Dual Displays with iMac in Portrait Orientation

Break Free of iMac Stand Positioning and Rotating the Screen (Podcast 737)

Today I share details of the adjustable arm stands that I've bought for my iMac and second display, and all of the positioning options this opens up.

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Martin Bailey
Martin Bailey is a nature and wildlife photographer and educator based in Tokyo. He's a pioneering Podcaster and blogger, and an X-Rite Coloratti member.
  • Larry Covalciuc
    Posted at 00:30h, 17 April Reply

    Martin, thank you for the tip. I wasn’t able to rotate my iMac 5K, but I was able to rotate my Dell monitor which I use for my Layers, History, etc panels. Should I feel the need to rotate a portrait oriented image, I now know how. Thank you again for making me look into it.

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 12:32h, 17 April Reply

      Hi Larry,

      I’m glad you found this useful. Please try again and ensure that you hold down both the OPTION and COMMAND keys while viewing the system preferences, then click on the Display icon with these two keys held down.

      I have checked that this does not work with my MacBook Pro, so it isn’t every Mac that will work, but I’d be surprised if the iMac Pro work and the iMac 5K does not, although being surprised is nothing new. 🙂


  • Matt Kubal
    Posted at 09:02h, 18 April Reply

    Hi Martin,

    Thank you for this post. I’ve followed you for many years now and appreciate your style and approach to photography and other endeavors. Always of the best quality.

    I know when you recommend a product that it has passed your test for quality. I’ve got the monitor arms your recommend in my cart, but I have a question. Is there a reason you didn’t get two of the HNSS12?

    Best regards,


    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 12:08h, 19 April Reply

      Hi Matt,

      Thanks for following my antics.

      There are two reasons for getting the HNSS8 for my BenQ. The first is the pole that it’s mounted on enables me to get the BenQ slightly higher, and I figured I’d need that extra height for portrait orientation because the BenQ is a 32-inch display and needs a bit more height to rotate it. The second reason, and probably more important in my setup, was the ability to swing it way out to the right of my desk to get it next to my MIDI keyboards, as you see in the final image for the post. The HNSS12 doesn’t have that much reach sideways. I actually slightly prefer the design of the HNSS8, but it won’t hold the weight of my iMac Pro according to the spec, so I split my choices into these two designs. I’m really happy with the results though.

      I hope that helps. Do let me know otherwise.


  • Rich Ball
    Posted at 04:43h, 25 April Reply

    Martin – It looks like you have made the most of a small office. With respect to the VESA mounts did you use the clamp or the grommet mount shown on Amazon. The grommet mount would require drilling a hole in your desk top? Also when you have the monitor extended out like you show positioned next to your keyboard are they reasonably solid? I’m looking to remodel my workspace and you have given me some good ideas.

    As an aside – You haven’t talked about your Rollie in a while how are getting along with it? I just shot and developed a roll of Lomography Berlin Kino. I haven’t scanned the negatives yet but it looks promising.

    All the best Rich

    • Martin Bailey
      Posted at 15:19h, 26 April Reply

      Hi Rich,

      Yes, after 10 years I finally found a layout for my room that provides the best use of my space. Looking the other way I have my work table and background pully system setup, and there are about 3 meters between the two areas, so I have space to shoot from as well.

      You are correct; I would have had to drill a hole in my desk to use the grommet, so I decided on using the clamp, but they are both rock solid so I’m happy with that decision. The displays do wobble a bit when you touch and move them, but once you take your hand away they stay where you put them really well.

      I’ve pushed a few rolls of film through the Rollie, but nothing to really talk about recently. The Lomo sounds fun. Share a link to some work at some point. I’d love to check it out. I am working on a post about my latest crazy rabbit hole right now, so look out for that over the next day or so.


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