All about Hoofbeats & Footprints

Lavender and Lensbaby

Canon 100-400mm

This past weekend I heard about a Lavender festival being held at Springfield Manor in Frederick, Maryland.For once I didn’t have a photography class I was holding, the house was clean, the paperwork done and the refrigerator was full of food so I could finally play hooky for the day.

With an early departure I arrived at Springfield Manor around 8:00 a.m. and they were in the midst of setting up for the second day of the festival. Hoping as an attendee they might let me sneak in, I was able to and spent some time along the small lavender field. Last year’s rains wreaked havoc on their lavender plants so many of them were newly planted for the season, but one section had older plants and they were full with blossoms.

I had brought all my camera gear with me and began first with a wide perspective and then worked tighter for more interesting compositions. I wanted to give my lenses a full workout as I don’t get the chance to slow down and really think through what I’m doing all that often. After the 24-105mm lens (which I didn’t like any of the images) I used the Canon 100-400mm lens to help isolate my subject and help blur out the backgrounds. Sometimes I might add an extension tube so that I can get closer to my subject, but this time I was able to get the lovely capture above with this telephoto lens.

Within short order I was ready to begin playing with the Lensbaby lenses that I have. Each of these lenses are manual focus and the breeze started to pick up so my first attempt with the Lensbaby Velvet 85mm wasn’t too successful so I quickly moved onto the next lens. The Sol 45 for Canon mount is fixed f/3.5, 45mm tilt lens that creates a tack-sharp circular area of focus, surrounded by smooth blur and bold bokeh. Sol 45 also features bokeh blades for added texture. (Source:

Using the bokeh blades, I closed them completely for the full effect and managed to catch a bee on one of the Lavender spikes

Lensbaby Sol 45

The next Lensbaby I chose to play with was the Lensbaby Twist 60 which is a f/2.5, 60mm lens that will make your subject pop surrounding it in twisty bokeh and subtle vignette. (Source:

Lensbaby Twist 60

Not to be stopped there, I then added all three closeup filters that Lensbaby offers to the Twist 60 and got really close to my subject using another lavender spike in the foreground for a ‘shooting through’ effect.

To completely the full round of lens field testing, I ended the photo session using the Canon 100mm Macro lens.

Canon 100mm Macro

It was really fun trying out the different effects the Lensbaby lenses can do for you. One thing I did notice, which I think is rather odd is that they affected the White Balance of my images and I needed to adjust it in post-processing.

Some of these lenses are rather affordable and if you’re looking for something fun to play with that won’t break the bank, take a look at Lensbaby and let the creativity begin!

18 replies »

    • I really appreciate your tack sharp, crisp, clean, images most of all–they display your patience, skill, soul, and artistry. I’m sorry to admit that I have no appreciation for the lensbaby images that others are so fond of–they seem sloppy and trendy, somehow. “Different strokes for different folks”, I guess! I truly enjoy your posts and I learn so much from you. You offer generous, insightful gifts to amateurs who can’t afford the professional classes–thank you so very much!

      • Thank you so much Susan. I like the first image the best which is with the telephoto lens. It means so much to me that you appreciate my blog posts so much. It’s an honor to share my experiences with you.

      • I love following your posts! You have a wonderful way of celebrating our precious world. All is well on my side of the continent. Blogging and photography make a marvelous duo. And now I have added podcasting to my journey. Life is good!! Hugs coming your way.

      • I always receive such joy for being in nature that it is easy for me to appreciate the smaller things. Glad to know you’re doing well and Podcasting sounds very exciting ! So proud of you enjoying what you’re doing now. Hugs back at you.

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