Apples and Oranges. Night and Day. And NANPA Tidbits « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Apples and Oranges. Night and Day. And NANPA Tidbits

San Diego IPT #1 Late Registration Discount

Please shoot me an e-mail if you would like to the San Diego IPT #1 Late Registration Discount. Note that due to a cancellation, there is now a single opening on San Diego #2.

This all-new card includes images created on my JAN 2022 visit to San Diego. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The 2022/23 San Diego Brown Pelicans (and more!) IPTs

San Diego IPT #1. 3 1/2 DAYS: WED 21 DEC thru the morning session on Saturday 24 DEC 2022. $2099.00. Deposit: $699.00. Limit: 6 photographers/Openings: 5.

San Diego IPT #2. 4 1/2 DAYS: SAT 7 JAN thru the morning session on WED 11 JAN 2023: $2699.00. Deposit: $699.00. Limit: 6 photographers/1 Opening.

San Diego IPT #3: 4 1/2 DAYS: THURS 19 JAN thru the morning session on MON 23 JAN 2023: $2699.00. Deposit: $699.00. Limit: 6 photographers.

Please e-mail for information on personalized pre- and post-IPT and In-the-Field Sessions.

Join me in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s (nesting) and Double-crested Cormorants; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Ducks; other duck species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Northern Shoveler and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heermann’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others are possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals and California Sea Lions (both depending on the current regulations and restrictions). And as you can see by studying the IPT cards, there are some nice bird-scape and landscape opportunities as well. Not to mention a ton of excellent flight photography opportunities and instruction.

Please note: where permitted and on occasion, ducks and gulls may be attracted (or re-located) with offerings of grains or healthy bread.

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects, including and especially the Pacific race of California Brown Pelican. With annual visits spanning more than four decades, I have lots of photographic experience there … Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Learning Exposure, Whether You Like It Or Not

Whether you like it or not, we will be beating the subject of exposure like a dead horse. In every new situation, you will hear my thoughts on exposure along with my thoughts on both Nikon and Canon histograms and SONY Zebras. Whether you like it or not, you will learn to work in manual mode so that you can get the right exposure every time (as long as a bird gives you ten seconds with the light constant). Or two seconds with SONY zebras … And you will learn what to do when the light is changing constantly. What you learn about exposure will be one of the great takeaways on every IPT.

Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT, there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

It Ain’t Just Pelicans

With gorgeous subjects just sitting there waiting to have their pictures taken, photographing the pelicans on the cliffs is about as easy as nature photography gets. With the winds from the east almost every morning there is usually some excellent flight photography as well, often with 70-200mm lenses! And the pelicans are almost always doing something interesting: preening, scratching, bill pouch cleaning, or squabbling. And then there are those crazy head throws that are thought to be a form of intra-flock communication. You will be guided as to how to make the best of those opportunities. Depending on the weather, the local conditions, and the tides, there are a variety of other fabulous photo chances available in and around San Diego.


Did I mention that there are lots of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter? Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

The San Diego Details

These IPTs will include four or five 3-hour morning photo sessions, three or four 1 1/2-hour afternoon photo sessions, and three or four working brunches that will include image review and Photoshop sessions. On rare cloudy days, we may — at the leader’s discretion, stay out in the morning for a long session and skip that afternoon. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility. And so that we can get some sleep, dinners will be on your own as well. In the extremely unlikely event that Goldfish Point is closed due to local ordinance (or whimsy) — that has never happened in the past fifty years, I will of course do my very best to maximize our photographic opportunities.

San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects, including and especially the Pacific race of California Brown Pelican. With annual visits spanning more than four decades, I have lots of photographic experience there … Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Deposit Info

A $699 deposit is required to hold your slot for one of the 2022/23 San Diego IPTs. You can send a check (made out to “BIRDS AS ART”) to us here: BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855, or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, is due three months before the trip.


Variety is surely the spice of life in San Diego. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Getting Up Early and Staying Out Late

On all BIRDS AS ART IPTS including and especially the San Diego IPT, we get into the field early to take advantage of unique and often spectacular lighting conditions and we stay out late to maximize the chances of killer light and glorious sunset silhouette situations. We often arrive at the cliffs a full hour before anyone else shows up to check out the landscape and seascape opportunities.

What’s Up?

I did not make it down to the lake yesterday morning because I had many hours of work to do on the NANPA/ASMP non-merger. I hope to get down this morning as it is slated to be the first clear sunrise in weeks.

Today is Tuesday 29 November 2022. This blog post took about 90 minutes to prepare and makes two hundred forty-seven days in a row with a new, educational post just for you. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day.

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!

You can find some great photo accessories (and necessities, like surf booties!) on Amazon by clicking on the Stuff tab on the orange/yellow menu bar above. On a related note, it would be extremely helpful if blog-folks who, like me, spend too much money on Amazon, would get in the habit of clicking on the Amazon logo link on the right side of each blog post when they shop online. As you might expect, doing so will not cost you a single penny, but would be appreciated tremendously by yours truly. And doing so works seamlessly with your Amazon Prime account.

Please remember that if an item — a Delkin flash card, or a tripod head — for example, that is available from B&H and/or Bedfords, is also available in the BAA Online Store, it would be great, and greatly appreciated, if you would opt to purchase from us. We will match any price. Please remember also to use my B&H affiliate links or to earn 3% cash back at Bedfords by using the BIRDSASART discount code at checkout for your major gear purchases. Doing either often earns you free guides and/or discounts. And always earns my great appreciation.

Brand-New and As-Good-As-Ever Bedfords BAA Discount Policy

Folks who have fallen in love with Bedfords can now use the BIRDSASART coupon code at checkout to enjoy a post-purchase, 3% off-statement credit (excluding taxes and shipping charges) on orders paid with a credit card. The 3% credit will be refunded to the card you used for your purchase. Be sure, also, to check the box for free shipping to enjoy free Second Day Air Fed-Ex. This offer does not apply to purchases of Classes, Gift Cards, or to any prior purchases.

Money Saving Reminder

Many have learned that if you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H and would like to enjoy getting 3% back on your credit card along with free 2nd Day Air Fed-Ex Air shipping, your best bet is to click here, place an order with Bedfords, and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If an item is out of stock, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell phone at (479) 381-2592 (Central time). Be sure to mention the BIRDSASART coupon code and check the box for Free Shipping. That will automatically upgrade to free 2nd Day Air Fed-Ex. Steve has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H and everywhere else. The waitlists at the big stores can be a year or longer for the hard-to-get items. Steve will surely get you your gear long before that. For the past year, he has been helping BAA Blog folks get their hands on items like the SONY a 1, the SONY 200-600 G OSS lens, the Canon EOS R5, the Canon RF 100-500mm lens, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is personable, helpful, and eager to please.

Important Note

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small percentage when you purchase from Amazon after using any of the Amazon links on the blog (including the logo-link on the right side of each blog post page). My affiliate link works fine with Amazon Prime and using it will not cost you a single cent. Huge thanks, BTW 🙂

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. And the same is true in spades when ordering new camera bodies or lenses. My advice will often save you some serious money and may help you avoid making a seriously bad choice. Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. If you are desperate, you can try me on my cell at 863-221-2372. Please leave a message and shoot me a text if I do not pick up.

Apples and Oranges. Night and Day

Today’s two featured images are as different as night and day. Selecting your favorite image is like comparing apples and oranges, not to mention Canon versus Nikon.

This image was created on 16 January 2018 on a San Diego IPT. I used the handheld Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 338mm) and the EOS-1DX Mark II. The exposure was determined via histogram and blinkies review. ISO 800. 1/500 sec. at f/10 (stopped down 1 2/3 stops). AWB at 8:40:29am on a partly sunny morning.

AF Method unknown. Click on the image to enjoy a high-res version.

Image #1 — Brown Pelican — non-breeding Pacific-race resting

The Image Clean-up

As this image was created after an over-night rain, very little clean-up was needed. There were two tiny bits of bird poop that were eliminated.

A Color Mixer Video

I absolutely need to begin assembling images so that I can prepare a Color Mixer Video, not only for the BLUEs, but for all colors. This powerful tool allows you to fine-tune the color in your images. In Image #1, using the BLUE Saturation and Luminance sliders brought the ocean background to life.

Color Question

Do the dark tones of the belly feathers have a red color cast?

Depth of Field Question

Considering that I was stopped down almost two full stops, why is there no detail at all in the ocean background???

This image was created on January 28 at La Jolla, CA on a San Diego IPT. I used 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.. Shutter Priority Mode +1.7 stops. AUTO ISO set ISO 30 sec. at f/6.3. AWB at 7:15:34am just before the sun came over the hill to the east/northeast.

Center Group/Shutter Button AF. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Photo Illustration: Brandt’s Cormorant pre-dawn blur.

Your Call

Which of today’s completely different featured images do you like best? Why?

Today’s NANPA/ASMP Tidbit

538 NANPA members have voted Yes on the Referendum. NANPA leadership is, of course, stalling.

NANPA is conducting a Town Meeting for members only today. I am on record as believing that it will be a complete sham and that none of the questions below, the questions on everyone’s mind, will not be answered honestly.

Questions for the NANPA Town Meetings

1- When will NANPA be sharing a signed copy of the agreement with the membership? This simple step would enable everyone involved to know the truth, to know exactly what is going on and what they might expect in the future.

2- By what authority did the board enter this agreement without the approval of this agreement (or whatever it is)?

3- What provisions are there in NANPA’s Articles and Bylaws permitting the board to take such action.

4- Why has NANPA hidden and refused to share the Board Meeting minutes for the last six months, the minutes that supposedly approve the NANPA/ASMP deal and the alleged Non-disclosure agreement?

5- Why did the President, the Executive Director, and the board attempt to do this deal in complete secrecy? Why did they choose darkness over light?


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

10 comments to Apples and Oranges. Night and Day. And NANPA Tidbits

  • John Storjohann

    For me, it’s the first image…I find some blurs very pleasing, others not as much; this one fell somewhere between. I like the unusual pose for the pelican…the leading lines of the beak, the way the wings and body frame the lower part of the face…nice shot.

    Thank you for your comments/updates on NANPA. I was ready to pull the trigger and join, for a variety of reasons, prior to all that is taking place…a little unsure now if I should wait or join now so that I would be considered a legacy member and “grandfathered” in to current benefits as described. Your thoughts?

  • John Hoffman

    ” that none of the questions below, the questions on everyone’s mind, will not be answered honestly”

    I think you mean “will be”

  • James Saxon

    Number 1 for me due to the look on the pelican’s face. Looks like a grumpy bird. That blur did not excite me. I think the NANPA merger is a done deal regardless of the outcome of the townhall. It is much easier to “seal the deal” prior to letting the membership study the proposal, ask questions, present their views, etc. Don’t think I will be joining them.

  • Anthony Ardito

    The ocean has no detail because it’s beyond the DOF, even at f10, and by the same token, the front of the bill is also OOF. You were pretty close to begin with (338mm), so f10, although it sounds pretty stopped down, only produces a limited DOF. If you were closer, even more of the pelican’s bill would be OOF.

    I like the pelican the best. It’s unusal and I’ve never seen that position before.

  • Jeff Walters

    Might be time to hire a cut throat lawyer and go for the juggler. They’re playing hardball and seems to be they are just ignoring what they probably feel are softballs lobbed their way. They are looking down on you and the membership. Dragging their feet while they plan their next retirement move to the Bahamas aka FTX and SBF. Looks like the year of the fraud. Hope they come to their sense’s, but I must admit I don’t really think the president and the board will change their stance.

    Democracy is dying a little day by day. God help us.

    #1 is my fav. Only some blurs entrance me. This one doesn’t not so much.

  • Maggi Fuller

    No contest! Image 1 of course as I too, dislike blurs of this type…. You need to edit the description of the image though, as I can’t see a blurred Western Gull in there for the life of me!

  • Art,

    Good luck with your struggle with the NANPA board. My favorite image is the Brown Pelican. I am not a fan of blurs. I believe the no detail in the ocean is due to shooting distance to the bird and distance between the bird and the background. Also would love to see a tutorial on color mixer. Still struggle fine tuning the red in cardinals.


  • Bill Coatney

    Mr Arthur
    Once again you have shown that it ain’t the gear.
    As always, I learn by seeing your images and reading exif data in the commentary.

    A couple of friends recommend I join NANPA but I think I will wait and see if the board followed their own by-laws before making any decision.
    The fact my friends didn’t know anything about this issue gives me pause at this time.

    Thanks for your long career of writing about not only the how but the why.


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