OCTOBER 19, 2003
NANPA 2004...
Photo theme:  images made at Fort DeSoto Park south of St. Petersburg, FL.
Black Skimmer begging juvenile, Fort DeSoto Park, FL   
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 2X II TC and EOS 1Ds camera body. ISO 400. 
Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/8.
Fort DeSoto is one of those rare, rare places where you have a chance to make some good bird photos virtually 365 days a year. 
NANPA 2004

I am proud to announce that I have been invited to do a Breakout Presentation at the North American Nature Photography Association's 10th Anniversary Summit in Portland, OR (January 21-24.)   The program will be entitled "Discovering Digital; Digital Discoveries."   I was at NANPA's formative meeting in Jamestown, NY and have been to all but one of the annual meetings--I missed Las Vegas...


For more information on the Summit, visit:





Black-bellied Plover, Fort DeSoto Park, FL 
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 2XII TC and EOS 1Ds camera body. ISO 200. Evalutaive metering at zero set manually: 1/500 sec. at f/8. Fill flash at -2/3.


I've always loved shorebirds, and enjoy studying the different plumages. This black-belly is in fairly fresh juvenal plumage, almost surely less than three months old. It was the first one that I'd seen in Florida.  If you do not have a copy, most of you would enjoy shorebird book, "Beautiful Beachcombers."  You can order  signed copy off of the web site. 


I fly to Louisville, KY to photograph on my friend Neil Kaufman's farm for four days and then fly to Southern California for the LA Photo Weekend (NOV 1-4, 2003)  For information, visit:


As I will not be back in the office until NOV 7, I will be unable to respond to most e-mails until then.  As always, Lois Smith will be hear to handle your mail order needs.   Thanks, BTW, to all of our valuable customers; we sell only the things that I use on a daily basis, and our policy is to price everything that we carry as low or--in most cases--lower than it is available anywhere else...




The following is paraphrased from and e-mail that I received from subscriber Ty Smedes: 


Thanks for the write-up comparing the three Canon intermediate telephotos.  All three have different characteristics and are a bit hard to compare.  I think, however, that you missed the boat a bit here...   I find the 35-350mm zoom to be the most versatile zoom lens around.  Although not an IS lens, it is incredibly versatile.  I have not used it for flight photography (although you could), and find that I use it for much of my non-nature stock photography as well as for a large share of my nature photography.  This lens creates 1/4 life-size images at the 135mm setting, and I use it regularly with the 500D 2-element diopter to create close-up images.  The 35mm wide-angle capability is invaluable, and I was especially happy to have this lens with me in Kenya & Tanzania (last January). The 35mm focal length let  me stay with a large mammal even as it walked right by the vehicle.  When the animal moved away, I used the longer focal lengths for head/shoulder portraits or frame-filling profiles ...
As you all comes down to the needs of the individual photographer, but this is a great lens that many folks may want to evaluate ...
Just my two-cents worth.. :-)
Yellow-crowned Night Heron, Fort DeSoto Park, FL 
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 1Ds, 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC.  ISO 800.  Evaluative metering + 1/3 stops: 1/100 sec. at f/5.6. Fill flash at -2/3 stop with Better Beamer.

With high ISO images made with flash and converted in Breezebrowser, noise (the digital version of grain in film), is barely evident.  Part of the beauty of digital is the ability to switch ISO from one frame to the next as needed!
There is only a single opening on the first Bosque IPT (NOV 23-25).  The second has been sold out for quite a while.
The Post X-mas IPT (DEC 27-29) is currently sold out.  If Ellen Anon is able to join me as co-leader, there will be room for two more...    Please e-mail and ask to have your name added to the wait-list if you are interested.
The Katmai, AK Bear and Eagle Alaska Photo Tour Trip--June 4-8, 2004  is sold out.
The Nome, AK Nesting Birds IPT--June 11-20, 2004 is sold out.
The following IPTs are wide open:

San Diego, California--3-DAY: JAN 9-11, 2004
Southwest Florida--5-DAY: FEB 25-29, 2004
Fort DeSoto/Sarasota--FL IPT: 3-DAY MAR 26-28, 2004 
St. Augustine Alligator Farm, FL-- 3-DAY: APR 23-25, 2004
Point Pelee Warblers--3-DAY MAY 9-11, 2004
Magee Marsh, Toledo, OH Warblers--3-DAY: MAY 14-16, 2004
For prices and for additional details visit: 

Roseate Spoonbill in early morning light, Fort DeSoto Park, FL 
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 2XII TC and EOS 1Ds camera body. ISO 200. Evalutaive metering at zero set manually: 1/500 sec. at f/8. Fill flash at -2/3.


DeSoto is a great place to photograph spoonbills and both dark and white phase Reddish Egrets. Here, I got low quickly by splaying out only the forward pointing leg of my Gitzo 1325 Carbon Fiber Tripod so that I could include more of the green vegetation.   
Here is everything that I know about sharpening:
#1: I use no in-camera sharpening (though others do so with success using low sharpening settings).
#2: Just about every image created with a digital camera needs to be sharpened to some degree.
#3: Master files should never be sharpened. (Folks who reproduce the same print at the same size over and over again for sale may wish to save a sharpened version labeled as such).
#4: Images should only be sharpened after they are sized for a specific use.  (Note: this should be at the desired output resolution.) 
#5: For small files to be used electronically, I generally sharpen three times using Filter/Sharpen/Unsharp Mask with the following settings: Amount: 125%; Radius: 0.2 pixels; Threshold: 0 levels.   Some folks sharpen once at 350/0.2/0.  
#6: As file size increases, there are two options.  You may opt to increase the Amount (to somewhere between 300 and 500) while keeping the radius roughly the same.  In this case, you may need  to sharpen more than once (while decreasing the amount each time).  Your other option is to increase the radius (to somewhere between 0.85 and 1.25) while keeping the Amount roughly the same.
#7: For natural history images, the threshold is usually set at 0 so that we get the most detail.  For portraits of  people, the threshold might be set as high as 4-8 so that skin imperfections are not emphasized.  For natural history images made at high ISO settings or those with large areas of sky, threshold settings of from 2 to 3 often yield the best results.
#8: Scanned film images generally need more sharpening than digital captures.
#9: Ask 100 good digital photographers exactly how they sharpen their images and you will probably get 100 different answers.  To attain the very best results, experiment with each image by trying a range of settings and then comparing the results.
Thanks to Greg Downing for helping me with my web sharpening (#5), to Tim Grey for helping me to understand the basics of sharpening (see:, and to special thanks (as always!) to Ellen Anon for her explanation of threshold settings and her advice on sharpening larger image files--usually for printing (#s 6-9).  In addition, she reviewed this short piece for me.   Ellen offers individual Photoshop lessons ( and teaches Photoshop courses for Joe and Mary Ann McDonald (
For more detailed, more advanced information on sharpening,  visit: 
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: