Your Call: BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition/Portrait Category « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Your Call: BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition/Portrait Category

The Streak Continues: 150

The knee is again feeling somewhat better this morning. I fell asleep on the couch last night at about 6:00pm, woke briefly just before 9:00pm, and then slept well till 2:15am. Been working since then. I am still on Holland time….

This post marks 150 straight days with a new educational blog post. With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links why quit now? To show your appreciation for my efforts here, we do ask that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I used, tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know the tools that 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.

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This seemingly simple post took well more than 2 1/2 hours to create. Enjoy!


Join me at Gatorland next Saturday for a ton of learning. If you want to learn to use your flash and to make great photos in cluttered rookeries, you will not want to miss this one. Click on the composite image to enjoy a larger version. Click on the composite to enjoy the larger size.

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

Saturday May 3, 2014. 7:15am till 10:15am & 4:00pm till dusk. Lunch, image review, and Photoshop session included. Limit 6. A very small group is again likely: $399.

Late Registration Discount

One Signed Up: Join the Party!

Call us at 863-692-0906 for info on the late registration discount for the May 3 I-T-F Workshop.

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

Small and large chicks in the nest. Breeding plumage Cattle and Snowy Egrets. And tons more. You will learn to spot the 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. A big part of the above is that you will learn how and why you must work in Manual mode 90% of the time at Gatorland.

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. Last Saturday all 3 folks had a great time and learned a ton. The long-range weather forecast for next Saturday is looking good with just a chance for afternoon thunderstorms.

Payment in full via credit card is due upon registering. Please call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 to register. bald

Great Horned Owlets

BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition

The judging of the BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition is now complete. Thanks a stack to our panel of judges: Sandesh Kadur, Scott Elowitz, Lou Coetzer, Mary Ann McDonald, Michael Frye, Peter Kes, Denise Ippolito, and yours truly. You can learn more about the guest judges here.

From 5 to 18 images in the 8 categories were selected to be sent to the judges’ panel. Each judge voted on each image on a 0-5 scale. The votes were tallied and the results are now final. They will be announced category by category in the coming weeks.

Your Call

The images that were presented to the panel of judges in the Portrait Category are presented to you today here. Do understand that many very strong images were eliminated in the early rounds because of poor image processing, technical issues including over- or under-exposure, image sharpness, and the failure of folks to take advantage of our lenient digital guidelines that allow for removing distracting elements from an image.

We ask that each of you pick your five favorite images and vote them 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 with 5 being the strongest, 4 being your second favorite, and so on down to 1. You can click on each image to view a larger size. Additional comments are welcome as long as they appear below your selections that should look something like this:

King Vulture: 5
Australian Emu: 4
Chinstrap Penguin preening: 3
Great Horned Owlets: 2
Chickadee: 1

The colors on that King Vulture image are amazing and I love the green background.

The selections above are of course arbitrary and should not at all influence your votes. Please read the directions carefully as comments that do not follow the format above exactly will be deleted without notice. The three winning images in this category along with the 5 runner up images and the names of the photographers will be announced here on Wednesday morning along with a tally of the public vote.

The Grand Prize winning image, the image that secured the highest total of judge’s votes, will be revealed when the results of the final category are announced.


Australian Emu

Australian Emu


Black-footed Albatross chick

Black-footed Albatross chick


White-backed Woodpecker

White-backed Woodpecker





Bald Eagle pair

Bald Eagle pair


Snowy Owl in flight

Snowy Owl in flight


Sharp-tailed Grouse displaying

Sharp-tailed Grouse displaying


King Vulture

King Vulture


Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Ruby-throated Hummingbird


Chinstrap Penguin chicks at nest

Chinstrap Penguin chicks at nest


Chinstrap Penguin preening

Chinstrap Penguin preening


Adelie Penguin

Adelie Penguin

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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. 🙂

72 comments to Your Call: BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition/Portrait Category

  • 5. Great Horned Owlets
    4. Autralian Emu
    3. King Vulture
    2. Black Footed Albatross Chick
    1. Bald Eagle Pair

  • avatar Graham Cam

    5. Great horned Owlets
    4. Australian Emu
    3. White backed Woodpecker
    2. Black footed Albatross chick
    1. Adelie Penguin

  • avatar Graham Cam

    5. Great Horned Owlets
    4. Australian Emu
    3. Black footed Albatross chick
    2. White backed Woodpecker
    1. Chin strapped Penguin

  • 5. Snowy owl in flight
    4. Great Horned owlets
    3. White backed woodpecker
    4. Bald Eagle pair
    5. Sharp tailed grouse displaying

  • avatar Timo Tammisto

    5. Great horned Owlets
    4. Snowy Owl in Flight
    3. Bald eagle pair
    2.White-backed Woodpecker
    1. Black-footed Albatross chick

  • avatar Felix Staub

    5 Australian Emu
    4 Ruby Throated Hummingbird
    3 Chinstrap Penguin Preening
    2 King Vulture
    1 Sharp-tailed Grouse Displaying

  • avatar Bruce Zelasko

    5 – Great Horned Owlets
    4 – White-backed Woodpecker
    3 – King Vulture
    2 – Sharp-tailed Grouse
    1 – Bald Eagle Pair

  • avatar bob martin

    5 white backed woodpecker
    4 snowy owl
    3 ruby throat humming bird
    2 chickadee
    1 sharp tailed grouse

    every one’s a winner

  • avatar Kathy Nash

    Great Horned Owlets: 5
    Bald Eagle Pair: 4
    Snowy Owl in Flight: 3
    Albatross: 2
    Chickadee: 1

    All are wonderful images, but the back lighting on the owlets is fantastic.

  • avatar Harold Klein

    5. Chickadee…WOW…artistic and technical details really work well together
    4. Snowy Owl…captivating pose of a captivating bird seems to appear from nothing.
    3. Eagle Pair…the pose and the interaction is intreuging, technically very nice.
    2. Owlets…beautiful image with excellent light done perfect, but some smudges on the right side are distracting.
    1. Albatross Chick…like the oof background highlighting the rain

  • avatar Greg Payne

    5. Snowy owl in flight
    4. Chickadee
    3. Ruby-throated hummingbird
    2. Great horned owlets
    1. Adelie penguin

    All super nice. The snowy owl is extra special to me. And the chickadee and hummingbird images are what we strive to get so often when photographing.

  • avatar Ron Gates

    5-Bald Eagle Pair
    4-White-backed Woodpecker
    3-Chinstrap Penquin chicks at nest
    2-Ruby-throated Hummingbird
    1-Snowy Owl

    All are great images and I could have ranked most any of them interchangably.

  • 5-Australian Emu. Colors, Dof, texture detail and that bg all came together with this one for me making it my favorite.
    4-Adelie Penguin
    3-Snowy owl
    2-Chinstrap preen
    1-Albatross chick

  • White-backed Woodpecker: 5
    Chickadee: 4
    Sharp-tailed Grouse Displaying: 3
    Great Horned Owls: 2
    Australian Emu: 1

  • avatar Connie Gallagher

    5-Great Horned Owlets
    4-Snowy Owl in flight
    3-White-backed Woodpecker
    1-Ruby-throated Hummingbird

  • avatar Marilyn Barfield

    5 Albatross chick
    4 Chickadee
    3 Chinstrap chicks
    2 Aussie Emu
    1 Woodpecker

    A hard choice when all of them are fantastic shots, would be very proud to call any/all of them my creation.

  • Great Horned Owlets: 5
    Chickadee: 4
    Bald Eagles: 3
    Australian Emu: 2
    Snowy Owl: 1

  • avatar Kevin Hice

    Chickadee 5
    King vulture 4
    White backed woodpecker 3
    Sharp tailed grouse 2
    Great Horned owllets 1
    All great pictures really liked the pine cones with the chickadee. The size of the small cones compliments the chickadee. Almost a toss up with the King Vulture.Luv the green in the forefront and wonderful colors.

  • avatar Lillian Atkission

    5: Great-horned owlets
    4: Bald Eagle pair
    3: Chickadee
    2: Chinstrap Penquin preening
    1: Sharp-tailed grouse displaying

  • avatar C. Francis

    5. Great Horned owlets
    4. White backed woodpecker
    3. Snowy owl
    2. Chickadee
    1. Emu

  • 5. Sharp-tailed Grouse
    4. Great Horned Owlets
    3. Snowy Owl
    2. White-backed Woodpecker
    1. Australian Emu

    Wonderful work photographers, Sharp-tailed Grouse is spectacular, job well done…

  • 5. Australian Emu
    4. Great Horned Owlets
    3. Snowy Owl
    2. King Vulture
    1. Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

  • avatar Jim Swinehart

    5- Snowy Owl
    4- great horn owlets
    3- white-backed woodpecker
    4- chickadee
    5- sharp tailed grouse displaying

  • avatar Roger Williams

    Great Horned Owlets: 5
    Sharp-tailed Grouse displaying: 4
    Chickadee: 3
    Chinstrap Penguin Chicks at nest: 2
    Chinstrap Penguin preening: 1

    Congratulations to the makers of all these selections for your wonderful work.

  • avatar Dave Klein

    5 – Great Horned Owlets
    4 – Sharp-tailed Grouse displaying
    3 – Black-capped Chickadee
    2 – Snowy Owl in Flight
    1 – Chinstrap Penguin preening

  • avatar Richard Stephens

    5 Australian Emu
    4 Great Horned Owlets
    3 Black footed Albatross chick
    2 King Vulture
    1 Ruby throated hummingbird

    The emu’s little fuzzy topknot is irresistible
    The texture of Great Horned owlets’ plumage complement the branches they sit on
    The woodpecker shot is nice but green lichens, particularly around beak, mess up composition
    The king vulture fading in over out-of-focus contrasting foreground makes nice color balance

  • Chickadee: 5
    Sharp-tailed Grouse: 4
    Chinstrap Penguin Preening: 3
    Snowy Owl: 2
    Great-Horned Owlets: 1

    IMHO, all the photos are great, but the chickadee photo is perfection!
    The great horned owlets are an excellent capture but the oof rim light is a little too much for my taste.

  • avatar Sarah Mayhew

    Great Horned Owlets: 5
    Australian Emu: 4
    Snowy Owl:3
    King Vulture: 2
    Chinstrap Penguin Preening: 1

    Very hard to choose!

  • avatar Bill Atkission

    5 Snowy Owl
    4 Bald Eagles
    3 Great Horned Owls
    4 Emu
    5 King Vulture

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    #5 Great Horned Owls
    #4 Sharp-Tailed Grouse displaying
    #3 King Vulture
    #2 Bald Eagle pair
    #1 White-Backed Woodpecker

  • avatar Steve Schlesinger

    5 – Great Horned Owlets
    4 – Snowy Owl in flight
    3 – Black-footed Albatross chick
    2 – Chinstrap Penguin chicks at nest
    1 – White-backed Woodpecker

  • 5. Australian Emu.
    4.White Backed Woodpecker.
    3.Chinstrap Penguin chicks at nest.
    2. Snow Owl in flight.
    1.Adelie Penguin.

  • avatar Jack Goodman

    Great choices. The chickadee is my favorite; such a common bird; so hard to photograph well.

  • 5) White-Backed Woodpecker
    4) Bald Eagle Pair
    3) Chickadee
    2) Australian Emu
    1) Great Horned Owlets

  • Great Horned Owlets: 5
    Bald Eagle Pair: 4
    Chickadee: 3
    Snowy Owl in Flight: 2
    Australian Emu: 1

  • avatar Carolyn Peterson

    Austrian Emu-5
    Great horned owlets -4
    Ruby-throated humming bird -3
    Chinstrap Penguin chicks at nest -2
    White-backed woodpecker -1

  • avatar David Policansky

    5. Great horned owlets. I love the backlighting, composition, etc.
    4. Snowy owl not in flight but with open wings. They are such charismatic birds and this image has wonderful light and composition.
    3. King vulture. Nice composition and color. I find the fuzzy foreground a bit distracting, might have rated it higher otherwise.
    2. Bald eagles. Lovely composition and the snow makes the image even better.
    1. Australian emu (is there another kind?). The little curl behind its head makes the image.

    No weak images in the low.

  • avatar Lucien Rucci

    White-backed Woodpecker: 5
    Snowy Owl in flight: 4
    Great Horned Owlets: 3
    Chickadee: 2
    Sharp-tailed Grouse displaying:1

  • avatar Muriel McClellan

    Bald Eagle Pair: 1 (composition and interaction between the two eagles)
    Chinstrap Penguin Preening: 2 (head angle)
    Snowy Owl: 3 (eyes open, both wings showing)
    Great Horned Owls: 4 (backlight)
    Adelie Penguin: 5 (because it winked at me)

  • White-backed woodpecker: 5
    Snowy Owl: 4
    Ruby-throated hummingbird: 3
    Australian emu:2

  • avatar Marina Scarr

    5. Great horned Owlets
    4. Snowy Owl
    3. Chinstrap Penguin Preening
    2. Black-footed Albatross Chick
    1. Australian Emu

  • avatar Marina Scarr

    5. Great horned Owlets
    4. Snowy Owl in Flight
    3. Chinstrap Penguin Preening
    2. Black-footed Albatross Chick
    1. Australian Emu

  • Snowy Owl in flight: 5
    Chinstrap Penguin chicks at nest: 4
    Ruby-throated Hummingbird: 3
    Australian Emu: 2
    Bald Eagle pair: 1

  • avatar Eddy Vaes

    5. Black footed albatross chick.
    4.Australian Emu.
    3.Chinstrap penguin chicks at nest.
    2.Bald eagle pair.

  • Sharp-tailed Grouse displaying: 5
    Ruby-throated Hummingbird: 4
    Chickadee: 3
    White-backed Woodpecker: 2
    Chinstrap Penguin preening: 1

  • avatar Ivan Turpin

    Chickadee: 5
    Great-horned owlets: 4
    Sharp-tailed Grouse displaying: 3
    Ruby-throated Humingbird: 2
    Australian Emu: 1

  • White-backed Woodpecker: 5
    Australian Emu: 4
    Adele Penguin: 3
    Chickadee: 2
    King Vulture: 1

    That woodpecker shot in the snow? Totally off the charts.

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    5 Chickadee
    4 Hummingbird
    3 Great horned owlets
    2 Chinstrap penquin preening
    1 Adelie penquin

    The chickadee got my vote because of the position of the head (slightly toward the photograher), the placement of the bird in the frame, the sharpness
    and the amazing detail.

  • Great Horned Owlets: 5
    White-backed Woodpecker: 4
    Australian Emu: 3
    Chinstrap Penguin preening: 2
    Bald Eagle pair: 1

    5-The rim lighting on the owlets is gorgeous as is the OOF green background. Dead branch fits perfectly. I like the owls fierce gaze.
    4- To catch the White-backed Woodpecker with beak open showing the tongue is wonderful. The soft green of the lichens accentuate the red of the woodpecker.
    3-That sharp, curly tuft on the back of the emu head along with the head angle makes this photo. Orange eye in otherwise black and white bird is a strong point. Lovely soft colors in OOF background.
    2-I like how the penguin’s pink foot up and the wing out horizontally balance each other. The pink foot in an otherwise black and white bird is a strong point here too. I like the clear white background
    1-The driftwood? eagle perch makes this photo for me. I like it’s inclusion to make a scenic composition. I like the clear white background