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I’m working on a piece on tilt-shift lenses for our blog and I wanted to get some shots of the historic forts in the Marin Headlands at sunrise. So, I hauled my carcass out of bed at 4:30am and made it to the headlands shortly before sunrise.

Turns out, it was one of those beautiful days where the upper reaches of Conzelman road, which overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco, was right above the marine layer. So I pulled over to shoot a bit from there, and guess who I ran into?

BorrowLenses.com Marketing VP Jim Goldstein

BorrowLenses.com Marketing VP Jim Goldstein

Our Marketing VP, Jim Goldstein, was out in force, shooting time-lapse videos with two bodies, a dolly, and other miscellaneous gear. This was my first time up there this early (I tend to shoot a lot in the evenings, when I don’t have to ingest large amounts of caffeine to keep my eyes open), and apparently, I had the luck of the beginner, as Jim said it could take as many as ten tries to get the atmospheric conditions we had that morning.

Jim, for those of you who aren’t familiar with him, is a professional photographer himself (that’s kind of a running theme with BorrowLenses.com hires – we’re all either pro or avid amateur photographers). You can find out more about him on his blog, http://www.jmg-galleries.com/blog/, or you can follow him on Twitter (@jimgoldstein) or on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/+JimGoldstein/

Jim also has an excellent eBook out now called Inspired Exposure, which tackles an element of photography we often don’t think about as still shooters: time. From Light Painting and Star Trails photography to time-lapses and cinemagraphs, this is the book to help you learn all of it.

As for me, I used the opportunity to take a few shots around the area before heading deeper into the headlands, shooting with the combo you see below. That’s a Schneider-Kreuznach PC Tilt-Shift Super-Angulon 50mm f/2.8 Lens For Canon

Schneider 50mm on a Canon 5D Mark III

Schneider 50mm on a Canon 5D Mark III

The article on using tilt-shift lenses will be a two-parter, the first of which will deal with using the “shift” functionality of these perspective-control lenses to shoot things like architecture without running into the issue of distorted, converging lines. The second will cover the “tilt” functionality, which can produce images of deep or shallow focus (the latter being the effect many people associate with these lenses). I’ll also talk specifically about the Schneider lenses, which have been boggling my mind lately.

We’re always hard at work to come up with cool stuff to talk to you about on our blog. Sometimes, we wake up and make it to a location like the Headlands to find everything fogged in and nothing worth seeing. And sometimes, we get conditions like these…

Dawn from the Headlands.

Dawn from the Headlands.

And that’s what makes waking up and hauling butt out there all worthwhile. We’re glad to do what we do, and we’re honored you take the time to come by here and give us the opportunity to inform you and participate in a dialogue with you.

As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

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Sohail Mamdani is a writer and photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. You can find his portfolio on his website at sohail.me as well as on 500px and Flickr.

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