Fisheye Lens Fun at the New Bern Civil War Battlefield Park

The Inspiration

I recently was looking at a blog post by Jim Hughes where he used a fisheye lens to create some very interesting images in an urban location ( I found the images so compelling that I just had to give a fisheye lens a try out in forest. I must say, it was a blast!

The Gear

Now as a professional photographers, or at least semi-pro, I tend to be a bit picky about the “glass” I use. Before acquiring a new lens I scour through reviews and study sample images carefully. That usually results in months of saving pennies or an increased monthly credit card bill. But in this case the cost was surprisingly low. Granted, the lens its self is pretty basic. No autofocus, auto controlled aperture or lens stabilization system. The thing is quite manual. Yet I’m quite happy with the results. The lens? An 8mm Rokinon fisheye lens with manual focus and aperture. This particular lens is designed for use on APS-C cameras, aka “crop sensor” camera. In other words its only useable with my 7D and 7D Mark II. Not with my full-frame Canon 6D Mark II.


The manual focus really isn’t a big deal on a wide angle fisheye lens like this. Basically set the aperture to f/5.6 or smaller, and put the focus at infinity and for everything but very close up subjects are going to be in focus! Easy – Peasy! I found shots involving a foreground object with the forest in the background especially fun. It was also great for the classic looking up into the forest canopy shot. I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with this chea… er, um, affordable little lens quite a bit more. So enough about the lens, here are a few images from the outing. Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments area.

This old stump appears to have been very popular with area woodpeckers. Found in the New Bern Civil War Battlefield Park. The evening side lighting adds emphasis to textures in the old, decaying wood. It is surrounded by lush green vegetation.
Taken in the New Bern Civil War Battlefield Park, this a look up at the forest canopy overhead. The forest here is a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees. Several well manicured trails meander through the woodlands. They lead to points of interest where Union and Confederate troops clashed during the battle. Once filled with the sounds and confusion of war, the park is now a calm, peaceful place. A popular location for bird watching, any nature lover will find a visit quite enjoyable.
While visiting the New Bern Civil War Battleground Park I came upon this scene. I thought the fallen log surrounded by young ferns quite fetching. There is something more vivid about the greens in the Spring! The forest floor is a perfect example of the circle of life. A demonstration of new life arising from old. Placards designate locations were Confederate and Union forces clashed. A cypress swam borders one side of the park. There is a loop trail that runs adjacent to part of it. This first class recreational area provides the perfect mixture of history and nature. The park is located on the edge of New Bern, the first capital seat of North Carolina. There are several trails leading through the native forest. The paths are well maintained, many surfaced with fine gravel, and features wooden bridges and boardwalks crossing streams and wet areas.

This entry was posted in Guided Tours, Nature Photography, Photo Tip, Photography Equipment, Uncategorized.


  1. jim hughes April 19, 2022 at 11:36 am #

    I love the stump! The original multi-unit, high-density housing.

    Crazy lenses are one way cameras can still do things that smartphones can’t. And while I’m doing wide-angle in the city, here you are with a fisheye in the forest.

  2. Louis Dallara April 19, 2022 at 5:42 pm #

    Great one Bob.

  3. admin April 19, 2022 at 6:27 pm #

    Thanks Lou!

  4. admin April 19, 2022 at 6:30 pm #

    I recently was working a very cooperative heron. I had the thought of grabbing a shot or two of it with my phone camera for a quick upload to FB while in the field. The lighting was a bit challenging, but doable with my DSLR. The phone camera? Nope,nope,nope. It simply couldn’t handle the backlighing scenario. Phone cameras have came a long way, but they have a long, long way to go before truly catching up to pro and prosumer class digital cameras.

  5. Steve Heap April 20, 2022 at 3:34 am #

    Great subject! I need to investigate this as well! I like the one looking up into the trees and sky! How much was this affordable little lens?

  6. admin April 20, 2022 at 8:07 pm #

    You can find them south or $200. For something that works with a full frame expect to pay a bit north of that number. They brand the same lens under a few different names. Mine is a Rokinon. I believe Samyang is another branding of the same lens.

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