Intro to Light Painting with Olympus Trailblazer Jamie MacDonald

Intro to Light Painting with Olympus Trailblazer Jamie MacDonald

Jamie MacDonald is an Olympus Trailblazer who shoots nature and wildlife in the Mid-Michigan area exclusively with the Olympus Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds camera systems. He is also a contributor for Small Camera Big Picture. Light painted photography is one of his passions and he is currently working on a new light painting tool to make the job easier for beginners. Check out his tips below for creating a successful light painted photo. Intro to Light Painting by Jamie MacDonald As photographers we know that our craft is all about light. We long for the golden hours of morning and evening, the blue hour of twilight, and some of us make our own with strobes and Speedlights. But there is a subset of photographers out there who choose not use light to highlight our subjects but, rather, to make light the subject itself. This is what happens when light becomes the scene. What does it take to start light painting? It really takes nothing more than your camera, a source of light, and your imagination. Let’s start off with the gear. Below is a general recommendation for the gear needed to begin light painting: A camera capable of shooting in manual mode. If you’re an extreme beginner, don’t worry – shooting in manual is easy for this! A tripod or some other way to make sure your camera is stable during the exposure. A cable release for your camera. If you do NOT have one, don’t worry. I have a trick for you to use that will work just fine. A light source. What kind? Pretty much anything that makes...
Use ND Filters to Blur Motion

Use ND Filters to Blur Motion

The use of various filters – physical ones, not the ones in Photoshop – is something that waxes and wanes with time. Back in the film days, filters were an indispensable part of the landscape photographer’s toolkit. With the advent of digital photography and technologies like HDR, the use of filters, especially graduated and colored filters, has fallen off quite a bit. As is wont to happen, what’s old is slowly becoming new again. Of late, there’s been a resurgence in the use of certain filters, to the point where Schneider, one of the leading companies that makes these filters, is back-ordered on a number of them. What is an ND filter, and why do I want to use one? But let’s backtrack and talk about what an ND filter is, exactly. In simple terms, an ND – or Neutral Density – filter is a dark piece of glass or resin that cuts down the amount of light coming into your camera. It does so without, hopefully, affecting the white balance of your image, or adding a color cast (though as you’ll see later, this isn’t always the case). Now, why would you use an ND filter? Well, there are a number of reasons for that. Here’s an excerpt from a previous post… One thing that confuses a lot of photographers is that in the video world, shutter speed is no longer something you can use to control your exposure – at least, not without additional consequences. When shooting video, your shutter speed needs to be fixed at either 1/50th of a second (if you’re shooting video at 24fps)...
Tip of the Week: Use a Tilt-Shift Lens for Panoramic Photos

Tip of the Week: Use a Tilt-Shift Lens for Panoramic Photos

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 blog@borrowlenses.com. There are many ways to create panoramic images. You can start with a really wide-angle lens, then simply crop down to a long, narrow band to create a “faux” panorama. You can also use the built-in panoramic functions of cameras like Sony’s NEX and Alpha series, as well as Fuji’s X100 and X-Pro1. You can also simply take a series of pictures and stitch them together in Photoshop, or, if you’re really into panoramic photography, you could rent a pano-head from us, like the ones from Nodal Ninja. Today, we’re going to talk about one of my favorite ways to create panoramas. All of the methods above have some shortcomings that make it a bit harder to create good panos. Using a wide-angle lens and cropping, for example, leaves me with a lower-resolution file than I’d like. The built-in pano features in some cameras is neat, and I do use them (as shown in Figure 1), but they’re also relatively low-res JPEGs. Pano heads are great for this sort of work, but you have to find the “nodal point” of each lens you want to use, and that takes quite a bit of work. Tilt-shift lenses are a great alternative for creating panoramic images. Traditionally, these are used by architectural and landscape photographers to avoid distortion or...