Week 5: Blossom (Part 2)

Lensbaby Sweet 50, f2, ISO200, 1/1000. Shaded midday sun, handheld.

Lensbaby Sweet 50, f2, ISO200, 1/1000. Shaded midday sun, handheld.

I have a million photos of blossom and wanted to do something different for this week's fine art flower photo. This is a Lensbaby shot - everything is done in camera. The only edits were to brighten the whites. I used a Sweet 50 (you can also get a wider 35) and this aperture is about f2. 

The Sweet Lensbaby lenses are tilt-shift lenses, which move around a pivot point to allow you to pick a focus point anywhere in the frame and arrange the receding depth of field around that point. Compare this to a normal lens where the depth of field is linear, and perpendicular to the camera. 

It's a bit trial and error with this lens, and some subjects are better suited than others. It's also hard to get the focus spot on when you're shooting wide open. I've found having a series of elements in the frame leading up to the focal point work better than a centrally placed subject, or random elements. 

Here are a couple of less successful shots to illustrate my point:

I have another Lensbaby, the Velvet 56, which I use much more often than the Sweet 50. The Velvet is a macro lens, with no tilt shift, but it does have fabulous bokeh (the quality of the out of focus areas). I don't like to use it at f2 or f2.8 because the soft focus is like having Vaseline smeared on your lens, but at f4 it is just beautiful:

Are you Baffled by f-stops and depth of field?

I run a free online photography workshop for complete beginners that will have you up and running in 6 weeks, shooting off auto confidently and wondering how you ever thought it was difficult. Honestly.

It's called A Year With My Camera and we take it step by step, learning everything in incredibly small increments. Try it; what's the worst that can happen?