Galapagos Thank Yous (Including a Very Touching One…) « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Galapagos Thank Yous (Including a Very Touching One...)

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As I have said before and often, photographing from a panga (Zodiac) is–with the boat rocking from the waves and the wind–very challenging. Thanks a stack to Bart Pembroke who loaned me his 300 f/2.8 IS for this panga ride. As we floated by this Galapagos Penguin the backgrounds were changing constantly. I know that the distant buff rock wall was the winner. Having this bird call at just the right moment was pure luck. I do remember praying that I would be able to keep the sensor on the bird as we swept past the perch rock. This is the sharper of a two-frame sequence.

This image was created with the Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS lens, the Canon EF 1.4X III TC, and the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/5 in Manual mode.

Once I had the exposure right for the bird I set it manually so that I did not have to worry about the tonality of the background be it light buff as here or black rock the next moment. As described in detail in Digital Basics, I added canvas to the top of this image. Losing the bit of rock was an option but I feel that it adds to the image.

Galapagos Thank Yous

I received the following by e-mail from Jim Bicket this morning. It left me near tears.

Dear Artie: I got home safely, no equipment lost, broken or stolen, and got some great pictures! I can’t wait to get going on the editing and printing. Due to your input the Galapagos trip was the trip of a lifetime for me. The valuable daily lessons and questions answered were of great value. Just watching you work was and will be invaluable to me for the rest of my life! My knees are back to normal with just a few scabs left as a reminder. The tendon is slowly improving and the bad hip made the trip with no noticeable damage.

I can’t begin to put into words just how important it was to me when you got some one to help me carry my equipment because of my banged up knees and pulled Achilles tendon. More important to me was your personal steadying hand over the rough spots when I know you wanted to be taking pictures (rather than being my nurse!) The next time someone takes a cheap shot at you, I hope that they will remember this note. Know that there are those of us in your family of admirers that know the real Arthur Morris and admire him greatly. Thanks, too, for your kind words in Bulletin 378. I wish you many more years of successful photography and workshop leadership. I hope that I will be able to join you for another trip, very soon. Warm personal regards, Jim

If you missed it, here is what I had to say about Jim Bicket in BAA Bulletin 378:

Eighty-years young Jim Bickett of Hot Springs Village, Arkansas (soon to be 81), he of 2 artificial knees and 4 hip replacement surgeries–#5 is scheduled for early August, inspired everyone with his grit, his smiling spirit, and his stamina. He fell early on in the trip—much of the terrain is as Juan often puts it, “strenuous”—but continued undaunted. He scraped up both of his knees pretty nicely but was otherwise unscathed. We teased him often about having left his knee pads on the Beagle that day.

I forgot to mention that he was toting around the Canon 800mm lens around all by himself most of the time. Amazing!

By e-mail from Bart Pembroke:

Heather and I had a great time. You’re a real professional, know photography, and know how to put together a great trip. It’s too bad that not everyone fits the “happy camper” criteria, but that’s just the way it is sometimes. Until next time please accept a heart-felt “thank you for a job well done” from Heather and I. Regards,

By e-mail from James Fuller:

Artie, I had a fantastic time with you in the Galapagos Islands. You can see my 50 favorite images here. I just finished reading the trip report in BAA Bulletin 378. You were very tactful. Regards, James Fuller

By e-mail from Wayne Guerke:

Hi Artie, Thanks for a great photo adventure! Wayne

Join Me Next Year

If you would like to join me in the Galapagos next year for this great trip please e-mail me for details and a tentative itinerary.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear mentioned in this blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS lens. This lens, like the 400 DO, is a great panga or Zodiac lens. I am borrowing one from Canon for next week’s Bear Boat IPT; with both the 1.4X and 2X TCs it will be the perfect complement to to my 800mm f/5.L IS lens/70-200mm f/2.8L IS II lens combo as it will cover a wide range of intermediate focal lengths: 300, 420, and 600.
1.4X III TC This new Series III TC is designed to work best with the new Series II super-telephoto lenses that will be released at some point in the future. Production was delayed by the earthquake tragedy.
2X III teleconverter. This TC was also designed to work best with the new Series II lenses but it turned out to be noticeably sharper than the 2XII TC.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
Canon LensCoat 300mm f/2.8L IS. I use LensCoats on all my pretty white lenses to protect the finish from nicks and scratches. When I sell my lenses they are worth a lot more than if I had left them naked.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.

Delkin 32gb e-Film Pro Compact Flash Card. These high capacity cards are fast and dependable. Clicking on the link below will bring you to the Delkin web site. There is lots of great stuff there. If you see a product that we do not carry let us know via e-mail; we will be glad to have it drop-shipped to you and save you a few bucks in the process.

I pack my 800 and tons of other gear in my ThinkTank Airport SecurityTM V2.0 rolling bag for all of my air travel and recommend the slightly smaller Airport InternationalTM V2.0 for most folks. These high capacity bags are well constructed and protect my gear when I have to gate check it on short-hops and puddle jumpers. Each will protect your gear just as well. By clicking on either link or the logo below, you will receive a free gift with each order over $50.

2 comments to Galapagos Thank Yous (Including a Very Touching One…)

  • What an inspiration!!! Thanks for sharing, Artie.

  • cheapo

    Galapagos would be a dream come true for me also. I have loved those islands, and their special nature, from afar since childhood. Though I may have to wait as long as Jim did before I get there I just hope I live up to his sterling spirit! Pete

    You got that right; he is a good man! artie