Shoot 1

For this first shoot I wanted to get to grips with the technique of free lensing, I used my camera, which is a canon full frame DSLR, a canon 5D Mark ii and an Olympus OM 10  50mm lens 1.8. I arranged to shoot some portraits with my model Richard in a room with large windows to let as much natural light in as possible but which will also create shadows by the widow frames. I shot some close up head shot portraits with Richard trying to get only his eye in focus and the rest of his face out of focus or blurred. This went well but was a lot difficult than first thought. I set the camera up for the right exposure and set the lens to infinity and held the lens millimetres away from the sensor, tilting the lens until I had his eyes in focus then I made the exposure.

Here were the head shot that I achieved and was satisfied with the amount I got the eyes in focus.



richard fl5


I am happy with the outcome of these images, the plane of focus is incredibly small here and allows just the eyes and eyelids to be in focus. Although there are sines of light leakage, it is not noticeable enough to distort the image to much.


I wanted to experiment with trying to get an even smaller plane of focus, I tried to just get one of Richards eyes in focus whilst the rest of the image was blurred. To do this I moved close to Richard or asked Richard to slightly move his head away from me.

richard fl4


richard fl3


richard fl1


I feel I was marginally successful, the third image is the one which only one eye is completely in focus. if I was to revisit only trying to get one eye in focus I would take more time to analyse the photographs on the shoot to make sure I have correctly achieved what I wanted e.g. making sure the eye is fully in focus.


Finally I moved Richard to sit on the window sill as I wanted to get a longer shot of him trying out the free lensing technique. I placed myself next to the edge of the widow frame to minimise the chances of light leaks and I had Richard sit against the wall.

richard fl2

I found that this was much easier to focus when using free lensing because I realised that the more you move away from your subject the bigger the focal plane becomes. a simple concept that I didn’t full understand until experimenting with this method of photography. With the bigger focal plane I think this is the most successful photograph from the shoot, on the next shoot I will shoot my subject further back like this image because I think it works better than shooting close up using the free lensing technique.







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