Invitation One « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Invitation One

Leopard on rock with tongue out.

Invitation One

All serious nature photographers who are Happy Campers are invited to join Todd Gustafson, Denise Ippolito, and me on an African Photographic IPT/Safari to Tanzania this coming August as below.

Africa Photo Safari: August 2013

Serengeti Summer Migration Safari: 12 full and two half-days of photography: $12,999/person double occupancy. Limit: 12/Openings: 9.

Leaders: Todd Gustafson, Denise Ippolito, and Arthur Morris. Tanzania Summer Migration Safari. Leave the US on August 3. Day 1 of the safari is August 5. We will visit Tarangire for great dry season photography, Seronera Lodge–aka Leopard City!–twice, Central Serengeti for big cats, Northern Serengeti and our mobile tented camp to search for river crossings, and the spectacular wildlife spectacle that is Ngorongoro Crater. Our last morning of photography is August 18. Fly home from Arusha, Tanzania on the evening of August 18.

A deposit of $4,000 is due now. This trip is a go. Happy Campers only please. Guaranteed maximum no more than 12 photographers plus the three great leaders. 3 persons/van. You get a row of seats for yourself and your gear. In addition to rotating in-the-field instruction with each of the co-leaders, artie, Todd, and denise will be available for image sharing and review and informal Photoshop instruction during breaks and after meals. And–with apologies to Miss Manners–even during meals!

Once we cash your check you will be strongly advised to purchase travel insurance. You may wish to consider using Travel Insurance Services. Do understand that most policies must be purchased within two weeks of our cashing your deposit check. The 2nd payment of $4000 is due MAR 30, 2012. The final payment/balance is due MAY 30, 2013. Sign up with a friend or a spouse and apply a $300 per person discount.

The lodging is all first class. Please e-mail to request a PDF with additional details, the complete itinerary, and a description of the unparalleled photographic opportunities that we will enjoy. Please e-mail or call me on my cell at 1-863-221-2372 with any questions. I hope that you can join us.

Wildebeest (Gnu) running, classic 1/15 second pan blur.

Lesser Flamingo taking flight, full downstroke: one of two ideal wing positions.

Cape Buffalo mom’s nose with young. Would you have left the nose?

Wildebeests and zebras waiting to cross. What would have been the way to juice up the sky?

African Firefinch, male at water drip.

Wildebeest, masses crossing.

African Lion, male grimacing after flemen display during which they use an olfactory gland called the Jacobson’s Organ to interpret pheromone messages (scents) left behind by other lions.

Cape Buffalo, face portrait. Would you have framed this any differently?

Mother and young zebra posing. Moments like this last for only a second or two at most. Hesitate for an instant and get nothing. And you’d better have the right exposure because the WHITEs on zebras are much brighter than you could possibly imagine.

Young male African Elephants greeting each other. We stayed with this excellent situation for more than an hour before the group moved off.

African Crocodiles in excess of 18 feet are not rare.

Close-up views of Wildebeests can be particularly revealing.

African Elephant baby interacting with mother. This one is the rule of thirds times two!

Your Favorites?

Please take a moment to leave a comment and let us know which are your favorite images, and why.


Speaking of IPTs, we are, due to two recent cancellations, able to offer a huge late registration discount to the first two lucky photographers to respond. Call me today at 863-692-0906 or call Jim or Jen at the same number asap during the week.

SW FLA IPT. FEB 16-21, 2013. Introductory slide program: 7pm on 2/15. 6-FULL DAYS: $2999. Co-leaders: Denise Ippolito and Robert Amoruso. Limit: 10/Openings 2.

Payment in full is due now

This is my bread and butter IPT; learn the basics and the advanced fine points from the best; escape winter’s icy grip and enjoy tons of tame birds! Subjects will include nesting Great Blue Heron and Great Egret, Mottled Duck, Brown and White Pelican at point-blank range, Snowy & Reddish Egret, Tricolored Heron, Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Osprey, wintering shorebirds and plovers, gulls and terns, & Burrowing Owl. All ridiculously tame. Roseate Spoonbill, Black-bellied Whistling Duck, American Oystercatcher, and who knows what are possible.

Click here to learn more about this IPT.

Pines West Camera Club EOL Program

I will be presenting “A Bird Photographer’s Story” for the Pines West Camera Club in Pembroke Pines, FL at 7pm on February 12, 2013. The program, sponsored by Canon Explorers of Light, is free and open to the public. Click here for additional details and scroll down for directions.

Fort DeSoto Morning In-the-Field Workshop/One Slot Left!

Fort DeSoto In-the-field Workshop: FEB 25. Pre-dawn -10:30am. Strict Limit 16/Openings 1. Includes a great working lunch: $275.

On Monday morning, February 25, Denise Ippolito and I will be co-leading a morning In-the-field Workshop at Fort DeSoto, south of St. Petersburg, FL. We should get to photograph a variety of very tame herons, egrets, gulls, terns, and shorebirds. Spoonbills possible. There will be lots of individual and small group instruction. We will cover exposure and histograms, seeing the situation, creating sharp images, and lots more. Each registrant will have a personalized gear and set-up check. The more questions you ask, the more you will learn.

A great working lunch at the Sea Porch CafΓ© on St. Petersburg Beach is included. All are invited to bring a laptop along for image sharing at lunch. After the workshop, all are invited to send us three 1024 wide or 800 tall JPEGs for critiquing. Call 1-863-692-0906 to register or send us a Paypal. Either way, be sure to note that the payment is for the Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Workshop.

Weekend Creative Nature Photography Seminar, Tampa, FL: February 23 & 24, 2013: $149 Limit: 50/Openings: 2

Best to register soon as there are just 4 seats left. The In-the-field Workshop above follows the Weekend Creative Nature Photography Seminar. You are invited to join Denise Ippolito and me on the weekend of February 23-24 on the outskirts of Tampa, FL for a great weekend of fun and learning. Learn to improve your photography skills, your skill at designing images in the field, your creative vision, and your image optimization skills. Sunday critiquing session. Click here for additional details and the complete schedule.


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16 comments to Invitation One

  • First one is best. Tongue is rare to get coupled with capturing those beautiful eyes! (The only reason why I didn’t pick a baby animal shot is because I’ve taken a lot of those at Fossil Rim near Glen Rose, Texas. In the spring they have lots of babies of many varieties in their drive large thru-park. My best shots there were of cheetah with young and giraffe with newborn.) Improve baby cape buffalo by removing not only the adult nose but also the weeds in front of his front legs. Improve on Wildebeast and Zebra at river edge by bumping up contrast and enhancing the saturation a bit.

  • All images are great. My fave is the blur wildebeest (probably one of my fave blurs of yours as well) and of course the baby elephant.

  • Chris Cooke

    It would be a lot easier if you posted at least one substandard image in the group, as it is I went to sleep in the early hours of this morning on my key board trying to decide in what order I would rate them. Bloody impossible, they all have the wow factor!!


  • Nancy Bell

    Juicing up the sky of wildebeest crossing; I would try Nik Viveza, especially adding “structure”.

  • Nancy Bell

    Favorites: leopard and both wildebeest. Love the blur of wildebeest with the eye & nose just discernible and the flowing golds of the bkgd, and the way wildebeest 2 is looking at you. I really like the cape buffalo image as cropped. That single curved horn with the soft green bkgd really makes the image! Also like the wet black nose & clear eyes, and the darkness of the buffalo in general. A very dramatic image for a very dramatic place. I am envious! The trip sounds terrific.

  • Arla

    The running wildebeest is phenomenal. My personal favorite is the leopard – great composition. I love how his coat pattern changes from one end of the image to the other, ending at his paws. The paws show a soft side to the wild predator.

  • josh

    The “young male African Elephants greeting each other” is amazing. It is so crispy sharp it’s almost unbelievable.

  • Jay

    Wish I could do the migration trip. One day. Great shots all. I like the baby elephant best of all. Great subject matter, wonderful composition. The crocodile is great. I’m assuming that distance and the type of boat allowed for you to give the perspective of being at eye level. The cape buffalo portrait is also outstanding. I like the way you framed this shot. By not having the nose centered and cutting off one of the horns it doesn’t appear as the typical buffalo head shot. It’s much more compelling this way.

  • David Policansky

    Hi, Artie, great images as usual. My favorites are the buffalo calf (I’d leave the nose! it makes the image), then the flamingo, then the lion, then the zebras. I’m not sure how I’d have framed the buffalo portrait because I’m not quite sure what was available; for example, if you panned a bit to the right, were there distracting elements, and so on? But I like the framing as it is; I don’t look at it and think it should be framed differently. Zebras are a terrific challenge, aren’t they? What was going on with the calf’s rump/upper back and upper face, which appear brighter and yellower than the rest of them?

  • Artie, They are all certainly great pictures. I like the Leopard with his tongue hanging out the best. I have no idea why. I have looked at them several times but keep going back to the leopard. The crocodile is scary. I can’t even begin to imagine a 18 foot or larger crocodile. I would only want to see one at a distance.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Peter. Swimming with the Wildebeests and the crocs in the river is discouraged πŸ™‚

  • Great opportunity Arthur, I’m sure all the participants will enjoy it to the fullest. To some it may be safari of a lifetime.

    I had been to Masai Mara and Lake Nakuru in Kenya twice each, the last one in July 2011. Was extremely fortunate to watch the Great Migration of wildebeests including the epic Mara river crossing. Numerous exotic birds are also available in the savannas. If you have time, you can view some of my images in the “Wildlife” set on my flickr photostream (just click on my name above appearing in blue).

    Based on my experiences; I would like to humbly offer one important advice to all.

    Every one must be vaccinated against Yellow Fever at least 10 days before your travel to any African country and carry the vaccination certificate with you. Or else, one might encounter trouble at the destination airports.

    Thank you with regards.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thank you Quazi. I have to see if my Yellow Fever injection is still valid as it has been a while.

  • All of the images are outstanding. I love the Leopard, baby Elephant interaction and both Wildebeest group shots the most. I can’t wait to get there and create my own images of these beautiful subjects!!

  • My favorite is the first one, the Leopard with the tongue out. I like how he blends in with the surroundings.

    Cape Buffalo with nose…leave it in? Sure. Without the nose I’m left to wonder/assume why/that the calf (if that’s the correct term) is by its lonesome. The nose helps in shooting that theory down. Having both would’ve been nice, but by just including the
    nose the attention is given to the young.

    Juicing up the sky…I’m not sure. Maybe something simple like a levels adjustment to make it darker, but just a little so it doesn’t over power the rest of the image. Nothing over the top.

    The cape buffalo face portrait…Probably a couple of unique framing options…maybe crop and show only the right side of the buffalo’s face, cropping from viewer left to the middle. Another possible is only framing the face, leaving out the horns (probably end up with a more of a vertical/box crop. And assuming you have the whole head, go kind of horizontal to include both horns and the full head.