Lensbaby Makers: Chantal van den Dool
Lensbaby Makers is a series that looks into the world of influential Lensbaby shooters. Press play to see these photographers in action as they work through their creative process.
Meet Chantal van den Dool
I never really felt like I found myself until Lensbaby. Shooting with Lensbaby is similar to the way that painting on a canvas has an organic feel. I always felt that digital photography was too sterile and mechanical. I wanted soft gradations of light and something that felt alive with energy. I had an inkling that Lensbaby might be the answer to my conundrum back in 2010 when I saw them for the first time. I didn’t pull the trigger until 2012, and I kick myself that I just didn’t dig in sooner! Manual focus is genius for honing visual voice. It forces you to make many small decisions as you twist the lens, that you normally wouldn’t consider with autofocus. Manual focus, while harder, is a tremendous exercise in intention and creativity. Lensbaby lenses help me slow down and savor the moment, keeping my mind in the present while being aware of the light around me.
Lensbaby adds mystery and dramatic flare to my images. Many of my favorite images have been made by accident – misfires that turned out to be beautiful. I can let go and experiment with Lensbaby. There is something about the lenses that make me fearless, as even mistakes possess character. Lensbaby lenses lead to endless rabbit trails of ideas and give boring locations new life. I have really embraced the mundane because nothing is mundane once touched by a Lensbaby.
About Chantal van den Dool
Chantal is a photographer based in the Netherlands, who specializes in animal, flower and macro photography. After buying her first ‘good’ camera in 2012, she set out to photograph things that she loved, so began photographing dogs. Remaining true to herself as an artist is incredibly important to Chantal. She doesn’t like being put in a box and chooses to create simple images full of creative details.
There was a time when Chantal felt like her passion for photography was fading away. Spending hours in front of the computer editing until she didn’t recognise her own photographs – simply to please other people. That’s when she discovered Lensbaby. So she bought herself a Spark and never looked back. Six years later, she has found her artistic voice and now uses Lensbaby lenses and optics for almost every shoot.
With Lensbaby Chantal can photograph how she sees and not spend time editing.
Lensbaby Lenses and Optics
Lensbaby Edge 50 & Edge 80
Lensbaby Soft Focus, Double Glass, Single Glass, Pinhole,
Featured Product: Circular Fisheye
Tags: Animal Photography, Black and White Photography, Circular Fisheye, edge 50, edge 80, macro, macro converters, macro filters, macro photography, Photography, portrait photography, spark, Sweet 35 Optic, Sweet 50 Optic, velvet 56