Simple and Soft Photography
Artist Interview with Diane Wittenberg
Diane Wittenberg with Lensbaby Burnside 35
Q: When did you start taking photographs? Why did you continue?
A: I remember always loving to take pictures but didn't really feel serious about it until after my kids were born and I wanted to document their childhood. My subjects have changed over the years, but my love of the art and urge to create have kept me motivated.
Q: Which is your favorite Lensbaby lens and why?
Diane Wittenberg with Lensbaby Sweet 50
Q: What tips do you have for beginners just learning how to use the Velvet 56?
A: I would recommend not shooting wide open when first starting out as the manual focusing takes some time getting used to. Also, be open to the softness and unique 'look' of images taken with LB lenses because chances are they may be quite different from what you normally shoot.
Q: What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?
A: I have always loved and been inspired by Caroline Jensen's work. Her use of lighting, the painterly softness of her backgrounds and attention to subject detail are extraordinary. Her work makes me 'feel something' and I strive to do the same in my own work.
Q: What is the most difficult part of being a photographer?
A: I would say for me, it is worrying about what other's think of your work.
Q: Do you have formal training as a photographer or are you self-taught? What was that journey like?
A: I am a hobbyist photographer and have, over the years, taken various classes and photography workshops ranging from the basics like how a camera works to macro photography, editing and creative photography.
Q: What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you go about focusing on them in your work?
A: In my macro work, I find that it is a great focal point that draws your eye in and a background that is soft, dreamy and not busy. I love using the macro filters on many of my Lensbaby lenses because it lets me get so much closer and focus on the beauty that I am seeing.
Q: What inspires you most?
A: I would say, of course, that other photographers that shoot similar genres to myself are a great inspiration. But I would also say that I'm inspired by my own work, building on and working off of things I've already created but in a slightly different way. I'm also inspired by nature's beauty and the people and animals most close to me.
Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph?
A: Flowers are a favorite subject of mine, and also my cats.
Diane Wittenberg with Lensbaby Sol 45
Q: Tell us your favorite quote!
A: "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." Henry David Thoreau
Q: How would you describe your photography style?
A: Simple and soft with some flair
Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer?
A: Forever having these moments I've captured in time, not only for me, but for my children. And if an image brings back a memory or a feeling in the viewer, all the better.
Q: How do you bring the best out of your models? What tips do you have?
A: I try and showcase my subjects (whether flowers or pets) in the best light possible with a minimally distracting background. I tend to shoot at wide apertures to help soften my background.