Loving Photography, Loving Life, and Loving Little Kids « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Loving Photography, Loving Life, and Loving Little Kids

What’s Up?

I will be aboard the Samba for two weeks beginning on Tuesday, July 23 photographing in nature photography heaven, the Galapagos archipelago. I will be offline from then until the late afternoon of Tuesday, August 6. You can reach Jim or Jen by phone weekdays at the office (863-692-0906) if you need help with mail order or IPT stuff. The blog will be published at least every other day while I am away.

B&H Event Space Program

I will be doing (another) B&H Event Space Program — Lessons From the Field BIRDS AS ART-Style — on Monday, August 12, 2019, 1:00 to 3:00 PM eastern time. You can register to attend in person or to view the event live online by clicking here. Here is the location: the second floor of B&H NYC SuperStore at 420 9th Avenue, New York NY 10001. Those planning on attending should register asap as spaces are limited.

FlexShooter Pro Update

We currently have FlexShooter Pro heads in stock here. We have all but one of the BigFeet in stock (phone orders only for now: 863-692-0906) but are sold out of the new FLN-60 BigFoot that was recently re-designed for the Nikon 600 VR. Click here to access the pretty much complete FlexShooter Pro story with videos.


BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. Most recently the price of used Canon 600mm f/L IS II lenses have been dropping like a rock with the introduction of the 600 III. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

As used gear sales have slowed a bit in recent months — especially with dSLR bodies, there are lots of great buys right now on the Used Gear Page

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Steve currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers 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. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

This image was created on July 6, 2019, on the boat back to Seahouses. I used the handheld Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens (at 156mm) and the high mega-pixel Sony Alpha a7R III Mirrorless Digital camera body. ISO 800: 1/400 sec. at f/11 in Manual mode. Exposure was determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear dial … AWB at 4:37pm on a partly cloudy afternoon.

Flexible Spot (small)– Continuous AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was placed on the child’s right eye.

Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Jude Riffe

Loving Little Kids

I’ve long had a soft spot for kids, little and otherwise. Whenever I see a cute little kid, I make eye contact with them and make a funny face. Some smile right away. Some are shy. Some are curious. Some think that I am nuts. If they engage me, I make a squeaky sort of quacking-duck sound. Most kids love that. I’ve had a 99.978% success rate with the quacking duck sound. Once, on an IPT, we entered a restaurant. I saw a cute little blond boy about 2 years old. I smiled and made a funny face. He smiled back. Then I made the duck sound. The kid starting crying and screaming and continued to do so for about an hour. But that experience has never stopped me.

On the boat ride back from Staple to Inner Farnes on the recent UK trip, there was a gorgeous blond child on its mom’s lap. I was not sure if it was a boy or a girl. After making eye contact, I played a bit of hide and seek, with me hiding behind my own hand. I squeak-quacked and the child laughed and smiled. I started a conversation with the child’s father, Joshua Riffe. It turns out that he too was from New York City, from Queens. He had worked on cruise ships and while doing so, met his wife-to-be, Rebecca. Justifiably smitten, he moved to the UK and there, they married. Their child was a boy named Jude.

Loving Life

As many folks know, I am quite outgoing, not at all shy. While waiting for my EWR to MCO flight last Wednesday, the man immediately behind me was talking on his cell phone. He had a very sweet, familiar-sounding voice. When he was done, I asked him, “Are you from Brooklyn?” “Jersey” he replied. We chatted a bit and introduced myself. His name was Mitch Friedman.

I asked him where in New Jersey. He said that he was from Fairlawn.

The conversation continued:

am: I have a friend who lives in Fairlawn, Barry Cohen.

HF: I know a Barry Cohen, but there are surely lots of them around.

am: My Barry Cohen loves golf.

HF: So does mine.

am: My Barry Cohen is active in the temple.

HF: So is mine.

am: Mine is married to Faye.

That sealed the deal. Small world as they say. We had a great time chatting. I have learned that being open to serendipitous encounters is a nice way to live and can be quite rewarding as well.

B. Cohen, aka “the Brahma bull” (for his prowess as a beach football fullback), has been a friend since high school. We both attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institue where we pledged (and became brothers) of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity. And we both transferred to Brooklyn College after our first three years at Poly. We remain friends to this day.

Loving Photography

I will often photograph the faces of folks whom I encounter, and that, of course, includes children. Wanting to practice with the SONY a7R iii/100-400 GM on the boat ride out that morning, I had photographed some of the adults on the boat. So it was only natural that I wanted to make some images of Jude. For a 22-month old, he was quite well-behaved and engaging — always smiling, an absolutely delightful kid. Note that because I was working at close range, I stopped down to f/11 for a bit of extra depth of field. I created about 80 photos of Jude, and send a contact sheet of the 20 or so keepers to his parents who were of course delighted. As it turned out, both the parents and I had the very same favorite: today’s featured image. I had fun and so did Jude. And I met some great folks and learned a bit more about my new SONY rig.

Bosque del Apache 2019 IPTs

Notice the incredible variety of images that you can learn to make by developing your skills and your creative vision on a BAA IPT.

2019 Bosque del Apache IPTs

Return to Bosque Reduced Rate Scouting IPT #1. NOV 26-28, 2019 — 3 FULL DAYS: $1199.00. Limit: 8/Openings: 7. Introductory Meet and greet at 7pm on MON 25 NOV.

Return to Bosque IPT #2. NOV 29 (afternoon session thru DEC 4 (morning session) — 5 DAYS (4 full and two half): $2249.00. Limit: 10/Openings: 9. Introductory Meet and greet at 2:00pm on FRI 29 NOV.

I quit going to Bosque several years ago as conditions had worsened each year for several seasons running. My understanding is that things have improved dramatically in recent years. Photography-wise, I know Bosque better than anyone. Join me to learn how wind and sky conditions influence bird photography, how to create dramatic sunrise and sunset silhouettes, how to be in the right place at the right time, and how to create contest-winning blurs. As usual, you will learn to get the right exposure every time, to use your camera’s AF system to create pleasing, balanced image designs, and to improve your flight photography skills.

We should get to photograph many thousands of Snow Geese, more than a few blast-offs, some Ross’s Geese, and lots of Sandhill Cranes in the water, taking flight and flying. Depending on local conditions we may get to shoot some ducks: point-blank American Wigeon and Wood Duck. With any luck, we might enjoy sunrises and sunsets that leave you in tears. Live, eat, and breathe photography with one of (if not the) world’s premier photographic educators at one of his very favorite locations on the planet. Top-notch Photoshop instruction. Join me to learn to think like a pro and to recognize situations and to anticipate them based on the weather. Every time we make a move, I will let you know why. When you get home, applying what you learned will prove to be invaluable.

Both trips will run with only a single registrant. Lunch is included on all full days of each workshop.

Free Morning Session

Sign up for either IPT and enjoy a free morning session on Friday, 29 NOV.

$500 Multiple IPT Discount

Join me for both IPTs and we will be glad to apply a $500 multiple IPT discount.

To Register

To register, send your non-refundable $500 deposit — check made out to BIRDS AS ART — via US Mail to PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. Or call Jim weekdays at 863-692-0906 to put your non-refundable deposit on a credit card. Balances must be paid in full by check no later than three months before the IPT. If you cancel, all but your deposit will be refunded only if the IPT sells out.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for both big international trips and US-based IPTs is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality travel 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 or running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance, be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the 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.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right.


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

2 comments to Loving Photography, Loving Life, and Loving Little Kids

  • avatar David Policansky

    Very nice on all counts. One of these days I need to tell you about trouble I got into not taking photographs of anyone (but a nut case thought I was photographing him and his kids, which hadn’t even occurred to me).

  • avatar Kevin Gallagher In CT

    Great story about the airport chat Art. My wife tells me that I could have a conversation with an empty park bench, but I’ve pretty much always found that if you are friendly that people will be friendly in return.

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