Horizontal or Vertical… Plus Tons of Infrared Info « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Horizontal or Vertical... Plus Tons of Infrared Info

What’s Up?

I am somewhere in South America. I hope that you are well. Jim and Jen are at the office most days to help you with your mail order needs and Instructional Photo-Tour sign-ups. I still need folks for San Diego, Japan, Galapagos, the Palouse, and the Bear Boat (Grizzly Cubs) trips. Among others 🙂 Please e-mail for couples and discount info for all of the above. Click here for complete IPT info.

I will have relatively decent internet access for all but 22 OCT thru 11 NOV while I am on the Sea Spirit. Best and great picture making, artie

Please remember that the blog is intended to be interactive; the higher the number of folks who participate, the more everyone learns, including you. And me.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending IPTs and dozens of the folks whom I see in the field, and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear, especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

The Streak: 359!

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 359 days in a row with a new educational blog post. There should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. Or not… As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the new BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.


This image was created on the first 2016 Palouse IPT with the hand held Canon 24-105mm zoom lens (at 82mm) and the EOS-5D Mark II converted to Infrared by Kolari vision. The old 24-104 is being replaced by the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/8. Custom IR WB.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF on the house and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Prairie farmhouse/Infrared vertical

Kolari Vision Infrared

Whenever I am headed to a location with big skies and when the potential for dramatic white clouds exists, I make sure to bring along my Kolari Vision infrared converted 5D Mark II along. If you are replacing your 5D Mark III body with the new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR, converting your old 5D Mark III to IR is a great option.

See several more Palouse infrared images and learn a tone about IR conversions by Kolari Vision in the Infrared Fun & Infrared Camera Conversions Info blog post here.


This image was created on the first 2016 Palouse IPT with the hand held Canon 24-105mm zoom lens (at 82mm) and the EOS-5D Mark II converted to Infrared by Kolari vision. The old 24-104 is being replaced by the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -1/3 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/8. Custom IR WB.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF on the house and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Prairie farmhouse/Infrared horizontal

Dealing with the 720nm Infrared Raw Files

I am not a big fan of the slight sepia tones that come with 720nm infrared images, but I like the look a bit better than the look of the 850nm conversions, the Deep Black and White Filter as the images from that conversion are a bit too contrasty. So I take my DPP 4 converted RAW files into Photoshop and then bring them into Nik Silver Efex Pro and run through my favorite pre-sets. For todays’ Image #1, I used High Contrast Harsh. For Image #2 I used High Contrast Smooth. The differences between those two are very small.

Image Design Question

Which of the image designs to you feel is stronger, the vertical or the horizontal? If you do leave a comment, please let us know why you made your choice. Thanks!

Kolari Infrared

Kolari Vision Infrared Camera Conversions

If you are ready to join the fun and have a body converted to Infrared, use the Kolari Vision logo-link above to order your conversion and I will send you my simple guide to properly setting a Custom White Balance for infrared photography at 720nm. Simply e-mail me your receipt and I will be glad to shoot you the PDF.

Kolari Vision prides themselves on their fast turnaround times and excellent customer service; they are getting better and faster as they employ several full time technicians to service everything as quickly as possible. The filters they use have been specifically designed for each camera and filter combination to be the optimal thickness for best autofocus performance between lenses, and the best corner sharpness. The filters also fit directly into the frame making the conversion non-damaging and reversible if needed. Others uses a few standard-sized thick filters that they calibrate the camera around. Doing this reaches accurate autofocus with their test lens. But when a filter is too thick for what the optics were designed for, the sharpness can suffer, particularly in the corners, and other lenses will not consistently focus accurately. Some other IR converters glue their filters directly to the sensor; that makes it almost impossible to revert back or to change the filter.

Kolari offers a comprehensive shop for infrared bodies; customers can order converted cameras directly from KV. Their focus on optical quality built from the ground up has allowed them to recently offer a service that improves the performance of Sony A7 series cameras to the level of the Leica M240 cameras. Content-wise, Kolari has a very comprehensive article list and an exhaustive lens performance database chock full of technical details. Soon, KV will feature an interactive gallery that will showcase different camera/filter picture combinations to get rid of some of the mystery of picking a camera to convert.

Learn more about infrared and infrared conversions here and here or try a search for “Kolari” or “infrared” in the little white box on the top right of each blog post.


Palouse 2016 Horizontals Card

Why Different?

Announcing the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour

In what ways will the 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour be different from the most other Palouse workshops?

There are so many great locations that a seven-day IPT (as opposed to the typical three- or five-day workshops) will give the group time to visit (and revisit) many of the best spots while allowing you to maximize your air travel dollars. In addition, it will allow us to enjoy a slightly more relaxed pace.

You will be assured of being in the right location for the given weather and sky conditions.

You will learn and hone both basic and advanced compositional and image design skills.

You will learn to design powerful, graphic images.

You will visit all of the iconic locations and a few spectacular ones that are much less frequently visited.

You will learn long lens landscape techniques.

You will learn to master any exposure situation in one minute or less.

You will learn the fine points of Canon in-camera (5D Mark III, 5DS R, and 7D II) HDR techniques.

You will be able to share a variety of my exotic Canon lenses including the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens and the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens, aka the “circle lens.”

You will learn to use your longest focal lengths to create rolling field and Urbex abstracts.

You will learn when and how to use a variety of neutral density filters to create pleasing blurs of the Palouse’s gorgeous rolling farmlands.

As always, you will learn to see like a pro. You will learn what makes one situation prime and another seemingly similar one a waste of your time. You will learn to see the situation and to create a variety of top-notch images.

You will learn to use super-wide lenses both for big skies and building interiors.

You will learn when, why, and how to use infrared capture; if you do not own an infrared body, you will get to borrow mine.

You will learn to use both backlight and side-light to create powerful and dramatic landscape images.

This trip will run with one participant.


Palouse 2016 Verticals Card

The 2017 BIRDS AS ART Palouse Instructional Photo-Tour
June 8-14, 2017. Seven full days of photography. Meet and greet at 7:30pm on Wednesday, June 7: $2,499. Limit 10/Openings: 9.

Rolling farmlands provide a magical patchwork of textures and colors, especially when viewed from the top of Steptoe Butte where we will enjoy spectacular sunrises and at least one nice sunset. We will photograph grand landscapes and mini-scenics of the rolling hills and farm fields. I will bring you to more than a few 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 me for this trip. 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.

Over the past three years, with the help of a friend, we found all the iconic locations and, in addition, lots of spectacular new old barns and breath-taking landforms and vistas. What’s included: In-the-field instruction, guidance, lessons, and inspiration, my extensive knowledge of the area, all lunches, motel lobby grab and go breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions. As above, there will be a meet and greet at 7:30pm on the evening before the workshop begins.

To Sign Up

Your non-refundable deposit of $500 is required to hold your spot. Please let me know via e-mail that you will be joining this IPT. Then you can either call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 during business hours to arrange for the payment of your deposit; if by check, please make out to “BIRDS AS ART” 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 me via e-mail: artie.

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.

Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above we, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack!


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right 🙂

12 comments to Horizontal or Vertical… Plus Tons of Infrared Info

  • I prefer the horizontal shot, in the vertical the house and clouds seem to be competing for attention, where in the horizontal the sky is seems dominant and the house and landscape compliment it. Perhaps option 3 could have been a looser vertical or square crop?

  • I like the horizontal, especially the PLACEMENT of the house. I was immediately drawn to the fact that the hill on the left and the mountains on the right all lead the viewer’s eye right down to where they converge – at the house.

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    The clouds in the vertical photo swirl like an ‘s’ and take your eye down the shot to the house. It’s a dynamic, impactful photo.
    The horizontal photo has the same clouds, yet because the shot is wider the shot isn’t as dynamic. The horizontal shot is calm, but conveys more of a sense of starkness and loneliness because the space around the house is vast and there are no other homes.

    I prefer the vertical shot.

  • avatar Neil Hickman

    Horizontal. Because it is a big sky shot and horizontal gives you more.

  • I like what James Saxon wrote about the images conveying different emotions. That’s what I thought immediately on comparing them. And I’ll answer your question with my own (not intending to wuss): if the story is loneliness on a social scale, the horizontal works for me. If the story is cosmic insignificance, then the vertical works.

    I have no way to compare their beauty, as both are marvelous photographs. More and less aren’t operative with these, at least in my mind.

    I hope you’re over your cold(s) and having a grand time.

  • Horizontal. If I knew why I liked the horizontal best I would take far better pictures.

  • avatar James Saxon

    Both images convey different emotions but I prefer the horizontal image. As others have said, the house anchors the images and the clouds are the subject. For my tastes I would do a small crop from the left of the image to where there is a dip on the horizon line.

  • Vertical. I like seeing the old house closer with the clouds in the background.

  • avatar Ted Krug

    I prefer the horizontal. In this photo I am drawn into the scene and I find myself wandering around the in photo. The expanse of cloud has more impact. To me the vertical lacks the depth.

  • I like the horizontal, because it seems to me that the clouds are the subject and the house is the anchor, and you get more of the feeling of the expanse and the lonliness of the house with the larger sky and cloud formation.

  • avatar Maggi Fuler

    Vertical….. definitely.