BL Blog

Posts by: Sohail

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.

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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.

Cool Stuff – Week of March 30, 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, leave us a note with any feedback or questions in the comments below…

Tip of the Week: Edit Video in Adobe… Lightroom?

Tips & Tricks
You can now apply certain presets to video in Lightroom 4.

You can now apply certain presets to video in Lightroom 4.

It’s no big secret that video is now something even still photographers need to pay attention to. If you do photography for a living – or want to do photography for a living – then at some point, the specter of video is going to raise its head and you’ll have to deal with it, or risk falling behind your competition.

Since photographers are dabbling in video, it’s no surprise that a software application formerly dedicated to still photographers is itself now dabbling in video. The latest version of Adobe Lightroom, released this month, now offers DSLR video shooters the ability to do some video edits and effects without having to leave the program.

Among other things, you can do basic cuts and trims, apply color and exposure settings, and sync those settings between clips.

The folks over at Adobe – specifically, Adobe’s Senior Digital Imaging Evangelist, Julieanne Kost – have a great video showing you some of the things you can do to your video with Lightroom 4. Take a look – I think you’ll be surprised at how much you can do.

As an aside to our Aperture fans – yes, Aperture has had many of these features (and I’ve happily used them for a while) for some time now. It’s just nice to see Lightroom catching up.

Photo Finds – Week of March 26, 2012

Photographers
Park Pobedy Station, Study 1

Park Pobedy Station, Study 1

NEW UPDATE! The winners of the free copies have been picked! Congratulations to Laura Michna and Kyle Reynolds! You’ll get an email shortly with details on how to download your copy.

UPDATE: We’re giving away two free copies of the Plus One Collection’s eBook version, which has the combined work of all 500+ photographers that contributed to the book. 

To win, leave a comment on this post and tell us why you want a copy. We’ll pick two comments at random as winners on Friday, March 30, 2012.

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

This week on Photo Finds, we have a photographer and a fantastic bit of collaborative work that he was instrumental in creating.

Some of you may already know Ivan Makarov, especially if you’re a photographer who spends any amount of time on Google+. His work on the Plus One collection (more on that in a second) has brought together a huge number of photographers from the Google+ community to contribute their photographs for a book that is being sold for charity. Ivan’s own work is featured in this book, and with good reason; his photography speaks to a lot of folks. (more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of March 23, 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.

Photoshop CS6 is out in public beta

Photoshop CS6 is out in public beta

 

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff! As always, leave us a note if you think we ought to include something in next week’s lineup!

Tip of the Week: Understanding Sensor Crop Factors, Part 1

Tips & Tricks
Different sensor sizes, compared

Different sensor sizes, compared

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]

You’ve likely heard the term “Crop Sensor” before, and if you’re new to the world of digital photography, then you may only have a rudimentary understanding of what that means.

In Part 1 of this series, we take a look at three different types of sensors and the practical effect they have on lens selection. In Part 2, we’ll take a look at what this means for depth of field, and that “bokeh” thing everyone’s talking about.

What’s a “Crop Sensor” camera anyway?

To understand what a “Crop Sensor” camera is, you first have to understand what a “Full Frame” sensor camera is, and that takes us back to the days of film photography. (more…)

Photo Finds – Week of March 19, 2012

Photographers
Jay and Varina Patel

Jay and Varina Patel

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

This week, we bring you a husband and wife team of landscape photographers whose work has been spreading like wildfire around the community on Google+. Meet Jay and Varina Patel.

Their work is equal parts inspirational and frustrating. Inspiring, because it’s quite simply fantastic in its scope and majesty, but frustrating because it makes you want to yell at your camera and ask why it won’t produce similar results.

The answer, however, is pretty obvious – these are photographers that have worked hard at their craft, and it shows. (more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of March 16, 2012

Cool Stuff

Welcome (back!) 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. Check back next week when we bring you more photo-related goodness from around the web!

Monday Photo Finds, March 12, 2012

Photographers

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

This week on Photo Finds, it’s all about Dubai – more specifically, about the Gulf Photo Pro expo in Dubai, where some of the industry’s biggest names congregate for a week of education, networking, and fun in what is quickly being referred to as the “City of Gold.”

David Hobby writes about the GPP shoutout

David Hobby writes about the GPP shoutout

The Shootout

Each year, GPP ends with a photo shootout between three photographers. Three photographers have 20 minutes to come up with an idea for a shot, then shoot it and process it into a final image. The photo is based on a subject provided by the conference organizers.

David Hobby, of Strobist fame, has been a regular at these shootouts, and photographers Joey L and Zack Arias have also been past shootout participants. Last year, one of the titans of the industry, Gregory Heisler, went from being the official heckler in the audience, to doing an impromptu shoot. This year, he participated in the shootout as one of the three photographers. David Hobby and Martin Prihoda completed the triumvirate. (more…)

BLCast, Episode 1 – An Interview With Shane Hurlbut

BL News
Shane Hurlbut

Shane Hurlbut

The very first episode of BLCast, the official podcast of BorrowLenses.com, is now live!

We’re excited to bring you something really special for our inaugural episode. A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate to speak with Shane Hurlbut, director of photography for such films as Drumline, Terminator Salvation, and, most recently, the military action thriller, Act of Valor.

Many of you will recognize Shane’s name. That’s because he’s become something of a pioneer in the world of filmmaking, especially for those of you using HDDSLRs to create video. Shane has been at the forefront of the DSLR video revolution, going so far as to use cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II and the 7D for about 70% of his latest endeavor, Act of Valor.

I spoke with Shane just a few days before the release of Act of Valor, and had a great conversation about his life, his career, and the challenges of shooting mere feet from live tracer rounds. You can listen to the interview in the player below, or subscribe to it in the BLCast RSS Feed, here: http://borrowlenses.libsyn.com/rss

You can find out more about Shane at his website, shanehurlbut.com, and on his blog, HurlbutVisuals

A quick note about the audio: since I spoke to Shane over Skype, the audio cut out in a couple of places. Rather than recut the interview to eliminate those parts, I left most of it as-is.

 

Monday Photo Finds, March 5, 2012

Photographers

We’re kicking our usual Cool Stuff feature to the curb this week for a different feature. Today, we’re going to focus on the end result of all this awesome gear we rent – great photographs. From an ad campaign in Argentina by Sebastian Faena and the sun-bleached images of Antonella Arismendi, to the gritty underpass of a pedestrian walkway in Baltimore, we take a look at some standout imagery that caught our eye this past week.

The Ay Not Dead campaign by Sebastian Faena

The Ay Not Dead campaign by Sebastian Faena

Sebastian Faena for Ay Not Dead

A combination of video and still black and white imagery make up this slightly edgy urban campaign for Ay Not Dead, a boutique house with locations in Argentina and Chile.

Faena, who is represented by the Art + Commerce agency, seems to have gone for simple and elegant with the Ay Not Dead campaign. His portfolio on Art + Commerce, however, is a good deal more risque, in intent if not in actual execution.

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Cool Stuff – Feb 20-27, 2012

BL News 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. If you have something you think should be included, let us know! Email us at [email protected]

Tip of the Week – Copyright Your Images

Tips & Tricks
The "Photographers Survival Manual," by Ed Greenberg and Jack Reznicki.

The "Photographers Survival Manual," by Ed Greenberg and Jack Reznicki.

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]

Imagine this scenario: you’re out shooting and take an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime image of the San Francisco skyline. Pleased with your work, your rush home and put it up on your Flickr account, your 500px gallery and your Goolge+ page. It’s up on Facebook, you’ve Tweeted it, it’s out there for the world to see.

Six months later, your photo is on the cover of a magazine. You didn’t give them permission to print it, and you certainly didn’t get paid for it.

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