Falling in Love with Velvet

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder.‑ E B White

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The fluid dance of maple wings with Lensbaby Velvet 56

There’s a special kind of dance we do when we fall in love. It happens in the mind, but mostly in the heart. And we can’t always explain why we love, just that we do. It used to be that when I heard someone say the word “velvet,” it conjured up memories of my childhood and family vacations. Remember the “Velvet Elvis” and so many other people, critters and scenes painted on black velvet gathered together in a roadside market? Not very romantic really, just a curious sight that sticks in my mind. Or how about those lusciously soft and luxurious velvet dresses in black, red or green that were work in winter … to church or special parties? Fancy stuff, but not at all about love.

 

 

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Softness in the edges and points of a cactus with Lensbaby Velvet 56

No, I’m talking about the new Lensbaby Velvet 56 manual lens. You see, from the moment I saw the images being created by “Miss Velvet”, I knew I had to have her. There was music and dancing in my most visual mind and heart. It’s kind of like touching and feeling the fabric . . . there’s an emotional, visual and tactile response that happens when I would run my hands across the velvet dress. It’s distinctive and has varied degrees of smoothness and texture depending on the direction of the rub.

We all know that the world of love is not about straight lines or direct routes. There are curves, twists, turns and always some rough edges. It’s about going with the flow and letting things happen . . . and rejoicing when a moment catches our breath and we capture it in a frame or two. The Velvet 56 offers that magical combination of smoothness and texture, ease and challenge. It offers one a world of creative possibilities that embrace the world of soft focus and ethereal imagery with its wide f/1.6 aperture. For someone like me, a lover of macro and close-up photography, the minimum focusing distance of 5″  and 1:2 macro capabilities is awesome. Even better? I can add my Nikon 6T close-up diopter to get in even closer to the magic. This lens is solid, yet sleek and smooth in its feel and movement through the focus range.

Going with the flow of peony petals with the Lensbaby Velvet 56

Going with the flow of peony petals with the Lensbaby Velvet 56

Suffice to say, I LOVE (and am in love with) this lens. It awakes the dreamer and the seer in me, opens my mind and heart to all the possibilities. It allows me to capture the moments that catch my breath and make me stop. If you have the opportunity to try one, you won’t want to let it go and you won’t be able to deny the magic or the music.

Nothing more magical than finding a "Perfection" pull on a Williams Pipe Tone Organ and capturing with the Lensbaby Velvet 56.

Nothing more magical than finding a “Perfection” pull on a Williams Pipe Tone Organ and capturing with the Lensbaby Velvet 56.

(Lensbaby has been kind enough to provide me with demo units of the Velvet 56 and other inspiring optics for my New Life Photos workshops. Wonderful opportunities to dance to a different beat and discover hidden treasures within your own creativity.)