Notable Storytellers – Vincent Laforet

Notable Storytellers – Vincent Laforet

Welcome to Notable Storytellers, where we bring you the work of photographers, videographers, and other visual artists we think you should be following. 

Vincent Laforet is a filmmaker and photographer that belongs in any reasonable list of Notable Storytellers (read this short piece to understand why we haven’t mentioned him in this column before). Long before he became one of the pioneers (some, including me, would say he is the pioneer) of making films with video-capable DSLRs, he was a staff photographer for the New York Times – and a Pulitzer-prize-winning photographer at that.

Reverie was the film that started it all. Shot over the course of a weekend on a pre-release 5D Mark II borrowed from Canon (that he wasn’t supposed to have, but managed to get Canon to loan him anyway), it set off a storm in the world of video and put Vincent, an already accomplished and talented photographer, on the map in that rarified world.

Reverie from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

read more…

Notable Storytellers – Stu Maschwitz

Notable Storytellers – Stu Maschwitz

Stu Maschwitz. Image courtesy Stu Maschwitz.

Stu Maschwitz. Image courtesy Stu Maschwitz.

Welcome to Notable Storytellers, where we bring you the work of photographers, videographers, and other visual artists we think you should be following. This column replaces the “Photo Finds” column on the BorrowLenses.com blog.

Stu Maschwitz is, to use his own words, “a filmmaker, photographer, and writer, with a passion for kinetic storytelling.” To that, I’ll add that Stu is a prolific director and geek whose blog should be required reading for all video afficionados. read more…

In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

I came across the video below on David Hobby’s site (which happens to be one of the first things I check every morning). In it, photographer Nadav Kander talks about his approach to photography, how he deals with his subjects, and more.

Now, I love gear. I pretty-much eat, sleep, and breathe photography gear. I write about it, I advise our customers and staff about it, I test it, use it, abuse it, and love it. I am, in every sense of the word, a gearhead.

Creativity, however, isn’t a function of gear. It is, rather, related directly to your imagination and your eye, and those are fed by seeing the work of other photographers, talking to them, and learning from them.  read more…

The Leica Diary, Part 1: Introduction

The Leica Diary, Part 1: Introduction

These days, it looks like every major camera manufacturer is coming out with a new addition to the MILC (Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera) class of bodies and lenses. The latest, of course, is Canon, with its EOS-M camera. These units, typically smaller than your average DSLRs, have been getting better and better, packing some serious punch into a very small form factor.

Thing is, in all the hype behind cameras like the EOS-M and Fuji’s X100 and X-Pro1 bodies, people forget that MILCs have been around before companies like Sony, Fuji, and Olympus made them popular. Way back in 2006, a good three years before Olympus came out with its retro-styled Micro-Four-Thirds-based camera, Leica introduced its first digital rangefinder, the M8. read more…

The Internet is Awesome

Google’s Marissa Mayer was recently hired on to helm Yahoo! as their CEO, and photographers who care immensely about Yahoo!’s beleaguered Flickr photo service decided to send her a message.

The folks at Yahoo! responded with a kind of “Help us help you” message, and posted the following:

Though it isn’t exactly what some folks would have liked, it is nice to see that Yahoo has their ear to the ground and is actually listening to what their users and critics have to say.

In recent times, they’ve been facing competition from multiple quarters. Google+, 500px, and even Facebook have improved their photo sharing features. One wonders if the wonderful community that exists on Flickr will eventually fall by the wayside. As fans of the service (and longtime users), we hope Marissa Mayer does, in fact, make Flick awesome again.

Zack Arias on DigitalRev

Just a quick “You gotta see this” post for you today. The folks at DigitalRev.com had Zack Arias on their show last week. Zack, who is visiting Hong Kong for a workshop with Joe McNally, appeared on the show that he calls the Top Gear of photography.

DigitalRev does a segment called “Pro Photographer, Cheap Camera,” which last featured Chase Jarvis. Now, Zack makes an appearance, shooting with a Kodak C142. The result? Sheer awesomeness.

On the Profoto Blog

Our recent Tip of the Week was picked up by the wonderful folks at Profoto and mentioned on their blog. If you haven’t been by there, you’re missing out – they post a ton of great stuff that’s worth looking at even if you never use a single piece of Profoto gear. We warn you though – watching some of their videos will induce a pretty severe case of Profoto lust.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Visit Profoto’s blog at profoto.com/blog, and check out their mention of our piece here.

Photo Finds, July 16, 2012 – Philip Bloom

Photo Finds, July 16, 2012 – Philip Bloom

Philip Bloom

Philip Bloom

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

One of the most popular sliders that we rent here at BorrowLenses.com is the Philip Bloom Slider by Kessler. I was speaking about this to a customer recently and she asked me, “Who’s Philip Bloom?”

The question took me by surprise a bit. Who’s Philip Bloom? Who’s Philip Bloom? Why, he’s… Philip Bloom! How could anyone not know who Philip Bloom is?

Then, reality intervened and I realized that not everyone knows every filmmaker and photographer whose work I follow religiously. I’m “in the industry,” as it as, so I know darn well who Philip Bloom is. I explained it to the hapless customer.

“Philip Bloom is this English guy. He makes movies.”

That grotesquely understated and inadequate introduction notwithstanding, Philip Bloom is one of those independent filmmakers that everyone who’s ever switched their DSLR to “video” mode should know about. read more…

Op-Ed: Giving Respect Where It’s Due

From time to time, we offer up Op-Ed pieces on various aspects of photography for your consideration. Please note that these articles are the personal opinion of the writer, not necessarily of BorrowLenses.com. 

I’m going to start this post off by sharing a video created by Zack Arias.

Next up, read this post, also from Zack: “Wedding Photographers Deserve Our Respect.” Now, the video here introduces a different topic, but at the beginning of the video, Zack actually talks about tipping your hat to wedding photographers. White the rest of the video is something that you absolutely, positively, mush watch. I won’t even try and summarize it for you – just go watch and read, then come back here. I’ll wait. read more…

Ken Block Makes Your Jaw Drop

The phrase “Thing of beauty” doesn’t do this video justice.

Turning San Francisco into your own personal rally car track is epic enough (just how did they get the streets that deserted?!). Capturing the run on over 100 cameras? That’s just icing on the cake. That’s the crew just rubbing your face in the awesomeness of this event.

Photographically alone, it’s a feat of epic proportions. Ken’s crazy skills with that Fiesta notwithstanding, acquiring footage from all those cameras as he streaks through SF is kind of a big deal. All of it has to be ingested, logged, tagged, and then edited. That’s the truly incredible part – someone sat down and cut all that together.

Excuse my while I pick my jaw up from the floor.

Speaking of cool, there’s a scene where Travis Pastrana does a cameo on his dirt bike in the video above. BL’s own Emotive Image (www.facebook.com/emotiveimage) was shooting X-Games just a little while ago, and saw Travis Pastrana rockin’ some of our long Nikon glass.

Travis Pastrana, rockin' our long Nikon glass.

Travis Pastrana, rockin’ our long Nikon glass.

Check out the video and watch for Travis’ cameo!

Get Your Gear On With the Canon 1Dx

Get Your Gear On With the Canon 1Dx

We’ve been waiting for this bit of kit for a long, long time. The 1Dx is finally here, and we run through a bunch of the features of Canon’s flagship body. This full-frame camera is set to replace the 1D mkiV and the 1Ds mk III. We show off the high frame-rate, some AF features, compare ISO settings and give a general rundown of this exciting new professional DSLR.

The 1Dx is available for rent now at http://www.borrowlenses.com/product/Canon_EOS_1D_X_Digital_SLR

“Bullet-Time Backflip” sequence by:http://cargocollective.com/emotiveimage/

Tip of the Week – Fast and Easy Model Releases with Top Model Release

Tip of the Week – Fast and Easy Model Releases with Top Model Release

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 blog@borrowlenses.com.

Model releases are often the bane of photographers’ lives. We go through a great deal of effort to put a killer shoot together, then fail to get a model release, rendering the shoot unusable till we get one. Photographers have ended up losing court cases and jobs over missing releases or improper wording in releases, which is why it’s extremely important to get your releases in order right away.

If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, there’s a new app that’s been getting a lot of buzz from pros like Scott Kelby and Scott Bourne. Created by photographer Catherine Hall, Top Model Release is an iPhone app that makes getting signed model releases from your subjects almost trivial.

read more…

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