Hor Rod and Fish-Eye Adapter plus…

Last week I received a tweet asking about using a screw-on Fisheye lens. This is my response to Nicholas.

Is the final image photography or digital creativity?” To tell you the truth I think that all of the imaging I do, whether it’s film or a digital, is photography, but there are a few effects in this particular image and I’m gonna show you how I did it. First, this fast and furious effect isn’t new and wasn’t originally digital. Photographers have been using zoom lenses along with s-l-o-w shutter speeds and “zooming during exposure” since the first zoom lens was introduced. The biggest difference with doing it digitally is that it’s more controllable and repeatable.

The original image was captured using a Canon EOS 50D camera with the inexpensive and now discontinued EF 22-55mm lens. Because the 50D’s 1.6x magnification factor turns it into a 35-88mm lens in actual use, I screwed an inexpensive Pro-Optic Semi-Fisheye lens adapter to the front of the lens. To hide the soft edges while enhancing the overall effect, I used Adobe Photoshop to tweak the image further.

  • Step 1: I started with some overall enhancements, such as using Levels to improve depth and contrast and then Curves to brighten the photograph a bit.
  • Step 2: When the image looked at good as I could make it, I added a duplicate layer.
  • Step 3: Choosing the Radial Blur tool from the Filter menu, I checked the Zoom option and placed the originating point where I wanted the effect to start. In this case, it was the middle of the windshield, but you can put it anywhere you want. Use the percentage slider to set the length of the zoom blur and experiment with different settings until you find one you like.
  • Step 4: Next comes the fun part. Using the Eraser tool erase the areas you want to be clear on the new layer and let the original image show through the bottom layer. Tip: While erasing (only), lower the opacity in the Layer’s palette so you can see through to the layer below. Don’t set the Eraser at 100% opacity. Use something less and use a soft-edged brush, so you can control how much is zoom and how much is picture.


You can leave the image with the layers intact and save as a TIFF or Photoshop file, or use the Flatten Image command to combine layers and save in the file format of your choice. When you’re finished, you’ll have added motion to a still image and created an image that will be as much fun to look at as it was to create.

Joe Farace is  author of the e-Book “15 Tips for Better Car Photos.

Author: Joe Farace

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