Hare-Brained Scheme… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Hare-Brained Scheme...


The Exhibit Companion CD Book Cover. The idea for the cover — with Gannets in Love as the featured image and the matching type-face colors — was mine. Milton Heiberg –see more below — helped me fine-tune the final crop and design.

BIRDS AS ART: The Avian Photography of Arthur Morris

At TheNat, San Diego, California

Learn more here. Learn about the opening NATtalk, Choosing and Using Lenses for Bird and Nature Photography, here.


harebrained (hΓ’rβ€²brāndβ€²) adjective. Having or showing little sense; foolish. “With no more sense than a hare.”

As I mentioned recently, I decided — on a wing and a prayer if you would — at the last minute, to try to put together a companion e-book that would include the 67 images that will hang in my solo exhibit in the Ordover gallery at the San Diego Natural History Museum, January 16 through April 25, 2016 along with 33 additional almost-made-the-show images. That of course brings the total to an even 100. All of the above despite the fact that I knew that Adobe InDesign is an exceedingly difficult program to work with, no matter how simple the tasks.

I called my one and only photography teacher — 8 two-hour Tuesday night sessions that began in February of 1984–Milton Heiberg to enlist his help. He was up to the task. Jim drove me up to Milton and Dani’s home in eastern Orlando on Monday morning and dropped me off. We went to work.

I forgot to mention that part of my harebrained scheme was that I would purchase, download, and install InDesign (as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud 1-Year Subscription Student & Teacher Edition). I figured that I qualified as some sort of teacher… In any case, I actually had the program open on my Apple 15.4″ MacBook Pro Notebook Computer with Retina Display & Force Touch Trackpad by the time we left at 10am.

After three hours of hard work we had been pretty much been stumped by InDesign. I was ready to write off the cost of my Creative Cloud subscription and head home. It took almost two hours to complete one page with one photo and a caption. And even worse, when we tried to repeat what had just done, we failed. Milton, however, remained confident. So I stayed and working together, we ironed things out. I hammered away at the project for the rest of the day while Milton worked on the CD-cover art on his main office computer. By the time I hit the sack at 10pm I had inserted 52 of the one hundred images with their accompanying captions. We still have lots of work to do today so that I can get the project ready to be sent second-day air to the CD manufacturer in Texas on Thursday. But even that looks do-able now.

My dream all along has been to have product in California no later than the Thursday before the opening so that we can sell them at the opening. As I said, “harebrained.” Wish me luck.

Gotta get back to work now.


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

26 comments to Hare-Brained Scheme…

  • Ants beautiful cover shot. Looking forward to see more of your work….

  • avatar Joseph Facey


    I continue to be amazed and envious of your great Works of Art! I wish I could attend display but I cannot. Perhaps some day.

    Good Luck and Happy New Year!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Many thanks. We know that not everyone can make it to San Diego; that’s why I decided to do the e-book! a

  • avatar Sue

    Stunning image/cover design!

    InDesign is a challenge at first, but it’s the only way you’ll get results to give you pages which look good enough for that cover!!

  • “unequalled capacity”–some proof reader I am.

  • Your attention to detail is, I think, at the core of your ability to produce such fabulous images Arthur, as is your unequalled capacity (except for one world renowned physician I know) for hard work. I can’t wait to see the collection you have chosen to display.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks. Here is a related thought. Many folks show up on IPTs asking for the single big “secret” to becoming a better photographers. I always make a big deal of the question and say, “By God. You are right. There is one huge secret to becoming a better nature photographer: attention to small detail :)”


  • avatar David Peake

    Hi Artie,
    Your recent blog post describing the seat upgrade for an upcoming trip was evidence enough of your persistence, (dogged) determination, and singleminded pursuit of a worthwhile outcome. Looks like you are at it again. In pursuit of perfection.
    Chasing that last 2% is so much more work than the average 85% people put in. But it sets you apart at the top and that’s what we all love about you. Eleanor’s comment, “oh Artie, you’re the best” is spot on. Now we have the dates for the exhibition, I will arrange a few extra days to explore SanDeigo when I bring Karen back for a checkup at the Biomedical centre, and we will take in your exhibition as well. 2016 is going to be a great year. Thanks for the inspirational work you do. It’s keeping me alive.

    Your friend, David Peake.

  • avatar Jeff R

    Artie, you have my sympathy when working with InDesign. I have worked with it for a couple of years now and am 330 pages and hundreds of photos into a book on landscaping. It is extremely hard to work with. If you get really stuck, let me know, I may be able to help.

  • avatar Muriel McClellan

    Beautiful cover. I cannot wait to see the final product. It is sure to be a masterpiece. Thanks for the hard work so that those of us who are still learning can be inspired.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      πŸ™‚ Having looked at many of your images on recent trips, I’d have tosay that you have been quite inspired πŸ™‚


  • Hi Art


    This image captures the emotion of the birds and is an amazing and lovely cover for the book.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • When choosing the 100, did you put any type of constraints, like, maybe go back only 10 years, for an example?

    I think all of us here would agree, you could probably pick a 100 of your past just from the past month or two πŸ™‚

    Anything make it from your film days?

    Or, what year was the earliest one to make it?


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      No time constraints. Agree on the past month or two bit πŸ™‚ Off the top of my head these are the film images:

      Great Blue Heron courtship — the cover of the original ABP
      Fire in the Mist
      Blizzard in Blue

      I think that that is about it. Not sure which of those three was the earliest.

      IAC, good questions!


      ps: I might try something like this for folks who purchase the bool: send me you top three BIRDS AS ART images that you think should have made the exhibit (or the e-book). I am sure that I left out more than a few killers.

      pps: at 10:30 I put in the hundredth image with its caption. Still lots oc clean-up work to do but am still feeling quite ecstatic after our slow start yesterday…

  • avatar cheapo

    Obviously the falling leaf can be removed. I like the balance of the image very much, the full size image is one of my favourite of all your pics. Having the canvas taller by a few percent gives emphasis the the male’s beautiful long neck. But for this purpose I wonder if cropping the bottom or lower rh corner would be acceptable, or, is it feasible for the female’s body, or at least the shadow caused by her folded wing be lightened, to prevent the eye being drawn into the corner. Plus, there is a small but pronounced speck of a shadow on the male’s lower neck that needs sorting out.
    I haven’t done any photography for a couple of years now for various reasons, so if my suggestions are wildly off please feel free correct me. :Β¬)

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Cheapo,

      Pretty much wildly off…

      For some, like me, the falling leaf makes the image. But then as always you’ve got to ask yourself, “What the hell does he know?

      Please note that this is not the full frame image capture. As for the rest of your critique, you should have been a judge. This image was a winner in the Art in Nature category of the 2008 Nature’s Best Windland Smith Rice Photograph Contest and in the same year took first place in the Birds division of the National Wildlife competition.

      I do, however, appreciate your leaving a comment.


      • avatar cheapo

        Ironically, although I thought the one leaf was a little bit distracting, I did think that if there were three or four falling leaves it would lend a super impression of movement within the potentially quiet moment between the birds.