Lensbaby Pro Effects Traveling Kit #4 – by Steve Olpin

The Photo Brigade has partnered with Lensbaby to ship their new Pro Effects Kit from shooter to shooter across the United States. We will be posting photos, videos, and reviews from stops along the way. If you’re interested in trying the kit yourself, please email us about getting on our list. If you can’t wait, you can buy a Pro Effects kit online!
Steve OlpinSteve Olpin is a filmmaker with a documentary and action sports background. He has made films about artists, musicians, a scientist, a mortician and numerous action sports athletes. His films have been screened and honored in national and international film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival. The Heartland Film Festival honored him as a visionary with the Crystal Heart Award for his films The Potter’s Meal and In The Presence of Healers. His directing and cinematography work have been featured on NBC, PBS, ESPN, ESPN 2, USA Network, Outdoor Life Network, Fuel Network and Fox Sports Net. He has directed for television and television commercials. His work explores passionate, driven people. His feature length documentary “Nasty’s World” won Grand Prize at the 2003 X-Dance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Steve has been directing behind the scene documentaries for DVD special features including the Jack Black comedy “Nacho Libre.”  Recently Steve has been using the Canon 5D and working as a director / director of photography on documentary series called “Turning Point.”

I am a fully recovered film snob. 6 to 10 years ago if I could have found a t-shirt that said, “Friends don’t let friends shoot video” I would have worn it. But things change and I did too. Now I love my Canon 5D with all my heart even though it has some frustrating things you must deal with like audio. OK that said I love the idea of the Lensbaby system replacing the way I used to use Super 8 to add flavor to productions years ago. By the way, I am a full-time freelance nonfiction filmmaker. I am a bit old school at heart so I like to do stuff in camera if I can. I think the Lensbaby system is a fresh break from the ultra clean look of the Canon 5D, a way to rough-it up, or draw attention to different sides of the frame that are in the same focal plane. I feel the Lensbaby would be brilliant for music videos, art films, and experimental parts of non-fiction pieces. My favorite filmmaker Casey Neistat uses a Lensbaby from time to time and he rules. I saw some Lensbaby stuff in a rap video the other day that gave it a fresh slick feel. There is something to be said about having a tool that can really alter the image in a way that is pleasing to the eye and feels hip, different and intelligent. I think the Lensbaby system has a place in the camera bag of filmmakers that want to push the edge and as a documentary filmmaker want to have a creative treatment of reality. If work is play and you play at work this could be a fun tool for you. Here is quick clip of my use of the system, this is just the tip of the iceberg, there are many other applications that I think would work with Lensbaby–it is play time.

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