On Playing

In Manifesto

I’ve been just kind of dabbling with a couple of little toys – trinkets, really – that go along with my photography. Inspired by the magical work of Sam Hurd, I picked up a prism and a double convex lens to see if I could start to do something a little more unexpected with my photos. Now, I absolutely haven’t come anywhere near mastering this. I’m very much in the learning, the trying-it-out, and the making mistakes with it all stage of this game.

Now that my busiest season is getting much calmer, I’m really looking forward to experimenting more and more. I keep leaning on one of the beautiful Viewfinders manifestos: “We believe that making mistakes is essential on the road to making great images: We aim to inspire here with beautiful images but we’re not afraid to share our struggles and missteps and the learnings that came from them.” In that spirit, I’m going to venture to share a few of my favorite attempts. Some of them I love, some of them aren’t exactly what was supposed to happen, but when your friends and family are playing along, those “not what I meant” shots become some of my favorites.

Alison Bents | Minneapolis Family Photographer Alison Bents | Minneapolis Family Photographer Alison Bents | Minneapolis Family Photographer Alison Bents | Minneapolis Family Photographer Alison Bents | Minneapolis Family Photographer Alison Bents | Minneapolis Family Photographer Alison Bents | Minneapolis Family Photographer

For those not familiar, the general idea is that you take one of these light-bending gizmos, and move it around right in front of your lens – bounce light and reflections all over the place. Some folks like to put their camera in live-view mode first. I haven’t tried that, though I probably should.

Have you tried some of these techniques? Maybe something like freelensing or pulling out a ring of fire is more your speed. What kind of image manipulation have you fallen in love with lately? I’d love to hear about it and see what you’ve been doing!

All the best,
Alison

4 Comments

  1. LOVE IT!!! Thanks for the inspiration. I’m going to be allllll over this. How pretty too with the holidays coming up!
    I keep staring at that first shot. Really, really love it.

    • That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking – bring on the twinkly lights! Can’t wait to see what you whip out 😀

  2. I don’t have a prism, but at the last wedding I shot, I grabbed a wine glass during the first dance and used it to refract the light. I got a few duds and one that I absolutely love how it turned out! So fun to play

  3. I have never used a prism, but I do really like freelensing though I don’t have much to show for it. This is a great reminder to go do some more!

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