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Posts by: BL Cambot is now on Pinterest

BL News Cool Stuff

Follow on Pinterest.  We have boards that will inspire you, help you learn, choose the right tools, and view/order the latest gear! Whether you are new to photography, or are interested in video, we’ve curated amazing resources for you to view and share.

Follow on Pinterest

Follow on Pinterest

In the near future we will be inviting you to feature your best work on Pinterest. Check in for more details here and on our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages for invitations to share your best photos & videos.

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Adobe CS6 and Lightroom 4 bogging down your computer?

Tips & Tricks

If you’re a photographer, chances are that you spend a lot of computer time ploughing through the Adobe Creative Suite and Lightroom. Chances also are that you’ve also spent a fair amount of time tearing at your hair as you wait for that filter, or that export, or some other function to wrap up.

What you may not know is that it might not be Photoshop or Lightroom that’s slowing your computer up. Here are a few tricks to help speed things up for you.

1. Close those browser windows and tabs. Do you really need to be checking your Facebook and Twitter feeds while editing photos and videos? Didn’t think so! We have all fallen victim to the Social Media gods, but a little resistance from a “hashtag” here and a “like” there will help you focus on whats important: color splashing and adding a vignette to all your photos!

You probably never noticed, but multi-tabbed browser windows eat up a lot of system memory. The photo above is a screenshot of my computers activity. More than 1GB allocated to internet browsing! If your computer is running 8GB of ram or less, then you should close those tabs and allocate as much memory to your editing software as much as possible.

2. Add more Ram. This is probably the cheapest and single most efficient way to speed up your computer. You’ll not only see a significant decrease in render time, but you’ll see the overall performance of your computer get a boost. If you own an i7 MacBook Pro or a PC equivalent, you should be able add up to 16gb of ram into your system. I did it to my MacBook Pro. It’s not even the top of the line model, but it was still able to pop in 16gb of ram without a hitch. Ram prices are at an all-time low, I picked up 16gb for less than $150 from Amazon.

3. Upgrade to an SSD (Solid State) Hard Drive. Although SSDs have gone down in price, they are still a good ways away from being cost-competitive with traditional spindle hard drives. With that said, they do provide significant performance gains. Computers will boot noticeably faster, will come out of sleep almost instantly, and will read and write files with greater speed.

How many times have you tried to open up a multi-layered .psd and found yourself staring at the screen, waiting for that status bar to reach its end? Check out the example below. A 128gb SSD was installed on this PC and scored the highest possible score, 7.9, on Windows Performance scales.

One draw back though, is that you won’t have nearly as much storage space to store your data. Those who do upgrade to an SSD choose to run their OS and Applications from the SSD, and store their data onto a separate hard drive.

These are just a few ways to get a performance boost out of your existing hardware, without having to drop the dough for the latest and greatest from Apple/Dell/HP/whatever. Regular maintenance and policing of the contents of your drive also helps.

Windows users can run Check Disk and remove temporary files to help with performance issues, while Mac users should run Disk Utility every so often as well. Another tip for Mac users: keep your Desktop clean and as file-free as possible. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that does help.

Got a tip of your own? Leave it in the comments below!

Canon 5DMarkIII Review by

Gear Talk

We spent a day with OliviaTech testing out the capabilities of the new Canon 5DMarkIII. We took it into a full production setting to shoot a music video and then into her studio to compare the ISO sensitivity, rolling shutter, and aliasing vs its predecessor, the Canon 5DMarkII. Check out the video review below and her full write up here.

Longer video clips available for you to download at Canon 5D Mark II vs Canon 5D Mark III Video Clips.

Weekly Specials – February 6-11 2012

Gear Talk

Up on the special block this week are three awesome lenses for Canon, Nikon and Sony shooters! These special prices are only for orders that SHIP this week. This means it has to be shipped by Fed Ex by the 10th, or picked up locally by the 11th. There are no exceptions and these prices apply to rentals only – not purchases. Let’s check out the lenses!


Special #1 – Take 25% off Canon 8-15mm f/4L fisheye lens with the code “Fishfun” (without the quotes).









Special #3 – Take 25% off Nikon 85mm f/1.4G with the code “Nikon85″ (without quotes).










Special #3 – Take 25% off Sony 70-200mm f/2.8G with the code “Sonypromo” (without quotes).






We hope you take advantage of these awesome prices – thanks for renting everyone!

Weekly Specials – January 9-14 2012

Gear Talk

This week’s specials include three amazing lenses that shooters from Canon, Sony and Nikon will love. It’s the venerable 70-200 f/2.8!

These special deals are good for orders that ship THIS WEEK ONLY. So these lenses/orders have to leave our office by Friday the 13th if they are Fed Ex orders, or be picked up locally by the 14th. If you have any questions, call us at 650-508-3370 or use the Live Chat functionality on our website!

Special #1 – Take 30% off Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS II with the code “CanonIS2″









Special #2 – Take 30% off Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 VRII with the code “NikonVR2″








Special #3 – Take 30% off Sony 70-200 f/2.8G SSM with the code “SonyG”







If you have any questions or comments, please let us know by emailing us at [email protected]!

Holiday Special from!

BL News Cool Stuff


Holiday Special!
Rent for 10 Days, get Seven Days FREE!
We’re delivering holiday cheer this year by offering an extra seven days of rental fun for FREE to anyone who rents for a minimum of 10 days!  Here is how it works:
     1. Go to our website and select a rental that is at least 10 days and ships             by December 23rd. 

     2. At checkout, type “freeweek” into the ”Promotional Codes” box 

     3. Enjoy an extra FREE 7 days on your rental! 
While Christmas Eve is the busiest day of the year for Santa, December 23rd, the Friday before Christmas, will be the busiest day of the year for our carrier FED-EX.  Have your gear arrive on an alternate date to guarantee an on-time delivery.

Fine Print
*”Freeweek” cannot be combined with other coupons or offers.
**If you already have a 3-7 day reservation and want to upgrade to get the free week, simply email [email protected] or call 650-508-3370 with your order number and we’ll be happy to apply the extension.

Travel Photography Tips from John Batdorff

Tips & Tricks
John Batdorff

John Batdorff

This is a guest-post from John Batdorff II, a renowned travel photographer and friend of John is known for his landscape and travel photography, workshops, books and popular photography blog. He has traveled all around the world and, as part of our Tip of the Week series, shares his top tips on what to do if you’re planning a photo trip abroad. Take it away John! 

Over the years I’ve learned a few things about travel photography. First and foremost, preparation is critical, and second, nothing ever goes as planned. Managing expectations, mitigating potential problems, and being flexible are key ingredients to ensuring a great experience. Here are few of my tips for planning a successful photo trip: (more…)