Imagine … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Imagine ...

The Strongest?

Which of today’s three featured adult Bald Eagles images is the strongest? Why did you make your choice? I have a feeling that I may be the odd man out. I do believe that all three are superb, but I do have a clear favorite.

An Additional Monopod Comment

I forgot to mention that if you are using a ballhead atop your monopod rather than the Wimberley MonoGimbal Head you are making your life very difficult.

What’s Up?

The webinar went well. About 250 folks attended, there were lots of questions, and NANPA board member Eric Bowles was happy and appreciative. After the program, IPT veteran Muhammad Arif got in touch via e-mail:

Loved, loved, loved your presentation today, Artie. I think this is the best one I’ve seen among your various YouTube, B&H, and camera club presentations. It was chock full of great info.

With nine deposit checks in hand, and with good friend Ed Dow grabbing a single cabin, there are only three openings left on the 2013 Galapagos Photo-cruise of a Lifetime. The trip is now a go. If you have any interest in joining us, it would be best to get in touch via e-mail ASAP.

Speaking of IPTs, I am still looking for someone to do all three Homer Bald Eagle trips and driving the round trip from Anchorage to Homer and back with me. Toward that end, I am offering a ridiculously high discount of $4500.00, $1500 off each trip. The offer may not last long because there are only two slots left on the second IPT. If you are interested, or would like additional details, please contact me via e-mail.

The downpours continue here at ILE most every day, including and especially yesterday. An early evening monsoon struck, and it rained torrentially for more than two hours. Today is Thursday 14 July 2022. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day. This blog post took about ninety minutes to prepare and makes one hundred sixteen days in a row with a new one.

Please remember to use the B&H and Amazon links that are found on most blog pages and to use the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout when purchasing your new gear from Bedfords to get 3% back on your credit card and enjoy free second-day air FedEx. Please, also, consider joining a BAA IPT. You will be amazed at how much you will learn!


Follow me on Instagram here. I am trying to feature both new and old images, especially images that have not appeared recently on the blog. Or search for birds_as_art.

BIRDS AS ART Image Optimization Service (BAA IOS)

Send a PayPal for $62.00 to or call Jim at 863-692-0906 and put $62.00 on your credit card. Pick one of your best images and upload the raw file using a large file sending service like Hightail or DropBox and then send me the link via e-mail. I will download and save your raw file, evaluate the exposure and sharpness, and optimize the image as if it were my own after converting the raw file in Adobe Camera Raw. Best of all, I will make a screen recording of the entire process and send you a link to the video to download, save and study.

Induro GIT 304L Price Drop

Amazingly, we have two brand-new-in-the-box Induro GIT 304L tripods in stock. The 304L was my favorite tripod for more than a decade. They are now $699.00 each (originally $799.00), and the price includes insured ground shipping to the lower 48 states. Weekday phone orders only: 863-692-0906.

I created this image on 19 February on one of the 2022 Homer/Kachemak Bay Bald Eagle IPTs I used the hand held Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens (at 2000mm), and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera.. The exposure was determined via Zebras with Exposure Compensation on the thumb dial. ISO 640: 1/2000 sec. at f/2.8 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 10:19:46am on a cloudy morning.

Tracking: Zone-AF/C with Bird Face/Eye performed perfectly. Click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #1: Bald Eagle — adult in a banking turn ready to dive

Imagine …

Imagine yourself sitting beside me in the restaurant at Land’s End Resort on the Homer Spit, the finest hotel in or out of town. The restaurant is closed and dark and we are the only folks there. We are reviewing the 13,942 images that you created on the first day of the IPT. You have purchased and installed Photo Mechanic, and with my help, set it up. As we go through your images, we talk about exposure, sharpness, wing position, and image design. You tag only your keepers, and after a while, you are so confident of your newly acquired skills that you are zipping through your images at the rate of fifty every minute or two. When you are done, you learn to select the untagged images and delete them so that you are left only with your 1,978 keepers. In the coming days, you will learn to be a lot more selective.

I created this image on 19 February on one of the 2022 Homer/Kachemak Bay Bald Eagle IPTs. I used the hand held Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS lens (at 324mm) and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless digital camera. ISO 800. Exposure determined via Zebras with ISO on the rear dial: 1/2000 sec. at f/6.3 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 3:49:43am on a sunny afternoon.

Tracking: Zone-AF-C Bird/Eye Detection AF was active at the moment exposure and performed perfectly. Be sure to click on the image to enjoy the hi-res version.

Image #2: Bald Eagle — adult, dorsal view flight

Imagine …

Imagine that after just two days on the boat, you are 100% confident about getting the right exposure for black and white subjects on cloudy days (Image #1), and equally confident about getting the right exposure for the adult eagles on sunny, blue-sky days (Images #2 & #3) as well. Regardless of your camera system, you have learned to expose to the right to the max to maximize the details in the dark tones without toasting the WHITEs on the eagles’ heads.

I created this image on 25 February on one of the 2022 Homer/Kachemak Bay Bald Eagle IPTs. I used the hand held Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II lens with the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter (at 160mm) and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera.. The exposure was determined via Zebras. ISO 400: 1/2500 sec. at f/4 (wide open) in Manual mode. AWB at 10:19:57 on a sunny morning.

Tracking: Zone-AF/C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed perfectly. Click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #3: Bald Eagle — adult striking


Imagine being with me in Homer for five or six or eleven or even sixteen days. Imagine learning to read the wind and the light and to recognize poor, good, and great situations. Imagine slogging through the snow to create stunning portraits of Bald Eagles with just an intermediate telephoto lens. Imagine sailing though pristine and scenic bays, the slopes covered with hemlocks and firs and pines. And with snow. There are dozens of eagles in the trees and on the rocks, and if we are lucky, we get close to a mother Sea Otter with a pup on her chest, of a pair of Barrow’s Goldeneyes. Imagine photographing eagles in flight until you can barely lift your 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. And imagine sitting with me as part of a small group while learning to improve your image optimization skills by leaps and bounds. We will do countless raw conversions, learn to restore detail in the highlights, to lighten the irises, darken the pupils, and lighten the feathers around the eye that are always shaded by the birds’ prominent brows. Imagine …

Homer 2022 Bald Eagle Highlights and Handholding Compositional Tips by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Enjoy and be inspired by just a few Homer Bald Eagle highlight images. Hand holding intermediate telephoto lens will always yield slightly different compositions. Learn more about that topic in this short (3:14) video.

All images from Homer or Kachemak Bay, AK

2023 Homer/Kachemak Bay Bald Eagle IPTs

IPT #1: MON 20 FEB 2023 through the full day on FRI 24 FEB 2023. Five full days/20 hours on the boat: $5500.00. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 4.

IPT #2: SAT 25 FEB 2023 through the full day on THURS 2 MAR 2023. Six full days/24 hours on the boat: $6600.00. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 2.

IPT #3: FRI 3 MAR 2023 through the full day on TUES 7 MAR 2023. Five full days/20 hours on the boat: $5500.00. Limit 5 photographers. Openings: 4.

Save $1,000.00 by doing back-to-back trips.

These trips feature non-stop flight photography as well as many opportunities to create both environmental and point-blank portraits of one of North America’s most sought-after avian subjects: Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). Other reliable subjects will include Sea Otter, Glaucous-winged and Short-billed (formerly Mew) Gulls.

In addition, we should see Common Murre, Black Guillemot, Pelagic Cormorant, two or three species of loons, and a smattering of ducks including two species of merganser, all three scoters, Common and Barrow’s Goldeneyes, Bufflehead, Harlequin, and Long-tailed Ducks. Close-range photographic chances for these species will require a ton of good luck. Some of these species, especially when in flocks, can, however, often be used effectively when pleasing creating bird-scapes.

If we need to be out early, we will be the first boat out. If conditions are great, we will stay out. And when there is a chance for sunset silhouettes, we will be in the right spot.

We will be traveling through gorgeous wilderness country; landscape and scenic opportunities abound.

Also featured is a professional leader, often referred to as the world’s most knowledgeable bird photography trip leader, who is conversant in Canon, Nikon, and Sony. You will learn practical and creative solutions to everyday photographic problems. You will learn to see the shot, to create dynamic images by fine-tuning your compositions, to best utilize your camera’s AF system, and how to analyze the wind, the sky conditions, and the direction and quality of the light. This is one of the very few trips Homer trips available where you will not be simply put on the birds and told to have fun. You will learn to be a better photographer. But only if that is what you want.

You will learn to get the right exposure when it is sunny, when it cloudy-bright, when it is cloudy, when it is cloudy-dark, or when it is foggy. Not to mention getting the right exposure when creating silhouettes.

You will learn to make pleasing blurs working in manual mode and to create silhouettes working in Shutter Priority mode.

Most importantly you will learn to pick your best flight images from tens of thousands of images.

You will enjoy working with the two best and most creative boat captains on their sturdy, photography-spacious, seaworthy, open-deck crafts.

The second and third IPTs are the only Bald Eagle workshops that feature an incredibly helpful first mate.

Only five photographers (not the usual six), plus the leader.

Small group Photoshop, Image Review, and Image Critiquing sessions.

All images from Homer or Kachemak Bay, AK

What’s Included

One four hour or two two-hour boat trips every day (weather permitting), all boat fees and boat-related expenses (excluding tips), ground transportation to and from the dock and back to the hotel each day, in-the-field instruction and guidance, pre-trip gear advice, small group post-processing and image review sessions, and a thank you dinner for all well-behaved participants.

What’s Not Included

Your airfare to and from Homer, AK (via Anchorage), the cost of your room at Land’s End Resort, all personal items, all meals and beverages, and tips for the boat captain and/or the first mate.

Please Note

On great days, the group may wish to photograph for more than four hours. If the total time on the boat exceeds 20 hours for the five-day trips, or 24 hours for the second trip, the group will share the additional expense at a rate of $225/hour.

Some folks may wish to rent their own vehicle to take advantage of local photographic opportunities around Homer.

Deposit Information

A $3000 non-refundable deposit/trip is required. You may pay your deposit with credit card or by personal check (made out to BIRDS AS ART) and sent via US mail only to Arthur Morris. PO Box 7245. Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. Your balance, due 90 days before the date of departure, is payable only by check as above.

In Closing

I have been going to Homer off and on for close to two decades. Every trip has been nothing short of fantastic. Many folks go in mid-March. The earlier you go, the better the chances for snow. The only way to assure that you are on the best of the three trips is to sign up for all of them. Can you keep up with me? If you have any questions, or are good to go for one, two, or all three trips, please let me know via e-mail or give me a call on my cell phone at 863-221-2372.


With all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors.

14 comments to Imagine …

  • avatar Neil Hickman

    Hi! I bet your favourite is 2 because I can remember a comment many years ago about not seeing many great raptor shots from above. However, 1 was stopper when viewed full screen the first time.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Image #2
    when I first it, I said wow, what an unusual perspective!

  • avatar Brendan

    #1 for me, for all the reasons already stated. Also, I love seeing eagle feet. Really cool and massive and convey strength. Also, the symmetry between the yellow feet and yellow bill really makes the image complete, for me.

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    I am odd man out — my preference is #2. I like the beautiful view of the bird’s wings, the sharpness of the image and the lovely blue background.

  • avatar David Pugsley

    For me, it’s #1 by a mile. Love the energy conveyed by the eagle’s position and the contrast with the bright-sky background.

  • avatar James R Saxon

    Number 1 for me. I like the position of the eagle in the frame with the outstretched wings, tail feathers expanded and the head position. FYI, great presentation yesterday. Thanks for sharing.

  • avatar Alan Ross

    Hi everyone,
    Due to a technical glitch on the site, I was unable to join yesterday’s Webinar. If one of you happened to make a recording I would be very grateful if you would discretely contact me by my personal email. Thank you.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Image # 1 is my clear favorite, and by far. There’s nothing wrong with this image IMO, including the white background, which makes the bird stand out even more than it would otherwise. It’s a remarkable capture of an eagle being an eagle, with great composition and exposure, and it’s all sharp. Great image. There’s nothing wrong with the other two images either, IMO, but they just aren’t as distinctive, not as much wow! factor for me.

  • Artie
    #1 is my favorite and reminds me of the Blue Angles doing a 360 as this guy has his eye on the prize and coming out of his 360 and going in for the kill! Wow wow.
    #2 is a great look from above but cannot see much of the tail or feet are not visible.
    #3 is amazing the color and light is perfect and the eye is tack sharp and the action is fantastic, a little more splash or fish would be over the top and i really love this image as #1
    However #1 you do not get that type of display or body angle with tack sharp eye and feet and tail everyday if at all!! Right spot right time and just super overall!
    I do love #3 though the black on blue with the whites as if there is a light on him is really striking and so beautiful. Still going with #1 and #3 a really really close 2nd
    Always with love b

    • The more i look at #3 i just love the blue waters and the hint of shoreline the blacks from the Eagle the then the Whites and the tack sharp eye! The concentration on the Eagle and to think at 160mm omg!
      I’m going with #3

  • #1 for me. Love the white background the long slim vertical and the body angles which I can’t quite figure out.

  • avatar Jay

    I do like all three of the images, but my favorite would be image 3, the adult striking. You can see the story, and you’re leading the viewer to want more (did the eagle catch the fish? what happened next). The background helps make the image stand out. Image 1, of the eagle ready to dive is great because of the way you captured the angle of the birds body. Noticeable also is the head angle (alluding to yesterday’s webinar). I could almost envision the eagle winking at you as it continues on down to its prey. The one thing taking away from this shot is the plain white background. Image 2 is a great shot. If I had taken it I’d be ecstatic. Compared to the other two, it didn’t excite me as much.

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