Friday, June 14, 2013

Watermelon Banana Smoothie... seeing things in a new way with Lensbaby.

Watermelon Banana Smoothie #Lensbaby
Nothing says summer quite like a platter filled with sweet, juicy watermelon.  Whether it be cut into easy to eat triangles or chopped into a fruit salad, I see watermelon as something to take a bite of.   The crispness, as well as an occasional dribble of juice down the chin, brings happy memories and thoughts of fun in the sun.

With two watermelons on my counter though, I've been researching uses other than the usual slice and eat, and found recipes for smoothies popping up time and again.  Ready to experiment, we mixed Liv's favorite fruit - banana - along with  mango and a yogurt in the blender.  What resulted was a smoothie worthy of gushing, and I'm beginning to see watermelon in a new way...

Seeing things in a new way isn't always easy for me, a self proclaimed creature of habit, and often takes me a little time to adjust.  Such is the case with photography.  I've always been a straight forward, tack sharp sort of photo girl, but some of those more artistic shots, you know, the ones... those with blurred edges and off center focus, always have me wishing I could master that skill.  Now I can.

Watermelon Banana Smoothie

Partnering with the amazing people at Lensbaby, I've been "playing" with the Lensbaby Composer Pro in combination with a set of macro converters for about a month.  Have you heard of Lensbaby?  I'm ready to gush!

Receiving the lens a few weeks ago, I do admit to experiencing a bit of a learning curve, or more accurately, a slowness on my part to see things in a new way.  I usually shoot in manual, but I do use the auto focus feature on my camera (Canon 60D), and as such I experienced a bit of difficulty figuring out the manual "sweet spot" in my shots.  Practice, though, soon had me bringing home incredible shots that a month ago I would never have pictured myself taking.

Carlsbad State Beach | Lensbaby Composer Pro

Rose Bud | Lensbaby Composer Pro with Macro Converter

Watermelon Vinaigrette
Watermelon Vinaigrette
Adding the Macro Converters to the Composer Pro only served to grow my excitement.  A macro girl at heart, the ability to get almost right up to my subject has me beyond ecstatic and my library now includes individual grains of quinoa, flower stamens, and a nice close-up shot of Liv's eye.

Nevertheless, it's the mid-level macro converter bringing the Composer Pro close to, but not on top of my subject (a 16mm converter which lets you focus from 2.25" - 6") that has positively won my heart.  Perfect for food photography... I'm starting to see things in a new way, and I'm also beginning to wonder how I shot so long without this impressive lens.

Photo courtesy of Lensbaby
What is the Lensbaby Composer Pro?  It's a "tilting" lens that lets you bring an artistic flair to your photos and is best summed up by DPReview's description of, "The basic principle is to utilise optically simple lenses which are deliberately uncorrected for many aberrations, and therefore produce a sharp zone of focus (or 'sweet spot') in the center of the image field with ever-increasing blur outside it. This is combined with a flexible barrel, such that the lens can be tilted and the sweet spot moved around the frame, to focus on off-center subjects. The size of the sweet spot can be increased by using a smaller aperture."

A different concept from the usual camera lens, you will find yourself reaching for the Lensbaby time and again and bringing home shots that will most definitely make you smile.

Carlsbad State Beach
I've had so much fun with this new (lens) baby of mine that it has become my near constant companion.  We've walked the beach together, attended school functions, completed Dance Mom duties and simply spent time shooting around the back yard where flowers don't much mind staying still for multiple shots.  I'm enamored with the creativeness it's brought to my food photography seeming to sometimes bring a completely different mood to the scene.

I find myself setting up my food shots just as before, and shooting with my usual 60 mm lens (an old favorite).  Receiving nicely balanced shots with the crispness that used to make my heart give a little leap is now leaving me just a touch bored, and before I know it I'm reaching for the Lensbaby and shooting off center without total focus.  I'm see things in a new way.

Watermelon Banana Smoothie
Old style crisp shot...
Liv, helping me with this Watermelon Smoothie shoot, took matters into her own hands as we set the scene.  Hearing me ramble on about "seeing things in a new way", I turned my back only for a moment.  In no time, our healthy, no sugar added smoothie somehow received a dollop of whipped cream without my request (Not something we usually put on smoothies...).  But my girl simply smiled and repeated the words, "See?  You're just seeing things in a new way!  It's all good...".  And it was.

Thanks Lensbaby...

Watermelon Banana Smoothie

Watermelon Banana Smoothie
Pureed juicy watermelon becomes the "juice" to this thick, almost milkshake-like smoothie.  The frozen banana adds not only fabulous flavor, but a wonderful creaminess that has you thinking "dessert".

1 cup chopped watermelon
1 frozen banana, chopped into chunks
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 container low-fat vanilla yogurt

Place all ingredients into the blender and puree until smooth.  If smoothie is too thin, add a few additional frozen mango or banana chunks, if too thick, add a few more chunks of juicy watermelon or a few tablespoons of water.

Liv Life received a Lensbaby Composer Pro and Macro Converter Kit from Lensbaby.  All thoughts, photos and opinions, however, are wholly my own.

I simply can't get enough of this lens and give my wholehearted recommendation for the quality of the lens, support of the Lensbaby staff and amazing ability to create stunningly artistic photos... stay tuned for our Lensbaby shots in future posts.  This Lensbaby is here to stay.


  1. Since I take all my photos with my iPad, I can't really comment on the lens. I think your photos have always been incredible. :)

    The smoothies looks delicious. Your daughter and puppy are adorable. The flowers are gorgeous. Sheesh, stop being so perfect already. :D

  2. I LOVE Liv's sense of humour, Kim - just as I love the idea of making a watermelon smoothie. My Lucie needs to make this! As for your new photos with the lens, wow! But then, I've said that before with the way how you saw things before, too.

  3. Hee heee Liv! She is my kind of gal ;)

  4. Looks more than good. I have been trying to think outside the box more lately, too. It is hard. Photos look wonderful, as does the smoothly.

  5. Gorgeous shots, Kim! I love seeing your approach to shooting food with this, usually you just see florals, etc.! So fun to see samples in another category of subject. Can't wait to see what more you do with it!

  6. beautiful pictures and,interesting smoothies recipe ,never thought banana with water melon together

  7. Wow, I didn't think your photos needed any improvement, but these look incredible! And your smoothie (with Liv's help) looks darned tasty :)

  8. This smoothie sounds so interesting! I don't think I've ever had a watermelon smoothie before! YUM

  9. Oh my, I love love love these photos!!! I need to read up on this lensbaby...I've never heard of it. Thanks for the introduction, Kim!

  10. Very interesting, beautiful shots! I love the one of the beach with the sun shining through....


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