Steppin’ Out With My Baby

Today’s Post by Mildred Alpern

Steppin’ out with my baby

Can’t go wrong ‘cause I’m in right ~ Irving Berlin

In this case the “baby” is the Lensbaby Velvet 56, which is equivalent to 112mm on the Olympus Micro Four-thirds cameras. It is a versatile lens, designed for portraits as well as for close-up macro work. Wide open at the maximum aperture of f/1.6, the image has a hazy softness and a diffuse glow; stopping down in increments to f/16, the image becomes increasingly crisp and sharp. Since it is a manual lens with an aperture ring and a manual focus ring, there is no EXIF data. 

Mark Toal’s post, “Shooting the (Mirrorless) Lensbaby Velvet 56” describes many features of this lens. In addition, a link by Joe Farace’ Shutterbug article, ”Lensbaby Velvet 56 Portrait Lens” elaborates further. There’s no need to repeat the details. The posts sparked my interest to try out this lens, and I was not disappointed.

The lens has unmistakable charm and unlimited potential for experimentation. For an initial tryout in nearby Riverside Park, New York, I spied early flowerings of snowdrops and shot them in macro at a wide aperture. They hover with hazy softness over a fallen oak leaf. The image of a dog walker in a bubble-pink hood reveals how dreamy the background can appear behind the figure. And finally, grasses blowing in the wind fill the frame with a golden diffuseness smothered in light. This is just the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

All images were shot with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II in Aperture-Priority mode.

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Mildred’s book Haiku and Images is available on Amazon and is filled wit h beautifully reproduced color photographs along with original haiku underneath, embellishing the image and deepening its meaning. Pick up a copy to give as  gift for yourself or a friend.