AUGUST 5, 2005
Photo Theme: more Galapagos favorites
It has come to our attention that many folks may not have received Bulletin #180 (the Galapagos trip report). Blame it on the Group Mail 5 learning curve! The Bulletin is now online at:

Waved Albatross in flight, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador    

Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART 
Canon EF 500 mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X II TC and EOS 1D Mark II.  ISO 400. 
Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/2500 sec. at f/5.6.   
We had a good flight wind but it was very cloudy when suddenly the sun burst through for about five minutes.  I remember being very nervous when I saw this huge creature flying towards me.  As they are relatively slow fliers, I chose the central sensor only and managed to keep it on the side of his face.  I also set CF-17-2 which expands the number of active sensors to two around the active sensor.



With more than 120 folks (about 110 each day) in attendance, the Atlanta Seminar was a huge success.  Jeff Woodley and Vicki Stephens secured a great venue and despite my proclivity to tell too many stories, kept things running smoothly (and almost on schedule).  Canon Pro Markets Rep Fred Metzler was able to join us on Saturday with a trunk-ful of great lenses and camera bodies.  The great majority of e-mails and evaluation forms contained only positive comments, but there were--of course--a few unhappy souls.  (See below for a representative sampling.)  By Sunday night I was totally spent and slept for 11 1/2 hours, this totally unheard of for me.  I got to use my very own Canon Realis SX50 Digital Projector for the first time and everyone was blown away by the quality of the projected 1400 X 1050 images.  No longer does projected film look better than projected digital.  The entire program was brand new and featured about 90% digital images and 10% scanned film images.  About one of every five natural history images in the program featured non-avian subject matter.  The strongest positive reactions were to the Sunday live digital how-to sessions where we covered Downloader Pro, editing and converting in Breezebrowser, our basic Photoshop workflow (as described in the Digital Basics File:, and some advanced Photoshop techniques.  We even had time to create a short packaged slide show using Pictures to Exe.  


Land Iguana, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador    
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens handheld at 245 mm with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS 1D Mark II. ISO 250.  Evaluative metering at zero:  1/500 sec. at f/11.
This iguana was right next to the path so I nestled down on the ground until I had the background that I wanted...  I used DOF preview (I push the button in with my left ring finger) to make sure that I was not bringing the background up too much at f/11.  It is vital to remember that many if not most of the principles that go into making a good bird photograph apply across the board to all types of nature photography and even to general photography as well.  In other words, it ain't just birds.

#1: An e-mail: Dear Art, I live in Chicago and for months anticipated going to Atlanta for your seminar last weekend. I was so committed that, when I found I needed to have back surgery, I postponed it until yesterday so I could attend. By the way – all went well yesterday I’m glad to say. I have been your fan for years and you have been kind enough to take time to respond to a few of my e-mails with guidance. In turn, I have been able to purchase a few items from Birds As Art. I just wanted to say “Thanks” for a seminar that met or exceeded my expectations in Atlanta. While there I picked up the F-1 Telephoto Bracket and FX-1B beamer. Thanks to your comments in the seminar last night I purchased the BreezeBrowser and Downloader Pro software which is a phenomenal improvement over the Adobe Bridge that came with CS2 (it is much much faster and more intuitive!!!) I read the Bulletins avidly but the exchange of information in Atlanta was the clincher.  Anyway, thanks for a wonderful experience and, hopefully, someday I’ll have the opportunity to join you on one of your photo outings.
Rick deGolian, Batavia, IL
#2: Walt Schumacher posted this to several on-line forums:  Arthur Morris and the "Photo Road Show" in Atlanta was a great experience.  Jeff Woodlee and Vicky Stephens pulled off their first ever Pro Lecture series even as smoothly as any I've seen.  And Artie really rolled out the info and pictures with his first "all-digital" two-day presentation.   His bird pictures were (of course) awesome, and the information overflowed.  The first day dealt with all aspects of nature and bird photography from hardware to artistic composition, and the second day was detailed, practical session that dealt with optimizing natural history images in Photoshop.  There was comfortable seating with lots of gear and photographs on display.  In the end, we were worn out, but happy. Photo Road Show really delivered by providing a world-renowned photographer at an affordable price!  There is another opportunity to see Arthur Morris in Dallas, Texas - November 5-6, 2005, and John Shaw is coming to Atlanta and Louisville in October.   See  for more info.   Kudos to all for a job well done!
#3: From the evaluation forms, a sampling of answers as to the most valuable part of the weekend: "Getting the right exposure for flash-light images on cloudy days."  "The Advanced Photoshop Techniques."  The sections on histograms, creating actions in Photoshop, and the general comments on exposure."  "The session that dealt with choosing and using lenses for nature photography and the travel tips."  "The session on flash!"  "The hints and tips on choosing and using lenses and how to closely approach your subjects."  "Art's comments on selecting AF sensors and on Canon's AFPS (45-point AF)."  "The personal and candid presentation by Art (family, friends, and personal experience) allowed us to identify with him as a person as opposed to a lecturer removed from his audience."  
#4: From the evaluation forms, a variety of comments, criticisms, and suggestions.  From Mark Atwater: "The seminar was advertised as "It Ain't Just Birds," but it was damned near all birds. There was no structure to the presentation, too much self-promotion, and Art failed to stay on schedule," and "Show fewer images and spend more time teaching."    From Donna Manley "Everything was absolutely fabulous, every questions was answered.  I appreciated your open, sharing nature."  From Georgann Schmalz:  "Although the pace was very fast, I would rather have too much information during a workshop than come away not having learned anything."   From Van Hill, "I had a great weekend!  Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise."  From Mary Del Principe: "I enjoyed learning to create beautiful compositions.  A handout outlining the covered materials would have been helpful."  From Jim Edwards, "I would like to have seen more emphasis placed on how to approach the birds more closely."   From Beth Young, "Everything was awesome!  I left feeling overwhelmed with good information."
5: Some more e-mails: 
Art, Jane and I really enjoyed and got a lot out of the Atlanta weekend.  We had never done anything like it before and found it quite worthwhile.  Ron Payne
Hi Artie, Thank you so much for sharing your talents, experiences, and knowledge this past weekend in Atlanta.  The photographs were awesome and inspirational;
the lectures were educational and enlightening. I can hardly wait to take my own photographs to the next level!
  Sandra Taylor
Hi Artie, I've been home a couple of hours since attending your seminar in Atlanta.  After seeing hundreds of wonderful photos on Saturday, I woke up dreaming of photographing a little warbler.  Your images are just amazing.  I purchased your eagle print and will hang it on my wall for inspiration.  The instruction on using the Wimberly head was most helpful and the Downloader Pro and Breezebrowser demonstrations were great.  As a photographer and business owner, I found the Photoshop sessions extremely valuable. I plan on sending my brother to your seminar in Dallas later this year!  Thank you, Karen Bultman
Blue-footed Booby chick yawning, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador    
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens handheld at 173mm with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS 1D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/400 sec. at f/4.5.
Here, I was using One-Shot AF with the central sensor only and was lucky that the bird held the pose for a second or two after I had focused on its eye. Many blue-footeds nested right on the paths so we often had to step over or around both the chicks and the adults. 
6- Brief excerpts from one very, very long e-mail:  
Dear Arthur Morris, I appreciate the effort and time that was spent on the PhotoRoadShow Pro Lecture entitled “The Art of Nature Photography: It Ain’t Just Birds.”  Did the lecture meet my expectations?  No. Were my expectations unrealistic?  After going back & reading your web site and the confirmation e-mail, I do not believe that my expectations were unrealistic.  Am I in the minority?  Maybe.

I admire Arthur Morris’ work & his enthusiasm and passion for bird photography.  I’ve bought all of Arthur Morris’ books, & “The Art of Bird Photography” is one of my favorite nature photography instructional books. I’ve been down at the Alligator Farm when Arthur had an IPT down there & have been favorably impressed by his genuine helpfulness & friendliness to
everyone, not just his IPT participants.  The first thing that I would change would be the title.  The title & descriptions seemed to promise a broader look at nature photography, and it was about more than just birds, but BARELY! 
There was a lot of time that wasn’t really beneficial.  The “Introduction” should have been titled “A History of Arthur Morris” and been decreased to 5 minutes at most.  We spent what seemed to be an inordinate amount of time talking about everyone that Arthur Morris knew & where they had been together & then blitzkrieged through the information I paid to hear.  Some anecdotes help keep interest up, but the first day was mostly beautiful slides & anecdotes about people and places, not information on how to take better pictures.

A bullet list of techniques would have been very helpful in organizing & presenting various topics.  The presentation was a mix of looking at slides and computer programs and demonstrations.  I had higher expectations from Arthur based on seeing him interact one-on-one and reading his books.  I also knew that he was a teacher.  I expected his presentations to be more
organized & have more order.  I saw very little evidence of a lesson plan or objectives in the seminar.  There were no written summaries.  
When people in the audience ask questions, have the speaker repeat the questions.  There were a couple of discussions that we could only hear Arthur’s responses & missed half the information.   My comments are not meant to be negative comments about Arthur Morris.  You don’t necessarily learn and grow from the people who agree with you.  I hope these suggestions are taken as they are meant – as observations on ways to improve the seminar series and appeal to a broader audience.  I will continue to look to you for inspiration from your  photographs & advice from your books & bulletins.  Thank you for sharing your expertise and passion.  Sincerely, Robert Smith

Pacific Green Turtle, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador    

Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART 
Canon EF 500 mm f/4 L IS lens with 2X II TC and EOS 1D Mark II.  ISO 250. 
Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/8.    
We could see several of these guys swimming just below the surface so we had a clue as to where they would pop up so I put on the 2X and--atypically for me--exercised a bit of patience... I dialed in -13 stop because the water was dark blue and I did not want to burn out the highlights around his mouth.
The Art of Nature Photography: It Ain't Just Birds"
PhotoRoadShow Pro Lecture Series Seminar with Arthur Morris
Dallas, Texas on November 5-6, 2005.  
"The Art of Nature Photography; It Ain't Just Birds!" Weekend Seminar will be held in a new location to be announced in mid-August.  The original venue, located on DFW Airport property, was forced to cancel on us because of national security-related issues.
The doors will open on both days at 8 am and the programs will begin at 9 am sharp.  There will be tons of great door prizes including Delkin e-film Pro compact flash cards and a Lowepro Roadrunner AW. I hope that you will be able to join what will be an incredibly educational and fun-filled weekend. Canon Pro-Markets rep Bob Malish will be on hand for the entire weekend with a load of Canon lenses and camera bodies.  He will be able to answer many more of your technical questions than I will!

This seminar is for all nature photographers who want to learn how to make better images. I will describe the methods and techniques that I have developed and used since 1983.  My comments on equipment (including and especially digital equipment), autofocus, light, composition and image design, and sharpness and my tips on getting close to wild subjects and photographing action and behavior will benefit everyone with a telephoto lens who wishes to dramatically improve the quality of their images. Since going all-digital in November 2002, I have--in short order--become a digital photography and Photoshop expert.  My approach to optimizing images is to create a master file of excellent quality in the shortest possible time.  I will share our workflow and numerous Digital and Photoshop tips during the Sunday sessions.


Weekend package (2 days): $159.  Either Saturday or Sunday:  $109.  To register send a check for the full amount made out to "Arthur Morris" to PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855.  We accept credit cards by phone: 863-692-0906.  In either case, we need your e-mail address, your mailing address, and your daytime and evening phone numbers. Here is the Cancellation Policy  for these events:  Photo Road Show is relying on your attendance, so if for any reason you need to withdraw, please notify Arthur Morris as soon as possible.  Once we receive written notice of your cancellation the following fees apply: cancel 31+ days prior to the start of the workshop and your fee will be refunded less a $50.00 cancellation fee; cancel less than 30 days prior to the date of the workshop and there will be no refund.  Please e-mail us at for the weekend schedule.


Marine Iguana and Sally Lightfoot crab, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador    

Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART 
Canon EF 500 mm f/4 L IS lens with EOS 1D Mark II.  ISO 400. 
Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/125 sec. at f/14.    
I had just finished checking the histogram and calling the rest of the group over when the crab decided to walk right on over the top of the iguana.. I had gone to f/14 in an effort to get the rocks sharp to create a sort of environmental lizard-scape...



Ellen Anon has assisted me on many IPTs over the past several years.  Her new book, "Photoshop for Nature Photographers" (with co-author Tim Grey), will be available soon. Ellen will be conducting a "Photoshop-in-the-Field Workshop Nov. 18-19, 2005 in Socorro, NM between this year's first and second Bosque BAA IPTs. All of Ellen's IPT-related workshops have sold out quickly...


The workshop will be limited to 5 participants and will cover the basic Photoshop CS 2 workflow.  Each participant must have their own laptop with a copy of Photoshop CS2 (although CS is OK).  You can register via an e-mail to Ellen at  The cost of the workshop is $550.   A non-refundable deposit of $250 is required.  The remaining $300 is due by October 15.  Ellen will provide you with additional cancellation details. 



Red-footed Booby adult with chick in nest, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador    
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS lens handheld at 95 mm with EOS 1D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering at zero: 1/250 sec. at f/4.
I stopped momentarily to make this image as we were leaving an island late one afternoon.  The versatility and speed of the 70-200 f/2.8 IS was invaluable on the Galapagos trip.  I used One-Shot AF with the central sensor and positioned myself so as to best place the near-eyes of both the adult and the chick on the same plane.


Bosque IPTs  3-DAY: $929.  All with co-leader Ellen Anon.  NOV 15-17, 2005 (Limit 14, 6 openings), NOV 20-22 (Limit 14, 5 openings) & NOV 26-28 (Limit 14; 9 openings).
SW FLA, Post X-mas IPT. 3 -DAY: $929. DEC 28-30, 2005.  (Limit 12; 9 openings)
San Diego 4-Day IPT: $1399 w/co-leader Ellen Anon.  JAN 5-8, 2006    (Limit 12, 11 Openings.)
SW FLA President's Holiday IPT w/co-leader Ellen Anon:  $1549.  FEB 17-21, 2006.  (Limit 14; 9 openings)  

FORT DESOTO IPT, MAR 24-26, (slide program on Thursday, MAR 23 at 7pm): 3-DAY: $899 (Limit 12)

Fort DeSoto has rapidly become one of my very favorite photo locations.  Join us during prime time to photograph Royal and Sandwich Terns & Laughing Gulls in spectacular breeding plumage/courtship and copulations; dark and white phase Reddish Egrets in breeding plumage; many other tame heron and egret species; Forster's Terns, Long-billed Curlew and a dozen or more easily approachable shorebird species; great flight photography opportunities will be available at DeSoto.  Depending on local conditions we may or may not enjoy the following in Sarasota: great flight photography opportunities; Brown Pelicans with nesting material; Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, & Black-crowned Night-Heron (head and shoulders portraits likely with this species). This IPT will include at least three slide programs.

LAKE MARTIN, LA SPOONBILL IPTs, APR 8-10, 2006 (slide program on Friday, APR 7), and APR 28-30  (slide program on Friday, APR 27). 3 -DAY: $949 (Limit 12)

Join us to photograph nesting Roseate Spoonbills, Great & Cattle Egret, and Little Blue Heron in a budding cypress swamp.  We will witness and photograph a variety of courtship behaviors as well as lots of nest building.  Barring a natural disaster there will be Great Egret chicks on both IPTs.  Tiny spoonbill chicks are possible on the second IPT but will almost surely be difficult to photograph.  Both IPTs will feature spoonbills in mind-boggling breeding plumage (unlike anything I've ever seen here in Florida), but there will be more birds in mega-breeding plumage on the first tour.  The spoonbills will be courting, building nests, copulating, and fighting. Good flight photography opportunities are expected on both IPTs.  500 and 600mm lenses with 1.4 and 2X TCs are recommended; equipment rentals are available.  Barred Owls are guaranteed.  There will also be Green Heron, both night-herons, scenic sunrises, nutria, alligators, and lots of flowers.  Sunny afternoons will be tough at Lake Martin but mornings will be spectacular.  With cloudy weather the days will be long...  This IPT includes four slide programs.  Registration includes a complimentary homemade crawfish etouffe dinner: hosts: Wes and Patti Ardoin.  (Fly to Lafayette, La.)

ST. AUGUSTINE ALLIGATOR FARM IPT  MAY 12-14, 2006.  2 1/2 DAY IPT  (Limit: 12): $649

Heron and egret rookery.  Nesting Great Egrets with chicks, nesting Snowy and Cattle Egrets, and Tricolored Herons.  Courtship behaviors, copulations, eggs, nests and possibly tiny chicks.  Includes three classroom sessions in air-conditioned comfort during the heat of the day.  The introductory slide program will be at 2pm on Friday May 12, 2006. 

January 2006 Tanzania Photo-Safari with co-leader Todd Gustafson.  January 16-30, 2006  (14 full and one half-day of photography): $7762.50/person. Non-refundable $1000 deposit required.  See or request Bulletin 166 in the archives for complete details. (Sold out.)


Homer, AK Bald Eagle IPTs w/co-leader Greg Downing: MAR 3-7, 2006 5-day: $1699 (limit 12).  March 8-12, 2006.   5-day: $1699 (limit 12). 

Sign up for both IPTs and apply a $200 discount: March 3-12, 2006: $3198.  Beyond-spectacular opportunities...  We are currently accepting $500 deposits for the 2006 Homer IPTs, but these tours will be cancelled if the town, state, or Fish and Wildlife institute a ban on eagle feeding.  Please e-mail for additional details.

Nome, Alaska  IPT June 10-20, 2006 in conjunction with Greg Downing: (Both groups are sold out.) Please contact me if you are interested in having your name added to the waiting list. Long lenses are a necessity.

Antarctica/South Georgia/Falkland Islands Zegrahms Cruise with Arthur Morris and Greg Downing:  January 4-24, 2007.  Please e-mail for details.  Note:  We have already filled well more than half of our allotted 30 slots for this trip...

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

If you would like your name placed on the 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 day, evening, and cell phone numbers.  We often have late cancellations. 



Great Frigatebird female on nest, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador    

Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART 
Canon EF 500 mm f/4 L IS lens with EOS 1D Mark II.  ISO 400. 
Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/160 sec. at f/5.6.     
With the bird's black face near the center of the frame, I knew that it would affect the meter more than it would have if it had been placed well off-center.  That is why I subtracted rather than added light to the exposure.  The resulting histogram was perfect. I positioned myself so as to add the bit of green in the upper left; always add green when possible!


Medium Ground-finch, male, bathing, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador    

Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART 
Canon EF 500 mm f/4 L IS lens with 2X II TC and EOS 1D Mark II.  ISO 400. 
Evaluative metering at zero: 1/200 sec. at f/8.    
While searching for tortoises I was fortunate to come upon a small puddle where several species of ground-finches were bathing.



An e-mail from a happy Hunt's Camper:


 Hi Artie, I just want to tell you that because of your bulletin I have been happily doing business with Hunt's Photo & Video in Massachusetts. They are outstanding -- they not only have the best prices for Canon gear, but they offer the most personal, professional service I have ever experienced.   They have called me to talk personally (and not tried to sell me anything), they respond instantly to requests, and they even helped me out when I messed up some rebate forms. I'm on the other coast, but it's like they are right here.  I just wanted to let you know that they are wonderful and that I am glad that you have they are a BIRDS AS ART sponsor. 

Beth Witrogen McLeod 



Flightless Cormorant on nest, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador    

Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART 
Canon EF 500 mm f/4 L IS lens with EOS 1D Mark II.  ISO 400. 
Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/320 sec. at f/8.     
Many in the group were thrilled at the chance to photograph the nesting activities of this species.  Here I chose an aperture that would render most of the nest sharp while not bringing up too much background detail.


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: