Simple Bosque Sunrise Tip « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Simple Bosque Sunrise Tip

What’s Up?

Did lots more work on the San Diego exhibit and helped a lot of folks interested in joining me on the last-ever Cheesemans’ South Georgia Expedition. Click here to learn the whole story and for all the details on this great trip that will also be my last ship-based trip to the Falklands and South Georgia. My to-do list is getting shorter….

Right before I hit the sack last night I noticed a comment on my Facebook page from a sixth grade student of mine in 1979, a lovely, smart, sweet girl, then Shawn Lewis. She has lived life and grown up and is now Shawn Marie Greene. We are both thrilled at re-connecting after so many years. I hope to be able to put her in touch with one of her classmates, Dr. Joylene John, who practices somewhere near D.C. if I remember correctly; we spoke about six months ago. The are so many wonderful memories….

Shawn posted this on her page: So so happy to hear from u as well n I too will always luv my dear, sweet, kind, generous 6th grade teacher Mr. Morris. Don’t let this b the last time we talk to each other. Ttyl How’s that for warming the heart?

Bosque IPT Kudos

From Bosque #2 participant Usha Peddamatham via e-mail:

Thank you so much Artie for the post-IPT critique of my images. Your cropped version of my Sandhill Crane blur looks so much better. I know you have heard this before: you and Denise (Ippolito) are the most dedicated and committed teachers I have ever come across. I have never been on a photo tour where there was so much of involvement by the leaders. Thank you for motivating and inspiring us. Best wishes for the holidays. BTW, what are the dates for South Georgia trip? Usha

From Bosque #2 participant Richard Goldin via e-mail:

We drove home in two days. On the way we photographed the Very Large Array (VLA) and a herd of pronghorns (using the Pleasing Blur techniques that you taught us to simulate motion). Thanks to you and to Denise (Ippolito) for your expertise and dedication. I never learned so much about taking pictures in four days, heck, I never learned so much in four weeks or four months. The entire group was a pleasure and I don’t like groups as a rule…. I know how hard you and Denise worked but please have a little sympathy for me as I face going through Alice’s and my 5324 images. And Alice doesn’t do computers or Photoshop! It’s all good fun and we had a great time. Thanks, Richard and Alice

From Bosque #2 participant Roger Friend via e-mail:

Denise and Art,

I enjoyed a wonderful learning experience with two great teachers. Art, I will look into a better head tripod head… My left hand got more exercise than I cared for in squeezing the grip handle for extended periods of time. Denise thanks again for keeping me focused. I look forward to future workshops. Five pix to follow in a day or two. Roger

My response:

Hi Roger, Many thanks for your kind words. You are quoted in my blog today. The very best tripod head for the 100-400 II is the Mongoose M3.6 here. It is light, elegant, and efficient and best of all, the lens is rendered weightless. If I had known that you were open to change on the IPT I would have given you a tryout. later an love, artie

From Bosque #2 participant Ron May via e-mail:

​Art and Denise, thanks for sharing the Bosque experience; it was a blast 🙂 It was great to see you both again. As usual, the IPT was a real learning experience; I came away with a new appreciation for birds in flight photography. I will be sending you my five favourites as soon as I can get unpacked and organized. I had a four-hour delay on flight from Houston to Calgary so didn’t get in until very late. I needed sleep! To all my new friends, thanks for the memories; hopefully our paths will cross again. Kindest regards, Ron

From Bosque #1 participant Frank T. Sheets via e-mail:

Hi everyone. Laurie and I had a ball on the trip. Thanks a bunch to both of you. Appreciate and thank you for your comments on my images Artie. I will take your suggestions and make the adjustments. What was so special about this trip was not only the company and great instructors, but the the opportunity to photograph these great birds.

Thanks again. Frank

More Wonderful News–can you stand it?

Franks Sheets and Natasha Tofield, both on the second Bosque IPT had so much fun and learned so much that they each signed up for the now-sold-out with a waiting list San Diego IPT.

Selling Your Used 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 advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the yellow-orange tab on the right side of the menu bar above.

After somewhat of a summer lull, things have been heating up on the Used Gear page recently.

  • Kenton Rowe sold his Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS lens with Internal 1.4X Extender in early December for $9799.
  • Brent Bridges sold his Canon 600 II for the full asking price, $9799,in early December 2015.
  • David Bell sold his Canon 400mm f/5.6L lens yesterday for the full asking price, $699, on the day it was listed!
  • Alan and Sara Levine sold their old 300 f/2.8L IS lens in early December for $3175.
  • Two Canon 500mm f/4L IS lenses (two) were sold by Pat & Stokes Fishburne for $3799 each in late November, 2015.
  • A Canon EOS-1D Mark IV Camera Body was sold by Alice Garland for $1350 in mid-November, 2015.
  • Mike Ederegger sold his AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm F/4 G ED VR II in excellent condition for $ 5199 right after it was listed.
  • Alan and Sara Levine sold their old five, the Canon 500mm f/4 L IS for $4200 in late August, 2015.

New Listings

Canon 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS Zoom Lens

William B Ellison, Jr. is offering a used Canon 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6L IS zoom lens (the old 1-4) in excellent condition for $675. The sale includes front and rear lens caps, the ET-83C hood, the tripod ring, the tough fabric LZ1324 lens carrying case, and insured shipping via FED-Ex Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact William via e-mail or by phone at 1-843-884-9595 (Eastern time zone).

The old 100-400 was and is superb. I made hundreds of sale-able images with mine including the image used on the front cover of Scott Weidensaul’s “Return to Wild America”. Contrary to reports by the internet idiots the lens is–in competent hands–sharp at all focal lengths. It is extremely versatile and would make a great starter lens for those interested in bird, wildlife, and general nature photography. artie

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body

Bill Fraser is offering a Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body in excellent condition for $1299. The sale includes the original box in perfect condition, three (3) LP-E4 Battery packs (the original and two spares), the battery charger LC-E4, Wide Strap L6, the Stereo AV Cable-DC400ST, the Cable Protector with attaching screw, the EOS Digital Solution disc Ver. 21.2, the Software Instruction Manual, printed Instruction Manuals in English and Spanish, the Pocket Guide (abbreviated instruction manual), and insured shipping by UPS Ground to US addresses only. Your camera will be shipped only after your check clears.

Interested folks may contact Bill via e-mail or by phone at 1-336-288-9025 (Eastern time zone). Bill traveled with me on the 2012 South Georgia Cheesemans’ Expedition and will be joining us on the San Diego IPT.

Two rugged 1D Mark IVs served as my workhorse professional bodies for several years. artie


This image was created at 6:26.05am on the last morning of the second 2015 Bosque IPT with the Induro tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 200 (via ISO Safety Shift). Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/10 sec. at f/10 in Tv mode. Color temperature: K8000.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus Button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Snow Goose clear morning flock blur over ridge 1/10 second shutter speed

Simple Bosque Sunrise Tip

In the pre-dawn, work in Tv mode (S, shutter priority with Nikon cameras) with Auto ISO set. Canon folks can get the same results by enabling ISO Safety Shift as recommended and detailed in all of my camera User’s Guides. With the latter be sure to set a low ISO such as 200, 100, or 50 so that you will not wind up with a small aperture as the eastern sky gets brighter. This will cut down on sensor dust on your images.

Next, simply add (or very rarely, subtract) the right amount of light to come up with a good exposure and fire away when the geese come over the ridge. Be sure to take a test image every few minutes and check your histograms. Note in the EXIF for today’s two images that I was able to quickly change my shutter speed as the action occurred simply by rolling the index finger wheel…. With this method there is no need to change the ISO every few minutes and no need to have to change the aperture every time you change the shutter speed. It is all done automatically by rolling (only) the index finger wheel to change the shutter speed.


This image was created at 6:26:31am on the last morning of the second 2015 Bosque IPT with the Induro tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 200 (via ISO Safety Shift). Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/4 sec. at f/16 in Tv mode. Color temperature: K8000.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus Button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: Snow Goose clear morning flock blur 1/4 second shutter speed


Note that when photographing distant flocks images made at 1/60 and even 1/30 sec. will render most of the individual birds relatively sharp.

Please do leave a comment and let us know which of today’s images is your fave. And why.


Learn the secrets of creating contest-winning images in our “A Guide to Pleasing Blurs.”

A Guide to Pleasing Blurs

In our A Guide to Pleasing Blurs by Denise Ippolito and yours truly, we discuss just about every technique ever used to create pleasingly blurred image. Ninety-nine point nine percent of pleasing blurs are not happy accidents. You can learn pretty much everything that there is to know about creating them in this instructive, well written, easy to follow guide.

The Bosque Site Guide

If you can’t make or afford a Bosque IPT, or if the holidays preclude your joining one, be sure to get yourself a copy of my Bosque Site Guide. All BAA Site Guides are designed so that with a bit of study you can show up at a great place and know exactly where to be at what time on what wind and in what lighting conditions. And on what wind. With a Site Guide on your laptop you will feel like a 22-year veteran on your first visit. Site Guides are the next best thing to being on an IPT. If you plan on visiting Bosque it would be foolish to make the trip without having this guide in hand. Why spend money on gear and travel and then spend days stumbling around in the wrong spot? If you have visited previously, and are still unsure of where you should be at this time of day with that wind, this guide will prove invaluable to you as well. Even folks visiting Bosque for the tenth time will learn a ton as I share my secrets and hold nothing back….

In the next week or so, I will be working on a very short but valuable information-packed 2015 Bosque Current Conditions Guide; it will be send free to all who have previously purchased the Bosque Site Guide and will also be available as an inexpensive, separate, stand-alone purchase.


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


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

1 comment to Simple Bosque Sunrise Tip

  • avatar Mike Cristina

    Hi Artie

    I’ve never tried​ ISO Safety Shift (I will now), but I use Auto-ISO a lot, and feel it gives me easier (different) control of aperture and shutter speed than in manual mode. But, only with a camera that allows exposure compensation in Auto-ISO mode, like the 1Dx.