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 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Ken Lui (see his post below) e-mailed stating that he would be OK with my frank comments. When I told him to “buckle up” he did get a bit concerned….

    Below he wrote (in part):

    “Since you are successful and extremely knowledgeable and experienced in this field, you have your own principles and beliefs. You know what works and what doesn’t work. Perhaps you are straight and direct, and sometimes very busy answering so many emails that your tone in writing could be perceived as arrogant and harsh. I think that is your style. Straight to the point and no BS.”

    After reading and re-reading Ken’s comment several times I asked if he would be OK if I responded frankly. Ken e-mailed and said that that would be fine.

    Here are the facts:

    Ken first e-mailed me with a gear question on 2-8-11. When he did not receive an immediate response he re-sent his e-mail to the samandmayas address the next day. (He had sent his first e-mail to one of the birdsasart addresses.) After I replied he sent me two more e-mails on the 10th and 11th asking about tripods and heads. He replied questioning my advice. From March 1-9 I received 9 more e-mails from Ken each with several questions about flash and the Better Beamer. At some point I let him know that as all of the info that he was requesting was readily available in ABP II that I would need to keep my replies to his multiple question e-mails brief.

    On March 6 he ordered ABP II. On March 14 and 15 he e-mailed asking about the best times to visit Bosque and LaJolla. I answered briefly and politely even though that info could be found easily with a quick search of either the Bulletin Archives or the blog and suggested that he consider purchasing our Site Guides for those two locations. In his e-mails of March 16 and 24 he asked a spate of Lens Align MkII questions, all of which were answered in our free tutorial on line. Again I answered briefly and politely while pointing him to the info online.

    From March 24 though April 12 he sent 8 more e-mails asking advice about big lenses, the Series III TCs, and Lens Clens. Again I answered his multitude questions briefly and politely while pointing him to the info that again was all available online. Are you seeing a pattern yet? By this time Ken had also purchased Digital Basics. At some point he wrote asking additional questions that were clearly answered in ABP II and/or in Digital Basics adding that he had not had the time to do the studying yet…. After he purchased DB he sent 4 more e-mails each with questions about exposure. I answered each politely and suggested that he consider purchasing the original ABP and studying the material on Exposure Theory.

    He wrote back stating that he wished that exposure theory had been included in ABP II…. In my 39th e-mail to Ken I responded by writing, “I wish a had a million dollars. ABP II was designed as a continuation of ABP so it would not have made sense to include it there….” I continued, “…very few folks who purchase our educational materials feel that I should be required to answer their daily e-mail questions (especially in view of the fact that the answers are already in print….)”

    Recently I e-mailed Ken asking him how many e-mail questions he thought that he had sent. “”Ten” was his answer. All in all I received 40 e-mails with questions from Ken. I will admit that by the 39th e-mail my response (above) was a bit testy. Perhaps that is why he wrote that is was possible that my “tone in writing could be perceived as arrogant and harsh.” Go figure.

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Hye Loukie, I understand, but never doubt for a second that it has all been worth it. I have a great life. 🙂

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Ken Lui,

    May I comment frankly on what you wrote below?


    “Since you are successful and extremely knowledgeable and experienced in this field, you have your own principal and belief. You know what works and what doesn’t work. Perhaps you are straight and direct, and sometimes very busy answering so many emails, your tone in writing could be perceived as arrogant and harsh. I think that is your style. Straight to the point and no BS.”

  • P.S. One thing you certainly are NOT, in my opinion, is unethical.

    I, like you, am very direct and honest. Sometimes my kids tell me I can say hurtful things. In examining their examples, we realized I said honest, direct things, but the truth can hurt. Diplomacy isn’t necessarily my strong suit, nor is it yours. But you deserve all the adulation you receive. We ALL have strengths and weaknesses, but you are singular in your talent, drive, and success. Celebrate it!

  • “Tall trees catch the breeze”…

    Thanks for sharing…SEF

  • avatar Dr Loukie Viljoen

    Artie I know the peeve, one gets to a stage you wonder is it all worth while, I was President of the Endurance Ride Association for 6 years, when my daughter won the National Championship over 210 km the stories started, I heard all the comments then, then when I was Vice President of the Photographic Society of South Africa, won a few salon medals did well on overseas salons, got to my FPSSA etc, the stories started. You do reach a stage where to uncomplicate matters you would just like to call a spade a spade but society frowns upon it, remember the saying” the High Trees catch the most wind” Strength my friend. Loukie

  • avatar Chris Cooke

    Well all I can say is that Artie in his attempt to help me in my clumsy entry into digital avian photography opened up a world of excitement and pain.

    In my early days as a member of BPN I frustrated Artie with an assortment of stuff ups that went against all the tenets of Bird photography that Artie holds so dear to his heart.

    I once told him that in time and with some (Enormous) dedication and practice, I would surpass him in this great pursuit I strongly suspect that it so worried him that he decided to take steps to ensure that this would not happen. I suspect that had he had all the money that his detractors claim he has, he would have hired Carlos The Jackal to do a “hit” on me but the GFC stopped him in his tracks.

    Artie decided to stop my rapid ascent to fame by showering me with his wonderful “advice”. Knowing full well that both my legs were full of metal from motorcycling accidents, he advised me to get down to the level of my subject matter so when I next decided to photograph some baby Plovers, I lay flat on the grass far from the madding crowd and started shooting only to have their parents (Spur winged Plover Mummies and Daddies are not to be trifled with) attack me so I decided to run for it, SH*T! owing to my stuffed lower limbs and the fact that my walking stick was in the car some 200 Yards away, I could not get up without human help. I should have got the Congressional Medal of Honor for the rearguard action I put up as I slithered back to my car and definitely at least 6 Purple Hearts for the injuries as I fought off the parents with my now scratched but still functioning 70-200 F4.

    My next attempt to impress Artie had me abseiling down the cliffs overlooking Bass Strait to get some great images of a pair of Wandering Albatrosses, I knew these images would put terror into his heart but it would have been better had I known the mechanics of the art of abseiling before beginning that assignment, a fact confirmed by the Paramedics as they winched me to safety. 1 broken arm, wrist, kneecap and ankle and 3 weeks in hospital and a walking frame for 4 months.

    My head was bloody but unbowed (“Invictus” William Ernest Henley) I paid him back in kind by submitting many photos on BPM all filled with the one object that had the same effect on Artie, that a Crucifix has on Satan “BUSY BACKGROUNDS”, I confronted him with images of a small Sparrow tucked neatly into the worlds largest Oak, baby ducks in a field of reeds, Grass Birds neatly hidden in long grass and gradually I wore him down but I softened and desisted as causing the demise of the man I hoped one day shame with the quality of my work would be a win without honor.

    To cut this long tome short, I am out of the mental institution now though still on a myriad of drugs and I spend my days now retired, reading Artie’s great publications still building up my collection of complicated backgrounds, taking lots of photos and patiently awaiting for Artie to slip into dementia before I start my next assault.

    As that time will never come, that great man will always be known to me as “Master” for more reasons than I have time to tell.

    PS He still is my most dangerous Mentor.

  • avatar Jeff Carlson

    Artie, last February I had the pleasure of attending your Canon sponsored Birds of the Everglades seminar in Homestead, Florida. My previous exposure was when you were a speaker at the Sarasota Audubon. My first hand experience was nothing like what your critics have to say. At one point during the Everglades seminar, three or four of us including you were shooting a Least Bittern in a difficult location as it popped up and down in the tall grass. We took our shots as the Bittern appeared and disappeared while you provided a stream of commentary on bird photography. Nothing like listening and learning from the master. I distinctly remember at one point when the Bittern moved that I had the best spot to shoot without all those pesky grass stalks getting in the way. As you repositioned to get a better angle, I offered to move over to give you some room. Your comment was “stay where you are, I’ll find a place.” Certainly that comment would never have been heard from the person the critics talk about. So to say the least, throughout the seminar you were always available and always providing meaningful insight and commentary leading to a great learning experience. I look forward to the next workshop I attend.
    Stay well, Jeff

  • One thing I have learned is that you can not please all the people. If you are good at something there will always be people that envy you. I have been an Art Morris IPT junkie for over a year now, and can only say that my photography has improved tremendously. This is only because of one person: Art Morris! The best teacher you can think of, but only if you want to take your photography seriously. No BS and straight down to the core. Thumbs up for Artie!

  • avatar Mike Lotito


    I have always found you a pleasure to be around. Its a shame that people mistake someones intensity and passion for their art as negative behavior. You started in the mud in and around Jamaica Bay and built a name and reputation that most could only wish to have. The information and tips you share on your website and blog are a sign of a very giving person. Yes you have a right to be proud! No one put you where you are today but yourself and all the hard work and time you have invested. Keep up the great work you have more fans than you will ever know!


  • Hi Paolo, You must be doing OK too! Thanks for your kind words.

  • avatar Roger Botting

    Art, I have met you and have been on an IPT (when they were cheap:-) You were a nasty drill sergant who got us up at 3:30 AM to stand in the freezing Bosque to take photos of a moon set and sun rise and thousands of sqwaking birds. Later you forced us to have lunch, on your dime! Then we stood around and took photos of Geese and Cranes while basking in the afternoon warmth. This was followed by a tasty meal at a reasonable priced restaurant. And this went on for 3 days. And all I have to show for it is hundreds of great photos.
    Keep on being a miserable SOB, its good for us 🙂
    Roger Botting

  • We met very briefly at the Bosque del Apache sometime in the mid 90’s. I was in the Air Force stationed at Kirtland AFB and paid a visit to the Bosque. I was very near the entrance to the visitor’s center laying across the sidewalk (blocking your path) photographing a Rufous-sided towhee with a 105mm lens, the only one I owned at the time. You came out and quietly waited for me to finish. After I was done, you made a comment about how good it was to get down at the bird’s eye level and how close I was able to get to it. I had no idea who you were, but some of the people there were all excited about you being there. I just appreciated your patience and subtle and encouraging comments.

    You also helped me recently to select a great digital projector for my non-profit and I also purchased a tripod from you last year that I really like. I know you didn’t make anything from my projector purchase and you probably made very little from the tripod. You did however, take time out of your busy schedule to help me, someone you’ve never met. Thank you.

  • avatar Patrick Sparkman

    Ok, I held back on replying but now I feel compelled.

    Artie, doesn’t suck as a photographer, teacher, person, or friend.

    For those of you who know what this means, you can comment about him. If you don’t know what this means, then you should personally get to know him until you do. Then you can comment!

  • Artie! I can so relate with your post concerning character assassination. Just wish some bums would spend more time shooting birds than shooting down others.

  • avatar David G.

    Art, you raise a good question and my comment is misleading. Let me be clear I DID NOT PAY more for anything I ordered DIRECTLY from you. The conversion was in regard to a 1TB backup hard-drive and the site you had referred me to, and I don’t even think it was an brand for brand analysis,it was a product analysis and the difference was INSIGNIFICANT, if this guy can get a product for nickle less, he will. It was NOT an order from your stock, sorry for the confusion and I hope this doesn’t lead to some other rumor. The over-riding point of my comment was I have found you to be available and valuable!!! Anyone reading anything other than that…is wrong! I hope this clarifies the statement…sorry

  • I found that I was wrong 100% of time to judge a person based upon his/her look. A person’s look is totally different from what is inside. You look good in the picture, but that doesn’t tell me anything about you. Do we need some cloing and burning here and there? Just kidding.

    When I first read your blog and visited your website a few months ago, I was inspired by your fantastic art work and your knowledge in bird photography. I then started emailing you for questions. Back then, I did feel like I was hurt sometimes and you were arrogant and mean. I was then on the edge of leaving your site and blog for good.

    I also heard negative comments about you from other folks in the internet. A case in point just occurred over the Memorial Day weekend. I ran into a lady from Florida while I was taking bird photos in my neighborhood. Since she is from Florida and passionate about bird photography, I asked her if she knew Arthur Morris. She said, “Yes, but he is …..”. I said, “What?”. she finally said Arthur was arrogant and mean. She told me her friend had first hand bad experience with you. I took it with a grain of salt and went on with my business.

    I am not a pro photographer, although I have been doing landscape photos for over ten years as a hobby. My wife and I started bird photography about six months ago.

    My profession at work has trained me to be objective and need to verify facts. I wish I could join your IPT to find out who you really are. Due to time constraint and other priorities, I ended up purchasing your ABP II and Digital Basics. Although I haven’t finished reading them yet, I have studied some important chapters and applied it in real life situations. Looking at our bird pictures we took last few weeks and comparing to those taken before we read your ABP II and Digital Basics, we believe we have made good improvements in bird photography. Artie, you know the “stuff”. No contest.

    Since you are successful and extremely knowledgeable and experienced in this field, you have your own principal and belief. You know what works and what doesn’t work. Perhaps you are straight and direct, and sometimes very busy answering so many emails, your tone in writing could be perceived as arrogant and harsh. I think that is your style. Straight to the point and no BS.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience in your blog, email, ABP II, Digital Basics, and other great tools you sell in your online store. All I can say is you don’t sell junks. I am also impressed by your tireless email answering to me and other folks. You never leave any of my emails unanswered, although sometimes you were late answering due to work and other priorities.

    So please continue what you do best and stay true to yourself. You are who you are. You are unique. We look forward meeting you at one of your IPTs one day.

  • Well Art it’s true: I have never met you, but have dealt with your company purchasing different books and materials, and commented a number of times about your photos.

    But it is true, you tell it the way it is. My writing skills are not the best, and you certainly pointed that out to me, so I have tried to proof read my writings, which I just hate, but the truth did hurt, but it was honest so I had to start proof reading my comments at least to your columns.

    But with all the dealings I have had with your staff and you, they have been very business like and if there was a problem a solution was always found.

  • avatar James Saxon

    I have never met you but found you are very generous with tips, techniques and opinions about equipment, photos, critiques, etc. I am a BAA customer that has purchased site guides, various products you endorsed and used the retailers recommended. Every item, retailer, processing technique, etc I found to work as mentioned and I appreciate the time and effort you take to deliver this type of information to the photographic community. I look forward to meeting you sometime in the future to form my own opinion. I agree with some previous posters that say if you are successful you can’t please everyone. As you have said numerous times: “You gotta love it.” Good luck on your recovery.

  • avatar David G.

    Art, I also have never met you but none-the-less have asked your opinion on several items…to which you have always responded! Recently, I purchased two tripods and heads from you (and other items) because I valued your opinion and you were very upfront about making 3% on referrals for purchases from other sites. When a friend of mine asked me why I was paying more and buying from you, I told him it was because I valued your opinion, I perceived you to be honest and unbelievably…you answer your email. I don’t think I’ve ever taken that position with someone I don’t know…so not all of your reputation is bad, you just may not hear from “the rest of us.” Now for a question, going to Katmai (same skipper you’ve used) and due to the Canon factory issues and delayed deliveries, I need to rent a lens. Having been there would you take the 400 DO with 1.4x or the 300 2.8 with 1.4x and 2.0x?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi David, We do appreciate your purchases. I am curious as to what you paid more for. If I had to go with one lens I would rent the 500 f/4 over either of the lenses you mentioned above. With the TCs…..

  • Actually meeting you in person led to a perception of the man that indeed differs from your reputation heard before and after. At DDNWR in early 2010 and the F3C conference in late 2010 I found you to be extremely confident in your craft, engaging, and amusing. I wasn’t aware you were perceived to be, as most of us are not, in contention for Sainthood. Stay your course in the best of health.

  • Artie, I have never met you, but can honestly say that you have been MORE than kind and generous to me. Someday, I hope to go on an IPT and learn from you in person. That would be amazing.

    A possible source of the rumors is that you are very honest and frank in what you say. You are not afraid to tell someone that they are wrong and point out the solution. Some people are shallow and conceited, and so are offended and spread rumors about you.

    Anyway, I hope your hand is doing better!

    Oh, and I bought a bargain used Jobu Junior 2 gimbal head a few days ago. I can’t wait to use it on some BIF! 🙂

  • Hi Artie. I met you many years ago (1998)at a NANPA convention in Florida where I too was presenting that year and I have received your Newsletter ever since it started. I am a professional photographer and self-publisher, yet I have received inspiration from you and your desire to share with all photographers. I KNOW what kind of person you are. I had no idea that these things were being said about you, and was taken-back when I read your comments today. Please, don’t ever listen to these people. They are the loosers. You are a winner.

    Your sharing of information as helped me for years as I switched to digital at the same time you did. Also, your Newsletter gave me the inspiration to start one myself some 6 years ago now. It has since become very successful and is a huge part of my business as well as my way of giving back to my community; just like you do for your community of subscribers.

    So I want to thank you for all that you do and all that you have shared. If you ever come to British Columbia, please get in touch and I will show you some amazing country. In fact, I will put a recent publication of mine in the post to you. It’s my way of saying thank-you for all that you have shared.

    Good luck Art and keep up the great work.

    Chris Harris (

  • I hope Leonard Malkin’s comment was a joke. But if not, I recommend he post an image of himself so we can all comment on it. :o)

    Artie – this is god speaking – let it go. You’re the best bird photography teacher I’ve found (by far!). You are second to nobody in your artistry and technical expertise. And you can be a really nice guy.

    Even IF you WERE an a–hole, I’d come to you to learn. When I needed a spine surgeon, I went to the best technician, not the one with the best bedside manner. (Don’t get me wrong, I have no first-hand experience of your bedside manner.) Just keep on keeping on, enjoying what you have a passion and talent for! You are a real INSPIRATION. (please don’t correct my writing, you’ve already told me it sucks.)

  • avatar Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

    You don’t need my comments on this thread… It is obvious, and wonderfully so, that you are well loved, avidly admired and enjoyed immensely…
    No, I did need to write for myself…
    I am new to photography and birding… and I have a HUGE learning curve…
    There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank you NOT for just your knowledge, competency and creativity…
    But for your generosity, your tireless (and I mean tireless.. when do you sleep?) willingness to share, your sense of humor, and your ability to know and offer what I need to know…. You demonstrate this from the incredible specific instruction, to offering excellent equipment, to site information, and to introductions to other professionals that are doing what you are doing (one might call them competitors, but not you..).. and this list could go on…
    Yes, you have funny long hair… but you have a great smile and a warm heart… I find you amazing!
    Thank you.

  • avatar Bobby Perkins

    What, no clean up work on the bill? I know this really mean guy on the internet who can use Digital Basics, and some tips from Robert O’toole to make that mug shot more pleasing. Kidding.
    Arthur, your the Best. Your also a celebrity, and of course all those wanna’be somebody’s, and nobody’s will fling thier mudpies at you. Most the lies & gossip comes from thier own lacking. There cups are always empty, thier always wanting. When they see some one like you with a full cup that overflows, they spite you.
    Hope that hand is better.
    Enjoy your Spring Sir, it’s almost gone.


  • avatar Charlie Young

    I’ve been following your love affair of bird photography since before you went digital. We’ve never met but from what I’ve read, I can say without a doubt,those naysayers are full of hot air. You can’t please everyone,especially those who would complain about being hanged with a new rope….keep up the good work,Artie. Thanks for everything I’ve learned over the years.

  • avatar Louise Burky

    I don’t know what to say. I have been on only one IPT, and found you (Artie) wonderful to say the least. Some who value their own opinions too highly need to learn some. In the classroom (with four degrees) I always considered it MY job to learn the material the prof’s way, all of it, and when I graduated I could they have, maybe an opinion or two. At the risk of seeming ‘arrogant’ the uninitiated, unschooled, and unobservant need a whack in the head with a board!

  • avatar cheapo

    Artie, if I was on one of your sessions, you could tell me all my faults, and ‘advise’ me about replacing my cheap old camera etc, but because I KNOW you love the animals for their own sakes as well as for your art, I’d stick. :¬)


  • Artie –

    I met you only once, at the West Coast Expo last year; you were entertaining in your talk and very gracious in person. If my back ever gets better (doubtful), I’d love to do an IPT with you.

    As my father always told me, if you’re getting kicked in the ass it means you’re out in front, usually leading. So, keep leading, and let the naysayers stew in their own negative juices.


  • Here’s some feedback that’s intended to be neutral food for thought. I’ve never met you, and I first heard about you from another bird photographer. He admires you and considers you an inspiration, and since I feel that way about his work, of course I had to see the site he was linking to (that was your blog). I’d never heard of you before that, but one of your latest entries at that time was a similar post to this, detailing how people say nasty things about you only to feel that they were completely wrong when they meet you in person. I wasn’t sure what to think based on that – maybe you were a jerk who just didn’t realize it, or maybe you were the type of person who has a way of turning people against him. I didn’t put much thought into it at the time.

    I kept reading, admiring your work, and occasionally tried commenting. Perhaps it’s your writing style, but I felt a bit turned off by some of your comments and posts (particularly some posted replies to people’s emails). There were some times when I felt that a response seemed a bit pompous, and I came close to removing your blog from my newsfeed. It probably wasn’t your intent, and who knows – perhaps I was reading it after having a bad day, and it was swaying my interpretation of your “text tone.” I’m still following.

    You are a professional and an artist, and you are highly successful in what you do. Your work is beautiful, and you are very knowledgeable about birding, photography, and post-processing techniques. You have strong opinions about how the work should be done – that probably comes with the experience and success that you’ve accumulated. That can be a bit of a turn-off to people like me, who view photography as more of an art form, something where there technically isn’t a right or wrong way to do things.

    So, as someone who admires your work and doesn’t know what to think of you as a person, I’d say: you’re successful doing what you do, so keep doing it. I don’t know of anyone who has ever met success without upsetting a few people along the way, and as long as the upset people aren’t hurting you or your business, you’re fine. Don’t worry too much about what others think or say.

    And in passing, I’ll mention that I’m relieved with how the saga involving your hand played out. I worried about what the long-term implications might have been if there were further complications. If I ever have the chance to meet you, I’ll look forward to seeing what everyone who has met you remarks on. I’m sure it would give me a different spin in reading over your writings.

  • avatar Arla

    I have found you to be generous with your knowledge — even to those who haven’t attended IPTs!!! That is true professionalism.

    P.S. I consider you the GRAND POOBAH of bird photography!

  • avatar Leonard Malkin

    I don’t know anything about you personally but you need a shave and a haircut.

  • avatar Mary Stamper

    Too many people are too lazy to gather facts for themselves. Indeed, an incredible amount of people these days don’t even really know the difference in a fact and an opinion when they hear it. They’d rather spread nonsense than put forth the effort to find out the truth. Seems that people who have achieved some degree of public recognition are more likely to be victims. Jealously almost certainly plays a part. The wide-spreadness of this sort of behavior is a sad commentary on the state of our society.

    In any case, keep up the fantastic photographic and educational work that you do. Those who want to believe that you do otherwise are the biggest losers.

  • avatar harvey tabin

    You are talented and expensive and that makes some people jealous.

  • avatar Dena Proctor

    Yeah, for the nursery rhyme- Sticks and Stones, and Yeah for you Arthur as you choose to rise above such things.
    I look forward to the day when I can take one of your IPT’s and enjoy your skill and passion for the art of photography!

  • avatar Larry Coleman


    I too have heard those nastiness rumors and in fact we have never met. BUT we have exchanged emails and my impression from your willingness to respond to my queries quickly and kindly has lead me to the conclusion that there are a a lot of mean spirited, nasty rumor mongers out there. My wife and I a looking forward to an IPT sometime in the future.



  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    Art, my husband and I know firsthand (after several IPTs with you) how willing you are to share what you know. Also, how willing you are to share “space” when shooting — you always tell people that if they want a good shot, come stand by you. And, as you remember all too well, when we went to Galapagos with you, three of the participants were among the nastiest, most unappreciative and miserable people we’d ever met! Even then, you treated them nicely (but when one of them tried to sign on for another IPT you turned him down, saying that you were looking for a “different group dynamic”).

  • avatar George Cottay

    You have strong opinions and express them directly, often in some detail. That is offensive to some. That your opinions are based on facts, experience and logic can be even more of a problem. Since you cannot be proven witless then you must be faulty in some other way.

    Unless you wish to change your character your fan base will be pretty much limited to those who appreciate straight talk backed by expertise.

  • avatar Herman Hiel

    In my country we have a saying: a high tree catches a lot of wind…
    And on trips in East Africa I learned that a lion, which bugged by a mosquito, will only shake its manes.
    Thank you for all the information you’re sharing.

  • avatar Graham Hedrick

    Art, it is obvious you have used the healing brush to Photoshop out your meaness and evilness!

  • avatar Cissy Donaldson

    Art, I’ve never met you or been on an IPT ( I’d kill for the chance) but just from reading your blogs and bulletins I can tell what a kind and gracious person you are. Nobody would devote that much time and effort to help others if they were not. I shoot Nikon and would not hesitate one second if I had the time and money! Also love “The Work”. Thanks for all the info online and in Digital Basics. Cissy

  • Artie
    You need to come and spend time in the UK so you can attain the same reputation here, only joking. But please do come to the UK and do some IPT’s.
    Take comfort in the fact that your IPT’s are booked solid months/years in advance so you are obviously doing something right…
    Just put it down to jealous small minded folk with nothing better in their lives to do than whinge and back stab….

    All the best

  • avatar John Snodgrass

    Artie, I can with authority “Say It Ain’t So!” When I first learned of your work and the IPTs, I was intimidated by the quaility of what you represented versus my amateur e experience. I took the leap personally and joined in. It’s been great and I’m looking forward to my fourth IPT with you on the Bear Boat in August. As a now experienced IPT participant, you are a fantastic teacher and mentor. They boo birds on the fence don’t know what they are missing!

  • Artie, I’ve met you only once and it was brief. I look forward to my next opportunity. We’ve shared emails a few times and each have been moments of magic; you give more than is expected and your responses are warm and concise.

    Sad that some people have to put others down to raise their self-esteem. …”coming from the bitter, unhappy folks who are jealous of my success”

    warm regards…

  • Artie, I have noted some people reacting negatively when I have promoted your services.

    I have found you to be very generous with your time and your knowledge, many times for free.

    While you and I have somewhat different work styles, who the heck cares!!
    Frankly, IPTs are not for everybody. Nor are large lecture based workshops like Shaw and Kelby give. But in all of those, its up to the user to get what they can out of them.

  • avatar Kent Wilson

    Hi Artie —

    I have spoken to you on the phone and met you once at the Alligator Farm a few years ago when I was attending one of the First Coast Festivals in St Augustine. There is no reason you would remember. I had heard a few similar slightly negative stories about you. Anyway, you were with an IPT and not part of the program I was attending. I am usually a bit shy, but I walked over and asked if you were Arthur Morris. You said “yes”, we chatted briefly, and you told me that I’d be welcome to come to the evening program you were giving for your group, but that there would probably be standing room only.

    Yes, you were pretty mean. [joke] I thought that was very generous, and have never put much stock in negative rumors about you or any other notable photographers. I have found most photographers to be very generous and open people who help others often without compensation.

    Don’t let crap like this irk you. Life’s too short and you have far too many important and fun things to do to give it any of your attention.

  • avatar Tim


    I must run in different circles as I have never heard anything negative when I mention your name. I do hear admiration and awe. I would guess there are many, many more who think of you fondly versus those that do not. Keep up the good work and thank you for all you do in teaching us mere mortals.


  • Artie,

    I’ve unfortunately not met you (yet!) but having spoken to you on the phone and exchanged emails, you’ve always been pleasant and extremely helpful. I think you hit the nail on the head in that last paragraph “bitter, unhappy folks who are jealous” – enough said.


  • Artie, I’ve only met you once, at your Bok Tower show, and you were certainly nice enough to me considering how swamped you were that night.

    As far as hearing stories in the field, that is certainly true. I often mention you, your blog, BPN etc when I meet new folks and their reaction is often as you’ve outlined above. I tell them of my meeting with you and encourage them to give you a shot.