I recently discovered “free-lensing” as an alternative approach to using my “big girl camera.” Or rather, it’s a new perspective on an old favorite. In the event that I just started speaking a foreign language…free-lensing requires you to take your camera’s lens off of your camera and hold it very close to your camera. Sure it’s kinda risky since you’re definitely exposing your camera’s mirror to particles or dust, but the effect is quite magical.
Now that you know what free-lensing is…perhaps you’d be interested in achieving the same effect yourself. Here’s a few tips:
- Use a lens that is at least 50mm.
- Set your lens to infinity (looks like this ∞ on your lens) and take your lens hood off if you have one.
- Manually set your exposure while your lens is still on your camera (you can try it with it off your camera, but you’ll quickly realize why this doesn’t work)
- Take your lens off of your camera slightly and move it around. You will see some really neat effects.
- I rarely use live view, but this is a situation in which live view might be useful.
Beyond those few tips, throw your technical knowledge out the window and have fun with it. It does take a little practice to know what you’re doing, but this effect is meant to be an experiment…so enjoy the results of a new perspective.
Until next time,
I was suprised to see my photo this morning! Thanks for using it. I need to try free lensing some more, I haven’t done it in awhile.
I used to love freelensing, but I haven’t done it in ages. I’ve been looking for some inspiration lately. Maybe I’ll go back to this. 🙂
Thanks Ashley. No success the last time I tried it but after reading this I may have solved the issue!
Ashley I love this idea! Thanks for sharing something new (for me) with us today 🙂
what a fabulous idea…i’m definitely going to give it a try!
love freelensing! such a fun experiment. seeing these gorgeous photos makes me want to try again for sure
Wow Ashley! This is totally new to me but I can’t wait to try it out. The effect in these photos is so cool.
So cool!!!! I have never tried this before but I definitely will give it a go!! Thanks!!!
Love the selective focus and softness in each of these images! Just beautiful!!! I wasn’t aware of “free-lensing”. Thanks for the tip, Ashley.
This look is similar to what I find I can achieve with my Lensbaby Composer and a close range subject (depending upon the aperture ring chosen and amount of tilt used). It’s nice to know that there are other ways to accomplish this outcome.
P.S. I’ve been using Live View – tripod mounted – for most of my work lately. It makes a huge difference in getting the degree of focus that I desire and getting it exactly where I want it 🙂
Ashley, I haven’t tried freelensing for a while, but you have encouraged me to try it again. The kiddos in particular. love it when I do strange things with lenses!
This is entirely new to me and I love it already 🙂 Thank you for the inspiration Ashley!!
never even heard of it before, but i’m going to try… thanks for the inpiration…
I love these images! so beautiful! And the one of Felicity’s feet is so adorable!
I’ve never been able to make this work. I’ll have to try a tripod next time.
This is totally new to me as I’ve never heard of free-lensing. Thanks for the info and can’t wait to try it out!