It’s Not Like I’m Saying That a Blastoff is Imminent… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

It's Not Like I'm Saying That a Blastoff is Imminent...

The Streak Continues: 352

On Sunday, we created video only B-roll for the seven-segment “Bird Photography” project that is being created by the Canon Digital Learning Center. The crew is great and having Rudy Winston along is a huge plus. The man knows everything about everything Canon. The audio guys and two grips arrive tonight. More on how we did–not too great overall–in a future blog post. At some point the videos will be online and you will all get to see them, and, hopefully learn a ton. This blog post, the 352nd in a row, took about 1 1/2 hours to prepare. It was published from my hotel room in Socorro, NM at 3:51am.

Fire in the Mist Alert…

With a relatively warm last two days and the temperature this morning at the refuge predicted to be in the low to mid-20s, there is a chance for fire in the mist conditions….

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Thanks a Stack! October was a Great Month.

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This image was created with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens , the the Canon Extender EF 2X III (hand held at 185mm), and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 50. Evaluative metering + 1/3 stop: 1/13 sec. at f/11 as framed was a slight underexposure due to the blur darkening effect.

Two sensors down from the central sensor/AI Servo Surround/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

It’s Not Like I’m Saying That a Blastoff is Imminent…

I was at the farm fields on Saturday morning chatting with Richard Russ and a friend of his. Richard had been on a San Diego IPT a few years back, gotten sick after the first day, and missed the rest of the workshop. There was a nice group of geese right in front of us and we were all doing flight photography–see the first two images in yesterday’s blog post here if you missed it–but conditions were not great; the wind was from the north and the birds were a good ways off.

I said to them, “You guys are not set up for the money shot.” “Whaddya mean?” “This,” I said, “holding up the rig on my right shoulder supported by a Black Rapid Strap. “70-200 II, 2X III, 1D X, and a 3-Stop (0.9) Singh-Ray Neutral Density Filter. At ISO 50 the 3-stop ND has me down to 1/13 sec. at only f/11 (in Manual mode). Realizing that the “money shot” I was talking about was a pleasing blastoff blur, they each headed right to their vehicle.

“No rush,” I said, “It’s not like I’m saying that a blastoff is imminent.” And of course, the instant the word “imminent” was out of my mouth there was a truly spectacular blastoff with the birds flying right at me. Luck comes to those who are prepared.


The coyote did it!

Singh-Ray Filters

Singh-Ray filters have been used by the world’s top photographers for many decades. Who? Art Wolfe, Tony Sweet, John Barclay, my new friend Ian Plant, my BFF and oft-business partner, Denise Ippolito, Nevada Weir, Brenda Tharp, Cole Thompson, Chuck Kimmerle, and the late Galen Rowell among others. Singh-Ray has been and is the name in quality filters. I often use a 77mm warming polarizer set to dark at Bosque to get to a slower shutter speed in too-bright conditions. Toward that end, BIRDS AS ART is working with Singh-Ray to produce a 5-stop Neutral Density filter to to fit the filter drawers of Canon Super-telephoto lenses. Stayed tuned for info on that.

No other filter manufacturer comes close to matching the quality of Singh-Ray’s optical glass that is comparable to that used by NASA. And they continue to pioneer the most innovative products on the market like their ColorCombo polarizer, Vari-ND variable and Mor-Slo 15-stop neutral density filters. When you use their filters, you’ll create better, more dramatic images and, unlike other filters, with absolutely no sacrifice in image quality. All Singh-Ray filters are handcrafted in the USA.

Best News: 10% Discount/Code at checkout: artie10

To shop for a Singh-Ray warming polarizer (for example), click on the logo link below, click on Polarizers/color enhancing on the menu bar, choose LB Warming Polarizer, choose the size and model, add to cart, and then checkout. At checkout, type artie10 into the “Have a coupon? Click here to enter your code” box, and a healthy 10% discount will be applied to your total. In addition to enjoying the world’s best filter at 10% off you will be supporting my efforts here on the blog.


Do consider joining me for a once in a lifetime trip to the Galapagos archipelago in July, 2015.

GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 14-28, 2015 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $12,499. Limit 14 including the leader:/Openings: 4.

My two-week Galapagos Photo-Cruises are without equal. The world’s best guide, a killer itinerary, a great boat (the Samba), and the best leader with eight Galapagos cruises under his belt. Pre-trip and pre-landing location-specific gear advice. In-the-field photo instruction and guidance. Jeez, I almost forgot: fine dining at sea!

The great spots that we will visit include Tower Island (including Prince Phillips Steps and Darwin Bay), Hood Island (including Punta Suarez, the world’s only nesting site of Waved Albatross, and Gardner Bay)—each of the preceding are world class wildlife photography designations that rank right up there with Antarctica, Africa, and Midway. We will also visit Fernandina, Puerto Ayora for the tortoises, Puerto Egas—James Bay, North Seymour and Isla Lobos for nesting Blue-footed Booby (most years), South Plaza, Floreana, and Urbina Bay, all spectacular in their own right. We visit every great spot on a single trip. Plus tons more. And there will he lots of opportunities to snorkel on sunny mid-days for those like me who wish to partake.

We will be the first boat on each island in the morning and the last boat to leave each island every afternoon. If we are blessed with overcast weather, we will often spend 5-6 hours at the best sites. And as noted above, mid-day snorkeling is an option on most sunny days depending on location. Note: some of the walks are a bit strenuous. Great images are possible on all landings with a hand held 70-200mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter. I bring a longer lens ashore on most landings as that fits my style. I generally work with either the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS or the Canon 200-400mm f/4 L IS with Internal Extender.

Do know that there is a NatureScapes Galapagos trip: one week for $8495. Thus, my trip represents a tremendous value; why go all that way and miss half of the great photographic locations?

The Logistics

Fly to Guayacil, Ecuador on July 12, 2015. Travel insurance/rest day: July 13 (We may or may not offer a photo outing on the 13th). Fly to the archipelago on July 14 and board the Samba. Get off the boat on July 28. Fly to Guayacil that afternoon. Fly home on the early morning of July 29 unless you are staying on or going elsewhere (or catching a red-eye flight on the evening of the 28th).

$12,499 includes just about everything: all transfers, guide and park fees, all food on the boat, transfers and ground transportation, your flights to the archipelago, and three nights (double occupancy) in a top notch hotel in Guayacil. If you are good to go, a non-refundable deposit of $5,000 per person is due immediately. The second payment of $4,000 is not due until 11/1/14. The final payment of $3449 per person will be due on 2/1/15. A $200 discount will be applied to each of the balances for couples or friends who register at the same time.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On my past two cruises a total of 5 folks were forced to cancel less than one week prior to the trip. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and strongly recommend that you do the same.

Not included: your round trip airfare from your home to and from Guayacil, beverages on the boat, phone calls, your meals in Guayacil, personal items, and a $600/person cash tip for the crew and the guide—this works out to roughly $40/day to be shared by the 7 folks who will be waiting on us hand and foot every day for two weeks. The service is so wonderful that many folks choose to tip extra.

Please e-mail for the complete itinerary and for additional info and images. Please cut and paste “Galapagos 2015 Info Please) into the Subject line.

IPT Updates

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