Free-lensing is a fun, artistic technique to try with your DSLR! It’s a method of shooting with your lens detached from your camera, however, still held very closely.
I admit I saw a few fellow photo’g raving about this a couple of years ago and I tried, failed, tried again failed and then gave up….
Not to be deterred I tried again at the beginning of this year and I appeared to have cracked it – Halleujah!
It is pretty hit and miss and I know some people just don’t like out of focus images, however if you can find your lens’ sweet spot you really can create some moody and intriguing images, and attain that wonderful tilt shift look without an expensive lens.
The best lens of choice for me and from the investigating I’ve done is a 50mm – but don’t let that stop you, I’ve used my 28mm also, but it’s a little more bulky and not as easy to manipulate I found.
To start with just set your camera with your lens attached to your specified settings, have your light source worked out and position your subject.
Then yep, you’ve guessed it you detach your lens, there after you can set your aperture manually as I do, I set it as wide as possible, around f/1.8. Hold your lens as close as possible and simply move it around, use your hand to to shield out any light leak.
You can set your lens to infinity and play around until you find your ‘sweet spot’ or if you’re fingers are nimble you can manually find your focus with your fingertips, as I do.
It literally is a case of playing experimenting and challenging your creativity – don’t be deterred if what you see in the back of your camera looks terrible, upload them and you’ll hopefully be pleasantly surprised with what you have achieved!
These really are simple guidelines, and please only attempt this if you are confident, and please be as safe as possible with your equipment while experimenting!
Here follows a selection of images as examples.
Have fun creating some wonderful images and remember to share your images on our Flickr group, you may also be featured in our round up next month.