Floral Explorations with a Lensbaby

Here we explore some differing techniques to get a variety of styles with a Lensbaby composer. Some are straight out of the camera, some are post-produced with Adobe Lightroom or with Nik Colour Efex 3.

The first thing to consider when using a Lensbaby Composer is what Aperture Ring to put into it. These come in many of the normally selected apertures for most cameras,  with no ring in the lens it IS set at F2.


The Lensbaby softens all but the sweet spot

Each ring then takes you through the normal apertures up to F22. The sweet spot of focus gets bigger as you stop down the apertures i.e. as the aperture number gets bigger.

The image to the left is set at F2.8, so we have a small ‘in focus’ sweet spot on the right hand side of the Sunflower’s center brown area. As the light was fairly bright on the center of the flower and the aperture was quite large we have a fast shutter speed.

The light fall-off is very fast so the background has gone very dark. This enhances the subject isolation.

Thus we get a very dominant amount of colour & brightness on the flower head, and a wash of softness all around it, this is the lens at work as it exaggerates the effect of the softness already created by the shallow depth of field.

A still life with a white background

The great thing about a Lensbaby is that you have creativity built in, without having to think about how to make it different and interesting, you get super shots right away. It takes a little trial and error to learn what shots work, but with a little practice you are soon creating works of art. How good they are, are for others to assess, as not all shots work. You soon learn what does.

The Lensbaby allows you to simplify your image, it has the automatic ability to de-focus distractions, a great aid!

With a little post production you can create moody monochromes, add grain (see Gallery), and adjust the saturation & contrast to highlight aspects of your image. Just don’t try too hard to get things sharp with your sharpening tools in post- production –  its doesn’t work.


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