My Comments on: For Your Critique/Image #9 « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Comments on: For Your Critique/Image #9

This panorama was created from seven vertical frames stitched together in Photoshop (File/Automate/Photomerge). The individual images were made with the tripod-mounted Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens and the EOS-1D Mark III (replaced now by the Canon EOS-1D Mark IV). ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2 stops: 1/800 sec. at 8.

As is my habit, I woke early. I was entranced by the eerie, foggy scene before me. Seen and created at 6:17am on June 10, 2009 from the deck of the bear boat anchored in Kukak Bay, Katmai National Park, AK.

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

My Comments on: For Your Critique/Image #9

On September 30, 2011 I posted For Your Critique: Image #9. I entered this image in the Wild Places category of the 2011 BBC WPOTY Competition. (See “Images for Your Critiques} Revelations here.) This popular image garnered 16 comments; almost all were overwhelmingly positive. One person had to view the image several times to find something not to like–the dark strip of water lower left. For me that served as a nice compositional anchor. I remember darkening it for that purpose. I am sure that toning it down a bit would be fine. I liked this image a lot too and am very proud of it.

John Li was most enthusiastic. He wrote: Now there’s an image that made me sit bolt upright in my seat and go WOW. I mean, of course all the bird photos you post on this site are stellar, so maybe it just really caught my eye because it’s unique from your typical material … but I think it’s more. Something about the minimalism to it that confuses the mind as to whether it’s a photography or a painting, or digital graphic art. Simply astounding. Again, love the bird photos, but definitely this photo is one I’d purchase and print big.

Note to all: all BIRDS AS ART images are available as signed prints, either canvas or traditional. Click here to learn more.

For shame, it did not make the final round of judging. πŸ™‚ Thanks to all who took the time to comment.

Thanks also to Bob Canepa who suggested the black & white interpretation below.

I do not do many landscapes and do even fewer black & whites. But when I do I love using NIK’s Silver Efex Pro. Here I clicked on about ten of the different pre-sets, like High Contrast Red best, and moved the Structure Slider to 40. I think that it looks pretty good. But it looks even better when you click on the image to see the larger version.

Which Do You Like Best?

Take a moment to leave a comment and let us know which version you like best, and why.

NIK 15% Discount

You can save 15% on all NIK products (including Silver Efex Pro) by clicking here and entering BAA in the Promo Code box at check-out. Then hit Apply to see your savings. You can download a trial copy that will work for 15 days and allow you to create full sized images.

NIK Creative Efex Collection

NIK recently announced the availability of a special limited production bundle of 3 of their most popular products, Color Efex Pro 4, Silver Efex Pro 2, and HDR Efex Pro. You can save more than $200 on the bundle which is available only through NIK affiliates. If you would like additional info, please e-mail with the words “Creative Efex Collection” in the Subject line. If you have been on the fence about purchasing the plug-ins mentioned above this is a great chance to save some significant bucks.

Earn Free Contest Entries and Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

More and more folks are earning multiple contest entries with their B & H purchases. See here for details on that. Eleven great categories, 34 winning and honored images, and prize pools valued in excess of $20,000. Click here to visit the competition home page.

artie is traveling πŸ™‚

artie is traveling in the Southern Ocean (Falklands, South Georgia, & Antarctica) and will unable to respond to your questions and comments until after his return on 26 January 2012.

For a greater appreciation of this composite image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

KATMAI BEAR BOAT IPT: July 24-31, 2012 fr: Kodiak, AK: $6499. Limit 6/Openings 3.

Coastal Brown Bears at point blank range, cubs nursing and playing. Spectacular scenery. Likely: puffins, nesting Bald Eagle and kittiwakes, Steller’s Sea Lions, & rafts of Sea Otters.

Earn Free Contest Entries and Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

More and more folks are earning multiple contest entries with their B & H purchases. See here for details on that. Eleven great categories, 34 winning and honored images, and prize pools valued in excess of $20,000. Click here to visit the competition home page.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders πŸ™‚
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine. Also available for the 7D and the Mark III here.

24 comments to My Comments on: For Your Critique/Image #9

  • O! But I will add that the black-and-white version does nothing for me and if I saw it on its own I wouldn’t look twice. Again, all of this is subjective, and one man’s meat is another man’s poison…still and all, the original color panorama is still melting my heart…

  • As good as A. Morris’ bird photos are, I am more often knocked out by his landscapes…this is one of my favorites so far. Perfect. And not one of those perfect shots that can get on a man’s nerves, that might cause a grumpy fellow to murmur “No, actually this is too good and I don’t buy what he’s selling.” No. This shot here is perfect without being overly slick, if you get my meaning. Splendid and painterly; a heartwarming array of minimalist blues and whites. Thanks for sharing this one…

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Many thanks for your kind words sir. I do not consider myself much of a landscape photographer but I do OK with a long lens once in a while :).

  • Love the subtle, misty blues the best. What a lovely large wall hanging that will make!

  • avatar George Cottay

    Another vote here for the blue. The sharp edges that add interest in the color image seem a bit too much in B&W.

  • avatar Mary Stamper

    Interesting theory, Jeanette. I tend to equate appreciation of black and white with appreciation of visual abstraction. I tend to think that you have to look beyond the concrete subject matter to appreciate black and white. I always say that it doesn’t matter what a photo is actually of. The elements of what makes it good are the same. That speaks to total abstraction of line and form.

  • My vote is for the natural blue landscape above. Simply gorgeous!

    I have a theory that if your first grade picture was b/w, you might appreciate colored pictures more as do I. The more removed from elementary school b/w photos folks are (i.e. the younger one is), the more they just love b/w stuff, don’t you think?! I’d bet cheapo’s first-grade photo was in color!! Likewise, since sepia photos were before my time, I find myself drawn to them.

  • avatar Mary Stamper

    Prefer the black and white. The lines make this shot what it is. In a really good black and white shot, adding color adds nothing, and this is the case to me here. No need for color.

  • avatar Ron Sprunger

    I’m always drawn to B&W, and use Silver Efex Pro 2.0 often. It’s my preference here, but I think you have a touch too much contrast (easy to get in Silver Efex), showing as a halo at the boundary between foreground and background hills. Get rid of the halo, and I’ll take the BW. It’s a great image.

  • Art
    These are both stunning images but I love the blue. So absolutely mesmerizing.

  • I am a color person, Mate. It is the rare BW that grabs me; Adams grabbed me!!

    However, the first image REALLY grabs me. I love it. The subdued colors, the floating feeling, the sliver of dark water, all of it!! πŸ™‚

  • avatar cheapo

    Are you telling me that the blue color is ‘as seen’? Wow. I would have been gobsmacked!! The ethereal quality definitely has an artistic feel, so I can understand Jonh Li’s comment. And I really like the B&W image too. 40 years back, when I was given a Yashica FX3 for my 18th birthday, I experimented with B&W and really enjoyed using a 35mm film called Ilford XP1. Virtually grainless images, and of course, foggy shots can be, and were, simply epic in that medium.

  • avatar David Policansky

    They are very different and I like them both a lot. If they were mine, I’d keep them both, maybe print them both.