View this post on Hive: Discovering fun photography with a Lensball
Lensball are not thing but I've been seeing them promoted a lot these days so went on eBay see if anyone sell them locally and got my hand on a 80mm K9 lensball. It's a good all rounder size and not to heavy to carry around in your backpack all day long with your other gears.
From my first tests with the lensball, the photo of my son above is my favourite. Obviously, it was shot indoor and the sunlight was soften by the window curtain that acted as a large softbox creating a lovely and smooth reflection on the surface of the lensball.
Being a sphere, the lensball acts like a magnifying glass: it makes things look bigger when close to them and make them smaller as you move away from them while also shifting them upside down. It also has some distortion like a fisheye lens especially when the subject is closer to the lensball and near the edge. Another thing to be aware off is the dust on the surface will be quite visible as you can see in the photo above, so keep your lensball clean off dust and protect it from scratches.
This is a shot of The Coast Bar & Restaurant by the Gosford Waterfront. I like this shot as it seems that everything is dark but the ball is emitting light, along with the smooth bokeh captures the viewer attention.
Not everything looks good through a lensball. What does not work is when the scenery is too busy but that is a general case in photography. I find what looks good is a large isolated object especially because things will look much smaller through the lensball.
In a normal use, object seen through a lensball will be upside down, you can use the photograph as is or rotate it 180 degrees in post-processing so that the object is the right side up while the background is upside down.
But if you bring the lensball up close to the subject, you could use its magnifying properties to show the texture of the object. Here is the texture of the fabric of one of my pillowcases. People are using lensball to make great effects on texts from book pages.
The use of lensball can be used with many photography styles including landscapes and portraits, your imagination is your limit. Here is my wife at the Gosford waterfront. Beware that straight lines will be curved the more they are away from the center of the lensball.
All these photos were taken from an iPhone 8 Plus. The built-in "Portrait mode" that creates blurry background has its limit when shooting with a lensball, it sometimes messes the edge of the lensball. I will soon try to take some more photographs with a proper DSLR camera.
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Wow! Loved it :)
Oh what fun! You got some wonderful effects there! I experimented a bit with a lensball i got but was disappointed with the upside down figures in the ball - never thought of rotating the photo after I like the blurred background too so the image in the lensball is highlighted. Thanks for sharing!
Really interesting. Thank you for sharing this experience.
Didn't even know lensballs were things XD Have seen some pictures with them and thought oh yeh that's an interesting use of a glass ball (which are things which I've seen decoratively XD). Now I know.
The iPhone didn't do too bad a job, the ones you take iwht a DSLR are probably going to be even cooler.
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I loved your photos, it's a fun way to reflect the image from another point.
Very interesting trick! I have to search for one! Never seen this in any shops here!