Puffin Editing Practice and Important Notice « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Puffin Editing Practice and Important Notice

What’s Up?

Oh what a day. Had a nice photo session down by the lake on Thursday morning and an even better one at sunset. Limpkins and Sandhill Cranes with babies in the morning, backlit and silhouetted crane colts in the evening. Got some work done and signed up four folks for the upcoming Gatorland Meet-up weekend. After lunch Jim and I went shopping for a new garage AC to keep the mail order stock and my photo gear cool. Now we need to get it installed πŸ™‚

Important Notice

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Monday July 3 through Wednesday July 12, 2017: $5999 + $1499: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 5). All who register will be required to join the (really cheap) two-day Gannet/Bass Rock Add-on. See below for details.

I will likely need to close registration for the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT/Bass Rock Add-on ($1499) on May 1 as I need to finalize the cottage reservations.

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: 28!

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, 28 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.

These images were created on the 2016 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III and the Canon 5DS R (now replaced for me by my favorite bird photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.) ISO 400: 1/500 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. AWB.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: 5.

Various single AF points (Manual selection) AI Servo/Rear Focus AF. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Atlantic Puffin/four-frame editing quiz

Puffin Editing Practice

Which of these four images would you keep? Why? Which would you delete? Why? Which one is your very favorite? Why? Feel free to comment on the positives and negatives of each image.


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 Wednesday July 12, 2017: $5999 + $1499: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 5).
All who register will be required to join the (really cheap) two-day Gannet/Bass Rock Add-on. See below for details. 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.

Great News on the UK Puffins and Gannets/Bass Rock Extension

On the morning of Jul 10, 2017, we will sleep late and head up to Dunbar Harbor for lunch and an afternoon Gannet boat chumming trip: flight photography until you cannot lift your camera. One gannet boat trip is included in the IPT but everyone always wants more.

Then, as a possible mega bonus — we are scheduled to make a Bass Rock landing on the morning of Tuesday July 12, 2017. I am hoping to go two for two! If not, we do another chumming trip for flying gannets.

Included will be two nights lodging at the wonderful Dunsmuir hotel, two fine dining meals there, any additional meals, all boat, guide, and landing fees, and all transportation including the early morning transfer to the Edinburg Airport on the morning of WED July 12.

So far all five sign-ups are maximizing their travel dollars by signing up for the extension in part because I priced it so cheaply at $1499 despite my greatly increased costs.


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 β€œArthur 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 πŸ™‚

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.


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 :).

22 comments to Puffin Editing Practice and Important Notice

  • avatar MR

    Assuming I had all 4 of these shots at my disposal, the only one I’d be comfortable deleting would be A. If I could only have two picks I’d keep C + D.


  • avatar Sally Foster

    Hi Artie, My pick would be C. You can see the Puffin’s face and beak clearly. Don’t like the brown rock in D. In A, the bill isn’t so clear. In B, if the head had been tuyrne3d to the side it would have been nice.
    That was a fun trip!

  • avatar Jake Levin

    Call me a traditionalist but I keep C. 1, no brown blob (rock?) on the lower left. 2, perfect head angle. The expression with his bill open is great in photo B but it isn’t set off from the bird’s body as clearly as I would like. The foot is also kind of half-extended half-not in B, while in C you can see all of it. Position in frame is good in all four but even though I like D that blob catches my eye. Still, none are what I could call “bad”!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Jake and good job. That’s because there are no bad ones in this series πŸ™‚ Bring the hat!

      later and love, artie

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Funny that Eleanor and Sam both mention the brown rock on the left. Sam wants to lose it while Eleanor likes it πŸ™‚ Different strokes.

    with love, artie

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    I like D best. It shows behavior and the brown rock at left gives me more of a sense of the habitat.
    In B the foot bothers just a tiny bit because the viewer would probably wonder what it is. But I like the bill open.
    I’d like having both A and C but they are more common poses and I like uncommon poses best. Same comment for the foot on them.

  • avatar Sam Marsh

    D is the shot for me… i would either crop-out the brown rock, or clone it out of the image… slightly distracting… My choice would be to clone it out to give the overall image more space instead of cropping and losing a bit of context… The serene feel of that pose goes very well with the beautiful light on it… I never delete any, unless the subject is cut-off or out of focus! My 2c.

  • avatar Brad

    I would pick C because when I photograph wild life as art I like it to be at its best and I believe this image is the one showing it’s self at its best , D is a keeper as well in my opinion

  • avatar Guido Bee

    Technically, I like all 4: exposure, composition, etc. I’d be proud of any of them.
    C shot is sort of the “record shot” for Puffins, and I like it, but I also like the novelty of B with the mouth open. D with the head turned around is nice as it is something not so commonly seen in my experience (admittedly limited) with puffins. I admire your ability to get 4 shots like this in a series of 9 images numbers; better batting average than I get, but I’m still working on it.
    Weather is getting better in NW WA state, but still some clouds. Spring is trying to break in.
    Be well. Thanks for all your work on this site. It has been a lot of help for me.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      YAW, and I hear you. Hey, I had about six more really good ones that I kept πŸ™‚

      with love, artie

  • C & D are my Keepers. A & B will be deleted. I might keep B if the head angle were a little better.

  • avatar Jay

    C&D would be the one’s I’d “keep.” Actually, I’d keep them all, but C&D are the stronger shots, with C being the favorite. With photograph D, I’d want more border on the right hand side, and would crop/edit out the rock on the left hand side. The head angles do not work for me on A&B, though I do like the open bill on B.

  • avatar Jim Brown

    How do you get 560mm from a 600 prime + a 1.4 III extender ?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      You use a minus teleconverter πŸ™‚

      Actually, thanks for catching my cut and paste typo.

      later and love, artie

  • I would keep all of them. They are all sharp, well lit, with clean backgrounds and Puffins are so darn cute! D is my favorite because it appears more “personal” and relaxed.

  • avatar Warren H

    Wow, I think you are going to get a lot of different opinions on this one. While I also like the action/ open mouths shots, I agree with Jake that the head angles for A and B just don’t do the bird justice. I want to see that great and distinctive bill. So I like C and D. If I had to pick just one, it would be D. Even though I like the bill and you can see it better in C, D adds a little more interest and personality to the image. That’s my thought , at least!

  • avatar David Policansky

    I’d keep B if I had to keep only one. I love photos of birds with their mouths open.

  • C and D are the keepers for me, the eye contact adds intimacy. The head angles on A and B seem a little awkward, they lack direct eye contact with the bird. The head angle is a shame for image B because I think the action is interesting. Did it happen unexpectedly? Was it not possible to move slightly to the left?
    Recently I have been delving deep into the postlists and reading up on previous posts. Thanks again for making your amazing knowledge and fantastic images so readily available for everyone to learn from.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for your more than kind comments. When folks want to know where is The Art of Bird Photography III I should point them to your comment πŸ™‚

      I shall quote you soon.

      later and love, artie

      ps: stuff like that is over in a second so no time to move anywhere πŸ™‚

      pps: You should join me in the UK!

  • Would keep all four but if I HAD to pick one, believe it would be C. It shows the bird’s distinctive bill well and the position in the frame seems perfect.