43 Hours Door to Door, With a Bad Head Cold; You Gotta Love It! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

43 Hours Door to Door, With a Bad Head Cold; You Gotta Love It!

This Maasai Giraffe image was created with the BLUBB-supported Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the internal TC in place at at 448mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/11.

Central sensor/AI Servo-Surround/Rear Focus on the giraffe’s head and re-compose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

The grasslands surrounding our mobile tented camp in the Serengeti were wondrously beautiful. Pretty much all 14 of us on the photographic safari agreed that the seemingly endless grasslands were our favorite habitat type as they so typified what one thinks of when the word Africa comes to mind. Here, the acacia tree and a scattering of Wildebeest on the horizon complete the picture.

43 Hours Door to Door, With a Bad Head Cold; You Gotta Love It!

I awoke on Thursday and Friday past with just a hint of a sore throat. I pretty much beat that, but it turned into a case of the sniffles. I awoke at 3:30am Monday morning Tanzania time (that’s 8:30pm on Sunday night on the east coast) at the Beautiful African Tulip Hotel to finish packing and head to the Kilamanjaro Airport for my flight to Dar es Salaam. I was picked up at 5am (10pm Saturday night Florida time) so we will start the door to door clock running there.

My Precision Air flight (advice: if they survive likely bankruptcy, never fly Precision Air) was late so my 8 hour layover turned into a 6 hour layover. I had scheduled a day room for $150 and the to and from airport transfers for another $120. Throw in the brutal Dar traffic and a stop at the pharmacy to pick up some antihistamines) $48 US please) and I got to enjoy 1 hour and 40 minutes of very expensive R&R.

Next was Dar to Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia (3 hours) followed by a 2 1/2 hour layover. By now my head cold was raging and my nose was literally running like a leaky faucet despite my having taken on antihistamine tablet. Then it was Addis to Rome (5 hours, 10 minutes), and hour plus on the ground to refuel, and then the long leg, 10 hours and 5 minutes into Washington’s Dulles airport. I really felt like crap on the Addis to Rome leg and on our descent, I got to enjoy some severe sinus/ear pain in my right ear. In spite of that, I managed to sleep about 3 1/2 hours. I still felt like crap as we took off again, bolstered by some nose drops from a kindly ans sympathetic flight attendant. Amazingly, I slept five straight hours and felt pretty good upon awakening as the antihistamine had kicked in and the nose drops have helped as well.

But there were still 7+ hours to go to get to the US. I had some cashews for dinner, I guess it was dinner, and got back to sleep for another two hours. Then I watched the brilliant My Cousin Vinny for perhaps the fiftieth time, had some more cashews, and napped again. Then it was the silly and predictable Harrison Ford flick, “The Volcano.” 90 minutes later I was on the ground in DC. I quickly made my way through customs with the help of Global Entry and picked up and re-checked my bags.

I typed this blog post while in the United Club at Dulles awaiting my 12:30pm flight to Orlando. Jim is picking me up a bit before 3pm. With our customary stops at Publix and Junior’s Fish Store in Lake Wales I should be home right about 5pm. Was it worth it? Stay tuned for lots of great new Africa images on the blog and in the coming Bulletins. I think that the answer will be fairly obvious.

This African Elephant image was created at Tarangire National Park, Tanzania with the BLUBB-supported Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 400mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/5.6.

One sensor below the Central sensor/AI Servo-Surround/Rear Focus on the head of the tree rubbing elephant active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Having the 200-400 with arm’s reach of the 600 made wider creating habitat images like this one a snap.

Your Fave?

Which of the two habitat-type images above is your favorite, and why?

Snow Goose composite, Bosque del Apache NWR, San Antonio, NM. Click on the image for a larger version.

Bosque del Apache 2013 IPT: β€œThe Complete Bosque Experience.” NOV 26-DEC 2, 2013. 7-FULL DAYS: $3399. Co-leader: Denise Ippolito. Introductory Slide program: 6:30 pm on 11/25. Limit: 12.

Tens of thousand of Snow Geese, 10,000 Sandhill Cranes, ducks including point-blank American Wigeon and Wood Duck, amazing sunrises, sunsets, and blast-offs. 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. This will make 19 consecutive Novembers at Bosque for me. Nobody knows the place better than I do. Join us to learn to think like a pro, to recognize situations and to anticipate them based on the weather, especially the sky conditions, the light, and the wind direction. Every time we make a move we will let you know why. When you head home applying what you learned will prove to be invaluable. Includes all lunches and the Thanksgiving Buffet at the Crowne Plaza in Albuquerque. I hope that you can join me for what will be an unparalleled learning experience.

A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. Your balance is due 4 months before the date of the IPT and is also non-refundable. If the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. 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. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check (made out to “Arthur Morris.”) You can also leave your deposit with a credit card by calling the office at 863-692-0906. 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.

Images copyright 2012: Denise Ippoltio & Arthur Morris. Card design by Denise Ippolito. Click on the image to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

Holland 2014 7 1/2-Day/8-Night: A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART/Tulips & A Touch of Holland IPT. April 17-April 24, 2014 :$4995 Limit: 12 photographers/Openings 9

This trip needs 8 registrants to run so please do not purchase your plane tickets until you hear from us; right now we need 5 more folks.

Join Denise Ippolito, Flower Queen and the author of “Bloomin’ Ideas,” and Arthur Morris, Canon Explorer of Light Emeritus and one of the planet’s premier photographic educators for a great trip to Holland in mid-April 2014. Day 1 of the IPT will be April 17, 2014. We will have a short afternoon get-together and then our first photographic session at the justly-famed Keukenhof. Most days we will return to the hotel for lunch, image sharing and a break. On Day 8, April 24, we will enjoy both morning and afternoon photography sessions.

The primary subjects will be tulips and orchids at Keukenhof and the spectacularly amazing tulip, hyacinth, and daffodil bulb fields around Lisse. In addition we will spend one full day in Amsterdam. There will be optional visits the Van Gogh Museum in the morning and the Anne Frank House in the afternoon; there will be plenty of time for street photography as well. And some great food. On another day we will have a wonderful early dinner at Kinderdijk and then head out with our gear to photograph the windmills and possibly some birds for those who bring their longs lenses. We will spend an afternoon in the lovely Dutch town of Edam where we will do some street photography and enjoy a superb dinner. All lodging, ground transportation, entry fees, and meals (from dinner on Day 1 through dinner on Day 8) are included.

For those who will be bringing a big lens we will likely have an optional bird photography afternoon or two. If we get lucky, the big attraction should be gorgeous Purple Herons in flight at a breeding marsh. We would be photographing them from the roadside. And we might be able to find a few Great-crested Grebes at a location near Keukenhof.

Click here for complete details and some previously unpublished images. And/or click here and see item one for lots more tulip photos and complete trip details.

Click here for complete details and some previously unpublished images. And/or click here and see item one for lots more tulip photos and complete trip details.

Photographic Society of Chattanooga Seminar

Scroll down here for details on the Saturday seminar that Denise Ippolito and yours truly are doing in Chattanooga on October 12, 2013 and the follow-up Old Car City In-the-Field Workshop. Blog folks who sign up for both are invited to join us at a secret Urbex location in Atlanta on Friday morning October 11. Feel free to e-mail me for details after you are registered for both.

Images courtesy of and copyright 2012: Bill Mueller. Card design by Denise Ippolito.

Old Car City Creative Photography In-the-Field HDR Workshop: Sunday, October 13, 2013/ 9am till 1pm.

White, Georgia: $250 plus a $15 entrance fee donation (cash only on the day of the event) that will go to charity. Limit: 16 photographers.

On October 13, 2013, Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART and Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure will be conducting an In-the-Field HDR Workshop at Old Car City in White, Georgia. Old Car City is about an hour north of Atlanta, GA and an hour south of Chattanooga, TN where they will, as noted above, be doing a full day seminar for the Photographic Society of Chattanooga on Saturday, October 12th. Click here for complete details.


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19 comments to 43 Hours Door to Door, With a Bad Head Cold; You Gotta Love It!

  • Hi Artie,

    I like both shots but my favorite is the Giraffe. Has a great point with the Giraffe on which the eye can focus in the first place and then wander across the plan, see the tree and the wildebeest in the BG. It is a wonderful habitat shot.


  • avatar Debbie Zilli

    Welcome home! What a horrible traveling experience, flying is bad enough, but with a head cold, ugh…..
    I love the giraffe photo because I just really love giraffes!! πŸ™‚ Next time you travel, take some Sudafed with you (the one you get at the pharmacy, not the one on the shelf) that’ll really help with the congestion.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for the Sudafed suggestion and your compassion. But no can do with the stimulants in most decongestants as I have a long ago history of atrial fibrillation want to stay clean–i.e., no a-fibs in about six years. I am feeling much, much better today.

  • Love the first one also for the reasons Elinor gave.

    One question…did you have any thoughts on removing the animals
    (sorry, don’t know what they are) to the left of the giraffe and
    right of the tree (I count 5 total)?

    Ok…two questions…your thoughts on possibly removing the tree
    top peeking over the horizon?

    Hope you’re feeling better today.


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Doug, I am fine with your “extra” Wildebeests. As for the tree, I wish that I had actually moved the van a bit to the right to separate the two trees…. Am thanks. artie

  • avatar Steve Rentmeesters

    I wish you wouldn’t have reminded me how painful it is to fly with a cold. I did that once. OUCH!!! I like the dots of animals along the horizon in the giraffe image.

  • avatar Fain Zimmerman

    I’m sure you have the very best travel advice available from your many trips, but surely there is a better way to get from Florida to and from Tanzania! We travel on KLM Houston to Amsterdam to Arusha (Kilimanjero AP) in about 24 hours. The return we go through Dar for about an hour on the ground. Sorry you had so many problems plus that awful cold that can really ruin things quickly. Glad you’re back and looking forward to your awesome photos!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      KLM is wonderful, but first class on Ethiopia Air is about 1/2 the price. My bad on the connections as I waited too long to get my tickets. πŸ™‚

      • avatar Fain Zimmerman

        Ah – That does make a difference! I still would have to think long & hard about taking the route you chose! Brave fellow!

  • avatar Mike from CT

    Hi Artie, Welcome back. Hope you took your malaria pills. I like the colors in the giraffe photo but for me, and I know it’s sometimes difficult in a safari vehicle, moving to the left would have brought the giraffe and tree just a little closer to each other. A different opinion than the comment above.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Yes to the malaria pills. No chills = no malaria. Why would I have wanted to bring the giraffe and the tree closer??? (See Elinor’s spot-on comments below).

      • avatar Mike from CT

        Yes, I saw Elinor’s comments before posting. Just personal preference. It’s what makes photography so much fun.

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          I agree that photography and image design is often a matter of personal preference. But you failed to answer my question “Why would you want to (effectively) move the giraffe closer to the tree?”

          Doing so would place both elements closer to the center of the frame….

          • avatar Mike from CT

            I would leave the tree where it is, but move the giraffe in a little by moving to the left. This would create a little more depth to the shot, and would move the background tree over to the left of the large tree, eliminating the merge.

            Nice try but moving to the left enough to move the smaller tree to the left of the larger acacia would result in either the giraffe being in front of or to the right of the the big tree… artie

  • avatar harvey tabin

    Are you sure that is was not Tommy Lee Jones instead of Harrison Ford?
    Wonderful pictures.

  • The giraffe is my favorite because of the great composition. First, the tall giraffe is dwarfing the tree, and second, because those two are far apart, I can really feel the vast expanse.

  • avatar Loren Charif

    Artie –

    Based on these two initial images, I’d say it was worth it, head cold and all. Get some rest, & hope you feel better quickly. Can’t wait to see more.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Loren. I am feeling a bit better but very jet-lagged. Slept the whole flight to Orlando, slept during the car ride home, slept most of the time before and after dinner, and am ready to head back to bed now (8:43pm). I am sure that I will feel quite like a zombie for the next few days.