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Foundations of Photography: Lenses
Illustration by Petra Stefankova

Foundations of Photography: Lenses

with Ben Long

Video: Welcome

With digital cameras, it's easy to get hung up on the idea that megapixels equals image quality. And sure you need a certain pixel count to go to a reasonable amount of detail. But on today's cameras with their huge quantities of pixels, the caliber of the lens you have has as much to do with image quality as the number of pixels that you have. The lens you choose determines everything, from the field of view and magnification in your shot, to how sharply focused it can be, to how faster shutter speed you can use, and how shallow your depth of field can be.

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Foundations of Photography: Lenses
2h 32m Beginner Feb 11, 2011

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Many of the creative options available to a photographer hinge on an in-depth understanding of lenses. In Foundations of Photography: Lenses, Ben Long shows how to choose lenses and take full advantage of their creative options. The course covers fundamental concepts that apply to any camera, such as focal length and camera position, and shows how to evaluate and shop for DSLR lenses. The second half of the course focuses on shooting techniques: controlling autofocus, working with different focal lengths, and managing distortion and flare. The course also examines various filters and contains tips on cleaning and maintaining lenses.

Topics include:
  • Understanding field of view and camera position
  • Depth of field and lens choice
  • How to choose a lens
  • Examining lens features
  • Using specialized lenses such as fisheye and tilt/shift lenses
  • Focusing techniques
  • Using filters
  • Camera maintenance
Subjects:
Photography Cameras + Gear Photography Foundations
Author:
Ben Long

Welcome

With digital cameras, it's easy to get hung up on the idea that megapixels equals image quality. And sure you need a certain pixel count to go to a reasonable amount of detail. But on today's cameras with their huge quantities of pixels, the caliber of the lens you have has as much to do with image quality as the number of pixels that you have. The lens you choose determines everything, from the field of view and magnification in your shot, to how sharply focused it can be, to how faster shutter speed you can use, and how shallow your depth of field can be.

In other words another words understanding your lens is critical to taking good photos, and that's why we've dedicated an entire course to lenses. Our study begins with focal length, wherein you will see that while your zoom lens may be a great convenience, it's also an easy way to dramatically alter an image without even realizing it. From there, we'll move on to choosing a lens. We will study some advanced auto-focus concepts. We will explore the vagaries of telephoto and wide-angle lenses. Look at filters. Or look through filters. And finally, we'll talk about maintenance.

Again, while this may seem like a gear-centric course, remember that photography is an inherently technical medium. To achieve your artistic ends, you have to understand your gear and the craft that is required to use it well. We will be studying both the art and craft of photography throughout this course.

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