How Boredom Led me to Photograph a Small Garage from 26 inches away and include the whole building… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

How Boredom Led me to Photograph a Small Garage from 26 inches away and include the whole building...

What’s Up

Wednesday was a travel day as I flew from Spokane (GEG) back to Orlando (MCO) (after waking at 3:20am for the 6:00am flight to Denver. I worked on this blog post on the DEN to MCO leg and should be meeting Jim at about 5:30pm.


Thanks again to the many who left Happy Bird-day wishes on the blog and the zillions of folks on Facebook who did the same. Though it would have been impossible to respond to each of you I did read and appreciate every single one πŸ™‚

later and love, a

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane completely ridiculous makes-no-sense 221 days in a row with a new educational blog post. And I still have dozens of new topics to cover; there should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. 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. Please remember that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.


This in-camera Art Vivid image was created on the last afternoon of the second Palouse IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Induro ballhead-mounted Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens (at 8mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R . ISO 400. Evaluative metering +/-3 stops around a base exposure of -1 stop with a base exposure of 1/250 sec. at f/5.6 in Av mode. WB = 5500K. Live View with 2-second timer.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure (as is always best when hand holding). Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Old, small garage in the Palouse

How Boredom Led me to Photograph a Small Garage from 26 inches away and include the whole building in the frame…

The Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens–I affectionately call it the “circle lens,” is difficult to use, heck, almost but not quite impossible to use on a sunny day (as I did pretty successfully with today’s image) but it is a fun lens and the images it produces are unique.

Though you might think–after taking a close look at the image–that I was standing next to the garage to get out of the sun, it was cold, and I was actually seeking shelter from the wind. I had been taking turns with some of the participants in the tiny garage photographing two 60+ year old tractors, me with the 8-15, them with various tripod-mounted super-wides.

The trip was almost over and I had about had it, my creative juices had dried up. Or so I thought. I turned around, looked at the garage, and decided to point the circle lens at it. Voila. A neat image had been just inches away unnoticed, until I put 2 and 2 together.

Circle Lens Tip

With its 180 degree view, you will often wind up with your tripod leg–or even your own sneakers–in the frame. To avoid this, tilt your tripod forward with the front two legs parallel to the imaging sensor and the rear leg longer than the two front ones. You can step on the very bottom of the rear tripod leg to keep the tripod stable in extreme situations.

For new folks, the circle lens is designed to work as a true fish-eye lens with 1.6crop factor cameras like the 7D Mark II and as a 180 degree view circle lens with the full frame bodies. With the latter, you need to make sure that you are zoomed out all the way and to remove the lens hood when working at 8mm for the circle effect.

Image Question

How would moving the tripod back 2 inches have helped me to create a better image?

Ballhead Notes

There were more than a few folks on the two Palouse IPTs using Really Wrong Stuff ballheads. RWS ballheads cost from $90 to $355. And then they want to see you a slew of extras. The two Induro ballheads that I recommend–scroll down here to view or purchase–the BHM 1 and the BHM 2, have been on sale for $89.95 and $99.95 for forever.

Now my late-Dad, private first class Robert Edward Morris, always told me, “Don’t skimp. Buy the best.” That is great advice when it comes to ballheads. The problem is that many folks think that “buy the best”means “buy the most expensive no matter what.”

The larger RWS ballheads have two very small knobs that are so close together that it is nearly impossible to get at them. Whenever I tried to help a participant using one of the larger RWS ballheads, I found it thisclose to impossible to re-frame an image properly. And when I was working with one of the ladies using the smallest RWS ballhead, neither of us could get the ballhead to work properly. “It usually doesn’t do this” she said…

By contrast, both of the Induro ballheads are lightweight, cost pennies, and perform effortlessly and efficiently even with gloves on. Save $85.01 on the slightly small Induro BHM-1 or $105.01 on the slightly larger Induro BHM-2 that I use by clicking here.

Coming soon: Ballhead Strategies and Tips

To learn which Induro tripod is best for you please shoot me an e-mail, include your height, let me know what you enjoy photographing, and let me know the largest lens that you own.


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

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 good friend Denise Ippolito, we found all of 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–thanks again Denise, 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.

Click here for complete details, to learn what you will learn, and to see what will make my first solo Palouse IPT so special and different from the rest.

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 our Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store πŸ™‚

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.


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24 comments to How Boredom Led me to Photograph a Small Garage from 26 inches away and include the whole building…

  • avatar Chuck Carlson

    Moving back from the would have improved depth of field. That green strip of grass makes the landscape image for me. It would be naked without it.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Technically you may be correct on the d-o-f but I do not believe that it would have effected d-o-f with this image at all.


  • avatar James Saxon

    Moving back would allow more space on the borders of the image so when printed and matted there would be some space around the image and not clip the subject.

  • avatar Neil Hickman

    Hi! I think moving back a touch may improve the sky – but I don’t know why.

  • avatar Warren H

    Would 2 more inches back have made the middle of the building look a little flatter? Not quite as “bulging?” That may take the viewers attention away from the center of the shed and see the whole shed.

    I haven’t used something that wide, but it looks like it could make you start thinking creatively in a whole new way.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Warren, Not sure how the small change in perspective would affect the shape of the garage… IAC, not the right answer πŸ™‚

      Yes, it is a great lens for getting you to think in new and different ways.


  • avatar David Peake

    Hi Artie.
    Moving back two inches to improve the image ?
    You will get more context,ie a wider border around the shed. Since we can’t see what going to be in that border , I am thinking that the extra width around the shed will somehow help to balance the image for colour and composition.
    Just so you know, there is no roof in this image. After careful inspection I have concluded that
    only the gutter is visible at the top of the image. The roof slope means the roof is occluded from the lens’ view.


    • avatar David Peake

      Meant to add, interesting image,unique perspective and I like it.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Yes to only a gutter. The rest is wrong πŸ™‚


      ps: I like it too and thought it a pretty clever capture πŸ™‚

  • I am going to be a rebel here and say that moving back would not have improved the image, moving back would have included more of the distracting elements on the sides.

  • avatar Warren H

    Moving back 2″ would help create a nice border all the way around the image. Especially on left where there is a small shed. With 2 more inches, the border would be half green and half blue. That would be a nice touch.

    • avatar Warren H

      Wow – when I opened this there was only one reply. By the time I hit Send to post, there were a ton of comments.

      Reading them, I think some are close to my response, but not quite the same. I am staying with the better border all the way around as a frame and the border will be all green and blue.

  • avatar Tom Applegate

    If Arthur had stepped back further wouldn’t the small building and sign on the left side become a distraction?
    The way he took the photo brings your eye right to the main subject. Just my opinion:)

  • avatar Wtlloyd

    Stepping back would have allowed you to crop away the lens vignette, particularly noticeable in the sky. As well, lens sharpness is almost always least on the periphery of any lens, that’s probably pretty noticeable with the 5DSR here.

  • avatar PKUK

    My guess: Moving back 2″ would have given a little more room around sides of the shed and left the shed’s “circle” matching the frame’s circle more closely.

    Question back to you – why didn’t you? πŸ™‚

  • avatar Tom Applegate

    Arthur, a lot of times I disagree with your assessment of a photograph, but more often I find them close to perfection. Everyone has their own story to tell by using their camera as a means to try to accomplish that goal.
    With the fish-eye photograph above I don’t know how you could have improved on it. The main subject is the garage and not the surroundings. So in my humble opinion I’m giving you a thumbs up on this one.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Moving back two inches would have helped me improve the final image…


  • avatar Glen Graham

    I like the shot. Moving back would have left you some room to make the space from the roofline to the frame edge equal and still let you keep all that little structure on the left side in the frame. Fisheyes require precise adjustment on all axis but can be a lot of fun in the right hands. Try it from a helicopter sometime for perpendicular scapes πŸ˜‰

  • avatar Jackie Milburn

    I have never used a fisheye Would moving back 2″ change the distortion of the building plus it would give more even color to the sky above the roof.

  • avatar Bob Allen

    Moving back a bit would have included the entirety of the background structure at left and whatever-that-is at right. The current image crops the two sides a bit too closely.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Good to hear from you. Hope that all is well. You are on the right track but not quite all the way there.

      later and love, artie

  • avatar Kerry Morris

    Moving the tripod back 2″ may have included more roof, and definitely more landscape, which would help the viewer identify the image better. It would also let in more light.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Morning. The whole roof is already included… The rest is correct but does not answer the question… a