photo by Jen Foster taken with Edge 80 Optic
Last month, three talented photographers crafted an online Lensbaby workshop through Clickin Moms called Lensbaby Love: The Basics & Beyond. Whether you are new to Lensbaby, or own several products, there is something of use for any Lensbaby photographer within the pages of the written tutorials and frames of the videos. These photographers put all of their hearts and brains into putting together an amazing collection of helpful tutorials, ideas, and inspiration. The entire package is available to our faithful blog readers at a 15% discount now through September 20, 2013. Simply use code LBLOVEBLOG in the Clickin Moms store. Read on below to find out more about the instructors, get a taste of their contribution through short excerpts and of course - check out their beautiful imagery.
Caroline Jensen: Caroline's portion of the breakout covers macro and emotive portraiture with the Sweet 35 and Edge 80 optics. She shares her "secret sauce" for creating amazing lens flare as well as tips and tricks for great macro shots. You will also learn a bit about her creative post processing in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Edge 80 Tips:
Tip 1:Do not change the tilt of the Edge 80 until you are very sure of the size and width of your 'slice.' That sneaky slice can be quite deceptive. Watch the videos at www.Lensbaby.com and then pick a slice and stick with it until it bores you. Then tilt in a new direction and practice, practice, practice!
Tip 2:Use the Edge 80 as a walk around lens. When pointed straight forward the lens behaves like a traditional manual focus lens. This lens is great for practicing manual focusing.
Tip 3:Watch your metering! This lens in particular can really create havoc with your meter. The lens shades the light from the sensor in a steep tilt, so be sure to use your histogram to double check your metering. I am not usually a chimper, but I do chimp all the time with this lens. Make an educated guess and then use the histogram to adjust your exposure.
photo by Caroline Jensen, taken with Edge 80 Optic
photo by Caroline Jensen taken with Edge 80 Optic
Katherine Clayton: Katherine discusses how she uses various Lensbaby optics in her shooting to achieve her unique Lensbaby style, in particular the Pinhole/Zone Plate. Also, join Katherine via video as she heads out on a Lensbaby self-portrait shoot.
You can shoot with the zone plate without using a tripod. I typically use a tripod because the majority of my images are self-portraits, so I am rarely handholding. With an aperture of f/19, you have a good chance of having an image that is in focus as much as a zone plate image is in focus if you handhold your camera though and have decent light available.
Much like the pinhole, you do not need to focus. There is no sweet spot, so it is not necessary to bend. You can use the focus ring to bring an object closer. I typically never touch the focus ring with this optic.
When you are composing your image with the zone plate, you can 'see' the rings that create the zone plate. Remember that very often your image will have a fair amount of glow around your subject which may or may not be desirable. I find that shooting outdoors increases the highlights. Shooting anything that is light in color will yield more glow. It can wash out portions of your subject.
photo by Katherine Clayton taken with Zone Plate
photo by Katherine Clayton taken with Zone Plate
Jen Foster: Jen shares her tips for getting started with your Lensbaby and how to determine which lens and optic is right for you. She covers floral and fine art imagery, how to incorporate the lenses into your everyday lifestyle photography, and how to use your Lensbaby for portrait sessions.
One of my favorite things to shoot, even now that I am better with moving objects, is simply flowers. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. They won't run away from you, and they take direction pretty well. You can practice with all your optics and accessories like the macro converters, wide angle lens, and creative aperture disks. With a tripod or handheld, shooting wide open or stopped down, the possibilities are endless.
When I set out to a location like the botanic gardens my goal is not to capture a simple photograph, but a work of art. Think about it, how much money to people spend to have a beautiful floral canvas hanging in their home, with painterly strokes of color, perfectly coordinated to their decor? A lot, and I know this from pricing artwork to hang in our home years ago before I started dabbling in photography. You have the tools right in your own hands to create your own personalized works of art with your Lensbaby lenses!
Pick a color scheme, or your very favorite flower to capture, whether it's in your own yard, a local garden, heck even take your camera with you to a Home Depot nursery flowers provide the perfect combination of contrast and visual interest.photos by Jen Foster - left image taken with Edge 80 Optic, right image taken with Double Glass Optic + Macro Kit
photo by Jen Foster taken with Sweet 35 Optic
For more great Lensbaby tutorials from Caroline, Katherine and Jen, you can purchase their Lensbaby Breakout Session in the Clickin Moms store.