AUGUST 6, 2004
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Photo Theme: images from Fort DeSoto County Park, Tierra Verde, FL 
Important Request: if responding to this e-mail, please take the time to delete the images and all irrelevant text.  Thanks!
Royal Tern, courtship feeding, Fort DeSoto County Park, Tierra Verde, FL
Image copyright 2004 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EOS 1D Mark II digital camera with 400mm f/5.6 L lens (handheld).   
ISO 250.  Evaluative Metering +1/3 stop (set manually): 1/1000 sec. at f/8. 
I was  on the prowl for flight images when an amorous male Royal landed right in from of me with a fish for his mate.  As I was raising my rig, a thin cloud slid in front of the sun so I instinctively reduced my shutter speed by 2/3rds of a stop, from 1/1600 sec. to 1/1000 sec.  AFPS (all 45 points AF points active)/AI Servo AF did the trick.  Folks ask me often if I ever crop from the 3X2 proportions inherent to both film or digital.  The answer (as shown here) is a resounding yes.  Who says that 3X2 is best for artistic purposes?  Not me!
#1:  The seed pod in Bulletin 144 that was identified as being from a water lily was actually from a lotus...  If anyone knows the full and complete local or common name or the correct Latin name I would appreciate hearing from you.  Also, does anyone know if lotus is (as I suspect) an introduced plant species in Central Florida?

#2: The correct name of the fish camp at Lake Marian is Fred's Fish Camp (not Red's...)
Laughing Gull, breeding plumage, Fort DeSoto County Park, Tierra Verde, FL
Image copyright 2004 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EOS 1Ds digital camera with 500mm f/4 L IS lens and 2X II TC on Panning Ground Pod
ISO 250.  Evaluative Metering -1/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/8 in Av Mode. 
Laughing Gull in full breeding plumage is an exquisite bird.  Getting on the ground usually yields lovely, out-of-focus backgrounds. Here I used central sensor/One-Shot AF, focused on the bird's eye, and recomposed.  I often employ the vertical front-end composition seen here.  Be sure to leave some room behind the bird's legs... 
To learn more about the Panning Ground Pod, click here: 
To learn more about ground-level photography, click here:

The Fort DeSoto/Sarasota IPT, originally scheduled for April 8-10, 2005, has been changed to April 1-3, 2005.
Here is the updated information:  Fort DeSoto/Sarasota IPT  3-DAY: $869  (8 Openings) The introductory slide program will be held on Thursday, March 31.  Oft-published hawk photographer and raptor-expert Ned Harris and his expert-birder wife, Linda, will be joining us on this IPT.
Royal Terns & Laughing Gulls in spectacular breeding plumage/courtship and copulations, dark and white phase Reddish Egrets in breeding plumage, many other heron and egret species, Sandwich & Forster's Terns, Long-billed Curlew and a dozen or more easily approachable shorebird species, great flight photography opportunities in Sarasota: Brown Pelican with nesting material, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, & Black-crowned Night-Heron (head and shoulders portraits likely with this species).
Reddish Egret (white morph) in marsh, Fort DeSoto County Park, Tierra Verde, FL
Image copyright 2004 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
Canon EOS 1Ds digital camera with 500mm f/4 L IS lens.    
ISO 250.  Evaluative Metering +2/3 stop (set manually): 1/500 sec. at f/4. 
With the inclusion of the marsh grasses, this images is a bit atypical of the usual BIRDS AS ART style.  With the soft light, I liked the look of the vegetation and chose to include it rather than wait until the bird moved into clear water.  I moved side to side until I came up with a compositional arrangement that pleased me.  In retrospect, I have noted one tiny flaw.  Can you spot it?  See the bitter end for the answer.  Hint: this is much tougher than the previous image flaw quizzes...
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:  Back issues of relevant Bulletins are archived on the web site at:


Image-flaw quiz answer: I should have pushed the tripod another inch deeper into the sand...  Why?  This would have centered the bird's head (from top to bottom) in the strip of marsh in the background.