JULY 23, 2007










IPT UPDATES (NEW: San Diego IPT:  JAN 20-23, 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.

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Photographic theme:  My favorite images from the recent Galapagos Photo-Cruise.  


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




Galapagos Tortoise, male, Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III.  ISO 800.  Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/100 sec. at f/8.        


Here I manually selected the single AF sensor at the top of the vertical frame. Competent photographers working with a tripod-mounted IS lens and good sharpness techniques should be able to produce sharp images at long effective focal lengths at all shutter speeds above 1/60 sec. To learn to make sharp images see Chapter V: Advanced Sharpness Techniques & Creating Pleasing Blurs in ABP II:



Most folks returned home happy after this trip.  One woman fell on Hood Island, fractured four ribs, and punctured her left lung; it was the very worst fall that I have ever seen.  Juan Salcedo, our amazingly talented guide, handled the situation well with a maturity far beyond his age.  We did lose two half days of photography and the group was very understanding.  They have my profound thanks.  Just before heading to Ecuador I learned that Tower Island—my very favorite spot in the Galapagos—was not on our itinerary.  I suspected that this change occurred as a result of new politics at the park administration, more specifically as a result of the new park administrator.  My suspicions were confirmed.  Again, the group was amazingly understanding.  With the present situation it is virtually impossible to guarantee a Galapagos itinerary that visits all of the best locations:  Hood, Tower, North Seymour, and Fernandina.  This is an unfortunate situation. 

For the most part we had great weather, i.e., not too sunny (with only a few drops of rain here and there)!  The Yacht Beluga and it’s staff were excellent as always, and Juan astounded all with his almost limitless Galapagos knowledge; ask him about the plants, the animals, the birds, the geology, the history, the politics, the weather, snorkeling, the fish and marine life and he comes up with an informative answer immediately.  And we have trained him to understand light angle and quality of light <smile>  The 2008 Galapagos Photo-Cruise has been sold out for some time.   


Waved Albatross, bill clacking display, Punta Suarez, Hood Island (Espanola), Galapagos, Ecuador

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III.  ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/7.1.   

Careful folks  will note that I created this image while  working about 30 degrees off sun-angle.  And I actually like the textured light on the bird’s neck.  Working well off the-sun angle in soft light is much less objectionable than when working in bright sun. 


Many folks wrote concerning the related info in the last BAA Notes.  Thanks to the many who sent links to form 4577 (  Jim Caldwell did some additional detective work and sent me the following via e-mail:

This is the update on what I found after calling the customs office this morning.  I spoke to the office at the St. Petersburg airport (St. Petersburg, Fl).  I described your situation and explained I was heading to Ecuador in 10 days and was concerned as I would be traveling with approximately $15,000 worth of photographic equipment.  The agent confirmed that I should fill out a 4577 form for each piece of equipment and take it and the equipment to one of the customs offices and have an officer sign it.  I explained that I was not able to get to one of their offices before I left since they are only open Monday - Friday, 8:30 - 5:00.  (Note; Customs and Border Patrol Offices in major international airports are open 24-7.) I asked what other forms of proof would be acceptable.  She indicated that I should have a sales receipt for each item that includes the serial number.  I explained that some of the equipment was purchased from individuals and that I did not have a receipt; I asked if my insurance rider would suffice since it lists each piece of equipment along with value and serial number and is on a State Farm letterhead.  She explained that accepting anything other than Form 4577 form is entirely up to each agent. 

The following paragraph, however, is from the government website:

"If your laptop computer was made in Japan—for instance—you might have to pay duty on it each time you brought it back into the United States, unless you could prove that you owned it before you left on your trip. Documents that fully describe the item—such as sales receipts, insurance policies, or jeweler's appraisals—are acceptable forms of proof." (

Another page on the site indicates that travelers have a right to speak to a supervisor.

Unfortunately, even though the government's own website indicates they will accept receipts or insurance documents, it may be up to the individual agent that you encounter.  (Note: it would be nice if you could believe what they state on the web site.  It would be a good idea to print the relevant pages and carry them with you also…)

Thanks again for the advisory!!!  Jim Caldwell

More:  the CBP web site ( states that receipts or registration paperwork (CBP Form 4457) for any new electronics, such as cameras or laptops are needed, but are only suggested if traveling with recently purchased goods. Not necessary for goods more than 6 months old…


Yellow Warbler, adult female, Gardner Bay, Hood Island (Espanola), Galapagos, Ecuador

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III.  ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/11.   

Extra depth-of-field is needed  most when working at or near the minimum focusing distance of a big telephoto lens… When working at white sand beach on a cloudy day +1 will get you in the ballpark in most situations.  


I fly to Anchorage early on August 6. On the morning of August 8; the 12 Silver Salmon Creek IPT participants and the three leaders will board three bush planes and land on the beach at Silver Salmon Creek Lodge in Lake Clark National Park.  We will be photographing coastal Brown Bear at close range, Horned Puffins at rest and in flight, and fishing for Silver Salmon and halibut.  Late on August 14 I take the red-eye from Anchorage to NYC where I will be conducting the NYC Seminar (see the info below).  I will be staying on for ten additional days to photography juvenile shorebirds at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. I look forward to returning to one of my three soul places.  I will be back in the office on September 3.  Jim and Jen will be here to help you with your mail orders and trip registrations.  Please hold off on your photography-related questions until early September. 



Blue-footed Booby, newly hatched chick, North Seymour Island, Galapagos, Ecuador

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens with the 2X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III.  ISO 1600.  Evaluative metering at zero: 1/400 sec. at f/9.  


While working in CS3, I used the Clone Tool, the Patch Tool, and Quick Masks to do a substantial clean-up of this image.  If it makes you happy, you many call the image a photo illustration.  To me it accurately depicts the natural history of the moment. You can learn to use the Clone and Patch tools while studying our complete digital workflow in our Digital Basics File:  You can learn all about using Quick Masks in Robert O’Toole’s fabulous APTATS PDF:




For years I have been using the smaller Mongoose Action head at Bosque when creating images with various intermediate telephoto lenses in low light situations.  And for years we have been recommending the smaller of the two Mongeese heads (previously the M262, then the M2.3, and now the M3.5…) for all photographers who use an intermediate telephoto lens as their everyday workhorse lens.  I have loaned various generations of the smaller head to exactly 162 persons on IPT; 161 of them purchased a Mongoose. 


For the past several years I have been having trouble with my right shoulder (and my left at times).  In an effort to save some weight, I brought the larger Mongoose (now the M3.5) to Iceland and was so happy with the reduced weight and with its performance that I brought it on the Galapagos cruise and will be bringing it to Alaska and to NYC.   I will continue to use the Wimberley V-2 head for flight photography at places like Bosque and the Venice Rookery.  In addition, I will always bring the older Wimberley head to Africa; it is taller than the V-2 and is a better choice when working atop a safari vehicle.


Here is the skinny on weight of the various heads:

Wimberley OLD:  3lbs 8 oz

Wimberley NEW:  2lbs 8.5 oz 

M3.5: 13.8 oz.

M2.5: 8 oz

The M3.5 is just a bit more than 2 full pounds lighter than the Wimberley head.  (Note: though Robert O’Toole has been using the M3.5 effectively with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS lens for quite some time, I do not recommend that for most folks as the risk of dropping the lens while balancing the rig is just too great…)

Below is an image of the Mongeese heads on my newly-tiled floor <smile>  (The larger 3.5 with the red 4th Generation Design logo insert is at the top.)

For more information on the Mongeese heads including price, shipping, and accessories click here:

For information on Wimberley products click here:

Blue-footed Booby, adult male, Punta Suarez, Hood Island (Espanola), Galapagos, Ecuador

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III.  ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/10 in Manual mode.    

Here again I was working well off light angle, this time to come up with one of my favorite backgrounds:  distant sunlit water.  I waited until the bird turned its head back towards the light before making an image.  


Monte Brown has a used Canon 1D Mark II N in excellent condition for sale for $2600.  There are no marks on body and slight paint wear on the flash hot shoe.  The sale includes all items that came with camera: original box, manuals, cables, software, battery charger, AC adapter, and an extra Delkin BPE3 battery as well. Shipping and insurance to be paid by the buyer.

You can contact Monte during the day at 765-744-1421, on his cell at 765-744-1421, or via e-mail at


Juan Salcedo and Angela Windle with Galapagos Sea-lions, Gardner Bay, Hood Island (Espanola), Galapagos, Ecuador

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 70-200mm f/4 L IS lens (handheld at 75mm) with the EOS-1D Mark III.  ISO 200. Evaluative metering +1 stop: 1/500 sec. at f/5.6.   

With lots of tame photographic subjects around, Juan was able to spend extra time with the non-photographer spouses.  Angela and husband Michael on holiday from the UK graciously consented to switch cabins with Robert Malpas (another Brit) and his roommate as Robert was not at all comfortable in a small cabin with bunk beds.  Thanks again guys; such cooperation is greatly appreciated on IPTs.





 Registration has been picking up over the past few weeks; we are now nearing a sell-out.  Nature photographers from Texas, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Massachusetts, Iowa, Maine, California, South Dakota, Quebec, Canada and the UK joining will be joining the many from the Tri-State area.  Whenever I am within a three hour drive of a workshop given by a colleague I make it a point to attend.  Folks are often curious as to why…  No secret there:  I want to learn more.  Do consider registering soon to avoid being disappointed.  


Canon Pro-Markets rep Alyssa Cohen will be joining us on Saturday with a few large equipment trunks full of great Canon gear (new and old) for you to get your hands on.  Every pro-markets rep that I have worked with at the various seminars has been a wealth of technical knowledge and has been mobbed by eager participants during the breaks.  In addition, we will have a host of great door prizes including stuff from Lowepro, Delkin, Hunt’s, Wimberly, Nature Photographer magazine, Birder’s World, WildBird, and Bird Watcher’s Digest among others.  



Magnificent Frigatebird, female in flight, Moreno Point, Isabella, Galapagos, Ecuador

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens with the EOS-1D Mark III.  ISO 400. Evaluative metering +3 stops off the white sky: 1/1250 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode.    


As Juan had predicted before our arrival, this (and other frigatebirds) flew into a brackish pond to drink. With low light and a white sky I knew that adding three stops to the meter reading off of the sky would yield a perfect exposure for the dark subject, and it did just that.   Note the extremely sharp  focus attained with the MIII.   For the best settings for flight photography and to simply learn to use this complex camera, do consider our MIII User’s Guide:



The Art of Nature Photography; It Aint Just Birds!  Weekend How-To Seminar

Queens, New York (near JFK Airport August 18-19, 2007 

This seminar is for all nature photographers who want to learn how to make better photographs. If you live within a three hour drive and are not planning on attending, you are either an amazingly talented photographer and Photoshop expert or you need to re-think things <smile>  On Saturday I will describe the methods and techniques that I have developed and used since 1983.  My comments on equipment (including and especially digital equipment), autofocus, light, and on composition and image design, and my tips on getting close to free and wild subjects and creating pleasing blurs will benefit everyone who owns a telephoto lens and wishes to dramatically improve the quality of their images. Since going all-digital in November 2002, I have--in short order--become a digital photography and Photoshop expert.  My approach to optimizing images is to create a master file 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!  My workflow is designed to quickly produce master files of high quality.  I can and will teach you to do just that at this seminar.    

The cost of the weekend seminar is $169.  The cost of either single day is $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 for details.)  Register with a friend or spouse and take $10 off each registration.  Register in groups of four or more and take $20 off of each registration. Get a group of ten photographers together and apply a $30 discount to each registration.  (Please e-mail for group registration details.)  It is highly recommend that folks purchase the buffet luncheon option ($15/day includes tip and tax) as there are no fast food restaurants nearby. 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.

To register, send a check for the full amount made out to "Arthur Morris" to PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855, call with a credit card: 863-692-0906, or send 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, phone call, or written notice of your cancellation the following fees apply: cancel before May 17, 2007 and your fee will be refunded less a $20.00 cancellation fee; cancel by July 17, 2007 and your fee will be refunded less a $50.00 cancellation fee; cancel after July 17, 2007 and there will be no refund. 

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.  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 simply hang out, be there at 7:00am.)

The seminar hotel is the Crowne Plaza JFK Hotel, 151-20 Baisley Blvd., Jamaica, NY 11434.  The first 40 attendees who stay at least two nights at the seminar hotel will receive a free Lens Pen Combo Kit—a $20 value--plus our detailed instructions (those sent via e-mail).   Room rates anywhere in NYC are extremely high; we have negotiated a fantastic low rate of $139 per night for those who register in a timely fashion.  (The lowest internet rate that I could come up with for the Crowne Plaza was $161/night).  To secure your room, please call 718-489-1000 with a credit card in hand, state that you wish to make a BIRDS AS ART reservation, and give them the confirmation code: BAA.  Please click here for additional details and the tentative schedule:

In August, fall shorebird migration is well underway at the nearby Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge.  Photography at the East Pond there can be excellent, especially for those who do not mind crawling in the mud and muck.  Folks joining us from out of town should strongly consider bringing their gear and doing some photography at J-BAY, one of my favorite places on the planet, and one of my three soul-places.  I would advise staying on after the seminar (rather than coming in early) as the juvenile shorebirds, which can be extraordinarily tame, begin arriving in mid-August.


Breaking wave, Punta Suarez, Hood Island (Espanola), Galapagos, Ecuador

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 70-200mm f/4 L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC (handheld at 124mm) with the EOS-1D Mark III.  ISO 640. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/6 sec. at f/5.6.   

I created this image in near-total darkness as Juan helped the injured participant along the rocky path.  With digital, you can make some wonderful images if you learn to think outside the envelope…  And remember, it ain’t just birds!


 Bosque #1: "The Fall Color IPT"  NOV 13-15, 2007.  Slide Program on the evening of NOV 12.   3-DAY: $999.  (Limit 14; openings: 1). Co-leader: Robert O'Toole.  Guest leader (DAY 3 only): Andy Rouse.  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 18-20, 2007.  Slide Program on the evening of NOV 17.  3-DAY: $999.  (Limit 14; Sold Out). Co-leader:  Robert O'Toole, Robert Amoruso, & Alfred Forns. Guest leader: Andy Rouse.  This IPT will feature increasing numbers of geese and cranes with lots of great opportunities.   In 2007, I will again be hosting a Thanksgiving Day luncheon at Las Lunas Mansion, a fine restaurant in an historic building.  You will need to reserve a spot and pay in advance.  Details TBA; strictly limited to 50 folks. 

Bosque #3:  "The Post-Thanksgiving IPT"   NOV 24-26, 2007.  Slide Program on the evening of NOV 23.  3-DAY: $999.   (Limit 14: Sold Out)  Co-leaders: Robert O'Toole, Robert Amoruso, and Alfred Forns.  This IPT is scheduled on dates that I consider peak for Bosque. (There may be a Full Moon Add-on NOV 23; details TBA.)  If you register for this one, hold off on buying your plane ticket if you might be interested in the add-on.)   In 2007, I will again be hosting a Thanksgiving Day luncheon at Las Lunas Mansion, a fine restaurant in an historic building.  You will need to reserve a spot and pay in advance.  Details TBA; strictly limited to 50 folks. 

BIG NEWS! SW FLA Post X-mas IPT:   DEC 27-29, 2007.  Slide program on the of evening Wednesday, DEC 26, 2006.  3-DAY: $1029.  (Limit 12; openings: 4) Co-leaders: Alfred Forns, & Robert O'Toole.  Joining us as guest co-leader will be full time professional photographer John Moran, Florida's unofficial Photographer Laureate.  You can learn about John’s amazing work here:   John will be doing his program, “Journal of Light: A Photographer's Search for the Soul of Florida" for the group on Wednesday, DEC 26 at 3:30 pm.  John’s work is so different from mine and from everyone else’s that he has been a huge inspiration to me over the past two years.  We will be visiting Sanibel Island, Venice Rookery, Cape Coral, and possibly Little Estero Lagoon (depending on the tides).  Herons, egrets, gulls, terns, skimmers, shorebirds, both pelicans, Osprey, Burrowing Owl, and lots more.  Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork possible.  


BRAND NEW: San Diego IPT:  JAN 20-23, 2008. Slide program on the Saturday early evening of JAN 19. 4-DAYS: $1399.  (Limit 12; openings: 10.)  LaJolla, LaJolla Shores Beach, Coronado, and Santee Lakes.   Brown Pelicans in spectacular breeding plumage, Heerman’s & Western Gulls, Marbled Godwits & lots more shorebirds, Wood & Ring-necked Ducks & Lesser Scaup. Great flight photography.  And lots more. 



Galapagos Fur-seal, close-up of ear, Puerto Egas, James Bay, Galapagos, Ecuador

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens with 67.5 mm of extension, the 2X II TC, and the EOS-1D Mark III.  ISO 1600.  Evaluative metering at zero: 1/125 sec. at f/71.  


To use your super-telephoto lens as a macro lens, place the extension tube (or tubes) on the lens with the teleconverter behind it.   Doing so allows for ridiculously close focusing and great magnification (though you will need to turn AF off and focus manually.)



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


BIRDS AS ART Specials    (Expiration:  August 17, 2007)

Canon Digital Cameras

As about the Birds as Art price on the Canon 5D Body. Canon is now packaging the 5D with the 24-105 lens.  Call for a great price.

Ask about all other Canon Digital SLR Cameras.

Canon Lenses

Hunt’s is a full line Canon authorized dealer.  Call for prices on all Canon lenses.  Hunt’s only carries USA warranty, and stocks all Canon lenses including the 70-200 F 4 IS, 100-400, 4.5 5.6 IS, 70-200, 2.8 L IS, 400 DO IS, 500 F4 L IS, 600 F 4 L IS, 180 3.5 L Macro, and 300 F 4 L IS USM.

Nikon Digital Cameras

Call for the availability and price on the Nikon D200 Body. 

D2XS                                                                                        $4199.99

Ask about pricing on all other Nikon Digital Cameras. 

Nikon Lenses

Hunt’s is a full line authorized Nikon dealer.  Hunt’s only carries USA warranty.  Call for availability and pricing on the following:

70-200 VR, 80-400 VR, 105 VR, 18-200 VR, 12-24, 500mm 4.0 AF-S II, 600 F 4 D AFS II, and 70-300 VR 4.5 5.6.  Ask about the availability and price on the Nikon 200-400.

HP Printers

Hunt’s stocks a full line of HP Printers.  Ask about price on the Z2100 24” and 44” pedestal printers, Z3100 24” and 44” pedestal printers.  Hunt’s will drop ship and include “free” shipping.

Epson Printers

Ask about great prices on the Epson 1800 and 2400 printers.  Epson is now running a $75.00 mail in rebate.  Ask about prices on the Epson V700 and 750 scanners.  Epson will be coming out with new printers in the Fall.  Birds as Art subscribers knowing more about these new printers, please send me your full name, address, and telephone number.  Gary will notify you when he has more info.

Canon Printers

9500 packaged with a Spyder 2 Suite (includes flat $10.00 shipping)  $ 799.99

Ask about pricing on all other Canon Printers.

Film Deals

Velvia 100F dated 2/07                             Per roll                           $     2.00

Provia 100F dated 3/07     (In 20 packs)     Per roll                           $     2.50

Provia 400F dated 8/07                            Per roll                           $     5.00

Velvia 50 36 dated 3/07                            Per roll                           $     3.00

“FREE” SHIPPING is being offered on the following products:

All LowePro Bags

Bogen Tripods

PhotoShop CS3 Upgrade                                                                 $ 189.99

Adobe Light Room                                                                         $ 259.99

ColorVision Spyder 2 Pro                                                                $ 189.99

Greg Tag MacBeth Eye One Display 2                                               $ 189.99

Wacom 6X8 Tablet                                                                         $ 289.99

Hoodman Loop                                                                              $   59.99

There is a “10% DISCOUNT” on the following items:


The Pod from Bogen (Sizes – small, medium, and large)

Gepe Card Safes (Colors – red, yellow, blues, and black)

Lens Babies 3G for Nikon and Canon

KATA Rain Covers

All NIK Filters

Expo Discs

Gary Farber is offering a flat $5.00 shipping fee on the above 10%-off items.


Flightless Cormorant, large chick at nest, Punta Espinoza, Fernandina, Galapagos, Ecuador

Image Copyright 2007:  Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART


Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens with the 1.4X II TC and the EOS-1D Mark III.  ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/5.6.   


With the bright white guano background and somewhat overcast conditions, I needed to add 1/3 stop of light to ensure data in the fifth box of the histogram. 


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 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