Why You Should OMNI!

Why You Should OMNI!

“Omni? Did you say Omni?”

“Yep! Omni! “

“What is Omni? How you use it? And why should I do it?”

“How much time do you have?”

“I don’t have all day, so please get on with it!”

I can just imagine the look on everyone’s faces the very first time they hear about Lensbaby’s Omni Creative Filter System! Puzzled. That’s what it is. I probably had the very same reaction, if I’m being honest! Before I started using the Omni, I was experimenting with shoot through techniques using crystals and other objects, but it was hard to do without getting my fingers in the images. Lensbaby found a way to overcome those struggles by adding grips or handles to those objects and then created a ring that attaches to your camera’s lens and can magnetically hold those pieces. They, also, developed a lot more pieces or wands that you can use reflect light or shoot through

As with most Lensbaby products, there is a bit of learning curve, but it’s one that is well worth overcoming! The more I play with any of my Omni pieces the more I’m inspired to play with the rest. I love the unexpected. I love surprises. The Omni wands give me these things and more! Let me explain

 


When you put an Omni wand in front of your lens you’ll be rewarded with reflection, color, shapes, and light. These elements can be as subtle as you’d like them to be or as bold as you dare! It all depends on the source and strength of you lighting and which Omni piece you chose!

To get started you need to think about what lens you want to use. It can almost be any make lens you want. A Lensbaby lens is not a requirement. You can even use your cell phone! What you want to think about is how wide open you can shoot with your lens. The wider your aperture, the easier it is to blur out the edges of the crystals, films, and plastic shapes.

Once you decide on which lens you’re going to start with then it’s time to try an Omni wand! Which wand doesn’t matter. Just pick one! Now you need to decide if you want to hand hold it or place it on the ring that attaches to your lens. If you’re comfortable holding you camera in one hand and holding the wand in the other this will become a personal decision. Try both ways and see which works

best for you. If you can’t hold your camera with one hand, then I suggest you either use the ring or put your camera on a tripod. Tripods can be very limiting so I’m going to suggest, you just start out with the ring. Personally, I find it less restrictive to use the rings but there are times when they are very helpful, especially if you’re open to trying more than one wand at a time or when if your light is limited or shooting long exposures. You can see I do use my Omni’s on the ring with my tripod! One quick tip before you start, take a quick picture of the wand(s) or Omni piece(s) you’re using! It will help later when you’re trying to remember which piece created which effect

 


Now it’s time to pick your subject. At first don’t worry about creating a masterpiece. Plan on experimenting until you get the hang of things. Grab or find a subject. It can be a person (preferably one you know), a dog (again one you know!), a flower, a landscape, a building. Whatever your subject, you just need to be where you can control the angle of light that hits your Omni piece. Then lift your camera to your eye and put your subject wherever you want it in the frame and put the wand directly in front of your lens and by directly in front I mean almost, but not, touching the lens. Now start rotating the wand and moving it up, down, side to side until you get something that interests you. Go slowly! Very slowly! Take care not to hit your lens with Omni so you don’t scratch your lens. When you see something that you like, take that image! It’s really hard to duplicate the results. It’s easier to delete an image later than have regret for one you missed. If you’re not getting the results you like, try another angle. Move your subject or walk around your subject until you are getting the effect you like. It’s all about experimenting. It’s about not limiting yourself or your expectations!

 


I know I mentioned earlier that you should keep the Omni pieces close to your lens but there are Omni sets that can work well when you move then slightly away or even further away and one of those is Omni Shapes pack. I have even put them behind my subject when I shooting macro and my depth of field is very narrow. I don’t want you to limit yourself, though, with any pieces of the Omni filter system. If you want to know if it will work, just try it! Try it every which way you can think of. You might get more than one result you like, as I did below.

 


OMNI Universal With Shapes

I like to carry a couple of Omni wands in my camera bag even if I don’t plan to use them when I’m heading out with my camera. I just never know when the opportunity might arise or when I might get a little bored with shooting the same flower over and over. Pulling out that Omni might give me inspiration to see things a little differently

 


Keeping one or two Omni wands in my purse is a recent practice I have adopted. When on a recent “date night” with my husband, I had occasion to try out the wands I’d tucked in my purse when we went for a walk by the river that was behind the restaurant where we’d just had dinner. I try to leave my camera home on these nights, but I had my cell phone with me! Do you see where I’m going with this? I’m bending date night rules, but I digress! The sun was beginning to set and it was reflecting off the building across the river. I couldn’t help myself. I had to pull out those wands! And my cell phone! I got lucky with the first few tries and moved on quickly. Then I found another spot that caught my eye and tried again. This time without much luck. As I took a quick look around I realized that the pretty light that had been surrounding me at the previously location and giving me the effect I wanted was blocked, so I just moved down a bit until I found it again!

Taking the chance to create with my Omnis in area where I don’t usually shoot and with a subject I don’t normally find inspiring had me smiling, big time! Even my husband thought the results were cool!

 

OMNI Universal With Shapes

Earlier this summer I hosted a Lensbaby photowalk and multiple participants asked me if they could use the Omnis, from their swag bags, on flowers or the buildings. My answer was simply “Yes! Try it on whatever you want to try it on. Don’t put limitations on yourself or your expectations!”

The biggest lesson I’ve learned since using Lensbaby is to not be afraid to try new things! Sure there are times when when the results don’t speak to me, but the more I create with these products that allow me to ability to shoot uniquely, the more I want to continue to discover new possibilities! I want this for you too. This is why I think you should shoot with an Omni too!

 

 

Want your shots featured by Lensbaby?⁠
Be bold and shoot extraordinary! Make sure to tag your photos on IG with #Lensbaby, #ShootExtraordinary, and let us know what gear you’re using. 📸 ⁠

 




When you put an Omni wand in front of your lens you’ll be rewarded with reflection, color, shapes, and light. These elements can be as subtle as you’d like them to be or as bold as you dare! It all depends on the source and strength of you lighting and which Omni piece you chose!

To get started you need to think about what lens you want to use. It can almost be any make lens you want. A Lensbaby lens is not a requirement. You can even use your cell phone! What you want to think about is how wide open you can shoot with your lens. The wider your aperture, the easier it is to blur out the edges of the crystals, films, and plastic shapes.

Once you decide on which lens you’re going to start with then it’s time to try an Omni wand! Which wand doesn’t matter. Just pick one! Now you need to decide if you want to hand hold it or place it on the ring that attaches to your lens. If you’re comfortable holding you camera in one hand and holding the wand in the other this will become a personal decision. Try both ways and see which works

best for you. If you can’t hold your camera with one hand, then I suggest you either use the ring or put your camera on a tripod. Tripods can be very limiting so I’m going to suggest, you just start out with the ring. Personally, I find it less restrictive to use the rings but there are times when they are very helpful, especially if you’re open to trying more than one wand at a time or when if your light is limited or shooting long exposures. You can see I do use my Omni’s on the ring with my tripod! One quick tip before you start, take a quick picture of the wand(s) or Omni piece(s) you’re using! It will help later when you’re trying to remember which piece created which effect

 


Now it’s time to pick your subject. At first don’t worry about creating a masterpiece. Plan on experimenting until you get the hang of things. Grab or find a subject. It can be a person (preferably one you know), a dog (again one you know!), a flower, a landscape, a building. Whatever your subject, you just need to be where you can control the angle of light that hits your Omni piece. Then lift your camera to your eye and put your subject wherever you want it in the frame and put the wand directly in front of your lens and by directly in front I mean almost, but not, touching the lens. Now start rotating the wand and moving it up, down, side to side until you get something that interests you. Go slowly! Very slowly! Take care not to hit your lens with Omni so you don’t scratch your lens. When you see something that you like, take that image! It’s really hard to duplicate the results. It’s easier to delete an image later than have regret for one you missed. If you’re not getting the results you like, try another angle. Move your subject or walk around your subject until you are getting the effect you like. It’s all about experimenting. It’s about not limiting yourself or your expectations!

 



OMNI Universal With Shapes

I like to carry a couple of Omni wands in my camera bag even if I don’t plan to use them when I’m heading out with my camera. I just never know when the

opportunity might arise or when I might get a little bored with shooting the same flower over and over. Pulling out that Omni might give me inspiration to see things a little differently

 


Keeping one or two Omni wands in my purse is a recent practice I have adopted. When on a recent “date night” with my husband, I had occasion to try out the wands I’d tucked in my purse when we went for a walk by the river that was behind the restaurant where we’d just had dinner. I try to leave my camera home on these nights, but I had my cell phone with me! Do you see where I’m going with this? I’m bending date night rules, but I digress! The sun was beginning to set and it was reflecting off the building across the river. I couldn’t help myself. I had to pull out those wands! And my cell phone! I got lucky with the first few tries and moved on quickly. Then I found another spot that caught my eye and tried again. This time without much luck. As I took a quick look around I realized that the pretty light that had been surrounding me at the previously location and giving me the effect I wanted was blocked, so I just moved down a bit until I found it again!

Taking the chance to create with my Omnis in area where I don’t usually shoot and with a subject I don’t normally find inspiring had me smiling, big time! Even my husband thought the results were cool!

 

OMNI Universal With Shapes

Earlier this summer I hosted a Lensbaby photowalk and multiple participants asked me if they could use the Omnis, from their swag bags, on flowers or the buildings. My answer was simply “Yes! Try it on whatever you want to try it on. Don’t put limitations on yourself or your expectations!”

The biggest lesson I’ve learned since using Lensbaby is to not be afraid to try new things! Sure there are times when when the results don’t speak to me, but the more I create with these products that allow me to ability to shoot uniquely, the more I want to continue to discover new possibilities! I want this for you too. This is why I think you should shoot with an Omni too!

 

 

Want your shots featured by Lensbaby?⁠
Be bold and shoot extraordinary! Make sure to tag your photos on IG with #Lensbaby, #ShootExtraordinary, and let us know what gear you’re using. 📸 ⁠

 


Cathy Kuhlman

Cathy Kuhlman is a self taught photographer who loves pushing the limits of light and focus. You’ll find her using nature as her subject, from the smallest details in her macro work through to the largest landscapes and everything in between. She loves finding ways to infuse light and emotion into her work as a way to express how she sees the world.

 
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