Posted in electronic imaging and displays, Optics

Artsy gizmo for your digital camera

A Wired product review: Articulating Lens Lets You Art Up Pics on the Fly

If you’re a photo student, chances are you balk at contemporary digital photography’s over-processed, airbrushed, way-too-clean aesthetic. You want to be real, damn it! And you probably want to create pictures that have the dramatic effects of a view camera’s tilt-and-shift selective focus and the organic randomness of plastic shooters like the Holga. Awesome! Consider taking the Lensbaby Composer for a spin.

Essentially a digital SLR lens that’s fitted into a ball-and-socket-style housing, the Composer also has interchangable optics: a single lens, double lens, plastic lens and pinhole/zone plate combo can be swapped in and out depending on the photographic effect you want to achieve. Depending on aperture these four options yield images that range from fairly sharp with a large sweet spot (double glass) all the way to the very gauzy and ethereal (pinhole).

Before you get too excited at the prospect of churning out dynamic images on the fly, you’ve got to understand that the Lensbaby experience is a creative one and requires a lot of manual tweaking. … Read more of the review.

Lensbaby in action
Lensbaby in action


Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.