February 24, 2008












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Photographic theme:  Assorted images.    


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Roseate Spoonbills squabbling, Alafaya Banks, Tampa Bay, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 600mm f/4L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D MIII on the old Wimberly head atop a Gitzo CF 3530 LSV tripod equipped with a set of Tripod Condoms. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop off the low blue sky: 1/1250 sec. at f/7.1.


I created this image on the morning of FEB 19 on James Shadle's new pontoon boat, Hooptie Deux.  I saw the fight, aimed, fired, and got lucky.  This is full frame from edge to edge with a crop from the bottom. If it’s spoonbills that you want it is absurd to waste your time when they are guaranteed on a boat trip with James.



By e-mail from Bob Blanchard:

Hi Art,  Thought I’d share a tip with you born of necessity: The BLUBB makes an excellent groundpod when used by turning it upside down and placing it on an inverted frisbee!   It keeps the BLUBB clean and allows it to slide and pivot smoothly with the 600 f/4 on top. It gets me a lot lower than using a tripod with the legs splayed all the way out.   I use one of the cheap frisbees with no ridges (like the ones that you find in a pet store for playing catch with your dog).  It works really well on most any surface including mud or sand.  (And of course, it is unbeatable when used with the big lenses on the car window.)  Best, Bob



Roseate Spoonbill landing, Alafaya Banks, Tampa Bay, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D MIII.  Mongoose M3.5 atop a Gitzo CF 3530 LSV tripod equipped with a set of Tripod Condoms. ISO 640. Evaluative metering -1/3:  stop off the low blue sky: 1/1250 sec. at f/7.1.


The image above was created on the Hooptie Deux on the morning of February 14.  The optimized image (or photo illustration if you wish) below was created in Photoshop.  I used a variety of techniques as detailed in both Digital Basics and Robert O’Toole’s APTATS (  Robert’s Quick Masking tips allowed me to eliminate the second bird and its reflection.  I took a section of oysters from the upper right corner, created a Quick Mask, flopped it horizontally, and then warped it so that the two clusters of oysters would not look like bookends.  Add in Levels, Curves, Gaussian Blur on the Background, and Blending Mode/Multiply and voila! 


It is only on rare occasion that you can create a pretty good image from what was originally a pretty bad image.  And again, do realize that 98% of the images that I create look pretty much as they did when they came out of the camera…  Extremes like this are rare and are included here just to show you what is possible with a little knowledge and some study.


By e-mail from Antonio Lopez:

Hi Artie, I received my Mark lll User’s Guide today.   Thanks!  And thanks for putting out such great informational products. In the past I have purchased your Bosque del Apache Site Guide the Digital Basics PDF and have benefited immensely from both immensely. I also own the The Art of Bird Photography," a great book.  I searched for it online recently; Amazon had some for $189. Now it is a collectors item!  I wouldn't sell mine for that. And I know that the Mark lll User’s Guide will really expedite my learning curve.

By the way, I am also a member of the BirdPhotogaphers.Net.  What a great forum.  Antonio

(Note: We are currently having the original Art of Bird Photography reprinted in China as an imprint of BAA Books.  We hope to have them available in late April.)




Yours Truly with spoonies and White Ibises, Tampa Bay, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  James Shadle/Wild Florida  


Photographic opportunities with Roseate Spoonbill on Tampa Bay with James Shadle are simply unparalleled.  (See “Posse News” below for more info.) The White Ibises will be coming into mega breeding plumage during the next month.


First off, if you registered for this IPT and your name is not Dean Newman of Danny Oldfield, please contact us immediately via e-mail.  Thanks!  (I was sure that we had two folks signed up before Dean and Danny but cannot find any trace of the evidence…


Second, when I announced this IPT I mistakenly listed it as a 4-DAY though it has traditionally been a 3-DAY.  Dean is signed up for the 4-DAY and I am waiting to hear back from Danny.  IAC, I have decided to offer this IPT as a 4-DAY with a 3-DAY option as follows:


SW FLA POST X-MAS IPT: DEC 27-29 or 30, 2008.  Slide program on the evening of DEC 26, 2008.  Limit: 10/Openings: ?  4-DAY: $1799   (3-DAY OPTION:  $1349)   



Caspian Tern, winter plumage, Fort DeSoto Park, nr. St. Petersburg, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with the 2X II TC and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/200 sec. at f/8.     

On a cloudy dark morning I waded through fairly deep water in an effort to isolate this bird.  It was worth it.   Fort DeSoto will be hot March through early May.  If you have never been, do consider our Fort DeSoto Site Guide:




I am doing a one-day seminar for the Digital Imaging Group on Saturday, March 8th, 2008.   There is still just a bit of room on Saturday.  There are two In-the-Field Workshops scheduled as below.  There is one opening for the Sunday I-T-F W.   You can e-mail DIG as follows for info on the Saturday seminar:  Chuck Williams at, Howard Wood at , or Lynn Thompson at

Friday March 7, 2008  1-DAY (Limit: 6/Sold Out): $400/person

Sunday March 9, 2008  1-DAY (Limit: 6/ Sold Out): $400/person



Roseate Spoonbill foraging, Alafaya Banks, Tampa Bay, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 600mm f/4L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D MIII on the old Wimberly head atop a Gitzo CF 3530 LSV tripod equipped with a set of Tripod Condoms. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop off the low blue sky: 1/1250 sec. at f/8.


Breeding plumage spoonbills, early morning light, and blue water is pretty close to heaven for me. Spoonbills swallow nearly all of their prey items with their bills below the surface; this image was created just after the bird pulled its bill from the water.  Note the perfect head angle.



Check out Dan Wegener's elegant landing pintail here: and K.K. Hui's elegant image of the same species leaving here:


John Harper of the UK continues to astound with his images of captive raptors, this time an incredible vertical Lanner Falcon.  Note which camera body he used:


Judd Patterson's Moon Trails in Out of the Box is a tribute to creativity ( and Fabs Forns' Mallard (Blur me pretty, blur me nice) is just plain lovely:


George DeCamp's elegant landscape from White Sands (he got lost on the way to Bosque...) can be found here:


And in wildlife Peter Delaney's Mountain Zebra depicts an extremely rare animal in amazing light:


Lastly be sure to check out the new Educational Resources Forum here: and the Images of the Week here:


BirdPhotographers.Net/It Ain't Just Birds (www.BirdPhotographers.Net) has quickly become the number one educational and critiquing web site on the planet and continues to improve.  A quick visit to any of the galleries will reveal that our philosophy of "honest critiques done gently" and leading by example are succeeding quite well. (If you are a first time visitor, you will be prompted to register.  Registration is free.)  Folks who will be using our image hosting services or otherwise wish to support our efforts are invited to become members by clicking here:  Though membership is free up until April 1, 2009, more than 375 folks have already shown their support for BPN by joining as members ($20 annually).  




Brown Pelican, perfect wing spread flight, Alafaya Banks, Tampa Bay, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS lens with the EOS-1D MIII.  Handheld.  ISP 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop off the low blue sky: 1/1000 sec. at f/6.3.


On a recent trip on the Hooptie a young eagle repeatedly flushed the spoonbills so I grabbed my 400 DO and went after the pelicans.  I just love the almost perfectly symmetrical wingspread.  This image is pretty much right out of the box.





Congrats to James Shadle aka Froggie aka Darth Daddy on the acquisition of the Hooptie Deux.  Froggie’s new pontoon boat is much more stable and roomy than the original Hooptie (which was a flats boat).  And best of all, it is a lot easier getting in and out of Hooptie Deux than it was getting in and out of Hooptie (Most of the photography on trips with James is done while standing in the water.)  But the best news of all is that Tampa Bay is really rocking right now, getting better each day.  The spoonbills are starting to nest, the Brown Pelicans and the cormorants provide lots of flight action, the Reddish Egrets are in stunning breeding plumage, and the Glossy Ibises are also getting started with the twigs. 


James has limited dates open for private and small group instruction.  The next few days and the entire month of March will be killer for the spoonbills especially.  For more rates, dates, and information e-mail James at, try him on his cell phone at 813-363-2854, or visit 




The Hooptie Deux, Tampa Bay, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  Blake Shadle/Wild Florida  


The Hooptie Deux makes up on half of the Best of Florida fleet.  


Jim Neiger of “Flight School Photography” and James Shadle of “In the Field Workshops” are proud to present the “Best of Florida” workshop series, scheduled at the best time of year, the best weather, the best species, the best colors, the best group size and the great instruction. For the first time, a single workshop experience will combine two of Florida’s most desirable locations. The workshops will include the best of central (Snail Kites) and west-central  (Roseate Spoonbills in mega-breeding plumage) Florida’s natural photographic experiences.  The “Best of Florida” workshops will be led by instructors with unparalleled knowledge of the locations and the subjects found there.

The eight day workshops will feature the unsurpassed avian opportunities of both central and west central Florida in peak season. You will enjoy four days of learning and photography in central Florida with Jim Neiger and four days of learning and photography in west central Florida with James Shadle. This unique arrangement allows you to be exposed to widest range of subjects and habitats imaginable. The subjects and habitats are not the only thing that has a wide range. You will also be exposed to very qualified, yet different instructional styles.  You can learn more here:

The cost is $2500.  Here are the dates: 

Workshop BOF-1: March 8, 2008 thru March 15, 2008.  (Limit 8/4 photographers/boat; openings: 1 for Tampa Bay portion)

Workshop BOF-2: March 19, 2008 thru March 26, 2008. (Limit 8/4 photographers/boat; openings: 3)

Workshop BOF-3: April 12, 2008 thru April 19, 2008.  (Limit 8/4 photographers/boat; openings: 4)


Snail Kite, banking male, W. Lake Toho, Kissimmee, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  Jim Neiger/Flight School Photography

Two Days of Advanced Photoshop Techniques And Tips Simplified with Robert O’Toole.

In this optional extension, you will have a chance to learn to effectively optimize the images that you created on the Best of Florida tour so that they look fantastic.  (Most folks make their images look worse in Photoshop; what sense does it make to spend tens of thousands of dollars on equipment and travel and then ruin the images that you have made in Photoshop?)   APTATS workshops are designed for the Bird photographer with an emphasis on simplicity and will be led by Robert O’toole in a relaxed and personalized atmosphere.  You can learn more about Robert and this offering here:

2008 ST AUGUSTINE ALLIGATOR FARM PHOTOGRAPHIC INSTRUCTIONAL WORKSHOP   3 1/3 DAYS:  $999 per person.  Join Robert Amoruso and Robert O'Toole for a 3 ½ Day avian workshop at one of Florida's best learning classrooms, the St. Augustine Alligator Farm from May 1 through 4, 2008.  The farm's gator swamp - a natural wetlands covering approximately two acres - has an extensive boardwalk allowing unencumbered access to the nesting birds. We will get to see and photograph nesting Wood Storks, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Tri-colored Herons, Little Blue Herons and Cattle Egrets. Ibises and Roseate Spoonbills roost consistently in the swamp though they do not nest there at present. Due to the proximity of the birds, intermediate telephoto lenses in the 300mm to 400mm range are perfect while longer lenses with TC allow you to create intimate head portraits.  Many of the birds are of course in full breeding plumage.  Flight photography and fill-flash technique are two of the many techniques that we will be concentrating on.

For full details download the workshop brochure at and the workshop FAQ at or contact Robert at


Cattle Egret, breeding plumage, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1Ds. ISO 320. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/5.6 set manually after histogram check.   

Cattle Egrets in full breeding plumage are among my very favorite photographic subjects. One thing that you need to learn on rookery workshops is how to eliminate distracting backgrounds…


Explore the magic of the Everglades with Award winning photographer Fabiola Forns.  Private Instruction will highlight creative vision and will address your weak points.  Wakodahatchee and Green Cay Wetlands are also available.  Call Fabs at (305) 710-7748,, e-mail her at, or visit for rates and more info. Alfred Forns may be available to co-lead certain dates.



Anhinga at sunrise, Everglades National Park, FL

Image Copyright 2008: Fabiola Forns/Avianscapes Images



Bosque IPT #1:  NOV 22-25, 2008.  Slide program on the evening of NOV 21.  4-DAY:  $1799   (Limit: 10/Openings:  4)

Bosque IPT #2:  NOV 29-DEC 2, 2008.  Slide program on the evening of NOV 28. 4-DAY:  $1799  (Limit: 10/Openings: 4)

SW FLA POST X-MAS IPT: DEC 27-29 or 30, 2008.  Slide program on the evening of DEC 26.  (Limit: 10/Openings: 8)  4-DAY: $1799   (3-DAY OPTION:  $1349)


Brown Pelican and Willets, Fort DeSoto Park, nr. St. Petersburg, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/5.6.   


I saw this image in my mind and would up in salt water up to the bottom of my lower vest pockets…  It was worth it.  I focused on the pelican (using One-Shot AF) and recomposed.  To sharpen up the Willets I then created a loose Quick Mask of them and applied a contrast mask:  Unsharp Mask at 15/65/0 (or thereabouts).



Tel 800-221-1830 Gary ext. 2332        Fax 800-336-3841


BIRDS AS ART Specials                                  (Expiration February 28, 2008)

Currently in stock is the Canon 1D Mark III with the blue stickers priced at $4249.99.  Free shipping is being offered to BIRDS AS ART subscribers.

Canon 1DS Mark III are coming in slowly.  I am doing my best to fill the orders of those who are on the waiting list.  Subscribers not on the list, please email me your full name, address, and telephone number.  I will contact you when they are available.

Canon 40D Body                                                                          $1149.99

Canon 5D Body                                                                            $2109.99

New Canon Lenses

I am taking pre-orders on the 800mm 5.6 IS lens and the 200 2.0 IS lens.  Those interested in being placed on the waiting list, please email me your full name, address, and telephone number.  I will contact you when they are available.  I will do my best to fill the orders as quickly as possible.

Canon Lenses

Ask for the price on the 500 and 600 mm lenses offered to the subscribers.  Currently they are in stock.  Hunt’s stocks a full line of Canon lenses.  Hunt’s carries only USA warranty.  Call for current pricing on all lenses.

Used Equipment

Currently Hunt’s has a limited supply of Nikon D2X Body used for $1900.00.  Contact Steve Genatossio at extension 2312 or email him to receive more info.

Trade Ins

Hunt’s is offering competitive pricing for a Nikon D200 and all other photographic equipment trade-ins toward the new Nikon D300, Canon XT towards the XTi, and  Canon 30D toward 40D.  Offering competitive trade in value on all Nikon and Canon high end lenses as well as Leica range finder bodies and lenses.   Contact Steve Genatossio at extension 2312 or email him for more details. 

Canon and Epson Printers

For great pricing and expert advice on Canon IPF5100, IPF6100 and IPF8100 or Epson 3800,4880, 7880,and 9880 please contact Hunts’ printer expert Ora Lea at ext. 2360 or by email

Epson and Canon Inks

Epson 2200   $    9.00         

Epson 1800        $  11.99         

Epson 2400        $  11.99

Epson 1400   $  18.99   

Epson 3800  $  47.99     

Canon Pixma Pro 9000 (8 pack $  79.99

Canon BCI-6 Multipack    $  49.99                      

Canon Pixma Pro 9500 (6 pack)  $ 119.99

A flat $5.00 shipping is being offered for all ink orders over $300.00.

New Nikon Products

D3 are still shipping slowly.  Subscribers interested in being placed on the waiting list should contact me with your full name, address, and telephone number.  Hunt’s is taking pre-order on the new Nikon 500VR, 600VR, 60 macro VR lens, 16-85, and 24 PC lens.  I will do my best to fill the orders as quickly as possible. 

Nikon D300 are currently in stock.  I will offer free shipping to Birds as Art subscribers.  Ask about the availability and price on the Nikon “hard to find” 200-400VR lens and 70-200VR lens.  Hunt’s is an authorized Nikon dealer.  Call for pricing on all Nikon lenses.

For Birds as Art subscribers members who are NPS members, interested in ordering the new Nikon “hard to find” products; contact Nikon, submit your NPS number, request that you are interested in placing your order with Hunt’s with Gary Farber being your Hunt’s sales representative.  It will arrive here at Hunt’s with your name on it.

New Sigma Lenses

Sigma has announced a 200-500 2.8 lens.  It will be at an exorbitant price.  Sigma has currently sold eight throughout the country already.  Subscribers interested in receiving more info on this lens, please email me.

Free Shipping Offer on selective items

Nikon D300 Body

Canon 1D Mark III                                                                                              $4249.99

Canon 5D                                                                                                          $2109.99

Photo Shop CS3 Upgrade                                                                                    $  189.99

Photo Shop Light Room                                                                                       $  269.99

Eye One Display 2 (Artie’s favorite calibrator)                                                        $  199.99           

In the event Gary Farber is unavailable, we invite you to receive excellent service from a member of our professional sales staff.  At our flagship store in Melrose, please contact Kathryn Nazzaro,; Ora Lea,; Bob Roche,, or Keith Patankar, You may ask for them by calling 800-221-1830 ext. 2360.


Little Blue Heron, non-breeding plumage adult, Indian Lake Estates, FL

Image Copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens with the 2X II TC and the EOS 1D Mark III.  ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/250 sec. at f/10. 

Rig supported by BLUBB on car window with Hama Double Bubble Level.

I added 1 1/3 stops of light to the above image (somewhat in error…)  I would normally add 2/3 of a stop.  The image showed only a very few flashing highlights so I simply converted it 2/3 stop darker.  After taking two minutes to optimize the image I came up with a master TIFF file.  I then ran an action to save the image as an 800 on the long side JPEG.  In Digital Basics you can learn to expose to the right via a histogram check, to optimize your images quickly in Photoshop instead of ruining them, to create actions to avoid wasting time on tasks that are repeated, and to use Automate/Batch to process large numbers of images in a given folder while you are enjoying dinner.  You can order of learn more about Digital Basics here: (

You can order or learn more about the BLUBB here:  Beware of cheap imitations costing half the price; you get exactly what you pay for…

When working off a large beanbag on the car window your head will inevitably not be square to the viewfinder as you will be bending over to some degree.  I place the bubble level in the hot shoe of the camera to ensure that I will not need to rotate the image in Photoshop:


Can you see the huge difference between the image above and the image below which I deleted???

If not, check out the great thread in the new Educational Resources Forum on BPN here:  Note: new visitors will be prompted to register.

A free Head Angle excerpt from ABP II is part of that thread.  Learn more about the Art of Bird Photography II here:


In the image above, the head is facing slightly away from the plane of the imaging sensor.  I deleted this image after creating and saving JPEGs for educational purposes.


Best and love and great picture-making to all,


Note: Arthur Morris has been a Canon contract photographer since 1996 and continues in that role today.  Hunt's Photo of Boston, MA is a BAA sponsor as is Delkin Devices.  Back issues of all BAA Bulletins can be found in the Bulletin Archives which may be accessed from the home page at