Freelensing || Make Magic - Don't Break Lenses

Freelensing || Make Magic - Don't Break Lenses

So I have been considering making this entry for some time and the time has finally come to sit down and get it done! Freelensing. It has to be my favorite way to create some magic in my images and give them just a little something special! To me there is something magical about the FEEL of freelensing. The play of focus, light and bokeh. The mystery, when you play up the shadows and focus. The dream-like quality, when you play with the light and focus. So many stories you can share and so much you can add to an otherwise ordinary photo.

Okay, so on to my actual point to this post. Freelensing, if you don't already know, is removing your lens from your camera body, holding it close to the camera body (my lens is often touching at least one contact point on my camera as I freelens) and rotating/swiveling the lens to selectively choose the plane of focus. This technique can also allow for some pretty neat flares and light leaks. Freelensing often looks similar to the effects of a tilt shift lens. 

Most anyone should be able to practice this technique on any camera that has a removable lens. And it is so much easier that it may appear! Let me say it again. It is SO MUCH EASIER THAN IT MAY APPEAR!! Mirrorless camera users may have to check a setting in their menu that allows for shooting with the lens detached. (This is at least true for the Fuji X-T10) DSLR users will need to twist their lenses to infinity first. Given the build of Cannon lenses, Cannon users should have no issues, to my knowledge, but then again I don't shoot Cannon, sooo... ;) Nikon users (with Nikon lenses) will need to make adaptations. The reason is because Nikon's AF lenses have apertures that automatically close up with they are removed from the camera body. You may have heard that you cannot freelens if you shoot Nikon. OR you may have heard that you need to break your lens to freelens. This is simply not true. NOT TRUE. Don't break your lens. Just don't do it. I shoot with Nikon and mostly Nikon lenses and have never broken a lens. I have, however, 'rigged' them so that I can freelens. And it is EASY!! {And just a little something extra for you....be sure to watch the second video...there are actually PERKS (in my opinion) to freelensing with a Nikon lens!}

Okay, okay, on to the good stuff here are a few ways to prop open your aperture lever....

 #1 A rubber band. Or a piece of string tied off with a loop.

#2 (and the bulk of the freelensing info and advice)

My personal choice, a folded up piece of straw. Or a folded up piece of paper. (Note: In the video, when I am talking about other lenses, like my Helios, I refer to them as "autofocus".....Meant to say if they are "not autofocus"...meaning manual... :) ha!)

My largest piece of advice is to practice! It's the best way to get to know how your movements affect your focus plane. Once you know them, you will find it easier to move what you want in and out of the plane of focus. As mentioned in the video, here's that perk of a Nikon. You are propping the lever open because it automatically wants to snap shut, right? Well, get the right fit and you can adjust that lever to adjust your aperture! You know...when there is too much light, you close down to block out the light....well here you go Nikon users...you now have the power to close down when you are shooting into that direct sunlight or the beautiful sunset!!

Bonus (if you can stand more of my awkward videos)

Did you know you can freelens a self portrait?? And I apologize these are in three separate short segments, I originally made them for Instagram stories.

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Okay so now enough of my typing and talking. Here are some of my recent fave freelensed images just for fun! They aren't all technically perfect....but they made me FEEL something for some freelensed reason or another! Watch for that plane of focus to fall through some of these images, front to back....it's an effect that I just adore about this technique! 

Please comment if you have any questions or comments! I'd love to talk and share more! Tag me if you try out freelensing...I'd love to see and hear how it goes for you <3 Always remember to practice, practice, practice. It's the best way to get to know how your movements affect your focus.

April || Free 52

April || Free 52

March || Free 52

March || Free 52