DECEMBER 14, 2005
#1: Sandhill Crane landing in cornfield, Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens with 2XII TC and EOS 1Dn Mark II.  ISO 640.
Evaluative metering +1/3 stop off of the corn: 1/1000 sec. at f/10 m Manual Mode.  

Robert O'Toole was kind enough to leave his CPS loaner EOS 1D Mark IIN  with me when he left.  I used it extensivley and was very happy with it.  I did not notice that the images were any crisper or sharper than my 1D Mark II images (as many on-line folks are stating).

Photographic Theme:  Some of my favorite 2005 Bosque images. 
#2:  Snow Geese Blast-Off. Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 500mm f/4.0 L IS lens and EOS 1Ds Mark II. ISO 800.
Evaluative metering at zero: 1/8 sec. at f/4.  

I love the three degrees of blurring here.  If you note the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO here you will see that it was dark!

After surgery on October 14, my knee continues to get a bit better and a bit stronger every day.  I recently resumed taking my early morning health walks with Jim.  Thanks to all who sent get well notes.
My younger daughter, Alissa, who moved this summer from Tashkent, Uzbekistan to Alexandria, Virginia, gave birth on to my third grandchild, Ilyas Robert Reimov this past Saturday, December 10.  Mother and child are doing well.  Congrats and mazel tov to Lissy and husband Ajiniyaz (a.k.a. "Azik.")
Florida recently lost one of its greatest avian environmental champions, Rich Paul.   Rich worked tirelessly (for Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries) for nearly a quarter of a century to protect the nesting wading birds in the Tampa and Hillsborough Bay areas.  Rich's love for and knowledge of Florida's wading birds--especially Reddish Egret, were truly remarkable.  He will be missed by all who knew him, his quick smile, and his willingness to share.  I am sending love, strength, and energy to Rich's wife Ann.  They met while both were working for Audubon of Florida. You can find the Tampa Tribune tribute to Rich here: 
I have been chained to my computer since I returned home from New Mexico working on "The Art of Bird Photography II," in an effort to have it the CD ready for sale and distribution in early February.  
#3: Snow Geese, "Only Three," Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS lens with 2XII TC and EOS 1D Mark II. ISO 400.
Evaluative metering -1/3 stop set manually:  1/1600 sec. at f/11.  

Though catching this great pose with all three eyes sharp was somewhat serendiptious, you will find yourself making such "lucky shots" if you keep the shutter button depressed when the bird or birds enter the optimal zone, the a spot along their flight path where subject size-in-the-frame and light angle are both ideal.  


Our latest Site Guide, this one covering all of the hotspots in Southwest Florida, is now available.  The price of each site guide is the same: $50.  You can use any Paypal link on the web site, call with credit card and e-mail information, or send us a check made out to "Arthur Morris."  
BIRDS AS ART SITE Guides are designed to be the next best thing to joining an IPT.  When you arrive at a location covered in a Site Guide the plan is for you to know where to go when and what to expect, to know what equipment and techniques will be effective, and to know what winds and tides are best.  The new SW Florida Site Guide covers the following locations:
Ding Darling NWR then and now.    Blind Pass Beach.  The Sanibel Fishing Pier.  The East Gulf Beaches.  A Secret Spot to try on really bad mornings on Sanibel.  The Sanibel Causeway.  The Venice Rookery.  My here-to-fore secret White Pelican spot--head shots with a 300mm lens plus flight and action.  Contact info for a sunset cruise with Captain Marian Schneider of Grande Tours.  The two best Burrowing Owl sites on Cape Coral along with contact information for a local bird photographer who will have up to the minute information on the best Burrowing Owl and Bald Eagle nests and is willing to share!  Little Estero Lagoon with info on a secret early morning parking spot...  A short over-view on Tigertail Beach on Marco Island.  Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. 
If you head to SW Florida this winter without a copy of our new Site Guide you will waste several days at a minimum trying to learn the hotspots.  Why not go prepared?
Here is a recent e-mail that I received regarding our Bosque Site Guide:
Hi Art,
Having purchased the original Bosque guide with mixed emotions I felt the need to drop you a note after my return from Bosque.  Your Site Guide enabled me to save a great deal of time scouting out the best locations and adapting to the various changes at Bosque.  I'd estimate that I saved at least a day, maybe more.  When you factor in the cost of airfare, rental car, hotel and my time that is a considerable savings and well worth the cost of the guide several times over.  Moreover, being armed with the information contained in the guide I was able to get many great images (even though I am a hard core Nikon user :) !.  Please see the attached.
Keep up the great work!  Best Regards, Dave Metta


#4: Sandhill Crane, "Flash Flight Plus a Wing," Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 100-400mm IS L lens and EOS 1D Mark II.  ISO 800.
Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops set manually:  1/160 sec. at f/5.6.  Flash with Better Beamer and Wimberley F-1 Flash Bracket. 

Many of the folks on the three IPTs were anxious to learn my flash-flight techniques and most who tried made at least a few good ones.  I really enjoyed having a 100-400 at Bosque; I had not realized how much I had missed it...

Ellen and I, with help from Robert O'Toole, hosted 49 folks (including non-photographer spouses) in three amazingly wonderful groups.   The folks at the Super 8 were superb and helpful-as-always and K-Bobs once again was most generous in allowing to use their facilities for all of our in-classroom educational programs.  I really am blessed as there was not a single even mildly annoying participant in any of the groups, except for...  Only kidding <smile>
We were--of course--plagued with the usual north winds and the usual perceived mismanagement of the refuge.  And again as is usual, conditions at Bosque were different, heck, they are pretty much different every day, but all of the groups were presented with a great variety of truly exceptional photographic opportunities.  One of the huge benefits of joining an IPT is getting to see how I think, why I move when I do.  On one morning a huge group of geese took off and landed in the pond by the pay booth.   Most photographers stood rooted in place staring at the empty main impoundment.  I hustled my group together, we drove 1/4 mile, and made some wonderful and new and different images.   And ten minutes later we were all packed up heading for some great Sandhill Crane flight photography.
The blast-off opportunities were fewer than in an average year, in part because so much corn was cut in the north forty...  Flight photography with single Snow Geese was below average in part for the same reasons and in part because of the predominance of north winds in the morning.  Flight photography chances on single Sandhill Cranes were fantastic and I devised some new strategies as these birds can be very people-shy.  Morning fly-ins and blast-offs were very dependable and a bit above average in quality.  Sunrise and sunset color and quality were about average (though I learned of two spectacular sunrises right after I left.)
Since I forgot to include this information in the recent Bosque Site Guide Update, I shall include it here.  The North Railroad Pool was excellent on many mornings and afternoons.   Afternoons with any winds with westerly components were good Sandhill Crane flight photography and afforded some chances to catch them parachuting down or landing with the brakes on.  Flocks of Snow Geese and of Ross's Geese flew in and out to drink and bathe on several afternoons.  At dawn, the pond was almost always filled with cranes and geese.  On several mornings there were nice pre-dawn fly-ins of geese.  When the geese leave this pond however, they usually do not blast-off.  For whatever reasons, they usually depart in dribs and drabs, that is, the dreaded dribs and drabs... The North Railroad Pond is located just north of the RR crossing on Highway 1 on the east side of the road.  It lies south of the Ed Kranepool.  There is a gravel parking lot there on the west side of the road. 
Early in the trip I took the first group to this pond in late afternoon.  Near dusk at another location, I realized quickly that I had lost the 1.4 TC that I had put in the front kangaroo-pocket of my sweat shirt.  The next morning Josh Voelke went back with me to search for it but we did not find it.  On the last afternoon of my trip, I returned with the third group.  One of the participants, Bill Walker, I think, was lamenting the fact that he had ruined his 1.4 teleconverter when he dropped his big lens the day before.  I said to him, "Heck, you can replace it by finding mine.  I dropped it right around here about ten days ago."  Mike Landwehr, who had arrived on the dike just seconds before overheard and said, "You're kidding, right?"   "Nope," I answered.  He started laughing.  As he exited his car he saw a 1.4 TC laying in the soft earth, almost completely buried.  He picked it up and tossed it on the back seat of his car thinking that he would never find the rightful owner.  Talk about luck.  My TC, which was pretty much brand new, was in perfect condition except for a bit of dirt on the finish which wiped off easily.  All's well that ends well.  Thanks again Mike! 
I can say proudly that every single participant went home happy and smarter and with lots of great images.  Thanks again to all who attended.  
#5: Northern Pintail, drake, Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens with 2XII TC and EOS 1Ds Mark II.  ISO 400.
Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/11.   Fill flash with Better Beamer at -1 stop.

With the 2X I put the central sensor on the bird's back and relied on the extra depth-of-field (at f/11) to ensure a sharp eye.


What can I say?  I love this place.  It makes such a great learning laboratory. I am planning on doing a weekend BIRDS AS ART "The Art of Nature Photography; It Ain't Just Birds!" How-To Seminar in Albuquerque on the weekend of November 11-12.

Here are the dates and information for the two Bosque 2006 IPTs as well as some additional and relevant information. 

Bosque #1: "The Fall Color IPT"  NOV 14-16, 2006.  Slide Program on the evening of NOV 13.  3-DAY: $929.  Limit 14.   This IPT should feature a better chance for a day or two of the rare south winds that drastically improve flight photography and will definitely feature the brightest fall-color cottonwoods. 

Bosque #2:  "The Pre-Thanksgiving IPT"  NOV 19-21, 2006.   Slide Program on the evening of NOV 18.  3-DAY: $929.  Limit 14.  This IPT and the next IPT have sold out for the past eight years.  In 2006 I shall once again be hosting a Thanksgiving day luncheon buffet; turkey guaranteed.  Folks will need to reserve a spot and pay in advance.  Details TBA. Dinner will be strictly limited to 50 folks.  This IPT will feature increasing numbers of geese and cranes with lots of great opportunities.  

Seminar: NOV 11-12, 2006.  BIRDS AS ART "The Art of Nature Photography; It Ain't Just Birds!" How-To Weekend Seminar in Albuquerque, NM.  Details TBA. 

To register for any of the Bosque IPTs introduced above, you can send a $200 deposit check made out to "Arthur Morris" to us at: BIRDS AS ART, 4041 Granada Drive, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855, send us a Paypal (use any Paypal link on our web site), or call 863-692-0906 with your credit card info.  

#6: Snow Geese, "Red-Slash Sunrise," Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico

Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens and EOS 1D Mark II.  ISO 800.
Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/4.  

Here I used the red cloud to divide the frame proportionally 1/3: 2/3.


FACT:  BIRDS AS ART Mail Order will do more than $300,000 in business by the close of business 2005. 

FACTS:  Our mail order business succeeds for several important reasons:  #1: Low prices.  #2: Amazing service and customer care.  #3: We sell only items that I use and depend on pretty much every day.  #4 (and most importantly):  We do not BS folks.  I know my equipment well.  I use everything that we sell.  I have tested every single item that we carry and know when and how best to use it.  When I tell folks that the Mongoose M-262 is the best tripod head for intermediate telephoto lenses we sell the heck out of them and everyone is happy.  And often amazed.  But after a while folks come to realize that we do not deal in hype, we deal with solid products that do what I say they will.

OK, you are asking by now, what the heck does the above have to do with Lens Pens and sensor cleaning?  Here is the short answer:  The problem of keeping the sensors of digital cameras clean is and will continue to be a huge problem.   When I optimize an image, I often spend twice as much time dust-spotting than I do on the rest of the workflow.   We now have the solution:  Lens Pens. 

Here is the long version:  For years I used the wet/spatula/Pec Pad method (as described in the Bulletin Archives) with some success.   I cleaned my sensors hundreds of times without damaging them.  Next, we tried the sensor brushes that were generously provided to me for testing.  Again, I had some success at getting my sensors clean, but was unable to achieve the fantastic results described on various web sites.  Now I got these brushes for free, but I never told you about them because they did not work to my satisfaction.  On the Silver Salmon Creek trip Robert O'Toole offered to clean a few folks sensors with his Lens Pen Combo kit.  It took him seconds and the results were amazing.  He provided me details and I immediately purchased 300 Lens Pens Combo Kits.  Before I ordered the Lens Pens I learned that a major camera manufacturer purchases huge number of Lens Pens each month to use for sensor cleaning.  They use the Lens Pens to clean both lenses and the sensors of digital cameras but they don't tell anybody about using them for sensor cleaning because like all of the other methods, cleaning the sensor on your own voids the warranty if you damage the sensor or even worse, the shutter.  But the fact is that nobody can afford to send their digital cameras in twice a week for a sensor cleaning...

Robert was kind enough to teach me his technique which included the first and all-important step.  (If you do not know this step or you forget to do it, you just might ruin your sensor.)  We are now offering the Lens Pen Combo Kit for sale for $20.00 plus $2.00 shipping.  Florida residents need to add $1.40 per kit sales tax.   We will be glad to provide detailed instructions for using your Lens Pens to clean the sensors of your digital cameras with each order.  The file will include directions for using both the small and the large Lens Pen.  We will send the file only by e-mail so be sure to include your e-mail address with your order.  We accept credit cards by phone, Paypals, or checks made out to "Arthur Morris."  Another web site that is pitching the Lens Pens is selling only the smaller Lens Pen for $12 (without our instruction file).

Your Lens Pen combo kit should clean your sensors well for more than a year.  Some folks like to order two Combo Kits.  They use one of the larger Lens Pens to clean the front and rear elements of their lenses and the rest they save and segregate for use on their digital sensors.  Take a buck off of your total for every kit that you order after the first one.

Yikes, I almost forgot the most potent marketing info.  When I demonstrated the Lens Pens at Bosque to my three groups, I sold all 45 that I had brought.  Ilya Raskin had a 10D that was absolutely filthy.  It looked as if it had had a vacuum cleaner bag dumped on it.  After one cleaning with the two Lens Pens 99.8% of the dust was gone. 


#7: Cottonwood blur, Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico

Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens and EOS 1Ds Mark II.  ISO 50.
Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/5 sec. at f/9.  

I swung my rig vertically downwards on the Wimberley head during the exposure.  I worked in Tv Mode to ensure total control of the blur speed.


Both the Post-X-mas SW Florida and the San Diego IPTs have openings.  If you are interested in joining us, please call (863-692-0906) or e-mail us to learn about our Late-Registration or Weekend Only Discounts for these two IPTs. 

SW FLA, Post X-mas IPT. 3 -DAY: $929. DEC 28-30, 2005. 
SAN DIEGO 4-Day IPT: $1399.  JAN 5-8, 2006   


In the last Bulletin I wrote that Barney Oldfield was not related to the famous old-time race car driver of the same name.  I was wrong.  Barney wrote stating: "I am related to Barney Oldfield the race car driver in a distant fashion.  He was my great-grandfather's brother's son.



#8: Snow Geese, "Purple Dawn," Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 16-35mm zoom lens with EOS 1D Mark II. ISO 800.
Evaluative metering +2/3 stops: 1/500 sec. at f/2.8.  

I have made myself a Bosque-promise never ever to be without either a wide angle or a fish eye lens at hand and ready for immediate use. 



With the holidays approaching, we would like to remind everyone that all BAA images are available as signed prints.  Click here for info:



#9: Snow Goose, "Yellow Dawn," Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4XII TC and EOS 1Ds Mark II. ISO 250.
Exposure set manually after histogram check: 1/800 sec. at f/9.   

Using 45-Point AFPS here allowed me to position the bird off-center and that in turn helped me create a perfect composition.

#10: White-crowned Sparrow,  Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens with 2X II TC and EOS 1Ds Mark II. ISO 400.
Evaluative metering +2/3 stops: 1/500 sec. at f/11.   

Learning to use the 1Ds MII has forced me to realize that at times it is best to center the subject and then crop to the desired composition. You can do a lot with 16 million pixels.


All are invited to select their three favorite images from this Bulletin.  Please use the #s.  The first person whose three favorites match (in exact order) my three favorites, will receive a $25 BAA Mail Order Gift Certificate.   If there are no correct entries, the contest will end on December 22, 2005.
#11: Snow Goose, "Pre-Dawn Landing," Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS lens and EOS 1D Mark II. ISO 400.
Evaluative metering +2/3 stops: 1/400 sec. at f/4.  

Here again 45-Point was the ticket.  I missed this once and had a second chance almost immediately thereafter.  Bird behavior tends to be repetitive.




100 Main Street Melrose, MA  02176

Contact: Gary Farber Tel#800-221-1830 ext. 2332, Fax#781-662-6524




SPECIALS FOR BIRDS AS ART SUBSCRIBERS                                  (Expiration 12/31/05)                         


I would like to thank all of the Birds as Art Subscriber customers for the business you have given me this past year, and wish you a Happy Holiday Season.  I look forward to working with you in 2006.


Currently, I am offering the following specials:


Canon 100-400 “Used”                                                                                    $  999.99

A limited supply is available on the refurbished products as follows-

Canon Rebel Digital with 18-55 Lens (factory refurbished)                                $  499.99

Canon 10D (factory refurbished)                                                                       $  699.99

Canon SD400 (factory refurbished)                                                                  $  199.99

Canon SD500 (factory refurbished)                                                                  $  279.99


Please call regarding Canon 1DS Mark II, Canon 1D Mark II N, Canon 5D, Canon 20D, and Canon Rebel XT pricing for Birds as Art Subscribers.

Ask for the price on the Canon lenses which include the 500 and 600.

For Birds as Art subscribers ask about the price on Bogen Tripods.


I am now taking orders for the Nikon D200 scheduled to ship around December 15th.  Also, the 18-200VR Lens is scheduled to ship around December 15th.  “Free” shipping is being offered to subscribers.  Call to be place on the list.


For subscribers, the Nikon D2X is priced at $4499.99.  With the purchase of a Nikon flash or lens, there is a $500.00 mail in rebate.

Ask about Birds as Art subscribers’ price on all Nikon lenses including the Nikon 200-400VR, 17-55; also the SB800 flash.


The following is some real mint-condition used Nikon equipment:

Nikon D100, 300 2.8, not VR 28-70, N90S, N90, Nikon F-5, etc.  Call for pricing and availability.


Epson P2000 40GIG                                                                                        $  439.99

Epson P4000 80GIG                                                                                        $  639.99

Epson 2400 Printer                                                                                           $  779.99

Epson R1800 Printer                                                                                        $  509.99

Epson 2200 Inks                                                                                              $     8.99

Epson R800/1800 Inks                                                                                     $    11.99

Epson 2400 Inks                                                                                              $    11.99

Epson 4800/7800/9800 Inks 110ml                                                                   $    49.99

Epson 4800/7800/9800 Inks 220ml                                                                   $    79.99

Epson 4000 Inks 220ml                                                                                    $    79.99

Epson 4000 Inks 110ml                                                                                    $    49.99

Epson 4000 Inks 220ml                                                                                    $    79.99


Purchase 3 rolls of Epson “roll” paper….16 or larger and receive 50% off the 3rd roll.

Ask about pricing and shipping of the paper for subscribers.


LowePro Road Runner AW                                                                             $  379.99


Film Specials – Supplies are limited -

Provia F400-36    dated  4/05                                      Per roll                         $      2.50

Velvia 50 120PP  dated  7/06                                                                           $    16.00

Velvia 50 220PP  dated  7/06                                                                           $    25.00

Provia F 220PP    dated  7/06                                                                          $    10.00


New Velvia 100-36                                                      Per roll                         $      5.79 



#12: Snow Goose, "Paybooth Pond with Fog," Bosque Del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Image copyright 2005: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens (on 1325 tripod with Mongoose M-262 head) and EOS 1Dn Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/60 sec. at f/5.   

Here I focused as I always do in these situations using One-Shot AF/central sensor on the first row of birds.  On the first morning that the birds flew to the Paybooth Pond, nobody noticed but 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: