Arthur Morris and BIRDS AS ART are Moving to San Diego! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Arthur Morris and BIRDS AS ART are Moving to San Diego!

What’s Up?

I flew from Islip to Orlando midday on Friday and grabbed my Sequoia from the short term lot. From MCO it was just a short hop down to Gatorland. See below for the details on some life-changing news.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

The Streak: 15!

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 15 days in a row with a new educational blog post. As always–and folks have been doing a really great for a long time now–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. And please remember also 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 of course appreciate your business.

Gatorland In-the Field Instructional Meet-Up Sessions

Join us in Kissimmee, FL next weekend to photograph Great (with chicks in the nest) and Snowy Egrets in breeding plumage, Cattle Egret and Tricolored Heron in breeding plumage, Wood Stork, American Alligator (captive), and more. We should get to make lots of head portraits of all the bird species and to photograph them building nests, displaying, copulating, and flying. Learn to see, find, and make the shot in cluttered settings. Learn exposure and how to handle WHITEs. Learn fill flash and flash as main light. All of the birds are free and wild.

Next Weekend’s Schedule

  • Saturday April 8, morning (early entry): 7:30 till 10:30am: $100. Lunch and Image Review: $75. Saturday afternoon till closing (late stay): $100.
  • Sunday morning, April 9, (early entry): 7:30 till 10am: $75.

Cheap Canon lens rentals available: 600 II, 500 II, 400 DO II, or 200-400.

To pay for one or more sessions in full via credit card, call Jim or Jen in the office weekdays at 863-692-0906. You will be responsible for the cost of your Gatorland Photographer’s pass or passes. Please shoot me an e-mail if you have any questions.

This image was created with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and my very favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/500 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode. AWB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -5.

Four rows up and one AF point to the left of the center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure.

Brown Pelican, Pacific race in stunning breeding plumage

BIRDS AS ART Moving to San Diego

My home at Indian Lake Estates is on the market. Last week, I purchased a large home in the Mira Mesa neighborhood of San Diego, California. With a lap pool. My new home is only 20 minutes from the cliffs at La Jolla. I will be close to three of my best friends on the planet, Robin and Patrick Sparkman and Dr. Cliff Oliver. There is great bird photography year round and the weather is great as well, much cooler on average than central Florida. I will be moving in September of this year. I am currently looking for good office help. Please contact me via e-mail if you are interested in a job.

Today’s Featured Image

Today’s featured image was created on the 2017 San Diego IPT. It is the brightest pelican bill pouch I have ever seen; it is one of my very favorite pelican images. Note that the bill –as it should be for a preening shot — is perfectly parallel to the plane of the imaging sensor. The bird is preening the uropygial gland so that it can preen its feather with the oil it is collecting with its bill tip. Click on the Wikipedia link here to learn about about the uropygial gland.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Monday July 3 through Monday July 10, 2017: $5999: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 6).
All who register will be urged to take advantage of the two day Gannet Add-on so please do not buy your flights until making your decision. See below for details.

Here are the plans: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on July 2 and arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday July 3 no later than 10am (or simply meet us then at the Edinburgh Airport–EDI, or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe). Stay 7 nights in one of three gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are five days of planned puffin/seabird trips and one morning of gannet photography, all weather permitting of course. In three years we have yet to miss an entire day because of weather… In addition, we will enjoy several sessions of photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The Details

We will get to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet; Arctic, Sandwich, and Common Terns, the former with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks. We will be staying in upscale country-side lodging that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with a private bathroom. See the limited single supplement info below.

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared by you in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day.

If you wish to fly home on the morning of Monday July 10 we will get you to the airport. Please, however, consider the following tentative plans: enjoy a second Gannet boat trip on the afternoon of Monday July 10 and book your hotel room in Dunbar. If all goes as planned, those who stay on for the two extra days will make a morning landing at Bass Rock, one of the world’s largest gannetries. We will get everyone to the airport on the morning of Wednesday July 12. (We may opt to stay in Edinburgh on the night of July 11.) Price and details should be finalized at least six months before the trip but you will need to be a bit patient. It would be ideal if I can get all the work done by the end of September so that folks can arrange their flights then.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2016.

Deposit Info

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome–please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on March 29, 2017. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

Single Supplement Deposit Info

Single supplement rooms are available on a limited basis. To ensure yours, please register early. The single supplement fee is $1575. If you would like your own room, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement; your single supplement deposit check should be for $3,575. As we will need to commit to renting the extra space, single supplement deposits are non-refundable so please be sure that check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. 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. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. 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 of running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print careful even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

Please Remember to use my 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 please remember that I am 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, 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.

Have a Nice Day!

Happy April Fool’s Day. As some might have figured, I am not moving anywhere. I am both happy and firmly entrenched at Indian Lake Estates with a comfortable home, my great pool, and a great and irreplaceable staff of two, my right-hand man Jim Litzenberg and older daughter Jennifer. That said, I do love San Diego and have thought about living there part time. Thanks to Patrick Sparkman for the idea for this April Fool’s Day blog post.


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 :).

16 comments to Arthur Morris and BIRDS AS ART are Moving to San Diego!

  • avatar David Peake

    And heres me thinking Yay you will be closer to NZ by several hrs.

  • You got me! I only had 35 minutes left and no one got me ALL DAY!

  • avatar Tony Z

    Hey congratulations on the new house!
    All the best,
    Tony Z

  • avatar Vicki

    You got me! Thanks to all who commented and reminded me it’s April 1. I remember the year you were selling all Canon equipment to switch to Nikon and the year you were quitting as well! Happy April Fool’s Day! PS: Wishing your Mom well.

  • avatar Sandy Rathborne

    For the very first time, you got me this year! The mention of lap pool and close friends are what fooled me.

    • avatar Joe Parisi

      Happy 4/1/2017
      Always the kidder. Did not think you would give up Gatorland , Alligator farm or your right hand man Jim.
      Have a happy day
      Joe. Marco island ,fl

  • avatar Jeff Friedhoffer

    Saw the title and then remembered when you were selling all your Canon equipment to become an Nikon man 🙂

    Happy April 1

  • avatar Jay Gould

    Sorry it is April 1; you would make a great addition to San Diego!

    Regards, Jay

  • avatar Carol Nichols

    Your home in San Diego would cost 5 times your home in Florida!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I never trust what you write on this date. Glad you got to see your mother. I hope all is well. That pelican’s color is so stunning I had to look at the caption to make sure it was indeed a brown pelican. I have never seen one anything like that!

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    April Fool’s!
    You can always live in SD part time.
    Your caption on the pelican shot is spot-on ‘Stunning’.
    Hope your mom is feeling better.

  • avatar Frank Sheets

    Well, that’s not as bad as the one a couple years ago when you said you were quitting. Although San Diego would be a great place to live, let me give you some advice. You do not want to live in California. Besides, you cannot leave Jennifer and Jim behind. You would be lost.

    Nice Pelican shot by the way. I will not miss at least a couple of days on the Cliffs with them next year. Did you happen to find out why the local authorities had closed the area?

  • avatar Bob Allen

    I heard you bought the house next door to Patrick & Robin so you can carpool to La Jolla cliffs. Will you designate one of your rooms as Hotel Morris?

    Are you taking up the ukulele as well, so we can have jam sessions?

  • avatar Geoff

    Happy April 1st….

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    Art: A great April Fool’s joke about moving to California. But, it would make a lot of sense!!