BL Blog

The Nikon Df: Thoughts, Test Shots, and Quick Review

Gear Talk

Jay Cassario is a wedding, engagement, and portrait photographer with additional passion for landscape and star photography, which has earned him publications by National Geographic. He is a regular contributor to SLR Lounge in addition to the BL Blog.


The Nikon Df: Thoughts, Test Shots, and Quick Review
by Jay Cassario (more…)

Photography Lessons of 2013 Plus 20 Inspiring Photographs

Photographers

Congratulations on one more trip around the sun as a photographer! Shots were taken, lessons were learned – both good and bad. Here are 16 words of wisdom from working photographers along with a favorite shot they took this year. May they inspire you to form a great New Year’s Resolution for your work flow in 2014! (more…)

Top 5 Photography Posts on the BorrowLenses Blog

Gear Talk

It’s listicle season and we’re celebrating, too, with our top 5 most popular blog posts of 2013! Each one provides a different tip to help make you a better photographer. (more…)

Behind The Shot: Just Like A Dream

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Krystle Wright 14

Photographer: Krystle Wright

Gear: Canon EOS 5D MIII, Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens580 EXII Flash

Settings: 24mm, 30sec @ f/4.5, ISO 400

Backstory: Highlining is an incredible sport that involves a strong mentality and of course balance. As I photographed high lining many times, I noticed the intricate movements especially with the arms to help maintain the balance and came up with this idea to strap L.E.D lights to Chris Rigby under a full moon. We were in Consumnes River George in Northern California. The high line is 237ft long titled ‘Just Like A Dream.’ The LED lights were quite bright in Chris’s face so it was a real challenge for him to focus. I would’ve used my pocket wizard to fire the flash though in the darkness, I misplaced a cable so instead I had a friend, Ryan Robinson to press the test button on the flash to pop it off. To get the focus sharp, I had Chris stand where I knew I wanted the flash to hit him and pre set the focus and the rest was a test of patience. No doubt I needed a tripod and I used a trigger to avoid camera shake.

I’m really pleased that this photo turned out the way it did as it’s always challenging to come up with new ideas or concepts to show the sport in a different way.

Also be sure to check out this recent feature article on Krystle.

Check out more of Krystle’s work on her website and Facebook page.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

BorrowLenses Year in Review: The Cameras of 2013

Gear Talk

2013 is a record year for new camera models at BorrowLenses.com, which means having the biggest selection of models we’ve ever had. There is something for every kind of photographer, from mirrorless pocket cameras to huge 60+ megapixel medium format DLSRs. We selected a bunch of our favorites from this bountiful season. Discover what’s available for exploration in our year-in-review. (more…)

5 Important Photography Business Tips to Start the Year Off Right

Tips & Tricks

The holidays are prime season for getting new cameras and lenses. It is also when photographers take stock of their images as well as their income and expenses. Here are 5 important recourses for any business-minded photographer, whether you’re a seasoned shooter looking to hone your business skills or a complete novice who wants to get a jump start on organizing their future.


Never Shoot for Free

In this interview with freelance photographer Court Leve, you’ll discover how important it is to find financial value in your work as well as artistic value.

Register Your Gear

Insuring your camera equipment is essential but did you know you can also register it for free? Register your serials online with Lenstag and it will send out indexed alerts in the unfortunate event that your gear gets stolen. (more…)

Behind The Shot: Above the Bar

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

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Photographer: Scott Roeder

Gear: Nikon D3sNikon 400mm f/2.8D AF-S, Monopod

Settings: ISO 320, f/2.8, 1/6400

Backstory: Track and field is among my favorite sports to shoot. There are plenty of different individual events, the athletes are amazing, and the opportunities for making a creative image are endless. It also gives me a great chance to work on shooting tight and challenging myself.

I wanted a clean background so I chose to shoot sitting on the ground and as close as possible, while still being able to capture the high jumpers full body within the frame. Usually my camera is set to a single focus point in the center for increased focusing response, and AI SERVO so that I can track my subjects. After a few shots I noticed two issues, first that I had empty space at the top of the frame and that the high jumpers feet were getting cut off, and secondly that my focus had jumped to the bar. Tracking the athletes as they made their approach to the bar and keeping my focus on their face led to the framing being off, and the quick focus of the D3s allowed the focus to switch when the bar crossed the center focus point. To fix both of these issues, I decided to manually focus roughly 8-10 inches in front of the bar, where I knew I wanted to catch the high jumpers at their peak. Having the focus preset also allowed me to concentrate on getting the whole body of the athletes in the frame. The expression, body position, and clean background really made this image a keeper for me!

Scott lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and shoots weddings, sports, portraits, products, or anything else you throw at him.

Check out more of Scott’s work on his website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

The Coolest Stuff of 2013

Cool Stuff

Every week we curate the coolest recent video tutorials, time lapses, tips, and behind-the-scenes shoots. As the year draws to a close, we’ve rounded up some of our favorites of 2013. There is a little something for everyone in this list of 10. We hope these videos teach you new tricks, inspire you to take on interesting projects, and help you meet greater personal goals in 2014.


This video is meditative, showing Luis Oliveira Santos’ exacting process of palladium printing. Modernity and tradition collide when he tries printing the Leica Monochrom’s digital files in a way typically only suited for medium and large format film. The results are beautiful:

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The Five Best Lenses For the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

Gear Talk

I’ve been playing with the BMPCC (Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera) for a few weeks now, and have, after much experimentation, finally narrowed the massive selection available for this camera (especially via adapters of various sorts) down to my 5 essential picks. Here they are, in no particular order… (more…)

Behind The Shot: Remote Birding

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Anna's Hummingbird Nest

Photographer: Michael Chen

Gear: Nikon D3Nikon 400mm f/2.8D AF-S, TC-14E II 1.4x, Nikon SB-900 SpeedlightsPocket Wizard MultiMAX transceiversManfrotto Magic Arms, Gitzo 3-series Tripod

Settings: ISO 1600, f/9, 1/250 – Flash Power @ 1/16

Backstory: One of the most frequently asked questions that I’ve been getting is how I shot the hummingbird nests with the mother feeding her chick.  Most of the time, I actually trigger a camera remotely using Pocket Wizard MultiMAX transceivers.  A remote camera allows me to keep some distance between me and the nest, lessening the amount of attention I draw to the nest area.  In general, nesting hummingbirds in a suburban environment do not mind a human presence and adapt quickly to a humans that they perceive as nonthreatening; however, one’s presence will draw and hold the attention of predators, such as crows and jays, and make it easier for the nest to be discovered.  The angles I can shoot from are also expanded by using the remote camera, as I can squeeze the camera and lens into places where it would be hard for me to be looking through the viewfinder.

Here, I’ve taken advantage of a nearby tree house-type structure and have placed the still camera on a tripod; the tree house allows me to simply use a tripod instead of having to be more creative in safely suspending the camera up in a tree.  The lens on the Nikon D3 camera is a Nikon 400mm f/2.8D AF-S; the tripod used here is a Gitzo 3-series.  I used a TC-14E II 1.4x teleconverter on the 400mm f/2.8 to fill more of the frame with the hummingbird and her nest, though I ultimately still had to crop off quite a bit of empty space.  Two SB-900 flashes, also triggered by the Pocket Wizard MultiMAX transceivers (using the relay mode function), freeze the motion of the mother and chick, and allowing me to shoot at f/16 for sufficient depth of field to keep everything important in focus.  The flashes are held in place by Manfrotto Magic Arms and allow me to position the flashes wherever I need them.

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After I set everything up- carefully and hopefully unnoticed by predators- all I have left to do is find a place to stay out of sight while being able to observe when the mother has returned to the nest, and then trigger the camera to make some images.  Remaining vigilant and patient at the same time is key to capturing the mother feeding the chick, as while the mother will feed the chick many times per hour, the actual moment of feeding is quick and fleeting; one can easily miss the mother entirely even while positioned close to the nest.

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More of Michael’s hummingbird photos can be seen here and here.

Check out more of Michael’s work on his website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Things to Know about the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Raw Update (with Some Sample Footage)

Gear Talk

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is one of the newest additions to our inventory, and is already in demand — every single unit we currently have in our inventory is checked out for the next two weeks at least, so get your orders in as soon as possible. This tiny little package packs a wallop when it comes to delivering outstanding image quality, and as of a couple of weeks ago, it is also the smallest camera in the world that shoots RAW video. (more…)

What (Else) to Know When Renting the Hasselblad H4X Medium Format Camera w/ 80MP IQ280 Digital Back

Gear Talk

A while back, we did a piece on what to know when renting Hasselblad H4X Medium Format Camera w/ 80MP IQ280 Digital Back. Medium format gear is a pretty different creature from your standard DSLR, even your high-end Canon 1Dx and Nikon D4′s. Like my colleague Alex Huff pointed out, it can be “perhaps a little scary.”

Here are a few more things you should keep in mind when shooting with the Medium Format gear, especially with the 80MP IQ280 Phase One back.

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The Nutritional Facts of a Successful Photography Business

Tips & Tricks

Jay Cassario is a wedding, engagement, and portrait photographer with additional passion for landscape and star photography, which has earned him publications by National Geographic. He is a regular contributor to SLR Lounge.


The Nutritional Facts of a Successful Photography Business (more…)

10 Carry On Friendly Photo and Video Accessories for Holiday Plane Travel

Gear Talk

Plane travel can be a source of anxiety for photographers. Checking bags isn’t safe for most gear and being able to skip the baggage claim carousels is always a bonus anyway – especially around the holidays. There are a lot of small items to shoot with, including high-quality mirrorless cameras, tiny lenses, and small flash gear. However, it is sometimes hard to skimp on support systems, lighting, and storage in order to save space. Rolling bags, tripods, and light stands all tend to be a pain to try and take on a plane. (more…)

Cool Stuff — November 24, 2013

Cool Stuff

Welcome to Cool Stuff, a recurring feature where we post our favorite links, including our favorite articles and how-tos, videos, images and more.

Cool Stuff articles are culled from BLFlip, the official Flipboard Magazine of BorrowLenses.com. If you’ve got an iOS or Android device, you can download the Flipboard app for free now.

  • We begin this edition of Cool Stuff with an update about one of our favorite new cameras: The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. This diminutive thing can now shoot RAW! We’ve got some footage in the editing bay now, so stay tuned for more on this. (more…)