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Architectural photographers often use tilt shift lenses as perspective correcting lenses to account for keystone effects. Although you can use tilt shift lenses creatively for portrait and fashion photography, Lensbaby lenses are not appropriate for achieving the goals of an architectural photographer.

I utilize Lensbaby products when I want to achieve a specific creative, visual effect. The imagery from a Lensbaby is often ethereal and surreal. In Figure 5.10, the sweet spot of the lens and area of focus are only around the bride. The entire environment seems to wrap around her in a surreal way.

Lensbaby Fashion Shooting

Figure 5.10

Lensbaby is fantastic for creating surreal imagery. In this example, the environment appears to wrap around the bride.

Figure 5.10

Lensbaby is fantastic for creating surreal imagery. In this example, the environment appears to wrap around the bride.

Lensbaby offers a variety of products, but the Composer is most practical for fashion images. The Composer is a ball-and-socket mount for your camera with interchangeable lens attachments. The easiest and most practical setup for a fashion photographer is the Composer with Double Optic. (If you go to buy or test Lensbaby, this is what you would ask for.) In Figure 5.11, you can see the current edition of Composer attached to a Canon 5D camera.

The Lensbaby Composer allows you to achieve those narrow planes of focus more easily than previous versions of the lens and other products. At approximately 50mm focal length for the Double Optic, it is great for portraits and is easy to focus and control.

Lensbaby recently released a product for Nikon and other cameras to allow you to take "normal" lenses and attach them to the Tilt Transformer to turn any lens into a tilt lens effect. You may consider trying this Lensbaby tool as well.

Lens Sweet Spot
The Lensbaby Composer is a ball-and-socket mechanism with two rings for control: one for lens tension, one for focus. You can tilt and rotate the lens to move the lens sweet spot.

If you ever feel like you've hit a dry spell for in-camera creativity, try throwing on a Lensbaby. It forces you to see the world in a different light, and it gives you a unique visual effect that your competition is not likely utilizing.

If you become comfortable with the Composer and want to do something even more daring, Lensbaby has dozens of tools to spark your creativity. Whether it's using an odd-shaped aperture (stars, hearts), a soft focus lens, or a fish eye lens, you can keep experimenting and pushing your comfort zone for creative portrait and fashion work.

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