Dealing with Bright Sun and Blue Skies, Part 2, & the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens Rocks the Palouse « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Dealing with Bright Sun and Blue Skies, Part 2, & the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens Rocks the Palouse


This HDR Art Vivid (+/- 3 stops)image was created on day 4 of the Palouse IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens (at 14mm) and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III . ISO 300. Evaluative metering at zero yielded a base exposure of 1/2 second at f/20 in Av Mode. AWB. Live View and 2-second timer.

Center AF point (Manual selection)/One Shot rear focus 1/3 of the way into the frame and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Interior of the foyer of a 100+ year-old prairie farm house.

Image Question

What do you think was the most difficult part of creating this image?

a-determining the correct exposure.
b-setting up the tripod and adjusting the ballhead.
c-creating a sharp image.

Be sure to explain why.

Thanks Colleen!

This image was made at one of our very favorite old prairie homes, one that we discovered on our extensive 2014 scouting trip, one that is rarely if ever visited by other photo tour groups. Though I had photographed this home three times before, I had never peeked through this particular doorway… Thanks to participant Colleen Malley for alerting me to the possibility of this image so that I could create my own and share it with others in the group.

Image Design

Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the design of this image?

The Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens Rocks the Palouse

For photographing the interiors of home old or new the super wide angle Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens is unsurpassed for sharpness and versatility.

Review: Dealing With Bright Sun and Blue Skies, Part 1A

Rule #1: Find a subject in the shade

One of the easiest ways to find a subject in the shade in the Palouse is to–when it is safe to do so and you are not trespassing, go around sticking your head in the open or broken windows of dilapidated barns and houses. The results can at times be wondrous.


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

Double Header!

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.


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12 comments to Dealing with Bright Sun and Blue Skies, Part 2, & the Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens Rocks the Palouse

  • Cool shot! I like everything about it – especially the angles.

    I’ll also guess that the setting up of the tripod was the hard part with such a wide angle.

    I hope you post more from this lens. I thought that when Canon came out with the 16-35 IS that my days of buying new wide angles were over for good, but now they come out with this 11-24. I have serious lens lust. Do you plan on buying one of these for yourself?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Robert,

      It is so big and heavy and so specialized and I am not much of a scenic photographer; therefore, when I need it for a trip I will borrow it. If you get one, please use our B&H link. Sorry for my tardiness. artie

  • Love this shot! Great eye Colleen and Artie 🙂

  • avatar David Peake

    Hi Artie
    Answer B setup is the tricky bit.
    The angles change dramatically with the slightest movement of the lens position at 14 mm.
    I really like the angles in the ceiling with the lens pointing down.
    Nice out of it colours too.

  • avatar Doug Doornink

    I would say that the challenge in taking this picture was b-setting up the tripod and adjusting the ballhead. From the angle and geometry of the image, it looks like the camera was crammed very close, if not right up against, the right-side wall.

    But I’ll go way out on a limb and speculate that the reason you “had never peeked through this particular doorway…” before was that it was missing some steps or the porch that used be attached to the house. So you had to come up with a way to set your tripod, with camera in a portrait orientation, poking through the door with no steps for support.

    Nice shot and I like the angles too.


  • avatar Jack Goodman

    Hi Artie, Why don’t you use Photoshop’s perspective control to get the vertices perpendicular on several of your Palouse photographs?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I am pretty sure that I would lose a good part of the image. And I love the angles. a

  • avatar Gary Axten

    I’ll go with setting up the tripod due to limited space.

    Is +/- 3 stops normal for indoor HDR? It seems a huge difference in exposure.

    What do you mean 0 +2 for the exposure?

    I particularly like the green colour and the grainy feel which I presume is an HDR thing?

    Are these abandoned homes? Are there no restrictions for people to enter? No old guys with guns and grumpy dogs? You’re showing another side of the US not shown on TV.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Sorry about the typo. The base exposure was at zero, the metered exposure. I went with +/- 3 stops to try to tame the sunlit highlights. It worked. Yes to the in-camera HDR Art Vivid grunge look. Some have no restrictions. The trick is finding them. Do join us next year.


      • avatar Gary Axten

        I’d love to join, just as soon as I have sorted my messed up finances. I’d probably go for a generic bird trip first; Fort DeSoto or Bosque perhaps.