Canon and Me… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon and Me...

Galapagos 2015 Photo-Cruise

If you missed the announcement of the Galapagos July 2015 Photo-Cruise, click here and scroll down.

Used Photography Gear for Sale

After two weeks of nothing-happening two major items sold recntly: Ellen Anon’s “old” 500mm and the new in the box 5D Mark III KIt offered by Chuck Pettis. See lots more great used photo gear including the perfect big lens for you here. Cheap! There are 2 folks seriously interested in Carl Zanoni’s 500 II…. I just this second learned that Carl’s lens sold as well!

The Streak Continues: 215

It is just before 7:00 am here in Bamburgh (say BUM-bu-Ruh) as I finish today’s blog post. The UK Puffins and Gannets IPT got off to an incredible start late yesterday afternoon with an incredible gannet boat trip–I hope to edit my 1347 images before we leave for our first full day of puffin boat trips. Lots on the gannet boat tomorrow. This post took about 1 1/2 hours to prepare. Enjoy and learn.

ps: recount update: 1454 images. All in less than 2 hours; that is what I call frantic action. Most everyone in the group was too fatigued to photograph well before we headed back to the dock.

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Canon and Me…

Marc Cox kindly left a comment on the 300 II, 200-400, & 600 f4L IS II/Canon Big Lens Gear Bag Questions blog post here on Tuesday past. I replied briefly just before getting on the plane to Scotland but felt that his comments were so out of line that I would share them with you along with a more detailed response.

Why some folks go out of their way to comment at length in a negative fashion without having a clue as to what they are talking about is beyond me. I love when stuff like this happens as it gives me a chance to set the record straight. I take notes like this as compliments that speak of the success that I have been blessed with over the past two decades. Success, I might add, that has come mainly not due to my possessing any great skills other than the desire to work hard and my determination to succeed after being told numerous times in the early 1990s that it would be impossible for me to make a decent living photographing birds….

MC: Hi Artie, Firstly thanks for your time and the insight you provide on your blog.


MC: I was looking through the choices of gear that you are thinking of taking on your trip to Scotland recently. Artie it is a pretty self- indulgent list – 3 of this and 2 of this oh by the way 2 Canon 1dDx’s and 3 extenders etc., etc.

AM: Self-indulgent makes no sense to me. My lenses are the tools of my trade. Cameras and teleconverters are among my most important tools. To go on a big international trip without proper back-ups at hand is just plain stupid. What you see as self-indulgent I see as sensible and prepared.

MC: For the most of us this is just camera porn. Truly, how many photo pros in the world can really stroke their chin and think about such gear to take.

AM: Many. Not to mention countless friends and clients who have as much or more gear than I do.

MC: I know people like Greg de Toit, winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the year has no such choices nor do many other pros.

AM: I am not at all of sure of what your point is. Perhaps your comment was meant to be insulting? Congrats to Greg; I have eight honored BBC images myself.
I have long espoused three things that are relevant here:

1-folks should buy the best gear that they can afford.
2-It ain’t the lens and it ain’t the camera. It is the heart, soul, skill, and vision of the person holding the gear that matters.
3-Folks should spend more time studying and practicing with the gear that they own instead of worrying about buying the next great lens or camera body.

MC: It is really time Artie for you to come clean and say what of your gear is free from Canon so we, as your reading public, can truly make our mind up about the potential bias in your judgments.

AM: It is really time for you to come clean and apologize Mark as none of my gear is or ever has been “free from Canon.” I receive a small discount off the best retail prices–Canon calls it 10% off low dealer net–that ranging from about 8% to no more than 10% off. BTW, someone here is clearly biased.

MC: It is quite clear that Canon seem always to be slightly better than Nikon (surprise surprise).

AM: It is not a big surprise that most folks feel that the big Canon lenses of recent years are quite excellent. It is very rare that I state that Canon is “slightly better than Nikon” but when it comes to comparing the current 200-400s for example, I really cannot help but state the facts: the Canon 2-4 with internal extender kills the Nikon 2-4 six ways to Sunday.

MC: Yes, I have heard your reasoned opinion on this but however your reading audience would be glad to know if your gear is supplied free by Canon as is many Canon photographers.

AM: Here, and there is no polite way to say this, but you are full of it. You should try getting your facts straight. As I noted above, none of my gear is given to me by Canon. None as in zero, zilch, nada. The hard-earned money that I use to buy all of my Canon gear comes out of my pocket. And with the possible exception of Art Wolfe many years ago, I know of no pros in the US who receive their gear free from Canon. And that story was an unconfirmed rumor. Art Wolfe is no longer an Explorer of Light; he left the program several years ago.

MC: You see Artie when you enter the Canon is better than Nikon blog, as you have done in the past, re: lenses, we need to know that you are sponsored by Canon.

AM: As an Explorer of Light, Canon has supported most of my speaking events for nearly two decades now. And I get paid nicely on occasion for various writing assignments. But as someone who is obviously late to the party, you have not realized that that fact has been revealed here and in my various books for years.

MC: If you study history the first thing they teach you is to deduct bias and the reason for that bias. No matter how much you tell us you are objective, how can we believe this if you are, as I believe you are, supplied with free kit from Canon which might total what, 50-100,000 dollars.

AM: Again Mark, you are totally full of it and I think that I forgot the “sh.” Please let us know where do you come up with such drivel? And why on earth would you choose to pass along such stuff as fact?

MC: I have gone to Africa a few times with one camera and two lenses, got some good snaps.

AM: I applaud you. Trips to Africa are not cheap….

MC: Your blog is fantastic, great insight and I have learnt a lot, but you really have got to read through some of it.

AM: I am truly sorry that you have to work so hard to dig out the free information that I provide pretty much on a daily basis; you have my sincere apologies.

MC: It can sound pretty materialist stuff, ever so slanted the Canon way and I think we are all a bit too old around the edges for that now.

AM: Please speak for yourself. Over the years I have created a few dozen images at most with Nikon Digital gear. Though I rarely engage in the Canon/Nikon wars, I must say that I was not impressed at all by the Dark Side stuff, that surely in part due to my familiarity with Canon camera bodies. I do comment regularly on the gear that I have used and depended on for more than 3 decades.

MC: Please, please, keep it real regarding real world photographer’s needs with real world photographers budgets paid for by themselves and please don’t go in for Canon is better than Nikon crap.

AM: Well, it surely seems that you know a lot about the crap business. Just for the record, there are 7 folks on the puffin trip. At least 4 of them own 600 IIs. And two of those folks also own the 200-400. That is my real world. Not to mention that everyone, no matter how humble their gear, can learn a ton just by looking at the captions for each image.

MC: There is no need for a reply Artie. I am a follower of yours nothing more, but I really felt these points need to be made to ground some of this in reality.

AM: Whatever.

MC: Cheers mate.

AM: If you do reply you might consider apologizing. If you have any more nasty stuff to pitch you will be spammed mate. Cheers yourself. artie

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31 comments to Canon and Me…

  • Artie,

    I rarely post anything. But I have to this time. A good photographer has the eye, heart, mind and soul to see what needs to be captured in a photograph. Some of us are still learning with help from people like you and others, like your self, have been blessed with those gifts. I am so thankful for your willingness to share your gift. Continue to use that talent and share it as you have and do. Ignore those who want to waste your time, and to a degree our time,arguing over why you comment on the tools you used to come up with what your heart and soul saw. Were Shakespeare’s sonnets good because of the pen or quill he used? Were the writings of Samuel Clemens great because of the typewriter he used etc. etc? Of course not. We as humankind have been given the responsibility to care for the creation around us and I feel you do that through your photography. I also want to take this time to personally thank you for the answers you have given to the couple of personal emails regarding equipment. And for the sake of honesty & openness to all readers, yes I am a Canon shooter.

  • I loved it !
    Sounds like he was on the good side of single malt and had reached the aggressive side of a change of personality !

  • Thank you for posting this blog everyday,I don’t know how you find the time to do it. I would think that this email from this person would be very upsetting to be accused of something that is not. I have been a professional photographer for over thirty years and have heard the battle of which camera is better, Nikon or Canon. I always tell people who ask me that it is not the camera but the skill of the person behind the camera. You put a point and shoot camera in the hands of a skilled photographer and that person is going to create some wonderful photographs. I have been asked many times which of these two cameras is better. I always tell people that I can answer that very easy, and I will give you two hints. The best one is there is five letters in its name and the last two are —on. I will go on and tell that person what I use because it works for me. At the art shows that I have done for the last twenty years I find it very funny when people ask me that question and when I tell them the camera I use their faces light up when they have the same camera brand as me, or they walk away disappointed when they are using the other brand. Go figure.
    I never cared if Canon gave you a kick-back for promoting their equipment you deserved it if that was the case. The bottom line for me is what you produce with that equipment. You work very hard and should get something for all your time.
    So thank you for all the time that you put into these blogs, I know that you don’t have to do it, but you do.
    Be well, and I’m looking forward to the next one!

  • As the kids say, haters gonna hate. Though it is somewhat entertaining to watch them dig their own hole.

  • avatar Graham Hedrick

    Yo Marc. Art is to much a professional, kind photographer. I will say what he
    could not say.

    Marc, you are both a troll and an ass. Go play with your dolls, little girl.

  • Art and all, I read this blog earlier in the day when there were only a few comments and I had limited time to chime in. May I be gentle? This person is misinformed and unwilling/unable? to accept the facts.. If he wasn’t so belligerent, blaming and flat out wrong it might have been more tolerable reading. Your blog is outstanding and your willingness to share your photography skills,knowledge, experience is extremely generous. THANK YOU. Have a great time with Denise and the lucky photographers on your current IPT. I hope to join you one day soon.

  • avatar Chris

    Thanks for the post and laugh! I did a little fact checking…

    1. The referenced photographer who doesn’t use expensive gear is named Greg DU Boit, not DE;
    2. Mr. Du Boit uses a Nikon D3s, a 7000 something dollar camera.
    3. Mr. Du Boit specializes in megafauna, not birds.

    Comparing the two of you is like comparing pliers to hammers.. Both are great, but are totally not the same…

    I guess the commenter really liked Du Boit and as such prefers Nikon? Although, Nikon big lenses are more expensive than Canon ones…

  • avatar Ross Kennedy

    Artie, The bottom line is it’s no one’s business what kind of professional or personal relationship you have with Canon or any other suppliers. I am sure that you and a number of other professional photographers give them (Canon) more than they give you. Ross.

  • artie i have been on your trips on and off since 2000 and you are part of my photo life cox is just wrong forget him

    regards nelson

  • avatar Karen Jordan

    Thought I might chime in to a response about his comment on the “excessive” gear taken on very expensive trips/workshops. On a one month trip to S. Africa and Botswana with two safaris I was saved from coming home with what could have been a very sad & frustrating experience and no photos. My then one year old 1D mkIII which was serviced and cleaned by canon just before leaving had the mirror lock up after only two days of use on the first safari. Had I not taken a second body I would have felt the $20,000 trip, with my husband, would have almost been a complete loss. Everyone should consider at least a back up body as part of the cost of an expensive trip/workshop.

  • avatar Mike

    Mr. Cox, I am friends with two of the Canon Explores of Light, and I can confirm they do not get their gear for free, they do get a small discount but NOT FREE… They also work their buts off for Canon doing speaking engagements and workshops. I am a Professional photographer Not on par with Artie or my two friend that are Explores of Light for Canon, And I Owen a lot of Canon gear (3 body’s and 11 lens and 4 teleconverters), like Artie said they are tools. I shot Nikon for the first 14 years and switched to Canon right at the start of Digital, I made the switch for the big lens. I have met and talked with Artie 2 or 3 times while in Florida on my own trips, I am not a personal friend, but I felt I should try and add a little incite from a 3ed party to your comments…

  • avatar Sarah Mayhew

    Geeeeezzzzzzzzeeeeee! Think he works for Nikon? What an angry person. Too bad. I would die for the equipment you have, but how silly to go after you for using the tools of your trade. Gee, I only have a 60D and a 100-400 lens and still get some pretty darn good bird photos. Any professional would get the best equipment they can afford to get the job done. If he doesn’t like the info in your blog, he doesn’t have to read it, simple as that!

  • avatar Loren Charif

    I got about a third of the way into that before I wanted to vomit. I agree with Al Meeker; way too much space that what he deserved. He was obviously looking for an argument and got what he deserved.

    Let it go…no worries…and, as you always tell us…love what is 🙂

  • avatar Rick Buckheit

    Mr. Cox name really begins with the letters Di.

    Artie, you handle him and his ridiculous comment very tactfully and thank for all you blog posts.


  • avatar Therese Scheller

    Bahahaha – I really loved your line “Well, it surely seems that you know a lot about the crap business.” Thanks for sharing, got a good chuckle at the knucklehead and keep up the great work – I love your blog!

  • avatar Pat

    More important to me than what you take is how you manage to get it all on the plane. I just returned from my sixth trip to Africa. For the first time I was required to weigh both my carry on bag and additional personal item at check in, and then told I must reduce the weight to 24 lbs. total! (My carry-ons consisted of a modest backpack camera bag weighing 36 lbs. and 6 lb computer/misc bag). I was flying KLM but was checked in in NY by its Delta partner. It meant repacking some gear in my checked luggage and some in my photo vest. I was not required to weigh it on return from Nairobi.

    Although I will never have the big whites I appreciate all the info you give.

  • avatar Bob Spector

    What a schmuck. My only suggestion to the blog is to describe the ambient light in more detail and a sentence or two that provides an explanation for the chosen metering pattern and fstop/shutter speed combination. I know exactly how that statement affects Arty — ” oh no, not another exposure question from Spector!!

    This is a great blog. You put a lot of heart and soul into it and consequently has made us all better shutterbugs. The jackass who ignited this blog is just that.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I have been doing a pretty good job of mentioning the light for the past few months :).

  • avatar Henry

    These Canon vs Nikon battles are very entertaining. As you said in one of your seminars Art, and in your responses above, it is not the gear but the skill of the person behind the gear. A successful photographer is not made by the name on the camera equipment he/she owns. These battles remind me of the old fishing story of the man who goes out and buys all the expensive fishing gear, goes fishing, doesn’t catch a fish, looks up stream to the boy who is fishing with a stick, string and bent pin and who is catching fish after fish. It is skill with the equipment you own that matters. I don’t know why folks get so territorial and combative about the equipment they own (perhaps they want validation that they made the right buying decision?) Of course in the interest of full disclosure I should say I have owned both Nikon and Canon (as well as some medium format and large format cameras). I stayed with Canon for reasons I will not mention for fear of starting another round of commentaries. I know it is skill, not brand name that makes for great images.

  • avatar Ron Fullelove

    Lol, I don’t know how you manage to attract them Artie, but he’s a gem.

  • avatar Ron Fullelove

    Lol, I don’t know how you manage to attract them Artie, but he’s a gem.

  • avatar Charles Scheffold

    I thoroughly enjoy the gear lists at Artie posts before each trip. They give me insight into what a pro brings when they go to these places. Am I going to bring the same stuff? No probably not, but I will try my best to cover as many bases as I can. Thank you Artie.

  • avatar Al Meeker

    Art, you gave this moron a lot more space than he deserved. I enjoy your blog daily.

    Al Meeker

  • avatar Michel Paul Cote

    Keep up the blog, please don’t waste too much time replying to stupid comments (I realy don’t care how much you pay for your tools).
    You are a great photographer, a great teacher, and thank god you are not in politics: you would be realy bad at it 😉

  • avatar Luis Patacão

    Not engaging in anything beyond my scope, i am a regular reader of the blog and shoot with crappy Nikon Gear (pro-summer level Nikon D7000) and yes its very transparent and easy to know from the beginning that Arthur Morris is a Canon Explorer of Light. If the gear free or is it sunny outside? No worries and not my concern, my concern is about building my photography.

    P.S: Some folks just spend too much time dreaming about gear.. Don`t worry, go out and photograph, be happy.

  • avatar Bill Eaton

    WOW…what is that guy’s problem?Obviously a rhetorical question as he has more than one.

  • avatar Barbara Evans

    Dear Artie; Please don’t waste any more of your precious time with folks like Marc; he is obviously plagued by the green eyed jealousy monster. You have inspired so many of us for decades. Long lens or point and shoot, you have helped us raise the bar and sharpen our passion. Onward dear mentor, onward.
    With deep gratitude,

  • One of the things that always amazes me about these cry babies is how
    they don’t want to listen. How many times do you have to tell somebody
    this gear isn’t free? I guess with this one we’ll never know 🙂

    I love the bias remarks also. C’mon. If you were bias you wouldn’t have
    blog guests who use other equipment like Nikon. I’m surprised he didn’t
    accuse you of only accepting IPT participants that shoot with Canon 🙂

    Some times I think people like this analyze TOO much, you know. I mean just
    read the blog, enjoy it and learn from it. Concentrate on creating a great
    image with what you have and stop worrying about the other guy. Maybe if MC
    did, instead of getting ‘some good snaps’ he’d get a ton of great captures.