Join Ben Long for an in-depth discussion in this video Roadmap of the course, part of Foundations of Photography: Specialty Lenses.
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So I'm here up above beautiful San Francisco. If you've watched the Night and Low Light course, then you might recognize this location, this is Tank Hill up above the Ashbury Heights area of the Haight-Ashbury District in San Francisco. We were here in January shooting late at night, and it was just freezing cold. We're here now in the late afternoon in October, and it's warmed up to merely icy. The fog has pulled out, though, it's very clear. We still get this 400-mile-per-hour wind that we're dealing with, which is a bit of an issue, but we've got some really cool lenses that we brought with us that we're going to be taking around town and shooting with in a lot of different ways.
We're going to be going to the Golden Gate Bridge to a new Visitor's Center where we'll face the problem of trying to shoot one of the most photographed locations in the world. We'll be heading downtown to a rooftop garden where we'll try to capture some of San Francisco's urban ambiance using a few different lenses. A couple of friends of mine are putting on a house concert at their place in the mission, so we'll be going over there one evening to shoot that event. And while I'm expecting the performances to be great, they are not necessarily going to be that visually interesting, I think, so I'm going to spice things up with some special lenses.
San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers and Golden Gate Park is another heavily photographed location, but it also houses an amazing botanical collection, so we'll be packing up our macro lenses and heading in that direction. And finally, we'll be doing some time on Alcatraz, and if you've ever taken a tour of Alcatraz, then this location should be especially interesting to you because we've been given access to some places that aren't on the normal tour. Now, while all of these are really cool places, we are not organizing this course around the locations. Instead, we've organized it around individual lenses.
So, for example, if you want to know about fisheye lenses, there's a single section that covers that lens, but you might see me in several different locations during those movies. I also want to point out that I'm carrying a pretty deep bag of lenses to all of these places, and that's very often how it is with these types of specialty lenses. And there might sometimes be occasions when you know that a particular lens is going to be ideal for the specific location you're shooting in, but most of the time you'll be working in a more exploratory experimental mind set. So I'll be taking an assortment of lenses into each location experimenting with each one there and trying to find the ones that work for that particular shooting situation.
So that's my next step, I'm going to pack all those lenses into a bag and get ready for our first shoot.
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.