Cotton’s latest update from his Antarctic adventure
“I must admit that for the longest time I have thought of myself as a visual purist. I love black & white photography for its direct way of communicating the essence of what you see, without the distractions of color. I have always invested in the best quality lenses knowing that this will yield the closest proximity to what I am seeing. I completely shy away from re-touching my photographs in Photoshop, preferring instead to use the easy to use processing tools available in Apple’s Aperture. A couple of clicks and I am done, shoot to fill the frame, stay away from cropping – think and shoot like a real photographer, concentrate on capturing the mood and decisive moment.
There is however, another side to my creative journey. I love the mysterious and unknown. Exploring visual avenues that are complete opposite of classic narrative photography and film-making. I love trying to find ways of introducing depth back into the images. Often I imagine how photos might look taken with the stereo cameras, where you can almost place your hand into the scene and touch the objects that give an almost 3D illusion. I recall all my visits as a youngster growing up in New York and visiting the National History Museum. I spent hours in front of the dioramas getting familiar with different natural history motifs.
For the past 10 days, down here in Antarctica I have had the chance to photograph and film with the Lensbaby Composer Pro. This lens takes no time getting familiar with, the optical and build quality is just great. Full aperture control and focus control make shooting with this lens a lot of fun. I was so happy to have an Alfa Mount version that I could shoot with, both on the Sony A99, and also on the Sony NEX VG-20. As you begin your Lensbaby journey, be sure to start out shooting with the lens straight ahead to bring the center of the image in focus. After you become familiar with the technique, you can start re-positioning the Sweet Spot in the direction you want the sharp focus to move. Just like any other lens, your aperture settings make a big difference as to how much of the frame is sharp. There were even some late sunset scenes where I pointed the video camera directly into the sun, and had no evidence of flare.
Another tip is to be sure to tighten the Locking Ring so your focus area does not move. I wanted to share a few of my favorite screen grabs and stills just to show you how much fun a lens like this can be while on a traveling expedition.
This lens is has now become a permanent part of my creative kit.”
- Available in mounts for these SLR cameras: Canon EF (EOS), Nikon F, Sony Alpha A / Minolta Maxxum, Pentax K / Samsung GX, Olympus E1 cameras.
- Available in mounts for these Mirrorless cameras: Samsung NX, Panasonic Lumix™ G Micro System, Olympus PEN®, and Sony® α NEX digital cameras.
- Refined metal ball design delivers ultra-smooth focus and tilt control
- Ships with either the Sweet 35 Optic or Double Glass Optic installed
- Compatible with the Lensbaby Optic Swap System
- Focus Type: Manual
- Size/Weight: 2.25” (5.71cm) high x 2.5” (6.35cm) wide / 4 oz (113.4g)
- Tilts from zero to 17.5 degrees
You can also check this very helpful instructional video from Lensbaby