100: Floored! And Gatorland Short Notice Saturday In-the-Field Workshop « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

100: Floored! And Gatorland Short Notice Saturday In-the-Field Workshop

The Streak Gets to 100

This post marks 100 straight days with a new blog post. Who’d of thunk it? Not me for sure. The streak may 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.

Note: we almost never have Mongoose M3.6 heads in stock. We sell them as fast as we get them. The best way to ensure getting one of these great heads for your intermediate or super-telephoto lens is to call Jim and place your order. You are then ensured of getting one from our next shipment. We will not of course bill your credit card until the item ships or drop-ships.

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.

This blog post took about 1 1/2 hours to prepare. Enjoy.


A decade ago I spend a good deal of my waking time engaged in online piss-fights. Many of them got quite ugly. I remember an Italian guy posting something to the effect that it was simply not possible to create a sharp image with a telephoto lens and a teleconverter. What I had to say was not pretty. And it went on back and forth for days. I was doing my best at the time, but….

That in mind I was absolutely floored to receive the following BPN Private Message from John Haig:

I wanted to take a moment to thank you, for all the lessons over the years. They started way back, reading your articles and with the purchase of “The Art of Bird Photography”. They have continued through your newsletter/blog and forum posts. I have learned a lot of great technical details from you. More importantly, I learned to really think about the images I make.

But that’s not why I want to thank you…or at least not the main reason. The most valuable lesson I have learned from you is from your truly exemplary debating skills, both in these forums, and on your blog. You state your points eloquently and with clarity. More importantly, you respond to challenges with dignity and a singular focus on points and facts that is truly masterful.

I know I’ve been engaged in debates and found myself asking “what would Arthur Morris do?” Thank you for always speaking your mind and being true to yourself. You’re the kind of person I think best exemplifies why I love Americans…because as similar in many aspects as we Canadians are, we are not nearly as good at free speech, and I believe that’s our great loss.

Be well, and I will continue to enjoy your work, both as a photographer and a teacher.

Best Regards, John

The Work

When I read John’s PM I had to read it again to make sure that he was talking about me. He was. And yes, I was floored. At times we continue to see our old selves being unable to note or acknowledge personal growth. It was great to receive John’s PM. In retrospect, my growth began after I started doing The Work of Byron Katie: Who would you be without your story?. I learned of Byron Katie from my good friend, my health and personal adviser, Dr. Cliff Oliver of San Diego, CA. Simply put, The Work helps you learn to love what is by asking four simple questions and turning them around. It was not until I began doing The Work on my late-wife Elaine’s death–breast cancer in 1994–that I came to be completely at peace with it. But doing The Work spun off to other areas of my daily life; most especially, it helped me learn to stay out of those energy-sapping, time consuming, totally worthless online confrontations. I still slip every once in a while, but I pretty much avoid them. You will never convince the nay-sayers, especially the very few bitter unhappy folks who derive pleasure from spreading their poison.

Loving what is is a great way to be. I hope that before they put me in a box that I have the opportunity to attend a Byron Katie event and to give her a hug. Two of her can’t miss works are “Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life” and “I Need Your Love – Is That True?: How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval, and Appreciation and Start Finding Them Instead.” I am still working on the latter :). In any case I am much more at peace than I was six years ago. And it’s nice to have someone notice it so thanks John!

Do The Work For Free

Learn more about the work here. You can get started doing the work for free by downloading the “Judge Your Neighbor” worksheet here. Answer the four questions at the bottom of the sheet and do the turn-arounds. You will be well on your way to finding peace.


This Great Egret head portrait was created at Gatorland, Kissimmee, FL with the Gitzo 3532 LS carbon fiber tripod, the Mongoose M3.6 head, the Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens, and the EOS-1D Mark IV now replaced by the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400. Evaluative metering as framed: 1/320 sec. at f/9 in soft light in Manual mode.

Central Sensor/Rear Focus AI Servo-Expand as framed 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.

Gatorland Short Notice Saturday Full-Day In-the-Field Workshop

Saturday March 15, 2014. 7:15am till 10:15am & 3:30pm till dusk. Lunch, image review, and Photoshop session included. Limit 6. A very small group is likely: $399.

The cost of your Gatorland Photographer’s Pass is not included.

For the past few years the Great Egrets have been nesting earlier and earlier. Head portraits of this species in full breeding plumage are very likely. Nest building and flight likely. In the field you will learn to spot good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system.

At lunch we will review my images, take a look at five of your best images from the morning session (for those who opt to bring their laptops), and process a few of my images in Photoshop after converting them in DPP. That followed by Instructor Nap Time.

Payment in full via credit card is due upon registering. Call me all day on Sunday at 863-692-0906. If I am in the pool or napping, please shoot me an e-mail with a call back time and number. Weekdays you will get Jim or Jen. Ask for me if you have any questions.

IPT Info

Many of our great trips are filling up. With 5 Canadians and another couple signing up for our 4-DAY Bosque IPT; that workshop is filling up quickly. See especially info on the 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.


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 8) 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.

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13 comments to 100: Floored! And Gatorland Short Notice Saturday In-the-Field Workshop

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks Tony and Conrad and anyone else whom I missed :). artie

  • avatar Brenda Gillum

    Dear Mr Morris,

    I have been reading your newsletter/blog for many years now and have always appreciated both your formal teaching background and your expertise as a wonderful bird photographer. Words cannot fully express how much your photos and commentary have inspired me. I’m glad your health did not interfere with your trip schedule and that you were still able to share even when you were very tired or under the weather. In appreciation, I made sure to use one of your links for a recent purchase to say THANKS!!!! I also own several of your fine publications. Best wishes…….Brenda

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Congratulations on the 100 and on the PM. Another stunning image, and made with a camera and lens you no longer own. Do you ever miss either that camera or that lens?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks David. Do not miss either. The 600 II with the 2X III (in my hands at least) is as sharp as the 800/1.4X III and longer–1200 > 1140. And far more versatile.

  • avatar Ron May

    Artie, congratulations on reaching the “100 consecutive posts” mark – I enjoyed everyone of them. I would also like to thank you and Denise for all I have learned from you both in the IPTs that I have attended. It has been a pleasure which I look forward to in the future.

  • avatar Sharon Hallowell

    I’d like to add my congrats on the 100, and also, take the time to say thank you for all you do for all of us. Time is a precious commodity as we reach this age…and you give yours so freely. I have learned much from you…Thank YOU!

  • Happy 100 to you, and to us! Thank you soooo much, Artie, for doing all this for us! I’m so glad that you proved all the on line nay-sayers wrong. You the Man, (and my hero).

  • avatar Conrad Bester

    100 Congrats! Now you can take a break. But we need you back the day after tomorrow… 🙂

  • avatar Jim Howell

    CONGRATULATIONS! 100 days! 100 great posts! Thank you!