Uprooted Magnolia

Freelensing

Posted in Nature, Photography by leahyetter on September 18, 2012

©Leah Yetter Photographer

Most photographers cringe at the thought of changing lenses because the fear of dust getting on the sensor. But I decided to throw caution to the Wyoming wind and give freelensing a try. Freelensing is a technique where you take photos with your lens not firmly mounted on your camera body. This tilts the focus plane which can also be acheived by lensbabies or shift lenses. But since I don’t have ether of those, I tried this with my 85mm lens and my tired Canon 20D camera  just as a test to see if 1) the thing would work, and 2) if I could pull this off. Well, as evidence above it didn’t go as well as I’d hoped. I like the colors and the softness but technically, I have a long ways to go. The tutorials say it takes a lot of practice but I don’t think I’ll try this at a wedding just yet. However it is an interesting effect without doing a lot of post production in photoshop.
Freelensing works with most Canon cameras, however, with Nikon cameras I’ve read where you should use a lens with an aperture ring.
You can see much better examples and learn more about freelensing here on the freelensing flikr group.

Happy shooting!


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14 Responses

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  1. Larry Who said, on September 18, 2012 at 9:50 am

    I found myself squinting more than usual at this picture.

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    • leahyetter said, on September 18, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Well, they can’t all be perfect can they? Got to come off the pedestal every now and then. 🙂 I figured I should show also that not everything that comes out of the camera of a professional is perfect and wonderful. There is a lot of trial and error. I did better with this on a different camera but won’t be doing much more with it. I’ll stick with the lens mounted from now on.

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  2. Seasweetie said, on September 18, 2012 at 10:59 am

    So do you just essentially hold your lens in place, without actually mounting it on the camera? I haven’t checked this out anymore than what you wrote here, but it’s interesting. I think my vision of it is incorrect, though, because it seems like I wouldn’t have large enough – or perhaps just enough – hands.

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    • leahyetter said, on September 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

      Yes, so you want a tripod, focus the lens on infinity and manual focus. Turn the camera off, remove the lens, turn camera on and hold the lens about 1 inch or less from the mount. Tilt it from side to side or up and down and see what you come up with. It also helps if your camera has live view. I used an older camera but when I tried it inside on my 60D, it worked a lot better. And you are correct, you do not have enough hands! It takes a lot of practice and I just haven’t nailed it yet.

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  3. suzysomething said, on September 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    I kinda like how the one blossom is clear and the rest cloudy!

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  4. lisahurstphotography said, on September 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    I love the abstract effect. I will give it a try and pass it on to my students this fall.

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  5. Alice said, on September 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    That’s my vision without glasses–who knew I was freelensing! An interesting approach–I like it.

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  6. JudyK said, on September 19, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    Is it a blazing star flower? I really like the abstract quality of this shot.

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  7. Jane Lurie said, on September 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    Very cool effect. Learned something, thanks!

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  8. nutsfortreasure said, on September 23, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    I can’t do this but like how yours turned out 🙂

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  9. […] friend and mentor of mine suggested I try the freelensing technique with my nifty 50mm to get macro results. I love that snowflakes really do look like […]

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  10. ks3nia said, on November 21, 2012 at 9:13 am

    very interesting, thanks for sharing 🙂

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  11. […] to look at until the sun is low and they sparkle with a bright copper glow. I shot this with the freelensing  technique yesterday evening. I feels like I’m channeling Georgia O’Keefe and I’m […]

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