MARCH 10, 2005
Brown Pelican in reflection of white boat, Placida, FL 
Image copyright 2005 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC and EOS 1D Mark II handheld.  ISO 400.  Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/1600 sec. at f/8.  
I am starting to love the 70-200.  Here I used it with the 1.4 TC and was able to produce critically sharp results.  When some rich guy brought his boat into the dock, I called out, alerting the group to the beautiful patterns in the water and to the fact that they needed to add light because the boat (and its reflection) was white.  While I love the background, I do wish that the bird's head were turned a bit more towards me...
Photo Theme:  More images from the 5-DAY President's Holiday SW FLA IPT.  

       Anhinga, female scratching, Venice Rookery,   FL

       Image copyright 2005 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 2X II TC and the EOS 1D Mark II on Gitzo CF 1325 tripod.  ISO 250.  Manual flash with the 580 at approximately 1/4 power: 1/250 at f/16 set manually was about -1 stop off of the meter reading.   
I am living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.  In Homer, Gregory taught the more advanced students (yours truly included) how to use Manual Flash.  At times, as above, the results can be quite lovely and natural looking.  At other times, the images look like over-flashed rubbish.  You've gotta love digital!
Regular readers know that I have been working closely with Lens and Land, an association of Texas ranchers who have opened their properties to visiting photographers in an effort to promote eco-tourism, stave off the developers, protect valuable habitat, and pay for their bird seed!  Lens and Land is sponsoring the Edinburg Nature Photography Festival which runs from April 6-9, 2005.  I will be presenting "A Bird Photographer's Story" as the keynote address on the evening of April 6, and a mini-seminar in two parts ("Why Digital" and "Putting Art in your Nature Photography") on the afternoon of the 7th.
More importantly, registrants will have the opportunity to visit several of these amazing properties where photo blinds built adjacent to feeders and water features attract many of the Rio Grande Valley specialty species including Green Jay, Long-billed Thrasher, several oriole species (including Audubon's!), Great Kiskadee, the spectacular Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Olive Sparrow, and Chachalaca.  Usually shy subjects like Northern Bobwhite and Wild Turkey are often easy pickings in South Texas, and in addition, the event is timed perfectly to coincide with spring passerine migration so we should have some great chances on a variety of warblers and sparrows and for the blessed, male Painted Bunting...
To see the festival brochure, or to register, visit:
Hope to see you there!
Snowy Egret feet, Sanibel Fishing Pier, FL
Image copyright 2005 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC (at 220mm) and EOS 1D Mark II handheld.  ISO 400.  Evaluative metering at zero: 1/400 sec. at f/22. 
Here I used One-Shot AF to focus on the second toe on the bird's left foot and relied on depth-of-field to take care of the rest of the toes.  This is a much better approach than focusing on the nearest toe... 
Jeff Rich has some Nikon gear for sale: 
Nikon F5 in like-new condition in original box: $1,000.
Near-mint Nikon 80-400mm VR lens in original box:  $1,000.
Please call Jeff at 530-547-3480 or e-mail him at
Burrowing Owl, pair, Cape Coral, FL
Image copyright 2005 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 600mm f/4 L IS lens with Mark II on Gitzo CF  325 tripod.  ISO 400.  Evaluative metering at zero: 1/1000 sec. at f/4. 
To create the juxtaposition image seen here, I used the wide open aperture and focused on the eyes of the front bird.  Be on the look-out for situations like this where--if you position yourself correctly, the rear bird sort of mirrors the front bird.  An option might have been to focus on the rear bird...
In BAA Bulletin 161 (, there was an image of a bird photographer on the ground along with a promise to reveal the four things that he was doing incorrectly in the next Bulletin.  I have twice forgotten to post the answers, so here they are:
1-Using either the Panning Ground Pod ( or the Skimmer (a new product, to be announced) would have helped produce sharper images (or allowed for a lower ISO setting in the obviously low light situation). 
2-With the flash mounted directly on the camera, red-eye, steel-eye, and flash-eye are almost always problems.  I use the Arca-Swiss flash bracket ( to reduce the effects of the flash; with the bracket, which is mounted to the P-20 lens plate, there is less chance of red-eye
3-It is best to remove the tripod collar when handholding and not using flash.  This allows for easier lens handling.
4-Placing your left hand farther out on the lens barrel than Tim has done will allow for better support and thus increased sharpness.
Tim is to be applauded for getting down onto the hard, wet rocks to achieve an eye-level view of his subjects, a view that produces intimate portraits with lovely out-of-focus foregrounds and backgrounds.

Great Blue Heron, Placida, FL.
Image copyright 2005 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 600 mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC and the EOS 1D Mark II on Gitzo CF 1325 tripod.  ISO 400.  Evaluative metering at zero: 1/80 sec. at f/5.6.  Fill flash at -2 stops with Better Beamer.  
The Recovery  Room was almost back at the dock when I screamed to Capt. Marian to slow the boat down, and she did.  When working from a moving boat I often rely on AFPS (45 point) so that it is easier to maintain focus.
We have received nothing but praise for the three Site Guides (  The next six weeks will be prime time at my favorite new hotspot, Fort DeSoto Park, which is just south of Tierra Verde Key below St. Petersburg, FL. The Royal Terns and Laughing Gulls, both species in their exquisite breeding plumages, will be courting and copulating to beat the band, and there will be lots of shorebirds too.  Many of the arctic breeding shorebirds will be molting into their snazzy breeding dress.  
I recently received the following e-mail:
Hi Artie, I recently purchased the Ft. DeSoto/Sarasota Site Guide.  I had debated for a couple months about the purchase because I live only ten minutes from Fort DeSoto and thought that I knew most of the places to photograph in the area.  I was so wrong!  Thanks again for an exceptional value.  This guide will save me hundreds of dollars of gas and mileage and many wasted days hunting for prime spots.  See you in the field.  John Henderson.
Wood Stork, imm.  Little Estero Lagoon, Fort Myers. Beach, FL
Image copyright 2005 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 500 mm f/4 L IS lens with 2X II TC and the EOS 1D Mark II on Gitzo CF 1325 tripod.  ISO 250. Manual Flash setting was adjusted after checking the histogram while keeping the aperture and the distance constant: 1/30 sec. at f/8. 
It was practically dark when this image was made...
Photograph Coastal Brown Bears safely at close range in Lake Clark National Park as they fish for salmon and cavort through streams.  There should be some young bears around, and in most years there are one or more pairs of spring cubs.  We will also fish for salmon ourselves and may do one trip for halibut if the tides cooperate.  We will fly to the fabled Silver Salmon Creek Lodge from Anchorage on the morning of Friday, September 16, 2005 and fly back to Anchorage about mid-day on Thursday September 22.  The 7-day/6-night package includes all meals, photo boat trips, salmon fishing and sea kayaks for the young and brave.  If we do fit in a halibut trip near the end of our visit, the cost is $50 per person.  There will of course be lots of in-the-field instruction and ample opportunities for image sharing and photoshop lessons.  The cost of the trip is $3399.  If you would like to join us, please--at your earliest convenience--send a $1700 deposit check made out to Arthur Morris (PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855).  Six of the ten slots are filled at present.
Brown Pelican from the causeway, Sanibel, FL
Image copyright 2005 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 300 mm f/4 L IS lens with EOS 20D handheld.  ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/1000 sec. at f/8.     
Getting low will almost always improve the look of your images.  The combination of the 20D and either the 70-200 f/2.8 or the 300 f/4 L IS lenses are quite effective in many situations. 
As the July 2005 Galapagos trip sold out within 14 hours of being announced in a BAA notes last October, I have committed to returning to this world-renowned wildlife photography destination in July 2006. The dates for the trip are July 12-22, 2006.  This includes the travel days.  The cost of the trip is $4299.  If you are serious about joining us, you should call Janie Bullard immediately at 1-888-419-6677.  If she does not answer, leave a message stating, "I wish to send a deposit for the 2006 Galapagos trip with Arthur Morris.  Please save me a spot."  This trip is limited to 14 participants and ten slots are already filled.  
Whimbrel, Little Estero Lagoon, FL 
Image copyright 2005 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC and EOS 1D Mark II on Panning Ground Pod.  ISO 250.   Evaluative metering +/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/14.  
I generally try to avoid cutting a birds legs off, but with the distant mangroves providing a nice strip of green, this image works for me. 
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:   Back issues of all BAA Bulletins and relevant BAA Notes are archived on the web site at: