Lensbaby Pt 1
What on earth is a lens baby and more to the point do you want or need one? As many of you will know I'm not big on gadgets and bits of gadgetry - but the Lensbaby isn't really what you could call a gadget.
Lenbabies are very basic simple little lenses. There are no electronics on them at all so you have to make a manual exposure when using one.
What makes a Lensbaby so special to me is the kind of images I can achieve with one. Take a look at this food shot. I know it's pretty small but even at this size the glass of prawns is the absolute focus of your attention. And this isn't simply a shallow depth of field. Look closely and notice how the edges of the image are soft and have a kind of movement quality to them.
This is because a Lensbaby not only focuses front to back like an ordinary lens, it also has a sweet spot of sharpness which you can roll around to any place in an image as well. How cool is that? Lensbabies have a range of interchangeable optics from wide angle to macro and all have different looks to them. The options are too many to list here so check out the lensbaby site for more info - and watch parts 2 and three to see how to use one.
7 Steps to Perfect Pictures has massively improved my retouching skills overall.
Previously I'd used Lightroom to catalogue (I'm much better organised now I'm following Mike's example) and then fiddle with images in an unstructured way. Now I know what I want to do and how to do it.