Summer Blur with Freelensing & FilM Effect

For most of you, summer is on the way. If you live in Arizona like myself, summer has already arrived. That means capturing the early days of summer are in full swing. I love this time of year (yes, even in Arizona) because I have the opportunity to capture my kids. They are all school aged now so it makes it a little harder. Our summers consist of days around the pool eating watermelon and popsicles. These are my favorite days to document and they tend to fly by like a summer blur.

Two summers ago I started using colorful plastic straws to add more color to my images. They made my work FEEL like a summer day. We all want to relive those film days with color light leaks. This is a cheap inexpensive way to capture your summer in color. Next time you are at the grocery store, check out the plastic straws. I got ones that resembled rainbow colors but any bright colors straws will do. The bolder the colors the better!

I taped them together, laying them out on a flat surface in a straight line. That way it made it easier to hold them together while shooting. There is no particular order.. I added freelensing to my method of shooting but if you are just learning, you can simply try it without freelensing. Freelensing adds more of a light leak effect. I take my camera, hold it up to my face, then bend the ends of the straws around the rim of the lens. Make it to where the straws peek out to where you can see them slightly in the image when you look through the viewfinder. Take a few shots and see if you can see the colors in the frame. If you can’t try moving the straws further into the frame where just the color shows and not a dark shadow.

Note: If you are trying to freelens and use the straws. Hold the straws and a light lens (50 mm or lighter) in your right hand and the camera in your left. It’s a balancing act, but it can be done!

Have you ever looked at an image and thought, “this FEELS like summer?” Some images just have that vibe to them. You can create that vibe through storytelling. How can you convey this into a portrait? By adding bright colors or adding things that remind us of summer. When I see a spring photo, it has a ton of flowers and pastel colors. So when I see a summer image I think of bright colors, goggles, beach towels, swimsuits, big hats, floaties, etc. I like to get new things every year for the kids to play with in the pool. Creating your own summer story through images.

Capturing your summer days are a chance to get creative. There is no right or wrong here, just beautiful summery art work. Think outside the box and shoot until your heart is content. These are the days we will want to remember when they are grown and have their own kids. Document their summers how you would want them to remember them, colorful and carefree. Adding color just enhances that memory.

Freelensing is a fun way to add a different spin on a regular image. I love adding the colors to create a light leak effect to my summer images. This just makes the images feel like my childhood summers. It gives it that nostalgic feeling. There is no right or wrong, just create beautiful art and have fun documenting your children or even some bold clients.

Written by: Erica Williams