So I have been messing around with the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 II Tilt-Shift for the last day and this afternoon I wanted to try it out in a way it probably wasn’t really meant to be used: as a portrait lens.

I’m having some really mixed feelings about it, but I’m liking it more and more and will probably keep it this time around. It is not user friendly and you have to constantly be thinking about what it is you want to do, where you want you DOF to intersect with your subject, dialing the focus in, etc. In fact, I am not even sure 99% of photographers would want to own this lens, but if you are feeling the urge, go rent it for a week. Without question, the most difficult lens to understand that I have encountered.

It also takes some time to set up, not recommended for a “quick portrait shoot” but definitely cool for getting an absolutely unique look. I also wanted to combine the shots with Michael Andrew Paintballer Pro Presets and see what we could cook up.

Neli, our Russian Model from the Canon Speedlite Crash Course DVD was on hand to help out. I like speaking with her in Russian and making up new Russian words, such as “Davaicheek” meaning “to hurry up” only in a small informal way. Probably means nothing.

These are my favorites of the day:The DOF is on the right side of the image. Note the left side of the frame, especially Neli’s feet. Processed with Michael Andrew Paintballer – A1 Starter Here the DOF is running from Neli’s head, down to the sand on our left side. I was trying to line it up with her feet- not easy, but I am getting a little better with it. It is extremely hard to see where the DOF line is traveling until you take a picture and zoom in.

Processed with Paintballer – Pseudo Sun. That sun flare is real- I just popped it a little with Michael Andrew Lollipop Action Set! – Orange PeelThis image gave me a weird idea: I bet there is a cool way to do a “blurry portrait”. Maybe not so much with everything blurry, but just the subject. You could do this with a normal lens, but I bet there is an interesting way to tweak it with the tilt shift. This is another thing I really like about it, it is helping me to think about photography in a different way. The above image was processed with MA Paintballer Pro – Time Warp Note the distortion in Neli’s “longer than usual” legs. Check out the distortion in Neli’s fingers on the rock, the TS lens distorted them in such a way that they appears much longer than they really are. I mean, could you imagine getting slapped across the face with a hand bigger than your own head? On the other side however, the distortion was in favor of slightly longer legs. I am wondering how else it can be used for more flattering shots? Processed with MA Paintballer Pro – Viper

I am looking forward to taking it out more and really trying to figure out how else it can be used for portraits. I am also much more curious about Canon’s other TS lenses.