When I point the lens randomly (without focusing on specific people or objects), most of the times, the only things that look sharp and clear are the brightest spots in front of the lens: Light sources, and – at lesser extents – the reflections of those light sources (e.g. on the wall, on reflective objects such as the light stand).
The way I see it, this art lens tends to focus on the brightest spots in front of it and amplify their presence. And, if we couple the lens with a creative aperture, the swap-able aperture reshapes the emission of each (especially smaller) light source in front of it to match its shape. (In this case: Each tiny light bulb on my string light)
This fact makes me aware of a few (new) things . . .
[ o n e ]
In terms of image-making, a lens’ aperture does MUCH more than making sure our images are not too dark or too blown out (exposure) and controlling how many percent of the photos look in focus (depth of field). Otherwise, we won’t see numerous repetitions of the aperture’s shape on these photos.
But, apparently, apertures affect the final results of our photos in additional ways.
If aperture only limits the amount of light that goes through a camera lens, it would merely vignette the photographs we capture . . . or mirror the function of light modifiers (e.g. barn doors, gobos, and grids) instead of reshaping every single emission of the light sources in front of it.
I’m not fully informed about the technical aspects of all these, but I’m planning to learn more about them in a near future.
[T w o ]
Because this art lens amplifies the brightness (and highlights the presence of) light sources . . . after using the lens for many, many hours . . . I become increasingly aware of light sources, their reflections, and the highlights they create on three-dimensional objects.
Now that Lensbaby Spark has heightened my awareness of how light sources – in their varying degree of intensity – interact with their surroundings, I can no longer see my everything – even the most mundane things – the way I used to. And, the world looks much more nuanced, richer, and more interesting because of it.