HOW TO USE LENSBALL
Lensballs are the simplest and easiest to use photography accessory. Forget tricky gadgets and things with batteries and needing to be charged…
Lensball is always ready to go! Here’s how easy they are to use!
1. Find yourself a scene you want to shoot. Take a moment to check for lighting, shadows, angles and aspects. Try going closer to your subject with the Lensball to increase the size of the subject in the ball.
2. Hold your phone up close to the Lensball and tap on the screen to focus on the Lensball. Or if you’re using a camera, zoom into the Lensball and focus on the ball.
3. Tap to capture the image.
That’s it – it’s that simple!
The best advice is to keep pointing and shooting and taking your Lensball along with you often. Testing out your photography skills in all different locations and lighting conditions will help you fully explore your Lensball.
Lensballs come in varying sizes – from plum sized 60mm and 80mm apple size and 100mm healthy grapefruit size and even 150mm extra generous size. Each size lensball offers different benefits for photographers. In our opinion the 100mm is the ideal size.
When you hold your lensball in your hand in front of your camera, the round glass bends the light. Afterwards, you are left with an upside down image and the surrounding background. It’s a striking way to present images and literally turns upside down the normal way of seeing things. Also, you gain a magnified and obliquely distorted view. In combination, you arrive at a finished image that has multiple elements of distortion, inversion and background. This is why we all love lensball photography.
This is called refraction. Refraction is bending of light through an object. It means your vision is adjusted or impaired by what you are seeing through. Light travels through the sphere from the subject of your image to the camera (or phone) in your hand.
Did you know that you are manipulating refraction every time you take a picture?
It’s a phenomenon that causes a ray of light to bend when it hits a medium that can transmit light, such as a lens or water. As the light passes from one medium to another, the difference in density causes the light striking the surface to refract. When refraction occurs with a transparent spherical object, such as a crystal ball or a glass sphere, an inverted image of the scene is created.
Another way professional photographers produce stunning glass ball photography in a darkened room with a very simple setup. This includes a refractive object (an Australian Lensball), a tripod-mounted DSLR, and an ordinary LED flashlight mounted on a lightstand. To focus the light source, cut a cardboard square a bit larger than the flashlight’s head, and poke a small hole using a pin, and tape it over the light. It should be the smallest hole that will still pass adequate light; the smaller the hole, the sharper the pattern detail. Then aim the LED light at your subject. Holding gels between the glass and the camera adds colorful effects.
Think of Your Composition
Level your crystal ball with the subject you’re photographing, as a centred subject in the crystal ball will result in lesser distortion. Try to get as close to your subject as possible. The closer you are to your subject, the bigger it will appear in the crystal ball. Whether you’ve positioned the ball on a flat surface, a crevice, or even if you’re holding it, ensure that the crystal ball will not fall.
When experimenting with crystal ball photography, ensure that the light coming through the refracting object is strong. If your subject is poorly lit, you may see unwanted reflections from brighter lights in the vicinity appearing in the ball.