3 Back to School Portrait Styles: Which One is Right for You?

3 Back to School Portrait Styles: Which One is Right for You?

Start studying because the kids are heading back to school, which means you’ll have to act fast to get the first-day-of-school shot you want. As part of this preparation, you need to decide which style is right for your family or the family you’re photographing for. Here’s what you need to know to ace these 3 school-themed shoots: Lesson 1: Before-and-Afters Before-and-afters are always fascinating because you’re either seeing how someone aged or comparing family members. Here are the different types of before-and-afters: Classic – First day of school vs last day of school. Archival – First day of school year-over-year (takes long-term dedication). Generational – Parent’s first day of of school vs kid’s first day of school (or one sibling compared to another). Since before-and-afters are always a winner, you can get away with taking mediocre images that are still cherished – even with just your phone. However, here are some tips on how to get more than just a passing grade: • Pick a camera that you can use consistently over time, preferably one that is high enough quality so that the results don’t look dated after 1 year. • Use the same lens, or focal length, for your before-and-afters. If using a zoom, write down what focal length you used. If you’re doing something generational, try and guess the focal length of an old photo. Online focal length comparison tools might help! • Write down your settings (or remind yourself of your settings in your EXIF data before taking the “after” picture). You’ll want to use similar settings again. If your “after” picture is turning out darker or lighter than you...
Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – July Edition

Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – July Edition

Canon finally has an affordable 4K camera, Tokina’s got some cool Cine zooms for you, and we have the latest addition to the Leica family. It’s that time of the month again folks: here’s the July edition of all the fresh new gear at BorrowLenses! Hive Lighting Wasp Plasma PAR Light Kit Plasma lighting is catching on big-time these days. These kits from Hive Lighting draw relatively little power and, according to Hive, output the equivalent of 400–4,000 watt HMI lamps. Best of all, they have adjustable color temperatures and intensity, giving you a range of between 4,600K to 7,000K. Depending on the accessories you mount, they can put out a blistering 5,000 foot-candles of power at 10 feet. Doing the math, that’s… let’s see… carry the one… a lot of f-stops. Really. The Wasp Par kit comes with one par light, 4 lenses to give you a variety of lighting options, a set of scrims and barn doors. SmallHD Sidewider EVF We recently got the SmallHD 502 monitor into our inventory, and this flip-out frame and loupe is the perfect compliment to that monitor. It mounts – somewhat counterintuitively at first – sideways to the frame, which actually allows you to place the monitor parallel to your camera and gives you more of a run-and-gun-style add-on, which documentary filmmakers will appreciate. Interestingly, unlike other EVF/loupes, this one moves the monitor away from in front of your face, providing you with better situational awareness of your environment. The unit rents with the EVF loupe, a diopter assembly that lets you adjust it from –2 to +4, and a carrying...
Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – June Edition

Latest Gear at BorrowLenses – June Edition

We’re feeling like standing outside the door of our San Carlos or Waltham headquarters and yelling, “New gear! Get your new gear! Fresh off the FedEx truck, new gear!” Since our bosses ruled that out, we’re taking to the blog to tell you about all the cool toys we just got in. Without further ado, here’s some of the latest gear to rent at BorrowLenses. Rokinon 135mm T/2.2 Cine DS lens for Canon We love the Rokinon Cine primes. They’re a fraction of the cost of a Canon or Zeiss cine prime to rent, and while those lenses have unsurpassed optical properties and other great qualities going for them, the Cine DS line from Rokinon still has a certain soft spot that calls to the small indie startup we once were. The 135mm from Rokinon has the same great characteristics that the rest of the Cine DS line has: small size, solid optics, and a de-clicked aperture that allows for smooth transitions from wide open to stopped down all the way. Furthermore, the gears for the focus and aperture rings are in the same place for all the lenses in the Cine DS series, making it easier to swap lenses on a rig without repositioning follow focus gears, etc. Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM Speaking of great lenses, the “nifty fifty” from Canon hasn’t changed much for, well, ever. Until now. The new iteration of this lens has the STM, or stepping motor focus system that is slowly making its way into Canon’s autofocus lenses. The STM allows for whisper-quiet autofocus and smooth and precise movements when shooting video. Pair...
Illuminating the Face, by Peter Hurley: A Review

Illuminating the Face, by Peter Hurley: A Review

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. What came before… Let’s talk for a moment how Illuminating The Face differs from The Art Behind The Headshot. The Art… was very much a non-technical tutorial. It was a lot like having Peter Hurley coach you on how to interact with your subject, how to direct them, what to look for when pressing that shutter button. That’s not to say that there was nothing technical in that video; Peter did cover his trademark square box lighting technique that had turned heads on the internet and spawned a slew of  copycats and admirers — including, I’m not ashamed to admit, yours truly right here on this blog. Yet The Art… wasn’t a technical tutorial. It was very much a “human” tutorial, and was gloriously welcome at a time when...
BorrowLenses’ Guide to Lighting Sync Cables

BorrowLenses’ Guide to Lighting Sync Cables

Strobes are triggered from your camera to fire every time you hit the shutter button in the following ways: Transmitters designed specifically for that strobe that you connect to the camera, usually via your camera’s hot shoe. Radio transmitters that you connect, usually with small sync cables, to the strobe and to the camera. Long sync cables that physically connect your strobe to your camera. Your camera must have a sync-in port, located usually near the mount or on the side of the body. The following kits come with their own transmitters: Elinchrom BX-Ri 2 500Ws Monolight Kit with Skyport EL Transceiver Profoto D1 Air 500Ws 2 Monolight Studio Kit with Air Remote Bowens Gemini 500R 2 Light Umbrella Kit with Pulsar TX Radio Remote Elinchrom Ranger Quadra Head A Pro Set with Skyport EL Transceiver Broncolor 1200Ws Two Litos Monolight 22 Kit and Senso Power Pack with RFS 2 Transmitter Broncolor 2400Ws Two Litos Monolight 42 Kit and Senso Power Pack RFS 2 Transmitter Otherwise, your strobe or monolight will come with its own 1/8 (or 1/4)-PC sync cable to use with your camera. Small flashes do not come with sync cables. The following kits/strobes do not come with their own transmitters nor do they come with their own sync cables: Profoto B1 500W/s AirTTL Battery Powered Flash Profoto B1 500W/s AirTTL Location Kit Profoto B2 250W/s AirTTL Location Kit They accept 1/8 sync cables but operate best with their own transmitter, which much be rented separately: Profoto Air Remote TTL-C Transmitter for Canon Profoto Air Remote TTL-N Transmitter for Nikon Connecting Strobe and Camera All kits and strobes will come with...