Welcome to the April installment of the Lensbaby Blog Circle! Part of my reason for getting involved in this project was to find some focus for my own photography, which I’ve lost a bit in the past couple of years. If you look back at my posts so far…they still lack focus (beyond, you know, the intentional lack of focus in the blur of Lensbaby photos, ha!)
Anyway. This one is going to be pretty random feeling as well but the exciting thing for me is that through all of this I’ve landed on 2 solid, possibly complimentary ideas that I’ll purse in the coming months. So, May’s post will be something a bit different, and you’ll see a running theme each month after that.
In the meant time, as we are gradually getting drier weather here in the rainy Pacific Northwest, I’ve been walking home from work on Fridays and capturing my take on my foot travels.
These photos are taken with the new Burnside 35, also my new obsession. It has a large, bright central area of focus and, given the right circumstances, swirly bokeh – or subtle blur. You can also add in-camera vignette and adjust the detail in your bokeh – at 4 stops, with a very very fun to use little gold slider on the lens.
It’s the most versatile lens we make IMHO, and makes me feel like I’m shooting film again. Burnside 35 renders wonderful, rich, film-like color saturation. That color, enhanced by the swirl and/or vignette combined with the 35mm focal length – plus the physical feel of the lens itself – make shooting with this lens a film-like experience.
The key to getting that swirly bokeh, like in the image above, is to get close to your subject (3 feet away or closer) and have a lot of separation between your subject and background (12 feet or so). Then your background needs to have texture to take on the swirl – so the rest of the leaves and flowers, with light coming through them, takes on the swirl noticeably.
Images like this one above, where your subject is further away, and your background is fairly flat, will give you subtle softness on your edges but no swirl. That’s when I really like to dial in the vignette to help make the center pop without the help of the swirly bokeh.
To keep going in this Lensbaby Blog Circle, hop over to Birgit Fostervold’s blog!