All Things Dahlias - A Workshop

Last month I had an opportunity to participate in a four-hour workshop with Kathleen Clemons and Lensbaby at Swan Island Dahlia Farm in Oregon. Lensbaby filmed the workshop for a Lensbaby University course that will be aired later this fall. To make it even more interesting, we were challenged to use five Lensbaby lenses to capture images: a Velvet 56 or 85, the Sweet 50, Sol45, the Twist 60, and Burnside 35. Here are a few of my images from that workshop, which was terrific!

Velvet 85 - This is my go to lens when I think about taking images of flowers, so this was a familiar lens to start the workshop.

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Composer Pro II Sweet 50 - Although I have many of the “sweets,” I haven’t used the Sweet 50 for a long time. Kathleen was determined to have me fall in love with this lens and she was successful!

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Sol45 - I use this lens primarily for landscape shots, but with the addition of a +4 diopter filter, I was able to get close up to the flowers. I love the blur along the edges and in the background.

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Twist 60 - I don’t often think of using the Twist for flowers, but it was fun to capture the background swirl with a focus on the main flower.

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Burnside 35 - This is a very versatile lens. I use it on my walks to capture landscapes and other subjects, but because you can get up close and personal (6 inches) it is an excellent lens to use with flowers. I added a +2 diopter filter and that allowed me to get even closer.

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Although it was only four hours, I learned so much from Kathleen’s coaching and from experimenting with the five lenses. I fell in love again with all of my other lenses, so that was a gift. Thanks Lensbaby and Kathleen for a great experience.

I love hearing from you, so comment below, post on my Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

About Lensbaby Blog Circle: Once a month photographers from around the world post their Lensbaby photos and comments in a blog. Take a moment and read Birgit’s post. It is a great read and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

Playing with Lensbaby Omni Creative Filters - a Lensbaby Blog Circle Post

I wasn’t sure whether or not I would find much use for Lensbaby’s Omni Creative Filters when they came out last month, but after seeing the images that others were capturing I decided to give them a try. I quickly fell in love with them, although I must admit that there is a bit of a learning curve.

First shot using the stretched glass Omni filter.

First shot using the stretched glass Omni filter.

Since most of the photos I take are along my walks, I tried them out on my normal subjects - flowers and my normal neighborhood views. Although I took a number of shots, there were many that didn’t work, but those that did, I loved!

Lucky for me that these people stepped into my shot! Shot with the stretch glass filter.

Lucky for me that these people stepped into my shot! Shot with the stretch glass filter.

I am still trying to figure out the angle to position the filters to get the best effect, but I suspect that will take some time to master. The rainbow film made my favorite tree pop.

Rainbow film

Rainbow film

What surprised me was how great flowers looked using the filters. They created interesting images and backgrounds.

Seahorse crystal filter.

Seahorse crystal filter.

Stretched glass filter

Stretched glass filter

Stretched glass filter

Stretched glass filter

Stretched glass filter

Stretched glass filter

I found that the distorted light improved even my normal neighborhood subjectst. The stretched glass felt like it was bringing energy to our neighborhood Buddha.

Stretched glass filter

Stretched glass filter

Seahorse crystal filter

Seahorse crystal filter

Rainbow film filter

Rainbow film filter

I haven’t had a chance to try out the filters with people shots, but I look forward to doing so. Some of the images I saw that others captured were fantastic. I am glad that I added these Omni filters to my camera gear. Although I primarily use Lensbaby lenses these days, I love that they can be used on any lenses. Thanks Lensbaby for helping me push my creative boundaries once again.

I love hearing from you, so comment below, post on my Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

About Lensbaby Blog Circle: Once a month photographers from around the world post their Lensbaby photos and comments in a blog. Take a moment and read Gizella’s post. It is a great read and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

NW Michigan Explored - A Lensbaby Blog Circle Post

I visited a friend in NW Michigan in early June, the first time I have been to that part of the state in many decades. I wanted to travel light, so I took my Canon 6D and two Lensbaby lenses. I intended to bring my Burnside 35 with me, but discovered when I arrived that I picked up my Velvet 56. This is the second time I have pulled the Velvet instead of the Burnside, but it performed well for me. I also had my Edge 35.

Frankfort Pier, Velvet 56

Frankfort Pier, Velvet 56

I was amazed by Lake Michigan. It is huge! It seemed like an ocean, and the sunsets were superb! I got lucky with the image below when the bird flew into my shot.

Velvet 56

Velvet 56

I was told by my friends that the image below is “so Michigan.” People sitting on the beach wrapped up in blankets to keep warm. I had just traveled from Washington, D.C. where the weather was heating up, so I appreciated the moderate temperatures.

Velvet 56

Velvet 56

I did not know this, but Lake Michigan has some steep sand dunes. We took a look at the lake from the top of one of its most famous ones, Sleeping Bear Dunes. The sign on top of the viewpoint said, “Enjoy the view from here, or expect a two-hour hike back up or a sea rescue.” Needless to say I stayed at the top.

Edge 35

Edge 35

There were a few people who decided to walk down the dune. You need to look closely, because they look like miniatures in contrast to the size and steepness of the dune.

Edge 35

Edge 35

The lake’s water was an interesting combination of blues and greens. It was so impressive!

Edge 35

Edge 35

On another day we went to the State Hospital in Traverse City that has been shut down for many years. It is being converted into shops and condos, but they have a tour of one of the buildings that hasn’t been renovated and the steam tunnels. I took my Velvet 56 along with me.

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The steam tunnel was interesting and challenging to capture images due to lack of lighting. I was impressed with how my Velvet 56 performed.

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I had a great four-day break in NW Michigan and look forward to coming back again to explore the upper peninsula, which I am told is a photographer’s dream. I loved capturing images with two favorite of my favorite lenses the Velvet 56 and Edge 35. Perhaps I will be more careful when I dip into my drawer of Lensbabies and take the Burnside 35 out for a spin. It must be feeling a bit neglected.

I love hearing from you, so comment below, post on my Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

About Lensbaby Blog Circle: Once a month photographers from around the world post their Lensbaby photos and comments in a blog. Take a moment and read Janet Broughton’s post. It is a great read and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

An Urban Walk - A Lensbaby Blog Circle Post

I have been playing with several of my Lensbaby lenses over the last couple of weeks to capture the early flowers and sunny mornings, but this past weekend I decided to explore the city with my Edge 35 lens. I was surprised at the images that I was able to capture as I walked to the Pike Place Market. I especially enjoyed the reflections on the buildings.

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I eventually made it to the market just as the shops were getting set up. There weren’t many people, which was a plus, and it was very colorful.

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I enjoyed playing with the tilt to get more blur in the image. This one of Rachel, the Pike Place Market pig, was fun. I followed the hoof marks to find her.

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There are always so many wonderful flowers at the market and this weekend they were flourishing.

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As I was getting ready to head home, I turned and took this shot. The Edge 35 captured the magic of the moment.

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While I made my way, I ducked into side streets and found some interesting building art like this one below. The speech bubble that was just to the left of this image said, “I don’t care what they say, I KNOW we belong together.”

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Although this image below is not really street art, the colors caught my eye.

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I am really new to the Edge lenses, but I am enjoying the versatility they offer. I have much to learn and I look forward to exploring more places to see what I can capture. I love hearing from you, so comment below, post on my Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

About Lensbaby Blog Circle: Once a month photographers from around the world post their Lensbaby photos and comments in a blog. Take a moment and read Janet Broughton’s post. It is a great read and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.

Bloomers - A Lensbaby Blog Circle Post

This weekend a local gallery opened a show featuring some of my flower images. I must say that I was humbled and honored to have eight of my images selected. With the exception of the white rose, which was taken with a Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens, I used the Velvet 85 to take the rest of the images. Many were captured on my daily walks around my neighborhood and several from a Kathleen Clemons' workshop that I attended in Oregon a couple of years ago. I want to thank Kathleen for introducing me to Lensbaby while I attended her Creative Live course. She has helped me understand how to look for the personality and character in each flower, and how to use textures to transform them into impactful images. It has changed my photography for the better.

Beguiling

Beguiling

Mesmerizing

Mesmerizing

Hello There

Hello There

Spring Debut

Spring Debut

Glam

Glam

Luscious

Luscious

Bashful

Bashful

Alluring

Alluring

The evening party was fun. I received many wonderful comments about my flowers, which was humbling and encouraging at the same time. Although I love sharing my photos online, I must say that seeing them printed on fine art matte paper and posted on the wall was a wonderful experience! I love hearing from you, so comment below, post on my Facebook page, or send me an email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com.

About Lensbaby Blog Circle: Once a month photographers from around the world post their Lensbaby photos and comments in a blog. Take a moment and read Birgit Franik’s post. It is a great read and you can keep following the Lensbaby Blog Circle.

If you would like to receive my blog posts please send me your name and email at carol(at)carolvipperman.com. I would be happy to add you to my list of followers.