Episode 6: Focus on the Lensbaby with Craig Strong

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Craig Strong comes on to tell us all about the Lensbaby, one of the most-affordable tools out there for taking your photography to the next level. For extended notes and show links, please visit Scott's Photo Blog: www.scottsphotoblog.com.

Lenbabies are selective focus tools that can make your photos look as straightforward or surrealistic as you want. By putting the focus where you want it, Lensbabies let you direct your viewer's eyes to the most important part of your picture.

Their latest little wonder is the Composer. It's my favorite Lensbaby so far; it's certainly the easiest to use for repeatable results. But you might also want to look at their entry-level Muse, which can be faster - and more fun - to play with. It's the best $99 you'll spend if you want to explore more creative uses for your DSLR

You can check out my totally-amateur-having-fun-with-it-first-Composer-shots here on our SmugMug site: dplife.smugmug.com

Popular Photography just raved about Lensbaby line: "The new Lensbabies aren't ever going to replace your supersharp autofocus prime or zoom lenses for day-to-day shooting (for most photographers, at least). But they offer a whole lot of fun, with more control than ever -- which means maybe even more people will catch the bending bug!"

If you want to enter our drawing for a free Lensbaby Composer, complete this descriptive phrase from the product's homepage "Smooth and __________." (You can find a link to page on www.scottsphotoblog.com)

Here are the rules for our photo contest

Title: The Joy of Photography

Theme: A subject demonstrating the theme of the joy of photography.

Technique: It's up to you.

1. Make a photo. The photo must be one that you created. Please include the original exif info within the image.

2. You may enter up to three photographs. If more than three photographs are entered, only the first three received shall be entered.

3. Images must be JPG, PNG, or GIF images, less than 24MB.

4. Email a jpg image to dplife@email.smugmug.com

5. Attach only one photo per email. Please send one email per entry.

6. In the Subject, enter: dplife (Must be all lower case)

7. In the Body, enter: Your name AND email address AND your caption.

8. Make SURE you send the email in PLAIN TEXT (not HTML or Rich Text or it won't be accepted)

9. We need to approve each photo that you upload, so please have patience for your photo to show up in this gallery.

10. Only one image per entrant can be eligible as a finalist.

11. Photos shal be accepted through Friday, 23 January, 2009.

12. Enjoy Being Creative!

You can see your photos - as well as ours - on our SmugMug site for the show: DPLife.SmugMug.com.

If you want to read about the tiny-but-unwanted black spots in some photos taken with Canon's new 5D Mark II, check out the full blog posting for this episode on Scott's Photo Blog.

As always, thanks for joining us! And Happy Holidays!