BL Blog

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…)

BorrowLenses.com is now on Pinterest

BL News Cool Stuff

Follow BorrowLenses.com on Pinterest.  We have boards that will inspire you, help you learn, choose the right tools, and view/order the latest gear! Whether you are new to photography, or are interested in video, we’ve curated amazing resources for you to view and share.

Follow BorrowLenses.com on Pinterest

Follow BorrowLenses.com on Pinterest

In the near future we will be inviting you to feature your best work on Pinterest. Check in for more details here and on our Facebook, Twitter and Google+ pages for invitations to share your best photos & videos.

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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!