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Cool Stuff – Week of November 18, 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.

  • We start with something that, admittedly, is pretty relevant to us because the person at the heart of this story is a former employee. Apparently own Jess Nichols found one of her images being repurposed by fashion designer Chris Benz. You can get the scoop on this story on Jess’ blog.
  • A new music video by Grammy-nominated artist BT features the time-lapse work of one of our customers, Randy Halverson. Congrats, Randy! This is a stunning video.
  • We love photographer Jay P. Morgan’s lighting tutorials. Here, he looks at depth of field as a creative tool. Awesomesauce!
  • Sony’s been on a tear with their digital cameras lately, but it’s easy to forget how long they’ve been in the game. From our friends at PetaPixel comes this look back at one of the grandaddies of the digital camera world, the Sony Mavica.
  • Photographer Lindsay Adler is making quite the name for herself with her work as an instructor. Here, she shows you how to achieve a liquid black look to skin with a combination of lighting and Photoshop.
  • And finally, because there’s so much eye candy here, Goldpaint Photography’s Within Two Worlds time-lapse. We like pretty things.

 And now, for the BorrowLenses.com Roundup!

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Cool Stuff – Week of November 11, 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.

  • We’re pretty big GoPro fans here at BorrowLenses.com, so we got a kick out of this little trick: hide a GoPro in a bride’s bouquet for some cool POV shots.
  • The rollout of awesome videos from the Luminance 2012 conference continues. One of our new favorites is this talk by astronaut Donald Pettit.
  • The guys over at Pixiq have some interesting info about the autofocus system of the D800, D4, and D600. Check it out here.
  • Photographer Kamil Tamiola has some awesome tips for long-exposure night photography on a mountain. I got cold just watching the video.
  • And lastly, a nod to all you retro shooters out there. Photographer Robert Burley has a book coming out called Disappearance of Darkness. Here’s a video preview.

And now for the BorrowLenses.com Roundup…

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Rental Packages Now Available

BL News

“I’m shooting a wedding for the first time,” asked the nice lady on the phone. “Can you help me go over the gear I’ll need?”

Nikon Wedding Essentials Package

Nikon Wedding Essentials Package

That’s a question we get a lot from our newer customers who are taking on specific photo gigs like portraits and weddings for the first time. It’s a question we like hearing, because it means that more people are finding ways to make their passion pay, and that’s always a good thing.

To make things easier, we decided to introduce the concept of packages into our offerings. This is something a few customers have asked for, and we set about making the necessary modifications to our back-end system to accommodate their requests. (more…)

Cool Stuff – Week of November 4, 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.

  • We begin in outer space, where Curiosity, the Mars rover, has sent back a self-portrait. Cindy Shepard, eat your heart out! Viva Mars!
  • Here on earth, the next James Bond movie is about to be released. Here’s a great behind-the-scenes (BTS) look at the locations and setup used in the film. Video geeks, this one’s for you.
  • Photographer Kenneth Jarecke posts a searing critique of Instagram and its use by Time magazine to document the effects of Hurrican Sandy. Definitely worth a read.
  • Photographer Steve McCurry is one of the most renowned photojournalists of our time. Here’s a great look at his work in the area of documentary portraiture.
  • This next one’s a bit artsy, but it’s absolutely worth a look if you’re interested in the “why” of photographs you see, not just the “how”. Flakphoto presents “Looking at the Land: 21st Century American Views,” a collection of lansdscapes and the stories behind them.
  • And finally, we bring you a collection of amazing videos from the folks over at PhotoShelter. Taken as part of their Luminance convention, these feature folks like David Burnett, Zack Arias, and more. Four videos have been released thus far; we can’t wait for all of them to be online. Our favorite so far? Retoucher Amy Dresser’s scathingly irreverent presentation, embedded here for your viewing pleasure.

And now for the BorrowLenses.com Rundown

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Get the Missing Manual for Light

Gear Talk

 With autumn upon us, daylight hours are fewer and further between. I don’t stop shooting (later sunrises mean I can actually drag myself out of bed at a better hour), but I do take more time to catch up on my reading. Accordingly, I spend some time to put together a list of the best photography books that I want to go through each year and will bring you reviews of the ones I liked the most.

My (virtual) bookshelf is full of titles I’ve read or plan to read for reviewing or for personal edification. Some, like Brian Smith’s book on portraiture, which I reviewed earlier this week, are for personal edification and review. Some, like Light, Science, and Magic, are on there because the subject matter is of interest. And some are on there because I’ll read even an obituary by one of these authors.

Authors like Joe McNally, for example, whose books like Sketching Light and The Moment it Clicks make for fantastic and entertaining reading. Others write books so chock full of information that they become indispensable reference material that I find myself going to pretty often. My friend Syl Arena is an author and teacher who falls into the latter category, and his latest book, Lighting for Digital Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots is something that I think should be more appropriately titled “Light: The Missing Manual”.

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The Switch – Moving from Canon to Nikon, Part V

Gear Talk

This is the conclusion of a 5-part series on an experimental switch from Canon to Nikon.

I guess the big question on everyone’s mind is, “Did you switch or not?” Well, read on, gentle reader.

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Lock it down

Gear Talk
The Induro AT413, an excellent tripod for outdoor shooting.

The Induro AT413, an excellent tripod for outdoor shooting.

This is how the life of a photographer goes sometimes. You’re driving home on Highway 13, right around dusk. You glance off to your left and note that the moon, at an 8% crescent is going to set shortly, and it’s probably going to do so right behind the San Francisco skyline.

So what do you do? Well, if you’re me, you step on it and race for Grizzly Peak Road, a scenic, meandering two-lane stretch of tarmac that winds through the hills above Oakland and Berkeley while offering some spectacular views of the Bay Area, including the Bay Bridge, the San Francisco skyline, Oakland, Berkeley, and sometimes, the Golden Gate Bridge, too.

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Cool Stuff – Week of October 26, 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.

  • Watching an Annie Leibovitz BTS (Behind The Scenes) video, even a 2-minute one, is an educational experience. Especially when David Hobby annotates one.
  • Via National Geographic, take a gander at a dolly-mounted camera track a racing cheetah. Um, yeah. That was our reaction too.
  • Speaking of jaw-dropping things, check out this time-lapse with night and day images rotoscoped into the same film. “Cool” isn’t enough to describe it.
  • Last week, we brought you the city-without-people time-lapse of San Francisco by director Ross Ching. This time, Ross tackles Seattle.
  • And finally, via our friends at PetaPixel, we bring you this awesome piece on the sheer joy a photographer experiences when his subject gets friendly.

And now, the BorrowLenses.com rundown:

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

Cool Stuff – Week of October 20, 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.

  • There’s a little space geek in all of us, I think. So, of course, we have to lead with this amazing time-lapse from Matthew Givot. Endeavour, you will be missed!
  • Speaking of time-lapses and space geekery, Christopher Malin took a bunch of NASA-provided imagery and created this bit of awesomeoness:
  • Alfred Eisenstaedt shot stars of a different kind. From President John F. Kennedy to Marilyn Monroe, Eisie was one of the most renowned portrait photographers in history. Life has a great bit about how, at the very end of his portrait sessions, he’d pull a Hitchcock and jump in for cameo.
  • San Francisco is our back yard. So it stands to reason that this caught our eye. Director Ross Ching plans a series like this, so watch out for other cities he’ll cover too.
  • And finally, everyone’s favorite wearable camera now has an update. We’ve got it available for pre-booking, but what better way to show it off than with a video?

 And now, for the BorrowLenses.com Roundup!

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

The Switch – Moving from Canon to Nikon, Part III

Gear Talk

This is Part III of a series on moving from an all-Canon setup to an all-Nikon setup for four weeks. Will I go back to Canon at the end of four weeks? I have no idea…

In this part, I’m going to focus on just one thing: Nikon’s external flash system.

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New Pick-Up Locations: Chicago, IL., Corvallis, OR., Hayward and Monterey, CA.

BL News

One of the best options we offer here at Borrow Lenses, is the option to ship to various pick-up locations around the US for a lower price than shipping directly to your home or office. We’re happy to announce that we’ve added three of these new locations where you can pick-up your rentals on the West Coast!

Cool Stuff – Week of September 29, 2012

Cool Stuff
Light Painting on film by artist Eric Staller.

Light Painting on film by artist Eric Staller.

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.

  • If you haven’t seen this yet, you totally should. Light painting is all the rage right now, but these were done by artist Eric Staller way back in the 1970s with a Nikon film camera. Um, wow.
  • The way we see it, just about anything from Joe McNally automatically gets a mention in Cool Stuff. Here, he goes over some of his images published in NatGeo. An hour with Joe McNally? Um, yeah!
  • The awesome folks at Vimeo have thrown a lot of video-related tutorials out there for you budding filmmakers. Now, they’ve got one up that should make a few lightbulbs go off in your heads too. Here’s how to use your car as a massive motorized dolly.
  • We’re fans of photographer Jay P. Morgan of The Slanted Lens. Not only is he a working pro, he takes time to help educate the rest of us on various tips and techniques. Here’s his latest, a tutorial on simple corporate portraits.
  • And speaking of photographers we admire, Zack Arias was featured on Complex magazine’s blog as part of a new series called Shots Fired.

And now, for the BorrowLenses.com rundown!

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

The Switch: Moving from Canon to Nikon, Part 0.5

Gear Talk

This is a quick ‘n dirty post that’s part of my “Switch” series. Part 1 of the series can be found here.

I was in the studio, working on a quick lighting test. The subject was a violin positioned on a tall chair, and I was moving in and out, shooting the whole thing, then switching to some detail work. I had two SB-910′s on stands, with gels and, occasionally, a Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe on one of them.

The shot you see below was taken with the D800 I currently have for testing, with a Nikon 105mm f/2.8G Micro lens.

The SB-910 shining on it has the aforementioned Lastolite softbox on it, as well as a chocolate gel. There is absolutely no post-production on the shot.

I am really, really liking the tones coming off that Nikon. They are, in a word, luscious.

What blew me away was when I zoomed in at 100% to look at the object in focus, the second knob from the left. Click on the image below to embiggen; the smaller size won’t show you what I’m talking about.

Wow. I mean, yeah, I’m going to have to repeat this experiment with a Canon 5D Mark III and the famed 100mm f/2.8L macro as well, but, well, wow.

I’ve always known that this would a rough experiment. I knew I’d have my preconceptions challenged. I guess I was hoping it wouldn’t be this hard.

Cool Stuff – Week of September 22, 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.

And now, for the BorrowLenses.com rundown!

That’s it for this week’s Cool Stuff. As always, questions and feedback are welcome in the comments below.

BorrowLenses.com iPhone 5 Upgrade Alternative

Cool Stuff Gear Talk

Here at BorrowLenses.com we understand not everyone is impressed enough with the new iPhone 5 to upgrade. For those looking for an alternate upgrade path for their iPhone we’d like to introduce you to our iPhone 5 Upgrade Alternative:

Who needs an iPhone 5 upgrade when you can slap a top of the line CP.2 cinema lens on your iPhone 4. This handy dandy solution knocks out two birds with one stone:
1. No need for a vintage filter app. Enjoy a warm hue, vignetted frame and ample dust spots on a lens adapter magnification screen.
2. Enjoy the optical advantage only the Zeiss CP.2 Super Speed Lens can provide.

Everyone who sees you filming with this bad boy on your iPhone will instantly know you’re a DP on the rise. See some example footage below:

Rent yours today:
Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 50mm/T 1.5 Super Speed EF Mount
iPhone 4 and iPhone EF mount adapter not included.

More images after the jump…
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