

    I think these are very good examples of how going tight has created compositions with impact and avoided shadows. This was the hardest topic to choose for as your tight portraits are always some of the best seen around.

    * Use lots of flash

    Chestnut-breasted Coronet head portrait 180 macro_E0W9779 Guango Lodge, Napo, Ecuador.jpg

    The Painted bunting would be a great candidate here too.

    * Create pleasing blurs with the help of light-robbing filters

    Snow Geese blast off 215 mm 1-8 at f-20 _Y9C0246 Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM.jpg

    * Utilize strong backlight (gasp!)

    Horned Puffin flared flight backlit

    I think this is as-good-as-it-gets example of rim light in flight. Extra space helps in improving the impact of the light.

    * Create shade for your subject

    Corn Snake baby captive posed _E0W8004 Little Estero Lagoon Ft. Myers Bch FL.jpg

    I am assuming you have created the shadow in this one.

    * Find a subject in the shade

    Purple Sandpiper in shade 9M4O9720 Barnegat Inlet, NJ.jpg

  • Nancy Bell

    A tough decision process but here goes 8 possibilities. Am. wigeon on ice, Snowy owl in dunes, Chestnut-breasted coronet, Snow Geese blast w/polarizer, sunflower backlit, Samburu woman, Purple sandpiper. BTW, I think this is a fabulous topic to cover! Looking forward to the article.

  • Pat Fishburne

    My choices are (not in order of items to be covered in the article): (1) ring neck gull yawning, (2) Galapagos hawk immature flight, (3) sunflower backlit, (4) snowy owl in dunes, (5) black legged kittiwake, (6) gull on nest, (7) African lion face of big mail and
    (8) Sanbura young woman. I know, I know, I didn’t pick a blur! Sorry, but I don’t like blurred wild life (I’ve gotten too many of them by accident!)

  • Artie – I’m sick with envy.

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Vince, You are of course correct. Thanks for pointing out the brain typo.

  • Vince Gravel


  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks Jim for catching the 50D/Mark IV typo. That too has been fixed. In the Shopper’s Guide it does say, “Here is a list of the gear (or the current replacement)….” Sorry for the confusion.

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks Andrew and Monte, It is fixed now. It was not my fault 🙂

  • Monte Brown


    The link to your lightbox submission is broken.


  • Andrew

    The nature photographer URL & the light box URL are broken. When I click on them I get the following:
    Not Found
    Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn’t here.

  • Jim Kranick

    Looking at the Ring-billed Gull image caption. Was it shot with a 50D body, or a 5D Mark II or a 1D Mark IV? Or is the shoppers guide right and it was a 7D that you used? 🙂

    Love the blog and all the different things that you do there.