Relax, Just Be Yourself, Try to Act Naturally, Joni!

Joni is always my favourite model when it comes to trying out new photographic techniques. This time it was a new lens – in fact a new to me second hand, old fashioned lens. As I was working how to use it to best advantage, I said to Joni “Relax, just be yourself. Don’t pose.” This was the photo I got.

Be yourself Joni, act naturally - Ellie Kennard 2016
Be yourself Joni, act naturally – Ellie Kennard 2016

So then I said to her, “Don’t be so self-conscious, just try to act naturally.” She shifted position and this was  the second one I got.

Relax Joni, act naturally part 2 - Ellie Kennard 2016
Relax Joni, act naturally part 2 – Ellie Kennard 2016

Oh well, I guess you can’t change the focus and concentration of a border collie, but the photographs did come out nicely anyway! The effect of the swirly bokeh around the subject is characteristic of the Helios 44.

The Inspiration and the lens:

The best thing about being in touch with other creative people around the world is the ideas that get shared between everyone. Each inspiration mentioned in passing has the potential to spark more and more creativity as it passes by and lingers in the mind of this photographer, that artist and that writer. A short while ago a fellow photographer on Google+ (Diana, in the UK) shared a photograph she had taken with a second hand Russian lens she had bought with an adapter to fit her camera. The effect was really interesting and instantly I was intrigued to give it a try myself. It’s a Helios 44-2 58mm lens, made in the hundreds of thousands (cheap and cheerful) but strongly built in the way old analogue photographic equipment was made.

I found a site selling it from Russia and ordered one (used, of course) with an adapter to fit my camera. It arrived this week and after my first few tries I am really enjoying using it. It looks a little strange and old fashioned, but I already like it a lot.

You will no doubt see more images taken with this over the next little while.

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