A Photo In The Life Of

A Photo In the Life Of is a weekly photo blog written by Larry Lewis. Topics include photo opportunities, past and present, product reviews and other topics of interest to photographers and photo lovers.

The Inevitable Lensbaby Post

I love photography.

I love shooting photography, I love looking at photography, I love photographic equipment.  I'm also frugal.  Some call me cheap.  I feel I'm selectively extravagant. 

Brian posing for my Lensbaby Spark.

Brian posing for my Lensbaby Spark.

In the very beginning I bought a disc camera.  Anyone younger than I am probably doesn't know what a disc camera is.  It wasn't even a 'good' version of the technology but it was the best that I could buy with the money I had left from my golf membership, my ski membership etc... The camera produced grainy, flat images that where washed out due to, I suspect, a photo finisher that hated disc cameras.  Despite the quality of the photos I still enjoy some of the pics I took, although I don't believe they have any artistic merit.  Once I got the true 'photo bug' I moved to used manual cameras that I could find in the junk bins of the camera store and the local Goodwills.  I loved the imperfections of the lenses.  The unique quality of some of these photos would be very difficult to mimic in Photoshop.  I have many of the cameras I shot with still, although I don't take them out any more.

Eventually I moved to SLR and DSLR photography, slowly upgrading my lenses and bodies over the years. I do my shopping in the used departments mainly, but I'll buy new with an exceptional sale.  There is a $5500 lens that I'd love to shoot with and I will have it some day, but I'll pay $3200.  I have patience and yes, once again, I'm selectively extravagant.

So, is it any wonder that I LOVE my Lensbaby!  Not sure what a Lensbaby is?  It's a sweet spot, selective focus manual plastic lens.  It is bendy so you can get these amazing gradient blurs.  There is no truly sharp part of the image, but if you compose the shot well, and the subject is conducive to this type of photography,  the sharper areas of the image appear sharper than they actually are and the overall artistic effect of the image is very appealing to me. 

The Lensbaby takes practice, both in working with it to get the desired effect and in choosing the subject.  Also, being a plastic lens, it is incredibly unforgiving.  Fringing and colour casts are the norm.  I have a lot to learn with the lens, and sometimes I think that when I get a good result it's more luck than skill, but I'll get there!

All of the images in this post are shot with my Lensbaby.  My version is the low end Spark, and retails for well under $100.  Check out the Lensbaby website for some amazing image samples and videos. 

If you' d like me to write the occasional product review 'Like' this post.  I've got a camera bag full of gadgets that retail for under $100.  Some I can't live without, some I feel were a waste of money, and some were stolen when our house got robbed. At least the thieves didn't get my rain sleeve!



A Photo In The Life Of is a weekly PHOTO blog on LARRYLEWISPHOTO.COM.   It is an evolution of my original blog A Photo in the life of  that began in 2006.  I hope to give a little context to my photography and maybe make a few new photography friends.