Tilt Focus Portrait Photography: Behind the Scenes with Fritz Liedtke from Lensbaby on Vimeo.
I’ve known Craig Strong for about a decade, since I stumbled upon him at a garage sale in his living room. I’d heard his name before, and when I saw the photos on his wall, I asked him, “Are you the Craig Strong of Strong Photography?” And he was.
Craig is a great guy, inquisitive and outside-of-the-box in just about every way. Over the next couple years, aside from talking shop with him, he’d also show me these little lenses he was making out of vacuum hoses and duct tape. I’d fiddle with them, give him feedback, and next time I saw him he’d have another version. Eventually he started the company Lensbaby, and the rest is history. I’ve been beta testing lenses here and there ever since.
In the digital age, I’ve really missed the tilt/shift capabilities of my 4×5, but haven’t wanted to give up the convenience of digital capture and workflow. So I’ve been asking Craig to make a sharp, fast, tiltable lens for some time. Over the past few years, he’s supplied me with various mock-up versions of this concept to test out. Finally this past year, they sent me a pre-production version to really run through its paces. And I loved it. I shot with it at every assignment and on every personal shoot that came up. The images were gorgeous; just what I wanted.
This winter, Lensbaby contacted me to ask if they could produce a documentary video featuring me using their wonderful lenses, and I readily agreed. We had a great time creating this piece with their wonderful staff.
They are also featuring an interview with me on the Lensbaby blog. Check it out as well!