Sunday, May 3, 2015


We've gone through a most exciting month in the A to Z April Challenge. In the course of the two previous months Hank posted a number of interesting snap-shots with permission from Yusuf Hashim (YH#1 - YH#11)

This is the Modern Day Explorer #12
The Modern Day Explorer #11 (here)

Yusuf posted in his FB yesterday about some tips. It is most educational to be read in a jiffy. It'll help to make one's photo snap-shot better. It is lengthy. You may skip it if you are already conversant in Fish-eye lens usage. Hank finds it useful and am sharing it here for those others.

Yusuf Hashim says:

Hee hee hee ... its 3 am and I suddenly felt like talking about Fish-Eye photography. So here goes.
A fish-eye lens is an ultra wide-angle lens that produces strong visual distortions intended to create a wide panoramic or hemispherical image. Fish eye lenses were first used in the nineteen twenties in meteorology to study cloud formations.Their unusual angle of view of between 100 and 180 degrees, enabled them to see a wide swathe of the sky, and for that reason, they were called "whole-sky lenses".

These days a lot of fish-eye lenses are being made for hobbyist photographers. They are a lot of fun to use. They can produce quite unusual images, although you have to be aware of their peculiarities if you intend to use them creatively and effectively. For instance, when shooting with the fish-eye, lean forward, and try to keep the camera further away from your body .... and make sure your zip is done while you are shooting with the fish eye. If you are not careful, your toes, your tummy, and your willy might appear in the frame as well. Also be careful how you use Fish-Eye lenses. They've often been abused and its easy to create cliche images with them.

I've got both a 15mm fish-eye and another 8-15mm "full-frame" zoom fish-eye which gives a circular image at the widest zoom point. And I'm now eagerly waiting for the new ultra-wide 14mm rectilinear lens from Kwannon to arrive. The rectilinear ultra-wide 14mm would be an excellent lens to shoot the Aurora Borealis on my next PhotoSafari to Iceland from 1-7 September 2015, and to Greenland from 8-17 September 2015. Dr Chen and myself just can't get enough of Miss Aurora, and we are returning to Iceland this September, to shoot her again. If anybody wanna tag along, please PM me.

Hee .. hee... and the Fish-eyes and Rectilinear Ultra-wide would be ideal also to shoot the Aurora Australis in New Zealand's South Island too ....... when I do a PhotoSafari to the land of the Elves of Lord of the Rings fame in April next year....

If and when the mood is right, and if the right inspiration appears, I'll try and do a short tutorial on how to use a fish-eye lens effectively. In this rant, I'll just post a few photos from my collection of fish-eye images to tickle your imagination.

Street shooting with a fish eye-lens has some interesting challenges.

                                                                                           Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo# 1:
Photo #01 was shot at a train window, at a railway station near Maho Junction in Sri Lanka in 2012. It's a sample of the type of images you could get with a Fish-Eye in Street Shooting.
Would you dare put your fish-eye lens 10 inches from the nose of your subject?

In this photo I waited till the train was moving. Then I walked alongside this window and I asked this man if I could shoot his photo. He understood what I was saying, grinned and leaned out of the window. I put the lens in his face and snapped a few shots in 14 frames per second high speed mode. Surprisingly most of the shots were usable. BTW, I noticed the other man in the rear, and I deliberately included him in the frame as well, to create an illusion of depth, and to give contrast to my main subject. 

In order to shoot better photos, you've got to learn to see and to notice other elements which can contribute visual dynamism inside your frame. Fish-eye lenses gives a new dimension to immersive photography.

                                                                                        Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo #2:
Photo #02 is the Boatman of Maiga. He was sitting on the roof of a small boat that we hired to take us to Pulau Maiga, a beautiful Sandbox in the Sun off the coast of Sabah at Sempoerna. I placed my camera with the 15 mm Fish-eye Lens just 10 inches from his toes, and pointed the lens upwards. The lens flare from the overhead sun was intentional. I included it just to add another interesting element in my frame. The fish-eye was pointed slightly upwards so the horizon is curved upwards. 

When shooting photos, to get additional impact, try to shoot from a not-so-usual perspective. Shooting from bottom to top is physically demanding, so not many people will do it, so there is a little bit more of an 'oomph' factor by shooting from below. 

In a previous rant I mentioned MYA (Move Your Ass) to get a different perspective. In this photo, you need to remember WEVODPB . What is WEVODPB? If somebody has read this far, ask me and I'll tell you what it is.

I was Chairman of the organizing Committee when Malaysia hosted the Crossing Bridges Event #4 in Sabah in 2007. Crossing Bridges is an annual get-together of photographers from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, South Korea and Sri Lanka. The objective is to build bridges of understanding between photographers from member countries. Each year the event is hosted by a member country in turn. Last year South Korea were the hosts. This year, the 12th edition of the Crossing Bridges event will be hosted by Sri Lanka. If you are a member of, you are invited to join us. Its almost 3am and this rant is getting too long to read. 

I'll just post a couple more fish-eye photos to give you an impression of what they can do..

                                                                                          Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo# 3:
Photo #03 was shot within seconds of Photo #02. After shooting the Boatman on the roof, I turned around, squatted on the boat deck, and shot my good friend the artist Tungtong Singapore.

                                                                                              Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo #4:
Photo #04 is an unusual Fish-Eye perspective of a beautifully maintained and restored Desoto which I shot in the streets of Havana in Cuba in 2014. DeSoto was an American automobile marque, manufactured and marketed by the now-defunct DeSoto Division of the Chrysler Corporation from 1928 to 1961. This particular specimen would fetch probably a hundred thousand dollars in the US, if it were to be bought by a collector. I asked the owner how much it was worth in Cuba. He said about US 25K. If you want to make some money, go to Cuba and buy up these old cars. Now that the US and Cuba looks like they will be normalizing relations soon, you could easily buy up a few of these cars and sell them to collectors in the USA. The DeSoto logo featured a stylized image of Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto. The DeSoto marque was officially dropped by Chrysler in 1960, after more than two million vehicles were built since 1928. So one of these specimens could possibly be worth a small fortune. `— in Centro Habana, Cuba.

                                                                              Attribution: Yusuf Hashim
Photo #5:
I call photo #05 the Rocket Boat, taking off towards space. No prizes for guessing who is the guy with the long hair at the bow of the boat. This was also shot during CB 4 off Sempoerna in 2007.

As I said, the unusual capabilities of the Fish-Eye can reward you with many unusual shots.
(More of Yusuf Hashim) here

For Mary's hosting at PU's Poetry Pantry #250


  1. interesting perspective, it's amazing what can be done by it.

  2. so fish eye is something else hmm :)

  3. Normally everything is so serious in life that to see the results of fish eye photography somehow allows us to see life from a completely different angle, that of humorous distorted perspective.

  4. Loved the fish eye :D
    Its a different perspective altogether :D

  5. So many different ways of seeing life, Hank. The fish eye photos give an interesting view.

  6. The fish eye can stand as a metaphor for the way we look at things.
    Did I miss your poem in this post?

  7. That second shot is just incredible.
    Wish I could go on that LOTR photo safari.

  8. Never even knew it was called a fish eye photo, learn something new everyday.

  9. This really tempts me into try it out myself,

  10. That was interesting about the fish eye - I guess it is about perspective..

  11. The photos are great. I didn't read the article because my husband is a photographer and has talked to me about this. Hope you're well. The author talked of you in the third person. Did you write this?

  12. Excellent pics, Hank! Would I dare put my fish-eye lens 10 inches from the nose of my subject? Unless it was a shark, yeah!

  13. A photo safari to Iceland and Greenland, I am so envious. This was interesting, Hank. I have a new Nikkon Coolpix and am enjoying it so much!

  14. Love the fish eye lens and what it can do. Such a cool perspective.

  15. I never used a fish eye lens. One of my photo studios on my Dell has a fish eye effect which can be applied to photos. Ha nice bit you shared

    Much love...