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3 Days with the Lensbaby Edge Series

Since I absolutely adore my Lensbaby Edge Optics and their beautiful slice of focus, I decided to take pictures of the same subject for 3 days using:

  • On Day 1: the Edge 35
  • On Day 2: the Edge 50
  • And on Day 3: the Edge 80 Optic. 

I was very curious to see how the images were going to compare.

You would think: ‘Eh! They are the same, only the focal lengths are different.’ 

Well, reality could not be any further!

Day 1 –  Edge 35

This optic is the newest member of my Lensbabies.

Shot with Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic

Prior to purchasing this lens I was shooting primarily with the Edge 80 for about a month and a half. Changing to a much wider angle felt very strange at first.

Looking through the viewfinder for the first time made me feel like I sunk into a surreal world:  How can so much information fit into one single frame ?! 

My brain got totally confused in a weirdly wonderful way. I was so used to focusing purely on my subjects and  their surroundings didn’t really catch my attention. All of a sudden I started observing my subjects in a way that I never did before, and I realised their surroundings are just as exciting as the subjects themselves. 

Shot with Lensbaby Edge 35 + OMNI Stretch Wand

I can say this with confidence even though it wasn’t love at first sight, I’m very much in love with my Edge 35 now!  

Why?

It is an incredibly versatile lens:

  • It is wide enough to capture landscapes / cityscapes 
  • Also great for architectural photography
  • You can get real close to your subjects
  • It picks up the finest details, so it is a perfect choice for products / flowers / still life, or for anything really that you want to capture by enhancing details.
  • It is a wonderful choice for storytelling 
  • It is excellent for portrait photography too.

So you can use this lens pretty much for anything.

The secret of adapting my visual thinking into such a wide angle was practice, practice and practice more. That’s it really. I spent hours and hours, day by day photographing different subjects, and here I am now, madly in love with this beautiful optic. 

Shot with Lensbaby Edge 35 + OMNI Stretch Wand

I absolutely love how the Edge 35 is wide enough to show everything that surrounds my subjects, but instead of being distracting having all that information in one frame, it actually draws the attention to the subject through its environment.

Day 2 – Edge 50

The Edge 50 is the perfect in between optic: neither wide, neither narrow. Looking at my images taken with this lens makes me feel like I’m looking at traditional film photographs.

It creates a very special mood that I adore so much.

Shot with Lensbaby Edge 50 Optic

In comparison to the Edge 35:

  • It is still wide enough to capture landscapes
  • Being 50mm is a classic focal length for portraits 
  • It is a great choice for still life photography, as your subjects would have just the right amount of surroundings 
  • Compared to the 35mm you will not have any distortions in your images (that’s another extra perk for the Edge 35! Being wide angle you get a slight distortion, but instead of disturbing it is rather a wonderful and creative vision).
Shot with Lensbaby Edge 50 Optic + OMNI Stretch Wand

Day 3 – Edge 80

Changing from 50 to 80mm was an absolute joy for me. 

When I took my first 80mm shot my stomach got filled with butterflies, and my eyes with tears, as the beauty of the photograph I captured was beyond my imagination. It was like a little piece of heaven, and I told myself that Lensbaby photography cannot get any better than shooting with the Edge 80.

Shot with Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic + OMNI Stretch Wand

The Edge 80 is a state of art. It is the perfect lens to photograph details (that I adore!) and to fully focus on the subject itself, fading everything around it in a beautiful way.

The areas in focus are crisp sharp and full of fine details, and the smoothness of the blur is just out of this world. With this lens you can truly transform the most ordinary subject into the extraordinary.

In comparison to the Edge 35 and 50:

  • Your photo is about the subject itself 
  • It is quite a narrow focal length so there is not much room for what surrounds your subjects
  • It is all about the details
  • It creates the smoothest and silkiest blur in the out of focus areas (out of the three optics I find the Edge 80 having the silkiest blur).

I’m so happy that I came up with the idea of spending 3 days with my Lensbaby Edge Optics. Shooting a whole day with one and then the following day changing to another really made me see how beautifully different they are.

Using the same series of optics, and exploring how they act in different focal lengths has transformed  my photographic vision immensely.

I know what you’re thinking now: ‘But which is your favourite one …?’

Honestly, it would be incredibly difficult to choose between the Edge 35 and the Edge 80. 

I am obsessed with details and they both enhance those in their own magical way. 

Looking at the world around me through the Edge 35 my perception has changed. I’m still obsessed with details and getting close to my subjects, but I grew to adore their surroundings too.

The Edge 80 is pure magic. No piece of equipment has ever made me feel the way this optic has.The areas in focus are super sharp and crisp and the blur around it looks like velvet. This also relies on the Edge 35.

So I guess the most adequate answer I could give to this question is that they are both my favourites!

I hope you enjoyed my little 3 day adventure as much as I did, because for sure I had so much fun with these beautiful Lensbabies.

My journey into Lensbaby photography

I have been a photographer for over ten years, specialised in portraits and weddings. I have always loved capturing my subjects with very shallow depth of field, through my favourite 50 mm lens.

My journey with Lensbaby began in December 2019, nine months after I was badly hit by a car and I was left on the road by the driver.

I hit my head very badly, and this caused chemical imbalances in my brain, which resulted in a change of my personality. I would wake up in the morning and looking into the mirror a stranger would stare back at me.

Self Confusion – Shot with Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic + Composer Pro II

The justice system never solved my case, and this had caused even more damage: It took my voice away, and completely broke my trust in human beings.  I thought I had nothing left to hold onto. Being a photographer I tried to create artwork, but traditional photography didn’t give me joy anymore.

Around October – November time (2019) I started thinking about my college years as a photography student (2009 – 2013), and how much I enjoyed experimenting with different techniques and equipment. I remembered during a research for a college project, I came across some photos that were taken with the Lensbaby Edge 80 Optic, and how mesmerised I was by the beautiful blurry effect of the images. 

The Beautiful Blur – Shot with Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic + Composer Pro II

Accessing this memory was like a light switch in my head, and the feeling just hit me instantly: I am a blur, I am undefined, I am neither this nor that. And this is pretty much how I perceived life itself back then. I needed a medium that allowed me to express not only what I see, but how I see it and how I feel it.

In the blurriest time of my life it became perfectly clear to me that I wanted to shoot extraordinary and I wanted to create perfectly imperfect images. 

Morning Light – Shot with Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic + Lensbaby Colourful Crystal + Composer Pro II

I spent an entire month researching, looking through reviews and observing pictures taken with Lensbaby products. 

My first two Lensbabies arrived in December 2019: the Edge 50 with the Composer Pro II and the Sweet 80 Optic.

I still remember exactly how I felt after taking the first few shots with my new optics. It was like waking up from a coma. All of a sudden everything had become interesting and even in the most ordinary subject I could see the extraordinary.  I found myself in a world where I was finally content. In a world where I had found my voice again and I was able to use that voice through my images. 

Sunset Dance – Shot with Lensbaby Edge 50 Optic + Lensbaby Composer Pro II

In July 2020 Lensbaby featured one of my photos – Waterlilies – on their Instagram page. The feeling of being acknowledged, and to be seen by the company I so highly value, was a life changing moment for me. 

Waterlilies – First Lensbaby Feature – Shot with Lensbaby Edge 50 Optic + Lensbaby Composer Pro II

People, who I never knew before, congratulated me and this caused me such joy that was unknown to me before. Their appreciation warmed my heart greatly, and gave me a huge amount of encouragement and positive energies to keep going. I finally didn’t feel alone. I felt a certain kind of belonging that I had lost a long time ago.

It made me realise that Lensbaby is not only an amazing brand with the most incredible and unique products, but also a kind and supportive community of people.

I never in a million years could have imagined that I could make connections through my Lensbaby photography, and this is absolutely priceless.

In October 2020 I was one of the winners of the Lensbaby at Home competition, which was a great reassurance for me that I am on the right path with my photography. I was awarded with a gift voucher and I used it towards the Edge 80 Optic, which was the main source of my inspiration to become a Lensbaby Artist.

Winner of the Lensbaby at Home Competition – Shot with Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic + Composer Pro II

Through this brand and community I am not only creating but I am also healing. 

In January 2021 I received the great honour of becoming a Lensbaby Ambassador, which is a dream coming true, and there are no words to describe my happiness. 

Lensbaby had a profound impact on my life as a person and as a photographer, and for me it is far more than just a brand.  It is a way of seeing: in a new way, a way of feeling: everything is possible, and a way of living: embracing life as perfectly imperfect.

The year of stillness with a bit of Tuscany …

It’s been a long while since I last posted here. Just like most of us I’ve been putting all my energies into adapting to this new reality that we are currently living in.

As an artist the best way for me to feed my soul and to get inspired is to travel. To discover new cultures, new landscapes and to connect to people of other countries.

Tuscany was on my bucket list for approximately 16 years, but I never in a million years would have imagined that I was going to visit this miracle place in a middle of a pandemic.

In the summer it actually seemed like things were massively improving with the virus. The infection rates were dropping significantly, especially in Italy.

In early September with all the precautions and safety measures I took a leap and flew right into the Italian dream, as travelling was permitted at that time in Europe.

Of course I saw Tuscany in movies, books, postcards and on the Internet before my trip, but I never imagined that reality was going to be far more beautiful than the finest photographs or documentaries could ever present it. 

I spent two weeks under the Tuscan sun, and every day was a real adventure.

After four months of lockdown, and the summer spent with constant studying, walking all day every day, for two weeks was a real blessing.

My favourite town was the historical Lucca with its picturesque walls that were built during the Renaissance. 

The most delicious food I had was in the dreamy Cortona, where I also found the cutest little church ever. Its cupola looks just like the Italian Christmas cake called Panettone.

The best wine bar was located in the medieval town of Siena. With its cosiness and friendly staff it was a real treat sipping a glass of wine after a long day of walking and sightseeing.

Visiting a prestigious vineyard of Montalcino was a once in a lifetime experience, and it made my trip even more special.

Driving through morning mist, chasing rainbows after heavy storms, overlooking ancient cities from high up domes, visiting the most exquisite artworks in the finest museums and galleries, getting peace and quiet in sacred churches … this trip had it all …

But the most outstanding experience was finding my home amongst the Tuscan hills.

I never even dared to dream about having a house in Tuscany … It is probably true that magical things can happen when you least expect it …

I’m counting the days until I can finally return and I can put all my love and care into the place that I can finally call HOME.

Where would you be … ?

4D8ED971-7538-47ED-A5FE-293593407C6CIf the pandemic did not happen, where would you be …?

I’m sure, everyone out there had some sort of plans, before things got critical with the corona virus.  I’m sure most of us are supposed to be some place else, instead of where we are right now.

As for me, I’m supposed to be on a 5 star cruise ship, working as a full time portrait/wedding photographer.
I got hired on 11th of February.
I was supposed to leave on Friday 17th of April.
I was supposed to fly to Germany.
I was supposed to cruise up to the magnificent Norwegian fjords, to record love, joy, special moments and spectacular places.
I was supposed to live on a ship with 5200 passengers and over 2000 crew members, for at least 6 months.
My visas to the United States and Australia were issued, I received the required jabs and my uniforms were ordered.
The ship is still in Germany. It has never left. Neither did I.
Life has made another plan, but not just for me, for all of us.

Isolation is shaping us in many different ways, and I’m sure, everyone can notice this.

As I was gathering my thoughts to compose this post, I realised something.
I have been moving around since I turned 24.
This June I will have my last birthday, beginning with number 3, which means that I have been in MOTION for almost 15 years. This time includes some epic trips, but also some complicated moves from one place to another due to different life events.

If I was not on the go, I would be always thinking and planning the next step, where to go, how to go, what to take, what to leave behind.
15 YEARS.
Now, all of a sudden, there’s nowhere to go. No aeroplane to catch. No backpacks and luggage to pack. No ships to sail off.  I have to stay put.  I have to embrace the stillness.

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As I connected the dots, and I looked back, I understood me. I realised how much adaptation I needed, and we all need to cope with this stillness that was forced on us, to keep us safe.
It is a geographical stillness however.  On a spiritual level there is a massive motion all across our beautiful World, and we are probably more connected to each other than ever.

The current situation requires from all of us an incredible amount of adaptation both mentally and physically. And we are doing it. Which means we are growing! Little by little we are succeeding every day, and this keeps our boat moving, even without a full wind.
Yes, geographically we are still, but very much in MOTION 🕊

Once there was a Spring …

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetSpring. My favourite season of all. It is the celebration of the re-birth of nature, after the cold and grey winter months.
I don’t just want to see it and observe it as an outsider. I want to live it. I want to be part of it. I want to be an element of the whole beautiful, organic and colourful mess.

Isolation makes me understand myself more in depth.
I’ve always known, how madly in love, I was with flowers, but I realised that my connection to them goes way beyond that.
Flowers are the main source of my inspiration, and they are the core elements of my photography.

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When I have some cut flowers in my vase and they start to wilt , I wait … I do not have the heart to throw them away. For me, they do not loose their preciousness, just because they are fading away.  I let them dry out … I want to see their journey in whole … their metamorphosis from being lush and full of life to becoming transparent, showing their finest details under their ‘skin’, as they transform.

Flowers not only symbolise beauty for me, but somehow they are part of me… I’m connected to them in a way that I cannot explain. I miss them. Every day. No words to explain how much I’m longing to sit in a garden surrounded by millions of them. Even as a tiny toddler, all I wanted, is to be near them … According to my Mom, I would sit in my buggy, and as I was being pushed around, I would reach towards them, trying to touch them, and to embrace them to the fullest … Flower was amongst the first words that I said … I miss everything about them …

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Isolation is the time, to be resourceful. We cannot crush. Cannot run away. We have to accept what we cannot have. What we can do, is to figure out, how to work with the hollow that this difficult time creates in us.
As for me,
I’m unable to be in nature, and it creates a struggle in me, but I realised that I have many never published photographs of embracing Mother Nature in her fullest, and looking through those images makes me happy.
They give me hope that one day things will be all right …

I made a decision to use, what I have, to balance the constant longing for what I cannot access right now. I feel blessed that I have an amazing supermarket near my apartment, where I can get some fresh flowers once a week.
My bedroom has become an organic chaos, and it smells just like a flower garden.

Processed with VSCO with kp2 presetOkakura Kakuzo, Japanese scholar said it wisely: “In joy or sadness, flowers are our constant friends.”

Hello World …

_M7A3801crop
It’s been a long while, since I’ve been aiming to have a little corner in the virtual world that I can call HOME.

I wanted to have a little space for myself, where I can, not only exhibit my artwork, but where I can also create, dream, share, express what matters to me, and where I can convey the way I see and feel this beautiful World around us.

I wanted to have a real living and organic space on the web, instead of a static page, where I purely showcase my photos.

I had many attempts in the past, plenty of trials and errors, and although I have always had positive feedbacks on how I compose my thoughts, somehow I have always felt there was something missing. I would publish a post, illustrate it with my photos, spend hours and days to compose my thoughts into a decent form, and weeks later I would archive it. It felt like, somehow, the work was not forming an organic whole …  There was a gap … An empty space that I did not know how to fill in …

Why? Why would I start something, and invest so much time and creative energy into it, and then abandon it altogether? Now I know. I did not feel HOME._M7A3798

Once I read an interesting approach on ‘the feel of home.’ The writer said, until we search for home in the outside world, we will always feel that something is missing, and we would be constantly longing, and feeling incomplete. According to her approach,  home is within us, and in order, to feel home, we need soul searching, more than physically seeking for an exact location that we can call home.

I am not saying wether she is right or wrong, but I think there is some definite truth in her theory. For instance if I look at my situation: I created this website in November 2017. Why do I feel NOW that this is my place? Have I upgraded to more digital features? Have I gone to college to become a better writer? Neither of them. Nothing has changed in the OUTSIDE. The change has happened WITHIN. My website is the same. I use the same template, I have not completed a web designer course either. The investment and the upgrade happened within myself, and this work allows me to finally call this place, NOACREATIONS.COM , as my Virtual Home.

Dear Reader, welcome to my colourful World. I hope it will give as much joy reading it, as it is giving me creating it.