Learning to Think and See Like a Pro/The Second of a Series–Where Would You Put the Cat? Plus Perspective Control « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Learning to Think and See Like a Pro/The Second of a Series--Where Would You Put the Cat? Plus Perspective Control

2nd Palouse IPT Added By Popular Demand

Please scroll down for details.

The Streak Continues: 200

It is just after 8:00am here in Indian Lake Estates, FL as I finish up today’s blog post. This post took less than 2 hours to assemble. Enjoy it.

This post marks 200 consecutive days with a new blog post. With so many folks getting in the habit of using our B&H links and our Amazon logo-links why quit now? April, May and June have been fantastic as lots of folks are getting the message; using my affiliate links does not cost you a penny and helps support my efforts here. To show your appreciation, I do ask that you use our the B&H and Amazon affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially Gitzo tripods, Wimberley tripod heads, and the like. We sell only what I have used and tested, and know that you can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know the tools that you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And we are always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

You can find the following items in the store: Gitzo tripods, Mongoose M3.6 and Wimberley heads, plates, low feet, and accessories, flash brackets, , Delkin e-film Pro Compact Flash Cards, LensCoat products, and our unique line-up of educational materials including ABP I & II, Digital Basics, Site and Set-up e-Guides, Canon and Nikon Camera Users and AF e-Guides, and MP-4 Photoshop video tutorials among others.

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, 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 visiting the BAA Online store as well.


This 3-frame in-camera Art Vivid HDR image was created just before 6:00am on June 11, 2014 on our Palouse scouting trip with the hand held Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens (at 35mm), and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III . ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1 stop +/- two stops around the base exposure of 1/1250 sec. at f/9 in Av mode.

Two sensors down and 3 to the left of the central sensor/AI Servo Rear Focus AF on the corner of the large barn on the left was active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Going with AI Servo AF active at the moment of exposure when hand holding for HDRs is a good plan as it helps to keep the images aligned and assures accurate focus for all 3 frames.

The Challenge: Learning to Think and See Like a Pro

I made the image above as a teaching tool after we had spent about 30 minutes using longer lenses to extract various elements of the scene that we had found interesting.

OK, here is the challenge. Click on the image above to enlarge it. Examine it carefully. You have all focal lengths from 8mm to 784mm available. What catches your eyes? Which images would you extract from the scene?

If you could place a black and white house cat anywhere in the scene where would you put it?

For all of the above please leave a comment and please be specific. I will share several of my images with you in a not-too-distant blog post.

Image Question

Why would it be pretty much impossible to create a good image of the scene above with the circle lens at 8mm?


This is the original Vivid capture. Note that because I pointed a wide angle lens up towards the sky that the buildings are tilted inward. And note the too RED barn and the too rich GREENs….

Image Optimization and Perspective Control

The first thing that I do with most Art Vivid images is to reduce the saturation. Sometimes I need only to reduce the YELLOW saturation, and sometimes I opt to reduce the saturation across the board as I did here.

To correct the perspective problems, I duplicated the image (Control A, Control J), hit Control T for the Transform Tool, right-clicked inside the Transform box, chose Perspective from the drop-down menu, pulled out the upper corners until the walls of the big barn and the walls of the shadowed structure on the right frame edge were perpendicular, and I hit enter. Then I cropped tot he artistic proportions.

Digital Basics

Pretty much everything discussed above plus tons more is detailed in our Digital Basics File–written in my easy-to-follow, easy-to-understand style. I am not sure if the perspective control bit is covered in Digital Basics, but no matter: it is detailed above :).

Are you tired of making your images look worse in Photoshop? Digital Basics File is an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas (including the John Heado Technique), lots of color balancing tips, Tim Grey Dodge and Burn, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro basics, my killer image clean-up techniques, Digital Eye Doctor, creating time-saving actions, and lots more.


Learn the details of advanced Quick Masking techniques in APTATS I. Learn Advanced Layer Masking Techniques in APTATS I. Mention this blog post and apply a $5 discount to either with phone orders only. Buy both APTATS I and APTATS II and we will be glad to apply at $15 discount with phone orders only.


Hope that you can join us 🙂 Card and design by Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Palouse A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. May 29-June 2, 2015/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12 photographers/Sold Out

As the trip above is now sold out, we have decided–in response to popular demand, to run a second trip after giving ourselves 2 days to recover from the first one. We have already sold four slots for the 2nd trip so please do not tarry if you wish to join us. There will not be a third trip. 🙂 See the details immediately below.

The Palouse A Creative Adventure/BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT)/Eastern Washington State. June 5-9, 2015/5 Full Days: $1699/Limit 12 photographers/Openings 8; this trip needs 6 to run–with only 2 to go, it seems like a certainty.

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 or two. 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. 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 breakfasts, and Photoshop and image sharing sessions when possible.

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; Canon 5D Mark III bodies are a plus. And 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 touching on infrared photography.

A non-refundable $699 deposit is due now. The balance will be due on January 29, 2015. With the unpredictable nature of the photography business, I have not said this often lately, but 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; the latter is preferred.

Please send your deposit check made out to “Arthur Morris” to us at 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. You can also contact denise via e-mail here


Card and design by Denise Ippolito. Scroll down here to see lots more of Denise’s Palouse images. Note that the dates on Denise’s card are for the sold out first Palouse IPT. The dates for the 2nd IPT are June 5-9, 2015.

Support the BAA Blog. Support the BAA Bulletins: Shop B&H here!

We want and need to keep providing you with the latest free information, photography and Photoshop lessons, and all manner of related information. Show your appreciation by making your purchases immediately after clicking on any of our B&H or Amazon Affiliate links in this blog post. Remember, B&H ain’t just photography!


Amazon Canada

Many kind folks from north of the border, ay, have e-mailed stating that they would love to help us out by using one of our affiliate links but that living in Canada and doing so presents numerous problems. Now, they can help us out by using our Amazon Canada affiliate link by starting their searches by clicking here. Many thanks to those who have written.


In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. 🙂

20 comments to Learning to Think and See Like a Pro/The Second of a Series–Where Would You Put the Cat? Plus Perspective Control

  • avatar Neil Hickman

    Cat walking up the road directly under the right window on the barn. I’d go after the truck trying to remember the images in a few of those NIK contrast tutorials.

  • avatar Ar

    Close up of a barn side window with the cat in it.
    The truck on the right with the cat on its hind legs in the driver’s seat and front paws on the steering wheel,preferably with its mouth wide open.

  • Hi Artie. Congrats on 200 posts! thanks for the dedication and sharing of your expertise.

  • I love the big red barn so I think I would concentrate on various angles of that. I’d be trying to eliminate the big tractor-trailer truck; I’d likely go tighter on the front of the barn. Maybe a vertical with the red/white barn door, opening above, shooting up to the overhang (loft?) and I’d love the b/w kitty in that opening! Assuming kitty would stay put, I might go even tighter, again in vertical, and emphasize the red, white, black theme. I’m curious what the back side of the barn looks like, so I’d likely walk around there. If there was more than one kitty (so the one could stay up in the opening), then I think I’d sweet talk a kitty to walk and sit on the white fence back there, hunker down low, photograph up at kitty on fence with red barn end as the background.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi,Artie. It’s very hard to answer your question about what I’d focus on from a small image (and I can’t make it larger), but I’ll try. I’m assuming I’m not allowed to move to change perspective. The old truck, the left half of the tilling machine, some of the small windows at the bottom of the barn, the door with the white frame and white V on the lower left of the front of the barn, the cupola, the roof overhang with the inward sloping “thing” at the front of the barn, those for starters. Based on my experience with actually doing such things, I think I’d find some of the above ideas less successful than others, and that I’d see new things as I scanned with different focal lengths.As for the cat, I’d put it on the hood of the old truck.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Of course you are allowed to move. Why would you think otherwise? Try Chrome and you should be able to enlarge the images….

      • avatar David Policansky

        Don’t know why I thought that, but I still suggested some ideas. I have and use Chrome but it doesn’t make a difference; in fact, when I click on hte original image it seems to get smaller.

  • avatar Marvin Falk

    The thing that strikes me as special about the Palouse is the apparent lack of fences. It is like that here in Alaska where I have been photographing for 39 years. Not so in most of the farm country in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska where I have also lived and visited. Fences and roads everywhere, cutting up the natural landscape, and farmscape.

  • I think a vertical of the windmill including the rolling hills, old truck and red tool shed in and the flat roofed building to the right cloned out would be interesting. I would shoot the cupola, the overhanging hay loft door, the white pipe fence with the corner of the red barn and the white trimmed window against the red barn. I also would put a cat on the road just in from the left corner where it is wide.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Peg, Thanks for chiming in. You have lots of good ideas. See the June 20ieth blog post to see what I was thinking :). artie

  • Why would it be pretty much impossible to create a good image of the scene above with the circle lens at 8mm?

    I’ll take a jab at this…at 8mm, wouldn’t your shadow come in to play because
    of the extreme angle that the fish eye gives you on a sunny day?


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Doug, You nailed it. And the same would be pretty much true at 15mm with a full frame camera. You are on a roll.

  • avatar kevin hice

    Good morning Artie
    I would shoot the cupola the overhang on the front of the barn,side windows, windmill and possibly the old truck. Place the cat on the far left on the road where it seems wider. I dont really have a clue about the fish-eye lens.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Good on the cupola. You know that I am sucker for those. I made a few of the truck, verticals with the farm implements in the background but I did not love any of those….