Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses

with Ben Long
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Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses
Video duration: 0s 3h 50m Intermediate


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.



- There are a lot of decisions that go into the making of a photograph, how to compose, how to expose, how to process the final result, but one of the most critical decisions that you'll face at any scene is lens choice. Your lens choice will impact where you position your camera, what you can include in your composition, and your lens choice will heavily impact your exposure options. Lens choice can also dramatically alter the spatial relationships of different objects within your scene. In this course, we're going to look at a number of specialty lenses, as well as some lens attachments that can modify how your regular lenses work.

In general, these specialty lenses fall into two categories, lenses designed for a very specific shooting task, and lenses that simply have characteristics that are very different from the regular types of lenses that you might normally use. With lenses like these, you can see the world in a very different way. Specialty lenses can give you a new take on old subject matter. They can add energy to otherwise static scenes or add atmosphere to an image. Most importantly, those specialty lenses often open up new subject matter, things that wouldn't be interesting when shot with more traditional lenses or sometimes fascinating when you shoot them with a specialty lens.

With the lenses we're going to look at here, you're not only getting new ways to shoot familiar objects, you'll likely find new subjects that you've never shot before. Now, not all of these lenses will appeal to everyone, but they are all worth considering. So in addition to showing you what they can do, I'm going to also offer lots of specific tips on how to get the best results with each of these lenses. By the end of this course, you'll have a much better idea of how specialty lenses can give you new shooting options, and how they can help you solve your photographic decisions in new ways.

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