<<< o >>>where are the fish? 38 comments + add yours

In a lot of ways I prefer this shot to yesterday's, despite its more obvious use of the fisheye effect. In particular I like its surreal feel and the interplay between the various curved and what would have been straight lines. Also, what was interesting about this shot, that I hadn't anticipated, was that it was impossible not to get the window in the frame. The angle of view of this lens continues to surprise me.

As always though, let me know what you think.

Oh, and try this one with the black theme.

capture date
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
9.09am on 21/2/05
Canon 20D
Peleng 8mm f/3.5 Fisheye
aperture priority
C1 Pro
LensFix conversion
3x2 + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by miklos at 09:18 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

This is very round.

Woo first comment again.. Where's that dude..

  o      o   o    o
 `/’ `|’ `\’  ’|’
.’.     .’.  .’.  .’.

There he is...

comment by Joseph Spurling at 09:26 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

I've been watching you for a while. This is my first comment.

Because I very much like this shot.
Well Done

comment by motom at 09:27 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

amazing what you can do with the fish -eye, I think you have a lot of fun with it ;-) I love the colors, reflections and the curves ofcourse

comment by Constantinos at 09:48 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

The effect of the setup is interesting... Almost looks like a reflection off a convex street mirror, and the fact that the letters are spelled in the right way (plus the minor fact that the camera is not in the picture) kinda leave an almost surreal feel. Great eye, wonderful colours, as always.

I'm still amazed at the clarity of this lens, quite sharp all around for 180deg.. And try as I may for some critisism, I don't seem to be able to find one... Do you have a photo where your (or someone else's) reflection is a bit more pronounced in the glass? I'd be very interested to see the framing of that one...

comment by Phil Moore at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

I really like this - the way the curves of the light form a kind of 'secondary border' through the sky...

One thing I need to know, and this seems like an opportune moment to ask someone such as yourself, is how you get such rich colours, and contrast (and definition in the sky etc) in your shots.

My colour shots always seem to washed out, and missing something. This has the vibrant oranges of the brickwork, the gold/yellow of the window frame, and a fantastic blue sky with moody clouds. Is it done with lots of post-processing, or am I just missing something? I'm not sure how applicable an answer may be, as I haven't the money for a digital SLR, so am using 35mm.

Thank you.

comment by Jesse at 09:51 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

I like the fisheye lens. In this shot, the whole picture looks like a fish, big and round at the left side and crunched on the right (maybe, hence, "where are the fish?"--I spy one :-) ). I like the way the funny blue car looks, too. I wonder, though, how did you get that much light at 9 in the evening?

comment by Adriana at 10:03 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

I always feel attracted to this kind of terracota colors and the constrast with the blu sky is just amazing. This may sound like a stupid question but since I don't have this kind of lens ( I hope can get one soon ) I really don't know. Is the circle around the picture part of the lens itself.?

comment by Adriana at 10:04 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

Also whats the source of those ligth lines in the sky.? it seems like a refelction of something on the lens.

comment by fraxinus at 10:09 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

I can see why there are elements in this that appeal to you, but for my money yesterday's was a far better image. This is just fish-eye; yesterday's was graphic art.

comment by djn1 at 10:26 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

Constantinos: I'll try and take a reflection shot with this lens at some point.

Phil: this shot was actually quite complicated. The saturation was achieved by upping the saturation with the channel mixer and the contrast was the result of three separate Curves adjustment layers, masked to particular areas of the image. One for the sky, one for the buildings and foreground, and one for the window frame.

Jesse: sorry, that was a typo, this was taken in the morning.

Adriana: the circle around the picture is the window of the train and the lights are reflected from inside the carriage.

fraxinus: yes, that's roughly what I expected somebody to say. Well, to be honest, the 'yesterday's was graphic art' is a bonus but I did wonder if someone might think this was just a fish-eye shot ;-)

comment by mattp at 10:26 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

For me yesterday's image showed a far more interesting and compelling use of the fisheye lens that felt really fresh. With a 35mm equivalent that could have been a good shot, the extreme wide angle lifted it up and made it really special.

With this one I can't help but feel that if you took away the superficial interest of a novelty lens, there is nothing left but a rather ordinary view. Having bought a new toy to play with you certainly can't be blamed for wanting to try it out, but a lens shouldn't become a gimmick relied upon too heavily. I think it needs more justification for its use than I can see here.

Best wishes


comment by djn1 at 10:30 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

mattp: yes, that's much the same point that fraxinus was making, and I agree, to a point. For me, I think, this is my 'ooh, look, a fisheye' shot; i.e. it's an exemplar of what this lens will typically do to an otherwise straightforward scene. My future uses will be less predictable, I hope ;-)

comment by mattp at 10:32 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

We posted at the same time, I felt very predictable seeing my comment appear after your response to faxinus!

As always, looking foward to tomorrow's shot.

Take care


comment by Pete T. at 11:04 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

I like this one. It looks like a giant eye looking out. I also like the intensity of the colors and how all of the lines follow a semi circle path.

comment by Eric [OcularStasis] at 11:09 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

Now that is a FISHEYE SHOT!!! Man I dont know what it is about this one, but I realllllllllly like it. Even though technically it isnt the best fish so far, it has the IT factor over the others.

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 11:55 PM (GMT) on 22 February, 2005

You are really attached to that fisheye! The pluses: I really like how the window 'framed' this one. It gives it a better feel, and enhances the fisheye effect. Others: its not as sharp as yesterdays. But the sky gives it a nice balenced look, so its still pretty good. I just liked yesterdays alot more.

comment by VPra at 12:11 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

i really do like ths photo, but I keep thinking about this. Are you making the pictures interesting or are you letting the fisheye do the work? Just a thought =)

comment by Adriana at 12:24 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

Yes sorry I didn't read well the description that's why I didn't realize it was the window. In the other hand, just adding something else to mattp comment about the composition of this picture, I think that something that can be common for some of you. is not common for all of us. I know there's a lot of people here from some many different places in the world that are not use to this kind of images. For me, the images I post are part of my dayli live but for many of you who don''t live in B.C Mexico may be something new. Is nice to see something special in common things. Just my opinion, personally I thanks for this can of images that take me out of my dayli background :) . Sorry for the long comment and the thrid one (shame on me)

comment by Cavin Soo at 12:26 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

Awesome shot! The prespective, the cluods, the saturation...

comment by m at 12:39 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

Cool, it manages to like something from a toy trainset.

comment by gooner21 at 12:46 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

Great shot!!

Where is that train station ??
Blackpool UK or somewhere in the US ?

.....just curious

comment by sherry at 03:21 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

Something about this shot is very cool. It looks like it shouldn't even be possible to take a picture like this so it gives it a very surreal almost supernatural feel to it. Have you seen The Ring? There's a home video shot of a woman looking into a mirror and it's dead-on straight so you should see the filmmaker in the reflection but you don't and it's creepy - this picture makes me feel the same way.

I love it.

comment by joe at 04:01 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

too many pictures of the beach and through train windows with no-longer-mysterious reflections. cool the first time, cool the second time, kind of boring the bazillionth time.

comment by Sharla at 04:03 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

There are several elements of this shot that I really like: the vivid colors, of course (looks like that was a bit of work); the mostly vertical lines in the buildings surrounded by bent lines (the tracks, window frame, reflected car lights); and the man-made surrounded by the geometric. The converging tracks emphasize the geometric. The reflected lights add an inner frame and an artist's stroke, another element. I particularly like the center of the focus being offset to the left with diminishing lines to the right. That challenges the usual fisheye pic. I really don't know how you pulled that off unless it was an artifact of the lens correction or a pic crop.

And yesterday's shot was also very nice. I couldn't imagine a colored version being as nice. (Of course, you've surprised me many times so I wouldn't put it past you to be able to.)

comment by Thinh at 07:10 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

This photo is amazing, not because you used a fisheye lens to capture the moment, but because you were able to use the tools at hand to capture in a manner that makes the photo beautiful.

Too me, the entire image is fascinating as I've never seen buldings like that before, nor have I been around passenger trains such as the ones in London. The trains where I live only travel about 5km max in either direction and there's hardly anything worth looking at along the trip. If I reach a bit further into my imagination, it's almost like you were using your 70-200mm lens at full zoom (or your 100mm macro) on someone's polarized sunglasses. Now that would've been an even more interesting shot.

Looking forward to tomorrow's photo. : )

comment by steve at 09:04 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

this lens will pay for itself 100 times over ;-)


comment by Alex at 09:43 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

/1/ i read in some wonderful 'how to' photography booklet that, as amazing as fish eye lenses actually are, unless used sparingly - the novelty will soon wear off.. which i suppose further stresses the aforesaid points. it's not that we don't like them, or don't want to see them.. its just that, at times, they can be a tad overwhelming. however, that said, when i saw this photo the first thing i thought was 'god, he uses this lens alot' and now, having checked back a few days, you only have a string of two entries (recently) that use it. with that in mind, perhaps photos taken the fisheye lens of late are more memorable than those without? i dunno. archie uses the fisheye lens alot too :|

/2/ remember - a macro lens is for life, not just for christmas :|

/3/ between my friends and i, we have a little rule about the opposite sex - if she possess a 'redeeming feature' (notice it's not in the plural) then it's worth a second look. i suppose the same thing applies to photos - and for me, the distortion on the basketball net certainly does it :)

/4/ how the hell do you get THAT color in your photos? the blue of the sky is so.. raw and unblemished and.. so many other things. is that a process thing or is it the camera..

comment by zamaphoto at 10:21 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

great peleng vision world...good use of light and magnific colours

comment by BigA at 10:57 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

Ding Dong! That's a sweeeet shot.

comment by Simon Doyle at 11:57 AM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

Iím in the minority, but Iím not sure that the use of the fish-eye adds to this shot. It jut seems a little tricksy, as if you werenít satisfied that the scene would warrant a picture, so a gratuitous special effect was required.

On the positive side, the colours of the brick-work, wood-work and sky are nice.

comment by djn1 at 02:31 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

gooner21: yes, it's Blackpool in the UK.

joe: you should avoid my next shot then ;-)

Sharla: the offset centre of this image is a result of being nearer to the left edge of the window than the right.

Alex: I suspect you're right, the novelty of this lens could wear off quite quickly ;-) As for your fourth point: channel mixer and Curves.

Simon: yes, it's 'tricksy' but that was kind of the point.

comment by Shannon at 04:25 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

These fisheye shots are great. They can sometimes be hard to pull of well, but you've done a great job.

comment by PIXELPRINTS photography at 06:31 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

this is an interesting twist to the fisheye look--fisheye is commonly used in still photographs, but this one adds movement to the mixture. very pleasing.

comment by P at 09:05 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2005

yowza! excellent use of the fisheye here! i love the way you've bent up the train tracks.

comment by Matt at 12:36 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2005

I hate fish eye shots. They just don't do anything for me. Give e pure photography anytime. That said, I love your work.

comment by mark at 05:15 AM (GMT) on 24 February, 2005

I love the fisheye...i want to see more!

its funny that everyone (well maybe not everyone) says that the novelty wears off......that doesnt make sense to me....so, does normal square shots wear off?? NO!....THis is just another way to show your creative side....I peronsally think that you can use it every day and get something diffferent...if everyone is going to sit and stare at the roundness of the image and not see what the image is "saying" then they arent really looking...

comment by Andrew at 11:11 PM (GMT) on 24 February, 2005

Incredible photo...I love it!!!

comment by henning at 01:15 PM (GMT) on 1 March, 2005

I think this is the first shot with your new fisheye where you used it for something good. Itís a great shot. Somehow I feel that it simulates what we humans perceive when looking through a window, as we have moving eyes, and can take in a bigger view than any camera.

Iím starting to get into the channel mixer and curves tools. Combined with layer masks, one can really create nice effects. Did you mix the red or green channel into the blue to get that sky, or what?