I finally took my Lensbaby Christmas present out for a spin yesterday. (Briefly, the Lensbaby has a flexible body that allows you to push/pull/twist it to selectively focus the image.) The boys and I went to The Museum of Flight here in Seattle. While Michael (5) dreamed of blowing stuff up in a fighter plane and Andrew (8) snapped photos with his new digital camera, I messed around with the Lensbaby.
It's a bit tough getting anything to be in sharp focus and to really get the effects you're visualizing, but it was fun and a neat way to see the world. In addition to the weird focusing of the Lensbaby, it's fixed focal length. I normally shoot zoom lenses, so it was interesting to have to compose a different shot because I didn't have the flexibility to zoom in or out (sometimes I could move, but in a museum full of people, it's not always possible to get the right location). All of this meant I had to think a lot more than normal, which is good. I find it very helpful to force myself out of my normal shooting patterns to really start seeing images again. Good reminder for 2006.
Anyway, I got a few good shots. I like how the defocused areas create a sense of motion or of elapsed time -- both good for a museum with a lot of old planes. You can check out a few of my favorites here.
As an aside, the Museum of Flight is fantastic. They've added a new wing since I was there last. This new "Personal Courage" wing is dedicated to the warbirds and stories from WWI and WWII. I love World War II warbirds in particular (especially the Chance-Vought F4U Corsair, of which they have two -- actually the Goodyear FG-1 variant, but whatever). They also have a Concorde, Air Force One (the 707 version), and 747 and 737 prototypes outside for viewing and touring. It's a great time if you like history or planes; if you're in Seattle, I recommend it.