BL Blog

Cool Stuff – Week of August 6, 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, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Quick samples from the Canon 1Dx and the 600mm f/4L IS II

Gear Talk

I spent a weekend shooting with the Canon 1Dx and the new 600mm f/4L IS II, and will be posting a writeup of it soon. In the meantime, here are a few sample images taken with that combo.

For what it’s worth, my favorite combination until recently was to shoot with the 1D Mark IV and the old 600mm f/4L IS Mark I. I don’t think it’ll be giving much away to say that the 1DX and the new 600 are officially my new favorite combination for this type of photography.

This image is actually about a 2MP crop from the original 18MP image

This image is actually about a 2MP crop from the original 18MP image

Taken with the 1Dx and the 600mm on a gimbal head at the Don Edwards wildlife refuge

Taken with the 1Dx and the 600mm on a gimbal head at the Don Edwards wildlife refuge

This is handheld, from the top of Mount Tamalpais, 10 miles from, and about 2500 feet above San Francisco

This is handheld, from the top of Mount Tamalpais, 10 miles from, and about 2500 feet above San Francisco

Watch for our writeup of these new beasts from Canon later this week.

Notable Storytellers – Vincent Laforet

Photographers

Vincent Laforet is a filmmaker and photographer that belongs in any reasonable list of Notable Storytellers. 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.

Another quick note on “Photo Finds” and “Notable Storytellers.”

BL News

Being a part of the photo/video industry can sometimes blind you to the fact that not everyone – especially not newcomers to this field – will know everyone of note in it. The Notable Storytellers piece column (and the Photo Finds column before it) was about bringing you the works of folks that you may not have heard of. We never featured Joe McNally or Vincent Laforet for the simple reason that if you’d been around for even a little bit of time, you’d have already heard of these folks.

That assumption was put to rest recently when, during some small talk with a customer at the BorrowLenses.com main office, I found out that this particular customer was just starting to shoot video on a DSLR. He asked if I had any links to good learning resources.

“Well,” I said, “I’m sure you’ve already checked out Vincent Laforet’s classes on creativeLIVE, so…”

“Sorry,” he interrupted. “Who?”

“Vincent Laforet. You know, the filmmaker? He did Reverie and Nocturne?”

The customer shook his head. I was flumoxed. This had happened to me before, but it still surprised me.

So clearly, we have customers who haven’t heard of Vincent Laforet. I’ve also talked to customers who’ve never heard who Joe McNally is, or who Jay and Varina Patel, Stu Maschwitz, Scott Kelby, or Jay Maisel are.

Part of it is that I do have industry blinders on. I assume that if I know who these people are, everyone must. Obviously, that’s my short-sightedness.

When I first conceived of the Photo Finds column, it was to highlight the work of photographers whose work our audience might not have heard of. So, I resolved not to include the big names, like David Hobby, Joe McNally, Scott Kelby, or Jay Maisel. Not because these photographers weren’t well-known, but because they were. But in doing so, we’ve clearly done a disservice to some of our audience.

So, going forward, we’ll start talking about these folks. Because if you’ve got even a casual interest in photography, you should know about them. And, since the whole point of this blog is to educate and inform our customers and audience, we’ll do our best to bring them to your attention.

As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Cool Stuff – Week of July 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, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

A quick note on “Photo Finds” and “Notable Storytellers.”

BL News Photographers

Late last week, we debuted the first of our “Notable Storytellers” pieces, featuring director and VFX artist Stu Maschwitz. This piece replaces the “Photo Finds” column, and I thought that the switch in name and focus warranted an explanation.

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Notable Storytellers – Stu Maschwitz

Photographers

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.