Tilt shift effects have been showing up more often in photographers’ work recently, but it’s not always clear how they achieved the look. Was it with a large format camera, a tilt shift lens, through free lensing, software, Instagram, or with a Lensbaby? We’re proud to offer what we think is the best way to create this effect, and here we’ll briefly explain why.

Girl cupping water from a pool at sunset using tilt shift effect from the Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic by Emma Wood.

The Lensbaby Composer Pro with Edge 80 optic is a lens that tilts on a ball and socket to give you a slice of focus through your image, essentially creating the same effect as a tilt shift lens, or of an old bellows camera where you can change the plane of focus. You can isolate you subject while smoothly blurring out the rest of the image. You can also get two subjects at different distances in focus at the same time, or even get a miniature effect. The Lensbaby does these things with some advantages over other methods of achieving the same type of effect.?

Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 80 Optic close up image for tilt shift effect photography.

Composer Pro with Edge 80 Optic

First of all, it’s simpler and cheaper than using a true tilt shift lens or view camera with bellows. These cameras and lenses can be very technical, and easily cost thousands of dollars. This type of lens is great for architectural photography, but for everyday use they may not be ideal.

Next, it’s much easier and less risky than free lensing (shooting photos with the lens detached from the camera). If you’ve ever tried this method, you know how difficult it can be, and you definitely know that there’s a good chance you will get dust on your sensor.

Finally, it looks better than mimicking the effect in software, and it gives you more time behind the camera and less time in front of your computer.

Kindergartener in a polka dot dress hanging up classroom art in black and white with tilt shift effect by the Edge 80 Optic from Sherri Davis.

Photo by Sherri Davis

So, how will you use this effect in your work? Will you use it enough to warrant getting the lens?

It’s true that our lenses are specialty lenses, at least to some degree. It’s very likely that you will own other lenses in addition to Lensbaby gear. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t shoot all kinds of things with them, and even use them on every single shoot. With practice, they can excel in any circumstance and really give a uniquely special quality to your photos.

High perspective dirt bike jump using the tilt shift effect from Lensbaby's Edge 80 Optic by Nuno Caldeira.

Photo by Nuno Calderia

Throughout this post you can see some samples of the various ways that some photographers are using the Edge 80. Portraits, lifestyle, weddings, sports, food, travel, nature, and abstract forms are just a few of the subjects that can look great with this lens. If you?re looking for something different in your photos?something to create a magical feeling?the Composer Pro with Edge 80 is worth trying.

Wedding portrait with tilt shift effect by Lensbaby's Edge 80 Optic from photosbyzoe.co.uk featuring a man in a kilt and sports coat and a woman in a white wedding gown.

 

Tilt shift effect photograph portrait black and white by Emma Wood with the Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic.

 

 

 

Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic with 8mm Macro Converter focuses on the peas in the pod of a fresh snap pea. Edge 80 Optic is perfect for selectively focusing on food subjects at close range. Edge 80 provides depth to a food image using tilt shift effects.

Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic with 8mm Macro Converter focuses on the peas in the pod of a fresh snap pea. Edge 80 Optic is perfect for selectively focusing on food subjects at close range. Edge 80 provides depth to a food image.

 

Lake Moraine evening shot with Lensbaby Composer Pro with Edge 80 Optic. Tilt shift effect photography using a slice of focus and vivid colors of the blue lake and bright green evergreen firs.

Lake Moraine evening shot with Lensbaby Composer Pro with Edge 80 Optic. Promotional photo for Lensbaby on Facebook.

 

A man's best friend: dog licking his child using tilt shift effects in black and white with the Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic by Willie Kers.

Water ripples in a clear blue-green pool using tilt shift effects by Katrina Stewart and the Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic.

Farmer's market red cherry tomatoes contrasted with tilt shift effect by green flat using the Edge 80 optic by Kathleen Clemons for Lensbaby.

Liz Devine utilizes tilt shift effect with the Edge 80 Optic showing the New York skyline on a blue sky.

A deer and it's foe deep in the green forest from a shot by Andrew Evans using the Lensbaby Edge 80.

Roller hockey in black and white using tilt shift effect by Sherri Davis.

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