Lensbaby Unplugged Member of the Week
Interview with Casey Malone
Q: What is your favorite shoot you've ever done?
A: As a "newbie" to Lensbaby, my shoots to this point have been explorational. I shoot mostly flowers to try and learn all the nuances of the lens. I often shoot the same composition in multiple apertures to compare them. So far my favorite shot group has been of a magnolia blossom. I love the soft, etherial look of the curved lines that the Velvet56 gives me. I rendered my favorite one of these in black and white and it is one of my favorite images of the year. Another shoot that produced pleasing results was water droplets on a blade of grass. The sharp droplets surrounded by the beautiful, dreamy background (including some yellow daisies) creates wonderful imagery. I love how the daisies show in the droplets.
Q: What inspires you to reach for your camera?
Q: What are your favorite Lensbaby Lenses to use in your session?
A: Since I only have the Velvet56, it is, by default, my favorite. However, I already have my eye on the Sol45 as I think it will produce the type of images that I want.
Q: How did you hear about Lensbaby, and what encouraged you to purchase a LB lens?
A: Searching YouTube for macro flower tutorials I discovered Anne Belmont and Kathleen Clemons. Their images inspired me to try the Lensbaby system. I reached out to Anne via email and she very graciously recommended I start with the Velvet56.
Q:What was your journey to becoming a photographer like?
A: I still vividly remember the Christmas when I was 10. I received a Kodak Instamatic under the tree that year. From then on I was the the picture taker in the family. In college I got my first SLR and then transitioned to digital cameras. Retirement allowed me to take workshops and I consider Bill Fortney and John Mariana to be my mentors. Through their teaching I moved from taking pictures to creating photographs. I have, over the years, explored many genres, but have settled comfortably now in primarily shooting macro flowers and still life images using vintage items.
Q: What is your favorite subject to photograph and how would you describe your photography style?
A: Spending years chronicling family events and travels I realized that I love to capture the intimate details. As an always avid gardener, I love the beauty of a single blossom. Putting those loves together has led me to a deep passion for macro floral photography. Stylistically I love to find the "perfect imperfect" flower and create an image that displays emotion and tells a story to the viewer.
Q: What do you love the most about photography?
A: While I truly enjoy the hunt, I find my most pleasure in combining the shooting of an image with the post-processing of an image. Combining in-the-field composition and in the digital darkroom post-processing, I relish creating an image that "speaks".
Q: What helps you when you're struggling with a creative block?
A: When I get bored with photography I send my self out to explore the garden. I look for the unexpected, the imperfect, the unique flower, or leaf, or whatever. Then I try to tell that subjects story. I think everything has a story to tell we just need to look for it and listen with our eyes.
Q: Would you consider yourself an adventurous photographer, or do you tend to stay in your comfort zone?
A: My wife would definitely place me in the adventurous zone! I am always looking for that new, unexplored photographic opportunity. I try new techniques, new compositional positions (that sometimes gets me in adventurous situations), new subjects all the time. There's so much to explore and so little time to do it.
Q: What else would you like to see from Lensbaby in the future?
A: To quote Rick Sammon, "when you think you're close enough, get closer". Other than that, communication between the lens and the camera would be helpful. Photographers like data!