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Cool Stuff – Week of August 6, 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.

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

On the Profoto Blog

Cool Stuff

Our recent Tip of the Week was picked up by the wonderful folks at Profoto and mentioned on their blog. If you haven’t been by there, you’re missing out – they post a ton of great stuff that’s worth looking at even if you never use a single piece of Profoto gear. We warn you though – watching some of their videos will induce a pretty severe case of Profoto lust.

Don’t say we didn’t warn you…

Visit Profoto’s blog at profoto.com/blog, and check out their mention of our piece here.

Tip of the Week – Controlling Power on a Profoto Pack, Part I

Tips & Tricks

Want to harness the power of a Profoto pack, but aren’t sure just how to control it? Read on to find out how you can do just that in this week’s Tip.

Tip of the Week – Replicate Photographer Peter Hurley’s Signature Look With Strobes

Tips & Tricks

Want to learn how to replicate famous headshot photographer Peter Hurley’s signature look, but with strobes? Check out this edition of Tip of the Week!

Cool Stuff – Week of May 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.

Tip of the Week – Our favorite lighting videos

Tips & Tricks

Every week, we post a photography-related tip on our blog. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

This week, we bring out our favorite lighting videos. Whether it’s about small flashes or studio strobes, lighting is something we get an awful lot of questions about. So, we decided to put together a short list of our favorite lighting-related video tutorials to help you get going. These are paid videos, but are worth every penny, since the instructors are some of the best in the business.

  1. Joe McNally’s “Language of Light”: Joe is easily one of the best lighting instructors in the world, and his “Language of Light” DVD set is pure genius. Whether it’s shooting a family portrait, or hanging off the back of a truck to capture speeding downhill skaters, Joe does it all and does it incredibly well. He’s funny, engaging and eloquent, and while he doesn’t make it look easy, he does help you understand his methods and techniques, letting you learn a lot in the process.
  2. David Hobby’s “Lighting in Layers”: David Hobby became famous for starting what is now considered to be the bible of small flash photography websites. Strobist.com has become the go-to site for folks looking to learn about lighting with small flash, and to his credit, David pretty-much gives away a ton of information for free there. His “Lighting in Layers” DVD, however, ratchets things up to a whole new level. Six full shoots span nine hours of video, replete with lighting diagrams, commentary and on-the-job demos. For lighting enthusiasts and aficionados, this is definitely worth checking out.
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  3. Scott Kelby’s “Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it!”: This one requires a subscription to KelbyTraining.com, but is totally worth it. Scott takes you through a complete shoot, from lighting setup, to shooting, to the retouching process. Throughout the entire tutorial – which is actually broken into three parts – he describes all the gear, software and techniques he uses in great detail, leaving few, if any, questions in the minds of the audience. Scott’s class got so popular, it spawned a book and a nationwide teaching tour of the same name.  If you don’t have a subscription to KelbyTraining, they do have a free trial so you can check out the class during that. Get the subscription, however, because it also gets you access to another video on this list.
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  4. Zack Arias teaching studio lighting at creativeLIVE.com

    Zack Arias teaching studio lighting at creativeLIVE.com

    Zack Arias’ “Studio Lighting.”: This is easily THE go-to course if you’re just starting out and want an immersive, extensive course. Shot over three days, this workshop form creativeLIVE is absolutely stunning in the amount of instruction it provides. From learning how to setup a shoot to why you start with, say, a soft box to what that does versus an umbrella or a beauty dish, to measuring exposure, this workshop has it all.

    Zack is a fantastic instructor; he’s humble, self-deprecating and brutally honest. This is a guy who’s not afraid to let his mistakes be a teaching tool, and you’ll see that in this video workshop. Moreover, he doesn’t assume you know something about lighting already, so he explains things very thoroughly. Even experienced folks will get something out of this workshop, so don’t pass it up.
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  5. Syl Arena’s “Working with Speedlites”: This two-part course, also available from KelbyTraining.com (the same place you can find Scott Kelby’s class, mentioned above) is a nod to the Canonistas out there. Since David Hobby and Joe McNally are Nikon users, their classes invariably involve heavy use of Nikon cameras and flashes. Syl’s class, on the other hand, is all about Canon flash photography.What’s really cool about this class is that it does what your Canon flash’s manual should have done, but didn’t. Syl breaks down Speedlites and explains everything in detail – but he doesn’t stop there. There’s plenty of technical information to give you lots of “Aha!” moments, but then he shows you just how to use those flashes in actual shooting situations. The class is broken into two parts, one for working with single Speedlites, and the other for working with multiple Speedlites. If you’re a Canon shooter and want to get into the world of small flash photography, this is your go-to class.

So that’s the list of our favorite lighting videos. Got a recommendation of your own? Leave us a comment, and let us know!

Pros you should know: Syl Arena

Photographers

“Pros you should know” is an ongoing Q&A series with photographers that the folks here at BorrowLenses.com admire and follow.

Syl Arena at Rayko Photo in San Francisco, at a recent workshop.

Syl Arena at Rayko Photo in San Francisco, at a recent workshop.

Welcome to the first in a series of articles talking about some of the professionals in our field that the folks here at BorrowLenses.com think you should know. Today, we’d like to introduce you to Syl Arena. (more…)

Tip of the week: Making sense of PocketWizards, Part I

Gear Talk Tips & Tricks

Welcome to a recurring feature on The Blog @ BorrowLenses.com. Every Thursday, we will post a photography-related tip here. These tips are typically inspired by questions we get from our customers. Sometimes we might feature a technique tip, and sometimes a gear recommendation. If there’s something specific you’d like to see in this section, let us know. Email us at [email protected]

Making sense of PocketWizards, Part I.

A few of the PocketWizard products on our site

A few of the PocketWizard products on our site

The increasing interest in off-camera flash has led to a number of our customers requesting PocketWizards to trigger off-camera flashes. The problem is, there isn’t just one single PocketWizard available to rent – there are no less than a half-dozen transmitters you have to chose from and just as many receivers. (more…)

This weekend in San Francisco: Speedliter’s Intensive

BL News
Speedliter's Intensive

Speedliter's Intensive

Our friend and favorite red-haired photographer, Syl Arena, is hosting his amazing Speedliter’s Intensive class and workshop this weekend in San Francisco. Seats are still open for the event and BorrowLenses.com blog readers and Facebook/Twitter followers get $50 off the two-day event by using the code BL50.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what to do with that Canon Speedlite you bought with your camera, this is the class for you.

(more…)

Coming Soon: More Radios

Gear Talk

This is the first in a series on Lighting, where we discuss the use of the variety of lighting gear available for rent from BorrowLenses.com

PowerMC2 Receiver. Photo Courtesy PocketWizard.com

PowerMC2 Receiver. Photo Courtesy PocketWizard.com

Two new products are on their way to BorrowLenses.com’s offices this week that should make the lighting and off-camera flash geeks among us pretty darn happy. As you may know, we’ve carried many of PocketWizard’s products in our inventory for some time now, including their newer line of “ControlTL” products. Thus far, we’ve carried the MiniTT1 on-camera trigger and the FlexTT5 transceiver. Later this week, we’ll be adding two more ControlTL products to the list: the PowerMC2 receiver for Paul C. Buff’s Einstein monolights and the AC3 ZoneController. (more…)