I'm Kathleen Clemons, Ask Me Anything!

Hi Joan,
Do you mean other Lensbaby mobile lenses, or mobile lenses in general, Joan? I kept an old iPhone 7 to use with my Lensbaby Mobile kit, that is really the only attachment I ever use with my phones.

Yes, I meant other Lensbaby movile lenses. I have the kit, which I used with my 7, but since I traded the 7 in I can’t use that anymore. My loss.

If I have a photo with a white background what are the post-processing actions that you do for adding a new background?

Hi Giuseppe,
Some basic understanding of using Photoshop in general and Photoshop Layers in particular is necessary. Basically, you would add the new background as a layer in Photoshop, and mask (remove) the new background where you want your subject to show through.

In assessing a good candidate for a flower portrait how do you decide if it’s a good candidate for a lensbaby Velvet 56, an 85, or a sweet 50?

Thank you for doing this and stay well!



Happy to hear you have a Craftsy course…did one by Kurt Budliger on coastal landscapes and loved it.
What is equipment do you take with you when going out in the field? I like to hike and shoot wildflowers when encountered, but also like to travel light.

HI Sarah,
Sometimes I shoot a flower with all three! :slight_smile: As for the V56-V85, it often depends on how close I can get, the size of the flower and whether or not I plan to include some background area. I use the Sweet 50 when I want an area of tack sharp focus on my subject with distortion and blur in the rest of the frame, which is great for hiding distractions and flaws.

Thanks, Jim! I did the class about 5 years ago, it is called “Natural Light Macro Photography”.

When I am out shooting, I usually take 2-3 lenses with me, a 12" collapsible diffuser with a Wimberley Plamp to attach it to my tripod for softening light, and a 12" collapsible reflector (or a piece of tinfoil if I am traveling super light) to reflect light. That’s really all I need.

That all makes sense…what lenses do you want to have with you?

Really depends where I am shooting but my 180mm, Lensbaby Velvet 85, Lensbaby Composer Pro ll with Sweet 50 optic are usually with me.

I’ve taken your classes on CreativeLive And the new Lensbaby one as well where else can I find classes of yours on line.

Thanks for asking, Kelly! I teach an online class on Flower Portraits at Gather Academy, my next session begins in early May. The site is being updated this week but should be open for registrations next week.

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Hi. The yellow reply button did not work, so I’m not sure how this works. But I’m really curious, what gear did you use for the two photos you attached to your email? I’ve been trying nail polish on filters, on top of a sharp lens. Because Lens Baby optics aren’t so sharp. But your images are sharp. How so? Thanks, Tom

Hi Tom,
Lensbabies can actually be very sharp. As for the photos above, the Poppy was shot with my Lensbaby Velvet 85, and the Daisy was with my Lensbaby Composer Pro ll with Sweet 35 optic. I do not add sharpening to my photos.

Wanted to acknowledge you for your dedication to teach and sharing your knowledge. I was fortunate to take one of your classes (Many, many years ago.) through Bryan Peterson’s school of photography. The class greatly enhanced my macro floral photography!

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Hi Rick!
Thank you so much, you made my day!

Thank you! Which do you think is sharper, V85 or a Composer II with Sweet 35 or 50 optics?

Hi Kathleen, I know it is an artistic decision but where should I focus when shooting a flower. I’ve always been taught to avoid having anything out of focus in the foreground. Thanks

You would need to stop down in aperture with the Velvets to get sharp detail, both the Sweet 35 and 50 have a sharp sweet spot of focus at all apertures, though limited with the larger apertures.

That is good advice, Cyndee. You don’t want an out of focus shape (I call it Blob Blur) in the foreground. Most of the time I am focusing on the area of the flower closest to me, and choosing an aperture that gives me the depth I need beyond that area.