I was clicking away some pinata-punishing photos at a birthday party for a friend when I heard a disturbing sound from my camera. Thinking the shutter may have folded, I figured I was holding a fancy paperweight anyway, so I tried shooting again: the viewfinder went black. Interesting. I shot again: the viewfinder went half black. I realized my mirror had issues; not the shutter.
This was easily the brightest day I have experienced in a long time. In case you were wondering, I added very little contrast to this photo. Most of that is natural. So, with such a huge amount of light, I decided to zone focus.
The day has finally come: I saw a news photo that used a LensBaby. That is just too rad for words, at least for words besides “rad”. I love the LensBaby lens concept. It gives us a very different approach to photography and helps us break out of our auto-focus, tack shap, wonder world.
I just noticed a thumbnail of this photo in Google Reader. I was not even reading the news, this was just on the very top of the page because it was recent. So, I could easily believe others have used LensBaby in photojournalistic work, but I just have not seen it.
Ok, that is not exactly a frequently asked question, as I claim, but…well…it should be! There are way too many accidentally out of focus pictures out there. Out of focus can be cool, sure, but only if it is on purpose. Some of the great photographers had out of focus shots, but that was for very different reasons.
The basic problem is that most cameras are set, by default, to a multiple focus point setting, meaning, a pathetic, little computer in your camera is deciding what in the scene needs to be in focus. I personally think my brain is a bit more sophisticated than my camera, and I would much rather choose for myself what is in focus. So, here is how I do that.
It all starts with that new camera in your hands. You got sick of your point and shoot and wanted something faster and better, or maybe you wanted to rekindle that long lost desire to be a photographer that the cost of film and developing had extinguished out of your junior high budget.
Now, you have your new camera and the sky is the limit…until you start taking photos. You just cannot get it right somehow. They are still blurred, out of focus, too dark, too bright, boring, and everything but what you had imagined. Fear not. There is hope.