SEPTEMBER 13, 2004
Note: maximize this e-mail for best formatting. 
Photo Theme: images from the recent Gustafson/BAA Kenya  Photo Safari
Important Request: if responding to this e-mail, please take the time to delete the images and all irrelevant text.  Thanks!
Cheetah w/prey at dusk, Samburu N Pk, Kenya
Canon EOS 1D Mark II digital camera with 500mm f/4 L IS lens and 1.4XII TC.   
ISO 800.  Evaluative Metering +1/3 stop: 1/100 sec. at f/5.6. 
Fill flash with Better Beamer at -3 stops...
How Todd ever spotted this animal on a side track behind a bush will always be a mystery to me, but it sure was a great way to begin our safari adventure.
International travel is tiring, heck it is downright exhausting.  About half of all folks (included me on every trip) suffer some sort of gastro-intestinal problems for at least a few days and the roads are brutal.  It is a miracle that most of our big lenses and professional camera bodies survive the jarring and the dust.  So why did 13 intrepid travelers join Todd Gustafson on safari in Kenya for 15 1/2 days of photography?  Because each encounter with a leopard or cheetah or with a Yellow-billed Stork or with thousands of Wildebeest crossing the Mara River provides memories (and images) that will last a lifetime...
We visited Samburu where the great attraction for me was developing friendships with the Samburu tribal dancers and then getting to photograph them in their traditional dress.  At Nakuru we had hundreds of African White Pelicans and thousands of Lesser Flamingos.  And our visit to Baboon Cliffs provided an aerial photography experience during which you were able to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground!  And Maasai Mara in late August and early September was and will always be a mind boggling photographic joy with tens of thousands of herd animals and enough lions to keep most folks happy for as long as they live.  The only photographic negative of the trip was having to look at Toddi's amazing images each night.  Doing so left each of us muttering in self-disgust. As I have said here before, there is simply no one on the planet as talented as Todd when it comes to making great images from the roof hatch or opened window of a Toyota Land Cruiser.  And when a gold contact pin fell out of the lens mount of his Nikon 600mm lens (which was rendered virtually useless) Hal du Pont was kind enough to lend Todd a brand new Mark II and his 600mm f/4 L IS lens.  I loaned Todd a set of TCs and provided on-site instruction on how to set up and operate Canon digital equipment.  Never breaking stride, Todd continued to produce one amazing image after another.  I will feature some of Todd's very best images in a Bulletin soon and will provide a link to a gallery of images made by various members of our group.  Of Todd's incredible series of a flat-out leaping impala he said, "I could not have made those with my Nikon equipment.  The frame rate and the AF of the Mark II are beyond incredible."


Yellow-billed Stork in flight, Nakuru, Kenya
Canon EOS 1D Mark II digital camera with 500mm f/4 L IS lens and 1.4X II TC with Tripod-mounted Wimberley head.  
ISO 250. Evaluative Metering at zero: 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6.  
 You are allowed to get out of the vehicles at certain spots around Lake Nakuru.  Here, I used central sensor only to make this image.   White bird and soft light made this image work well  at the metered exposure.  


Tim Grey, digital guru to the world, produces several (and sometimes seven!) DDQs each week.  Each issue is packed with the answers to subscribers' digital and Photoshop questions.  Tim writing style is clear and concise, and I admire his teaching style.  He drives home the important concepts over and over until folks get it.
Here, from a recent DDQ are two examples:


When working with NEF Raw files in PhotoShopCS (i.e. adjustment layers, flatten layers) and then changing the image size do you recommend Sharpening before or after the image size is changed (either larger or smaller)?


I strongly recommend applying sharpening after you have resized the image for printing or other output. Sharpening should really be the very last step you perform on an image that will be printed. The main issue is that when you resize an image, you're adding (or subtracting) pixels. That means you're changing the size of contrast edges within the image, and those very contrast edges are what you're enhancing in the sharpening process. In short, if you resize after you sharpen, you're changing the effect of the sharpening. At best this can mitigate the sharpening you've applied, and at worst it can exaggerate edge contrast to produce problematic halos and artifacts.


How good does a digital camera body have to be to equal the top-quality 35mm lenses we use on film cameras?  Is the megapixel rating of the body the way to judge this?  If so, what does it take?


This question is virtually impossible to answer (but that won't stop me from trying!). The main problem as I see it with this comparison is that you are truly comparing apples to oranges. The results you get with film versus digital are simply different. I happen to very much prefer the results with digital, because they don't contain the grain of film. But I've talked to many photographers who strongly prefer film exactly for the grain it contains, and actually add monochromatic noise to digital captures to produce the appearance of grain.

Besides the issue of overall perceived quality, there's the issue of detail within the image. General estimates are that a 35mm slide contains no more discernable detail than you can extract with a 4000 dpi film scan. This of course will vary with the specific film grain structure, but I consider it to be a pretty reasonable value. That would mean that such a slide contains approximately the equivalent of a 24 megapixel digital capture. And yet, practical experience indicates that digital captures are comparable to film for moderate output size at around to 6 to 8 megapixel resolution. This is largely due to the fact that a clean digital capture (as opposed to a film scan with grain) can be interpolated to a much higher degree. You can certainly capture more resolved detail with film, but in most cases this doesn't translate to a better print as far as the naked eye is concerned.

Considering we're using the same lenses on both digital and film cameras (in general) I think it is generally fair to use megapixels as the comparison value. However, the direct correlation isn't very simple. I'd say that for output up to about 16x24 a 6 megapixel digital SLR is comparable. For larger output a higher-resolution camera would be in order.

What it takes depends on what you're trying to achieve. For those accustomed to medium format film, a 35mm digital SLR isn't going to necessarily impress. But for more typical output sizes up to about 20x30, the 8 to 11 megapixel digital SLR cameras are on solid footing. This is a fuzzy issue, and difficult to make direct comparisons with, but I hope this info provides some guidance on the fundamental issues.

In addition, I keep Tim's "Real World Digital Photography" (actually, Tim is one of three authors) on a shelf above my 23 inch Apple Cinema monitor and consult it often.  Thanks on all counts Tim!

Samburu dancer in traditional garb, Samburu N Pk, Kenya
Canon EOS 1D Mark II digital camera with 500mm f/4 L IS lens.   
ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering at zero: 1/160 sec. at f/4.  
Photographing the dancers in bright sun was just about impossible as with their black skin and the brightly lit walls of the enclosure yielded images that were way too contrasty.  After making friends by letting them photograph each other with our digital cameras and long lenses, pal Linda Robbins and I asked them to sit in the shade and pose for us.  And they did.  I got them to smile on occasion by making silly noises.  Developing rapport with human subjects from another culture is usually a good plan.  Too bad that it does not work well with birds, or maybe it does...



Al Forns, dear friend and IPT veteran from Miami (thanks Al for car-sitting for me during the Kenya trip!), is offering a Canon EOS 1Ds Digital Camera (11 megapixels and all) for sale for $5800 including shipping.  The camera is in near-mint condition and comes with one battery, the charger, and pretty much everything that was in the original box.  This price represents a $1200 savings from the lowest new price from a reputable dealer.  This will likely sell within hours so if you are sincerely interested do not hesitate.  You can contact Al at home at 305-666-7913, on his cell at 305-798-4524, or by e-mail at or at  Phone is best of course, and if he does not answer, be sure to leave a message so that you do not lose the camera to the next caller.





Leopard at dusk, Samburu N Pk, Kenya

Canon EOS 1D Mark II digital camera with 500mm f/4 L IS lens and 2XII  TC.   
ISO 1250.  Evaluative Metering +1/3 stop: 1/160 sec. at f/5.6. 
Fill flash with Better Beamer at -3 stops...
We got the call on this animal just after dark and raced to the scene, only to find out that we were about the 14th van there on a narrow, rocky track...  Worst of all, the leopard was laying on a big rock facing away from us.  Suddenly it stood up (seen here), turned around, walked towards us on the rocky shelf, and then posed while looking right at us.  Careful Photoshop technique, especially with Hue/Saturation and my new darling Selective Color, did wonders for the original flat image.





Friday @ the Florida Birding & Nature Fest: A Feast of Imagery


Mark your calendars for Friday, October 8 -- day 2 of the 7th Annual Florida Birding & Nature Festival coming to the campus of Eckerd College this fall.


Renowned nature photographer Arthur Morris ( and photojournalist Carlton Ward, Jr. ( top a star-studded cast of speakers appearing that day.   The four-day festival at Eckerd College features dozens of seminars and workshops, plus more than 25 guided field and paddling trips to Florida's most spectacular birding areas at the height of fall migration.

Morris, whose images of Florida birds and wildlife have gained him international acclaim, has produced images featured in virtually all natural history and photography magazines and numerous web sites, galleries and exhibitions as well. He photographs, travels, teaches and speaks throughout North America and the world.  Morris is the festival's evening keynote speaker (Florida's Birds: It's All Digital!) at 7:30 p.m.  He will also conduct a Photo Seminar (Putting Art in Your Nature Photography) on Saturday afternoon and lead (with Rocky Sharwell) a Sunday morning In-The-Field Photo Workshop to Ft. DeSoto Park.

Ward's travels to Africa on assignment for the Smithsonian are featured in the recently published book, The Edge of Africa, a visual tour de force capturing images of wildlife and residents of the Gabon.  The Clearwater native, with training in ecology and anthropology, is currently photographing endangered desert elephants in Mali.  Ward's Edge of Africa to the Coast of Florida talk is from 12:30 -1:30 p.m. Friday.  

Space is limited so register early at


The festival begins on Thursday October 7th with marine conservationist and author, Dr. Carl Safina of the Blue Ocean Institute (, and includes a free nature expo, butterfly tent, birds of prey exhibit and an extensive native plant sale.

For more information on the Florida Birding Festival or to register online, visit or call 1-866-FLA-BIRD.


Wildebeest entering the river, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Canon EOS 1D Mark II digital camera with 500mm f/4 L IS lens & 2X II TC. 
ISO 250. Evaluative Metering at zero in Tv mode: 1/15 sec. at f/32. 
Seeing this crossing was the highlight of the trip for most of us.  While dozens, even hundreds of animals were crossing the river, you could see long lines of hundreds more running full speed along the top of the cliff to join the fray ASAP.  It was simply breathtaking. 
The Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM 2004 IPTs    NOV 21-23 IPT, NOV 27-29 IPT, and the newly announced DEC 3-5, 2004  3-DAYs:  $869 are all and most gratifyingly Sold Out.


The SW Florida IPTs   Post X-mas: DEC 28-30, 2004 3-DAY: $869 (Sold Out) PRESIDENT'S HOLIDAY: FEB 18-22, 2005, 5-DAY: $1399 w/Ellen Anon co-leading (3 Openings)
The San Diego IPT   San Diego IPT: January 6-9, 2005, 4-DAY: $1299  (Sold Out)
Homer, AK, Bald Eagle IPT w/co-leader Greg Downing  FEB 4-8 (one opening) & 9-13 (four openings), 2005.  5-DAY: $1599.  10-DAY: $2999  (please e-mail for details)

Lake Martin, La, Nesting Spoonbill IPT  3 -DAY: $899  MAR 19-21, 2005 (Oversold!)  May 13-15, 2005  (5 Openings) 

Fort DeSoto/Sarasota IPT:  NEW DATE: April 1-3 3-DAY: $869  (8 Openings).  Join me at my new favorite bird photography hot spot!

St. Augustine Alligator Farm IPT  April 28 (aft) thru May 1, 2005.  3 1/2-DAYS: $1049  (Limit 12, 10 openings)

Register early!  You snooze, you lose!

Nome, Alaska  IPT June 10-20, 2006: (Please note the year: 2006 is not a typo!) Sold Out, but please contact me if you are interested in joining us as part of a second group being led by Greg Downing. We will be sharing our talents on this trip and sharing nest sites and other info via GPS.  In addition, we will be holding joint critiquing and Photoshop sessions.  Long lenses are a necessity.

For general IPT info, deposit and registration details, and cancellation policies, please visit:

If you would like your name placed on a waiting list for one or more trips, please e-mail, indicate the trip or trips that you are interested in, and be sure to include both day and evening phone numbers.  We often have late cancellations...


Yellow-billed Oxpeckers on back of zebra, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Canon EOS 1D Mark II digital camera with 600mm f/4 L IS lens and 2X TC
with Todd-Pod mounted Wimberley head.    
ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering at zero: 1/500 sec. at f/11. 
With the zebra walking right by the truck, the presence of the second bird allowed for a decent composition as I was limited to central sensor only AF.


With the help of new-hire Jim Litzenberg on the stock end and Jennifer  Morris' skillful handling of orders for the Digital Basics File and the two Site Guides, BAA Mail Order continues to thrive.  We strive to provide photographers around the globe with the fast, efficient service with the photographic accessories that I use every day at a price lower than any you can find on the web or elsewhere.   And we are doing just that.  Here are some selected notes:
The $40 rebate on the Delkin 1gb 640 e-film Pro Cards has been extended.
The latest (free) updated version of the Digital Basics file should be e-mailed this week to the more than 800 folks who have purchased it so far.  The latest update includes how-to info on making Selective Color adjustments.  SC is the latest weapon in my Photoshop CS arsenal, and is a powerful one at that.  It is so easy to improve an image with SC that I find myself going back and reopening old master files so that I can quickly and easily perform SC magic on them!  It is a rare image that cannot be improved with this useful tool.  Unless you are a Photoshop and digital expert, you are wasting dozens if not hundreds of hours banging your head against the wall if you have not ordered this popular how-to file.  For more info, see:
From the One-Hand Washes the Other Department <smile>, here is Tim Grey's review of the Bosque Del Apache Site Guide:
I know the Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge like the back of my hand, but I've never been there. One of these days I'll get there, and when I do I already have a plan. This is all thanks to a remarkable Site Guide created by renowned bird photographer Arthur Morris ( Art's Bosque Site Guide starts with instructions on how to get there, and then proceeds to provide incredibly detailed information on what to expect, where to go, what times are best, and what techniques are recommended. With inspirational images Art captured at Bosque found throughout the document, you'll find yourself anxious to get to Bosque for some great bird photography. This is a document I highly recommend for those interested in bird photography at this famed site.  You can purchase the Bosque site guide on Art's website at
Giraffe nursing, Crescent Island, Naivasha, Kenya
Canon EOS 1D Mark II digital camera with 500mm f/4 L IS lens and 1.4X II TC
on tripod-mounted Wimberley head.  
ISO 250. Evaluative Metering at zero: 1/2000 sec. at f/5.6.  
 Photographing at Crescent Island is a different experience as you are allowed to walk around on this somewhat protected peninsula.  There are no true predators and the only things there that could kill you are a few big hippos, so we tried to stay pretty much out of their way....  
Canon 20D 1499.99 taking preorders no shipping contact Gary to get on the list
Canon 20D with 18-55 lens 1599.99 no shipping
Canon 20D with 17-85 IS lens 1999.99 no shipping
Ask about Canon new lens 10-22 and the 580 flash
Canon Mark II update: we are pretty much caught up on the waiting list; contact Gary for price and waiting time.
Canon 500f4 5499.99 USA in stock                                       Canon 600f4 7200 USA in stock
Ask about other Canon long lens including 300 and 400
Canon 100-400 1399.99 USA in stock                                   Canon 17-40 679.99 USA in stock
Canon 24-70 1169.99 USA warranty in stock                        Canon 16-35 1399.99 USA warranty in stock
28-135IS 409.99 USA warranty in stock                                 Canon 180 macro 1249.99 USA warranty in stock
Canon 70-200IS 1699.99 USA warranty in stock                   Canon 70-200F4 579.99 USA warranty in stock
Ask about prices on all other Canon lenses and accessories including tele converters, cords and flashes 
Gitzo 1325 tripod 489.99 in stock
Gitzo 1548 ask for price in stock
Ask about Quantum Turbo Batteries
LowePro Road Runner AW 369.99 $25 free ground shipping
Epson 7600, 4000, 9600 inks 110 49.99
Epson 7600, 4000 9600 220ml 79.99
Contact us for paper supplies on Epson Large format printers 4000, 7600 and 9600.  We  offer free shipping to BIRDS AS ART subscribers
Ask for prices on Epson 4000, 7600, 9600, and 2200 printers.
Epson 2200 inks 8.99 for birds as Art Subscribers
Film deals:  Provia F 100 36 3.79 a roll expiration date 3/05 or 4/05 limited quantity
Fuji mailers 3.75            Velvia 50 36 call for price        all film is USA
Check out our website for other great items including sensor swabs, rockets, and other items.
Contact Gary Farber at 1-800-221-1830 ext 2332 or by email at  to get prices quotes on all your photographic and digital needs.
We carry a wide range of products including Lacie Hard drives, Mac computers, Photo CS, Mac Apple IPODs etc.   Call and ask for Gary to get the best prices.
Best and love 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:  To unsubscribe, click here:  mailto: Back issues of relevant Bulletins are archived on the web site at: