"Lensbaby allows me to simplify a scene, to highlight what is important to me in a way that is only possible with a Lensbaby" - Kathleen Clemons
I have been in love with selective focus photography since I first began to understand depth of field as a beginner photographer. I love being able to highlight a particular detail in my photos, it's a way for me to share the way I see with the rest of the world.
As for style, I do love blur! I love to use it with my selective focus to say, "Hey, look at this!", to be able to highlight important details and blur elements which aren't part of the story I want to tell. The longer I shoot, the more personal my photos have become, there is so much more of "me" in my recent work.
What type of camera and gear do you use?
I shoot with a Canon 5D MKII, various Canon lenses, and I have every Lensbaby ever made. They are an essential part of every shoot I do.
Speaking from your own experience, how have you utilized Lensbaby lenses as a tool for seeing in a new way?
I see the world in terms of smaller scenes and details, so it's not so much that the Lensbaby makes me see in a "new" way, it's more that it helps me to record the way I see things and to share them, to show others how I see.
I love finding the extraordinary in the ordinary and the lines, curves, contrasts and patterns in nature. Using a Lensbaby allows me to simplify a scene, to highlight what is important to me in a way that is only possible with a Lensbaby. Using these lenses makes you slow down and compose more carefully, which is always a good thing.
What do you like specifically about using the Lensbaby Macro Kit, and now the Macro Converters, for your close-up work?
It's the ability to shoot macro with my Lensbaby lenses, that makes them so essential to what I do. I often need to be able to move in really close to my subjects. With the Macro Kit or Macro Converters in my pocket and a Lensbaby on my camera, I can shoot from mere inches away from my subjects to infinity.
You teach several photography workshops, both online and in person. How did you get into teaching, and what's the most important thing you hope your students take away from your classes?
My degree is in education, so I've always loved to teach. I was lucky enough to have Bryan Peterson ask me to join his staff at ppsop.com in 2006 and I currently teach 5 classes there, one of which is called Lensbaby Magic. Being able to combine my love of teaching with my passion for photography really is a dream job for me.
I love watching my students grow as photographers, and they often inspire me as well. The most important thing I want my students to gain is a voice for their own particular vision, to create images that reflect how they see the world, to tell their own stories.