I finally got to borrow a lensbaby, and I AM IN LOVE!!!!!! I will definitely be getting one of these in the not-too-distant future. I borrowed an original lensbaby, so it works like a bellows, almost, where you kind of curl it toward the direction in the image where you want the sharp area to be, and then you push or pull on the front of the lens to focus. It doesn’t work with the camera’s metering system terribly well since it makes the camera think the aperture is 0, which doesn’t exist. So you need to shoot manually and chimp, but that part is pretty easy after just a few tries at the beginning. The tricky part is that you are bending very precisely while simultaneously pushing or pulling microscopically, and then clicking the shutter all at the exact same time without moving the camera a micrometer…and I am TERRIBLE at it. I am planning to rent one of the newer lensbabies to see if they are any easier to manipulate, but either way I will be buying one sooner rather than later, and I will perfect it if it is the last thing I do! I have gotten FAIRLY good at perfectly still subjects like flowers or sleeping children (but still I only have a few keepers out of dozens of shots), but as you will see I just haven’t been able to nail a portrait yet. But in the end I absolutely adore the soft, dreamy quality of the images and the unpredictability of the blur. You never know exactly what happy surprise you will find when viewing the image, and I love that!
It took a lot of prectice, but eventually I got fairly adept at still subjects, at least!