What do Meditation and Macro Photography Have in Common?

What do Meditation and Macro Photography Have in Common?

Macro photography is much like a meditation practice: there must be a willingness to experiment outside your comfort zone, practiced patience, and a dedication to learning. The genre has been a popular niche for decades and now with easier accessibility to the tools it takes to create this kind of photo, there are a few ideas it is best to understand first. With its popularity there is a lot of technical information available that can be difficult to understand when you are first starting out. Whether you are shooting detailed still lives or capturing your environment in a new perspective, there are certain things to consider that will aid in your success and help you avoid defeating frustration. Understanding the most important questions to ask yourself and why its important to know the answers before you even pick up your camera is the first step. Let’s take a closer look at the best tools of the trade, tips, and tricks to get started in macro photography. What Exactly Is Macro Photography? Macro photography has been in pop vernacular for some time now and is the close-up photography of very small subjects captured life size. You will often hear the terms magnification rate or reproduction rates when referring macro photography, which translates the size in which the subject is being captured in relation to their actual size. A ratio of 1:1 is imagery true to life in size, 1:2 is half it’s size in reality, and so on. You can tell the ratio you are able to shoot by reading the markings on the side of a macro lens. For...
Keeping Your Photos Safe in the Real World

Keeping Your Photos Safe in the Real World

Our friends over at SmugMug help photographers from all walks of life put their best memories into beautiful and safe photography websites. In this blog series on photography website tips and tricks, SmugMug shares some of things they have learned about photographers can better protect their work. Missed this series? Check out Part 1: SmugMug’s 9 Must-Haves for a Successful Photography Website and Part 2: 6 Website Mistakes You’re Probably Making Right Now. Keeping Your Photos Safe in the Real World by Schmoo Theune SmugMug’s huge family of photo lovers spans the spectrum, from family historians to high-volume, full-time pro photographers. But no matter what your camera is capturing, it’s important to be sure that the photos stay where you want them, and that your expectations for who gets a copy is met. That’s where we come in. Theft Can Happen to Anyone (Even You) What is theft? It’s more than downloading a copy of a licensed image and using it in a magazine or an ad. While that’s certainly one of the more obvious kinds of theft, it doesn’t always have to involve money. Theft is simply any case of using an image without permission. So whether that means someone yanked a cute pic of your dog and used it in a meme without crediting you, or a client swiped one of their wedding images from your proof gallery and posted it on Facebook, it boils down to “theft.” Prints Are Soooo 2013 Years ago, our Support Heroes would answer tons of questions from worried photographers looking to protect their files from being printed without their permission. Times have changed, and while...
Getting Started: Environmental Portraits

Getting Started: Environmental Portraits

Portrait photography is a very common entry port into a burgeoning photographic hobby or even career. There are several main categories of portrait photography, environmental portraits being one of the first attempted due to its accessibility. To accomplish a successful environmental portrait you do not need a studio, elaborate lighting techniques, or hair and make-up specialists. What you do need, however, is a vision or a story that you wish to tell that works in balance with the subject you are photographing. Read on to find out what to keep in mind when first embarking on this style of photography to increase your success of creating impactful photographs. Let’s first start by explaining what we mean when the term ‘Environmental Portrait’ is thrown around. It is a portrait taken of a subject that interacts and has meaning with the environment it is in. The portrait not only relies on the subject but also the context, clues, and points of interest which are given to the viewer to determine a background story. What is the difference between an environmental portrait, standard portrait, and candid portrait you ask? A standard portrait’s intention is to focus solely on the subject, relying on expression, physical characteristics, and lighting to communicate an impression. The difference with an environmental portrait, as the name suggests, is setting. It is generally shot with a wider lens to include more context of the scene, and offers the subject an environment that can put them at ease, sharing the attention with their surroundings. There can be a fine line between an environmental portrait and a candid photograph which is dependent on circumstance. The subject, whether a planned session or someone who has...
10 Wicked Portraits and Halloween Shooting Tips

10 Wicked Portraits and Halloween Shooting Tips

Fall is the landscape photographer’s dream season but Halloween is when portrait photographers get all of the fun! Check out the images below, plus gain some shooting tips from working photographers. Let the shapes and shadows of the night inspire you and have a safe and happy Halloween from everyone at BorrowLenses! Niki’s Tip: Shoot multiple exposures right after sunset during blue hour to combine a moody atmosphere and a sharp subject. Use exposure blending in post processing for a great effect. Allie’s Tip: Use a 5-in-1 light modifier to create light for all tones. It will ensure that white balance is on cue while you’re developing that fall feeling surrounding the child/subject. Julia’s Tip: Plan your shoots in advance and brief your team at least a few days prior to the shoot. Often makeup artists and hairstylists are willing to purchase additional tools, products, makeup colors, or even hair extensions to get better creative results. Give them some extra time to do their shopping – the entire team will benefit from it! Renee’s Tip: Learning to see color accurately is very difficult and time consuming. Pick up books on color theory, attend a painting class, or hang out with painters who understand it well. Your art will appreciate it in the future. Alex’s Tip: Use slow shutter speeds to gather moody ambient light and then compensate for motion blur with flash. Emerald’s Tip: Have a kid who hates having their photo taken? Put them in a villain costume and take advantage of the abundant attitude. My kid actually enjoys her sessions for once when sneers, snarls, and wiggling are welcome! Jamie’s Tip:...
Simple Tricks for a Treat of a Halloween Photobooth

Simple Tricks for a Treat of a Halloween Photobooth

Every year, SmugMug cofounder Chris MacAskill hosts a Halloween photobooth in his garage. Read on to find out how he does it and gain tips on building your own bewitching booth! MacAskill put together his first Halloween photobooth in 2007 using a single light and a 40″x 60″ softbox placed directly above the camera. Over time, the booth has expanded to include side lighting slightly behind and above the subjects to provide edge definition for hair and dark costumes. MacAskill always uses a black backdrop and has everyone stand about 10′ away from it to ensure enough light falloff for a pitch black background. His cameras have changed over time as well, starting with a Canon 1D Mark III, then a 1D Mark IV, and, finally, the superb 1D X. All focus very well in low light. To get everyone excited about the shoot, MacAskill shoots tethered to a Mac so that folks can immediately see their picture on a big screen. “I wear knee pads and shoot from my knees because they are mostly children and I like to get to their level, ” MacAskill said. “Many parents drive their kids for miles to get these shots every year and they pass the word around at their schools. I wear out those knee pads.” Some parents were wary at first of the photo booth. MacAskill’s wife volunteers for sidewalk duty to explain to passersby what they are doing. Last year, they upped the ante by adding an industrial smoke machine to the booth. It created more drama and everyone went crazy for it! MacAskill uses a Canon 24-105mm lens because...
BorrowLenses Lens and Filter Size Guide

BorrowLenses Lens and Filter Size Guide

Filters are optional accessories that can either be screwed onto, dropped in front of, or dropped into lenses. They are usually made of glass with a metal or plastic frame. We put UV filters on almost all of our lenses going out on rental because even cheap filters help protect the front element during transport. Not keeping them on, or at least putting them back on when shipping back, can cost you! However, most people use filters for artistic reasons. They either want to restrict the amount of light coming into the lens, as in the case of neutral density filters, or they are trying to cut out glare with polarizing filters. There are strong UV filters that cut out visible light in the violet end of the spectrum (reducing haze) and there are graduated filters used to cut down exposure on only part of the frame – and many more! You can even stack them, though we kind of overdo it. Most of the time you’ll be encountering screw-on filters. Make sure you are renting the right size with the right-sized lens. Usually the front element of any lens will tell you its filter size (the lens cap is also telling) but here are some handy guides to help you find the correct pairing: Lens to Filter Chart – Canon with even more information here. Lens to Filter Chart – Nikon with even more information here. Lens to Filter Chart – Sony Lens to Filter Chat – Tamron Lens Chart (see Filter Size column) –...