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BIRDS AS ART ON-LINE Bulletin #105 May 15, 2003









Ajiniyaz Reimov and Alissa Beth Morris on their wedding day
Digital capture: EOS 1Ds, 28-135mm IS zoom  
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
After a 37 hour journey (mostly by air) I returned home late Monday from Nukus, Uzbekistan after attending the wedding of my daughter, Alissa Beth Morris to Ajiniyaz Reimov.  To see the spectacular wedding album (yours truly was the official photographer) on line, click here:
Click on an individual photo to see it full size.  You need to wait for all the photos to load and the arrow on the right to appear so that you can scroll through the 70 or so images.
If you would like to read my account of this incredible cultural and travel adventure, click on the link on the bottom of the photo page. 
Thanks to all who have sent congrats and best wishes to both me and to the newlyweds.
Lissy in Karakalpak dress before bowing ceremony

Digital capture with Canon EOS 1Ds, 28-135mm IS zoom lens

Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART



A single, sharp-eyed subscriber alerted me to the fact that the corvid image featured in the Bulletin 104 was actually a Common Raven, thus preventing the huge embarrassment that would have followed having a mis-identified bird on the cover of American Birds...  As it turns out, it was a difficult ID problem with some of the country's best birders either avoiding the question or leaning towards American Crow.  David Sibley and several others were positive that the bird in the photo was a Common Raven, noting that the  shaggy, modified, neck feathers were diagnostic of raven, and that, in addition, current research has shown that California ravens (which are a little smaller than other Common Ravens) have very different DNA, leading to some speculation that they might be a different species.
Red-necked Stint, Nukus, Uzbekistan

Digital capture with Canon EOS 1Ds, 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 2X TC. 

ISO 250.  Car-as-blind with lens on a big pillow.



Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


I identified NY State's first Red-Necked Stint in 1985!


Here are my responses to some interesting questions from a subscriber: 

S: Hi Art, 

Like many other photographers these days, I feel overwhelmed by the hype given to the "magical" world of digital imaging.

AM: I do not like when folks use the word hype, especially when referring to things that I have said.  All that I have ever done is show and tell folks what I am doing, how I am doing it, and what my feelings are.  I try to avoid telling folks, "You should do this or buy that."

S: But I can't help but think that a lot of what I hear and read is driven by the excitement of new toys and technology that a lot of folks (mostly guys) find irresistible.

AM: That may be true but all that I know is that I am having more fun with digital than I ever did with film and I had lots of fun with film. 

S: And you're one of 'em Artie.

AM: There you go insulting me again <smile>

S: For a guy who was such a dedicated film shooter and so completely sold on Fuji, you sure did a fast and total "flip".

AM: That has always been how I've tried to live life, consider the facts, make a decision, and then go with it.  I  bought the place where I am living now after seeing only it and I just bought an expensive suit (which happened to be the first and only one I tried on).  These are personal decisions and I usually make such decisions quickly.  Sometimes they turn out well, sometimes not.  Up to now I am thrilled about my switch to digital.  I have no obligation to film ..

S: That's all well and good though, and I can feel the excitement in your writing having made your decision to change over. And of course it makes good business sense.

AM, At present that may or may not be true... 

S: Being a contract photographer also has it's benefits as I imagine that all of the equipment and technical support that you need is made readily available to you.

AM: As I have stated many times that is not at all true.  I pay for all of my equipment.

S: But most of the rest of us don't have those advantages and find that contemplating a change over is way daunting in terms of money and serious computer skills (and equipment).

S: Guess what?  The decision for me was way daunting in terms of money and the need for serious computer skills (and equipment), not to mention the still unresolved issues of post-processing, labeling, filing, and image access!

S: In order to make a good decision it's prudent to do a lot of research beforehand.

AM: I have always advised that.

S: You could be of help here by devoting a bulletin or two on how to get started, things like what you "need" in a basic digital kit (excluding lenses and camera body).

AM: That info is all pretty much there for free on George Lepp's site and further detailed info is available from Tim Grey's Daily Digital Questions, and his DDQ archives are an incredible resource.  Pony up the $25 or so and get started on your research!  (Not to mention that he is far more knowledgeable than I am...)  Here is the link to DDQ info:

S: We've all heard and read about the falling prices and rising quality of equipment, and of course a person can spend as much as they want. But this crap..

AM: When you say "crap" it seems that you have strong feelings against digital. 

S (continuing): is largely a mystery to many of us (older) people plus being very expensive to those of us with limits on our discretionary spending. 

AM: I agree 100%!

S: Ongoing discussion is a good thing, but where are the real benefits beyond not having to buy and process film?

AM: I have written extensively on what I consider the benefits for me in recent Bulletins. (You can find all relevant Bulletins in the archives at the web site.) 

S: I know, I know - you can shoot more frames thereby boosting your chances for a real standout shot, but so what? 

AM: Have you ever read "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz?  I strongly suggest that you do. One of the agreements that he suggests that we make with ourselves is to "not make assumptions" (as you have done above).

I press the shutter button far fewer times now that I am using digital than I did when I was using film...  Go figure.  My style is and always has been to make one image at a time, even when photographing action.  In my career I have "held the hammer down" less than a handful of times...   Secondly, there is no need (as there is with film) to make 20 in-camera original "duplicates" of each and every good situation when working digitally.

S: If you're not in the business of marketing your work, that can be pretty much a moot point.

AM: It's a moot point to me because your original premise is totally incorrect...

S: I don't know, it's a dilemma for sure, and I'm not rushing out to buy the latest technology just to soon find out that's it's yesterday's headlines. My A2 still has lots of miles left and pretty sure I'll be using them all up.

AM: It sounds as if that is a good thing for you to do.  Here are the most important points that I have to make:  Folks who switch from film to digital because I have switched, because everyone else is doing it, or because they think that it is the wave of the future, are making a huge mistake.  Switching to digital requires a fairly large outlay of money and requires that the switchee have good to excellent computer skills.  And don't forget to consider the huge amount of post processing and PhotoShop time and effort that is involved with digital... Folks who are comfortable with film and are scared of digital should stay with film!

On the other hand, I do feel strongly that serious hobbyists who photograph nature three or four times a month, who have decent computer skills, and wish to enjoy the many advantages of digital should make the switch if they can afford it.  In the long run they will have more fun and the savings on film and processing costs will more than pay for their switch over time.


Arthur Morris

Opinionated Bird Photographer at reception...


Living Bird magazine is published four times a year by the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.  My article, "Skimmers in My Wake," appears in the Spring 2003 issue.  I just got off the phone with editor Tim Gallagher.  I told him that I was thrilled with the layout and design of the piece and that I have never been more proud of a published magazine article.  The article, which features eleven photographs (plus a frontpiece image as well), is a sort of personal  essay on my photographic relationship with this interesting species and details the work that I did at Lido Key in Sarasota, FL last summer. Living Bird is printed on high quality glossy paper; the images (several of which have a photojournalistic bent) look spectacular.
My article detailing the reasons that I switched to digital is scheduled to appear in the Summer 2003 issue, so now would be a great time to join the Lab.  (Living Bird is not available on newsstands; subscriptions are free to Cornell Lab members.)  For membership ($35/year) information, visit:
Subscribe now and you'll receive the current issue as a gift with a year's worth to follow.  "Skimmers in My Wake" is my first Living Bird article and I am very proud of it.
A photo-illustrated feature article on yours truly appears in the current issue of Popular Photography which (if you do not subscribe) is on newsstands now. I have not received my copy yet, but look forward to seeing it soon. Life is good!
Little-ringed Plover, Nukus, Uzbekistan

Digital capture with Canon EOS 1Ds, 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 2X TC. 

ISO 250.  Car-as-blind with lens on a big pillow.



Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Provia F 100-36 USA in 20 packs $4.49/roll (100 or more rolls $4.39/roll)
Sensia 100-36 USA  $2.39/roll (9/03 dated) (100 or more rolls $2.29/roll)
Velvia 100-36 $5.99 a roll in 20 packs (Free shipping; scheduled to ship in July/taking pre orders now)

All film orders over $500 will be ship for free.  Shipping for film orders under $500 is $8.00 ground.

Canon 10D:  $1499.99. Free shipping on the camera for Birds As Art Subscribers.  We are taking orders and will not bill your credit card until order has been shipped.  We keep folks updated on delivery and will ship them as soon as possible.

Canon 17-40mm lens: $749.99           Canon 100-400IS lens: $1409.99
Canon 24-70mm lens: $1299.99        (Shipping for lenses is a $12.00 ground)
Ask about prices on Canon Long lens and shipping cost.

Epson 2200 inks: $ 9.75                  Epson 7600 and 9600 inks: $54.99
Epson 7600 and 9600 inks (220ml): $79.99

Free shipping on all Epson inks and paper for all orders over $500 (includes roll paper)         
Canon EOS 1DS: call for Birds as art Subscriber Discount. 
Lowpro Road Runner AW (Artie's only carry-on): $379.99 (Shipping $20.00 ground)

Energizer Lithium AA 2-pack: $3.99

Delkin 640 e-film Pro-cards (Artie's 1st choice): $209.99

Sensor Swabs (for your digital camera): $38.00, Fluid: $ 6.99  (BAA is currently testing this product)

Contact Gary Farber at 1-800-221-1830 ext 2332. Ask for Gary or for John Duggan ext: 2314. E-mail Gary at
(Note: Subscribers are urged to comparison shop before making any major purchase.  Be sure to get a quote that includes shipping charges.)
Best and great picture making to all,

Note: Arthur Morris has been a Canon contract photographer since 1994 and continues in that role today.  Hunt's Photo of Boston is a BIRDS AS ART sponsor.  Do feel free to forward this Bulletin to one or more photographer-friends. Those wishing to subscribe click here mailto: If you  received this bulletin in error, or would like your name removed from the subscriber list click here  Back issues of relevant Bulletins are archived on the web site at:



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