Diane Wittenberg is a veterinarian and macro photographer inspired by the beauty of nature. Shooting macro forces her to slow down, study details and capture the beauty in things that are often overlooked. One of Dianes favorite creative techniques is shooting with her Lensbaby lenses through a prism or piece of copper pipe.
What does creativity mean to you?
Creativity means being able to pursue your passion with no rules or guidelines. Photography is my creative outlet, it is what feeds my soul, and when I am not able to create, I feel like there is something missing. Creativity means doing something that fills your heart with happiness and if your creative outlet makes others happy too, then that's the best of both worlds. In my profession as a veterinarian, I have to be very analytical and scientific. Photography is that creative spark in me that balances it all out.
Why do you enjoy shooting with Lensbaby lenses?
I love the look and feel they give to my images. I was so excited when I started using them because to me, they allow me capture things around me in a better-than-life way, so to speak. They give me the imaginative freedom to capture my subject in a unique and beautiful way. One of my favorite things to do is use one of my Lensbaby lenses along with a creative technique such as shooting through a prism or piece of copper pipe. I especially like using the Velvet 56 in this way.
What is your favorite subject matter to shoot with Lensbaby lenses?
By far my favorite subject matter to shoot is macro, and my Velvet 56 lends itself perfectly for that. Getting in close and capturing details that may be otherwise overlooked. I especially love floral macro photography. Setting up my shot just how I want with regard to location and lighting and taking the time exploring my subject from many different angles. I prefer the freedom of moving myself around my subject, so I never use a tripod. My favorite images are often different from my original vision so I always take lots of shots.
What about the process of shooting with Lensbaby lenses do you enjoy?
Regardless of which Lensbaby I am using, I am persuaded to slow down, really take in my subject, decide on my focal point, and find the best way to make it shine. I love the fact that I can choose any one of my Lensbaby lenses and make a unique picture that makes my heart sing. Lately I've discovered a love for abstracts that often don't even have an obvious focal point. I'll slow down my shutter speed, put my subject out of focus, and/or intentionally move my camera to obtain some really distinctive images using my Lensbaby lenses.
What is your current favorite Lensbaby lens?
My Velvet 56 is my favorite. For me, it's an extremely versatile lens. I absolutely love it for shooting macro, but it is often my go to lens for shooting at the ocean (seascapes and beach macro) and for taking portraits of my cat, Oliver. I find that shooting at f/4.0 or higher gives me the look I most desire, with just the right amount of softness and blur.