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

Your Call: BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition/Digital Creations

The Streak Continues: 169

This post marks 169 consecutive days with a new blog post. With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links why quit now? April was a record month but May has not been so good. So far…. To show your appreciation for my efforts here, I 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.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, meaning BAA, 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 post took about 2 hours to put together. Enjoy!


Jacana Silhouette

Jacana Silhouette

BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition

The judging of the BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition has been complete for three weeks. Thanks a stack again 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. This will make 4 categories down, 4 to go.

Your Call

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

After clicking on each image to view the larger size, 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. Additional comments are welcome <em>as long as they appear below your selections. The whole thing should look something like this:

Delicate Spoonbill: 5
Wood Stork Fracts: 4
Black-necked Stilt Fract: 3
Pelican World: 2
Great Blue Heron Sun: 1

I love the soft colors and all that detail in Delicate Spoonbill.

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 4 runner up images and the names of the photographers will be announced here soon 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.


Pelican World

Pelican World


Razorbill Silhouette

Razorill Sihouette


Wood Stork Fract

Wood Stork Fract


Inverted Snow Geese Blur

Inverted Snow Geese Blur


Delicate Spoonbill

Delicate Spoonbill


Night-Heron Wing Stretch

Night-Heron Wing Stretch


Hummingbird Nest

Hummingbird Nest


Upland Sandpiper Fract Sketch


Black-necked Stilt Fract

Black-necked Stilt Fract


Great Horned Owl Painted

Great Horned Owl Painted


Great Blue Heron Sun

Great Blue Heron Sun


Barred Owl Sketched Look

Barred Owl Sketched Look


Fractastic is the latest in a long line of eGuides published by BAA Books. Kudos to Andrew and denise.


Note that many of the image here were created in Fractalius, a Windows-only plug-in that can–as you have seen above–be used to create a fantastic variety of out-of-the-box looks. Click here to learn more about Fractastic, A Creative User eGuide for the Redfield Fractalius Filter by Denise Ippolito, Andrew McLachland with yours truly. You can see more Fractalius creations here.


I hope that you can join us on this great trip. The vertical puffin image was created by David Tipling. The rest–almost all from the UK, are mine :).

UK Puffins and Gannets IPT July 2-9, 2014. 5 full days of puffins and two half-days of gannet boat photography: $4,999 USD. Limit 10 + the 2 leaders.

Desperately needed: 1 female and 1 male roommate. Please inquire as to the roommate-needed discount.

Fly to Edinburgh (say “ED-in-BUR-row”), Scotland on a red eye flight on July 1st arriving on the early morning of July 2 or certainly before 10am. UK folks who plan on driving please contact me via e-mail immediately.

There are direct flights to Edinburgh from both Philadelphia and Toronto. If you learn of any others please advise via e-mail so that I may share with all the interested folks. Fly home mid-morning on July 9. UK locals and our many European friends are of course welcome.

With the needed 5 deposits in hand, this trip is a go; you can buy your flights now :).

What’s included:

5 full DAYS on the best UK puffin boat; trips to 2 different islands–all dependent on decent weather, i.e, no major storms. Seabirds including scads of Atlantic Puffin both in flight and perched, Razorbill, Great Cormorant, Shag, and others likely. The trip is timed to maximize the opportunities for photographing the puffins bringing fish back to the nests. All boat fares and landing fees are included. The boat leaves at 9:30am. We have two hours on the first island. We are then picked up and head to the 2nd island for a 2+ hour session. The weather is typically cloudy bright.

One late-afternoon (2 July) and one early morning (probably 8 July) trip on a gannet photography boat where the birds are fed and dive very close to the boat. Both are dependent on good weather but we do have some flexibility. Boat fares and the cost of the fish are covered. Each will consist of a one hour outbound ride, two hours of diving Northern Gannet photography (with 6 boxes of fish) and the one hour return trip.

The tentative, weather-dependent itinerary:

July 2: airport pick-up no later than 10am UK time. Lunch on your dime. Drive to hotel. Afternoon gannet boat trip/time TBD.
July 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7: Full Day Puffin Boat trips as noted above.
July 8: early morning Gannet Boat trip. Afternoon: Small group Image review and Photoshop sessions. Pack for the trip home.
July 9: early morning departure for Edinburgh Airport (EDI).

The itinerary is subject to change to ensure the best possible photographic opportunities.

A super-telephoto lens is not required on this trip. The 300mm f/2.8s are ideal. I will be bringing one along with my 200-400mm with Internal Extender, my 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, and a shorter zoom lenses. Plus three 1.4X and two 2X TCs, a Gitzo 3532 LS Carbon Fiber tripod, and my Mongoose M3.6. I may go tripod-less on the puffin trips at times…. Or not…. All photography on the gannet boat will be hand held. It is likely that the 70-200s will be ideal for the gannets.

7 nights lodging in an older but excellent hotel just a few minutes from the puffin boat dock with about a 70 minute ride to the gannet boat. Double occupancy will be the rule though we might be able to offer a single supplement at an exorbitant price. See the hotel info here.

All breakfasts and dinner (at the hotel) from dinner on July 2 through dinner on July 8. And breakfast on our get-away day unless we need to leave earlier than they serve to make our flights home…

Airport pick-up until 10am on July 2–this should not be a problem as there are lots of red-eye flights from the US to Edinburgh.

All ground transportation. Airport return on the early morning of July 9. We may be getting up very early on July 9th.

Two great leaders; Denise Ippolito and yours truly will provide personalized and small group in-the-field instruction. As usual, the closer you stay to us and the more questions that you ask the more you will learn. We will of course point out the best situations. You will learn to see these great situations for yourself, to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, to work in Manual mode, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. You will learn the basics of photographing birds in flight and how the relationship between light direction and wind direction impacts the photography of both birds in flight and perched puffins. And tons more.

We will be conducting informal, small group image review and Photoshop sessions after dinner. All are invited to bring their laptops. Image critiques of your five best images will be done after the trip upon request.

Early morning castle photography right near the hotel is an option for the early risers. In the event of inclement weather or stormy seas there is the possibility of bird photography along the coast. Early evening bird photography along the coast is also optional.

Not included: all lunches–for the most part we will need to pack lunches for the puffin trips, or you may opt to skip lunch. Your round trip airfare from home to Scotland. Booze, wine, and any other beverages other than coffee and tea at breakfast.

A non-refundable deposit of $2,000 USD is required to hold your spot so please check on flights and your schedule before committing. The balance will be due on 15 May so you may wish to pay the whole thing at once. Overseas folks may e-mail for wire transfer info. Our $15 wire transfer fee will be added to your balance.

Trip insurance is highly recommended as your deposit (less a $200 cancellation fee) will not be refunded unless the trip fills completely. I, and my family, use Travel Insurance Services.

After letting us know via e-mail that you will be coming, please send your deposit check made out to “Arthur Morris” to us as follows:

Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
PO Box 7245 (US mail) or 4041 Granada Drive (if by courier).
Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855

My friend David Tipling, with multiple BBC honored images and the author of dozens of photo illustrated books, helped with the planning and arrangements for this trip.

If you have any questions, please contact me via e-mail.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20% plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advise, usually sells in no time flat as did Dennis Cassidy’s 500 II recently on the blog. Larry Master’s 400 DO and his 800 f/5.6 sold within a week. From Larry via e-mail: Thanks for helping me sell the lenses so quickly!

A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART friend Kitto Kono sold her Nikon 500 to a Blog subscriber in less than a week. Janet Horton’s 7D sold this week after a $100 price reduction. Denise Ippolito’s 100-400 and her 100 macro sold in one day. Peter Kes sold his 70-200 f/2.8L IS II and his 400 DO through BAA in ten days. In the past two months we have sold a Canon 800, a Canon 500 II, 3 400 DO lenses, a Nikon 500mm, and lots more. If you are interested in using our services, please e-mail.

New Used Photography Gear Page

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that there is now a link to a Used Photography Gear page on the yellow tool bar at the top of each blog page. Folks looking to buy (or to sell) can click on that tab or here. I will on occasion continue to list new gear and great buys in blog posts (as below) and in Bulletins and may on rare occasion share all the listings with you on the blog. I will strive to keep the listings current. Great news for Kitty Kono and her Nikon 400mm f/2.8; it sold yesterday! That made her 2 for 2 in selling her older Nikon super-telephotos with BAA.

Two Brand New Listings

Both of these items are priced to sell fast

EOS-1D Mark IV

BAA friend Nancy Bell is offering a used Canon EOS-1D Mark IV camera body for sale for $3200. The body is in excellent condition. It enjoyed annual routine cleaning and service at a Canon Factory Service Center; the last one was done on 5/30/13. The sale includes the original box, battery charger, 3 Canon batteries, the instruction manual, all connection cables, a Canon neck strap, and insured Fed-Ex Ground shipping to US addresses only.

Payment by personal or teller’s check; the item will ship item only after the check clears. Please contact Nancy via e-mail or by phone at 970-484-8791–Colorado, MDT.

Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS Lens

BAA friend Nancy Bell is also offering a used Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS USM lens for sale for only $4499. The lens is in very good to excellent condition with some minor blemishes on the exterior finish and some signs of wear on lens hood interior rim. The glass is perfect and he lens is both light and sharp. The last yearly routine cleaning and service at a Canon Factory Service Center was on 5/30/13.

The sale includes the leather lens hood, the lens trunk, and insured Fed-Ex Ground shipping to US addresses only.

Payment by personal or teller’s check; the item will ship item only after the check clears. Please contact Nancy via e-mail or by phone at 970-484-8791–Colorado, MDT.

Price Reduced

Used Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens for Sale/Price Reduced $300!

Multiple IPT veteran Bill Wingfield is offering a Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens in excellent condition for $1125! The glass is clean and the lens is in perfect working condition. The sale includes the lens hood, the fabric case, and insured shipping by UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; your new lens will be shipped after your check clears.

For more than a decade I used the 100-400 to create hundreds of sharp, sale-able image. It is a very versatile lens.

You can reach Bill via e-mail or by phone at 843-729-6670.

Best Super-telephoto Lens Value

Used Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS Lens for Sale

Multiple IPT veteran, the too-kind Jim Bicket, is offering a Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens in excellent condition for $8750. The lens is like new except for some wear on the bottom of the lens hood near the forward edge when the hood is reversed. The sales includes the LensCoat that has protected the lens since day 1, the leather hood, the original hard case and key, and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; your new lens will be shipped only after your check clears.

This great lens, my favorite for 3 years, sells new at B&H for $13,999.00. A month ago B&H was offering one in mint condition for a ridiculous $10,249.90; it sold overnight. Go figure. Jim’s lens will save you a ton of dough and you will have a great lens with lots of reach. I can’t believe that this one has not sold yet as Jim is practically giving it away!

Interested folks can contact Jim via e-mail or try him at 501-915-9336.

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!

….. …..


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. 🙂

25 comments to Your Call: BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Competition/Digital Creations

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    The public voting is now closed. Thanks to all who chimed in. You can see the results here.

  • avatar Carolyn Peterson

    Jancana Silhouette: 5
    Barred Owl Sketched Look: 4
    Great Horned Owl Painted: 3
    Great Blue Heron Sun: 2
    Razorbill Silhouette: 1

  • Barred Owl Sketched Look: 5
    Inverted Snow Geese Blur: 4
    Great Blue Heron Sun: 3
    Night-Heron Wing Stretch: 2
    Delicate Spoonbill: 1

    Barred Owl Sketched Look: A great balance between graphics and photo – It’s perfect!

  • avatar Kylie Jones

    Barred Owl Sketched Look: 5
    Night Heron Wing Stretch: 4
    Great Blue Heron Sun: 3
    Jacana Silhouette: 2
    Great Horned Owl Painted: 1

  • avatar Mark A Jordan

    Hummingbird Nest: 5
    Wood Stock Fract: 4
    Night Heron Wing Stretch: 3
    Black Neck Stilt: 2
    Great Horned Owl Painted: 1

  • avatar Melanie

    Barred Owl Sketched Look: 5
    Inverted Snow Geese Blur: 4
    Great Blue Heron Sun: 3
    Wood Stork Fract: 2
    Hummingbird Nest: 1

  • avatar Greg Payne

    5. Great blue heron sun
    4. Black necked stilt fract
    3. Inverted snow goose blur
    2. Jacana silhouette
    1. Wood stork fract

  • Barred Owl 5
    Great Horned Owl 4
    Jacana Silhouette 3
    Delicate Spoonbill 2
    Hummingbird nest 1

    Really hard to choose. All were very good!

  • Delicate Spoonbill: 5
    Inverted Snow Geese Blur: 4
    Pelican World: 3
    Great Horned Owl Painted: 2
    Great Blue Heron Sun: 1

  • avatar Kathleen Hanika

    Great Horned Owl Painted: 5
    Great Blue Heron Sun: 4
    Barred Owl Sketched: 3
    Delicate Spoonbill: 2
    Hummingbird Nest: 1

  • avatar Jay

    Black Neck Stilt: 5
    Great Horned Owl: 4
    Night Heron Wing Stretch: 3
    Razorbill: 2
    Delicate spoonbill: 1

  • avatar Sallyanne Cousans

    5. Great Blue Heron Sun
    4. Barred Owl Stretched Look
    3. Great Horned Owl Painted
    2. Delicate Spoonbill
    1. Hummingbird Nest

  • avatar Maggi Fuller

    5. Delicate Spoonbill
    4. Wood Stork Fract
    3. Night Heron Wing Stretch
    2. Great Blue Heron Sun
    1. Barred Owl Sketched Look

    PS, Thanks for previous reply Artie… I do know about Windows for the Mac, but I have avoided it so far. Rather defeats the object I feel!!

  • avatar Terri Charron

    1. Night Heron Wing Stretch
    2. Delicate Spoon Bill
    3. Great Blue Heron Sun
    4. Inverted Snow Geese Blur
    5. Barred Owl Sketched Look

  • avatar bob martin

    Black-necked stilt fract 5
    Pelican world 4
    Great horned owl painted 3
    upland-sandpiper fract sketch 2
    Night heron wing stretch 1
    Black-necked stilt gorgeous in it’s simplicty

  • avatar Gary Axten

    Night-Heron Wing Stretch: 5
    Black-necked Stilt Fract: 4
    Inverted Snow Geese Blur: 3
    Great Blue Heron Sun: 2
    Pelican World: 1

  • Night Heron Wing Stretch: 5
    Inverted Snow Geese Blur: 4
    Barred Owl Sketch Look: 3
    Wood Stock Frac: 2
    Great Blue Heron Sun: 1

  • avatar David Policansky

    5. Great Horned Owl Painted.
    4. Barred Owl Sketch Look
    3. Hummingbird Nest.
    2. —
    1. —

  • avatar Chris Houston

    I hope it’s ok if I only vote for 3 of them. Some of these just aren’t really my thing, and a few I thought were fine but I only wanted to vote for the ones I really liked.

    3. Great Blue Heron Sun
    2. Great Horned Owl Painted
    1. Inverted Snow Geese Blur

  • avatar Eddy Vaes

    5. Upland sandpiper.
    4. Great horned owl painted.
    3. Hummingbird nest.
    2. Barred owl sketch.
    1. Delicate spoonbill.

  • avatar Fain Zimmerman

    5. Great Horned Owl Painted
    4. Hummingbird Nest
    3. Delicate Spoonbill
    2. Barred Owl Sketched Look
    1. Great Blue Heron Sun

    Loved all of these but the Great Horned Owl seemed to bring out his character best with the intense colors. Whatever technique was used on the Hummingbird Nest and the Delicate Spoonbill is also very impressive. Hard decisions!

  • avatar George Cottay

    Delicate Spoonbill: 5
    Upland Sandpiper Fract Sketch: 4
    Great Horned Owl Painted: 3
    Barred Owl Sketched Look: 2
    Night-Heron Wing Stretch: 1

    Perhaps winners can be persuaded to provide blog entries explaining how they arrived at their final images.

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    I wish. In the mean time it is fairly easy and straightforward to run Windows programs on a mac… Doing that is mentioned in one of the Fract links above and there if you search the blog for Windows on a Mac you can get to the preeminent source for that info. I am sure that Peter Kes would be glad to help you. He uses BreezeBrowser on his Mac every day 🙂 artie

  • avatar Maggi Fuller

    Artie, Can you not use your influence to try to persuade the makers of the wonderful Fractalius plug-in to create a Mac version? Surely they must realise that half of graphic/photography minded people use Macs!! There seems to be no real alternative apart from a vaguely similar mobile app called Tangled FX.