Pet Peeve… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Pet Peeve...

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Does the guy above look mean, nasty, arrogant, obnoxious, unethical, and uncaring to you? Image courtesy of and Copyright 2010: Becky Field

Pet Peeve…

My pet peeve is that so many seemingly intelligent folks are quick to assume that everything that they hear (about me) is fact.

The tales are rampant. Just recently I met a few folks who admitted that they had heard that I was obnoxious and uncaring. They were, therefore, reluctant to join an IPT. After we spent a few hours together they were saying things like “You are a beautiful person, inside and out” and “Thank you, Artie! You’re such an inspiration! I wasn’t sure what to expect when I met you for the first time, but I kept an open mind and found out that you are a fantastic human being, and definitely not an a–hole!”

After teaching a Photoshop course years ago, my friend Ellen Anon (see here for current info) shared the following story with me. At the introductory dinner the group was discussing photography tour leaders. When the name Arthur Morris name came up, a woman stood for emphasis and stated: “Arthur Morris will push you out of the way to get an image for himself. He does not care at all if you learn anything.” When she sat down, Ellen–who at the time had–obviously unbeknownst to the woman–been co-leading many IPTs with me for several years, asked “Have you ever been on an IPT?” “No,” the woman answered, “But that’s what I heard.”

About two years ago a guy who was interested in joining an IPT wrote asking if it were true that I insulted and mis-treated Nikon-uers on my IPTs. He had heard it first-hand from two guys who supposedly been on an IPT that I did…. I politely suggested that perhaps another tour might be best for him.

Years ago a guy posted that he had personal knowledge of the fact that the authorities in Homer, Alaska had been twice called because I was illegally feeding eagles on Lands End property. More than 4,500 folks read the post. A guy from Maryland commented. “Though I have never met Arthur Morris, based on what I have heard about him, that’s what I would expect.” A year later the original poster began a new thread and admitted that he had lied. Only 400 folks viewed that post and the few who commented congratulated the guy for telling the truth. Man, you gotta love that.

The manager of a popular refuge once denied me a Special Use Permit because he had received a phone call stating that I played a tape for Mangrove Cuckoo on the refuge to attract the bird into photographic range for my group. I had never and would never think of playing a tape on a National Wildlife Refuge. Tales of my repeatedly entered closed areas for the purpose of photography are also rampant and all are untrue. With my sun hat and long pony-tail I am very recognizable in the field but I am not stupid….

Many years ago when I first began hearing allegations of my improprieties in the field professional colleague Joe McDonald counseled me, “Congratulations; you’ve made it to the big time. They’re starting to assassinate you.”

As a lover of what is (The Work of Byron Katie), I have come to see the rampant lies as a form or flattery, coming from the bitter, unhappy folks who are jealous of my success. And I am glad that I am not them. Somewhere between 99 and 100% of the tales being told are being told by folks who have never been on an IPT and have never even met me. It’s what is so you gotta love it!

The next time that you hear the stories about me, consider asking, “Is that true? How do you know?”

Later and love, artie

54 comments to Pet Peeve…

  • avatar Faraaz


    There’s nothing that I can say that hasn’t already been said. Except for that my face is way bushier and my hair is way longer than yours ;-).

    You are my greatest mentor, I wish one day to be able to come to one of your IPT’s. But I need to secure a house first. Then sell my 100-400 and buy a 500 :-). Then save enough money to travel to the US and pay for an IPT! Haha.

    Ever so often I read somewhere that this may be the last IPT at a particular location, and my heart sinks a litle. Almost everything I’ve learned about bird photography has come from reading your blog, the 7D users’ guide, & ABP.

    Only the best of us share, and it’s only the elite few who share the most important thing – information and knowledge.

    Cheers, and thank you.

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Ken, I asked if I could be frank with you. You said yes. I wish you the best. Others are free to judge the situation as they see fit.

  • Artie,
    I am impressed you took the time to state all the facts and present the entire history of my emails to you. Do we have privacy here?

    I thought you love people sending you emails since you answered me every time. I am sorry that you don’t like my emails and my comment on the Pet Peeve email. From now on, I will never send you any emails. I don’t know how much time you spent writing this email, I would spend the time taking more nice photos if I were you.

    Thanks for your emails and quick responses in the past. Good luck.