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Working with specialty lenses


From:

Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses

with Ben Long

Video: Working with specialty lenses

So far in this course, we've been looking at lenses that are really just more extreme versions of the type of lens you use every day. So some of them go more telephoto than what you're probably used to, maybe a lot more. Some of them go more wide angle than what you're probably used to--again, maybe a lot more. But for the most part they really just offered exaggerated versions of the type of lens that you work with all the time. In this chapter, that's all going to change. We're going to go really far field here and look at some radically different types of lenses. Lensbabies, Holgas, and the other things we're going to look at in this chapter offer radically different image-making possibilities from any kind of lens that you might have worked with so far.
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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

Working with specialty lenses

So far in this course, we've been looking at lenses that are really just more extreme versions of the type of lens you use every day. So some of them go more telephoto than what you're probably used to, maybe a lot more. Some of them go more wide angle than what you're probably used to--again, maybe a lot more. But for the most part they really just offered exaggerated versions of the type of lens that you work with all the time. In this chapter, that's all going to change. We're going to go really far field here and look at some radically different types of lenses. Lensbabies, Holgas, and the other things we're going to look at in this chapter offer radically different image-making possibilities from any kind of lens that you might have worked with so far.

These lenses take great liberty with focus. Sometimes they've got full-on optical problems. They might mess up color. They might have light leaks, which might lead you to think, why would I take a lousy lens that has known problems and stick it on my expensive camera? The answer to that goes back to the idea of abstraction. These lenses help you create images that are far more abstract than any kind of normal lens that you might work with, and with abstraction comes, sometimes, a stronger pull on the viewer.

As an image gets more abstract, the viewer has to do more work to make sense of it, and that extra bit of work often helps bring them into the image, or helps make it more personal for them, and that's really the power of these lenses. Also, a lot of these images create a look that feels like an aged photograph or like it was shot with a toy camera of some kind, and that part of the visual vocabulary carries a lot of meaning of its own. People have a very particular emotional response to an image that feels more antique, or feels atmospheric because it looks aged.

And so that's some power you have when you're making your image-making choices, whether you want to play with those vocabulary elements and put those types of effects into the image to play on those particular emotions. Finally, almost all of these attachments we're going to look at are very cheap, and by that I mean inexpensive. And so, if you're looking for a way to break out of what you're used to shooting or if you're looking for a way of adding a distinctive look to something that you shoot very regularly, this is a very affordable way of doing this. Most of the things we're going to look at here in this chapter are replicable in digital effects, and we'll be looking at that later.

The advantage of doing it with an actual lens is that there's a random element to your shooting, and a lot of people really like that. You don't quite know what you're going to get when you take the image home, and that's sometimes a nice antidote to the digital perfection that we're used to working with where we have our histograms and everything else to let us know exactly what we're capturing. So that's another way of kind of breaking out of your normal shooting habits: get one of these lenses and throw a little more randomization into your shooting life.

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