JUNE 13, 2008








Contact us by phone at 863-692-0906 (Eastern Time Zone) or by e-mail at or  The att e-mail address is best from overseas.


We gladly accept credit card orders by phone from 8am till 7pm Eastern Time (8 am till 3pm Fridays and some weekends).  You can use the PayPal links on the web site to order anything.  Just type in the item(s) and the amount.  If using your own PayPal account, please send to either of the e-mail addresses above.


Note:  maximize this e-mail for best formatting. 


Important Request: if responding to this e-mail, please take the time to delete all images and all irrelevant text.




Great Skua pair and the MV Island Sky, Fair Isle, Scotland

Image copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens with the 1.4X II TC (handheld)  with the EOS-1D MIII.   ISO 400.   Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/8. Fill flash at -2 stops.  


I visualized this image as I approached the skuas resting near the cliff edge and saw the anchored ship in the background.  To create the juxtaposition, I lowered the tripod by releasing the leg tab and pulling out the front leg. 




Sea Stack with breeding Common Murres, Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

Image copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens and the EOS-1D MIII on the Gitzo CF 3530 LS tripod and the Mongoose M3.5. ISO 500.  Evaluative Metering +2/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/5.6.   


I created this stitched panorama (and lots more on the trip) using the Photomerge feature in Photoshop CS3.  First, convert the RAW images to be stitched, then browse through to them via File/Automate/Photomerge, then highlight the files and click OK.  (I have always used the Auto setting but you might wish to experiment with the other settings and compare the results.) 






On June 12, at the conclusion of the Zegrahm's Wild Britain cruise I flew from Edinburgh, Scotland to JFK to Orlando where I over-nighted.  I am preparing this Bulletin on an Air Canada fight to Montreal, Canada where I will be staying at the Airport Hilton.  A friend is picking me up at 4am on Thursday morning.  We will then drive to Bonaventure for five days of gannnet photography. I will be out of the office until Monday, June 23.  Please hold off on sending your photography-related questions until my return.  Thanks!  Jim and Jennifer will be here to help with your mail orders, most equipment questions, and your IPT and Portland Seminar registrations.  Note: Jim will be out of the office from June 18-25. Jennifer will have limited hours from June 18-20, and will be away from June 21-26. Arthur will start catching up with your email orders and phone messages when he returns from Canada. Thanks for your patience.  Be safe, breathe deep, have fun, and make some great images until I get back.





Atlantic Puffin in sea pink, Saltee Island, Ireland

Image copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens with the 1.4X II TC (handheld)  with the EOS-40D. ISO 400.   Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/8. Fill flash at -2 stops.  


Working on a steep slope while hand-holding made it fairly easy to get to the right spot without disturbing the birds.  But working hand-held at relatively long effective focal lengths (1022mm, here, more than 20X magnification) has several disadvantages.  In these situations it is imperative to hold the lens as steady as possible to prevent blurring due to equipment shake.  As I had to sit to make my way down the slope, I supported the rig on my bent right knee.  But with many of the images (including this one) I needed to use One-Shot AF to come up with the desired composition by focusing on the eye and then recomposing.  When handholding at long effective focal lengths and using One-Shot AF you will (as I did on Saltee) likely make many unsharp images as a result of the lens shifting slightly either a fraction of an inch closer to or a fraction of an inch farther from the subject.  That is why we strongly recommend the use of a tripod in  whenever possible. 



Lesser Black-backed Gull, Isle of May, Scotland

Image copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens with the 2X II TC on the Gitzo CF 3530 LS tripod and the Mongoose M3.5. with the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 400.   Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/10. Fill flash at -2 stops.  


When using the 2X TC I will usually stop down a bit as I did here if I have enough shutter speed to ensure a sharp image.  




The Zegrahm's Wild Britain Cruise was a blend of natural and human history.   Some of the participants complained that there was too much time spent on culture and human history while others complained that there was too much emphasis on birds and birding.  It would seem, therefore, that Zegrahm's achieved perfect balance.  Though I enjoyed many of the ancient ruins and the castles and loved the Kirkwall, Scotland Pipe and Drum Band and the Scottish Fiddle group, you can guess which group I was in...  In any case, we visited many remote and wild islands, each one incredibly beautiful and most harboring huge seabird colonies.  Our landing on one of Scotland's Flannan Islands typified the very best locations for bird photography.  Landing is possible only with very calm conditions and fortunately my incredible BIRDS AS ART good weather karma prevailed not only in the Flannans but for the entire voyage as well.  We went ashore ten to a Zodiac.  The Zegrahm's landing team met us at the base of a steep, tall, and decrepit set of concrete steps.  They had ropes set in place and had laid out towels for better footing.  And when you needed a hand over the spots where the steps had simply crumbled away, there was always someone stationed there to help.  And best of all, the photographers had their tripods and lenses carried to the top of the steps.  Once we were halfway up the slope we were greeting by thousands of Atlantic Puffins.  At times, while in flight, they resembled mosquitoes.  And so it went.   


Island after island, sea stack after sea stack, gannetry after gannetry, we were all stunned by the physical beauty that we encountered.  The names of the individual locations are already blurred in my mind.


In addition it was great sailing again with world renowned seabird expert Peter Harrison and his wife Shirely Metz.  And it was great seeing Zodiac driver and all around good guy Rusty and marine sciences expert Rick Price again; I had met them both on the January 2007 Falklands/South Georgia/Antarctica expedition.  Harvard group leader Andrew Berry did some great programs on evolution and had a keen sense of humor, as did the ship's Captain, Peter.   Peter did a great job of putting the Island Sky in perfect position for viewing the various seabird colonies.  And the Island Sky was a fabulous vessel with LARGE staterooms, a great staff, and incredible food.  All in all, it was a superb and memorable experience, one that I can recommend to anyone who would like to get a taste of Wild Britain. 






Atlantic Puffin, square head portrait, Flannan Islands, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Image copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D MIII on the Gitzo CF 3530 LS tripod and the Mongoose M3.5. ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering at zero: 1/640 sec. at f/8 set manually.        


I made many images of puffins in flight and many tight head portraits like the one above but in retrospect wish that I had created some wide images of an entire hillside covered with puffins...



 twisted basaltic columns, Staffa Island, Scotland

Image copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Two frame stitched panorama.  Original images created with the Canon 24-105mm IS L zoom lens (handheld at 24mm) with the EOS-40D.  ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering +1/3 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/13.       


We saw and photographed many way-cool geologic features.  




We are continuing to work hard at providing honest critiques done gently.  And, as the post by Dave Phillips below shows, we are both succeeding and appreciated. 


I much appreciate your comments on my recent work.  It is refreshing to have honest critique and at the same time get a little positive reinforcement when due.  The constant swapping of pats on the back that are prevalent at other sites gets old fast and nothing is learned.  Thanks.....a bunch!  Dave in Louisiana

And Dave followed that up with another note in the same vein to one of our crack moderators, Axel Hildebrandt at Avian Free and Wild:

Axel, I want to say again that I much appreciate all your honest and constructive critiques. Being honest and not all "pat on the back" is refreshing.   I read a lot and study most images, the good and the bad, and I must say this is the absolute best learning forum ever..  My work has improved over past several months and it is because of the moderators like you on BPN.


Do stop by and become part of a friendly, warm, growing, enthusiastic, and talented community. 




Atlantic Puffin in flight with food for young, Isle of May, Scotland

Image copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS lens with 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D MIII handheld. ISO 500.   Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops off of grey sky: 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6.   


On our very last morning, we were delighted to find many puffins holding in a strong wind just above a cliff.  Though they were fairly close it was difficult to frame them properly because of the high winds and their constant maneuvering.  Here I needed to expand canvas and add just a primary tip or two to the right wing.  The techniques that I used are described in detail in The Art of Bird Photography II: (916 pages on CD only):




Shag at the nest, Saltee Island, Ireland

Image copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS lens with 1.4X II TC and the EOS-40D handheld. ISO 640.   Evaluative metering at zero: 1/320 sec. at f/5.6 set manually.  Fill flash at -1 stop.     


Creating a sharp image here with a relatively slow shutter speed (for more than 20X) required perfect sharpness techniques and a bit of luck, I guess...


PORTLAND, MAINE: “The Art of Nature Photography; It Ain’t Just Birds” Weekend How-To Seminar


The Art of Nature Photography; It Ain’t Just Birds” Weekend How-To Seminar in Portland, Maine

October 11-12, 2008

Eastland Park Hotel, 157 High Street, Portland, ME


This seminar is for all nature photographers who want to learn how to make better photographs. On Saturday I will describe the methods and techniques that I have used and developed since 1983.  My comments on lenses and digital camera bodies, AF, light, and on composition and image design will be highly informative and educational.  And my tips on getting close to free and wild subjects and creating pleasing blurs will help you become a better photographer.  Everyone with a telephoto lens who wishes to dramatically improve the quality of their images will benefit from attending. 


Since going all-digital in November 2002, I have—with the help of many wonderful friends—become a Photoshop expert.  My approach to optimizing images is to create master files of excellent quality in the shortest possible time.  I will share our workflow and numerous Digital and Photoshop tips on Sunday.  As more and more folks are using Digital Capture, I am finding on our IPTs that many good to excellent photographers have no clue as to how to use Photoshop to make their images look better.  In fact, many of them make their best images look worse!  I can and will teach you to do just that at this seminar.  


Do consider taking advantage of the opportunity to spend two days learning from one of the premier nature photography educators on the planet by joining me for this great weekend.  The October 11-12 dates were carefully chosen to coincide roughly with the average peak of fall color in southern Maine.  The likelihood is that if you are coming from out of town and would like to photograph the fall color the best bet (taking global warming and the trends in recent years) would be to schedule your photography in the days following the seminar.  Every year, however, is different, and this is nature photography so there are no guarantees, but chances are, whether you photograph just before or just after the seminar you should have many chances to create some great images.  Best bet: come a few days early and stay on for a few days…  (Hint:  hope for a pre-dawn rainstorm followed by the sun breaking through in the east while grayish-black storm clouds fill the western sky…)


The seminar will be held at the Eastland Park Hotel.   Folks staying at least two nights in the hotel will receive a free Lens Pen Combo Kit at the seminar.  As fall color time is peak season in southern Maine, hotel rates are high anywhere in the region.  We were able to negotiate a rate of $159 for folks registering early.  Once the block of rooms is gone, higher rates will apply.  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 some great stuff from Lowepro and Wimberley).  I hope that you will be able to join me for what will be an incredibly educational and fun-filled weekend.  (If anyone would like to help us set up or to hang out, be there at 7:00am.)



The cost of the weekend seminar will be $169.  The cost of either single day will be $99.  Members of qualifying camera clubs are invited to apply a $10 discount.  (If you are a member of a camera club or other photography organization please e-mail us before registering to learn how your group can become a qualifying club).  Register with a friend or a spouse and take $10 off each registration.  Register in groups of four or more and take $20 off of each registration.   Register in a group of ten or more and take $30 off each registration.  It is highly recommend that folks purchase the buffet luncheon option ($15/day includes tip and tax).  Those purchasing the lunch option will receive their lunch coupon when they check in each morning.)  The cost of the weekend seminar plus the two lunches is $199.


There are three ways to register:


1- Send a check for the full amount made out to "Arthur Morris" to PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855.

2- Call us with a credit card at 863-692-0906.

3- Send us a Paypal (using either any link on our site or your Paypal account) to us at


In all cases, we will need your e-mail address, your mailing address, and your daytime and evening phone numbers.  


Here is our Cancellation Policy:  If for any reason you need to withdraw, please notify us ASAP. Once we receive your e-mail, your phone call, or written notice of your cancellation the following fees apply: cancel before July 10, 2008 and your fee will be refunded less a $20.00 cancellation fee; cancel by August 10, 2008 and your fee will be refunded less a $50.00 cancellation fee; cancel after September 10, 2008 and there will be no refund. 




lamb, Mousa, The Shetland Islands, Scotland

Image copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D MIII  40D on the Gitzo CF 3530 LS tripod and the Mongoose M3.5. ISO 400.  Evaluative Metering +1/3 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/5.6.  


We encountered lots of sheep and lambs but on most islands they were ear-tagged.  This was not the case on Mousa.  And remember, it ain't just birds!



Northern Gannet, St. Kilda Archipelago, Scotland

Image copyright 2008:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens (handheld) with the EOS-1D MIII.  ISO 500.  Evaluative Metering +2 1/3 stops off the white sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6 set manually.   


This image was created from the deck of the MV Island sky as he carefully maneuvered the boat between two large sea stacks covered with gannets. 



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  To subscribe to the Bulletins, please click on the link on the home page.  To unsubscribe click here: unsubscribe.