Home Photography Ideas: Have Fun, Shooting With a Lensball
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Let us guide you through the looking glass showing you a new way to photograph your landscapes and other images. We all love to shoot outdoors, but there are only a limited number of ways to take traditional landscapes.
However, by adding an optically clear glass ball to the equation – like those made by specialist companies like Lensball – you can unlock new ways to take stunning views, creative still life images, striking portraits and more. .
Due to physics, when you take a photo of a glass ball, the image inside will be inverted. Back on your computer, you can choose to leave it as is, flip the entire image upside down, or select the circular image in the ball and rotate it on its own 180Âº so that the ball and the environment are in the right direction.
This last method looks particularly striking, and we’ll go into detail to show you how to do it step by step. You can achieve this technique using a basic kit, as long as you have a glass ball – all you need is a camera with a kit lens like an 18-55mm or 24-105mm. You can use a tripod if you want, but it’s not essential.
You can either shoot at the wide end and get closer to the ball to better capture the surrounding scenery, or you can step back further and zoom in with the longer end to help blur the background.
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How to use a Lensball
01 Dial the correct parameters
Set your camera to aperture priority and select an aperture of f / 5.6 to blur the background or f / 22 to keep it sharp like we did, then adjust the ISO up to until you get a shutter speed of 1/60 s or more.
02 focus and take the picture
Place your Lensball in a prominent foreground that does not obstruct the view of the sphere, being careful not to leave fingerprints on it. Focus on the scenery inside the balloon and press the shutter button to take the picture.
03 make a rough selection of the ball
Open your image in Photoshop or Elements and grab the Elliptical Lasso Tool from the Toolbox and drag your cursor over the Lensball to make a rough selection of the sphere.
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04 refine the selection
Go to Select> Transform Selection and drag the bounding box handles so that the selection lines up perfectly with the outer edge of the lens ball. Press Enter when finished to finalize the selection.
05 soften the edges of the selection
Go to Select> Select & Hide and change the display mode to Overlay so you can clearly see what you’re doing, then adjust the Feather slider to soften the edge slightly. We used a value of 6px and clicked OK.
06 flip the image
Press Ctrl / Cmd + J to place the selection on a new layer and press Ctrl / Cmd + T to put it in free transform mode. Hover your cursor over an outside corner and drag it, rotating it until it is the right way round.
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