Sam Hurd unveils “lens chimping” photography technique
posted Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 2:58 PM EDT
Just under a year ago, photographer Sam Hurd showed the world his "prisming" technique, a method of shooting with a prism that resulted in dreamy reflections and wonderful effects. It also lead to a shortage of prisms, and a legion of imitators of this way of shooting. Now, someone's let Hurd play with optical tools again, and he's revealed yet another wonderful trick, this time called "lens chimping".
Much like with his prisming, lens chimping involves shooting through an additional piece of glass — but this time it's convex lens element that he's using, combining elements of freelensing with prisming. Explaining why he went that way, Hurd said:
why use this technique? personally, i’m always looking for ways to differentiate my work and i love the unpredictable colors and textures it creates pulling from the actual environment you’re shooting in. it enables you to make images that are nearly impossible to recreate and adds a bit of mystery and excitement. it can be really useful in a boring situation where you just don’t have time to experiment, a situation i’m all too familiar with as a wedding photographer.
Hurd is essentially strapping another lens element to the front of the camera, and intentionally bringing in abberations, reflections, and refractions. But it's his ability to do so with an extremely light touch, adding just enough to the photos to make an otherwise boring image look dreamy and fantastic, that really special — and all without having to swap out lenses. And at just $11.20 for a lens, it's affordable enough that anyone can get try.
If you are going to give it a go for yourself, remember to experiment until you're comfortable with the technique, and keep in mind with something like this, less is often more.