JANUARY 16, 2003
Photo Theme: images made on the Post-X-mas SW FLA IPT.   Note: all images were made using Auto White Balance.
American Oystercatcher, Little Estero Lagoon, Fort Myers Beach, FL
Image copyright 2004 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC and Canon EOS 1Ds digital camera.  ISO 250.  Evaluative metering - 2/3 stops set manually: 1 /1250 sec. at f/8.
It was great to see a pair of these showy birds foraging in their old haunts.  With waves breaking in the background, I determined the correct exposure and then set it manually to ensure consistent results.
This trip was a huge success and all participants went home happy and smarter.  I do not think that I have ever had a group where so many folks connected.  It was a real love-fest.  I am glad to report that there is a new cut at Estero Lagoon roughly in the middle of the lagoon.  This has restored some tidal flow and brought the lagoon back to life.   There were far more birds there than in the last few years.  The highlight of the trip was a pair of American Oystercatchers feeding on the Gulf beach right next to the new cut.  This IPT will run again next year.
We had an incredible trip on Captain Marian Schneider's large pontoon boat with hundreds of White Pelicans on the sand bar and more than a thousand wading birds flying in to roost at sunset.  After a morning at the Venice rookery, book a trip with Marian down in Placida; you will be thrilled!  Here is the correct link to the Grande Tours Photography page: 
Here is a short note that I received from Nancy Porteus:
"Your post X-mas IPT was invaluable to me.  Not only did I learn what constitutes a good photograph and how to go about creating one, but also I learned much more about my camera and how to use it!"
Snowy Egret striking, Little Estero Lagoon, Fort Myers Beach, FL
Image copyright 2004 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens with Canon EOS 1Ds digital camera.  ISO 250.  Evaluative metering - 2/3 stops set manually: 1 /12500 sec. at f/4 in EML.
With practice I am becoming adept at capturing images of various wading birds in mid-strike.  The trick it to depress the shutter button just as the bird crouches forward while drawing its head back...  That, and a bit of luck!
For details on this trip (August 14-September 1, 2004) click here:  Kenya Photo Safari
To see a spectacular portfolio of co-leader Todd Gustafson's Kenya images, click HERE.
Spend a week with digital expert Marianne Wallace and discover the fun that you can have with your images in the Digital Darkroom. Two of the fives days will be spent photographing along the California's beautiful central coast. You will then use your images for creative projects during the week. You'll learn just how easy it is to create Layer Masks and when and how to use them. 
By week's end, you'll be using them for many practical and especially creative applications. Besides the great filters and blend modes in Photoshop CS, you will also have the opportunity to play with many of the most popular creative Photoshop Plug-in filters on the market. If you've never "played" with your photographs, this course is for you. Click on the following link for more information.
Osprey with fish, Placida, FL
Image copyright 2004 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC and Canon EOS 1Ds digital camera.  ISO 250.  Evaluative metering - 1/3 stop. Program mode:  1 /250 sec. at f/14.   Fill flash with Better Beamer at -2/3 stops. 
Marian skillfully positioned her boat--Recovery Room--so that all on board had excellent chances with this beautiful bird.  The ability of digital to capture detail in both the whites and the blacks is evident here (and enhanced by the use of fill flash).
As many of you know, BIRDS AS ART is now a Delkin dealer.  As is our custom, we will offer only those items that I own and use every day.   And as is usual, we will offer these items at prices that are lower than those of any dealer who has them in stock in numbers.    As you may know, with the exponential growth of digital photography, compact flash cards have been in short supply and the prices have been rising steadily in response.
I began using the 640 e-film Pro Cards almost right from the start and have found them to be dependable in spite of the fact that I use them every day and pretty much abuse them...  Independent tests show that these cards rank either # 1 or #2 in speed for all Canon digital cameras.  Though the  paint on my cards is chipped and worn, they continue to record my digital images and allow for safe transfer to my laptop each and every day. 
When my friend, teaching assistant, and digital expert Ellen Anon did have a Delkin card go bad a few months back, she sent the card to Delkin and was pleased to receive a replacement card almost immediately (and without hassle).  In addition, she was thrilled to receive a CD with her recovered images.  In a similar situation with one of the other big name compact flash cards manufacturers, she was told that the problem was her fault.  When she complained that all that she had done was use the card normally, the manufacturer stood by its original decision and refused to replace the defective card...
We are pleased to offer the Delkin 640mb e-Film Pro Compact Flash Cards for $224.99 per card plus $7.50 shipping per order.  The flash cards will be sent by US Priority Mail/Certified/Return Receipt Requested so you will need to sign for your order.  
One card:             $232.49 ppd.        Two cards: $457.48 ppd. 
Three cards:        $682.47 ppd.        Four cards: $907.46 ppd.
 (Florida residents will need to add 6% sales tax onto the cost of the cards only: $238.49 per card plus the $7.50 per order shipping.)
To order, send your check (made out to "Arthur Morris") to:  BIRDS AS ART  PO Box 7245  Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855
Great Blue Heron, Blind Pass, Captiva, FL
Image copyright 2004 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC and Canon EOS 1Ds digital camera.  ISO 250.  Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1 /160 sec. at f/13.  
I went to a relatively small aperture here in an attempt to sharpen the bird's bill...
As digital expert Ellen Anon will be joining me to co-lead the Southwest Florida--5-DAY: FEB 25-29, 2004, we will be taking fourteen folks.  There are now two openings.
The Fort DeSoto/Sarasota, FL IPT: 3-DAY MAR 26-28, 2004 has only one opening.
The following tours have lots of room:
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
Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM. Geese and cranes.  3-day IPTs, NOV 21-23 and NOV 27-29. 2004:  $849.  Ellen Anon will be co-leading both of these trips with me.  (Limit: 14)  Note: some folks have already signed up for Bosque 2004!
For prices and for additional details visit: 
Raccoon baby kissing mother, Ding Darling NWR, FL 
Image copyright 2004 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 100-400mm IS L zoom lens with 1.4X II TC and Canon EOS 1Ds digital camera.  ISO 400.  Evaluative metering at zero: 1 /80 sec. at f/5.6.
Several of us were able to get out of the cars and crouch down to photograph an endearing (and trusting) family of raccoons as they fed close to the roadside.
Here is an e-mail that I sent to Canon's top tech rep, Chuck Westfall:
Dear Chuck,

While I was in New Mexico, I had some problems with both my 1d and my 1Ds, the latter and probably both related to the somewhat cold weather...  On three different mornings, the shutter on the 1Ds failed to fire (I was  in AI Servo not One-Shot AF Mode) when I pushed the shutter button (several times and hard to make sure that I was not in the Twilight Zone).    The temps ranged from 12 to about 22 degrees on those mornings and I had left the camera in the car.   When I began bringing the camera into the room at night, I did not encounter any more problems.

On one of those mornings, I went to the 1D and found that though the shutter released, the dial above the shutter button, the one that toggles AF, Mode, Aperture, etc, would not work.  A few hours later it worked just fine.   I kept it in the room thereafter and encountered no more problems with the 1D.  While it seems that keeping the cameras inside is the solution, the
problem is that on a global scale the temperatures were not really that low.  I would appreciate your thoughts and comments.  (Are there any cold temperature guidelines for the high end digital cameras?)  BTW, the 10D worked fine all the time even though it stayed in the cold
trunk of the car all night long.

Best and thanks,  Artie
Here is Chuck's response: 
Hi Arthur,

As noted in the instruction book, the limit for guaranteed low temperature  operation with any EOS digital camera is 0 degrees Celsius. No apologies, that's the way it is. Here's some background info:

A lot of people have been successful using our cameras in sub-freezing temperatures, but only when they use the following precautions concerning condensation and battery maintenance.   The most important concerns for any digital camera in cold weather use are condensation and battery performance. Even when the ambient temperature is above 0 degrees Celsius, there are situations where you have to take  precautions to prevent condensation in particular from damaging internal components such as circuit boards, etc.
That's one reason why we recommend placing cameras, including but not limited to the EOS-1D, in airtight plastic bags before bringing them from a cold environment to a significantly warmer one. This allows the condensation to form on the bag, thus protecting the equipment as much as possible. 
Other issues to consider are as follows:

1-Battery performance drops off as the temperature falls below freezing.  Nickel metal hydride and lithium-ion battery packs are better than alkaline batteries in this situation, but even the lithium-ions will eventually stop working once they've chilled long enough. By this point, at least one 3rd-party developer (Digital Camera Battery) has produced an external battery that can connect to the EOS-1D through the supplied DC Coupler, but I don't expect Canon Inc. to either condone this or to make one of their own.  (Important Note: A participant on last week's San Diego IPT fried his 1Ds while using an external power source, and I did the same to a 550 flash a while back.  In the latter case tiny flames and lots of smoke came pouring out of the battery compartment accompanied by plumes of smoke!  My understanding is that the voltage is too high!  AM)  In the meantime, the best strategy is to carry a few fully charged spare NP-E3 packs inside your coat, where they can be kept warm and exchanged for the cold batteries from time to time as necessary.
2-Memory cards are another potential weak link. Canon doesn't make its own, so it's best to check with the card manufacturers and other photographers to get a cold weather rating.

3-As with current film-based electronic cameras, items such as LCD data displays are the only means available to indicate camera settings such as shutter speeds, apertures, frame count, etc. Digital cameras add another type of LCD for use as a playback monitor. The information normally seen on these displays tends to disappear when temperatures drop below -20 degrees Celsius. LCDs usually start working again when the temperature goes above freezing, but that won't do you much good out in the cold.

Bottom line, there's not much that can be done with existing technology to ensure digital camera performance much below 0 degrees Celsius.  You are welcome to try the EOS-1D in sub-freezing temps, but keep in mind that you're bound to run into some limitations eventually.
Best Regards,

Chuck Westfall
Director/Technical Information Dept.
Camera Division/Canon U.S.A., Inc.

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: