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Camera House : Better Pictures 11
Having this type of flexibility at your fingertips is invaluable for the photographer. Elements of creative expression can be expanded exponentially. Still, Granger admits that it can take some practice to make the most out of your Lensbaby. “Like anything worth learning, it takes some time! The added flexibility and focus options means that you will learn as you experiment. It is pretty intuitive. Especially with the new ‘Spark’. If someone explains it, you will get 10 per cent. If someone does a really detailed demonstration, you will get maybe 40 per cent. But once you use it for five minutes, the penny drops and the range of options for creative image-making starts flooding to mind. I love watching the moment it ‘clicks’ and people just get it.” Recently Granger hit the road with his range of Lensbaby optics in hand, to showcase the features of the Lensbaby system to photographers around the globe. “There were certainly lots of interesting experiences – wading through the river with a dozen elephants, spending two days with a community of Burmese child nuns, being • NikoN D4 • NikoN D800E • NikoN D5100 • NikkoR 14-24mm lENs • NikkoR 24-70mm lENs • NikkoR 70-200mm lENs • NikkoR 50mm (f/1.2 , f/1.4 aND f/1.8) lENs • NikkoR 85mm f/1.4G lENs • NikkoR 105mmm DC lENs • lENs baby ComposER pRo • lENsbaby 80 • lENsbaby 35 • lENsbaby fishEyE InsIde Matt’s bag Matt’s top tIps • lEaRN to usE thE EquipmENt you havE – GEt out aND usE it • buy NEw GEaR as you REalisE you havE thE NEED – Not just bECausE of GEaR lust! • GEt iNvolvED with othERs (thE thatNikoNGuy CommuNity wElComEs you) • ovER timE DEvElop youR owN stylE by sEttiNG out to ‘CREatE’ imaGEs, RathER thaN just ‘CaptuRE momENts’ stung by a box jellyfish in the most beautiful place in the world (Palawan, Philippines), and more. Everywhere I went I took the Lensbaby, and still it is the people who draw my attention most. I ran photowalks and meet-ups in five or six different countries, and it was great fun showing all these photographers, with their own interests and backgrounds, the Lensbaby system. Seeing and hearing how they can/ could apply it to their style of work. “In Manila I did a workshop for around 300 people on Lensbaby, and most of them were using the gear for the first time. We had a photo competition on the day and the standard of work was outstanding. Really impressive to see the results people were getting after just half an hour of practice.” Granger says that shooting with Lensbaby has had a real impact on his creative process. “In some cases I will go out specifically to shoot with it. Sometimes I will see a scene and just know the optic that will work best. And other times I will be shooting a person or location, and finish the day with some Lensbaby work – once I have the ‘standard’ list of shots checked off, time for some fun and out-of-the-box shots.” With so many Lensbaby optics to choose from, Granger says the possibilities for the shooter are unlimited. Still, he does have his preferred optics. “My favourites are the Edge 80, Sweet 35 and the Fisheye. The Edge 80 is a supremely good portrait lens. So small, but still a fast 80mm lens with full frame coverage. Straight on it is extremely sharp, and the effects you can create for portraiture when you tilt the lens are incredible. The 35mm is my favourite for walking around and street photography, and the Fisheye is just great... for fisheye work! It is the only fisheye I own – sharp, tiny, cheap and it focuses down to about 0.5cm from the lens!” Discover more about Matt Granger at mattgranger.com ■ Feature landscape 36 035_Bpics11_LensBaby.indd 36 27/11/12 2:07 PM
Better Pictures 10
Better Pictures 12