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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.
That 100-millimeter macro lens that you saw me using in the last movie, the one on the front of my SLR, will run you about a thousand bucks. You're not going to get into a good macro lens inexpensively. But there's another option, and that's the point-and-shoot. Now, this may sound strange, but this is actually a really viable option for extreme up-close macro photography. I have here a Sony Cyber Shot DSC RX100, a point-and-shoot camera that I really, really like. And it's got that thing that I want for macro shooting, which is a very small minimum focusing distance.
I can really get in here close on something. I mean, look at this. I'm just a few centimeters here, and I can get in really tight and get some nice stuff. I think I can probably even get in a little bit closer than that and still achieve focus. Some other advantages to shooting this way, I'm shooting this flower that's up above my head. I wouldn't be able to get up there through the viewfinder, but of course, I've always got Live View back here. I have also got the ability to shoot video. I can do video macro stuff with it. This camera will run you about $500 to $600, so it's almost half the price of a good macro lens.
It's small, so it doesn't take up any more space. Actually, it doesn't take up as much space in your camera bag as a macro lens. So you can keep your kit small and have a really versatile camera that makes the shooting of not just macro but some other stuff a little bit easier than working with an SLR. So it's kind of nice to have a quality point-and-shoot around anyway. So if you've already got a point and shoot, look into its macro capability. It might be a good way to practice. Get your hands on some macro subject matter and see if you like it. You're going to run into the same issues of depth of field so you're going to want a point-and-shoot camera that has aperture control.
And of course you're going to be spending a lot of your time focusing simply by moving in and out. It's a great way to get into macro shooting. It's also possibly a better way to go for you, even if you have an SLR, than investing in an expensive dedicated macro lens.
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