san jose orchards

Don’t be a copycat! BE YOU!

I’m so excited for February. Starting tomorrow, my website as well as Facebook page will be filled up with YELLOW. Well, I’ll try to  mix it up with new recipes for Cinnamon Rolls, just to add some variety 😉

Yesterday, my older daughter had Day off school so we went around the corner to our local orchards to play, dance, catch ladybugs and what’s most important for this mama, test and practice shooting with my new lens.

This vintage, Russian beauty was made in 70ties, and it’s quite the weight. I’m still deciding if I like it better then the 58mm. There are pros and cons to both.

Both lenses are the same brand, and are not in production anymore. Also, they are strictly manual. To make them work on my DSLR I have to work with adapters. The 58mm looses its ability to focus on infinity when the adapter is used, so I have to use a different adapter to be able to take pictures of a subject that’s more then 6 or 7 feet away from me. While I do so, the lens stops producing the amazing bokeh I love it for, essentially. So, the only option for me is to work it with the first adapter and take close up portraits only (here is a session I did using that lens). Which is fine with me, because right now I have the 85mm and this beauty can work from far away. The downsize of it, well, it’s pretty heavy, and while trying to manually focus on dancing kids, and at the same time having to hold the weight of my camera + this lens, ugh… As they say, YOU CAN’T HAVE IT ALL.


For me those lenses are one of the most amazing lenses ever produced. I’m on a hunt for 2 more, different brands, but they can wait. These days I’m patiently waiting for a package containing something “oh and ah”, also from Ukraine.

Most of the photographs presented in this post are barely edited. I’m not kidding. A few are straight from the camera, with the watermark added on them, only.

They were shot at 1.5 or 2 aperture, so pretty wide open, in full blast sun. I think, this lens is a piece of art, and I can honestly admit, that Russians knew what they are doing while creating those lenses.

Mustard Fields in San Jose

Mustard Fields in San Jose

Mustard Fields in San Jose






While I’m pretty comfortable with shooting the 58mm, I still need to figure out the 85mm. I’m also not thrilled with the lens flare this lens produces. The 58mm is magical: when you turn it into the sun, it make the most beautiful and magical flare. The picture below is an example. The flare here is small, but still, beautiful.


The 85mm takes more adjusting to make the flare nice, and require more gymnastics from the person behind the camera. And still, most of the time, the picture is not usable without a major PS editing skills. Which in my dictionary means “you are going to the trash, bye bye”.




Most of the time it makes a big orange/red spot on the picture, pretty hard not to notice. Especially if it’s in the middle of the subject’s head.

shooting with helios

Anyway, my message to everybody is to do what their little hearts desire instead doing what everybody else is doing. While other people run for their dear life to produce the most sharp and clear pictures using the most newer cameras and lenses, I simply go the other way. I went back to year 2000, and connected with a lens that I loved dearly when I was in high school and college. Discovering that I can use it on my DSLR was like a rebirth of Pheonix. Just watch my rise! 😉 LOL







Don't be a copycat! BE YOU!

Don't be a copycat! BE YOU!

There is no right or wrong way to do things. Especially in photography. So many people simply forget that photography could (SHOULD) be an art. While there is so much anger and competition, and frustration among photographers, we can make a conscious decision to not be a part of it.

Photography used to be about HOW THE PHOTOGRAPHER SEE the world. Today, it has change into, HOW ONE PHOTOGRAPHER SEE THE WORLD, and the rest follow, with the same style of editing, the same equipment, the same ideas for clients wardrobe and posing…

Don’t be a Copycat. Be YOU!


P.S Do you have any unique things you like to do or use in life?

Leave a comment or like my page on Facebook. 

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Orchards Photo Session {Family Photographer, San Jose, CA}

Hi there!

What an amazing time of the year we have here in California. I encourage you to get out there and enjoy as much of the fresh air as you can. Let the kids scream from the bottom of their lungs! Let them get so dirty that you have to undress them first before you let them enter the car. Seriously I have not seen my kids so happy and full of life in a long time. The moment I told them they can play around the mud, their faces bloomed like the flowers surrounding us. I almost lost one of my lenses due to a flying rock, but oh well, we do way more silly stuff in order to get a good shot in our profession.

Lets be silly together this year. Lets get into interesting places. Lets read new kinds of books. Lets travel a little further… Lets be more! I like this plan… .

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If you would like to get those amazing portraits of you and your family in the ocean of yellow and green, shoot me an email. The sooner the better. Those fields won’t last for much longer!



If you’d like to schedule a session with me, please email to ewasamples(at) 
Also, feel free to subscribe to my newsletter and in return get on an exclusive list of mini-sessions, and model calls. 

Hope to hear from you soon, 
Ewa, your family photographer