Introductions – Lensbaby Blog Circle

When Janet Broughton from Definitely Dreaming first suggested the idea of a Lensbaby Circle Blog I thought “that sounds like fun”. I decided to give it a go and this is the first post in this series.

I had no idea what I was going to write about in my first post and slowly some ideas started to come together but life got in the  way meaning I couldn’t carry them out. Just as I was struggling to think of something, life took another unexpected turn and one of the events preventing me executing my original ideas suddenly turned into a positive.

We now have an English Springer Spaniel puppy, called Tyke. So meet Tyke …

He is eight weeks old, sleeps, eats and terrorises our other dogs Jack (2 year old German Shepherd) and Splat (4 year old English Springer Spaniel).

He makes great subject for Lensbaby lenses and to get good photos I had to work with smaller apertures than normal and get out my flash gun. The photo above was taken with the Sweet 80. I need much more practice at positioning the sweet spot to capture him on the move.

I swapped to the Edge 50 and captured the following shots, where Splat has had enough and makes his escape leaving Tyke with the sofa to himself.

Having claimed the sofa he then decided it was time to fall asleep. I swapped to the Soft Focus optic and had a play while he slept in my lap.

This optic seems to capture to gentleness of his sleep perfectly. It wasn’t long before he was up and on the go again. This time playing with Jack…

and attacking my old shoes…

These were taken with the Velvet 56 lens at f5.6. This was different for me as I normally shoot with this lens at f1.6 – f2.8, but I love the way they have captured his playfulness.

It wasn’t long before it was time for another nap…

I usually shoot flowers so it was a challenge to capture a moving target. I remembered some of the basics of using a flashgun and was amazed that these worked so well. I had fun and so did Tyke. Hopefully he’ll learn to love the camera.

To see the other blogs in the circle and more great Lensbaby photos please follow the links til you get back to where you started. To see Ute Reckhorn’s Lensbaby circle blog click here.

The Craftsman

Some time ago a colleague found out I was interested in photography and asked if I’d take some photos for her friend who is putting together a website to publicise his skills and business.

I’ve never taken photos for anyone else before so it was a new challenge. 

 

Today was the day and I met Sarah at her house from where she took me to Chris’ workshop. When we got there a Chris produced this beautiful writing desk which he’d made. I was stunned … 

I’ve admired desks like this in the numerous gift catalogues which come through the post at Christmas but I’d never seen one like this. As a stationary lover I was thrilled. On the outside it looks like a beautiful wooden box but opens up revealing the writing desk, inkwells and numerous compartments, some you would never know were there

The finish and detail were fantastic. The locks had beautiful old fashioned keys. The outer key was finished with a ribbon of leather. It’s the perfect keepsakes box. I could just picture my Antigua Conway Stewart fountain pens, purple ink, writing paper and diary stored in it. Just as well it was spoken for.

The detail and craftsmanship was perfect. The tiny joints fitted together perfectly and all the little boxes and compartments slid in and out with ease, never sticking.

 

I left most of my Lensbabies at home as I was aware I had to take photos for Sarah and Chris, not to take what I wanted. I did however take my Edge 50 and Velvet 56. Sarah and Chris have an assortment of photos to use, some taken with Lensbabies and some with conventional lenses. The photos above are my favourites, unsurprisingly they are all Lensbaby shots

 

Dragonflies

I went walking with the dogs in Mathon on Saturday. It made a nice change from Malvern Common, although I did miss meeting the regular dog walkers on the common, they are so friendly.

 

Our walk took us past a pond where I’ve watched dragonflies emerging in the summer sun. The bulrushes are much thicker this year but we found one dragonfly emerging. It fascinating to watch them emerge, grow their wings and take off.

 

The dogs were really excited and didn’t want to stay still. If they weren’t chasing each other round the edge disturbing the tranquillity, they were swimming causing the bull rushes to move in the turbulence created in their wake.

 

I did get some good shots, the best of which are shown below. I was playing with my Lensbaby Edge 50 and Velvet 56 so focussing manually was tricky. The first two shots were taken with the Edge 50 and the last was taken with the Velvet 56.

 

 

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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