For those that are new to freelensing, it is a pretty simple idea. You just remove your lens from your camera, and hold it in front and move the lens around to get different effects. The results are similar to that of a tiltshift lens or lensbaby. In the past, I've tried to freelense with moving toddlers, and the results were not ideal. I finally tried it out with a stationary subject, this pretty rose, and I love how the images turned out. Here are my Top 4 Tips for Freelensing.
Tip 1: Set Your Exposure
This seems like a no brainer, but it's a good idea to set your exposure BEFORE you remove your lens. Once your lens is removed, you have no control over the aperture, so be sure to have it set to what you want before you remove it. It's also really hard to change your ISO or shutter speed once your lens is removed because your hands are full.
Tip 2: Set Your Focus
Also a no brainer, but once again, I recommend to set your focus before you remove your lens. Manual focus is hard enough as it is, but it's even harder to change the focus dial when you are freelensing because like I mentioned above, your hands are full! My focus workflow is like this: While the lens is still attached, I will look through my viewfinder and find a composition that I like, and then set focus. I will then remove my lens, and hold my camera the same distance from my subject that I was holding it when I set my focus. Then I move my lens around, and move myself closer or further until I have what I want in focus.
Tip 3: MOVE!
As I mentioned above, moving yourself closer or further from your subject changes the focal point of the image. Moving the lens around also changing the focal point, and the effect. I continued to move the lens and move myself to see all these different effects. Just press the shutter when you have something you like! Isn't freelensing fun?
Tip 4: Use Liveview
This is my number one tip for freelensing. If your camera has a liveview mode, it makes such a big difference when you try out freelensing. It's so nice to see exactly what is in focus and what the current effect is. It's also easier to maneuver your lens around when your face isn't smushed up against the camera.
Do you like the images I've included in this tutorial? I am making myself presets and I used them on these images. I really like them :)
Here are is a pull back in case you want to see my ghetto set up ;) I love pull backs!
Do you have a freelensing technique or tip? Please share your tips in the comments! I would love to try out new techniques.