Varying Your Compositions; Flipper or No Flipper? And EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Varying Your Varying You Compositions; Flipper or No Flipper? And EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping

Lots of Interesting Stuff

I saw Dr. Howard early on Wednesday morning and told him about the blowtorch-like pain that had been keeping my up on Monday and Tuesday nights, that pain centered below and to my left of the incision. Good friend Doctor Anita North (retired neurosurgeon) felt that the pain was likely nerve pain from the Lateral Femoral Cutaneous Nerve that might have been irritated during or more likely after the surgery, a condition called Meralgia Parasthetica. Doctor Howard agreed, saying that he had heard of but never run into this complication of hernia repair surgery. He injected a mix of lidocaine and steroid in hopes of alleviating the pain. He and Anita are 99.9% sure that the condition will clear up in one to two weeks.

Otherwise he was quite happy with the hernia repair and gave me permission to do the previously cancelled Gatorland IPT. I connected with multiple IPT veteran John Dupps on Wednesday evening. 2 1/2 day participant James Dolgin arrives on Thursday afternoon.

When I got to the hotel just after 6:45pm on Wednesday, I was able to arrange a 30-minute on-the-spot session with Cliff. He is a huge believer of something called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique Tapping). I have tried the tapping before without any great results. I tease him by saying, “I need to tap on why tapping does not work for me.” During the session I tapped on a variety of meridians (acupuncture or energy points) on the head and torso while stating a varying sort of mantra. We began with “I choose to be in pain so I can be a crybaby and have people worry about me.” After several rounds of tapping and lots of tears that evolved — through lots of tears — to “I choose to suffer so that friends will worry about me and love me …” As I continued tapping we discussed the many times over the past five or six decades that I had employed these strategies, most importantly the seven years I had chosen to suffer after losing Elaine to breast cancer in 1994. The strange thing is that the nerve pain in my groin area was a lot better when we got off FaceTime. And though it took me a while to fall asleep, when I did, I slept for 4 1/2 solid hours, the biggest chunks of sleep that I have enjoyed in the past several weeks. I finished updating this blog post at 3:56am on Thursday. I will try to rest a bit more.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred seventy days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one about two hours to prepare including the time spent on creating the composite IPT cards. With all of my upcoming free time (or not…), the plan right now is to try to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

Thanks to the Patient

With the injured shoulder, the recently concluded DeSoto IPT, and the hernia surgery, I have gotten more than a bit behind on e-mails, especially some Used Gear Sales business. Many thanks for your patience. I have had lots of time to rest lately and am almost caught up.

Dark-siders: Please Do Not Take This Personally

I have been saying this for a while: after many years in the business of brokering used gear sales, one pattern that I have seen is that most Nikon folks think that their stuff is worth a lot more than it actually is. That especially with the potential sales of the older 600mm lenses, some of which weigh in the 12-14 pound range. If you can shed any light as to why this might be the case, I’d love to hear from you.

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 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

New Listing

Nikon Gear/Priced to Sell!

Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF ED Lens

Massive Price Drop of $845.00!

Multiple IPT veteran Sam Hogue who was on the last Japan IPT is offering a used Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF ED lens in excellent condition for the BAA record low price by far of $1850 (was $2695). The sale includes a LensCoat, a RRS mounting plate, the front cover, the rear cap, the original felt lined, padded lens bag, and insured shipping via UPS Priority. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Sam via e-mail­­­.

This versatile lens is now priced to sell instantly. artie

Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS Lens (the original version)

Gary Meyer is also offering a Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS Lens (the original version) in mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $447.00. The sale includes the front and rear caps, the soft lens pouch, and insured ground shipping via UPS. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Gary via e-mail.

When I shot Canon, I rarely made a trip or headed out to the beach without my 24-105 in my Xtra-hand vest. Whenever I’d leave this amazingly versatile B-roll lens behind, I’d wind up regretting it. I use it for bird-scapes, photographer-scapes, landscapes, mini-macro scenes that included bird feathers, dead birds, and nests with eggs (the latter only when and if the nest can be photographed without jeopardizing it), and just about anything else that catches my eye. While I am nowhere near as good as Denise Ippolito is with this lens, I have made lots of good and saleable images with mine, the old version. artie


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

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. Patrick Sparkman saved $350 on a recent purchase!


Several folks on the DeSoto IPT used the Booking.Com link below, got great rates, and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.

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 the 2nd San Diego IPT on the morning of January 28 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 400. Matrix metering -1/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. AUTO0 WB at 8:46am on a clear day.

One up from the center, Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The array was pretty much centered on the sea lion’s chin, right on the same plane as its eye. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: California Sea Lion, pup on mom

The Situation

For the past several years, it has been relatively easy to make good images of the California Sea Lions in La Jolla. But like everything else, the more things seem to stay the same the more things change. By keeping my eyes open while thinking about the tidal levels I decided to try a new spot in 2018. And that move paid off with many excellent images. I kept six images of a subject that is often difficult to photograph.

Varying Your Image Designs

When photographing in the field it is always important to keep your eyes and your mind open and to vary your compositions either by zooming in and out with a zoom lens or by human zooming with a fixed focal length lens, that is moving either closer or farther away from the subject. Getting higher or lower or moving slightly left of right while working at the same focal length can often pay big dividends in terms of varying image designs.

This image was also created on the 2nd San Diego IPT on the morning of January 28 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (this one at 380mm) and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 400. Matrix metering -1/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/8 in Manual mode. AUTO0 WB at 8:47am on a clear day.

One up from the center, Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The array was pretty much centered on the sea lion’s eye. just below and forward of the bird’s eye. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2: California Sea Lion, pup on mom, much wider view

What I was thinking when creating Images #1 & #2

With Image #1, I went long and wanted to fill the frame with the young sea lion’s face even though it was obvious that the youngster was resting on its mom. With Image #2, I zoomed out so as to include the mother’s flipper in the frame. In addition, I got a bit lower to include a nice chunk of sweet blue water at the top of the frame.

Your Call?

Which of today’s two featured images do you think would be the strongest after the images are optimized? If you would do anything different with the image of your choice (in terms of the image optimization), please let us know that too.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

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 New 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. Tanks a stack.


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

19 comments to Varying Your Compositions; Flipper or No Flipper? And EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping

  • Hi Artie,
    I like image 2 the best. the beauty in the detail of image 1 is tempting, but the relationship between the 2 animals is shown in image 2 and that makes me smile. I love watching seals. The more time you spend with them, the more you see of the interactions and characters of the individuals. Plus, there’s the smell and sounds of the sea and bonus of sea and shorebirds of course.
    I hope you heal soon Artie.
    All the best, Clive

  • Personally, I prefer Image #2 showing the flipper. I believe it gives context to the image. I can understand those who prefer the first image in that there is some mystery to what the baby seal is laying on.

  • Donnette

    I like No flipper.

    One with the flipper takes up half the photo (Cut photo in half with a diagonal line).

    Want the face.

  • Warren H

    I like the tightness of the 1st photo, but I really like the blue background of the second. You could make a similar composition as the 1st image with a healthy crop in the 2nd image, but that would be a large crop.

  • Jay

    My preference is image 1, no flipper. My preference is based on the background behind the head. The image with the flipper has a lot of blue from the sky. The colors behind the sea lion’s head in image 2 is more pleasing.

  • Ray Maynard

    No flipper: It just looks better, and doesn’t distract from the main subject.

  • Tony Z

    I like #2 better… the face is all the sweeter having more of the mom in the the frame.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Tony. I am looking forward to working with you again in the Falklands.

      with love, artie

  • Jake

    Hi Artie,
    I think image #2 has the more promise. I like the shape of the flipper and I like the colour contrast between the young sea lion and the blue sea.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Excellent point as to “more promise” as folks might be forgetting that these are the RAW files.

      with love, artie

  • George Cottay

    There’s a typo today. “Thanks to the Patient” was, in context, almost certainly meant to be “Thanks for the Patience.” That said, all of us certainly thank the patient for your continuing work!

    (Flipper free to me.)

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks George. I am not sure that my usage is a typo if you look at it like this: thanks to the patient ones, those folks showing patience. Or did I screw up? IAC, you are welcome.

      with love, artie

  • Chris Caldwell

    Wow on your choice of tapping strategy.
    Awesome, Artie. You are an inspiration to photographers who want to keep learning and going.
    I really love the seal images. Feels good just to look upon them. I like the second image because the darker seal fur and flipper gives weight to the image, and shows the place of rest for the other seal.

    Best wishes for healing.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Many thanks CC. The nerve pain seems to be dissipating a bit. I slept great last night.

      with love, artie

  • Guido Bee

    I am pretty much in agreement with Tim, I like both shots, but the bright crescent in the second image is a bit of a distraction.
    My 2-5 should be here tomorrow (I think I used your link to B&H). I’m hoping to get sharpness like (or at least approaching) what you are getting. I’m keeping the 600, but it is just too much to carry, sometimes; being the older non-VR version, it is pretty heavy. I think you know the drill.
    All the best.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Guid. One person’s distracting element is another’s pleasing addition. The 200-500 is amazingly sharp even with the D-850. Many thanks for using the link. Please send me your B&H receipt via e-mail. And yes, the older 12+ pound beasts are a challenge.

      with love, artie

  • Nice image, of a seemingly contented sea lion. I prefer the no flipper image. For me it is more personal. The image with the flipper pulls me away from the content look on the sea lion, and the bright crescent of fur and highlight on the flipper pulls me to these highlight areas.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Tim. Curious as to why you say “seemingly contented.”

      with love, artie