I’m a member of a Facebook group called Lensbaby Blog Circle. The idea is that we all write a blog post once every month that documents a day or project shooting with a Lensbaby lens. This is my third such post. You can follow the rest of the circle at the bottom of this post.

So, earlier this month a few of us headed out for the day. Camera bags were packed and we drove in the direction the car was pointed. There was no plan or itinerary, other than to take some photographs and enjoy ourselves. Peter drove and ferried Liz, Kevin and me around the west.
We would continue until we saw something of interest, get out off the car, shoot it and move on. We headed south-west towards the coast and the ruggedness of Connemara.

a road in the evening sunshine

The road home in some evening sunshine. This was shot from the front passenger seat of a moving car.

The weather was typically west of Ireland – changeable and unpredictable. The day started off overcast and this would be enough to deter many photographers. But this group were determined to make the best of whatever Mother Nature threw at us and as it turned out, the weather improved greatly as the day wore on.
As photographers, we should be able to use our techniques and eye to make something of whatever scene we are presented with, whether there is “perfect” light or not.

The dictionary tells us:

Perfect – adjective

having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.

Perfect – verb

make (something) completely free from faults or defects; make as good as possible.

And while I like dictionaries – they’re full of lovely words and their meanings, well – they’re just a little too perfect for me. They never seem to take into account the “human” psyche. And, in fairness that’s not their purpose.

irish fields and the ocean

Striping was common throughout the west of Ireland many years ago. The land was divided into long strips and apportioned to different people.

And so it is with the Lensbaby. Many will argue that its characteristics are imperfect, that blur is imperfect, that the depth of field is imperfect – which all goes to make an “imperfect” image. Indeed, many people that see these photos just cannot get their head around the fact that they are not fully sharp.

They think, why have a camera that can take technically perfect photos and then produce these? In fact, that’s one of the reasons we always want to upgrade out gear -to get a better quality image. Then, why take a step backwards and make pictures that are blurred, out of focus, under-exposed, contain flare or light leaks or are just vague?

A barn in the sunshine

My preference is to use the Lensbaby Edge 80 at the extremes – f2.8 and with the composer tilted to the max. For me, the image then becomes more about the essence of the scene.

Photography is a funny old game

Many get into it because they fancy taking some pretty pictures – something that will funnel a creative urge that is inside. Others will want to record the world as they see it – in all its realistic beauty. I kinda fall into the former group – I liked the idea of taking and making pretty pictures.

[perfectpullquote align=”left” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”Whenever I show these type of shots to people, or at my local camera club, there is usually a mixed reaction”[/perfectpullquote]

The purists will not get them – why would he shoot a photo of a lovely place that is blurred or not realistic?

There will be those that think I’m a bit odd and humour me. Thank you. πŸ™‚

And there will be a small cohort that can see the aesthetic or thought process at work.

And then, there’s often a nagging doubt inside of you that thinks this is like The Emperors New Clothes. That the beauty of the images is only visible to those that can truly appreciate it … and that we are therefore deluding ourselves. :-\

Person walking on hillside

Liz is almost lost in the scene. An indication of how you can be – out here in the wilderness.

So, whether you come down on the side of purism or someone that beats to a different drum, let us all go out and enjoy taking our pictures and recognise that enjoyment in our fellow photographers.

Don’t be concerned with what others think of you but be authentic, be willing to take the road less travelled if necessary, and be willing to stay connected to your core.

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Do follow along and read the other posts in the circle. Feel free to share or comment. Thanks for reading this far.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Read The next Lensbaby Blog: Ute Reckhorn[/perfectpullquote]