While I was in New York I made the pilgrimage to B&H Photo. The first time I went it was pretty overwhelming because of the sheer size and the number of people, plus I really didn't have anything in particular in mind to check out.
Later on, I made another trip when I had some things in mind to purchase. One of the things I really wanted to try was a Lensbaby. I'd been really interested with the soft-focus optic and I had something in mind for a shoot for my project that I thought would work really well for it. I picked it up as well as a couple of other useful toys, like a Wacom tablet, which I'm still not using nearly as much as I should but am really enjoying when I do.
When I read through the soft-focus optic's instructions I noticed it said that it didn't work well in high contrast situations. I'd been doing a lot of night shooting in New York so I of course promptly ignored this advice and took it out on the streets of midtown Manhattan at night. What I got from that shoot were some really wild results where every light source revealed the aperture pattern used in the optic in a very strange and distorted way. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't.
Armed with this strange effect I instantly thought this could really shine at Times Square and I planned to head out to put it to use there. Ultimately though, I didn't get much during that shoot that I was all that happy with. The above image is the best of the bunch from Times Square but I'm still not thrilled with it.
But, I did keep shooting with the Lensbaby on the rest of the way back to my apartment and I definitely got some better results near the Rockefeller Centre and on Lexington Ave. It's definitely a stylized look but it can be a little fun and it's definitely not your typical night shoot.