First Impressions

 

I treated myself to a Lensbaby Sweet 80 optic a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been having a play an getting used to finding and placing the sweet spot of focus.

 

We went out with the dogs on Sunday morning, it was a grey dull day not great for photography but out of habit I took my camera gear. While we were wandering round the common I thought I’ll try for some action shots of Splat fetching the tennis ball. I set the aperture and shutter speed and focussed on where I expected him to run through.While I was setting up they had a false start and there were a few shots which included Jack.

 

The shots of Splat didn’t work, he moves faster than I expected so they were blurred. There was something about one of the early shots including Jack which appealed to me. I think it was the expressions on their faces and the sense of movement. The focus wasn’t sharp as they were both just outside the sweet spot.

 

I’ve downloaded Topaz Studio and had an initial play but still have lots to learn. I thought I’d have a play with the free Impression adjustments. I love the result, see below. It turned an very average photo into something I really like and was happy to post  on social media. I’ll have to play some more.

 

The Chase
On the common

 

 

Dancers

One of the great things about nature photography is that I notice things which I would previously been oblivious to. I was on the common with the dogs one morning this week when I suddenly looked down and spotted some small very delicate mushrooms. They were passed their best and fading away but the glint from the moisture on them caught my attention.

 

When I looked round I spotted others, and in particular a small group clustered together. I got the camera out and took some shots. The camera was set up with my Lensbaby Velvet 56, whose properties accentuated the delicacy of my subject.

 

Looking at the results back on the computer they reminded me of ballet dancers. Can you see it?

 

Dancers

 

Summer’s here!

We all have things which define the seasons for us, the scent of elderflower and the sight of harebells make me think of summer

Saturday morning on the common was a full one. It was very muggy, felt like rain and there were no signs that it was going to develop into a beautiful suny day. Suddenly a patch of colour caught my eye and when I took a closer look it was a beautiful bunch of harebells. When I got my camera out, it had the Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens on. I fired off a few shots and ran to catch up with the others.

 

I took a few other shots as we wandered round but when I was reviewing them over a cup of tea my favourites were the harebell shots. I had a play in Lightroom to create the black and white version and can’t make up my mind which I like best, what do you think? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Harebells on Malvern Common

On the common

Harebells on the common

 
Sunday was a beautiful sunny summer morning. As we wandered round I spotted lots more harebells. It wasn’t until the last minute when we were n our way home I spotted the single harebell amongst the yellow. I couldn’t resist. This time I’d been playing with the Twist 60 and the macro converters, enabling a closer focus. My favourite shot is below. I’m not sure what the yellow flowers are the looked dandelion like, but I loved the colour combination.

 

 
Yellow and Purple

On the common

 
The Lensbaby lenses create beautiful effects and produce great results when photographing wild flowers.
 
From a disappointing start on Saturday morning I got three great shots. Life is full of surprises.

Lensbaby Edge 50


I love Lensbaby lenses and the effects they create. I’ve built up a collection over the years and my favourite is the Velvet 56. My least favourite is the Edge 80, so when the Edge 50 came out I decided  to give it a miss. That was until it was on offer on Amazon and I felt like some retail therapy, so I bought it about two months ago.

 

I’ve used it a few times when on the common with the dogs. I struggled with the Edge 80 and getting the slice of focus where I wanted it so I thought I take things slowly with the Edge 50.

 

I started using it simply as a prime lens, with no bending. I take photos of the flowers, tress and other things which catch my eye as I wander round the common. To get close to the flowers and leaves I was using it in macro mode. I also tend to shoot at the widest aperture to blur  the background (for the Edge 50 the max aperture is f/3.2).

 

My three favourite shots are shown below.

 

 
The catkin shot below, was the one successful attempt at bending the lens to create a vertical slice of focus.
 
 

 

I love this lens, I love what happens to the out of focus background. It’s now become one of my favourites, although I still have to master bending the lens to get the slice of focus where I want it.

 

I’ll have to revisit my Edge 80.

 

 

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