This spring I decided to challenge myself and I spent seven days shooting with my Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic.
I absolutely love using this lens for portraits, as it gives a soft painterly touch to my subjects, and it also creates movement in the images.
I had to realise that I barely use this lens these days, as due to lockdown restrictions I don’t really have the chance to photograph people. I was very curious how I could use this lens with different subjects, such as capturing naturing in its finest.
I have always admired watercolour paintings. Their lightness … their undefined lines … different shapes merging together and creating a symbiotic whole. Capturing these glorious blossoming branches made me feel like I had spent hours with painting, but instead of using a traditional paintbrush and paint, I used my camera, and my Sweet 80 Optic.
Shooting at F2.8 with this lens was quite challenging, especially that the branches and blossoms were in constant motion, and swinging in all sorts of directions due to a strong wind. But nailing that sweet spot focus in such weather conditions was so rewarding, and well worth battling with the elements.
The lens kept my focal point crisp and sharp, while it turned the rest of the image and the out of focus areas into a vision of a pastel painting.
If you have used pastel crayons before I am sure you can picture what I am talking about. These crayons are very soft and they have a powdery texture. You can blend different colours together even just using your fingers. I know it does sound like quite a messy procedure, but if you enjoy painting or drawing you should totally give it a go.
Being a colour obsessed artist I barely create black and white images, but I took a leap, and I was incredibly impressed with the results. The black and white conversion added a charcoal drawing touch to my image, and it created a beautiful contrast between the different textures, lowlights and highlights.
I also did a bit of an experiment and I combined the optic with the OMNI Seahorse Crystal.
I love shooting flowers backlit as it reveals their beautiful and finest details. The sun was very high, as I captured this image around noon. I used the OMNI Seahorse Crystal to reduce the harshness of this strong light, and to add softness and more texture to my image. The real challenge was to keep the photo balanced. I did not want to make it look too soft, and to avoid that I kept my subject partially in the shade. This way I created highlights, mid tones and lowlights within one frame.
I captured these blossoms taking an advantage of the cold tones of the morning light. I was aiming for cooler image tones to express even though these lovely blossoms are already out, the weather can be still very chilly. I wanted to show, no matter how fragile these little flowers look, they have so much strength and resilience. They are standing against even the harshest wind, like little soldiers and spreading the hope of warmer spring days ahead.