Lensbaby Sol 45 & Omni Silver/Gold Mirror Wand | ISO| 1600 | 1/200 | Fujifilm X-T3
While searching for a perfect subject or scene to photograph, I am constantly looking for reflections. There is something magical about how reflective light alters an image, adding depth and interest that may not exist without reflection. For this reason, my heart might have skipped a beat when Lensbaby sent me their two newest Omni wands to beta-test.
Within the small box were two wands, each the shape of a butter /cheese spreader – straight on one edge and curved on the other. One wand, The Silver/Gold Mirror Wand, was a double-sided mirror, silver on one side and gold on the other (two wands in one!). The second wand, the Translucent Wand, was a smoky grey clear plastic. I knew right away that these wands would be fun to play with, and I wasn’t disappointed!
Lensbaby Omni Silver/Gold Mirror Wand | ISO| 160 | 1/2500 | Fujifilm X-T3
Like all Omni wands and actually all Lensbaby products, there was a bit of a learning curve to achieve an image that matched my vision. I’ve used Lensbaby gear since 2017 and have built up quite a collection of their fun photography tools. By now, I expect that I will need to put in some practice time to create images that make my heart sing. As always, I welcomed the challenge.
I explored three genres while testing out the wands: macro/floral, landscape, and street photography. The more I played and experimented with the wands in different settings, the more comfortable I became with them, and the more excited by the results I achieved.
These wands can be attached to the camera using the Lensbaby Omni Creative Filter System, which is a ring that attaches to the end of the lens. The wands are attached to the ring by small magnets. I enjoyed the effects of the wands most when I hand-held them in front of the lens, rather than using the filter ring. This gave me more flexibility with placement and more control over the final results of the wand. I combined the wands with Lensbaby lenses and standard lenses.
or creating a new door on the wall:
"I found that the reflections I intentionally created within my frame were most easily captured when placing the curved side of the wand closest to my lens."
Macro and Floral Photography
Lensbaby Sol 45 & Omni Silver/Gold Mirror Wand | ISO| 250 | 1/800 | Fujifilm X-T3
Macro is one of my favorite photography genres. Searching for beauty in my surroundings is profoundly therapeutic and restorative.
However, reflections are not always readily present. I had the opportunity to create my own reflections while working with flowers combined with two of my favorite photographic subjects.
Lensbaby Sol 45 & Omni Silver/Gold Mirror Wand | ISO| 250 | 1/1000 | Fujifilm X-T3
While using the Silver/Gold Mirror wand, I created rich reflections of my flower subjects.
I found that the reflections I intentionally created within my frame were most easily captured when placing the curved side of the wand closest to my lens.
Lensbaby Sol 45 & Omni Silver/Gold Mirror Wand | ISO | 1000 | 1/200 | Fujifilm X-T3
The Translucent wand, while more challenging to use, with practice, offering fun and interesting results.
Lensbaby Velvet 56, Omni Translucent Wand | ISO | 2000 | 1/500 | Fujifilm X-T3
In this image, I placed the Translucent Wand directly over and at a distance from the lens. The interesting overlay look creates a sense of whimsy and movement in the image.
Lensbaby Velvet 56, Omni Translucent Wand | ISO | 1600 | 1/1000 | Fujifilm X-T3
Recently, on a slightly overcast autumn afternoon, I wandered outside with my camera and was greeted by two playful Monarch butterflies. Once they settled down on a nearby perennial for a drink of nectar, I was able to experiment with my Lensbaby Velvet 56 and Translucent Wand. This image was challenging to create but ended up being one of my favorite images.
Lensbaby Trio 28, Omni Silver/Gold Mirror | ISO | 160 | 1/2000 | Fujifilm X-T3
To learn how the wands behaved in a more expansive natural setting, I explored a nearby lake and my own backyard.
Lensbaby Omni Silver/Gold Mirror | ISO | 160 | 1/4000 | Fujifilm X-T3
I placed the wand on the bottom of my lens to create this image, adding a reflection of water and trees. This allows the viewer to feel as though they are peaking into a magical scene.
Lensbaby Omni Silver/Gold Mirror | ISO | 160 | 1/2500 | Fujifilm X-T3
In this image, I placed the wand on the bottom of my lens to create an image suggesting the illusion of the grass surrounding my garden being covered in a large reflective puddle.
Lensbaby Omni Silver/Gold Mirror | ISO | 200 | 1/250 | Fujifilm X-T3
Although reflections are easily found in a street setting, I was excited to create my own reflections using the Omni mirror wands on a recent visit to Washington, DC.
Lensbaby Trio 28 & Omni Silver/Gold Mirror | ISO | 160 | 1/125 | Fujifilm X-T3
The optical illusion of the street is covered in a reflective puddle of water was created by holding the wand along the bottom of the lens.
Lensbaby Trio 28 & Omni Silver/Gold Mirror | ISO | 160 | 1/400 | Fujifilm X-T3
In this image, I placed the wand on the side of the lens using reflection to create an abstract scene with depth and dimension.
Lensbaby Trio 28 & Omni Silver/Gold Mirror | ISO | 160 | 1/320 | Fujifilm X-T3
This image, shot through the screen of a hotel window, has texture from the screen and a symmetrical horizontal reflection created by holding the wand across the bottom of the lens. Note the golden sun flare, which was added to the scene by use of the gold side of the wand.
I love using Lensbaby Omni wands in my photography because they help me to create a unique image each time I press the shutter. With the new Omni mirror wands, adding reflections in-camera, whether bold, subtle, or abstract, offers even more opportunities to shoot extraordinary!
Lensbaby Velvet 85 | ISO | 640 | 1/320 | Fujifilm X-T3
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Melissa Bissell is a self-taught, multi-genre photographer. She is happiest when traveling with her camera and Lensbaby lenses or quietly photographing flowers at home. Melissa has been published in several magazines and blogs and was a finalist in the 2018 and 2020 Click Magazine Voice Collection. Her travel photography was selected for the 10-Spot photography gallery exhibit in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in February 2019. Melissa and her husband of 28 years make their home in Massachusetts. They have three grown children and a 7-year-old labradoodle.Instagram