Lens whacking (aka free lensing) is a video technique where an old manual focus lens is used in front of a digital camera body, but not attached. The idea is that you can move the focus and let in light leaks. The beauty of this technique is that you get a really nice old fashioned filmic look to footage without faffing about with a lot of processing and software. Of course, with most current DSLR’s having a live view mode, you can use the technique for stills photography as well.
This was my first attempt. I was happy with it. The first thing I realised is that it isn’t easy. Balancing that lens in front of the camera while trying the different effects was hard enough, but then try and get to the shutter button! (I used a Zuiko 28mm lens in front of an EOS 60D and liked the combo.)
The next day was sunny, so it was out into the back garden. Strangely enough, I found this harder! Still, a nice focus effect.
As a video technique, I really like it. It gives a super 8 kind of look and feel, and I love the effect for photography. Something I shall be playing with more and more over the summer.
A really good link for the technique is on Philip Bloom’s website.