OCTOBER 4, 2003
Photo Theme:  The versatile 28-135mm IS lens may often be the best tool, even for birds!
Willet at sunrise, Fort DeSoto Park, FL   
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EOS 1Ds with 28-135mm IS lens at 135mm (handheld).  ISO 250.  Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/13 sec. at f/5.6.
In reality, good photographers make good images with whatever lenses they have in their hands at the time.  Once in a while, I like to take a walk, as I did here at Ft. DeSoto in the pre-dawn, and see what I can do with a shorter focal length lens.  When working with small in the frame subjects like this, it is usually best to tuck them well into one of the corners of the frame...  It is easy to make sharp images while handholding this short IS lens at very slow shutter speeds.   Some pros report success down to 1/2 second!  Now that is IS!

Here are the correct dates for the two new Warbler IPTs.  




Pt. Pelee (Leamington, Ontario) Warbler IPT May 9-11, 2004.  Limit 10.  3-DAY: $829 US funds) .

Magee Marsh/Crane Creek (Toledo, Ohio) IPT May 14-16, 2004.  Limit 10.  3-DAY: $829.


To register, send a $200 check made out to "Arthur Morris" to PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855.

For additional IPT details & general information and for cancellation policies, visit:


For additional Warbler IPT tales, visit:



Seaweed-covered Rocks, Honeymoon Island State Park, FL.
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon EOS 1Ds, 28-135mm IS lens (at 30mm).

Evaluative metering -2/3 stop, set manually: 1/40 second at f/16 (handheld).

No birds?  Try "SEAWEED AS ART"!  This scene caught my eye on a Saturday but it was clear and sunny, so I returned the next morning when cloudy skies reduced the contrast. Note the placement of the large boulder in the lower left foreground (which serves as a compositional anchor).  The sky and water were selected in PhotoShop and darkened in levels. (Proper exposure for the dark green seaweed left the sky washed out but not over-exposed in the original image.)



Commenting my Photoshop work on the Forster's Tern image in Bulletin 115, subscriber and friend Bill Hill wrote:
I can't resist this.  I love the Tern photo and the explanation of the work that was done.  When I read on page 15 of my favorite book : The Art of Bird Photography "  the author says, " The same goes for those who dramatically
alter or create images on the computer....."  Must be that guy that was going to be buried with his film camera.
Boy am I glad that we are not too old to learn new tricks.  If you hadn't gone digital and learned more about photoshop, neither would I. Having a great time in this new era.  Keep up the great work and get the next book out!
Best, Bill
Here is the sentence before the one quoted: "To my mind, those who photograph animals at zoos, raptor rehabilitation centers, or game farms) and then attempting to pass these images off as real (often, for example, by labeling them as "mountain lion, Montana"--Montana being the game farm location) are simply lying to the viewer.
Without going into full defensive mode, I wrote Bill and let him know that in the Forster's Tern image that I had neither  dramatically altered the image nor created in on computer.  To my mind, I simply enhanced the image that I had captured.  When I submit the Forster's Tern image for publication, this enhancement will not be specifically noted, but I will include a more general note with my digital images stating that minor digital improvements have been made.  To the casual viewer, the two images in Bulletin 115 would seem virtually indistinguishable, and the enhanced version is true to nature. 
am glad that I am not too old to learn new tricks.  And while I am embracing the new technology and enjoying the world of digital photography, I do feel that I am still creating images that accurately represent what I saw in the viewfinder.  
Sandwich Tern, Honeymoon Island State Park, FL
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 1Ds and 28-135mm lens at 135mm (the "big gun" setting). ISO 400. Evaluative metering + 1 2/3 stops: 1/800 at f/5.6.

When I was photographing the seaweed patterns (above) I noticed that a cast-netting fisherman caught a big load of bait.  Many fish spilled into the shallow water and onto the rocks. The Laughing Gulls came quickly, and I was amazed to see that they were joined by many Sandwich Terns.  In my 27 years of birding, I had never seen a single tern respond to anything other than free-swimming baitfish. I dialed in lots of + compensation and began making images.  I guess that you do need a really big lens for bird photography <smile> 
Color-balance and levels adjustments were made in Photoshop.



JBWR IPT participant Mark Propst wrote:

I just wanted to say thanks for the amazing experience you shared with me and the other participants on the IPT at JBWR in August. You have a wonderful teaching methodology.   I learned more about technique, composition, and birding in several days than I have managed to pick up in 10 years on my own.   Having the ability to see your images and my images from the same location has been an incredible teaching tool for me.  From that weekend, I have been able to identify many flaws in my technique and I have since been working to resolve them. I am doing my best to try to work more IPTís into my schedule.  Thanks again for your time and your patience as an instructor.  Best, Mark



I am flying to Bosque on 21 November for the ninth straight year since Elaine's death on November 20, 1994.  Each trip is somewhat of a pilgrimage to her memory and the wonderful years that we had together.  The two IPTs have filled nicely.  As of this very moment, there are  6 openings on the first IPT (NOV 23-25) and one vacancy (due to a cancellation) on the second (NOV 29-DEC 1).  Friend and Digital & Photoshop expert Ellen Anon will be joining me as co-leader and will present a one-hour Photoshop Basics program on each tour. 

As many of you know, I have, for the past several years, hosted a Thanksgiving Day Buffet lunch at the historic Val Verde Steakhouse in Socorro for birders, photographers and friends.  The food is incredibly good, with tons of turkey and stuffing and yams and all the fixings as well as table-fuls of great desserts--save me lord!  This year we will meet at 12:30 pm.  All are invited.  Bring some pix to show off.  I hope that you can join us this year. 

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: