Can Denise’s Tree Be a Circle? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Can Denise's Tree Be a Circle?


I started this blog post last week when I was at my Mom’s. I am finishing while sitting in 22B at 35,000 en route from JFK to SLC and then on to Seattle and Juneau. Sitting next to me in 22A working on some of her Iceland images is denise ippolito. We are headed for our SE Alaska Inside Passage cruise. There are gale warnings for Saturday and Sunday. Yikes!

This post took about an hour to prepare. If all goes well, it will be published automatically at 6:00am on Tuesday, August 25, 2015.


This 3-frame in-camera Art Vivid HDR image was created on the second 2015 Palouse IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Fisheye Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens at 8mm and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III . ISO 100. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops +/- two stops around the base exposure of 1.3 sec. at f/8 in Av mode. Live View and 2-second timer. Color temperature 8000K.

Gitzo 3530 LS tripod with the Giottos MH 1302-655 (Tiny) BallHead. Wimberley P-5 camera body plate. Live View (for mirror lock-up) with the 2-second self timer.

Center AF point/AI Servo Rear Focus AF on the tree branches in the center and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Can Denise’s Tree Be a Circle?

The funny thing about photos of Denise’s tree is that whenever I look at them my left hip hurts…. A lot. See here for “here ” for “Hip-wrecked on the Prairie” if you missed that tale.

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Fisheye Ultra-Wide Zoom Lens

The Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Fisheye Ultra-Wide Zoom lens is fun to use. It gives you a perfect circle at 8mm with a full frame camera body–be sure to zoom out fully, and it gives you a 15mm fish eye when used with a 1.6X crop factor camera like the EOS 7D Mark II. Again, you must be sure to zoom out completely or you will clip the corners.

Making good images with what I affectionately call “the circle lens” can be a bit tricky…. I have not yet figured out how to work with it on clear days. If you work with the sun behind you your shadow will be an integral part of the image. And if you turn around and include the sun in the frame you will have all sorts of diffraction and flare…. I love playing with the circle lens in the pre-dawn or on cloudy days when both of the problems mentioned above are no longer factors.


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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6 comments to Can Denise’s Tree Be a Circle?

  • avatar Sabine

    Looks more like a bowl or ball of glass with the tree in it – very beautiful effect!
    Re shadow – that should be a problem for you to clean up your shadow afterwards? 😉

  • avatar David Peake

    Love it. It feels like I am looking at a silhouette against the moon.
    Beautifully done .
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  • avatar Gary Axten

    I don’t much care for the standard fisheye effect, however the sky looks a bit like the moon, which is pretty cool. Some creative photoshopping would make a great picture. It’s a very picturesque tree that would look great in a halloween style image.

  • avatar Steve Soderling

    This is an interesting image, but for some reason I can’t look at it without starting to feel sick. I don’t think the fisheye lens is one I want!

  • avatar Pat Fishburne

    Art, what a great idea to put Denise’s tree in a circle!

  • avatar Ronald Rytter

    Today’s photo “circle” make’s me dizzy. Don’t know if it’s because of having had lens put in eyes because of cataracts, have mono vision, left eye for reading and right eye for distance so no need for glasses.