23 Dec A Dreamy 19th Century Christmas

Source: Valérie Jardin

Using a special effect lens is always a great exercise in creativity. I love the extra challenge. Seeing the resulting photographs on the computer screen after the photo shoot is always a bit like opening a present. The Lensbaby Velvet 56 offers a new way of seeing and forces the photographer to let go of the notion of sharpness. The fun is in the experimentation with different levels of soft focus depending on the chosen aperture.

These photographs where taken on December 11 at The Landing, a historic village south of Minneapolis composed of authentic buildings designed to recreate 19th century life in the prairie. The buildings were all moved from various locations throughout the state. During the visit, re-enactors welcome the visitors into their ‘homes’ and talk about the hardship of life in the prairie during the winter months. For a few hours you travel from 1850 to the turn of the century, immersed in a different time period. Lucky for me, the snow storm had kept the crowds away that Sunday afternoon and I was able to collect quite a few images without ‘non historical’ people in the background.

I had never used the lens in low light situations and it was really difficult to know how the pictures would turn out from looking at the LCD on the back of the camera. I had to trust my instinct and hope for a few keepers. I was using the Fujifilm XPro2 in Acros and Classic Chrome film

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