NOVEMBER 20, 2003

Bulletins Archive






Photo theme:  images made on my recent Southern California trip.
King Vulture (captive),  LA Zoo.  
 Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC, 25mm extension tube, and EOS 1Ds camera.    ISO 250.  Evaluative metering-2/3 stop: 1/250 at f/18.  Fill flash at -2/3 stop.
The LA Zoo day was a fun gig, especially with great subjects to choose from.  Thanks to Delkin and Canon USA for having me, and to Mark Comon of Paul's Photo who put the whole thing together.    We got down low, and had the keeper place the bird in a spot where the background was quite a ways back, thus the soft o-o-f background even at f/18.
No Bulletins for nearly a month, and then two in two days.  Such is the life of a nature photographer on the run.   Consider my upcoming travel schedule:
November 21-December 4: Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico.   Remember, all are invited to both the Thanksgiving Buffet at the historic Val Verde Steak House(11-27 at 12:30), and the Saturday evening joint BAA IPT/ dinner.  There will be short slide programs by Ellen Anon, Greg Downing, Heather Forcier, Ned Harris, and myself.  I am not sure if E.J. Peiker will bringing some stuff to show...
December 12-18, 2003: I have been invited to photograph on several private ranches in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas!
December 27-30, 2003: I'll be in Fort Myers, FL for the sold out post X-Mas SW FLA IPT.
January 6-13, 2004: A week in San Diego to teach the JAN 9-11 3-DAY IPT (1 slot left).
January 18-26, 2004.  I will be in Portland, Oregon for the NANPA Summit.  I will be doing a breakout presentation and in addition, will be a participant on the 2-DAY pre-Summit trip  to Cannon Beach and other coastal locations.  For more information on the Summit, visit:
January 27-February 13, 2004:  Co-lead a (sold-out) safari to Tanzania (sold out) with my pal Todd Gustafson of Chicago.
February 24-29, 2004.  I'll be back in Ft. Myers for the 5-DAY SW FLA IPT (The 6 openings are sure to go quickly as this is prime time at Ding Darling...)
In other words, I will be on the road for 68 days between now and the end of February and at home for 33 days at most...  So you wanna be a full time professional photographer?
Brown Pelican at Sunrise, Bolsa Chica Lagoon, Huntington Beach, CA  
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC and EOS 1Ds camera body. ISO 250.  Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/5000 sec. at f/5.6. 


I made this image on the first LA In-The-Field Workshop...  I alerted the group to the fact that if we ran 50 yards and moved off the foot-bridge we might have a chance of capturing the pelicans in the swath of the rising sun; I must have put my tripod down in exactly the right spot.  Thanks to Robert Ludwick for his Photoshop help with this image.  I will share his technique when I fully understand what he did!


I should have mentioned that I know of no other source where the info needed to get started in digital photography is presented so simply and clearly--and in one place to boot!  (I've always said that teaching long division to fourth graders who are three years behind helps one to realize the importance of explaining things clearly in step-by-step fashion.)  For those who missed the information, here is a revised plug:


I learned the basics of digital by helping a friend who had just bought a Canon EOS D-60.  Even with this "head-start," I can remember being terribly frustrated by having to learn simple tasks like downloading and converting images, managing files, and optimizing images in Photoshop.  Along the way, I learned by asking those more knowledgeable than I: Ellen Anon, Tim Grey, Juan Pons, Gregory Georges, Matt Haggadorn, E.J. Peiker, and Greg Downing among others.   I have now written more than 30,000 words for "The Art of Bird Photography II," which I hope to self-publish in about 15 months.  One of the strengths of the book will be the chapter on Digital Basics.  Both the book and this chapter in particular, will detail the way that I do things.  With digital that means Canon cameras, a Toshiba PC, Breezebrowser, and Photoshop. 

The publication of the book is at least 15 months in the future, and--considering my upcoming travel plans--quite possibly well more than that. The info in the Digital Basics file will save beginning and even intermediate digital photographers, especially Canon/PC/Breezebrowser users, that we are now offering a PDF file of the Digital Basics chapter for $20 (on-line delivery via e-mail only).   About the only other way that I know to learn all of this stuff (and lots more for sure!) is to sign up for one of the digital workshops offered by George Lepp and Tim Grey ( or those offered by Joe and Mary Ann McDonald ( 
At present, the Digital Basics file covers the following topics:
The advantages of digital photography, compact flash cards and re-formatting, downloading images to your laptop, file management (including creating folders and sub-folders and, the filing systems that we use here at BIRDS AS ART), viewing and editing images in Breezebrowser (two methods for editing quickly), the digital workflow including opening Breezebrowser images automatically in Photoshop, converting images from raw to tiff in Breezebrowser, cropping and cloning, Levels and Hue/Saturation adjustments in layers, correcting a colorcast, saving images, sharpening images, saving for web use, and sizing horizontal and vertical images in one step.
In addition, free updated PDF files will be sent you as the chapter is further developed.   To order your copy, send a check (made out to "Arthur Morris") or, better yet, send us a Paypal (visit the web site and click on any Paypal link) for $20 and specify "Digital Basics PDF."  You must include an e-mail address if paying by check.  For those just getting started in digital photography this chapter will save you months of struggling; it will be the best $20 that you ever spent.  On-line delivery will be made within three days as only Jennifer is handling these orders.
Brown Pelican, immature.  LaJolla, CA 
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 1D with 100-400mm L IS lens.  ISO  250.  Evaluative metering plus two stops off of the white sky set manually: 1/800 at f/6.3  (No flash!)  I manually selected the two focusing points below the central sensor in AI Servo AF mode.)

LaJolla is one of my favorite spots on the planet.  (There is just one spot left on the San Diego IPT...)    I just love digital for flight photography on white sky days...  I do not believe that results like this are possible with film as the underwing detail here is amazing.


We ordered our upgrade to Photoshop CS today.  Photoshop CS will have the capability of converting the Raw Images from Canon digital cameras.  Folks are asking, "Will you continue to use Breezebrowser?"  From what I know so far, the answer is a resounding yes as it seems that editing the images will still be far easier in BB.  Why?  I make my images in Raw plus J-peg mode and--to the best of my knowledge--only Breezebrowser allows you to edit your images as if they were one.  The next question is, "Will you convert in Breezebrowser of in Photoshop CS?"  The answer at present is, "I do not know."  I need to compare the speed (CS is reputed to be much faster) and the image quality--I have heard mixed reviews as to the quality of the CS conversion although my understanding is that two big time digital heavy-hitters, Tim Grey and Michael Reichmann (, both are more than happy with the quality of the CS conversions. 


FYI, here is an excerpt from an e-mail that I received yesterday from Chris Breeze:


"To be honest raw converters like CaptureOne and PhotoShop's ACR and PhotoShop CS haven't made much difference to my sales. They killed off some of my competition (e.g YarcPlus) but BreezeBrowser has not only survived but sales continue to grow because it offers much more than just Canon raw conversion. There are many people using it as a fast browser, for batch renaming, IPTC editing, contact sheet printing, proofs generation and HTML pages. If you shoot in raw+JPEG BreezeBrowser treats the images as a pair so that you get a fast, large preview image and operations like rotate, move, copy, delete, IPTC editing etc. are applied to both images.
I've only had a few reports back from users with PhotoShop CS and they all say that PSCS is much faster than the Canon raw conversion routines used in BreezeBrowser but the results aren't as good. Some people are prepared to trade the drop in quality for the faster processing but still use BreezeBrowser for browsing their images."

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: