The Faces of ??? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Faces of ???

The Streak Goes on Despite International Travel Day

I worked on this blog post on the train to Tokyo and again last night. I am putting the finishing touches on it just after 5am Japan time on Tuesday, March 4th. It is 3pm on Monday in Florida and New York. We head to Narita Airport via the hotel shuttle bus at 8:30 and make the long journey (DFW, MCO) home. My flight is at noon and I am scheduled to arrive in Orlando at 2:35pm the same day, roughly 2 1/2 hours after I left Japan! I am usually fine flying to distant locations whether going east or west but when I fly back home I usually spend several days at least in a jet-lag coma….

This post marks 95 straight days with a new blog post, a record by far that should be extended for at least another day or so, or not. Or more…. To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we ask that use our B&H and Amazon affiliate links for all of your B&H and Amazon purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store. We sell only what I use and depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

You can find the following items in the store: Gitzo tripods, Mongoose M3.6 and Wimberley heads, plates, low feet, and accessories, flash brackets, , Delkin e-film Pro Compact Flash Cards, LensCoat products, and our unique line-up of educational materials including ABP I & II, Digital Basics, Site and Set-up e-Guides, Canon and Nikon Camera Users and AF e-Guides, and MP-4 Photoshop video tutorials among others.

We would of course appreciate you using our B&H and Amazon affiliate links for all of your B&H and Amazon major gear, video, electronic, household, and personal purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we 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 visiting the BAA Online store as well.

Thanks a Huge Stack!

Thanks a stack to all who visit the blog regularly. February was a record month for the BAA B&H affiliate program. And dozens of folks are getting in the habit of using Amazon for both their minor household and entertainment purchases as well as for major purchases. Their kindness is greatly appreciated and it is great to see that the streak is paying dividends. Love you all. artie


This image was created on the February 24, 2014 on the Japan in Winter IPT with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender, an external Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 718mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops as framed: 1/125 sec. at f/11 in Manual. Color Temperature: 7,000K.

Central Sensor(by necessity)/AI Servo-Expand/Rear Focus AF on the bridge of the nose and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1

The Faces of ???

As with humans, the faces of Snow Monkeys are extraordinarily expressive, perhaps more so…. It was great to spend two full days with them after a two-year hiatus. I took hundreds of images of their faces that first morning, most with the 200-400 with the internal TC engaged and an external 1.4X added to the mix. Many suffered from an extreme lack of depth-of-field. The two that I share here with that were made with that rig were among the best made that day. (On Day 2 at the monkey park I quit using the external 1.4X III TC.)

For one or two or all of the three images presented here (your pick) I ask the following:

a-what do you think the monkey was thinking and feeling at the moment the image was created?
b-what do you think it was doing at the time the image was made?
c-can you think of a great title for the image?

Again, feel free to comment on a single image, on two of the three photos, or on all of the images. Please be sure to specify the image you are referring to by number.


Like the first image this one was also created on the February 24, 2014 on the Japan in Winter IPT with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender, an external Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 728mm) and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop as framed: 1/125 sec. at f/11 in Manual. Color Temperature: 7,000K.

Central Sensor(by necessity)/AI Servo-Expand/Rear Focus AF on the bridge of the nose and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2

Exposure Questions

Why was the EC (exposure compensation) for the first image +1 2/3 stops while the EC for the second image was only +1 stop?

Why do you think that the third image was created at an exposure 1 2/3 stops darker than the first two images?


This image was created on the same day of the Japan in Winter IPT with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (hand held at 265mm), and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop as framed: 1/400 sec. at f/11 in Av mode. Color Temperature: AWB.

One sensor up from the central Sensor/AI Servo-Expand/Rear Focus AF just below the monkey’s right eye active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.


Images copyright 2012: Denise Ippolito & 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/Openings: 5

We still have room for 5 more flower photographers on this great trip.

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 7) are included. For those who will be bringing a big lens we will likely have an optional bird photography afternoon or two.

Click here for additional info or to register.


Join me for the 2014 Tanzania Summer Safari!

2014 Tanzania Summer Safari, 14-day African Adventure/leave the US on August 9. Fly home on August 24: $12,999.

Co-leaders Todd Gustafson & Arthur Morris. The limit is 12. Three photographers/van; you get your own row of seats. Our trip is a bit more expensive than the average safari for good reason. It is the best. We have the best driver guides with a total of decades of experience. They have been trained over the years by Todd and by me to drive with photography in mind. We have the best and most knowledgeable leaders. We stay in the best lodges and camps. We hope that you will join us for what will be Todd’s 35th African safari, and my 8th.

If you are seriously interested please e-mail me; I will be glad to send you the illustrated PDF with the complete itinerary and deposit info.

What else makes this expedition unique?

•Pre-trip consultation and camera equipment advice
•Award-winning photographers as your guides
•A seamless itinerary visiting the right locations at the best time of year
•Hands-on photography instruction in the field
•Specially designed three roof-hatch photo safari vehicles
•Proprietary materials for preparation, including free copy of “A Photographer’s Guide to Photographing in East Africa.”
•Post-safari image critiques

All-inclusive (double-occupancy) except for your flights to and from Kilamajaro Airport, bar drinks, soda & water (except at the Intimate Tented Camp where everything is free for our entire stay), tips for drivers and camp staff, personal items, and trip insurance.


Breathe deeply, bite the bullet, and live life to its fullest; we all get only one ride on the merry-go-round… Join me on this great trip.

Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

The Southern Ocean…

If you would like to explore the possibility of joining me on the Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris Antarctica/The Extended Expedition Voyage< trip: Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia and Falkland Islands: December 13, 2014 to January 10, 2015, click here for additional information and then shoot me an e-mail.

The DPP RAW Conversion Guide

To learn why I use Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (DPP) to convert every image that I work on, click here.

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!


Everyone buys something from Amazon, be it a big lens or deodorant. Support the blog by starting your search by clicking on the logo-link below. No purchase is too small to be appreciated; they all add up. Why make it a habit? Because I make it a habit of bringing you new images and information on an almost daily basis.


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. 🙂

IPT Info

Many of our great trips are filling up. See especially info on the South Florida, Holland, and Nickerson Beach IPTs. Two great leaders on most trips ensure that you will receive individual attention, have all of your questions answered, and learn a ton including how to think like a pro, see the situation, and get the right exposure every time. In addition you will have fun, and make lots of great images. Click here for IPT details and general information.

15 comments to The Faces of ???

  • avatar Eugen J Dolan

    Will you be helping with an answer to the exposure questions?
    Lot of Bright Background in 1 – Needed more exposure than #2 with less of the bright background
    So only +1 whereas Image #1 need +1 2/3 as framed.

    #3 – Iso now 400 Not 800 (1 stop slower) – Speed Now 1/400 -approx 2 stops faster and you Added 2/3 from Framed Metering – so I think the net exposure is back to that on Image #1??
    Or Am I just confused? is the “as framed” of any concern in this case?

  • avatar Jackie Klieger

    Welcome Home Artie!
    I love all the snow monkey images. For #2 my title idea is “Imagine my Suprise.”
    I am stumped on the exposure question and look forward to reading the complete answer.

  • I love the first image! The Snow Monkeys were very expressive and we had so many great photo opps. I can’t wait to go back 🙂

  • avatar Henry

    Image #3 has ISO 400 instead of ISO 800 as the other images.

  • avatar Henry

    Image #1 has more light on the subject’s face thus the need to increase the EC while image #2 has less light reflecting off it’s face thus the need to use less EC. Image #3 is in the middle of #’s 1 and 2.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      The light falling on both subjects was the same. You are dancing around the right answer but your answer is not clear….

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Image #1
    A: don’t no
    B: don’t no
    C: Repose

  • 1. I’m tired working for peanuts.
    2. Is that really Denise Ippolito.


  • avatar Ron May

    Hi Artie – my “thoughts” on their thoughts.

    1. Oh, no! More photogs!(ho-hum)
    2. WOW! Artie’s back – we can start the show.
    3. Let’s see if they can figure out what I am thinking about now.

    Cheers and a safe return for you and Denise.


  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Thanks again for all you do. As for the monkeys, I KNOW what the first one was thinking: “Oh no, not that damned Arthur Morris again! Can’t a monkey get some peace?” 🙂

    The second one was criticizing your choice to use the internal TC. Title for the third image: “The Thinker.” Seriously, they all are wonderful images. The first monkey looks asleep, the second seems to be warning someone or something away, and the third–my favorite of the images–is watching something with interest. For all I can tell, they are the same monkey.

  • Great photos! I must go there sometime.