DECEMBER 6, 2003
Photo theme:  images made with the Canon EOS 10D digital camera
Snow Goose Conducting Orchestra, Bosque Del Apache, NWR, NM

Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with Canon EOS 10D camera body.  AI Servo AF/7 sensors activated.   ISO 400.  Evaluative metering -2/3 stop off of the bird in the blue sky, set manually: 1/3200 at f/8.   


The noise in 10D images made at ISO 400 is virtually absent.  
The 10D's autofocus system performed superbly with all 7 sensors activated. 
Thanks to the many folks who responded as to whether the Snow Goose Calling in Front of Rising Sun image featured in Bulletin 121 was a real image made in-camera or a Photoshop creation formed by combining two images.  Opinion was divided about 50/50.   The fact is that the image is indeed a "real" one that was created in-camera with a single push of the shutter button.  The story of its creation is an interesting one and may help some of you learn to expand your creative vision. 
At the joint BIRDS AS ART IPT/ dinner, Chas Glatzer mentioned that he had been making some images of the sun at ISO 50 with stacked multipliers with a shutter speed of 1/10,000 second and an effective aperture of f/64.  After a clear sunrise on the second IPT, I decided to try and do just that with my 600mm IS lens.  Previously (while using film), I had never been able to avoid over-exposing the sun in such situations). 
After mounting the two TCs and setting the exposure manually (I learned later from the EXIF data that I had inadvertently set the shutter speed to 1/8,000 sec. not 1/10,000 sec.) I set the AF switch to the "off" position and focused manually on a tiny portion of the sun just peeking into the bottom of the frame, this to avoid damaging the retina in my left eye (which I use for focusing).   Then, I depressed the Stop-Down (Depth-of-Field Preview) button on the 1Ds with the ring finger of my right hand and held it in so that I could center the sun in the frame, again, to avoid damaging my eye. (At f/64, the sun and the whole scene appears very dark when viewed with the  preview button depressed.) 
Before pushing the shutter button, I looked away from the viewfinder (again, to prevent damaging my retina when the shutter flashed open--do we see a here pattern yet?--) and made a single image of the sun alone.  When it appeared on the LCD screen, I was delighted to see that there were no flashing highlights.  I was impressed as it was at least 20 minutes after sunrise.
Next, I focused manually on the trees about 400 yards away as the geese and cranes seemed to be flying over them.  I placed my gloved left hand on top of the camera and hid the sun behind my raised thumb.  As the birds were flying from south to north, and I was facing east, I looked to the right of my thumb (not through the viewfinder!) for birds that would appear to be flying into the center of my thumbnail.  Depressing the shutter button at just the right time was key.  (In this image I was about 1/10th of a second too late as the bird is--as many of you noticed-- just to the left of center.) 
The bird in the photo flew right across the face of the sun as I made the image, and when I saw that I had caught it in a pretty good position, I let out a big whoop!  Everyone in my group came running to witness the blessed event on the camera's LCD screen.   I was nervous until I got to see the image on my laptop.  I was thrilled when I saw that my estimate of the distance and the f/64 aperture had indeed created a reasonably sharp image.  Catching the bird as it was calling was a huge but lucky plus. 
The image will be the first in what I hope will become a long series that will include some images as good or better than this one.   (So what did this have to do with developing creative vision?  I took Chas' comments and ran with them after imagining what the results might be like...)
Snow Geese, Pink-Sky Panoramic, Bosque Del Apache, NWR, NM

Handheld Canon 100-400mm IS Zoom lens at 400mm with Canon EOS 10D camera body.  AI Servo AF/7 sensors activated.   ISO 100.  Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/20 sec. at  f/6.3.   


On clear sunrises and sunsets, look to the sky opposite the sun for pink/purple/blue sections of sky. 


As Bosque remains the premier teaching laboratory for those wishing to perfect their flight photography techniques and expand their creative vision, I have set the dates for the two 2004 Bosque IPTs and made reservations at the incredibly convenient and super-eco-tourist friendly Super 8 Motel (505-864-4626).  This will be the tenth straight year that I have visited Bosque around Thanksgiving time since losing my wife Elaine to breast cancer on November 20, 1994.   At present, Digital and Photoshop expert Ellen Anon is scheduled to join me as co-leader. Here are the details:


NOV 21-23, 2004  3-DAY: $849  (Limit 14: slide show at 7:30 pm on 11/20)
NOV 28-30, 2004 3-DAY:  $849 (Limit 14; slide show at 7:30 pm on 11/27)
Three slots on the second IPT are already spoken for.  To save a spot, please send a deposit check for $200 made out to "Arthur Morris" to us at 4041 Granada Drive, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855.  See the web site for general IPT information and our cancellation policy.   
A note from Bosque participant Manuel Presti:
Dear Artie,
I want to thank you again for the wonderful days in Bosque.  The light was fantastic, and the blast-offs were to me just an unbelievable experience.  I enjoyed the IPT a lot and, as I said to Ellen, day after day I began to understand more and more what of what you taught us.  And you taught us a lot!   The days were simply fantastic. Your friendliness during (and also after) the IPT was more than a pleasure to me.  Your enthusiasm--even for little things--gave me a lot of energy and I consider this trait one of  the most important aspects of a person's character.  And--obviously-having you and Ellen commenting positively on my pictures was just wonderful!  Artie, keep going! I really hope to keep in contact with you in the future!

American Crow on dead fish, Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM   
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens (on Lesco Beanbag) with 1.4X TC and EOS 10D camera body.  AI Servo AF.  ISO 200. 

Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/10. 


With an 1120 mm effective focal length the 500mm/1.4X II TC/10D combination is deadly when using your car as a blind. Crows are wary birds; having lots of magnification is a huge plus.  Do note that the correct exposure compensation for this image with film is zero, and is -1/3 stop with the 1D or the 1Ds.  Most 10Ds would--like mine--require a 2/3 stop underexposure... 
This image is from an un-cropped 36 megabyte 16-bit file! 


It is safe to say that the 10D, with its 1.6X multiplier effect, has, and will continue to open up new world's for countless numbers of bird photographers.  And while some folks deride the multiplier effect as voodoo or myth, the simple fact is that you have a given effective focal length and a given number of pixels; the multiplier effect is real.  So what's the big deal?  When combined with any of Canon's intermediate telephoto lenses (see a comparison at: nature photographers who previously could not afford big glass are back in the game.  For example, the 10D and the 300mm f/4 L lenses yield an effective focal length of 480 mm, and an effective focal length of 672mm with the 1.4X teleconverter (with all 7 AF points available).  And this rig--even with the 1.4X TC--is easily hand-holdable.  With either the 400mm f/5.6L lens or the 100-400mm IS L lens, the 10D yields a maximum effective focal length of 640mm, or 896mm with the 1.4X TC.  In the latter cases, the use of a tripod is mandatory as you will be focusing manually.


The 7-point autofocus system may very well be Canon's most accurate AF system for tracking birds in flight, especially those flying directly at you.  When I used the 10D for flight photography at Bosque recently with the 500mm f/4L IS lens, I activated all seven AF points.  The system performed almost flawlessly, acquiring focus quickly (but not as quickly as the 1D).  The 10D was able to maintain focus when the bird dropped below the horizon and the system did not search for the mountains, the trees, or the cornfields in the background...  And more importantly, nearly every single image was razor sharp on the eye!  I was most impressed.  The effective focal length of the 10D/500mm lens combination is 800mm and gives flight photographers an added advantage: at a given image size, birds in flight are moving more slowly through the viewfinder of a 10D than through the viewfinder of cameras with lesser or no multiplier effect because their flight speed relative to the photographer's position is slower.  It is, therefore, easier to pan and track the birds in flight.  The same is true when using any of the previously mentioned handhold-able telephoto lens for flight photography...


When used with the 500mm or 600mm Canon lenses and the 1.4X II TC, the 10D allows you to stay away from the 2X II TC.  Do the math.  With the 1Ds, the 600mm lens, and the 2X II TC, the effective focal length is 1200mm.   With the 10D and the 1.4X II TC, the effective focal length of the 600mm lens is 1344mm!  And you will have an image with 6.29 million pixels and, at the same time, you will have all 7 AF points available.  For those with good eyesight who are able to manually focus the lenses with the 2X TCs accurately, the numbers are staggering with effective focal lengths of 1600mm for the 500mm and 1920mm for the 600mm!  Thus, the 10D makes an excellent back-up body for both 1D and 1Ds users, and in addition, its light weight and accurate AF system makes it ideal for use with the auxiliary flight lens that hangs from the shoulder of many of those toting long, tripod-mounted telephotos into the field. 




Ibis Tree-scape Sunrise, Merritt Island NWR, Titusville, FL
Tripod-mounted Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC and Canon EOS 10D camera body.  Manual Focus.  ISO 200.  Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/7.1  


The 500 IS with a 10D and the 1.4X TC is, as mentioned above, a deadly and effective combination.  This flock of ibis was 2181 feet from the film plane when the image was created!   When making images like this, I first frame the tree-scape, lock the tripod, rotate the lens to level in the tripod color by checking the bubble level, and then wait for the birds to fly through the scene.  It is best not to view the scene through the viewfinder else you will surely be too late depressing the shutter button; simply take your eye away from the viewfinder and look over the top of your lens at the whole scene. Timing is--of course-- of utmost importance as you want to place birds flying left to right towards the left side of the frame (as I have done here).
The 10D continued:


The 10D's CMOS sensor is not the dust magnet that the sensors in the high end bodies are, in fact, I have not noticed a single dust-bunny on any of my 10D images despite the dry, dusty conditions at Bosque.   The 10D has an LCD light that made working in the predawn darkness a snap, and the raw plus j-peg capability that I use and recommend. There are lots of other impressive technical specs that you can learn about from the photo magazines or the Canon web site, but to me, the proof is in the images...  Jeez, I almost forgot to mention the price, about $1400 street.  This amazing camera represents an incredible value when you consider the opening price of the D-30:  $3000+!


The 10D has a really neat pop up flash that can be useful for photographing birds at close range or--amazingly--when using high ISO settings.  The meters on most of the 10Ds that I have come across have been about 1/3 stop lighter than the meters on the 1D and the 1Ds.  For those who know how to interpret the histogram this is not a problem at all, but it does cause some confusion when you are using two cameras that require different exposure compensations for the same scene. 


On the negative side are the too-slow flash synch speed (1/200 sec.), the relatively slow 3 fps, and the relatively slow write-to-buffer speed that can be a real pain if you fire off a burst of images...  Also bothersome is the fact that the highlight alert feature is only viewable on the tiny image that appears alongside the histogram; it would be much better if it appeared on  the full sized image on the rear LCD screen...  All in all, I love my 10D, was most impressed with it's AF capabilities, and look forward to using on a regular basis.  (I do plan to add the vertical grip.)



 Hooded Merganser with Catfish, Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM   
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Tripod-mounted Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 2X II TC and Canon EOS 10D camera body.  Manual Focus.  ISO 400.  Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/13. 


With an effective focal length of 1600mm accurate manual focusing is mandatory and not easy...  When I first spotted this beautiful male with its meal, he was fairly close but moved off as I was setting up.  The cropped image shown here is 20mb file as a 16bit tiff.
If you own or know of this lens for sale, please contact James P. McChesney at :
Glossy Ibis, Merritt Island NWR, Titusville, FL 
Photo Illustration copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Handheld Canon 100-400 mm zoom lens at 400 mm and EOS 10D camera body.  AI Servo AF (in the dark!) 

ISO 3200.  Evaluative metering +2 stops: 1/60 sec. at f/5.6. Pop-up flash at zero.  


Though true to the original image in terms of compositional elements, I consider this a photo illustration because the sky in the original image was a fairly dark gray.  In Hue/Saturation I boosted the yellow, the red, and the magenta channels to 100%.  Though the subject was well more than 100 feet from my position, the flash lit up the bird's eye rather mysteriously.   I love to "play" with my digital cameras, pushing the creative envelope more and more as I do so...

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: