lensbaby in the desert - The Dainty Squid

lensbaby in the desert

Monday, October 03, 2016

lensbaby, cactus

Right before I left for this year's trip to the desert a package from Lensbaby arrived in my PO Box, inside was their Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic. I had previously owned a Lensbaby Spark, and never figured out how to use it properly. I'm normally pretty good at figuring out how stuff works but this lens always stumped me. I obviously understood how it worked in theory but my resulting photos were always less than desirable. It drove me crazy! I wanted so badly to master it! I eventually sold it and wrote off ever trying any more of their products... until this one.

I was so excited at the timing and couldn't wait to test out the Composer Pro while on vacation. I  ended up completely forgetting about it until Two Guns though! Vacation brain! I got it out, haphazardly shot a few shots that didn't turn out at all, and got frustrated. Jeff, who had been SUPER excited to try the lens out all along, gave it a whirl and basically shot solid gold right from the get go ...which made me really mad! I had read the instruction booklet before leaving home so I couldn't understand what I was doing differently than he was or how he was getting such great results right off the bat. He offered to help me use it but I refused because I'm a little baby who wants to figure things out on her own.


At our next stop, a scenic overview in Arizona, Jeff, once again, was shooting awesome photos with the Lensbaby. I sheepishly asked if he'd show me how to use the lens. I already understood the basics of how to use the Composer Pro but there was one piece of advice that really helped me out and that was tilt the lens at what you don't want in focus. Maybe I missed that in the instruction booklet, maybe it just wasn't in there but that made all difference for me.

If you've never used one of these, or aren't familiar with what in the world Lensbaby is - you're probably pretty confused. This isn't a regular old camera lens!  Lensbaby makes creative effects lenses, optics, and accessories that help you shoot in a new way. So basically, the Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic is like a Tilt Shift lens, it produces a slice of focus that sort of gives you a miniature effect. You simply tilt your lens away from what you'd like in focus, manually focus on your subject, and shoot. The result is an area sharply in focus while the rest is beautifully blurred.

Below is the view from our balcony at the best hotel everrrrr, The Wigwam. We've stayed here two years in a row, and it's heaven on earth. Stay there, and thank me later.
The photo above isn't focused as nicely as I'd like but I LOVE that it looks I took a shot of someone's tiny model train set up.

It took a little bit of time for me to pick it up but I went from "This thing is stupid! It doesn't work! I hate it!" to "Holy cow! This is the coolest!" I'm disappointed that I only got to use it on the last full day of the trip since I'm sure there were a million awesome opportunities missed. Guess that just means we'll have to go back. Hehe!

Since getting home I've continued to practice. I've realized that using a tripod helps tremendously in finding the perfect focus. There's definitely a bit of a learning curve with the Composer Pro II with Edge 50 Optic. It's fun to push myself out of my comfort zone with photography, especially because it's something I feel so confident in. I'm really looking forward to taking a walk downtown and getting some cool cityscape shots with it soon. 

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3 thoughts

  1. Great photos! I'm a total amateur, but get geeky about learning new photography tricks! I'm a spaz right now for the flip out viewfinder on my Nikon!

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    1. Oh yeah, love my flip out screen too!!!

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  2. These photos are so excellent! It's SO frustrating when shots don't turn out the way you expect, but equally rewarding when they do. I'm also queen of being a baby and not wanting to accept help haha

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