Soft dreamy lensbaby blur

posted in: Photography | 5

Soft, romantic, ethereal and dreamy are words which are often associated with my style of photography. For a few years I relied entirely on photoshop or lightroom to give that look. Nowadays I have a lensbaby blur kit bag that virtually does most of it straight out of the camera.

Callibrate the Diopter

As I mentioned in my first creative post when you first buy a lensbaby the one thing you have to realise is that it doesn't 'talk' to your camera body.  You have to decide on all the camera settings yourself.  As there is no such thing as auto focus  you have to rely on your own eyesight.

Firstly you need to do to your camera before you even put the lensbaby on the camera is make sure that your diopter is correctly callibrated to match your own vision.

Even if you're not using a lensbaby this is very important if you have to manually focus sometimes as it means you'll get a far sharper image.  You don't need to do this very often ...unless your eyesight starts to deteriorate or you change contact lenses.

Changing From One Optic to Another

Attach the lensbaby composer pro to the camera body just the way any other lens attaches to a dslr camera body. When you buy one of these there will be a glass optic already in the composer pro. For today I've taken it out so that you can see how I change from one optic to another.


lensbaby composer pro

 Then I add these pieces of kit:


  • Single glass optic
  • wide angle optic
  • + 4 and +10 macro screw on filters
  • aperture ring - f2.8


lensbaby kit

Single Glass Optic


The single glass optic has a yellow ring. You place this in the Lensbaby composer pro with an optic swap tool. In last week's post I used the plastic lens optic while in the first week's post I used the double glass optic.

using the lensbaby optic swap tool to insert and remove the optics

Aperture Ring

Then an aperture ring is dropped into the single glass optic with a little tool that has a magnet at the end. This time it was f4 (you'll see that each ring is labelled).  If you don't use an aperture ring the lensbaby shoots at f2.



Then I screw on the +4 and the +10 macro filters and finally add the wide angle optic.

So it now looks like this on the camera body:


lensbaby kit on camera body

With all the pieces of kit placed on the camera I can then bend the lensbaby composer pro up, down, left or right  so that the sweet spot is over the area I want to be sharpest.


I can manually focus and adjust my manual settings so that the image is slightly overexposed to give a more dreamy look.



Now I'm ready to start shooting ...

Soft dreamy lensbaby blur

...soft lemon cowslip stems with blur

lensbaby blur - soft lemon cowslip stems
aperture ring f2.8

...ethereal erythoniums

lensbaby blur - ethereal erythoniums
aperture ring 4

...romantic red anemones

lensbaby blur - red anemone flower
no aperture ring and no macro filters | texture added

...dreamy blue forget-me-nots

lensbaby blur - blue forget me not spring flowers
aperture ring f4 with just 1 macro filter

If you've missed any of my previous posts about using a lensbaby then you can catch up here:

Follow Rosie Nixon:

Photography Tutor and Gardener

Rosie is a garden photographer, writer and nature lover. She enjoys soaking up nature and is easily distracted from doing the weeding by anything that flutters, flies, buzzes, creeps or crawls! She enjoys sharing the beauty of creation through her photography. Rosie has been featured on TV on BBC2's The Beechgrove Garden and she uses the outdoors as her natural light studio. Her work can be seen at one of Scotland's only photography galleries - Close Gallery, 4b Howe Street, Edinburgh.

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5 Responses

  1. nancyjean

    love your post about the lensbaby…this is next on my list to buy and your post helped me alot!

  2. Diane

    Enjoyed this post. Makeshift want to get a lens baby. All your photos are stunning!

  3. alicia

    I shared your post on my facebook page last week. It's fantastic! I can't wait to get a lensbaby. For now, I'll bookmark all your great tips. Thanks so much for joining the Nurture Photography Challenge!

  4. Dannii Levi

    I've just come across your blog, this is an interesting post as I have been wondering how lensbaby worked.
    Also your photos are excellent.
    I look forward to seeing more posts from you.
    Dannii xxx