contemplative photography Photo Journal

Lessons from the Lensbaby

No matter what the experts say, I think photographers have love affairs with camera equipment. I have a moratorium on my equipment purchases, so I have to work on learning to make the most of the equipment I have. And it is limited. I use my kit lens, the 28-135. I have another zoom that takes me to 200, a 50, and two optics with the Lensbaby Composer Pro—the Sweet 35 and the double optic.

This morning I went out with the double optic and the Composer Pro. I used the 5.6 aperture ring and set the camera for manual mode. Of course, with any Lensbaby, I used manual focus.

Lesson #1: sometimes moving physically is the only way to get the subject in sharp focus (or sharp for a Lensbaby since it is inherently a soft-focus lens). This is especially important when using the macro kit with the double optic.untitled-9untitled-52

Lesson #2—After using autofocus for sooooo long, manual focus can be hard. It feels as though I am learning to see all over again. Or else it feels like I’m not wearing my glasses or contacts. Nailing the focus is difficult, really. I found it hard to keep my focal point in focus with the Lensbaby when I tried to reframe the shot.

Lesson #3—The Lensbaby is worth it, and I need to work with it more often. While I like it a lot for macro work, I struggle with it for landscape shots. That’s where the practice comes in, I think. It is about learning where the lens’s sweet spot of focus is, learning how to tilt the lens to get pleasing composition and the famous Lensbaby blur. Some of my images today just didn’t work.


I think perhaps if I could have gotten lower, this might have worked better. Sigh . , , ,