Recently I’ve been experimenting with a photographic technique called freelensing. The basic idea behind freelensing is to achieve some interesting or dynamic results in perspective and focus. While there are tilt-shift lens for purchase that achieve the same, if not better, results, I’ve been trying a method that allows me to use the equipment I already own.
The concept is actually quite simple; detach your current lens (I’ve had the most luck with a fixed 50mm) and hold it next to the body. By shifting the lens and playing with the focus, you should be able to get some pretty interesting results.
I’ve done two or three shots with some dedicated freelensing and have found the following tips to be helpful:
- Use a tripod. That helps for two main reasons. The first is it provides stability to a situation that is inherently wobbly. Also, it frees up your other hand to fix and fiddle with the lens.
- Switch to manual focus. This is somewhat necessary as the lens won’t be talking with the camera body anymore. Now that you are required to focus your lens, having that extra hand from the first tip certainly comes in…wait…handy.
- Watch the edges of your frame. Often you can get some clear focus on the edges of your frame for some pretty interesting shots.
- Be careful about what is coming and going around your camera. While your lens is detached from your camera, there is a much greater chance of random floating bits to get sneak in there and cause all sorts of headaches. So, just be wary of your surrounds and, if you want to check out your results, make sure to reattach your lens or have your body cap near by.
Finally, have fun and shoot, shoot, shoot! There are often a lot of great photos hidden in even in the mistakes.