Shooting with the Lensbaby Velvet 56 — Beautiful haze

Woman and child at Orthodox Christian Divine Liturgy

It’s May 22, 2023. I was away at a conference for 4 days, during which I took a number of
photos of participants as they gave papers, chatted informally, and listened to others presenting their work. The conference was the first of what will probably be many annual ones.

I also had the opportunity to use the Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens to shoot an Orthodox Christian Vespers service (on Saturday evening) and a Divine Liturgy (Sunday morning). The Lensbaby is phenomenal. It was deliberately created with a small defect, so that there is some diffused light (rather than just “circles of confusion” — the standard work of lens is bringing points of light together). The result is a slight haze, often high-key (or bright). Some would say the image looks blurry at first glance, but that’s not the case. In fact, it can be quite sharp beneath the haze. The resulting image of an altar in an Orthodox Church suggests the presence of God as light. (It’s only a visual suggestion — God is present whether we see this diffused light or not.) In any case, the images are often delightful.