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Creative Lensball Photos Ideas

 

In this module, we’ll discuss some creative ideas for stunning compositions using the Lensball. We’ll cover the following topics:

  • Varying the way you hold the lensball.
  • Adding water to the scene to use the reflection.
  • Using different lensball colors and sizes.

Section 1: Varying the Way You Hold the Lensball (1:25)

There are various ways to hold the lensball. Make sure to select the right ball size. Also, the best way to create great compositions is to ask someone to hold the ball for you. This is important to have that elevated position, which makes for a better image of the subject inside the ball.

Following are some practical ways to hold the lensball:

  • The Perfect: Choose a small size lensball. Hold the ball in between the thumb and the index finger. The other fingers can fan out or be held closer to the ball. Flipping the image upside can work with this hold as the hand would prevent the fall.
  • The Cup: Choose a big size lensball. Hold the ball in the palm. The hand cups the bottom part of the ball. It’s not a good idea to flip the image in post-processing for this type of shot.
  • Symmetry: It’s an adaption of “The Cup” and requires 2 people to hold the ball. One person cups the ball from the bottom, while another person cups the ball from the top. The best thing about symmetry is that it is created by using 2 hands, so this makes flipping the image in post-processing easier. The image will look the correct way up since the ball is being supported by 2 hands.
  • The Plinth: Choose a small size lensball. Use 3 fingers – the thumb, index and middle finger – to create a holder to place the ball. The advantage is you can hold the ball up and your hand will be a minimal part of the composition. Using big and heavy lensball would be a difficult hold.

Following are a few other ways to hold the ball:

  • Wrapping wire:Wrap a strong and pliable wire around the ball to hold it in place and create interesting images. Ask someone to hold the wire since the weight of the ball can make this setup unstable and difficult for you to hold in position.
  • Body parts: Imaginative ways of using body parts other than hands can also create great compositions, for example, balancing the ball on your forehead while lying down or placing the ball under your foot to make it look like a football.

 

Section 2: Adding Water to Your Scene (8:11)

One issue with refraction is that it inverts the image inside the lensball. The basic solution to this is to flip the image so the image in the ball is the correct way up (not inverted) and use the camera’s aperture to create bokeh and thereby obscure the rest of the image. We already discussed this in Module 1.

Another option is to add water to your scene to create a reflection pool. You can use the reflection to create stunning compositions. The image is normally upside down in the lensball. But when you have a clean reflection then that reflection will be upside down in your reflection photograph which means the reflected image will appear the correct way up inside the ball. If you have a wide lens, you can also show the other portion of the image which is also the correct way up.

So choose a day when plenty of water is available. Don’t choose a windy day as you won’t get the reflection in the pool of water. If you have an area of water (for example a pond or lake) in between your subject and your lensball, you can use this to the same effect.

If you don’t have a pond or a lake in your area, wait for the rain to create puddles to get the reflection pool. Go out and take photographs and don’t let the water drops fall on the ball.

You can also make a puddle where you intend to place the ball to get the reflection pool. This won’t work everywhere of course. But if you have a large flat area in front of the ball, you can add water to create the puddle and get the reflection pool at the time of your choice, for instance, sunrise or sunset.

Section 3: Varying the ball (12:41)

You control all the elements of the scenes but you vary the lensball someway. You can do this by:

  • Changing the lensball color
  • Changing the lensball size
  • Introducing one more ball to your scene.

Lensball Color: Most lensballs are clear. To add an extra dimension to the image in the lensball or to further isolate it from other things in the photograph, you could try using a colored ball.

With colored lensball, the ball will be further isolated in the frame because everything outside the ball will be of normal color and everything inside it will be colored. The resulting contrast effect will enhance the photo even more.

Lensball Size: The size of the ball can be an important factor in making the photo more interesting. The size can range from a marble to a huge orb. Anything bigger than hand size is impractical at least for carrying around and the smaller the size, the more parts of the image inside the ball will become distorted. Then again, smaller balls might be easier to balance in a small divot or crevice and they’re easier to hold as well.

With larger balls, you have more flexibility when it comes to framing and composing your shot. Larger balls are though more difficult to place on surfaces and only certain hand holding positions may be available.

Introduce One More Ball In the Scene:The balls could be of the same or different sizes and colors can also vary. You can place the balls side-by-side or one behind the other. If you place the balls side-by-side, these must be lined in the same plane of focus. This is tricky as the depth of field within the ball is very shallow.

When you place one ball behind the other, the furthest ball will show the refraction in the first ball (near the camera) the correct way up. This can be an interesting thing to experiment with. You might even try 3 or 4 balls line up one behind the other.

Section 4: Lensball Care (18:12)

Taking care of your lensball is very important. There are many ways to keep the ball from rolling away. You need to find a good place to hold the ball. You can use a ball holder and many other options such as a twig, a rock with a divot, small pebbles, keys, bottle cap, or ask someone to hold the ball.

Store the lensball in its pouch so that it remains scratch-free. You can even use clean socks for the same purpose.

 

Thanks for your attention during this third module. I hope the creative ideas you learned in this module will help you become more imaginative with lensball photography.