Quick Look at the Sony HVL-F60M Flash with LED Video Lights

Quick Look at the Sony HVL-F60M Flash with LED Video Lights

Sony has started releasing cameras and flashes with hot shoes that abandon the previous proprietary Minolta-style hot shoe which means the Sony HVL-F60 pairs well with the NEX line, the RX line, and the A99. This is also our first flash gun that is suitable for both photographers and videographers thanks to the inclusion of a mini LED panel on the flash head. Pros Versatility. Even if you aren’t a videographer, the LED option is neat. It can replicate small window light and is easy enough for a complete lighting neophyte. Menus are bright and easy to navigate/read. Accepts an off-camera cable and external battery pack. Built-in bounce, high-speed sync option (up to 1/2000th), TTL. Can be optically fired from your camera’s built in flash and the HVL-F60M can, in turn, fire other flashes. Cons No PC sync cable port. It’s kind of huge. The tilting is in clicks of 90º, 60º, 45º, and 30º and not in between. Can’t be used on your older Minolta-style hot shoes unless you have an adapter. Check this compatibility chart for more info. The off-camera cable and external battery pack ports are only compatible with Sony’s FA-CC1AM and FA-EB1AM, respectively. We’d recommend this flash for any Sony user, especially if you have been looking for something powerful for the little NEX or RX cameras. For the video users, the specs on the LED indicate that you can light your subject at about 6′ away on ISO 3200 and f/5.6. Just how WELL it lights your subject at that distance is uncertain and probably up to personal taste/artistic vision. Rent it and tell us...
5 Lies Your Camera Likes to Tell

5 Lies Your Camera Likes to Tell

Think your camera is your best friend? Think again. Heed these 5 warnings from our friends over at SmugMug and better equip yourself with the knowledge needed to walk away with better images! 5 Lies Your Camera Likes to Tell By SmugMug.com, reprinted here with permission. Your camera is a marvel of amazing technology but you still need to use your brain when you shoot. Even if you’re in full Auto mode, don’t assume your camera knows what’s best for you! Here are five common bloopers and how to avoid getting tripped up on your next shoot. Lie #1: It’s exposed. Your camera has several automatic metering modes to help you catch the right amount of light without you needing to whip out the calculator. Are you using the right one? Spot, center-weighted, and multi-zone metering are great for many situations–so be sure you know which one is best for you. For example, you may want to over-expose when shooting in situations like snow to be sure you get that fluffy, clean white stuff you’re used to seeing. No one likes gray snow. Finally, let your artistic creativity be your guide. There’s no shame in flooding your summer portraits with light or even leaving in a bit of flare if you’re going for a sun-soaked, dreamy mood. Similarly, underexposing your shots is your key to super-dramatic clouds, abstract shadows, and gritty street shots. Click here for more info on metering modes and how they affect exposure. Lie #2: It’s in focus. Despite the reassuring “beep-beep!” of your AF system, there’s still a lot that can foil your focus. The most common...
BorrowLenses Education: Featured Photographer Jim Goldstein

BorrowLenses Education: Featured Photographer Jim Goldstein

Technique, knowledge, inspiration – gain it all from seasoned photographers with years of experience and many tips to share with both burgeoning photographers and pros looking to gain a new perspective. Visit our entire collection of interviews, which are full of amazing images and valuable advice. Jim Goldstein is a professional photographer, based out of San Francisco, California, who specializes in outdoor and nature photography. Jim infuses elements of the natural world into his commercial and editorial work to express his passion about nature and the environment. A member of the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), Jim produces the highest quality photography for both commercial clients and fine art photography collectors. BL: What is your photographic specialty and how did you become interested in it? Goldstein: Landscape and outdoor photography has been my primary focus for over 15 years. Since I was a kid I’ve long been interested in sciences such as geology, astronomy, biology, etc. From the time I could read I’ve been avidly studying these areas in books and magazines such as National Geographic, old Time Life books, and even almanacs. I was a bit of a nerd. Later in college I studied these subjects more seriously and began reading Outdoor Photographer and other photography magazines. Between my studies and taking in the inspiring work of Art Wolfe, Galen Rowell, Ansel Adams, and others I knew, I wanted to master the art of photography. BL: How long have you been teaching and/or writing about photography and how would you describe your teaching/writing style? Goldstein: I’ve been writing about photography since 2006 when I launched my blog. I’ve also written for magazines such...
Behind the Scenes of a Saloon Shoot with Photographer Peter Phun

Behind the Scenes of a Saloon Shoot with Photographer Peter Phun

Peter Phun is a freelance photographer in Riverside California. An alumni of Kent State University in photojournalism, he was among the first at his local paper to make the transition from film to digital with zero training. Phun is currently an adjunct instructor of photography at Riverside Community College. Go behind the scenes with Phun and a couple of 1940s-inspired models to discover how you can make the most of  lighting a shoot in a dark and relatively cramped environment. A Few Photo Tips from a 1940s Theme Shoot at Lake Alice Saloon and Eatery reprinted with permission by Peter Phun In a bar, there are surprisingly many, many shiny and reflective surfaces. To help combat this, a softbox is a better choice than an umbrella. The light falls off very dramatically and won’t scatter the way it does in an umbrella. I especially like the Photoflex OctoDome NXT  for this.  To go inside the OctoDome, I rented a Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite from BorrowLenses to help save space. Lighting conditions inside most bars are poor so you may need to use your fastest lens, especially if you are only using flash for accent lighting. I used a 50mm f/1.2 on my  Canon 5D Mark II set to ISO 400. I usually prefer to fire my Speedlites on manual power because I like to have a consistent output. From the ST-E3-RT radio transmitter attached to my camera’s hotshot, I was able to dial in my flash setting without having to walk over to either Speedlite to make changes in power. For this shoot, I chose a 2:1 lighting ratio using just 2 Speedlites. I wanted my back light to put out 1 stop...
BorrowLenses Education: Featured Photographer Neil Creek

BorrowLenses Education: Featured Photographer Neil Creek

Technique, knowledge, inspiration – gain it all from seasoned photographers with years of experience and many tips to share with both burgeoning photographers and pros looking to gain a new perspective. Visit our entire collection of interviews, which are full of amazing images and valuable advice. Neil Creek is a photographer with ten years of experience and a passion for teaching. He has helped tens of thousands of people improve their photography with his eBooks, successful video training courses, photography workshops, and years of photography blogging. As a professional photographer specializing in portrait photography, Neil has picked up lots of ideas, techniques and problems to watch out for that are usually learned the hard way. Neil has a talent for taking difficult-to-understand concepts and making them accessible. BL: What is your photographic specialty and how did you become interested in it? Creek: It’s very difficult for me to pick a single speciality. I love several different kinds of photography and some I have more opportunity to do than others. For example, I do a lot of professional portrait photography but I also really love landscape and night sky photography even though I don’t get as many opportunities to do those. I think that my passion for a subject, and the opportunities to follow those passions, ebb and flow over the years. At any particular time I focus most on my greatest passion and, at the moment, that’s dramatic portraits that tell a story. BL: How long have you been teaching and/or writing about photography and how would you describe your teaching/writing style? Creek: I suppose I have been teaching photography for as long as...