CREATING BLURS AND LIGHT
It's so rad that we have a career that let's us play and experiment for a living! In my gear bag I have a few pieces of broken glass and plastic that I use to shoot through any time I need to hide something distracting in the frame or create a soft, dreamy mood. Holding the piece right up to the lens hood and peaking into the image creates a soft translucent blur that comes across the frame. The shallower depth of field you shoot, the longer the lens, and the closer you hold the piece to your glass, the softer the effect becomes. It's a look I really dig and it's one of the easiest little tricks up my sleeve.
Here they are. My little pieces of magic. They each give me different effects and I'm always finding ways to use them differently. Broken cups, ziploc bags, a piece of a florescent light cover, etc. Each has it's use and instead of explaining each one, I'd rather you find some pieces to experiment so you can learn it hands on!
Contax 645 + 80 + Kodak Portra 400
This is one of my favorite frames from my shoot with Laura on the Malibu Coast. I typically hold my little piece of plastic or glass in the shade (making sure that no hard light is hitting it) which gives me a nice soft blur but since I was shooting film and I knew that film holds color better in the highlights than digital does, I held my glass piece right in the sun and it brought in that rad orange blur coming in on the right side of the frame.
5D III + 50L
No glass, no problem. I've shot through leaves, flowers, pieces of paper, plastic cups, etc. Sometimes it's easier to use what's around you instead of carrying glass around in your fanny pack (no, I don't use a fanny pack).
5D III + 50L
I actually discovered this trick (I didn’t invent it, people have been doing it for ages) a while back when I was shooting near a tree and a branch fell in front of my lens. I loved it but wanted to find a way to add blur and light but not color. Translucent plastic and glass was my answer!
5D III + 35L
In the left of this frame there was a decent amount of clutter (all cool wooden clutter, but still clutter) which is why I held the glass piece over that side of the lens to help blur it out and to create a softer, dreamy feel in the image. During this shoot I also used these little pieces to blur out certain parts of her body so the images were less revealing and more about the mood.