You might be surprised to learn that a lensball has the same optical quality as a professional camera lens. This makes it the perfect addition to your photography gear. A lensball also called a glass ball or glass sphere, is a great prop for professional photographers who want to see things from a different angle. Through the process of refraction, the unique shape of a lensball makes it possible to click amazing photos. With a wide-angle lens, the lensball can inspire a lot of different kinds of creative and trending photography types including landscape, travel, and nature photography.

Using a lensball for photography is not a simple art. But that’s what makes it so special. By practicing and getting good at refraction with your lensball, you will not only impress your photography clients but also yourself. You’ve come to the right place to learn some creative ways to use a lensball for your photographs, whether you already have one or are thinking about getting one.


The perspective of the lensball

Most of the time, the ball will be off-center in the frame and take up about 40% of the photo. The rest of the photo is probably the foreground where the ball is sitting and a blurry background. A macro lens or a lens with a long focal length should be used to take this kind of picture. In this kind of photo, the lensball should be the main subject. Keep reading for instructions on ball placement and what to place inside the ball.


The lens ball as a part of the scene

Putting the background to use is a popular alternative to the photo idea above. For this kind of photo, you will need a wide-angle lens and an professional photography camera lens, so you can get close to the lensball and get a standard landscape shot. In this photo, the lensball is more of a detail, but it is still the main focus of the picture. Think about using repetition in your image, with the background of your photo showing up inside the ball as an upside-down image.

There are a number of ways to make this kind of photo look better:

  • The tunnel: This is a classic in photography, and it also works great with the lensball. Use the point where the tunnel goes on forever and put the ball there in the photo. The photo will then be framed by the tunnel, and it’s likely that the image in the ball won’t be too upside down.



  • Flipping the image: Since the background is a big part of your frame, you might want to use post-processing to flip the image inside the ball.


Come closer

You can also get very close to the ball and take a picture with a macro lens. You will need to look for a good place while scouting out potential photography locations to take this kind of picture. In this photo idea, you will be using the ball more like a lens on the outside of the camera. With the macro lens, you can get close to the ball so that you are only taking a picture of a small part of it. This lets you use the curve of the ball as a line going through your frame while taking a picture of the main subject inside the ball. Even with a smaller aperture, the outside of the ball will be blurry. Considering this, keep the aperture around f/8. This will help you see inside the ball better.


Breaking up the line of the horizon

With this photo idea, the horizon can be split, which is a great way to use the lensball. This works well because of what happens when light bends. It can work like magic if you take photos on a sunny day! If you put the ball along the line of the horizon, the image in the ball will flip along this line. When taking this kind of picture, it’s important to make sure the horizon line is straight. If you mess this up, it’s just as bad as messing up the horizon line on a regular landscape photo. Here are some tips that will help you take this kind of picture.


  • Holding the ball: You can use your hand to hold the ball up to the horizon line. It’s hard to get the exact line of the horizon. Take several pictures until the horizon line inside and outside the ball is lined up the way you want it to be.


  • Minimal landscapes: You have to be able to see the horizon line in order to split it. Look for places along the coast, in the desert, or elsewhere that don’t have anything blocking this line.


  • Use the tripod: Are you used to shooting without a tripod? However in this case you can use a tripod to hold the ball steady on a wall or a rock. Putting the camera on a tripod lets you make sure that the horizon is straight. When you are ready to take the picture, you will know that this won’t move while you are taking it.


Bending the line of the horizon

Since the lensball acts like a fish-eye lens, it can be used in the same way as a fish-eye lens. You can change the shape of the horizon line in the lensball by moving it up or down away from the line. This can be used to make your photo look more interesting. If there is a lot going on in the foreground, you can put more of those things inside the ball. If the sky is very dramatic and you want to show more of that, you can do that too. It would be a great addition to your photographer portfolio! Just move the ball away from the horizon line and watch how the line bends towards the top of the ball and more sky fills the bottom part of the ball.


Distorting your main subject

You can do more than just bend the horizon line with the lensball. Again, think about how a fisheye lens can distort things, and then apply that to the lensball. If you can get close enough to your main subject, you can use the ball to change parts of it. This works well with small subjects, but it won’t work well with big buildings. You can make great use of this distortion when taking portraits. Keep it in mind while preparing your photography timeline for an engagement or a wedding. In this case, the goal is to change a part of the body, like the eyes, to make a more interesting portrait.


Photographing down onto the ball

simple trick is to take a picture of the ball from below. Put the ball on the ground and stand on top of it to take a picture. There won’t be an upside-down image of the ball, but you will see a bigger version of what the ball is sitting on. This method can work well on textured surfaces. For example, a beach with pebbles or sand that isn’t smooth works well. This style of lensball photo could be used by photographers who want to make a series of different lensball photos.


A worm’s eye view

The worm’s eye view is when you take a picture from under the ball and look up. The only way to do this is to hold the ball above your head, or even better, to ask someone else to do it for you. This will mean that a person’s hand will be in the picture, so try to make the most of it in your composition. Last, you will need to find something interesting to shoot.


Here are some photo ideas that work well from this point of view:

  • Tall buildings: When you look straight up, a group of tall buildings closes together and can look like a tunnel. Put the ball at the end of this, and then take a picture.


  • Repetition: You can use the lensball to take a picture of something like a roof made of umbrellas or lanterns that repeat.


  • Dramatic sky: Photos of the sky can be good if the sky is interesting. A strong subject will make this kind of picture more interesting.


Use reflection

In lensball photography, reflection works very well. When you take photos that include reflections, the photos will have a strong composition. Of course, to get the most out of this reflection, you need to find the right angle. In this case, your view will be from as low an angle as possible. But there are times when you can get great photos of reflections without having to get down on all fours. In both of these situations, you can make the reflection stronger by using a circular polarizing filter.


  • Ball on reflection surface: In this case, you will need to get down low, so you will be on the floor. This is a good place for marble floors or a puddle. Your goal is to make the ball look like a reflection in the puddle.


  • Ball in front of the reflection surface: In this case, you will see a large pond-like reflection surface. It’s too big for the ball to fit in, but you can still take a picture of the reflection. The ball needs to be put or held close to the surface that will be used as a mirror. Now, you can see both the reflected image and the real image inside the ball. Both of these images will be reflected, so the one that looks right will be the one that is reflected.


Changing the photographer’s point of view is a great way to be creative and can lead to some really interesting results. When you think of the lensball as an outside lens, it’s a great creative photography tool. When used right, it can make a great set of photos that all have the same theme. So, if you have a lensball, you can try some of the ideas stated above. You can always buy a lensball if you don’t have one!

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