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

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

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. Here are 10 items that you should be able to take on board with you without having to sacrifice your shooting needs. I say “should” because the TSA is a fickle fish – what flies at one airport may not fly at another and, as always, different carriers will be more strict than others. These are my personal favorite items that I have air traveled with for trade shows, overseas vacations, and for smaller gigs without incident (so far!) on both large airliners and regional jets. AlienBees LS1100 Backlight Stand   This little light stand fits into almost any bag – collapsed it is under a foot and a half and extends up to 3 feet. Don’t pack this for lighting portraits of basketball players but for family get-togethers (especially if everyone is sitting around the couch) it is perfect. Think Tank Airport International V2.0 Rolling Camera Bag  This bag is specifically designed to adhere to TSA standards. It combines the soft give of a fabric body (good for inevitable overstuffing) with the protection of a hard...
Behind the Scenes of a Saloon Shoot with Photographer Peter Phun

Behind the Scenes of a Saloon Shoot with Photographer Peter Phun

Peter Phun is a freelance photographer in Riverside California. An alumni of Kent State University in photojournalism, he was among the first at his local paper to make the transition from film to digital with zero training. Phun is currently an adjunct instructor of photography at Riverside Community College. Go behind the scenes with Phun and a couple of 1940s-inspired models to discover how you can make the most of  lighting a shoot in a dark and relatively cramped environment. A Few Photo Tips from a 1940s Theme Shoot at Lake Alice Saloon and Eatery reprinted with permission by Peter Phun In a bar, there are surprisingly many, many shiny and reflective surfaces. To help combat this, a softbox is a better choice than an umbrella. The light falls off very dramatically and won’t scatter the way it does in an umbrella. I especially like the Photoflex OctoDome NXT  for this.  To go inside the OctoDome, I rented a Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite from BorrowLenses to help save space. Lighting conditions inside most bars are poor so you may need to use your fastest lens, especially if you are only using flash for accent lighting. I used a 50mm f/1.2 on my  Canon 5D Mark II set to ISO 400. I usually prefer to fire my Speedlites on manual power because I like to have a consistent output. From the ST-E3-RT radio transmitter attached to my camera’s hotshot, I was able to dial in my flash setting without having to walk over to either Speedlite to make changes in power. For this shoot, I chose a 2:1 lighting ratio using just 2 Speedlites. I wanted my back light to put out 1 stop...
BorrowLenses Education: Featured Photographer Andy Lim

BorrowLenses Education: Featured Photographer Andy Lim

Technique, knowledge, inspiration – gain it all from seasoned photographers with years of experience and many tips to share with both burgeoning photographers and pros looking to gain a new perspective. Visit our entire collection of interviews, which are full of amazing images and valuable advice. Andy Lim got started in photography after leaving design college in 1992 and has given several public talks on the subject of photography. His work has since been published worldwide. Andy conducts SimpleSLR hands-on digital photography workshops from beginners to advanced levels. He also writes useful and practical digital photography tips on his GoodPhotography.info website. Andy Lim is an accomplished professional wedding photographer. His brand, Emotion in Pictures, attracts clients worldwide with his unique flavor of wedding and portrait photography. BL: What is your photographic specialty and how did you become interested in it? Lim: Wedding photography. While I was working as a creative director doing design and advertising, I started taking wedding pictures on a part-time basis. Eventually I went full-time in 2007 and never looked back. BL: How long have you been teaching and/or writing about photography and how would you describe your teaching/writing style? Lim: I have been running photography workshops since 2006, focusing mainly on beginners because that’s the area with the biggest need. Now I also conduct lighting workshops for more advanced photographers. My teaching style is very practical because I believe that in order to learn photography you need to be hands-on. My eBook guides focus on helping readers understand the technical aspects first and then applying the knowledge in a typical shooting situation and illustrating my point...
BorrowLenses Education: Featured Photographer Troy Paiva

BorrowLenses Education: Featured Photographer Troy Paiva

Technique, knowledge, inspiration – gain it all from seasoned photographers with years of experience and many tips to share with both burgeoning photographers and pros looking to gain a new perspective. Visit our entire collection of interviews, which are full of amazing images and valuable advice. Troy Paiva, AKA Lost America, has been creating light painted night photography in abandoned locations and junkyards since 1989. His documentarian work examines the evolution, and eventual abandonment, of the communities, infrastructure, and social iconography that spawned during America’s 20th century expansion into the cities and deserts of the West. His imagery has appeared in print in over a dozen countries, including three Stephen King book covers, American Photographer, Air & Space Magazine, Hot Rod Magazine, and CNN Online. Troy’s work has appeared in museums and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Sweden, and San Francisco. In 2010 and 2011, he appeared as a guest judge on the Singapore reality TV show The Big Shot. Troy teaches light painting/night painting workshops several times a year in a high desert junkyard filled with decaying movie prop vehicles. His low cost, high impact lighting techniques have been adopted by amateurs and professionals around the world. BL: What is your photographic specialty and how did you become interested in it? Paiva: I’m a night photographer and light painter and general lighting guru.  I picked up the basics of the techniques in the days of film, back in 1989, and forged my own techniques for working with flashlights (torches) during time-exposures through the ’90s and into the 21st century.  It’s been amazing to see the popularity of these...
Multiple Flash Firing with Nikon’s Advanced Wireless Lighting System Using Pop-up Flash

Multiple Flash Firing with Nikon’s Advanced Wireless Lighting System Using Pop-up Flash

Topics Covered: Setting Commander Mode for your Nikon camera and firing off-camera Speedlights using a pop-up flash. Assigning multiple flashes to groups A and B to control from your Nikon camera’s Commander Mode. Adjusting your flash channel, illumination pattern, and zoom position. Compatible Cameras and Flashes (including Canon and Sony): If you own or rent one of the following cameras, you may fire off-camera flash via Commander Mode using the pop-up flash on your camera: D600, D800/E, D700, D300/s, D200, D90, D80, D70s, D7100 and D7000. This system is compatible with the following Speedlights: SB-910, SB-900, SB-800, SB-700, SB-600, and SB-R200. No need for radio triggers or cables! Canon shooter? You can do this, too, with the following cameras using Canon’s Integrated Speedlite Transmitter system: 7D, 60D, Rebel T3i, Rebel T4i, Rebel T5i, and Rebel SL1. Canon’s system is compatible with the following Speedlites: 600EX-RT, 580EX II, 430 EX II, 320EX, and 270EX. We’ll have more on how to set this up on Canon’s system in a later post. Don’t want to wait? This page will get you started. For Sony users, the following DSLR cameras and flashes also have a built-in, pop-up flash wireless system: A58, A65, A77, A700 with the HVL-F60M, HVL-F58AM, HVL-F43AM, and HVL-F42AM. Adding Flashes to Your Scene I took the above portrait using a single SB-910 Speedlight inside a 28″ Westcott Apollo softbox. For variety, I decided to show a little bit more of the environment and add 2 more flashes to the mix to get the result below. When working in Nikon’s Advanced Wireless Lighting system, you can fire 2 groups of flashes...