“There is only one sun. We can’t all claim to only have one way to use the light, but we can REDEFINE how we choose to express it.”
Why are you passionate about freelensing?
I was in a creative rut for years after I had become comfortable with the basic fundamentals of photography. I remember trying to find my style, and envying other photographers for their “signature look.” Freelensing brought me out of that rut and I became inspired to create again. I love the creative freedom that freelensing gave me to break all the photography rules. The fact that freelensing added another element to my style to make it more uniquely mine was so appealing to me. I also love the deep rich colors, and the painterly look of the out of focus areas that can be achieved with freelensing. My favorite art era is Baroque (Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Vermeer). Freelensing, paired with dramatic light, helps me to bring that style into my photography.
When did you first learn this technique? Or, when did you first realize you liked freelensing?
I first tried freelensing in mid April of this year. It was one of the assignments in my Click Pro prep group. I was hooked after that first chimp, and set out to research everything I could about it. Before May, I was almost exclusively freelensing and I’d taken the mount off my nifty fifty.
What are some tips you would share with anyone trying to freelens?
(1) First, I’d strongly recommend that you are very comfortable with shooting in manual. Know you camera and pay your dues.
(2) If you have a Nikon lens, you’re going to have to find a way to keep the aperture ring open. I used duct tape at first, then ended up taking off the mount and making a tiny lever with a plastic fork prong and masking tape.
(3) Adjust your settings before you start shooting. Ive dropped my lens too many times because I was fumbling with settings.
(4) Experiment with all lighting. I’ve noticed that colors are more deep and rich with freelensing in low light. And when shooting outdoors in morning light, there is a hazy, dreamy, ethereal quality to the images.
(5) Experiment with textures and colors. Freelensing will make ordinary textures and colors extraordinary.
(6) Practice on still subjects first, master that, then move on to moving subjects. If you start with active, squirmy children, you may never freelens again.
What were the challenges for you in the beginning?
I struggled with blowing my highlights because I was so used to exposing to the right. When freelensing, your images are much more contrasty so you have to be mindful of that when adjusting your settings. Another challenge was nailing the focus where I wanted it to be. I’m always reluctant to encourage people to take the mount off their lenses but that was the game changer for me.
About the photographer:
Loras Eymil is a hobbyist photographer from Central California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She has a background in art (drawing and painting) and likes to incorporate those skills into her photography. She loves photographing her children, going on adventures, Indian food, and watching photography gear reviews on youtube.