I’ve been so lucky to have owned my Lensbaby Velvet 56mm since last October. And as excited as I was to get my hands on this lens, I was super happy to realize the fact that this lens was indeed a great addition to my collection. And here is why:
1. It creates glow and adds a dream-like, romantic look.
One of the things that I was pleased to discover is that the Velvet 56 creates an ethereal glow and adds a dreamy look to my footage. For years, directors of photography applied different techniques to create immersive dream-like atmospheres in the movies. As of today, there are lots of different ways to achieve this look by using various filters, fog machines, hazers, stretching stockings across the lenses, and so on. All this is done with a goal to provide contrast and highlight reduction allowing for a soft, pastel-like quality of light.
I’ve always been a huge fan of the diffused film glow, you know those softened highlights and dreamy haze in many Hollywood films, especially from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Can you imagine my reaction when I realized that I could get the look I loved right in-camera and I didn’t have to bring my footage into Premiere Pro and emulate the effect in post!
2. It reduces the contrast of fine detail giving the skin more flawless look.
Another reason why filmmakers strive to create this sort of haze and glow is to soften the skin and give the face a more flawless look. The Velvet 56 is a high quality lens that allows us to do just that at brighter apertures. Like everything in the world of photography and filmmaking, there are several ways to achieve this effect in post. Many people, I was one of them, would simply rely on editing software to correct those imperfections (i.e. reducing the appearance of skin pores, wrinkles, etc.). Now, I can get this effect right in-camera, which is always the best option! Luckily, kids don’t need those corrections, but it works awesome when adults are in the frame.
3. It’s a fantastic lens to get closer and tell the story better.
The beauty of this lens, is that it is a great lens to get closer and capture those closeup shots that give more impact to the entire film and help to understand the story better. Closeups help us see emotions and expressions and the more we get closer the more intense they get.
I shot this entire film using the Velvet 56 lens. I was unsure how I would feel about using only this lens. Although, I had a feeling it would be a perfect lens to tell a short story of our everyday on a gloomy Sunday morning in February (the weather is moody, it is dark outside, the light is on, February it is!). Perfect for some family time at home and doing what we love to do the most - cooking, building Lego, playing piano.
In a nutshell, the Velvet 56 stunned me with how it makes our everyday life look like beautiful art.
Thank you Ben and Keri at Lensbaby for being such amazing supporters!