March 19, 2007















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Photographic theme Assorted images by Robert O’Toole.    





Bald Eagle, vertical banking flight, Homer, Alaska

Image Copyright 2007:  Robert O'Toole


Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM lens with the EOS-1D Mark II N  ISO 200.

Evaluative Metering +1 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/4 in Manual Mode.


 Robert has been working hard on creating vertical flight images and it has helped him make lots of great images of banking birds. As Robert describes it,  It is  simple: “Just hold the camera vertical,  lock onto a bird, and follow it until it banks and fills the frame.”  Trust me, it is not that easy <smile>  First, you need to recognize the situation and then hope that it repeats.  Second, handholding the camera vertically takes practice…   This image was made on the possibly last-ever  BAA Homer IPT and is featured in the current BBC/Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition book.  It was highly commended in the “Bird Behavior” category.  


Important note:  Most contests do not allow anything but levels, color, and contrast adjustments to the RAW files (and those adjustments must be applied to the entire image).  So while Robert can do amazing things in Photoshop, the vast majority of his (and my) images are optimized in 3-4 minutes or less and are little different from the original capture. .  Do realize that JI=JO: junk in equals junk out.  If you have clipped or cut a wing and you decide to attempt to save the image the end result will be satisfactory only if the original (flawed) image is perfectly exposed, sharp, and dramatic. And the same goes if you are going to attempt to remove a substantial and distracting background element or elements.  In other words, Robert is a highly skilled photographer who also happens to be highly skilled in Photoshop.   



To the unfortunate few who received the earlier addition of this Bulletin which contained bit map images instead of J-PEGs.  When Robert O'Toole sent me the images via e-mail, they arrived as bit map images.  I checked the sizes in Photoshop and all seemed OK.  Not exactly; the Bulletin sent earlier weighed in at something like 9mb.  I apologize if I messed up your in-box.  I learned an important lesson and will not be sending any more bit map files. <smile>


Later today, after I get up from my nap, I will be sending a BIRDS AS ART NOTES with some images made on Jim Shadle's boat this past Sunday and a few made on Jim Neiger's boat this morning...  If you live anywhere near Tampa or Orlando you will want to pay close attention as Jim has guaranteed Snail Kites on West Lake Toho and Mr. Shadle has guaranteed Roseate Spoonbills in full breeding plumage in Tampa Bay.  For those of you who either trust me implicity or simply cannot wait to see the images, you can contact James Shadle on his cell phone at 813-363-2854 or via e-mail at  You can contact Jim Neiger on his cell at 407-247-5200 or via e-mail:


Well more than two thousand folks have cut their digital and photoshop teeth on our Digital Basics file, and I am certainly proud of everything that I have learned (most of it with the help of others), proud of all the folks who have learned to optimize their images quickly and efficiently thanks to Digital Basics, and even more proud of how my images look.   When I watch Robert O'Toole sit down to work on his images, I feel totally inept.  Robert is simply amazing when he performs his Photoshop magic.  Last week, at my urging, Robert began work on his "Advanced Photoshop Techniques and Tips Simplified" (APTATS).  See the next Bulletin for some examples of Robert's amazing talent.  See Bulletin 224 to learn about Robert's small groups workshops.   See the White Ibis flight image below for more about Robert.  And I will guarantee that when—in the next Bulletin, coming soon—you see some of the things that Mr. O’Toole can do, you will not believe your eyes…


Brown Pelican landing, La Jolla cliffs, San Diego, CA

Images Copyright 2007:  Robert O'Toole

Canon EF70-200mm f/4L lens (handheld at 122mm) with the EOS-1D Mark II N.  ISO 100. Evaluative Metering at zero: 1/1000 sec. at f/4.

Robert created the image above from the image below by taking the bird’s right foot and part of the tail from the next image in the sequence.  He imported the section of  the photo that he needed using a Soft Brush and a Quick Mask.  (Robert’s use of these two tools will be a large part of his APTATS PDF.)  He is truly the master of the Quick Mask!  In addition the shape and size of the foot and tail were off a bit.  Robert used the Transform and Warp tools to create a perfect match and will teach you to do the same in APTATS.




Since being announced in Bulletin 225 Robert’s APTATS Workshops are filling nicely. 


Robert O’Toole’s Advanced Photoshop Techniques and Tips Simplified BAA/IPT Workshops


10AM-5PM. Six hours of instruction, one hour lunch break (laptop with Photoshop required).


Fort DeSoto BAA IPT APTATS Workshops (limit: 4). April 12, April 16, and April 20, 2007$399 per session ($349 per session for two or more).
Bosque #1:"The Fall Color IPT" APTATS Workshop: NOV 12th, 2007.  $399


Bosque #2:"The Pre-Thanksgiving IPT" APTATS Workshop: NOV 16th, 2007. $399
Bosque #3:"The Post-Thanksgiving IPT"APTATS Workshop:
NOV 21st, 2007. $399
The Bosque APTATS workshops are limited to 6 participants.


These dates are scheduled so that IPT participants can attend the IPTs without conflict (either before of after the IPTs listed above).  

APTATS workshops are designed for the digital photographer with an emphasis on simplicity and will be conducted in a relaxed and personalized atmosphere. Robert will demonstrate the step by step procedures for each task and explain the theory as well. Participants will progress at their own pace with the demonstration images that he provides.  The small group size will allow for personalized instruction for everyone.  Ambitious folks can enjoy an early morning of great photography in the field and then bring their images to life in the APTATS Workshops.




Neurothemis Dragonfly, perched on peacock fern, Malaysia

Image Copyright 2007:  Robert O'Toole


Tamron 180mm  f/3.5 Macro lens USM lens with the EOS-1Ds Mark II  ISO 400.

Evaluative Metering +1  stop:  1/50 sec. at f/4.5 in Manual Mode.  Manual focus. Manual flash at 1/16th power.


On his third day of trying to create this image,  it was about 95 degrees and about 105% humidity. To make things worse this species does not like the shady areas where the ferns grow, nor do they like landing on the soft ferns. When they did land, maybe 4-5 times in an hour, it was for a second or two at the most. The most challenging issue for Robert was the low light, but with good flash technique and ISO 400 he was able to create some sharp images. After an hour of sweating, an old local man walked over to him and said, "Hey boy, don't you know these ferns grow all over Malaysia?


Note:  This is another image that requires only basic adjustments in Photoshop:  Levels, Hue Saturation, and possibly Curves.  Two minutes and done.  With his small group sizes, Robert will be able to help beginners learn to process their images quickly and effectively and at the same time, will be able to provide advanced instruction to those who need it while they follow along.  All registrants for APTATS Workshops will receive a complimentary copy of the APTATS PDF so that they can continue to improve on their own.  Purchasing a copy of Digital Basics is—of course—highly recommended:  Here again we see that Robert is not only skilled in Photoshop, but is a talented, hard-working, and passionate nature photographer. Note also the power of a simple rule of thirds composition…


Despite addressing this issue in the last Bulletin, folks are still e-mailing wanting to know:  Will I get rid of my Mark II 1Ds and rely completely on the new Mark III…


Here is my typical response:


BS (Bulletin subscriber): I know that Arthur Morris prefers  the EOS- Mark II 1Ds over the EOS-Mark II 1DN for reasons stated in previous Bulletins. Now that the EOS-1D Mark III has been released (knowing that he has had limited time with the new product) does he  feel that it will replace his EOS 1Ds Mark II as his primary camera?  


AM: I have not decided yet.  I will make my decision after I have had more time with my two Mark III bodies (on order now).   The decision will be based on the relative quality of the image files and will be tempered by the fact that working with two different cameras is difficult, especially when the operation of each is quite different…   Other factors will include how much more accurate the Mark III is in AI Servo AF than the 1Ds and the many great Custom Functions available with the Mark III. 


BS: I getting ready to purchase my new pro body for wildlife photography. I was going to purchase an EOS 1Ds Mark II when the Mark III was announced. Does Arthur have any inside information on when the EOS 1Ds Mark III will come out?


AM: How about "if"?  That camera has been and is only a rumor.  And even if I did know anything, I could not and would not tell anyone, even my mother.  It would be a violation of my Canon contract which includes an NDA (non-disclosure agreement).


Best and love, artie




Double-crested Cormorant in flight w/ prey, Anhinga trail, Everglades NP, Homestead, FL

Images Copyright 2007:  Robert O'Toole 

Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM lens handheld with the EOS-1D Mark II N.  ISO 200. Evaluative Metering +1 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual Mode.

Robert created the image above by adding canvas to the original (far right below), taking the far-wing from the first image below and taking the tail from the second image below. 


Note:  Attention to detail is mandatory for all folks who wish to create successful images. On IPTs I often say that there is a single secret to nature photography:  attention to small details…  Here, the inner primaries are molting and as a result, are a bit shorter than some of the outers.  Robert could have extended those feathers on the far wing but then they would not (as they should) have matched the corresponding  feathers on the near-wing.  Again, Robert will share his amazing Quick Mask/Transform Tool/Warp Tool techniques with you in APTATS.  Though Robert has shown me these techniques several times, I still do not own them.  By having APTATS either open in another window or having a printed copy on my desk, I will learn them and be able to incorporate them into my workflow.





GITZO GT3530LSV Carbon Fiber Tripod: $649.94 (1 cent less than B&H) + $15 shipping to US.  Overseas customers please e-mail for a shipping quote.  Florida residents please add 7% sales tax to the cost of the tripod only.  (We received our first shipment of nine last week and have only three left; this will be tough to get for a while…)  


For years I have used and recommended the Gitzo CF 1325 tripod for just about all nature photography applications from macro to scenics to intermediate telephotos to the 14 pound monsters.  It is with a pang of sadness that I announce that the CF 1325 has been replaced by the Gitzo Carbon Fiber GT3530LSV tripod.  The GT3530LSV is quite similar to the 1325 but is a bit lighter, rated as slightly stronger, and is an inch shorter.  The height difference should be of little concern to all but those well over six foot four or so.  (If you are way-tall or want the absolute stiffest, most stable of the new tripods, please e-mail us for information on the GT3540XLS.  I have ordered one for the 6-foot eight Todd Gustafson and hope to have my hands on it for a bit early next week.) 

The GT3530 is a 3-section tripod that is—unfortunately—shipped to us with a ridiculous video bowl head that needlessly adds about $50-$75 to the cost.  You simply loosen a bolt with the wrench (that is included), slip in the flat platform, and re-tighten the bolt.   Jeez, I almost forgot to tell you about the new tripods’ best features.  All of the LSV tripods feature the all-new Anti Leg Rotation system and the new G-lock twist locks which make them faster to operate than their predecessors; it is no longer necessary to tightly lock the upper-most leg section in order to tighten or loosen one below it. The new G-locks offer a 20% increase in rigidity and offer stronger, safer locking.  These tripods feature removable rubber feet that offer several attractive options for either changing or replacing the feet.  With a closed length of 26.4 inches the GT3530SLV will fit easily into almost all types of checked bags.  It was a pretty amazing 4 pounds even.   How this tripod will do in salt water (definitely not recommended) is yet to be seen.

I have added three GT3530SLVs to the arsenal…


Snow Geese flock, one second blur, Bosque Del Apache, NWR, New Mexico

Image Copyright 2007:  Robert O'Toole


Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens with 1.4X Extender with the EOS-1Ds Mark II   ISO 400.

Evaluative Metering +1/3 stop: 1 sec. at f/32 in Manual Mode.


The 1 second shutter speed listed is not a typo. With low light levels Robert often drops the shutter speed instead of cranking up the ISO.  With careful planning and by using the cottonwood trees as his canvas he was able to paint a flock of snow geese blasting off with their individual wing beats creating an impressionist brush-stroke effect. I love this one and so does Robert.  He laments, “M girlfriend absolutely hates it.”


As expected, this trip sold out within hours. 




Sandhill Crane, juvenile landing composite, Bosque Del Apache, NWR, New Mexico

Image Copyright 2007:  Robert O'Toole

Canon EF 600mm f/4 L IS lens with 1.4X TC and EOS-1D Mark II N.  ISO 100.  Evaluative Metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/400 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual Mode.

Amazingly, Robert combined the four images below to produce the composite above.  The four birds in the image above are in fact the same bird photographed as it parachuted its way down…  Robert is as creative in Photoshop as he is in the field…




Fort DeSoto IPT: APR 13-15, 2007. Slide program on the evening of Thursday, APR 12.  3-DAY: $999 (Limit 14: openings 2.) Co-leaders: Robert O’Toole, Alfred Forns, and Robert Amoruso. Courtship and breeding behaviors of Laughing Gull and Royal and Sandwich Terns.  Herons, egrets (including both dark and light phase Reddish Egret), shorebirds (including Long-billed Curlew), gulls, terns, and skimmers among others.  


NEW! Fort DeSoto IPT: APR 17-19, 2007. Slide program on the evening of Monday, APR 16.  3-DAY: $999 (Limit 14; openings: 5). Co-leaders: Todd Gustafson, Robert O’Toole, and Alfred Forns. Courtship and breeding behaviors of Laughing Gull and Royal and Sandwich Terns.  Herons, egrets (including both dark and light phase Reddish Egret), shorebirds (including Long-billed Curlew), gulls, terns, and skimmers among others.


NEW!  St Augustine Alligator Farm MAY 17-20, 2007.  3 1/2 DAY IPT: $1099 (Limit: 12; openings: 6)  Introductory Slide Program from 2-4pm on the afternoon of Thursday, May 17.  This IPT includes 7 photography sessions and four slide programs, with at least two devoted totally to Photoshop.   Amazing heron and egret rookery.  Nesting Great, Snowy, & Cattle Egrets and Tricolored Herons all with chicks.



 Brown Bear (coastal grizzly), with razor clam, Silver Salmon Creek Lodge, Lake Clarke National Park, AK

Image Copyright 2007:  Robert O'Toole


Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM lens w/1.4X extender and the EOS-1D Mark II.   ISO 400.

Evaluative Metering + 1 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/5.6 set manually.


Early out on the beach one morning a playful brown bear cub tosses a razor clam while keeping an eye on the stranger with 5 legs… From the Silver Salmon Creek  IPT, 2005.


Note:  You can learn about Robert’s Private and Small Group instruction by scrolling down after clicking here:


Anne Bellenger has a used Canon EOS-1D in excellent condition (no scratches, used rarely) with two batteries, charger, user’s manual, and body cap for $1200 plus $20 shipping (USA buyers only.) Note:  this is the original 1D, Canon’s (and my) first professional digital body.  This would be a great buy for someone just starting digital with an interest in wildlife in action or sports.


Please contact Anne as follows for additional info:  (863)453-8621 or via e-mail at



Contact:  Gary Farber, Tel#800-221-1830 ext. 2332, Fax#800-336-3841



BIRDS AS ART Specials                                                      (Expiration date: April 20, 2007)


Gary is now taking orders on the new Canon Mark III.  It is scheduled to ship the end of April or early May.  Call for pricing and availability.  This is an extremely HOT camera.  BIRDS AS ART Subscribers who are interested should get on the waiting list now.  I am taking orders for new Canon 580 flash and 16-35 lens.  I will do all that is humanly possible to fill your orders as quickly as possible.


Epson Printers-


Hunt’s is an authorized Epson Pro-Graphics Dealer.


Epson 3800 Printer regular edition and pro edition are currently in stock;

limited supply.                                                For Birds as Art pricing        “Call” 


Epson 2400 Printer                                                                                      $  749.99

Epson 1800 Printer                                                                                      $  469.99

Epson Inks-

2200                                                                                                               $     9.00

2400                                                                                                               $   11.99

1800                                                                                                               $   11.99

3800                                                                                                               $   47.99

4800, 7800, 9800 110ml                                                                             $   49.99

4800, 7800, 9800 220ml                                                                             $   79.99

Canon Printers-

Canon IP5000 Printer                                               For Birds as Art price           “Call”

Canon Pro 9500 Printer (Now taking orders)        For Birds as Art price           “Call”

Canon Pro 9000 Printer                               For Birds as Art price                       “Call”

Canon Inks-

Canon Pro 9000 Inks                                                                                    $   11.49

These inks are compatible with the MP600, MP800, and other printers

Canon S9000 Inks                                                                                        $     9.49

Ask for pricing on Epson and Canon sheet and roll paper.  Hunt’s stocks the full line.

Canon Digital SLR Camera-

Ask about the new low price on the Canon 5D and 30D.  The 5D is now being included as a kit with the 24-105 lens.  The Canon 30D is now being included with the 28-135 lens. 


Canon Lenses-

Hunt’s is a full line Canon authorized dealer.  Call for pricing on Canon lenses.  Hunt’s only carries USA warranty and stocks all Canon lenses including the 24-105F 4 L IS USM, 85 1.2 L II USM, 70-200 F 4L IS USM, 100-400 4.5 5.6L IS USM, 70-200 2.8L IS USM, 400 4.0 DO IS USM, 300 4.0 L IS USM,  500F 4.0 LS and 600 4.0 LS.

Hunt’s stocks the Canon CPE 3 battery which is Arthur’s favorite external flash battery.         $  139.99

Nikon Digital SLR Cameras-

Nikon D200 Body                                                     New low price            “Call”

Nikon D80 Body                                                                                            $  899.99

Nikon D2X Body                                                                                           $4200.00

The Nikon D40X is scheduled to ship the end of April. Taking orders now.  This camera is available as a body only or with an 18-55 or 18-135 lens.  When ordering; free shipping is being offered.

Nikon Lenses-

Hunt’s is a full line Nikon authorized dealer.  Hunt’s only carries USA warranty.  Call for pricing on all Nikon lenses including 200-400VR, 70-200VR, 80-400VR, 12-24, 500 4.0D AF-SII, and 600 4.0D AF-SII.

Digital Accessories-

Hoodman LCD Loop                                                                                    $      59.99

Hoodman Angle Finder                                                                                $    119.99


Nikon NX software                                                                                        $  119.99

Greg Tag MacBeth                                                                                       $  199.99

Adobe Light Room                                                                                       $  199.99

Nik Professional Suite includes Dfine 1.0 Nik, Color Efex Pro 2.0 complete Edition, and Nik Sharperner Pro 2.0 complete Edition. $  369.99

Call for pricing on all other Nik filters.  Hunt’s is an authorized Nik dealer.

Digital Projectors-

Canon Realis 600 60 and 6                                     For Birds as Art price           “Call”

Storage Devices-

Epson P5000 80 Gig                                                                                               $  659.99

Epson P3000 40 Gig                                                                                               $  469.99

Film Deals-

Provia 100F 36 dated 3/07 in 20 packs                            Per roll                        $        3.00

Velvia 50 36 dated 2/07 in 20 packs                                  Per roll                        $        3.00

Velvia 100F 36 dated 2/07 in 20 packs                             Per roll                        $        1.50



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 can be found in the Bulletin Archives which may be accessed from the home page at