Take your DSLR in one hand. Unscrew the lens with the other. Tilt the lens away from the camera body-maybe even flip the optics backwards. And take photos that you never imagined you could without expensive upgrades.
With the deadline for this challenge just a few hours away I decided to test out this whole “freelensing” thing. I tried it on random stuff I had around my apartment but ultimate ended up in front of my bathroom mirror. I had a few pictures with some interesting lighting but I ended up liking this one the best. Sony NEX-5 with an 18-55mm kit lens (1/25 sec/ISO 800).
I visited a corn maze this past weekend and was taking pictures of all sorts of things and experimenting with freelensing, but these small pumpkins caught my eye and ended up being my best shot. Shot with a Canon T1i, 50mm f/1.8, ISO 100.
I had done some free-lensing in the past, so I was excited when this challenge popped up. I got this shot by taking an old 18-55 lens and holding backwards in front of a toothbrush. By holding it backwards, (by the way you can do this with any lens) you get these insane macro shots. The lower the mm of the lens, the closer you can get.
Theres a pretty cool guide to hacking one of these lenses so that it can be attached to an EF/S body with full electronic function. (minus AF) It looks pretty simple and I plan on giving it a shot sometime since these lenses are about 50 bucks used. 7D, 18-55 (detached, backwards), ISO 1600, 1/40 shutter
For this shot I simply set up a 500watt halogen work light facing this canvas print of a forest and a waterfall. From there it was just a matter for getting my lens in the right position to add depth to this flat surface. Canon 7D, Canon 50mm f/1.4, ISO: 640, f/0
I am currently working in Dubai and had the opportunity to visit the terrace on the 112th floor of the Burj Khalifa, snapped this while up there…holding my lens very tightly for fear i might drop it a few thousand feet. 5D MKII, 24-70mm L at roughly 50mm, ISO: 100, Shutter: 1/1000
Mr. T Needs Oil
Never knew of this technique until i saw the challenge, so i grabbed an old spare camera (like hell am i getting dust in the canon!) and started experimenting. I was really pleased with the results and this was one of my favs, it was accomplished by reversing the lens for the macro and shining a powerful torch on the subject. Which in this case was one of my necklaces =D Now just waiting for a sunny day to go bug hunting! Olympus E-410, 40-150mm, ISO 100, Flash off, the rest was auto
Top on my wish list is the Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L lens, so it follows that my favorite thing about freelensing is the selective focus possible by manually tilting your lens. In this case, I tilted my lens down a bit and blew this waning tree into beautiful bokeh, while capturing the detritus on the ground below in crisp focus. I have trouble saying much beyond that, I think this photo speaks for itself. Shot with a Canon 5d2 at ISO 200 and 1/500th, with a Canon 50mm f/1.4 prime at f13. (Remember, the Fall Leaves Part II Challenge is still going. Anything you’ve shot all autumn counts!)
I was driving to my hometown and during the drive I saw some cows hanging out in the field. I stopped to take some pictures of the scenery and when I looked down I saw these little flowers, I told my-self “This is a perfect time to try freelensing!” So I did, it was a lot harder that I thought it would be. You have to move closer and further to focus on the subject and it is impossible to use your photometer. So I did several tests before getting the lighting that I wanted without blurring the photo because I was moving. It was hard to stand still because cars were going really fast on the road next to me. They honked at me, probably asking themselves “what is that guy doing crouched next to the highway holding his camera like a crazy person?” Well I was freelensing! So here’s my first try at macro-freelensing. I processed the picture using picasa (v3) and photoshop for resolution. Nikon D40x equipped with a Nikkor 18-55 mm. ISO : 242, 1/320, Aperture: Impossible to determine
This is my first and last chili harvest of the year, a mix of Habanero’s, Scotchbonnets, Thai Hot and Fatalli’s. I had just picked them and set them on the windowsill and it was a beautiful subject, especially for the great topic of this week’s challenge. So many colours and shapes, so it was great to try it out. Held the lens a little away from the body and tilted it left. Nikon D90, Nikor 50 mm 1.8, 1/60 sec ISO 320
The Quintessential Eye
Ok, here’s my first shooting contest entry, had lots of fun with it. I had my girlfriend stand inches away from a bright studio light and got this picture after about 200 shots from a very small distance (after eliminating light leaks by having a piece of black cloth draped over my head like a 19th century photographer). I had experimented with freelensing for a few days, but I would not have thought I’d get such a sharp and fragment-less picture. The photo is taken with a Canon 7D (iso 640, 1/60s), with a 40 year old minolta mc 58mm 1.4 lens held in front of it. The lens was stepped down to 2.8, to get at least a few millimeters of sharpness in the picture. The photo was photoshopped to reduce noise and dramatize the contrast and colors, but nothing more.
Texture, Color, Rot
I was hiking the biggest cliff in town when I noticed it was about to get dark very quickly, so I began making my way back down the hill when I saw a natural backdrop on mini “trees”. I thought it was my chance to try the free lensing challenge, so I took a few shots and got caught up in it. Suffice it to say I had to walk back down the hill in the dark. Canon EOS 550D, EF 85mm f/1.8 USM, ISO 1250, Shutter Speed 1/80
WINNER – ‘The Fighter’
(It’s OK Everyone, The Chick Lived)
I would never have anticipated this would have become my subject for this challenge, but his baby chick hatched just in time for it – even though it was born a day later than the other chicks and was abandoned and forgotten by the hen. The only reason it wasn’t thrown out was because it was peeping loudly from inside its shell. Once warmed up, the chick was finally able to push out from the shell while I documented the whole thing. Of all the other shots I took, this one turned out to be my favorite. Contextually, I like how this shot really encompasses the entire experience of struggling to survive and the exhaustion felt in the moments of repose after succeeding. Visually, I like how the focus from tilting the lens falls diagonally right on the head, wing, and foot – while the head and body of the chick lie in a horizontal line that ends with the out of focus remains of the egg shell in the background. Canon Rebel XSi, Canon EF 50mm f/2.5 Macro Lens ISO 100, Shutter Speed 1/500
So many incredible entries this week! There was a bit of criticism when this challenge was announced that “freelensing” wasn’t a valid technique. For the naysayers still in the audience, fine, call it a hack if you prefer. But I think Gizmodo photographers have proven that freelensing has unquestionable potential in one’s artistic arsenal. Full galleries below. Wallpaper sizes on flickr.
Gallery 1 (one-page view)
Gallery 2 (one-page view)