Important to me/Please read… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Important to me/Please read...

What’s Up?

Worked hard on planning a new trip or two to be announced here soon. Answered lots of e-mails and wrote this important blog post. My day began watching Steph Curry, the Golden State Warriors baby-faced assassin singlehandedly dismantle the hapless Houston Rockets in the NBA playoffs. Next on Tivo was the Chicago Blackhawks double over time, heart-stopping victory over the Anaheim Ducks who had been leading the series 2-1; it is all tied up now.

This blog post, the 137th in a row, took me a surprising two hours to write. I gave it a lot of thought.

Important to me/Please read…

the whole thing 🙂

I work very hard on the blog. I am not sure why. Last year I had a streak of 366 days in a row with a new, educational blog post. Right now the current streak is at 137. As always, I enjoy being the star of the show. I enjoy the attention. At times, I enjoyed stirring the pot and creating a bit of controversy. And I always strive to teach, often by asking questions and getting folks to think. The many wonderful e-mails that I receive and the many wonderful comments that I read are the icing on the cake. I know that I am doing something great here, but it is always nice when others folks voice their (unsolicited) confirmations.

Photography is, however, my job so let’s talk briefly about money. The blog (and the now occasional BAA Bulletin) promote the sales of information in digital form (read PDFs like Digital Basics) and as eBooks and eGuides (such as the DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide and the 7D Mark II Guide). and the blog of course promotes the sale of photographic accessories such as Delkin flash cards and card readers, tripods, tripod heads, LensClens, LensCoat stuff, and dozens of other products, products that I have used and depending on for decades. Your support and patronage is of course greatly appreciated.

I often spend 10-20 hours or more per week on the blog, and thus, I view it as a part time job. The main remuneration comes from the use of my B&H affiliate links, especially for major purchases. B&H is a reliable, dependable firm that offers pretty much the lowest prices around plus great service and an unequaled return policy. Using my affiliate links is a great way to thank me for my efforts here on the blog and each use, whether for something small or a five figure lens, is greatly appreciated. And the best news it that using my affiliate links will not cost you one penny.

I have been frank about this here before; for my first several years as a B&H affiliate, my cut was 3%. A bit more than a year ago I received a raise to 3 1/2 percent. If you are kind enough to purchase a $2,000 lens or camera body, I get $70 credited to my account. When someone places a $10,000 order I make a very nice commission of $350.

The Challenges

I often receive e-mails like this:

Dear Art,

First let me say that I have subscribed to your blog for three years. I visit the every day right after I get out of bed to see what nuggets you are offering. Your images are killer and the lessons that you provide on a daily basis have helped me become a much better photographer. I just purchased a Canon 600mm f/4L IS II Lens and an EOS-1D X body but am having trouble making sharp images with teleconverters of birds in flight. Please help?


Dear Joe, Thanks for writing and for you kind words. Before I get too deeply into my answer, I need to ask: where do you live? Did you use my B&H affiliate links to purchase your new gear? Do you have our 1D X AF Guide?

Later and love, artie

Dear Art,

I live in Hartford, Connecticut. I always shop mail order at B&H because they are superb but I forgot to use your link. And no, I do not have a copy of your 1D X AF Guide. By the way, thanks to you and your great blog posts, I just ordered a 7D Mark II from B&H. Sorry, again I forgot to use your affiliate link.

Love ya man, Joe

My commission on Joe’s sale would have been $587.93. And it would not have cost him one cent.

How would you respond to Joe’s request for help?

Another Typical e-Mail

Dear Artie,

Thanks so much for publishing your Lens Align Mark II tutorials and alerting us to Michael Tapes Focus Tune. You explain things so well and your writing is always easy to understand. And BTW, I subscribe to your blog and value every post.

I just purchased the LensAlign MK II including Fusion (Focus Tune) from B&H and I need some additional help with determining the correct distances for the focal length of the lens with and without teleconverters. Can you share the formulas with me for the lens alone and with a TC added?


Dear Harry,

I am glad that you enjoy the blog so much. Just so you know, when you purchase something that I teach you about and teach you to use we would appreciate it if you could use the link to the BAA Store right there in the post rather than purchasing it elsewhere. If you use our B&H link to purchase items that are in my store my profit on the item is usually about 90% less than if you had purchased it from the BAA Online Store….

For the lenses alone you use approximately 8.2 feet per 100 meters of focal length; for a 300mm lens you would set the target at 24.6 feet. When you add a TC, you split the difference. For example, if you are micro-adjusting the 300 with a 2X TC (600mm focal length the target should be at 49.2 feet but it is fine to split the difference by placing it halfway between 24.6 feet and 49.2 feet, or 36.9 feet. Or, you can think of it like this 450 X 8.2 feet = 36.9 feet.

In the future, please remember to buy your accessories and miscellaneous items from the BAA Store (if we carry them) and to use our B&H link for your major gear purchases.

later and love, artie

How would you have responded to Harry?

My Biggest Affiliate Frustration Tale

When the Canon Series II super-telephotos were released I got my hands on one of each and posted lots of images created with both the 500 II and the 600 II. Folks were very appreciative. At the time, it was fairly easy to have a BAA B&H affiliate order expedited. With such huge demand for the 100-400 II recently that has become more difficult to do though I have succeeded in more than a few instances. IAC, lots of folks generously used my links to purchase both the big lenses along with a 1D X or two.

An acquaintance/friend from the west coast was the very first to order a 600 II with my link. Several others sent me their B&H 600 II receipts via e-mail and I forwarded them all to my contact at B&H to be expedited. Somehow they screwed up. Numbers 2 and 3 on the list got their lenses right off the bat. Number 1 did not. He was understandably upset. So upset that he cancelled the entire order that he had placed using my B&H link: 1 600 II, one 500 II, and one 1D X body. So because of the screw-up with the expediting I lost my then 3% commission on a $30,000 sale.

Frustrating right?

Now try this on for size: the woman who was #2 on the list sent me her B&H receipt and stated that she had used my link.I had her order expedited and she got her lens right away. I carefully track all of the big sales to make sure that I receive credit. When I inquired as to why that sale never appeared in my account I was informed that the sale was indeed an affiliate sale, one made via…. The end result was that I lost my commission on sales of well more than $42,000. Hard to love that.

How local store supporters, overseas folks, those who write with questions, and all who enjoy the blog on a daily basis can do their part to help the support the BAA Blog.

Many times when I ask someone who professes that they love the blog if they used my B&H link, they write back, “I like to support my local camera store.” And quite often, it’s “I live in the UK or Down Under; using B&H does not make sense as I would get killed on import duties. Good friend and digital photography guru Tim Grey supported the work that he did for years on his DDQ e-mails using a share-ware system. Folks could sign up for free but were given the option of making a donation to keep him writing every day. For years I have stayed away from such a system but now I am ready to adapt a simple version.

All who enjoy and learn from the blog are invited to send a donation (the amount is up to you) using any of the following methods:

a-send a Paypal to us at Be sure to mention BAA-Blog Thanks
b-call Jim or Jen with a credit card in hand and let them know that you would like to make a BAA-Thanks payment.
c-On Tuesday, I will have Jim build a page in the store for the thank you donations.

Whatever you send it will be greatly appreciated.


The strange thing is that when I lived in New York, I never knew about this amazing and consistently productive location.

Nickerson Beach/JBWR (possibly…)/Black Skimmer/Oystercatcher/migrant shorebird IPT: August 13-16, 2015. 3 1/2 DAYS: $1399.

Meet and greet on the evening of WED August 12. Limit 10/Openings 5.

Most of our seven photo sessions will be spent at Nickerson beach photographing the nesting Black Skimmers. In flight, sometimes battling. Carrying fish. Chicks of varying sizes from a very few just-hatched to lots of fledglings. It is likely that we will get to see some Great Black-backed Gulls preying on the juvenile skimmers. They swallow them whole. There will be lots of gulls to photograph as well as some Common Terns. Locally breeding shorebird species include American Oystercatcher–pretty much guaranteed, Willet, which is likely, and Piping Plover, which is probable but we need to get lucky with those to get close….

Save a space by calling Jim or Jen at the office and arranging to leave your deposit of $499. I hope to see you there.



If local conditions are ideal we may visit Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge to photograph southbound migrant shorebirds on one or possibly two mornings. Even if we do not visit JBWR we should get some good chances with the migrant shorebirds at the beach, especially Sanderling and Semipalmated Plover. Red Knot and others are possible.


As you can see, the oystercatchers are quite tame at Nickerson. And we will get you up early and we will stay out late.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge In-the-field Instructional Photo Workshop/Scouting Session. August 12, 2015. Morning only: $250. Cheap!

The tide will be pretty good at the East Pond…. If I learn that conditions there are un-photographable we will do Nickerson Beach as a back-up. This will work either as an add-on for out of town folks coming for the IPT above or as a stand alone session. Either way, you will, as always, learn a ton. And we might even get some good images.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!

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!


Those who prefer to support BAA by shopping with Amazon may use this link:

Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, eh, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

27 comments to Important to me/Please read…

  • I was trying to get the B&H link to work, I was using Chrome, and the only thing I could get was a plain B&H page. I opened your blog in Internet Explorer, and voila’, there is something to click on that goes to B&H with a discount!! (I think that’s the right link??)
    I’ll make a bookmark for your Amazon link and B&H link in Chrome so I can go through those.
    Thanks for your hard work!!

  • avatar Scott B


    Perhaps Amazon isn’t as lucrative for you, and I see the link to Amazon in your blog (now in hindsight). I’ve been trained by repetition that you like to be supported directly or via B&H. I completely forgot that you have Amazon as an affiliate. When I need something fast, I lean on my Amazon Prime subscription.

    Maybe you can get a white version of that button that doesn’t blend in so well to your background color, or maybe it is an intentional decision to keep it hidden.

    Outside of the e-guides, the BAA Store equipment purchases, and IPT registration, I still wish I could have thrown a small percentage of my Gitzo tripod order to you because the effort of clicking a button isn’t hard.

    I read your Gitzo GT3532LS Tripod review, and other customer reviews, ad nauseam but wanted the tripod for Maine this past weekend so Prime shipping was my go-to.

    You are quite the scholar and salesman for having people apologize to you on your blog for not being able to help support you. That’s a talent! As always, thank you for continuing to produce useful information for the rest of us.


    • avatar Scott B

      And right after I typed this post and the page refreshed, the Amazon affiliate button is now a starkly contrasted white!

  • avatar Fain Zimmerman

    I have a number of items on my Wish List. If I click on your link and go to B&H – then add an item from my wish list, will it still credit you?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Fain, I do not know. Best to simply click on my link and then do a search for your heart’s desire item. Thanks for thinking of BAA. artie

  • avatar Jeff Robinson

    Is there any way to confirm your affiliate link worked correctly prior to completing a sale, or detailed instructions on how it works?

    Unfortunately no.

    I believe I have used your links for my last major purchases, but now I have some doubts.

    Here are some example scenarios I’m not completely clear on:

    1) I’m browsing the B&H web site, and then remember I should use your link. I go to your blog and click your B&H link. Does everything I add to my cart for that browsing session on get credited to you? What if there was already something in my cart?

    I am pretty sure that you need to start with my link and then checkout within a few hours at most so above there would be no credit to me. I will check….

    2) I use your link to go to the B&H web site, and add an item to my cart. However, I then wait a couple days before checking out. (Since I’m logged into my B&H account, it remembers my cart.) Is your credit “sticky” (once I add it to the cart, it stays with that item in the cart forever), or do you loose your credit if I wait a day or two (or a week) before checking out?

    No. There is a definite time limit and it is not measured in days. Thanks for asking these questions. It would be best for me if you did your shopping all at once immediately after clicking on my link. Do note that my link does disappear once you get to the B&H web site but it is tracked. You can always find out by shooting me your B&H receipt. But I need to wait a few days to see if it is listed in my account.

    Thanks for asking though. later and love, artie

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Jeff, I learned that once you click on my affiliate link the purchase must be completed within a 60-hour window. Best to do your shopping and searching ahead of time, don’t put anything in your cart, and then click on my link right before placing your order.

      If you have one or more items in your cart and then click on my link I will not get credit for anything.

      Again, thanks for caring and thanks for your support. artie

  • avatar Fain Zimmerman

    I am planning to order an item from your BAA store soon, so when you add the donation box, can we make it an additional item? Thank you so much for your work! It is much appreciated by many!

  • avatar Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

    Please note..
    Recently when I bought something from B&H and had to talk with someone about it, where it was to be shipped or something..
    I asked them to credit you for the sale… They said that that would probably not work…

    They said… To receive the credit one had to go directly from the photographer’s site and NOT use the phone…
    I push him…. and he said he was willing to put it in the notes, to credit you, but he thought that it probably wouldn’t work…

    It wasn’t for a major purchase…
    Thought you’d like to know, if you didn’t already…

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Yup. No phone orders. I will run this by Izzy Flamm. Thanks for caring. a

      ps: I think if you place the order by phone using my link and then call for assistance all should be good. I will check.

  • avatar Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

    Oh Artie..
    You’re the best..

    Excellent solution…
    and an additional way for us to say thank you… For all that you do for us.

    I’ll call the office…
    ….and I’ll be signing up for Bosque 2!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Many thanks. Bosque II will be the bomb. You, me and denise! Jim and Jen will be back tomorrow.

      love you, a

  • avatar Bill Hill

    As I northern Californian it is my birthright to dislike teams from southern California. Therefore, I am all for the Black Hawks. Go Hawks!

    As for supporting BBA, I have been grateful for the way you share your knowledge since the first book. Anyway that I can support that by using links our buying from BBA direct, you can bet I will. I hope others get the point!

    ps there is only one “O” in photographer. See reply to Kim.

    Keep up the great work.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Bill, Actually, there are two “o”s in photographer; you just have to type them in the right places (not phootgrapher). Thanks. I fixed the typo. artie

  • avatar graham hedrick

    Art, when I buy anything from B&H, I will use your link. Right now I need to get a new Wacom tablet. I know it is not the price of a monster Canon lens, I figure anything to help you is worth it.

  • Artie, sign me up. How much per year? $25? $50? I readily started paying Tim Grey when he asked. You can only be free ($$) for so long. It’s time.


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      many thanks. $25 is fine, $50 is very generous The first one was for $40. All are greatly appreciated.

      later and love, artie

  • avatar Henry

    I see your dilemma. I feel for you brother. You are doing the right thing by continuing to offer such superb instructional opportunities to your loyal students even if you don’t get paid all that you feel is due you. You could have told the guy who didn’t buy from you to go jump in the lake but you didn’t. That’s what I call dedication and integrity. In my line of work I also offer a lot of free service to my community and knowing that I am helping someone is very gratifying. I’m sure you must feel the same even though you’re not getting your full due.

    You have many more opportunities that lay ahead of you.

    Stay Blessed Arthur.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Henry and thanks for your supportive words. I do not feel that I am due anything :). later and love, artie

  • I, too, am a regular reader (and grateful learner). And I, too, have sometimes opted to purchase via our regional camera store in Greenville NC (even when it costs a little more) rather than B&H to be supportive to them, their staff, and their help over the years. So I am definitely on board with paying a little more to receive value-added. And my husband and I own a local art gallery so we definitely appreciate folks who purchase local art through us (or one of the other local galleries) rather than buying products made overseas for their walls. Right now I am financing a purchase I made last winter with a combo of trade-in gear and monthly payments for the balance. I just calculated 3% of what I am paying each month and while it may not be much, it’s yours. Headed to Paypal now. Bottom line: I paid a little extra for value-added at my local camera shop; I will pay extra for the value-added you bring to my work as well. Thanks, Artie.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      YAW and many thanks. All amounts are appreciated. later and love, artie

  • avatar David Peake

    Hi Artie,
    Sign me up. I’ve wondered how best to show my appreciation.
    I had decided to purchase items under $400 NZ from the BAA store, which I will do as finance permits. The mongoose I want? I will just have to come and get in person. In the meantime I will call Jim tomorrow and and sort out a donation.
    Can I urge folks who read and learn here every day to be generous, in keeping with Arties generosity.
    You are definitely worth it kind sir.
    Thanks for the opportunity .
    Be blessed.
    David Peake

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      You are most kind. Many thanks. And yes, today is a holiday.

      later and love to you and to Karen, artie

  • avatar Kim Sherwood

    Hi Artie,

    Since sometime last gray, cold, dismal winter (~time of 7DII release) I have started most days early, with your blog. Though I currently shoot with Pentax and 3rd-party gear, I have learned ‘a stack’ from you and I am grateful! Unfortunately (well, not entirely, but in this context) I have not bought much and no big-ticket items from you or your affiliate vendors in that time.

    I did read every word of your post today and I am glad to now have a way to show my appreciation through a donation. I will call tomorrow and make it happen (as today is a significant holiday). I truly thank you for your time, effort and generosity of sharing technique and beautiful images via your blog!

    Happy shooting!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Many thanks Kim. Remember that it ain’t the camera and it ain’t the lens. It’s what in the photographer’s head, heart, and hands.

      later and love, artie

      ps: YOU are very welcome.