by Kathleen White of Kathleen Elizabeth Photography
This is meant to be done with caution! Regular cleanings of lenses and cameras is always a good idea!
Free-lensing is a fun way of shooting that involves detaching your lens from your camera. By detaching your lens from your camera (but still holding it close) you are able to create a unique tiltshift effect. Since you are detaching your lens from your camera, free-lensing is for the brave! Here are a few tips and tricks to help get you started!
Step 1: Choose your lens. I have found that working with anything under a 50mm is REALLY hard to get anything in focus. For this tutorial I used a 50mm 1.4, and have also used a 85mm 1.8 in the past which works just as well!
Step 2: Check your settings. Since you are detaching your lens, your autoexposure function will not work. Set your exposure with your lens attached, set the focus on your lens to manual, and turn the focus ring to infinity.
Step 3: Detach lens. Take off your lens, and while still holding it very close start moving it around and see what happens! Each time you move it you will see how the different angles affect your photo. This part is all trial and error, so snap away! TIP: I cup my lens in my hand, to prevent any dust from coming in and to make sure I have a good grip on it.
Step 4: Choose your subject. When trying this for the first time, choose something to photograph that is still like flowers, sunsets, household items, etc. It is much harder to photograph a moving subject while free-lensing!
Step 5: Practice, practice, practice! Like anything new, practicing is the only way to get the hang of free-lensing. You may only like a few, but those few photos will be unique and beautiful and it is totally worth it!