Nuno Caldeira is a professional photographer and geographer based in Portugal, living on the island of Madeira. He is a self-described Lensbaby addict who brings his Lensbaby lenses with him on all of his adventures.
Nuno took our Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic out exploring his gorgeous home town. Read on below to learn how Nuno uses this tilt lens to create photographs that capture his own unique perspective.
To get this shot of a Lisbon square I headed to a vantage point approximately four stories high. One of the biggest features of the Edge 50 is that you don’t need to be very high to make miniature/diorama shots since it’s a wider lens. I picked an aperture of f/8, that allowed me to get a thick slice of focus to capture the statue in full. I tried different slices of focus in different directions before choosing this diagonal slice. When shooting always check the result, since the exposure meter isn’t precise you might get over or underexposed images depending on the tilting direction towards the sun.
Depth of field manipulation can easily be achieved when tilting the Edge 50. I set the size of the slice of focus by changing the aperture to f/5.6. Then tilted the lens so the slice follows along the path the hiker is using, resulting in a perfectly smooth bokeh in the out of focus areas on the frame.
For this shot, I took advantage of the slice of focus that allows me to focus from close to infinite. I opted to create a slice of focus that allowed me to keep the couple, the path, and the two mountain peaks in focus with an aperture of f/8. This allowed me to create the miniature effect in-camera, making slight adjustments if needed as I shot.
In shots like these, where there’s a lot going on, there are many options for the slice of focus. Try to focus on the objects/subjects that stand out and aren’t all the same size – this way the miniature look is easily achievable with an aperture from f4 to f8. As you can see in this shot, I placed the slice of focus diagonally, along the building and down into the beachgoers. I ignored areas of the frame that were more “neutral” in color and homogeneous like the sea. This approach attracts the viewer’s eye to what you want them to see and “removes” the unwanted subjects with a smooth and bokehlicious blur.
Action shots require much more preparation. In these cases, play it safe, pick an aperture of either f5.6 or f8 so that the slice of focus will be thick enough. Beforehand, choose the direction of the slice of focus, where one or the two subjects will cross allowing you to manipulate the depth of field and focus on the first and second objects even though they’re different distances, as in this example.