Freelensing is the art of detaching the lens from the camera and focusing by moving the lens left to right, up and down, etc. in order to get a blurry/dreamy look. About 90% of my photography is freelensed.
Warning: Freelensing is dangerous to your camera body. It allows dust in, which can get on your sensor. You also have to worry about dirtying your lens, and possibly dropping it. Freelens at your own risk.
Thinking about giving it a try? Here are some tips:
1. Set your aperture as wide as it will go (on the lens). Nikon users, if you do not have an aperture ring, you will have to rig your lens with a piece of paper or something similar to keep your aperture open.
2. Set your lens to infinity focusing.
3. Set your camera to manual.
4. Some say you have to turn your camera off before you detach/re-attach your lens. I do not do this and nothing has gone wrong, but do as I say and not as I do. Better to be on the safe side.
5. Move your lens left to right and up and down until your subject is in focus.
Want to get the same tilt-shift effect but without the danger? Try a lensbaby. The results aren’t quite the same, but your camera will thank you.
Here is a video I made to show what it looks like through the viewfinder when you are freelensing.