Smiling Blue Truck… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Smiling Blue Truck...

What’s Up?

I worked hard most of the day on Tuesday tying up loose ends related to the upcoming UK Puffins and Gannets trip. I fly to Newark on Sunday afternoon and land in Edinburgh, Scotland early on the morning of Monday June 27th. If you would like to join me on the 2017 Puffins and Gannets IPT, please click here for complete details.

I was glad to learn yesterday that Elizabeth MacSwan, whom I met for the first time on the DeSoto IPT, is joining me for her second IPT at Nickerson Beach. She wrote via e-mail:

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us on the DeSoto IPT. I learned a lot during the workshop and I can’t wait to apply what I learned to my photography going forward. I would sign up for every IPT if I could! 🙂 I hope to sign up for more down the line. Elizabeth

You can see and learn a lot from one of her great images from Desoto IPT by clicking here.

Nickerson Beach Terns/Skimmers/Oystercatchers Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT): July 18-22, 2016. 4 1/2 DAYS: $1899. Limit 10/Openings 6.

Meet and greet at 3pm on the afternoon of Monday, July 18.

Please e-mail for repeat customer or couples discount info, or for info on a 3-day option.

With only four folks signed up, learning situations will abound. The primary subject species on this IPT will be the nesting Common Terns and Black Skimmers. The trip is timed so that we will get to photograph tiny tern chicks as well as fledglings. There will be lots of flight photography including adults flying with baitfish. Creating great images of the chicks being fed will be a huge challenge. In addition to the terns we will get to photograph lots of Black Skimmers courting, setting up their nesting territories, and in flight (both singles and large pre-dawn flocks blasting off). Midair battles are guaranteed on sunny afternoons. And with luck, we might even see a few tiny skimmer chicks toward the end of the trip. We will also get to photograph the life cycle of American Oystercatcher. This will likely include nests with eggs and tiny chicks, young being fed, and possibly a few fledglings.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, makes-no-sense, 228 days in a row with a new educational blog post. And I still have dozens of new topics to cover; there should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. Please remember that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.

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.

Used Gear Sales Testimonial

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener

The BAA Used Gear Page is the best place I’ve found for selling my used cameras and lenses.

I used eBay and Craigslist until I began checking in at BIRDS AS ART. I saw the gear listed for sale at BAA and it struck me that the people who visit the site are like me in some important ways. We own high quality, often expensive gear. It’s important to us, and we likely take care of it. In other words, a good market exists. And I noticed how Artie marketed each item. Informative, without too big a push. That’s why I decided to try BAA.

The process was easy. I clearly accepted the terms of sale, fully and fairly described what I was selling and the good and bad. I listed he stuff to be included with in the sale. Then Artie came back with what he thought was a fair price, leaving it to me to determine the balance between urgency of the sale and receiving a high price. I’ve followed his lead.

The responses I’ve received from potential buyers have been reassuring. Each has been well informed and courteous. They have not expected perfection, but have fully expected fairness and clarity. I’ve found that providing many photographs of what I’m selling is very helpful in the completing the various transactions.

I’m writing this because of how glad I am to find a place where there is a good market for what I want to sell and what I want to buy — I just tried to buy a 300mm f/2.8 II, but it has sold. The buyers and sellers are informed and fair-minded. And artie offers friendly and experienced advice. I’ve enjoyed the process. The BAA Used Gear page is the best experience I’ve had buying and selling gear.

June Used Gear Sales Continue to be More Than Brisk!

  • Yours truly, Arthur Morris, sold his Canon 15mm fisheye lens in good condition for $350 in mid-June before it was listed.
  • Moody McCall sold his Canon 300mm F/2.8L IS II in excellent condition for $4199 in mid-June.
  • Long-ago IPT veteran Charles Sleicher sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens in very good plus condition for $3400 in mid-June.
  • Top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in absolute mint condition for $1599 in mid-June.
  • KW McCulloch sold his Canon EOS-1D X in excellent condition for $2459 in mid-June.
  • Many multiple IPT veteran Monte Brown sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III (with the BG-E11 vertical battery grip) both in excellent condition for $1599 in early June.
  • Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II lens in mint condition for $4499 in early June.
  • Top BAA Used Gear seller Jim Keener sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the old five) in very good plus condition for a BAA record low price of $3699 in mid-June.
  • National Geographic shooter Tim Laman sold his Canon EOS-1D C in good condition for $2100 in early June. The 1D C is a 1D X with 4K video.
  • Andres Leon sold his Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens in very good plus condition for the full asking price of $7899 in early June.
  • IPT veteran Billy Wingfield sold his Canon EOS-1DX in excellent plus condition for $2400 in early June.
  • Multiple IPT veteran Larry Master sold his near-mint Canon EOS-1DX for $2800 in early June.
  • Moody McCall sold his Canon 100-400L IS USA lens in excellent condition for $599 in early June.

Huge Price Reduction

Used Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS Lens, the “old six”

A New BAA Record Low by far Price! Reduced $600 on June 22, 2016.

Charles McRae is offering a used Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS lens in good to very good condition (with the expected wear and tear of use: paint chipped around the knobs and on the rear lens barrel near the mount). Was $4,799; now $4,199! The sale includes the lens trunk, a replacement low foot, the original low foot, and insured shipping via FedEx Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Chas by by e-mail or by phone at home: 843-423-4767 or on his cell: 1-843 409 0837 (eastern time zone).

The old six was my go-to super-telephoto lens for well more than a decade, heck, probably for two decades if you include the monstrously heavy original version. Today I use and depend on the newer, lighter version, the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens. Note, the new six sells for a hefty $11,499. The old six is super sharp, works great with both TCs, and offers near-maximum reach along with three focal lengths: 600, 840, and 1200…. artie


This image was created on one of our two days off between the first and second Palouse IPTs. I used the hand held Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens (at 8mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R . ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/8 in Av mode. WB = 6500K.

A single AF point (Manual selection) three AF points down from the center AF point/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). The active AF point just caught the hood emblem. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Old, blue Chevrolet truck

Smiling Blue Truck…

What would you expect the leaders to do on their day off between IPTs?

Scout and photograph!

We found this truck after an afternoon that was filled with drizzle and new finds that included a killer white barn and a field of wildflowers. I photographed it first with the all purpose Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens (handheld). I photographed the truck from the side and from the front. The images looked pretty boring on the rear LCD so I ran back to the car and grabbed the circle lens On cloudy days I always try to think circle lens… (I know that my shadow will not be in the frame.) I photographed the truck from the front from both a high and a low perspective. Then I moved to my right to work the subject at somewhat of an angle. I tried low first, and then got as high as I could while making sure that my feet were not in the frame. Getting high was Bingo! On the rear LCD I saw that I had created an image of a smiling truck that looked quite human-like.

Palouse IPT Comments

From Joan Bush via e-mail:

I so enjoyed the workshop. It was just one of the best workshops that I have attended, and I’ve been to lots. Believe me. None can compare with both you and Denise. Other workshop leaders could take some lessons. It was so good to meet you finally. Your work is amazing. Keep it up Artie. Joan

From Pam McClure via e-mail:

Hello Artie and all the Palouse gang! Thank you all for a really wonderful time! I enjoyed spending time with each and every one of you and exploring the beauty of the Palouse. I had never visited this area before and was blown away by the special shapes and colors of all those delightful rolling hills and the character of those old barns. And all topped off by fantastic weather!

Thank you so much, Artie, for your direction and feedback. This was my second workshop and I came in without any expectations: I just wanted to go with the flow and see what happened. You and Denise were so helpful in the field and in the classroom and so I left a beautiful location with lots of good photos and memories of a very special trip. I love this hobby and I want to thank you both for helping me to grow it a little more. Pam


Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card

Why Different?

Announcing the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour

In what ways will the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour be different from the most other Palouse workshops?

There are so many great locations that a seven-day IPT (as opposed to the typical three- or five-day workshops) will give the group time to visit (and revisit) many of the best spots while allowing you to maximize your air travel dollars. In addition, it will allow us to enjoy a slightly more relaxed pace.

You will be assured of being in the right location for the given weather and sky conditions.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills.

You will learn to design powerful, graphic images.

You will visit all of the iconic locations and a few spectacular ones that are much less frequently visited.

You will learn long lens landscape techniques.

You will learn to master any exposure situation in one minute or less.

You will learn the fine points of Canon in-camera (5D Mark III, 5DS R, and 7D II) HDR techniques.

You will be able to share a variety of my exotic Canon lenses including the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, aka the “circle lens.”

You will learn to use your longest focal lengths to create rolling field and Urbex abstracts.

You will learn when and how to use a variety of neutral density filters to create pleasing blurs of the Palouse’s gorgeous rolling farmlands.

As always, you will learn to see like a pro. You will learn what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time. You will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images.

You will learn to use super-wide lenses both for big skies and building interiors.

You will learn when, why, and how to use infrared capture; if you do not own an infrared body, you will get to borrow mine.

You will learn to use both backlight and side-light to create powerful and dramatic landscape images.

This trip will run with one participant.


Palouse 2016 Verticals Card

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour June 8-14, 2017: $2499.

Seven full days of photography. Meet and greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 7.

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will enjoy spectacular sunrises and at least one nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. I will bring you to more than a few really neat old abandoned barns and farmhouses in idyllic settings. There is no better way to improve your compositional and image design skills and to develop your creativity than to join me for this trip. Photoshop and image sharing sessions when we have the time and energy…. We get up early and stay out late and the days are long.

Over the past three years, with the help of a good friend, we found all the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and vistas. What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, my extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions. As above, there will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before the workshop begins.

To Sign Up

Your non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining this IPT. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours to arrange for the payment of your deposit; if by check, please make out to “BIRDS AS ART” and mail it to: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail: artie.

Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options. You can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

Please Remember to use our Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


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 🙂

4 comments to Smiling Blue Truck…

  • Elizabeth M

    Thanks for the shout out Artie, I am looking forward to seeing you and the birds at Nickerson! Love the truck photo!

  • Carol Nichols

    I LOVE that truck photo. Just a perfect use of a fisheye lens and very creative!

  • Larry

    Very cute. Reminds me of a character in the Disney “Cars” movie. Nice colors. Curious though – why ISO 800 (was that because of the dreary day?)

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks and yes to dreary day. But ISO 400 would have been fine. Even pros do not always get everything right 🙂