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Canon Rebel SL1 Impressions

Gear Talk

Having been exposed to the most lusted after, review topping gear such as the 1DX and super telephoto lenses on a daily basis, a person tends to start looking for interesting gear experiences with less common choices. Take the Rebel SL1, for example (yes, we ARE aware of the huge gap in performance expectations). We have been using this body for some time now behind-the-scenes and despite its undesirable plastic build, tiny pentamirror viewfinder, and ridiculously small size, we started to um…like it! Here is why we would recommend trying this body out the next time you are considering something new for casual everyday shooting, travel photography, portraits, or landscapes.

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Canon 70D – Continuous Autofocus With STM Lenses

Gear Talk

Have you ever tried to autofocus in Live View with a DSLR? Pretty crummy, right? The Canon 70D changes that a bit with what they call Dual Pixel CMOS AF. This fairly new technology allows smooth, continuous autofocus (Canon calls is Movie Servo AF) while recording video. Continue on to view the test footage recorded when paired with Canon’s STM lenses.

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Red Bull GRC Action Sports Photography with Garth Milan

Photographers

Action sports photography has taken me all over the world, and my latest trip was to Sin City, where I spent two days shooting the final round of the 2014 Red Bull GRC series for, you guessed it, Red Bull. The event was just off of the Strip at the Linq Casino and Resort, at the base of the newly constructed High Roller Ferris wheel.

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A Comparison of 50mm Lenses

Gear Talk
There has been a sizable number of 50mm lenses that have flooded an already saturated market in the past 5 years. For example, there is the affordable and dependable Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.8G (~$200), the much talked-about Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art (~$1,000), and the luxurious Carl Zeiss 55mm f/1.4 Otus (~$4,000). What are the major differences between these (other than the Zeiss being a 55mm) and the collection of other 50mm lenses out there? When is it better to splurge rather than shoot more modestly? We quickly put 19 lenses to the test, old and new, to see how they compare to one another.  All images were captured on the Sony Alpha a7R with a Metabones Canon EF to Sony NEX Smart Adapter IIIMetabones Nikon G to Sony NEX Adapter, and a Sony LA-EA3.

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Have All Your Holiday Pictures Become The Same? Try Telling A Photo Story

Photographers Tips & Tricks

The holiday season is in full swing and for many of us it is a time to spend with friends and family, some of whom we may not get to see often. Is it great to have that group shot of long lost friends or 3 generations of family in one frame? YES! But why not test your skills this year at telling a photographic story. Follow these simple steps to communicate just how beautiful, exciting, or sentimental your time was spent over the holidays. Doing so just might jog those memories ever more clearly in the years to come and leave you with something to always cherish.

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Part 1: Will Learning Tilt-Shift Lenses Improve Your Photography?

Gear Talk

John Cooper specializes in corporate, industrial, and commercial photography for various business communities in Texas and teaches basic skills to other burgeoning photographers. If you are just starting out, or looking for a refresher, check out his advice below. You can also read more tips for architectural photography from John on our blog. Here is his advice on whether tilt-shift lenses are worth it for photographers.


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Breaking the Rules to Get the Most Out of Natural Light

Tips & Tricks

In photojournalism school, students are taught to underexpose when out in the field in order to achieve the richest colors and most intense contrast possible in a photograph. The trick, conventional wisdom explains, is to bring the exposure back up in post processing. I shot this way for years and it always treated me well. I’m still a big fan of the ‘underexpose method’ when shooting landscapes and documentary stories. The technique brings out the drama of what you’re trying to capture; old, wrinkly faces look like they belong to lost souls with millions of years of stories to tell, a canyon or mountain scape appears to be straight out of a dream with rainbow-like colors and dark, cloud-filled skies seem to hover over every crevice of the earth. Depth and drama are what this technique creates  — perfect for telling stories with a ‘wow’ effect. (more…)

Behind The Shot: Sparring Bears

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!

Aikenhead, Sparring Bears Photographer/Filmer/Editor: Lisa Aikenhead

Gear: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5/5.6L IS USM lens, Gitzo tripod, Really Right Stuff Ballhead (more…)

The Bokeh Effect: How Sensor Size Affects Background Blur

Gear Talk

Of all the things that photographers argue about in our secret monthly meetings, sensor size and its impact on our work is perhaps one of the most heated topics that can come up. From the true “bigger is better” snobs (“Sensors? Bah! 8X10 film is where it’s at!”) to the ones who prize portability above all (“Micro-Four-Thirds rules!”), the debate between advocates of MFT, APS-C, and full-frame sensors often reaches religious fervor.

Contentious topics related to sensor size include resolution, high-ISO performance, and dynamic range, but the quality and characteristic of bokeh, or out-of-focus backgrounds, is perhaps the most fiercely contentious. While there’s no contest that the bigger sensors can clearly produce much smoother and, well, blurier (not a word, I know), it’s also an unfair statement that the smaller sensors like the ones in Olympus and Panasonic Micro-Four-Thirds cameras can’t produce good bokeh. (more…)

Illuminating the Face, by Peter Hurley: A Review

Tips & Tricks

Back in 2011, photographer Peter Hurley teamed up with our friends over at FStoppers to create a tutorial video called The Art Behind The Headshot. That 4+ hour video more or less became required watching here at BL for anyone shooting any kind of portraiture, not just headshots. In fact, I still refer to it from time to time to prep for a new client; it was equal parts motivational video and coaching tutorial.

Now, three years later, Peter Hurley returns with another tutorial called Illuminating The Face. This is the next logical release after The Art Behind The Headshot, and Peter sent us a copy for review.

Here’s the one-sentence review: This is yet another home run for Peter Hurley, and if you happen to photograph the human face, regardless of your genre, this needs to be on your “must watch” list of tutorials. (more…)

Capturing the Surf: an Interview with Photographer Seth Migdail

Photographers

Seth Migdail is a surf photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. A regular at Mavericks, his work has been featured in a number of outlets, including Surfline.com and theinertia.com. I sat down with Seth to talk about his work, his process, and what it takes to break into the insular surfing community.

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Serene Travel Photography with the Canon EOS-M

Photographers

The Canon 5D Mark II has long been Tristan Pott’s go-to camera for capturing snippets of Japan and Taiwan, where he has been living for the past several years. To save a little space while still getting to use his normal lenses, Pott picked up a Canon EOS-M, Canon’s first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. Pott’s serene photographs of scenes from his day trips around both countries shows that a little camera can produce some beautiful visual keepsakes. If you’re trying to save on weight, especially if you are a Canon shooter with some lenses already available to you, the Canon EOS-M with the EF to EF-M adapter just may be the ticket! Find out below why Pott chooses the EOS-M. (more…)

Working With Magic Lantern RAW Files

Tips & Tricks

In case you missed it, we started carrying a version of the Canon 5D Mark III modified with the Magic Lantern firmware modification last year. One of the really cool features of this tweaked body is that you can now shoot 1080p video in RAW format.

Still shooters know what this means: better control over white balance and a file that stands up to post-processing really well. RAW is still something of a new bag for video shooters working with DSLRs, however, and there are a few things you should know when you start working with RAW files from the 5D Mark III.

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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…)