January 2, 2006
#1: Great Blue Heron starburst, Sanibel, FL
Image copyright 2006:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 100-400mm IS L zoom lens handheld at 135mm with EOS 1D Mark II. 
ISO 50.  Evaluative Metering -3 stops: 1/250 sec. at f/32.
To make this one I need to place the sun directly behind the hole in the crook of the bird's neck...
Photographic Theme: My favorite images from the SW FLA President's Day IPT. 
#2: Brown Pelican turning flight, Placida, FL
Image copyright 2006:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 100-400mm IS L zoom lens handheld at 170mm with EOS 1D Mark II. 
ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering at zero:  1/4000 sec. at f/5. 
As I continue to use the 100-400 that I borrowed from Canon Professional Services, I realize how much I have missed owning one...
I was joined in Fort Myers right after X-mas by 12 blessed photographers.  The weather in Florida had been cold and dark almost daily since I got home from New Mexico.  We enjoyed three pretty much perfect days with south/southeast winds on each of the three mornings and west winds on each of the three afternoons.  Venice Rookery was outstanding on our first morning.  After the fog burned off we had lots of great flight photography.  Our afternoon at my secret White Pelican spot was superb, and we ended the day with a great sunset cruise on Captain Marian Schneider's pontoon boat.  On Thursday morning we had some spoonbills and some good flight chances at Ding Darling and some great stuff with Royal and Forster's Terns at Blind Pass.  The fishing pier and the causeway yielded cooperative Snowy Egrets and Great Blue Herons.   And as good as the first two days were, the third morning at Little Estero Lagoon was amazing as we had a large feeding spree develop right in front of us in gorgeous light.  And on Friday afternoon we scored with a pair of very cooperative Burrowing Owls.  (You can learn the details and all the inside information on these and other nearby sites in our SW Florida Site Guide:
We had two parent/child teams on this IPT, Nathan Nachlas and daughter Courtney, the youngest ever IPT participant, and Bill Schneider and son Eric.  Robert Amaruso joined me for the first time as an assistant leader and proved to be a great asset.  IPT veteran Alfred Forns was along as a participant for the last time; Al, one of the nicest folks on the planet, and a fine photographer, will be joining future selected IPTs as an assistant leader.  Pat For, holder of sixteen fishing world records, Joe Barranco, Mike Shannon, Jeremy Jones, Martin Schiff, Todd Levine, and Dwight Tomes (and non-photographer/wife Jayne) rounded out the group.   They continued the amazing BAA tradition of being super-nice folks interested in learning to make better images while having a great time and connecting with others in the group.   As it turned out, I was the blessed one.   (As of 1-2-06, there are currently two slots open on the SW FLA President's Holiday IPT.  February 17-21, 2006: $1549 with co-leader Ellen Anon.)
Culinary Note:  Thanks to NYC friends Alan and Sara Levine I have found another great place to for lunch and dinner on Sanibel:  Traders (239-472-7242).  It is located at 1551 Periwinkle Way (on the right just before 7-11 when you are headed off-island).  All the food was fantastic, the service was great, and we had lots more room than at Hungry Heron (and plugs too!)  If you try it, tell Joe that I sent you.
If you cannot transform the image above into the image below quickly and easily, then you need our Digital Basics File ( 
#3: Great Blue Heron with twig in fog, Venice Rookery, FL 
Image copyright 2006:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 600mm f/4L IS with EOS 1D Mark II. 
ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering at zero set manually: 1/320 sec. at f/5.6.  
On foggy days, many folks would mistakenly delete many excellent Raw files if they did not understand the amazing possibilities with digital...  (Working with foggy Raw files is covered in Digital Basics.)
#4: Snowy Egret, display chase, Sanibel, FL
Image copyright 2006:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 100-400mm IS L zoom lens handheld at 180mm with EOS 1D Mark II. 
ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering -1/3 stop:  1/2500 sec. at f/8. 
 I have missed this image 100 times in the past, but this  time I saw the bird coming in to chase another and had time to call it out to the group as I raised the camera to make the image that I had long dreamed of.
Noted photographer, educator, and author Scott Bourne ( joined me on the third Bosque IPT and has posted an in-depth review of  his IPT experience here:   Reading the review left me grinning from ear to ear as Scott really got inside of my head...  If you have joined us in the past or are considering joining us on a future IPT, you will get a kick out of hearing what Scott has to say.  
Here is a short excerpt from Scott's review:

As for the tour, there are also a couple of things you should know about Artie and the way he runs his IPTs. First of all, Artie is from New York and not a shy person. In fact, he just always says what he thinks. Heís blunt, direct and passionate. Some people arenít used to that and donít quite know how to take Artie. If youíre one of those people, do yourself a favor and get over it because itís no reason to pass up a chance to learn from a master. Also, Artieís IPTs are always full throttle. At Bosque, we got up early and went to bed late. Thereís lots of teaching and photographing crammed into each day. So if youíre interested in a leisurely photo vacation, look elsewhere. If you want a bird photography boot camp, sign up with Artie - today.  (S.B)
#5: White Pelican at dusk, Gasparilla Bay, Placida, FL
Image copyright 2006:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 600mm f/4L IS with EOS 1D Mark II. 
ISO 3200.  Evaluative Metering +1 stop: 1/160 sec. at f/5.6.  Flash with Better Beamer at zero.    
This image was made on Captain Marian's pontoon boat.  If I wanted to make a quality print of this one, I would follow the instructions in Ellen Anon's MAD-W to the letter.
In my haste to plan four Bosque IPTs next year, I forgot that I committed to leading an "Around Africa" trip that will begin in late November 2006.  As a result, instead of there being four Bosque IPTs next year, there will be only two, both before Thanksgiving.  Here are the dates and info:

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. 

I am still planning on doing a weekend BIRDS AS ART "The Art of Nature Photography; It Ain't Just Birds!" How-To Seminar in Albuquerque but the date will be changed to November 11-12, 2006. 

With only two Bosque IPTs scheduled for 2006, these popular trips will surely sell out well in advance.  To register either Bosque IPT please 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. Thanks!


Ellen Anon, who will be co-leading this spring's Fort DeSoto IPT, is offering an In-The-Field Photoshop Workshop on March 27-28. Here are the IPT dates and info:

FORT DESOTO IPT, MAR 24-26. (Slide program on Thursday, MAR 23 at 7pm): 3-DAY: $899 (Limit 12, 10 openings.)  Co-leader Ellen Anon. 

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.

Ellen Anon's 2006 Fort DeSoto In-The-Field Photoshop Workshop ($550) will be scheduled for MAR 27-28, 2006.   Ellen's ITF Workshops have sold out,  but, as mentioned above, only 100% of the time.  Please contact Ellen at for rates and for additional info.

#6: Royal Tern showing tongue, Captiva, FL 
Image copyright 2006:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 600mm f/4L IS with 2X II TC and EOS 1D Mark II. 
ISO 250. Evaluative Metering +1/3 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/16.   
With the distant sky as background, there is no reason not to use a small aperture when working on the ground. 


In the excerpt from the new book (The Art of Bird Photography II coming soon on CD only) that appeared in the last Bulletin (190), there was a typo in Situation #3.  Here is the corrected text: 


To simplify things even further, consider the following:


Situation #1- Sun out, middle tone or brighter = 0.

Situation #2- Sun out, darker than a middle tone = -1/3.

Situation #3- Sun out, bright highlights against middle tone = -1/3; against dark = -2/3.

Situation #4- Sun in, middle tone = 0 or +1/3.

Situation #5-  Sun in. Lighter than a middle tone = +2/3.

                        Well brighter than a middle tone = +1.

                        White: +1 1/3.

                        White-out conditions: +2.

Situation #6-Sun in, darker than a middle-tone = 0.


In the examples that follow, we shall walk you through the reasoning for each exposure choice. By studying these examples and the captions that accompany each of the images in this book, you can learn to apply this rather simple system quickly and easily so that you can come up with a workable exposure in virtually all situations.

#7: Burrowing Owl in grass, Cape Coral, FL
Image copyright 2006:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon 600mm f/4L IS with 2X II TC and EOS 1D Mark II. 
ISO 500. Evaluative Metering at zero:  1/60 sec. at f/11.   
I just love getting down on the ground whenever possible to produce intimate images like the one above where I used One-Shot AF ("S" in Nikon), focused on the eye, and recomposed.


We should be receiving our first 20 Blubbs tomorrow and will be shipping them immediately.  We have sold all 20 from our first shipment and will be receiving another 20 next week.    

One BLUBB will cost you $100 (shipped empty, no beans included) plus $6 shipping and handling (US Priority Mail/signature required).  This will include a detailed Blubb Instructional File that will be sent to each Blubb purchaser via e-mail.  Your credit card will not be billed until the product ships.  We will ship Blubbs overseas only by Fed-X; please e-mail for costs and be sure to include your complete address including country.  If you work from your vehicle you will surely want to be the first kid on your block to have your very own BAA Blubb for there is nothing that comes close to the Blubb. 

If you would like to see photos of the Blubb, please e-mail with the words "Blubb Photos Please" cut and pasted into the subject line. 


#8: Great Egret in violet sky, Venice Rookery, Venice, FL 
Image copyright 2006:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 500mm f/4L IS with EOS 1D Mark II. 
ISO 400. Evaluative Metering +1 2/3 stops set manually: 1/30 sec. at f/4.  Flash with Better Beamer at -1 stop.
If you join a SW FLA IPT you will not only learn my pre-dawn flash flight techniques, but you will learn to get up at oh-dark-hundred in order to get to the Rookery in time!


If you have a copy of Ellen Anon and Tim Grey's book, "Photoshop for Nature Photographers," I would appreciate receiving a short review of the book via e-mail to (if you are so inclined).Thanks for considering that request.  Those of you who would like to purchase a signed copy of the book may contact Ellen via e-mail at

#9: Red-shouldered Hawk, Sanibel, FL 
Image copyright 2006:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon 600mm f/4L IS with 2X II TC and EOS 1D Mark II. 
ISO 400. Evaluative Metering at zero:  1/80 sec. at f/11.   
In order to make this image I had my tripod draped over and resting on an old chain link fence; without image stabilization, I could never have a sharp image at 1200mm with a shutter speed of 1/80 sec.
I just love the background here.

Simply select what you think are my (or your!) two favorite images and send them via e-mail to us at with the words "Contest Picks" in the subject line.  The first contestant to pick the two that are my favorites will win a $25 gift certificate for either BAA Mail order or applicable to any BAA IPT.  As you only have to pick two image this time (out of ten) the odds of winning are 1 in 90.  Good luck.   This contest is closed as of the close of business on Monday January 9, 2006.

#10: White Pelican lunging, Placida, FL
Image copyright 2006:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon 100-400mm IS L zoom lens handheld at 235mm with EOS 1D Mark II. 
ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering -1/3 stop:  1/4000 sec. at f/5.6. 
 Here I used 45 point AFPS to capture the action.  You can learn all about photographing in SW FLA in our SW FLA Site Guide:  The guide includes directions to the secret White Pelican spot where this image was made as well as where-to, when-ton, and how-to photograph at more than a half dozen of the very best SW FLA hotspots including Ding, Corkscrew, and Little Estero Lagoon.

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 BAA sponsor as it Delkin Devices.  Back issues of all BAA Bulletins are archived in the Bulletin Archives which may be accessed from the home page at