Well, hello there! Like to see some LensBaby love? LensBaby, huh, what? Exactly, LensBaby. Every now and then I like to spice up my photos with the LensBaby effect. What effect is that? See for yourself in the photos below, taken this year during our vacation on Bonaire.

A Lensbaby is a fully manual lens. And with fully manual I not only mean the focus, but also the aperture. No, you are not dialing the aperture manually, but you are actually inserting the aperture ring into the lens manually. Yep, that is how manually the LensBaby works. Depending on the aperture, open = starting at 2.8 or closed = up to 22 you get a smaller or bigger area that you can get into focus. Kind of like in the normal manual settings of your camera and lens. However, the size in focus, the makers of the LensBaby call it ‘the sweet spot’, is controlled by the aperture you choose. I mostly don’t go for anything too crazy, but  stick with f/5.6, sometimes  f/4. Anything less and the spot is really small. Go much bigger and you don’t get a lot of blur and bokeh – so why bother. That’s at least my motto.

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Otherwise I am simply using the LensBaby Composer with Double Glass, which equals a 50 mm = normal angle lens. But they also have a moderate wide, 35 mm, and a little tele, 80 mm. I have seen some sweet photos with both of them. But I think for my purposes of toying around with it, the composer is perfect. Oh, and they have got a macro set, for some really, really small in focus area, but that’s for another post.

The other really interesting thing about the LensBaby is the tilt-shift effect. So, you have got the lens, dial it to get the spot in focus and then you can tilt it 360 °, whichever way you want, to shift this in-focus spot. Away from the center of the image to e.g. the rule of thirds. Can you see the differences in my photos below? It is really a very nice selective tool

It takes a little getting used to doing everything manually, especially once you add the tilt-shift. But honestly I liked the little challenge. You can get really pretty lazy with everything auto and the pictures turning out pretty much not bad all the time  these days – just think phone camera. I love my iPhone and the photos it produces, but the amount of control you have over the settings is very limited. And so, every now and then I am swapping my standard lens for the LensBaby. And really, it is a perfect alternative for any situation. Like here for landscapes or architecture, but just as well for special portraits. Curious yet? Here is the link to their website if you want to see for yourself what I am talking about.

One of my colleagues from the Sisterhood Stories is an avid LensBaby protagonist with some fantastically, dreamy photos. Maybe you’ll find her if you follow this blog circle. But first here is the link to Todd & Moore Photography websitem which I am sure you will like. I hope you’ll take the time to check it out.

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self portrait, Claudia Willison, ImagesByCW

Claudia is founder, owner and soul of ImagesByCW Photography. Born in Germany, traveled though Europe and Australia, she currently lives with her American husband in New Jersey, USA. She blogs about what she loves: Photography, art, internet and computers in general, as well as cooking and windsurfing. When not working she enjoys reading, music, windsurfing and listening to the sound of waves and the wind, preferably together with her husband.

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