Week 4 – January 2020 Photography

Early Morning Osoyoos British Columbia
Osoyoos British Columbia Canad, lights across the lake

Two different views of Osoyoos reflected in Osoyoos Lake, it has been a quiet week visiting my parents. Osoyoos has become or is quickly becoming the snowbird capital of Canada. For those seniors who wish to escape the harsh winter conditions in their home town, Osoyoos has the shortest and warmest winter conditions of almost anywhere in Canada. It also has a community of seniors that is active and welcoming.

The 52 frames challenge this week was titled “Fill the Frame”

Winter Daisy

While out for our walk I spotted a large clump of daisies, one of my favorite flowers, and given how many flowers were on still on the stock, brown and withered I am going to guess that Osoyoos was hit with a sudden heavy frost early in the winter season. This was a bonus for me, using a technique called free-lensing to photograph the flowers to fill the frame. Free-lensing requires that I use my 50mm lens off-camera, turned backward, it magnifies the subject similar to a macro lens, for Lensbaby. The depth of field is very small, resulting in a very soft image, for some subjects this works very well. I did add a layer of texture in post-processing, adding depth to the dreamy nature of the image.

Below an image of licorice candy using the same free-lensing technique, and my second choice for the challenge. Which would have been your choice?

free-lensing – licorice candy still life

Just a quick reminder, if you are in the Calgary area, I hope you will drop by our Exposure 2020 event, we would love to see you there

That’s my news for the week, your comments are appreciated.
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Free-lensing

 I have been experimenting with a new, for me, photographic techniques, free-lensing. I have experimented with this before, but this week I I took some time to read more about the technique and experiment with more intent. I have made some notes just in case you are interested in how this works or want to try this yourself.

Free-lensing, defined as a technique used with interchangeable lens cameras in both film-based and digital photography. The lens is detached from the camera and held in front of the lens mount by hand during exposure. This allows the lens to be tilted or shifted creating a similar effect to a perspective control or “Tilt-Shift” lens, only with a lower degree of fidelity. The result is a combination of selective focus and light leakage which are used creatively to create surreal imagery.

The lens used does not necessarily have to be native to the brand of camera, since it is not physically attached. In addition, the lens may also be reversed for Macro Photography. By shooting through a  lens backward, increased magnification can be achieved. One of the by-products of free-lensing is the introduction of “light leaks” which can be controlled to some degree and produce toy-camera effects similar to those achieved with a Holga or Diana Camera.

To get shots like this, you must first set a “ballpark” exposure while your lens is still attached. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Power the camera on set the focus on manual and open it to infinity.
  2. Power the camera off, then detach the lens.
  3. Turn the camera back on and hold the lens backward against your camera body. 
  4. Then, move closer to the subject, within inches, until it becomes clear and click the shutter.

TIP: Remember, just the slightest movements (wind, camera shake, etc) really can affect your focus so try to hold your camera as steady as possible.  Also, check the image on the back of the camera. Adjustments to your exposure may be necessary.

I was using a Canon 5D Mark IV and found that if I held down the Depth of Field preview button while removing the lens it will lock the aperture closed to the f-stop setting. Keep in mind that the smaller difficult to see through the lens aperture.

I have read conflicting views on using Live View. When you turn your camera to Live View you are increasing the exposure of the sensor to the outside world, however, it is easier to see the effects in real time and watch your focus. It is best to use this technique in a relatively dry, dust-free environment.  

Once the photos have been captured, the lens should be remounted or a body cap installed to protect the mirror and sensor from dust or moisture. Frequent use of a bulb blower or electronic cleaning is recommended.

Let me know if you give this a try.