Being on vacation can feel like you're living a dream but often it's tricky to capture that feeling in your photographs - you lose some of the surreal nostalgia you felt in the moment.
I love color photography, it’s juicy and delightful, authentic and evocative. It’s colors, for the sake of colors! For me, OMNI is all about color, flares and everything that creates a dreamlike, authentic, evocative atmosphere. I was lucky enough to receive the system before we left for our vacation. I browsed the island and all the beautiful beaches with the OMNI stuck to my lens full-time. It was comfortable in use, very simple to set up and customize, and absolutely sturdy and solid.
At first, I was really worried if the wands would fly off (the wind is very strong on the island most of the time), but the magnetic mounts held the wands firmly. Second, I was really concerned about the sand paired with the wind and if it could damage the system badly. After three weeks of being out and about all day long the system is in great shape and the magnetic mounts are as sturdy as new, minus a few minor scratches on the filter ring. I would suggest cleaning the system (the metal balls, magnets specifically) AND your camera and lenses once you are back from the beach (daily!).
Before shooting my kids, I had a couple of morning walks around so I could get used to shifting the wands and repositioning the magnetic arms. Shooting a still, non-human subject (especially when shooting outdoors and fast-moving subjects) helped me to get familiar with each wand, discover the looks they create, experiment and get control over the light leaks and flares. Yes, no more random flares, make for better-looking photos indeed! I was shooting with two lenses - Sigma 35mm Art and the Lensbaby Velvet 56. For a more dreamlike look, I set my aperture at around f/1.4 - f/4.0.
What I’ve noticed is the OMNI system helped me focus on the real feelings behind the image - the creative, nuanced and emotional world, less its technical execution. I simply tried to trust my gut. At first, having the freedom to create something with so many possible styles and choices was challenging. I needed to be evaluating my frame more than usual. This was a full-brain stimulation. Seriously, it exercised both sides of my brain - the artistic one and the logical one. One minute, I was trying to figure out how to use these cool wands to add more style and character to my images. The next, I was tilting the arm that was holding my wands finding that perfect blur and conjuring emotion.
I know these wands won’t leave my camera for some time, as I’d love to experiment more and get the most out of each wand. I know I will be discovering new looks and all the rainbow goodness every time I shoot with them on.