Pull Up! Pull Up!!

I guess I really have nothing to say today, other than to note that I went out to shoot some brackets and video (with the built in HD Video facility of the Leica D-Lux 5) for a few upcoming tutorials on shooting with specialty lenses, including the Lensbaby Composer (which I used for today’s post), the Nikkor 24mm f/3.5 PC-E (a Tilt-Shift lens) and the Nikkor 16mm f2.8 fisheye.  I’ll most likely post those videos in three separate releases, and will include some info on color correction using both the X-Rite Color Checker Passport and the Expodisk from ExpoImaging, since I own both and had them both with me for the tutorial shoot.  I hope to get the first video tutorial, on shooting tilt-shift,posted within the week, real life permitting!

Bio Haze

Sometimes it’s hard to come up with ideas that help to keep our creative content fresh.  We become stagnant; stuck in a rut from which we feel there is no escape.  Or, maybe we know there is a way out (there always is), but we can’t seem to figure out where that way lies.  I felt like that after my last trip to France.  I felt… creatively spent.  Sure, I can go back an process some of the many cool photographs I shot in France, or even some of the URBEX shots from a month or so ago, but I did not want that. I wanted something new.  In utter desperation, I have even been toying with dumping all my gear and moving on to Leica, thinking that forcing myself to shoot with only one or two lenses and with a rangefinder would force me to see the world in a whole new way and to shoot some great images.  That was until my buddy Dave Wares bought a Lensbaby Muse lens and shot a great black & white image of his daughter.  That image, to me, was so cool that I decided to pull my own Lensbaby, a Composer, out of retirement to see if I could use it to spark my creative juices.  So I dusted that bad boy off, tossed it onto my trusty Nikon D700, and jumped out into the back yard (that’s the back garden for you Dave!) and snapped of a few.  Wow!  How could I have forgotten about this great lens?  Was it because it was so inexpensive that I left it to collect dust on a shelf in my study?  Or, was it because I had collected so much gear since I had acquired it that I forgot about it?  Who knows… and who cares!  Main thing is that my man Dave Wares reminded me how good this tiny piece of  gear can make you feel when you run aroudn looking at everything around you in a whole new way.  If you have not tried one of these, you should.  I’d bet anything you can find these used on the internet.  If you want to buy it new, you can find them at the Lensbaby site or even over at B&H Photo (I’ve linked to B&H below today’s photo, where you’ll find a brief description of each of the Lensbaby lenses).  As for me, I’m gonna keep this lens in my bag on my next URBEX trip to see what I can do with it.

The Lensbaby, which is available for Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax and even Olympus 4/3’s mount SLRs, comes in several flavors, described below.  Which one are you gonna try?

COMPOSER – Lensbaby’s most versatile lens, and the one own, the Composer is very popular with those love the unlimited bending freedom and with the added control of a locking ring that let’s you maintain the lens settings for multiple shots.  This is the one I recommend if you are into HDR! This one is also available for Micro 4/3rds and Sony alpha NEX digital cameras.

SCOUT – This is a fairly new offering from Lensbaby.  It is their only unbending lens and perfect for fun Fisheye photography because the image will always be centered. It’s easy to use and can be a great place to discover lensbaby, I hear.

MUSE – This one is erfect for fast and loose, artistic photography, and is the one Dave Wares shoots. Since the Muse does not lock into place, you’ll get a different shot every time.

CONTROL FREAK – They say this one is perfect for tabletop and macro photography. You can bend the lens in any direction, lock it in place and then fine tune your tilt precisely.  This was the first Lensbaby I ever had, and I love it.  That said, I really prefer the ease of use of my Composer!

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