Lensbaby – Carla Monaco and Me, testing it in the Studio
So what is a lensbaby? In a nutshell: Its a lens you can buy to achieve different focus effects. This particular lensbaby I bought has a fixed aperture of 5.6 and 50mm fixed focal length. If you are shooting subjects far away you squeeze the lens in more, less if closer. I Bought it from Wex photographic, bargain at £60. I didnt see much point paying out lots yet in case I never really use it. Did the same with my 1.8 50mm , used it lots so upgraded to the 1.4, pin sharp.
So heres a picture of the lensbaby on the camera, fits like a normal lens.
And from side on, so you can see the ‘spring’ part you move to achieve different focus effect.
So what you do, is basically get the subject in focus where you want the focus to be. For models it would be the eyes, but as you want to experiment, you start with the eyes then play. I shot with Carla Monaco recently. I didnt do any preparation for lens baby shots but took it with me. When she brought out a striped top, I thought this would be ideal so it will highlight the effect especially as the background is plain, ideally you want a brick wall or something thats not plain.
So heres a few shots I took. First is sharp on the eyes, these are straight out of the camera, shot in monochrome on the camera, tweaked the monochrome setting beforehand.
One thing I struggled to do with the lensbaby is recompose, only because of where i set the focus point on her eyes. Once you focus, you cant really recompose that focus point so you need to make sure you decide where this is before you shoot, I was a bit lazy i think, its possible of course.
Quite like the blur on her left arm on this one below:
This is what happens wen you just shoot! Below:
Like this again, that ghostly focus effect and blurred arm again below:
Result: good fun, needs lots of practice, but it also creates something different, you can add to your portfolio if you get it right. Well worth a paltry £60, good fun!