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/

Cool Stuff – Week of July 6, 2012

Cool Stuff – Week of July 6, 2012

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.

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…

Photo Finds: Fashion Photographer Melissa Rodwell

Photo Finds: Fashion Photographer Melissa Rodwell

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 fashion photographer Melissa Rodwell. I’ve been following Melissa’s blog since 2010 when it first came to my attention through David Hobby’s Strobist blog. Since then, I’ve read practically every post and watched every BTS (Behind The Scenes) video that Melissa has done, picking up a tip (or three) every single time.

Let’s get one thing out the way first. A lot of photographers say they are fashion photographers. What they really mean is that they’d like to be fashion photographers but, as Zack Arias points out, just taking a pretty picture of a pretty girl in pretty clothing isn’t fashion photography.

Melissa Rodwell

To shoot fashion, you have to live it, breathe it, consume it. You have to truly love the subject and understand it. Just as importantly, you have to shoot for fashion. By those simple standards, Melissa Rodwell is most definitely a fashion photographer.

Melissa’s client list is pretty darn impressive. Among others, she counts as her clients Ralph Lauren, KURV, Mademoiselle, and Harper’s Bazaar. She has shot in locations all over the world, from New York to Dubai, and has exhibited her work in Australia and Amsterdam. She has repeatedly broken out of her role as a fashion photographer to work on personal projects.

Now, there are a lot of fashion photographers out there. The major markets are flooded with people looking for work in that industry. There are, however, two things that make Melissa pretty unique and cause her to stand out in the crowd.

The first is her sense of style and execution. Fashion photography has gotten especially bizarre (to me) of late in what often seems to be a crazy race to absolutely incomprehensible surreality. Go through the pages of Vogue to get an idea of what I’m talking about. Why on earth does a Bvlgari ad have a lion in it? It’s almost like someone flipped the crazy switch to max and said, “Hey, you know what would be awesome? A lion in an ad for our perfume. With Rachel Weisz! And Kirsten Dunst!”

Can anyone tell me what a lion has to do with perfume?

In the midst of that insanity (inanity?), Melissa’s work seems to restore a significant sense of balance and clarity. Where too many photographers resort to gimmickry, she assembles the most simple elements to create image-powerful photographs. Take her “White” story for KURV magazine (image above). Her light sources here are window lighting and some Christmas lights. That’s it.

Now, that’s not to say that she can’t gang together a bunch of Profoto lights in a shoot to overpower the sun. It’s more that she has a great sense of what’s needed to bring out drama and impact in a shoot and doesn’t overdo it.

The second reason why I think Melissa stands out in the crowd is because of her openness.

The fashion photography world often feels closed, insular, and exclusionary. People don’t often talk about it as if they’ll lose some competitive advantage if they do.

Through her blog, Melissa tears down several of the barriers preventing you from getting a good look into that exclusive world. From BTS videos and articles, to interviews with other photographers, models, and assistants, she spends a good amount of time helping the outsider construct the semblance of an idea of what this world looks like.

And if that wasn’t enough, she conducts workshops all around the world, the most recent one being in Berlin. Moreover, she has taken her role as an informer and educator one step further by releasing an educational DVD about the world of fashion photography. Priced at $249, this is an investment for those serious about getting into this field. If her blog is any indication of the contents of the DVD then it will likely be worth it.

Speaking of her blog, Scott Kelby, whose opinion I pay a great deal of attention to, named her blog in his “Best of 2011″ post, calling it the best blog for fashion photographers.

Take a look at Melissa’s work on her portfolio site and visit her blog.

What major event are you most likely shooting stills/video of next?

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