Laughing Gull with fish, FL 
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EOS 1D with 400mm f/5.6 L lens, my old "toy lens."  ISO 250, evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/1600 sec. at f/8 and then darkened before converting and darkened some more in levels.  AI Servo, AFPS (all 45 points active). 
At Fred Howard Park (a great afternoon spot) in Tarpon Springs, FL, I saw some Laughing Gulls harassing another one that was carrying a long skinny fish that was eventually dropped next to the park road.  I ran to retrieve the fish--a needlefish, I think.  First, I tossed it to a Snowy Egret which picked it up for a second, and then dropped it.  I did the same with several Laughing Gulls; some of them posed nicely with their "catch."  But none of the birds were able to swallow the thing.  One bird flew off with it about 500 yards across the bay, finally dropping it in front of me about 50 feet from the shore in a foot of water...  I waded out and found it.  I tossed the fish into the shallow water about 50  feet from a group of Laughing Gulls. This guy swooped in and I got off one frame!  I guess that it pays to be persistent!
I fly tomorrow from Orlando to NYC for the Bayside, Queens Seminar, the two In-the-Field Workshops, and the JBWR IPT (sold out).  On the following Sunday I will be attending Alissa's third wedding ceremony, this one on Long Island.  Don't sweat it, it's the third ceremony, all to the same lovely young man.  (They live in Uzbekistan...)  I am doing a program (A Bird Photographer's Story) for Huntington Audubon Society on Wednesday, September 3 (and you are all invited).  You can contact Maria Kelly at for additional details. 

On 5 September, fly to Anchorage where I will be leading a trip to Denali for Alaska Photo Tours.  I will be back in the office on Wednesday, September 17.  It is not likely that I will have a chance to answer very many e-mails until late September.  Lois will be here to help with your mail orders.  I know that I keep saying this, but our mail order business is really booming right now; it does figure as we sell all but our Wimberley items at lower prices than any of our competitors (and that includes all the really big dealers...)  The prices on our Wimberley products are (by contractual agreement) exactly the same as at Wimberley.   Thanks to the many of who have purchased items from BAA!
Congrats to Greg Downing, Heather Forcier, and E.J. Peiker, whose web site,
is now up and running (though still--as would be expected--with a few growing pains...)
Here is the link:
Check out E.J.'s great cover image, and be sure to visit the forums. 
I would like to wish Gregory, Heather, and E.J the very best in their new endeavor. I know each of them personally and consider each a friend; if drive, talent, and personal involvement are the keys to success then this site will quickly become the best nature photography site in existence.
Gregory joined me on a few Instructional Photo-Tours a while back and learned a few things from me. E.J. also traveled with me a bit but he already knew everything! Both E.J and Greg have been most kind and generous, sharing their knowledge and time with me as I have entered the digital world, and for that I am thankful. I have met Heather only a bit (she did get to photograph baby cranes in my backyard), and I would best describe her as sweet, hard-working, and talented. All three are immensely talented photographers whose work I envy pretty much every time that I see any of it (which is often).
Here is the editor's message:

NatureScapes.Net was created as an online exchange for nature photographers. Our goal is to serve as a resource for those interested in improving their photography and as a place where they can share their thoughts, their images, and their passion with others. The content will be updated monthly with articles on biology, habitat, behavior, locations, art and technology as it pertains to our craft.

The forums are provided as a place where photographers can discuss topics and issues related to nature photography and as a place where they can display their photographs and receive constructive feedback on their posted images. Please help us create and maintain a friendly and helpful environment by reading and following the forum guidelines.

In our inaugural issue you will find an article on fall colors in the Eastern Sierras by Tom Hill as well as E.J. Peiker's wish list for a future digital SLR camera bodies. E.J. provides some insightful information on both current features and possibilities for the future. You can learn to recover up to roughly a stop of over-exposure by using linear conversion overlays. And finally, you can take a close look at a versatile lens that provides telephoto range for a relatively low price: the Sigma 50-500mm. Be sure to check out the workshops page and the forums, too!

Your participation at NatureScapes.Net is sincerely appreciated. Please enjoy your time at the site!

IMPORTANT NOTE:   To participate at NSN, registration is required, but it is free. This to minimize casual unregistered visitors from accessing member email addresses and other information.  NSN has an upload script.  Members only can place images on the NSN server (via the image upload script) for posting in the image galleries. There is a membership fee to access this service, and paying members are also eligible for Image of the Week selections and for periodic giveaways.  Members will also receive additional benefits as the site grows.  Do remember to add this great site to your list of favorites.
We currently send Bulletins to 2640 mostly-happy subscribers.  I recently received two (2) e-mails complaining that there has been too much IPT and product information included in recent Bulletins...  I sent each of those folks a note thanking them for sharing their thoughts with me.  (I did not even remind them that Bulletins are free <smile> and that I spend several hours preparing each one...)   I am glad that most of the rest of you appreciate the tons of info that is included in most Bulletins.   Even Bulletins that seem to contain pure advertising offer a wealth of information for the careful reader.  Aside from the details on products new and old and updated IPT and seminar info, the images in each Bulletin provide countless photo tips (for those who take the time to read the captions).
If you are in the unhappy-campers tent, there is no need to write to the complaint department; simply click on the unsubscribe link that can be found at the bottom of each Bulletin.
On a related matter, we believe that we have fixed things so that folks will not be deleted automatically should an e-mail be bounced back to us. 
For Seminar details, see:
The "Art of Nature Photography; It Ain't Just Birds" full day how-to Seminar will be held in Bayside, Queens on Sunday August 24; walk-ins are more than welcome.  Show up with a friend and each of you can apply a $10 discount.  The location will be the Ramada Adria Hotel and Conference Center at 220-33 Northern Boulevard, Queens New York.  The telephone number there is 718-631-4900. You can see a map here:


There is now one opening on the Monday ITF-Workshop, and three on the Tuesday session  For details, see:





Water Lily, Indian Lake Estates, FL 
Image copyright Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EOS 1Ds and tripod-mounted EF 180mm macro lens.  
ISO 250.  Evaluative Metering +1/3 stop: 1/30 sec. at f/14.   
I had looked at these flowers in a roadside ditch for several years and finally got off my butt and into the waist-deep water to photograph them about two weeks ago...  (I shaded this flower with my body to reduce contrast and held the blossom motionless in the afternoon breeze with a Plamp affixed to a tripod leg.)
I learned that neoprene waders can be a bit warm on sunny summer afternoons in Florida... 
The first Bosque (23-25 NOV) trip has 6 slots open, the second is sold out. 
The Post-X-mas SW FL 3-DAY IPT (28-30) DEC has 6 slots open, but both the 25-29 SW FLA 5-DAY IPT and the 3-DAY FORT DESOTO/SARASOTA IPT are shaping up right now as private tours, as is the 23-25 APR, 2004 St. Augustine Alligator Farm IPT. 
For details and general information on all BAA/IPTS click here:
Roseate Spoonbill, non-breeding plumage, Fort DeSoto Park, FL 
Image copyright Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EOS 1Ds with 600mm f/4 L IS lens and 2X II TC.    
ISO 250.  Evaluative Metering -2/3 stop: 1/320 sec. at  f/11.  
I am coming to love DeSoto more and more with each visit.  Spoonbills are possible any day of the year, and are seen and photographed on most visits.  The keys to this image are the gorgeous early morning light and the relatively clean background.  Notice that 1/3 more stop of underexposure is needed with digital than with film.  Do consider joining us for the first-ever Fort DeSoto IPT this coming March.
The following may be of interest to digital photographers and future digital photographers:

SM: I have been a fan of your work for over a year now, after I found your web site, which in turn led me to purchase your book. The Art of Bird Photography is certainly worth every penny, and your discussion of photography techniques has improved my work -- which includes piping plover surveys where I use a camera to identify bird band colors and alpha-alpha codes.
AM: I am glad that you have enjoyed the book.

SM: I receive your Birds as Art Bulletins, and I noticed in #111 that you mention the "rocket" to clean the camera sensor. I currently have a cleaning device that was called a "hurricane" by the shop that I bought it from, but despite my most persistent efforts and following the Canon cleaning instructions, I have not been able to remove all of the small dust specs that accumulate on the 1Ds sensor.
AM: Been there, done that.
SM: The body has been returned twice to Canon for service, and, unless I figure out something new, it soon will have to be sent back for a third cleaning.
AM: If you need to do that, you should insist that they replace the sensor cover...  It is my understanding that the dust is actually on the cover rather than on the sensor.  When I was having horrific problems with my 1Ds, I had the sensor cover replaced and that improved things by 1000%

SM: Do you know if the "rocket" is the new blower that I saw a Canon rep use a few months ago (black, with small fins on one end, and it looks a bit like a small model of a W.W.II bomb)?
AM: Sounds like it...
SM: At the time, the Canon service person said it had not yet been released to the public (but would be in a few months);  his sample seemed to do a better job cleaning the camera sensor than what I currently have.
AM: Hunt's Photo now carries them and sells them for less than I can buy them for wholesale...

SM: Also, because of your work photographing shorebirds and your use of the 1Ds, I expect you would have considerable experience with the dust question. Would you do a bulletin discussion of the steps you take to minimize the buildup of dust on the digital camera sensor, and then what you do to clean the sensor?
AM:  Dust spots are digital photography's great Achilles heel.  Some folks feel that turning the camera off (and then on again) each time that you change lenses or add or remove TCs helps, but others state that it does not matter.  Aside from the obvious, such as not changing lenses in a windstorm at the beach or desert, I think that this is a problem that we all have to deal with.   Some swear by the Pec pads and Pec cleaning solution, but I am not sure that they make the correct size for the 1Ds yet...  I may be wrong.  Heck, I am not even sure that they make the correct size for the 1D. 
SM: I don't have the same problems with the 10D, but, as careful as I am with changing lenses, dust buildup is a persistent issue with the 1Ds for me. The 1Ds takes beautiful pictures, and I accept that some dust is inevitable, given the sandy environment that I work in, but I get far more specs with the 1Ds than the 10D, and, for many reasons, trying to clean up the specs in Photoshop is something I would like to minimize. 
AM:  Welcome to the club!  As you most likely know, it is best to "view actual pixels" when
checking for dust spots, and with images with light or white backgrounds it is indeed a serious problem.

REQUEST FOR HELP: If anyone has had success in dealing with the dust on sensor problem, or can shed some more light on any of the above (are you there E.J?), I would appreciate hearing from you.
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, MA is a BIRDS AS ART sponsor, as is Delkin Devices.  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: