Lensbaby Tips & Tricks: Using Sweet 35 to Direct the Eye

Photographer John Barclay explains how he uses the Sweet 35 to enhance the visual impact of an abandoned scene.

What I Used

Metadata: ISO 400, shutter speed 1/20, aperture f/4

How It Came Together

  • This is a frequently photographed chair at the abandoned Klotz Silk Mill in Maryland. I wanted to do something different on this trip.
  • I knew when I went this time I wanted to shoot with my Lensbaby. I felt the Lensbaby would add to the look of the old abandoned mill, giving it a mysterious feeling.
  • Needing a bit wider focal length, I opted for the Sweet 35 Optic which was perfect for this situation.
  • Since I was shooting indoors and it was dim, with a 1/20 shutter speed and an f/4 aperture, a tripod was essential to make sure the sweet spot was sharp.
  • I wanted the chair to be in focus but the rest of the scene to have that wonderful Lensbaby softness. Placing the chair in the bottom of the frame gave me a strong composition. Next all I had to do was tilt my lens down a bit putting the sweet spot over the chair. Then I played with the f/stop ring until I had the perfectly sized sweet spot.
  • For post processing, I applied simple curve and level adjustments and then converted it to black and white with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.0.

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