Fine art phtographer, Gizella Nyquist reflects on her struggles with the concept of perfection and how Lensbaby has liberated her from this ideal.
Whenever I talk to people about my current photography I tell them that Lensbaby lenses are perfect for me. The funny part is that many Lensbaby images are far from perfect if you are looking at them with your technical eyes only. I could even say that Lensbaby pictures are perfectly imperfect. What do I mean by this? Let me show you some of my creations and explain how the imperfection led me to create something that I felt stood out from the crowd.
Let’s start with this image, which I took with the Sweet 50 (my very first LB lens). Technically this image is not successful. I clearly wasn’t able to focus fast enough on any of the birds. Despite this, I really like the outcome. Thanks to the special effects created by the lens, I feel the movement of the birds, and I can almost hear the noise gulls make when a large flock of them fly away all at once.
The next set of pictures are also mostly out of focus and very soft. But that is precisely what I like about them, because I am very much drawn to painterly pictures, especially when it comes to flowers. I was able to create these thanks to the Velvet 56 lens and pretty wide apertures, and only minimal post-processing. I could call them instant paintings.
The last two images in the set were taken with the Sweet 35 lens.
In my next two examples, thanks to my great models Destiny and Stormy, I can show how well the Lensbaby lens helped to focus on the eyes of the cats, and gradually blur out the rest of the image. The only post-processing was converting them into black and white.
Similarly to the above pictures, I purposely placed the focus on a small area on these images, and the milky, soft bokeh was created by the lenses I used: Velvet 56 for the first two, and the Sol 45 for the other two.
Sometimes, the imperfection is in the subject, but thanks to my LB lenses, I can still capture their former beauty in a unique way. (Burnside 35 at F2.8)
Lensbaby lenses will give you the opportunity to show something in a totally different way or #seeinanewway. You look at these pictures and know exactly what I photographed, but what you see is very “imperfect”, since it is completely different from the usual presentation. But this makes the pictures so cool.
I need to finish my post with a very personal thought about imperfection. In my whole life, I’ve struggled with trying to be perfect for everything and everybody. It started in my childhood when people around me had very high expectations of me that I needed to live up to. I continued this struggle after I moved to the States, and having an accent in my English really didn’t help. I always felt less than others because I couldn’t say things the way they could. Then came photography. If my images were not tack sharp, they were an instant throw-away.
But one day, back in December of 2017, I placed my first Lensbaby lens on my camera and started experiencing the freedom of imperfection. I still use traditional lenses for certain topics (theater and travel photography, or when I have very little time to make the shots), but I feel liberated by the various kinds of imperfection the LB lenses give me when I create images with them.
This picture says it all about my feelings for the lenses that allow me to make art where emotion is most important than perfection. Thank you Lensbaby for helping me become more imperfect!
Tags: Burnside 35, Composer Pro Sweet 50, Composer Pro with Sweet 35, creative effect lens, creative photography, fine art photography, flower photography, Lensbaby, seeinanewway, Sol 45, Sweet 35 Optic, Sweet 50 Optic, velvet 56