Freeing Your Lens

June 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

 

 

 

Free.  Not held, tied, or fixed to something.  Unfettered.  Detached.  Not hampered.  Not limited or controlled by rules.

Okay, I’m a little bummed that I’ve resorted to the hackneyed tool of using definitions to introduce my subject, but they fit so well, I just couldn’t help myself.  I’m also a little bummed by the amount of time I sometimes spend on Facebook.  And I’m not so thrilled that Facebook and Google and others watch what I do on the web and present ads and articles and such, based on what they have observed about my browsing habits.  But I have to say that something that appeared on my screen, courtesy of the nice folks at Facebook, has given me new photographic freedom.

I’m talking about freelensing.  Freelensing, simply put, is taking photos with a lens held up to, but not attached, to your camera.  A free, unfettered, detached lens.

Before reading about freelensing, I had no idea that a camera could open the shutter and capture an image without a lens attached to the body (some cameras may require you to enable this via a menu setting).  I also didn’t know why one would want to do that, but after seeing some freelensed photos, I understood and was immediately intrigued.  Taking a photo with the lens detached lets you manipulate the position of the lens to allow variable light and areas of focus within the frame.  By doing this, you are free to create a myriad of effects (in camera, no Photoshop required!) from soft and dreamy with silky-smooth bokeh to light-leaky, retro-funky, and everything in between.   Not hampered.  Not limited or controlled by rules.

So I gave it a try.  It was lots of fun, totally absorbing, and felt, well … free.  The wildflower photos above and below are from my first freelensing session.  By moving and tilting the lens, I was able to position it to create soft focus on small key areas and a very ethereal, dreamy look to the rest of the image.  Holding the lens slightly away from the camera body also let in enough light to achieve a bright and airy feel.  It does take some practice (yep, I deleted lots of images!), but in my opinion, the creative possibilities are well worth the time and effort.

That’s it for this time.  Feel free (wink) to drop me a line; I’d love to hear from you.  And as always, I wish you happy shooting and a satisfying photographic journey!



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