Wow! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART



Avian Moderator Arash Hazeghi posted this sick image this morning. You can read the comments and see my question here. Sometimes it’s my job to ascertain the facts and in so doing, I stir the pot a bit at times.

Bird Photographer’s.Net

In late 2007, after several months of planning, I became one of the original founders and owners of BirdPhotographer’s.Net; It Ain’t Just Birds. Our goal was to provide honest critiques done gently and we have done a fairly good job of that. We have an incredible team of moderators who work hard every day to help folks become better photographers.

For many years James Shadle handled everything on the administrative/behind the scenes end. By the end of 2013 James, saddled by work and serious health issues, opted to leave BPN. That left me as sole owner with no idea of how to keep the site running smoothly. Note: James did not leave me in the lurch–we had a plan in place.

That plan involved bringing in the brilliant Peter Kes to handle all of the back-end stuff in exchange for 49% ownership. Peter is an absolute computer genius and he has worked hard under difficult circumstances to not only keep BPN up and running but to improve it. He recently revamped and updated the home page; you can see his handiwork here.

With all of my travel and the insane blog streak going on I have been remiss over the past six months in not visiting my baby very often. On the recent Palouse scouting trip BPN Out-of-the-Box Forum Moderator Cheryl Slechta kindly noted that folks really missed my absence. Since our conversation I have re-dedicated myself to BPN. I have been visiting a different critique forum each night for 30 minutes or so. It has been both great fun and very rewarding. There are so, so many great images and so much teaching and learning going on that I have decided to share some great photography with you here on the blog on a regular basis. Enjoy.


Be sure to check out Greg Oakley’s spectacular Australian Magpie here in the Avian Forum.

Avian Forum

With 49,732 threads and 450,718 replies the Avian Forum is by far our most active. The more than half a million BPN Avian entries (500,450 as I type to be exact and increasing every minute) are quite impressive.

With my 25,071 posts, a great percentage of them in Avian, I am proud of the work that I have done at BPN. I do however look forward to visiting each and every critique forum on a regular basis.

I’d be remiss without mentioning the contributions of Super-Moderator Dan Cadieux to the continuing success of BPN. He has been offering superb critiques not only in Avian but in forums across the board since January 2008. Thanks a stack Dan.

The Avian Forum is for posting and critiquing avian images. The images may include hand of man elements. If your subject is captive, please disclose that fact. If you have attracted your subject or subjects into photographic range with food, water, audio, or by any other means, please let us know in your original post. If you have significantly altered your image by adding or removing elements of the composition, we ask that you let folks know that as well.


Rahul Belsare’s Ultramarine Flycatcher image in the Eager to Learn Forum may be the best-ever first post. You can check out the comments and the learning here.

Eager To Learn

Under the more-than-skillful leadership of Moderator Diane Miller, ETL has really blossomed over the past six months. Many folks so enjoy the attention they get in the Eager to Learn Forum that they simply stay there even when their skills have improved immensely. ETL is our second most popular critique forum.

Eager to Learn is for those of who may be new to critique forums and are a little unsure about posting. Post here and you will receive help, guidance and gentle critiques. Soon you will be ready to post in our other forums if you so choose. General nature photography images may be posted, with or without hand of man elements. If you have significantly altered your image by adding or removing elements of the composition, we ask that you let folks know what you have done.


You can learn how Keith Mitchell captured this wonderful image of a squirrel dropping an acorn in his Wildlife post here.


With 3 skilled Mods and many skilled folks posting images daily in the Wildlife Forum, it is an exciting place to visit and learn. I love that the range of subjects is wide and that you can see great images of both backyard animals and wildlife from the best and most spectacular locations on the planet. Kudos to Mods Steve Kaluski, Morkel Erasmus, and Rachel Hollander.


That Macro and Flora Moderator Steve Maxson is a skilled photographer is quite evident after a quick glance at his Cecropia Moth image above. You can check out the accolades here. Many thanks to Steve for his nearly 5,000 BPN posts.

Macro and Flora

In this forum you will find spectacular images of moths, butterflies, dragonflies, damselflies, snakes, buds, and not quite enough flowers for me. Brit Jon Ashton with his 5.000+ plus posts joins Steve in making the Macro and Flora Forum a great place to learn. Relative newcomer Ron Conlon has wowed everyone with his innovative macro techniques; I will be sharing some of his images with you here soon.

For posting and critiquing close-ups of Flora, Fauna and minerals as well as images of plant life other than landscapes or scenery. If you have significantly altered your image by adding or removing elements of the composition, we ask that you let folks know what you have done.


Most folks who commented on Dan Kearl’s spectacular rainbow image, Pot of Gold, made the same suggestion. How would you have advised Dan to improve this image? You can learn what others (and I) thought by clicking here.

Landscapes, Cityscapes, and Travel

Wildlife Moderator Morkel Erasmus recently joined Landscapes Mod Andrew McLachlan as co-moderator of the Landscapes, Cityscapes, and Travel Forum. The fact is that we need lots more landscape images–great and otherwise–in this forum. If you enjoy creating scenic, city, and travel images please visit and begin posting.

For posting and critiquing images of landscapes and scenery, including panoramic, stitched, and HDR images. Images with hand of man elements are obviously fine as are both color and black and white images. If you have significantly altered your image by adding or removing elements of the composition, we ask that you let folks know what you have done.


Paul Lagasi’s “Elton John of the Bird World” post left me envious. You can learn why and read my comment by scrolling down here.

Out-of-the-Box, In-camera and Post-Processing Techniques

My friend, co-leader, and associate Denise Ippolito worked hard (to the tune of 23,206 posts) in the Out-of-the-Box Forum for more than 5 years. Her tireless efforts single-handedly put OOTB on the map. Losing her at BPN was a serious blow. Since Denise’s departure OOTB Moderator Cheryl Slechta has kept things going nicely with able help from Co-Moderator Kerry Perkins. They have recently been joined by Nancy Bell. Out-of-the-Box is BPN’s third most popular critique forum.

Not every image adheres to the so called “rules” of traditional photography. This forum is dedicated to breaking out of the box of conformity. Post Avian, Wildlife, Macro/Flora, Landscapes and other Natural History images with or without hand of man elements that will expose us to new ideas and new ways of thinking. This forum is for Out-of-the-Box images made in-camera (including infrared) or those modified using a variety of post processing techniques including but not limited to Photoshop filters and plug-ins, toning, de-saturation, and hand coloring among others.

The Streak Continues: 205

It is now just before 9:30am here on yet another sunny morning here at Indian Lake Estates. But the afternoon thunderstorms are coming for sure. As I was up working at 4:30am, this post took well more than 4 hours to prepare. Enjoy and learn.

This post marks 205 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, May and June have been fantastic as lots of folks are getting the message; using my affiliate links does not cost you a penny and helps support my efforts here. To show your appreciation, 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 have used and tested, and know that you 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.


Nickerson Baby Beach-nesting Birds IPT: 3-Full Days/July 15-17, 2014: $1199. Introductory meet and greet: 8pm, Monday, July 14, 2014. Co-leaders Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito. Limit 12/Openings 3.

With a small group pretty much guaranteed, do consider joining us on Long Island, NY this coming July to photograph Black Skimmers–it’s looking like a great year for skimmer nesting, Common Terns with chicks, American Oystercatcher families, and possibly some just-hatched Black Skimmer chicks. The opportunities will include chances to photograph a variety of breeding behaviors including courtship feeding, display flight and combat, and copulations. Car-pooling is recommended; if we opt to return to the beach before 5pm on cloudy days for example) there is a $30/vehicle parking fee that is not included so it is best to share that expense. Parking in the morning is free.

Because of the late date, your non-refundable payment in full is due when you register.

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.”) Though we prefer a check, 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


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10 comments to Wow!

  • As a group, I believe this set of images are among the best you have ever posted! Congrats!

  • Great post about the forums Artie. I have learnt so much so quickly from both posting in the forums, reading the responses and looking at other images. The community that has been developed there is so kind and friendly and always provide some useful feedback.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Scott for your kind words and for your membership support. Honest critiques done gently was my plan from the beginning. artie

  • Thanks, Artie, for the plug for the forums. They truly are a great resource and showcase some awesome images!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      YAW. And a huge thanks to you. You are right up there with the best of them. I should have mentioned that Diane has posted a slew of great sticky tutorials at the top of the ETL page. artie

  • avatar J. Fred Tunnicliffe

    The BLOG was a very special one today, and provided a great deal of data and images for those who have not been privileged to check it out on a consistent basis. Thank you for sharing so much with so many.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Fred. Just so y’all know Fred is my #1 proofreader. He reads the blog carefully every day and kindly e-mail me with notice of my typos. artie

  • A terrific post today, giving well deserved credit to the moderators who spend their time helping us out. I also found this a great reminder that I should spend time in forums other than the Avian. Clearly, there are many fine opportunities that I’m missing here. Thanks Artie!