Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses
Illustration by Petra Stefankova

Using a two-lens strategy


From:

Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses

with Ben Long

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Video: Using a two-lens strategy

I've wandered into an ancient boiler room on Alcatraz. Okay, maybe ancient is a little strong, but it's really old. And it's an extraordinary space. There's a gigantic rusty boiler behind me. There's cool pipes going everywhere. The place is just nothing but texture, truly from floor to ceiling. And it's a nicely lit room. There's some artificial lighting, but there's also beautiful light coming in through the windows. It's a great place to shoot, and it's just immediately confusing. Because, though it's a slightly small enclosed space, it's still big. It's really tall.
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  1. 4m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 46s
    2. Roadmap of the course
      2m 24s
  2. 3m 53s
    1. Words about focal length
      2m 6s
    2. Understanding camera position
      1m 47s
  3. 39m 19s
    1. What filters are for
      2m 37s
    2. Shopping for filters
      3m 55s
    3. Understanding neutral density filters
      4m 53s
    4. Applying neutral density filters
      3m 55s
    5. Polarizing filters
      3m 4s
    6. Some shooting tips for working with a polarizing filter
      2m 32s
    7. Using infrared filters
      9m 15s
    8. Processing the infrared image
      6m 7s
    9. Handling stuck filters
      3m 1s
  4. 38m 37s
    1. Working with ultra-wide lenses
      7m 19s
    2. Using a wide-angle lens
      4m 43s
    3. Understanding fisheye lenses
      4m 2s
    4. Working with fisheye lenses
      3m 59s
    5. Understanding fisheye exposure
      3m 3s
    6. Taking fisheye further
      4m 16s
    7. Processing fisheye and wide-angle images
      7m 38s
    8. Correcting tone in fisheye images
      3m 37s
  5. 35m 37s
    1. Understanding super telephoto
      6m 21s
    2. Shooting distant subjects
      8m 26s
    3. Compressing the sense of depth
      7m 53s
    4. Working with shallow depth of field
      5m 35s
    5. Working with teleconverters
      2m 38s
    6. Editing telephoto images
      4m 44s
  6. 16m 47s
    1. Understanding macro basics
      2m 47s
    2. Shooting close
      4m 52s
    3. Shooting macro
      5m 20s
    4. Working with a point-and-shoot for macro
      1m 58s
    5. Using a two-lens strategy
      1m 50s
  7. 16m 39s
    1. Understanding tilt shift
      3m 37s
    2. Correcting perspective
      4m 29s
    3. Creating the toy effect
      4m 41s
    4. Deepening depth of field
      3m 52s
  8. 32m 39s
    1. Working with specialty lenses
      2m 43s
    2. Using the Lensbaby
      9m 13s
    3. Working with the Lensbaby Macro attachment
      3m 50s
    4. Shooting with a Holga attachment
      3m 4s
    5. Using an alternative mount lens
      2m 18s
    6. Using super-fast lenses
      1m 47s
    7. Correcting Lensbaby images
      9m 44s
  9. 39m 48s
    1. Correcting perspective
      10m 41s
    2. Creating the toy effect
      6m 31s
    3. Getting the lo-fi Holga look
      11m 17s
    4. Reproducing the effect of a Lensbaby
      8m 17s
    5. Cropping and enlarging images
      3m 2s
  10. 2m 47s
    1. Choosing whether to borrow or buy
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      47s

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Watch the Online Video Course Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses
3h 50m Intermediate Dec 17, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join photographer, author, and teacher Ben Long on location in San Francisco as he explores the creative options provided by the kinds of lenses and lens accessories that don't always make it into most camera bags.

The course begins with a look at several common and inexpensive lens attachments, from polarizers to neutral density filters. The course then explores ultra-wide angle and fisheye lenses as well as ultra-long telephoto and macro lenses. The course concludes with a look at tilt-shift lenses, which are useful for architectural photography and special effects, and at offbeat lenses, such as Lensbaby and Holga attachments.

The course also contains Photoshop postproduction advice and examples that illustrate the creative possibilities that an expanded lens collection provides. And because some specialty lenses are extremely expensive, the course also contains advice on renting gear.

Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Ben Long

Using a two-lens strategy

I've wandered into an ancient boiler room on Alcatraz. Okay, maybe ancient is a little strong, but it's really old. And it's an extraordinary space. There's a gigantic rusty boiler behind me. There's cool pipes going everywhere. The place is just nothing but texture, truly from floor to ceiling. And it's a nicely lit room. There's some artificial lighting, but there's also beautiful light coming in through the windows. It's a great place to shoot, and it's just immediately confusing. Because, though it's a slightly small enclosed space, it's still big. It's really tall.

And I walk in and the first thing I do is go, wow, look at all this. I want it all. And so, I put my 16-35 on. I was trying to shoot, and I wasn't really getting anywhere because it didn't fit. So in these situations where you feel like I can't fit this space that I want to shoot into my frame, I'm going to recommend a two-lens strategy. Get your fisheye lens and shoot some with that, shoot the space. Don't just shoot single frames. Shoot panoramas of the space. Really do try to make an effort to get the entire field of view into your frame.

I may or may not work, but with the fisheye, you really got a good tool for making a go at it. Then take the fisheye off and go to the other extreme. Put your macro on and shoot detail. Shoot the rivets, shoot the switches, shoot little patches of rust to get all that fine detail that does not necessarily convey a sense of the space, but gives you a sense of the age and the decay that is in here, because that's a big part of what's really compelling. You may not find that with either lens there's a single shot that really captures this place, but if you work with both, you can maybe put together a series of a few images that work together to create an essay about this space, and give the viewer a better eye of what it's about, both at the large scale and with the fine details.

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