In August 2015 I was kindly invited to Emily Soto Petzval Portraits Bloom Exhibition at Lomography store Soho, London for an exclusive look at Emily’s amazing photographs. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was chatting to Hannah, Lomography’s UK marketing manager and showing off my work on my iPad portfolio. When Hannah saw my Dark Fairytale Series and the Damsel in Distress images, she immediately asked if I would be interested in testing The Petzval 85mm Art Lens as she thought the lens would really suit my style of photography. Of course I said yes and was very excited to see what new fantasy images I could create.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t particularly kind to us that year and every outdoor shoot I had planned turned into a cloudy and very wet day which gave us no option but postpone or cancel the shoot until more favourable weather came our way.
Without having a model and team at hand but keen to try out the lens, I decided to pack the Petzval lens in my camera bag and set out by myself one sunny day to put the art lens through its paces. As you can see in the results below the 85mm lens absolutely loves the sun. The centre of the image is sharp and shooting with a narrow depth of field creates a unique swirly bokeh effect.
Images above have not been retouched, the swirly booked effect is created by the Peetzval 85mm Art Lens.
Moving on to January 2016 and keen to create a set of fantasy images, I arranged a 'Tribal Hunter' themed shoot with model Lexi Lane and MUA Rachael Hennighan. As always the weather was extremely changeable but we decided to brave the cold and wind and shoot in a location close to Lexi’s base, Lane Home Studios in Kent. A big thank you to both Lexi and Rachael for all their help, and well done to Lexi because it was absolutely Freezing! I had fun preparing the outfit before the shoot which consisted on a wooden spear, a custom made leather and faux fur gilet sleeveless waistcoat, faux suede tassel fringe skirt and last minute finding the perfect style 'warm' coat from a charity shop. Rachael did an amazing job creating the tribal make-up look and styling Lexi's hair, messy with braids whilst tieing in strands of leather.
Images above: Tribal Hunter
Not wanting the next model to die of Hypothermia we decided to wait for slightly warmer weather for our next outdoor shoot. In the meantime I had arranged for an indoor shoot bridal shoot with the comfort of central heating for Home of Hearts Boutique with hair stylist Tara Johnston. Our two models for the day kindly agreed to let me test the Petvzal lens during our shoot. As you can see below the images are incredibly sharp and the colours look amazing. One thing that took me a little while to master with the lens was the manual focusing, especially when shooting at f2.2 or f2.8 but at f5.6 or above this wasn’t an issue.
Images below: Home of Hearts Boutique. All images have had no retouching, they are direct off the camera which is the style Lomography like as it's similar to shooting with film.
April 2016 and after having to postpone the shoot once already the day had finally arrived for my second fantasy shoot with model Amber Boyden-Wilson and MUA Clare Bradshaw. Unfortunately for Amber I don’t think it was any warmer than in January, the joys of unpredictable British weather but like any passionate model Amber battled through the cold to create the images below. Our theme, A Twisted Fairytale, the concept and genre is similar to my dark fairytale series, a fairytale theme for young adults with an unfortunate twist. My original images have proved to be inspiration for story ideas, especially on Pinterest boards, I hope this set will do the same.
The two images below are taken at a similar angle but notice the difference in background when shooting with a shallow depth of field, the top image has created a swirly background effect.
A great big thank you goes to everyone who was kind enough to give up their time to help me create these images,
Tribal Hunter Shoot
Model: Lexi Lane Make-Up Artist: Rachael Hennighan, Lane Hone Studios
Home of Hearts Boutique
Krisztina Gibson and Clare Webb, Hair Stylist and owner of HoH Tara Johnston, Make-Up Artist Michelle Lacey
A Twisted Fairytale Shoot
and of course thank you to Lomography UK for giving me the opportunity to test the Petzval lens and for featuring my work on their website. Please take a look at all the the featured images and my interview on their blog Phil Jones: Fantasy Art Photography with the Petzval 85 Art Lens
To find out more about the Petzval 85mm Art Lens please take a look at Lomography’s video by clicking here. http://microsites.lomography.