Cheap Gas. It never ends … And Aperture Choice. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Cheap Gas. It never ends ... And Aperture Choice.


My alarm was set for 2am on Friday morning. We left the hotel at 3:00am sharp. Conditions atop Steptoe Butte were quite different than anything I had ever experienced before. There were some clouds in the east, lots of big clouds on the ground, and the next thing that we knew, we were in the clouds. We had lots of great chances and lots of fun.

The Streak

Just in case you have not been counting, today makes 18 days in a row with a new educational blog post ๐Ÿ™‚

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Monday July 3 through Wednesday July 12, 2017: $5999 + $1499: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 5). The (really cheap) two-day Gannet/Bass Rock Add-on is now part of the trip.

Please call 863-692-0906 for info on the substantial Late Registration Discount.

Here is some great info on the July 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT: I have finalized the cottage and vehicle rental arrangements. We have room for several additional folks, at least for a couple and single. And I am in position, as noted above, to offer a rather substantial late registration discount. Please call us at 863-692-0906 or get in touch via e-mail. Scroll down here for additional details and the travel plans.

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.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use our B&H links for your major and minor 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.

This in-camera Art Vivid JPEG image was created on the first morning of the 2017 Palouse IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM lens and my favorite bird photography camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop (+/- 2 stops) around a base exposure of 1/125 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. WB: K4500.

Flexi-zone rear focus AF on the letter “G.” Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Vintage gas pump

It Never Ends …

On the way to the vintage gas station I had been thinking, “Jeez, I’ve been to this place probably six times. I’ve made all of the images. I am gonna be bored.” Was that true? Not exactly. After helping the boys and girls get set up on the classic lime-green Chevrolet pick-up truck and then doing an in-camera Art Vivid session, I grabbed my 70-200 f/4 and the 5D IV and started exploring. In short order I found several interesting situations including today’s featured image. I like this one so much that I was struggling to figure out how I had missed it so many times before …

Creativity — it never ends.

Aperture Choice …

I created this image at f/5.6. The background, a bed of flowers on the hillside that was about 20 yards distant. What would have happened had I created the image at f/11?

In-camera HDR JPEG Basics

  • On 5D series and a few other Canon bodies (but not with the pro bodies) press the feather button to access the HDR feature.
  • I experiment with the Adjust Dynamic Range and usually wind up at +/- 2 stops or Auto.
  • Under Effect, my great preference is Art Vivid. Note that when it is sunny I will usually set the White Balance to K4500 to tone down the YELLOWs and GREENs.
  • When you are working on a tripod be sure to disable Auto Align.
  • I set Continuous HDR to Every shot so that I can keep creating in-camera HDRs without any additional hassles.
  • Be sure all to set All Images under Save source images so that you have the 3 RAW files that were used to create your in-camera HDR JPEG so that you opt to assemble a post-processing HDR or work from a single converted RAW 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: 4).
All who register will be required to join the (really cheap) two-day Gannet/Bass Rock Add-on. See below for details.

Please call 863-692-0906 for info on the substantial Late Registration Discount.

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 two 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 โ€œArthur Morrisโ€ 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.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

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6 comments to Cheap Gas. It never ends … And Aperture Choice.

  • avatar Ron Thill

    Great image; just wish we could still get gas for that price. I agree with David regarding f/11.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Me too. I will share the f/11 image at some point ๐Ÿ™‚

      With love, artie

  • avatar James Saxon

    I understand how you could miss that image. I have been there and I never have seen that image in my head. Always thinking of the larger picture and not on the intimate details. Love the composition and colors. That should make a nice large print.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks James. As a bird photographer using long lenses I tend to see and think in small rectangles so intimate details are my thing when I do Urbex. With love, artie

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Isn’t this your second blog post today? ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, it’s a marvelous image. Sometimes I find when I go back to a place I see new things; other times I just can’t recapture at all things I’d seen before that I wanted to get better images of. I think if you’d used f/11 the flowers in the background would have been just sharp enough to be distracting.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      One blog post per day though the previous post was not online till about 6pm ๐Ÿ™‚ Mr. Lazy.

      with love, artie