Unconventionally conventional?

I woke up this morning, early and with an asthma attack brewing, but my first thought was not “where’s my inhaler?” but rather “I am going to take an unconventional image for my 365 today”.

This 365-lark rather gets to you after a while it seems! This is my 144th consecutive, daily image since I started last October and Max, the guy who introduced me to the 365 group,  was right when he said that it gradually becomes just a part of your day rather than something you have to consciously think about.

© Dave Whenham
Fuji X-T20 / Sweet 35 optic

So, unconventional?

A Lensbaby Sweet 35 is not exactly an obscure lens but then again it’s probably not entirely mainstream either; more of a niche interest. The paucity of sharp elements in these images (there are some, I checked) is definitely against the accepted norm of enthusiast photography though. I was also, basically shooting into a very harsh, direct sun reflecting off the glass and steelwork which definitely flies in the face of perceived wisdom about keeping light behind you or to the side. Then there’s the irregularly sized images in the triptych, they increase slightly left to right with the second being slightly wider than the first and the third slightly wider than the second. I used a fairly hard, dark vignette to really pull the eye into the middle of the triptych too.

I’m going to enjoy reading, and learning from, any comments todays offering elicits!

Blurring the Lines

I promised some blurry images and here they are. All bar one taken this morning on my very first trip out of the house with the Lensbaby Edge 50 optic.  Next misty morning it will be the turn of the Sweet 50 optic!

Unless stated, all images are Nikon D800E with Lensbaby Edge 50 wide open – gotta maximise the blur! Common sense suggests starting with the lens stopped down a little to make focusing easier but I will leave that for another day. Today I just wanted to embrace the blur!

© Dave Whenham
Note the plane of focus runs up and down the lamppost on the right!
© Dave Whenham
Same settings (50mm f3.5) but this time taken with a normal lens. (Fuji X-T20)

To start though, these first two images hopefully show the creative potential of the Lensbaby Edge. In a “straight” photograph the plane of focus runs across the image. In the picture above taken with a Fuji X-T20 the 20 on the road is in sharp focus as is the 30 on the road sign alongside. Both images are shot from basically the same spot at the same focal length and same aperture (although a few hours apart). In the first image above the plane of focus has been twisted to run vertically along the lamp-post. This is the Edge 50’s unique selling point, the ability to move the plane of focus wherever you like (with practice) around the frame.

This image of a tree clearly shows the narrow strip of focus produced by the Edge 50. Nikon D800E and Lensbaby Edge 50 wide open. With the image open in Photoshop I applied a High Pass layer on a fairly large radius to show where the focus lies.

Classic Lensbaby blur and glow
Lensbaby Edge 50 wide open
Can you see where the focal plane is?

Anyway, lecture over, here are the rest of the images from this morning wander around the block just as the mist was starting to clear. It’s an eclectic mix but all shot within a few hundred yards of my front door.

© Dave Whenham
Grass and Mist
Lensbaby Edge 50 wide open
Lingering Colour


© Dave Whenham
This one shows the plane of focus quite nicely too.
Lensbaby Edge 50 wide open
Not sure anything is actually pin-sharp although the tyres come close. An otherwise boring subject transformed by shooting through the wire fence with a Lensbaby into the sun.
Lensbaby Edge 50 wide open
You knew there would be a mono!