Challenge Yourself

Many of us are weekend shooters. Some of us may not even leave our yards or neighborhoods. Others may venture into Washington DC or to one of the many parks throughout our region. As a result, we are often “shooting” the same or similar subject matter from one weekend to the next. And, frankly, there is nothing wrong with this, because each new day carries with it new light, new weather challenges and new results. The question though, is do our images feel new to us.

For me, as badly as I may want to go out and spend the day with my camera, I often find that I have already dismissed the day’s results, knowing that I will be seeing the same views, the same monuments, or the same type of flowers or falls. To overcome the urge to stay in and nap in front of the TV, I try to come up with ways to challenge myself!

I change how I shoot or how I post-process my images. Sometimes I restrict myself to a single lens, such as a wide-angle lens (16-35mm) or to a Lensbaby optic. Sometimes I restrict my subject matter to only people, buildings, or gardens. Sometimes I spend time creating through the use of software; Photoshop CC, Topaz Labs, or Macphun Software. In all cases, I try to approach the day’s shoot with a new focus and viewpoint to challenge myself to see and think differently.

You may not be familiar with Lensbaby optics. Lensbaby has created a suite of optic that are creative effects lenses that adds varying levels of blur and distortion to an image. The amount of blur or distortion is in the hands of the artist and controlled through both the optics and aperture rings chosen. When you first pick up a Lensbaby, you may think that it is best suited for macro flower photography, however, Lensbaby lends itself to every type of subject matter, from not only flowers, but objects, buildings and structures, to people. The results are only as limited as your imagination.  Challenge yourself to see our world through a new lens!

Everyday subjects found throughout our region transformed by Lensbaby. These images were taken with the Lensbaby Composer Pro with the Double Glass Optic. Aperture rings and shutter speed noted below.   For more information on Lensbaby, equipment, and examples of the types of images that can be created with their optics, see  If you are interested in purchasing a Lensbaby kit, contact us for our discount code!!

The images below were not only taken with a Lensbaby, but also include various processing techniques, such as the use of selective color, black and white photography, and HDR. Using all the tools available will give your images unique perspective!

  • f/4 aperture ring, 1/125 sec
    • f/4 aperture ring, 1/20 sec
  • f/4 aperture ring, 1/1250 sec
  • f/4 aperture ring, 1/100 sec


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