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Ariel's Musings

  • Writer's pictureAriel

Gear Talk: Creative Lenses

Updated: Mar 17, 2023

Just a quick note about creative lenses. Besides regular Canon lenses, I use innovative photography gear by Lensbaby and a few of the vintage Helios lenses.

But you may ask, Why?

Taken with a Sweet 50 Optic in a Composer Pro ll

Impressionistic Art is where my heart is. I have been a lover of Claude Monet, Seurat, and Renoir, to name just a few, since I was a child and walked thru the halls of the Art Museum in Chicago, mesmerized by the impressionistic wing. I also love watercolor work. In fact, attempting to learn water coloring took me back to photography while trying to express myself more creatively. I always shot with the phone or point and shots camera on trips, but this was a different leap. This was a journey to get beyond the Auto modes on a DSLR camera I bought while working on a book I had been commissioned to write and needed photos for documentary reasons.

So, I thought, why not shoot them myself. The budget has enough for a good camera and a few lenses, but that is another long story.

I was introduced to Lensbaby lenses a few years ago and have been in love with the images I can create. They are not for everyone, just like Picasso is not for everyone. These creative lenses allow photographers to create in-camera effects that take our creative vision to a new place. For me, they are like a photographer's paintbrush.

Taken with a reversed Helios 44-2

Using these types of Creative lenses is like water coloring in-camera. You will see the influences in my photography. This shot was taken with the Lens Baby Sweet 50 in the Composer Pro-Optic swap system. one of my first Lensbaby lenses.

The Helios is a Vintage lens you can still buy from various sellers online. They are an enjoyable creative lens. I have two, and one has a reversed lens. (I did it myself, But that is a blog story for another day.)

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning more or have other questions.

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