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Posts by: Sohail

Photo Finds – Week of April 30, 2012

BL News Photographers
Tim Wallace

Tim Wallace

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

UK-based photographer Tim Wallace was brought to my attention through Scott Kelby’s awesome KelbyTraining.com. It took little more than a few seconds of browsing Tim’s work to turn me into an instant fan.

I’m not a big car guy. My Saturn is nearly 9 years old, and is rickety to the point where my girlfriend calls it “the Jalopy.” I’ve never been into cars – couldn’t tell you the difference between a carburetor and a cam-shaft. Sure, I admire good-looking cars, but I don’t salivate over them like some folks.

Tim’s photography makes me want to change that.  (more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of April 27, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

Tip Of The Week: Use Nik Software’s Snapseed for Quick Photo Editing

Tips & Tricks

Every week, we post a photography-related tip on our blog. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

Photo Finds – Week of April 23, 2012

Photographers
Colby Brown

Colby Brown

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

This week, we’re pretty excited to bring you the work of travel, landscape, and humanitarian photographer Colby Brown.

Colby is based out of Denver, Colorado, but for the last eight years or so, he’s blended his love for travel and adventure with his passion for photography. From Australia, to the Himalayas, to Hawaii, New Zealand, and back, Colby has played multiple roles centered around his photography. He has led workshops for National Geographic, worked as a freelance photojournalist, and collaborated with multiple NGOs on humanitarian projects. (more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of April 20, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

  • Black Magic Cine Camera

    Black Magic Cine Camera

    A few gear announcements this week. We’ll start with the Black Magic Camera, which gives you 2.5K resolution, 13 stops of dynamic range, and EF and ZE mounts – with electronic iris control. Yum.

  • Nikon’s got the successor to its D3100. The D3200 adds a 24.2MP sensor and is available in red. New: optional WiFi.
  • There are LOADS more new product announcements from NAB. A few great sites to check these out at are:
  • Here at BorrowLenses.com, we love our Behind-The-Scenes (BTS) videos. This one comes to us by way of Melissa Rodwell of the awesome Fashion Photography Blog.
  • Speaking of BTS videos, here’s one of a different kind. The awesome folks at PhotoShelter put together an interview with Forbes’ Senior Photo Editor Michele Hadlow about what photographers need to succeed with the magazine.
  • And finally, to cement Google+’s place in the hearts and minds of photographers who’ve turned it into their very own community space since the service’s launch, there’s the Google+ Photographer’s Conference. Created with the folks from Kelby Training, this two-day conference in San Francisco is the first of its kind organized by Google+. Scott Kelby put the following video together for the conference.

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, suggestions and questions are welcome in the comments section below!

Tip Of The Week: Get Rid Of Duplicates In Your Image Library

Tips & Tricks
Duplicate Finder for Lightroom

Duplicate Finder for Lightroom

Every week, we post a photography-related tip on our blog. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

This week’s tip is a software pick, and it came about when I was trying to to figure out how to get rid of hundreds of duplicate images from my library.

I set about writing my own scripts for detecting duplicating images on my drive based on the images’ EXIF metadata, which is embedded by the camera into the RAW or JPEG file it produces. I was about to start writing the logic for the script when I the thought occurred to me that someone, somewhere, must have done this already. (more…)

Op-Ed: Gear Doesn’t Matter – Except When It Does

Gear Talk
Highway 130. Taken with a Canon Rebel XTi and kit lens.

Highway 130. Taken with a Canon Rebel XTi and kit lens.

Please note: this article is a personal opinion and does not reflect the views of BorrowLenses.com. All thoughts and images are my own.

Introduction

If you follow any part of the photographic blogosphere, you’ve heard folks repeat this mantra over and over and over again: “Gear doesn’t matter.”

The basic premise of that dictum is as follows: making great pictures is about the photographer, not the camera or the lens or any other piece of gear. A good photographer can make a great image with a point-and-shoot that an amateur armed with a Nikon D4 and an 85mm f/1.4 lens can’t match.

I’ve personally repeated the “It’s not the camera that takes the picture” mantra to new photographers myself because I know it to be true, and because it helps allay the fears many photographers have when buying their first DSLR, for example. (more…)

Photo Finds – Week of April 16, 2012

Photographers
Steve Simon in Africa

Steve Simon in Africa

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

On this week’s Photo Finds, we take a look at the work of editorial and commercial photographer Steve Simon.

This Montreal-born and New York-based photographer is no stranger to those of you who follow the This Week in Photo podcast. Steve is a regular guest there, in addition to being a prolific writer and instructor. He’s the author of “The Passionate Photographer: Ten Steps Towards Become Great,” a book that has gotten rave reviews and has helped many photographers bridge the gap between the photos that they think they got, and what they actually captured.

Steve’s curriculum vitae makes for some impressive reading. From covering Winter Olympics, to Presidential elections, to shooting at the very edge of the American-Canadian border, Steve Simon’s photography encompasses an impressive and powerful spectrum. It ranges from soaring images taken at the height of political drama, to gritty, even uncomfortable images from the fringes of society. (more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of April 13, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, suggestions and feedback in the comments section is always welcome!

Tip of the Week: Use a Tilt-Shift Lens for Panoramic Photos

Tips & Tricks
Figure 1. A panorama taken with the Fuji X100's built-in pano feature.

Figure 1. A panorama taken with the Fuji X100's built-in pano feature.

Every week, we post a photography-related tip on our blog. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

There are many ways to create panoramic images. You can start with a really wide-angle lens, then simply crop down to a long, narrow band to create a “faux” panorama. You can also use the built-in panoramic functions of cameras like Sony’s NEX and Alpha series, as well as Fuji’s X100 and X-Pro1. You can also simply take a series of pictures and stitch them together in Photoshop, or, if you’re really into panoramic photography, you could rent a pano-head from us, like the ones from Nodal Ninja.

Today, we’re going to talk about one of my favorite ways to create panoramas. All of the methods above have some shortcomings that make it a bit harder to create good panos. Using a wide-angle lens and cropping, for example, leaves me with a lower-resolution file than I’d like. The built-in pano features in some cameras is neat, and I do use them (as shown in Figure 1), but they’re also relatively low-res JPEGs. Pano heads are great for this sort of work, but you have to find the “nodal point” of each lens you want to use, and that takes quite a bit of work. (more…)

Photo Finds – Week of April 9, 2012

Photographers
Nicole S. Young

Nicole S. Young

Here’s the test I always apply to food photography: does it make me hungry? If the answer is “no,” chances are, the photographer isn’t doing something right. The issues are typically minor; the lighting is off, or the food isn’t styled properly, or the angle doesn’t flatter the dish. Either way, the photo is missing that essential spark that makes you go, “Mmmmm…”

It’s therefore a supreme compliment to photographer Nicole S. Young that her food photography invariably makes me hungry. This is a photographer who made clams look good to me – a hard thing to do, since I don’t like seafood. Exquisitely styled, meticulously prepared, and perfectly shot, her images jump off the screen and have, more than once, made my stomach growl. (more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of April 06, 2012.

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a weekly feature where we post our favorite links from the past week, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, comments and suggestions are welcome!

Tip of the Week: Behold the Frankencam!

Tips & Tricks
The Frankencam: A Canon 5D Mark II with a Nikon 14-24 f/2.8G lens

The Frankencam: A Canon 5D Mark II with a Nikon 14-24 f/2.8G lens. Image Copyright © Sohail Mamdani

The practice of swapping lenses between platforms via adapters isn’t something new. Back in October 2011, for example, we wrote about using Canon, Nikon, and Leica lenses with Micro 4/3 cameras. Similarly, you can use an adapter to mount Nikon lenses onto Canon cameras, but until recently, this was limited to a smaller subset of Nikon lenses.

The “D” lenses from Nikon, the ones with manual aperture rings like the Nikon 35mm f/2, could be used via an adapter on Canon cameras. You could manipulate the aperture manually on the lens, and set the shutter speed on your camera. DSLR video shooters quickly took to these lenses for this very reason.

(more…)

Op-Ed: Your Medium and Tools as Inspiration

Gear Talk

I just noticed that Instagram for Android was released yesterday, and it’s downloading as I write this. I really dig Instagram, SmugMug’s Camera Awesome, and all the other iPhone/Android camera apps out there; they’ve truly democratized photography and that’s for the better.

Then I saw this on Popular Photography: Inside the World of Large Scale Wet Plate Photography.

The story is about photographer Ian Ruther’s camera-in-a-truck that he takes out on location to make images. The cost of each image is a staggering $500, and the process isn’t exactly easy, as shown in the video below.

I’m old enough to remember the days of film, of loading hand-rolled 35mm film cassettes into my Canon AE-1. As late as 2010, I still developed a bunch of medium-format 120 film myself, having fallen in love with the medium all over again. I’ve even shot on 4×5 film on a borrowed Crown Graphic, and it was a wonderful experience. (more…)

Photo Finds – Week of April 2, 2012

Photographers
Alex Koloskov

Alex Koloskov

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web.

This week, we bring you the work of another photographer who was born and raised in the former Soviet Union. Kiev-born Alex Koloskov first came to my attention when BorrowLenses.com alum Josh Norem pointed his website out to me. Since then, I’ve followed his work on his website, AKEL Studio, as well as on Google+.

Milk and chocolate, frozen in mid-air

Milk and chocolate, frozen in mid-air

Alex is one of those photographers whose work immediately makes you go, “Hey, how’d he do that?” The first image I ever saw of his was a shot he did of Godiva’s Chocolate Liquer, where two intersecting streams of liquid – one made of milk, the other of chocolate – were frozen in midair and wrapped around the bottle of liquor. My first thought was, “it’s CG.”

Turns out, it is a composite, but the frozen mid-air liquid? That’s real. There’s a behind the scenes shot of him actually tossing chocolate milk into the air and photographing it on his blog.

That made me groan. My girlfriend would never let me try something like that at home.

The cool thing is, Alex is very open about his tools and techniques. Take a look at the video below, on how he created a beauty shot with a model and a frozen ball of water, as an example.

His website and his Vimeo channel are full of examples like this one, and if you want to go really in-depth, you can check out his Masterclass on Mastering Splash, or one of his ebooks and video tutorials.

Alex is also very active on Google+. That’s where I found out that he’s also passionate about HDR photography, and even has a book on it, called “Realistic HDR for Landscape and Architectural Photographers.” To me, that’s the best kind of HDR, where, rather than crazy halos and impossible skies, you bring out the natural dynamic range that your eyes truly see. There’s also a really neat before/after tool for HDR images on his website that you should check out.

Alex is also going to be published in an upcoming issue of Scott Kelby’s Light It! magazine, where he shows off some of his techniques behind a new image. To find out more about him, visit his Google+ profile, which has links to the everything he’s working on right now.