Raking Sidelight… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Raking Sidelight...

What’s Up?

Slept very well on Monday night…. Worked on some images and old image folders. Enjoyed a sunny swim. Worked on the Power Point presentations that denise and I will be doing at B&H next Wednesday. I got a bit frustrated but got lots of help from several readers, most notably Bruce Enns. If you read my comments in my “Urgent Plea for Help” post on Monday afternoon you should enjoy a good chuckle and learn a bit as well. You can find the post here.

I learned On Monday that we might have a big-name celebrity/photographer/friend in the B&H Event Space audience. See here for details. Had a nice ice bath, worked on this blog post, and then watched some Monday Night Football.

This blog post was supposed to be be published automatically at 5:30 am on Tuesday, October 6, but the plan mis-fired (even though it seemed that I did everything right. As a result, it will be published early on the morning of Wednesday, October 7, 2015.

I spent most of Tuesday assembling the optimized TIFF files for the San Diego exhibit.


This image was created at 5:10am on June 5th on one of last year’s Palouse IPTs with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (at 383mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/30 sec. at f/16 in Av mode. Live view with 2-second timer. Color temperature 8000K.

I rear-focused 1/3 of the way into the frame via contrast off the sensor in Live View. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Farm fields at sunrise illuminated by raking sidelight

Raking Sidelight…

Regular readers know that I am not at all a fan of sidelight for birds. But for landscapes, strong, raking sidelight can be very dramatic. Here I used a long focal length to achieve the framing that I wanted. It can be difficult in the Palouse to eliminate all farmhouses, silos, and residences; both denise and I often use our longer focal lengths from atop Steptoe Butte.

A Flaw?

I love this image but there is one thing about it that bugs me. What is it? Hint: eliminating the single flaw would be an easy fix.


Subject and focal lengths from upper left to right and then around to center.

Palouse Falls: 11mm; homemade kiddie race car: 105mm; barn siding pan blur: 798mm; Rolling fields diorama: 110mm; Crayola drums: 343 mm; Hay barn interior: 19mm; vintage gas station: 40mm; Dilapidated farm building: 13mm; Denise’s tree Infrared: 20mm.

Images and card design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART.

The Palouse ~ A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. June 3-7, 2016/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12

The Palouse ~ A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. June 10-14, 2016/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12

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Maximize both your travel dollars and your learning experience by signing up for both IPTs.


Images and card design by Denise Ippolito/A Creative Adventure.

The Palouse IPTs

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will likely enjoy spectacular sunrises and possibly a nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. We will take you to some really neat old abandoned barns and farmhouses in idyllic settings. There is no better way to improve your compositional and image design skills and to develop your creativity than to join us for this trip. Two great leaders: Denise Ippolito and Arthur Morris. Photoshop and image sharing sessions when we have the time and energy…. We get up early and stay out late and the days are long.

After 6 days of back-breaking scouting work in early June 2014 we found all of the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and views. On three additional scouting days in 2015 we discovered several more truly amazing locations. We will teach you what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time.

What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, our newfound but very extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions when possible. There will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before each workshop begins.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills. You will learn to get the right exposure every time. You will learn to develop your creative eye. You will learn the basics of HDR (high dynamic range) photography. You will learn a variety of in-camera creative techniques. Most importantly you will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images. Do see both of our blogs for lots more on that in the coming weeks. You will learn how the quality and direction of light combine to determine the success of your images. And–please don’t gasp–we will be working quite a bit with sidelight when creating landscapes. Lastly, we will be doing some infrared photography.

To Sign Up

A non-refundable $699 deposit is due now. The balance will be due on February 15, 2016. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Whether or not your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

With the spectacular success that we enjoyed in 2015 it seems quite likely that this one will fill up very quickly. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining us. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours or send us a check to leave a deposit; the latter is preferred. If by check, please make out to “Arthur Morris” and mail it to: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via e-mail: artie or denise.

Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options. You can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check. Whenever purchasing travel insurance be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.


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15 comments to Raking Sidelight…

  • avatar Tim Clifton

    Great image of repeating patterns of light and texture. Nothing bugs me about the image, so it is a difficult and personal taste. Lower left corner seems to have a somewhat lighter bit that almost looks like a smudge. Or maybe it is my monitor needs cleaning. The light spot very bottom right corner while lighter does not offend me. The lighter spot in the lower right corner is the start of a pattern that extends from lower right corner repeating upward and diagonally to the lighter center. Maybe a taboo suggestion, maybe flipping the image so it leads from lower left upward. For westerners we usually flow left to right. Just a thought.


  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    Maybe the small dark elongated patch at bottom, just left of middle ??? Beautiful light

  • avatar gary ellwein

    I meant lower left. I can see that the small patch of light green in the lower right corner could also be eliminated.


  • avatar Frederick Correa

    Hello Artie,
    I must have missed the article, but I did not see you mention anything about the great tripod you were going to post on Monday.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Frederick, We are still waiting for the link 🙂 Sorry for the delay. artie

  • avatar gary ellwein

    Left of center the farmer had the audacity to produce a cross hatched pattern in the other wise nearly flawless pattern and texture of the field of emerging wheat. To my eye the light green patch in the left lower corner does not seem to fit.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Gary,

      Thanks. I do not mind the faint cross-hatching. Did you mean lower left or lower right?

      later and love to you both, artie

  • avatar David Policansky

    Epic fail. I don’t see a flaw. But I can see detail out of only one eye (cataract) and I’m looking on my phone. Still, it seems unlikely that it’s glaring flaw.

  • avatar Jim Brown

    Lower left corner; slight flare appearance. ???

  • I’ll go with darkening the lower right corner.


  • avatar Gary Axten

    I’m going to guess at the raised line from the left corner to a third up on the right. I’m sure it’s not that though as I can’t see how it would be an easy fix.

  • avatar Elizabeth Lodwick

    The little pointy dark shadow in the middle towards the top but only because I was trying to find something. Normally I would find it a perfectly beautiful picture

  • Single flaw…boy, this one is tough, but I’ll give it
    a shot…

    The lower right hand corner where there’s a touch of
    sunlight vs having it the darker green?


    • Ugh…wish I could edit that previous post…

      The reason why I ‘think’ its a flaw…the other
      3 corners are the darker green and my eye is drawn
      to that lower right hand corner.