Lensbaby Composer Pro: some rules

Picked up a Lensbaby Composer Pro with the “Sweet 35” optic this afternoon, and took it around the neighborhood to try to initiate myself into its mysteries. After about 15 minutes of pointing and shooting, I feel confident enough to issue my first tentative rules of making interesting shots. Given my 15 minutes of experience, I suspect that these “rules” may better be termed “suspicions,” but here they are anyway:

  1. Certain subjects will look better if you’re very close to them.
  2. Certain subjects call for more blur, and certain for less; distance from the camera seems to be a factor in this equation.
  3. Extreme blur works more often on the top and/or bottom of the frame than on either of the sides, but works on the sides when the photo manages to convey a sense of motion.
  4. People will be more interested in your shots taken with the Sweet 35 if the subject is beautiful or exotic. A well dressed female model is probably the best choice if you want your pictures to get noticed. (Call it coincidence, but I think this rule just may also apply to the use of my other lenses as well.)

This house looks great, in person. Beautiful garden out front. The Lensbaby is one legal way to completely wreck the garden, without making the homeowners angry. I think this was shot at f/5.6—that’s one new thing for me with this lens: no electronic communication with the camera, so the f-stop reads “00” when it’s attached. Unless I take notes I’ll be guessing as to what apertures I used, later when I’m working on them in Lightroom. This seems like it would have worked better with a smaller aperture and less blur.

This shot of Hyde Park Presbyterian Church is probably my favorite of these four. The epicenter of focus is on the leaves just under the roof peak, but the roof is in pretty good focus. Practice, practice . . .

Just experimenting on this Stella with shifting the “sweet spot” to the left. Almost got it. Maybe 15 more minutes of practice will help?

Okay, I’ll stop.

2 thoughts on “Lensbaby Composer Pro: some rules

  1. Good question, and I have no experience with PC lenses. My guess is that it depends on what you need to achieve in the picture—one lens will work better than the other. I don’t imagine that a tilt-shift lens would be able to produce blur of the same character as a Lensbaby. And of course the Lensbaby can’t correct perspective.

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