Dogwood Flower Photograph by Tony Sweet

Taking a crisp photo of a dogwood flower with a LensBaby

Tony Sweet’s artistry, technique and special equipment allow him to create a spectacular flowering dogwood photo. I asked him how he achieved this great image of a dogwood flower.

Here’s Tony’s answer…

The Dogwood flower photo: applying the slinky effect to your flower photography
Tony Sweet: … the next one down is the shot with one of my favorite lenses when I’m kind of caught in the creative block, or not, but if I need something to really perk things up I use the Lensbaby. Do you know what that is?

Audri Lanford: I do, but why don’t you tell our listeners about it…
Tony Sweet: Iif you haven’t seen one, their website is Lensbabies.com but basically, to give you a word picture of it: think of it like a front element on a Slinky. You know what a Slinky is?

Audri Lanford: Sure.
Tony Sweet: From the old days.

That’s kind of what it is. And you can bend it around any way you want. Their motto is “Bend it baby.” That’s their company motto and you can do that. You can bend the lens up and down, side to side, there are no restrictions. (Of course, there are some, like 90 degrees, but you can bend it enough that you have complete flexibility to pick your sharp spot.)

it is sharp enough. For a lens like Lensbaby, it’s sharp enough. You aren’t going to get it razor sharp. It’s not made for that. It’s more of a Holga type, the side, the edges get all blurred and very selective point of focus. (A Holga is a cheap, foreign made camera that leaks light, so film exposures often show blurring or other distortions).

It’s a great lens for creating a mood, for creating a different look. Just great fun. You see here. It’s real soft, soft edging to it and ghosting and it’s just sharp enough in certain spots where it holds you attention. But a remarkably fun lens to use.

I love mine. And at the Lensbaby class at Betterphoto.com I teach, everybody has a good time. It’s a tremendous tool. I’ve seen a Time Magazine cover shot with this lens.

The Lensbaby is not a toy lens. It’s definitely a photo quality effect. The glass is not top quality, but the effect you get is pretty serious. It’s just tremendous.
So, that’s how I created this dogwood flower photograph.

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