A Trip to the Bottom of the World: Photographing Antarctica

A Trip to the Bottom of the World: Photographing Antarctica

  It goes without saying that someone interested in traveling to Antarctica can’t simply go online, book a flight and hotel, pack their bags, and shove off like they would for most other international destinations. It can be a daunting task trying to find a reputable tour company that is a good fit for you. I’ve been to Antarctica multiple times and have traveled with more than one tour company. Personally, I recommend Polar Latitudes for someone who has a keen interest in photography. Among other eco-experts at your disposal, Polar Latitudes has a staffed professional photographer on each voyage to instruct its expedition members both onboard and out in the field. It really doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up a camera or are a professional yourself. You will undoubtedly come back home with the best images possible and expand your technical knowledge. Best Time to Travel For starters, I would avoid the Austral winter, unless you are a research professional who doesn’t have the luxury of picking a time of year to travel. Having said that, there isn’t a “best time” to travel to Antarctica but what you are able to photograph will depend on the time of the year. The Antarctic tour season typically runs from November to March (remember, the seasons are reversed from those in the northern hemisphere). Generally, penguins are on their nests with eggs or giving birth to baby chicks from November to January. Newborn chicks (like the one pictured below at Port Lockroy, Antarctica) can usually be photographed towards the end of the season in January through March. Traveling with Kids...
The New Nikon D5500

The New Nikon D5500

Nikon’s newest iteration of their entry level DSLR, the D5500, has just been added to the inventory here at Borrowlenses.com! Jonathan Fleming, manager of the VIP department, took it for a whirl and for its size and stature was impressed by its capabilities. Continue reading to find out his full review! Beginning with the overall stats of the camera, the D5500 sports a 24 megapixel sensor with no AA filter. The disappearance of the AA filter (Ant-Aliasing) makes for sharper images and more captured fine detail in those images. There is a 39 point focus system, 9 of  which are cross-type, allowing for a better chance of locking on to changes in contrast. The more cross points you have, the more effective. You also get up to 5fps when burst shooting! This entry level camera has come a long way from its predecessors (d5100, d5200, d5300)! The grip is ergonomically designed, making it easy to hold despite its small frame. The rear command dial has been moved to the top deck, where the thumb rests more naturally on a camera of this size. The weight of this body has also decreased 60g from the cameras it replaces – a plus for those trying to keep their weight down and quality up. Nikon has finally added a capacitive articulating touch screen, similar to the beloved Canon SL1. You can pinch to zoom, swipe through photos, and select settings/focus points all from the touch screen. The thing to consider, like with most new camera body releases, is that RAW files are yet to be supported by third party editors such as...
Have All Your Holiday Pictures Become The Same? Try Telling A Photo Story

Have All Your Holiday Pictures Become The Same? Try Telling A Photo Story

The holiday season is in full swing and for many of us it is a time to spend with friends and family, some of whom we may not get to see often. Is it great to have that group shot of long lost friends or 3 generations of family in one frame? YES! But why not test your skills this year at telling a photographic story. Follow these simple steps to communicate just how beautiful, exciting, or sentimental your time was spent over the holidays. Doing so just might jog those memories ever more clearly in the years to come and leave you with something to always cherish. The Checklist A good way to start is by considering what your story or angle will be before you even pick up a camera. Plan ahead the shots which will be most critical, whether they are portraits or wide angle landscapes, that best tell your story. Having a loosely memorized shot list will increase your chances of capturing those key moments as they arise, since there will be many distractions while you shoot. Follow the Same Rules as Writing Whether you are blogging, sharing on social media, making a scrapbook, or submitting for publication your viewers will need to understand the context of your pictures. As you shoot, remember the who, what, when, where, and why. Your goal is to explain to viewers the reasons for your subject’s actions. Variety is the Spice of Life To tell a bigger more compelling story, shoot the subject or event from a range of viewpoints. Understanding beforehand how you would like your photographs to be read...
BorrowLenses Year in Review: The Cameras of 2013

BorrowLenses Year in Review: The Cameras of 2013

2013 is a record year for new camera models at BorrowLenses.com, which means having the biggest selection of models we’ve ever had. There is something for every kind of photographer, from mirrorless pocket cameras to huge 60+ megapixel medium format DLSRs. We selected a bunch of our favorites from this bountiful season. Discover what’s available for exploration in our year-in-review. Mirrorless/MFT/Compact Panasonic’s GX7 boasts in-body stabilization and Light Speed AF all inside a super stylish design with a comfortable rubber grip. Other notable features include an impressive action-stopping 1/8000th of a second shutter ability and flash syncing at 1/320th of a second and a DSLR-esque twin-dial control system. The fully 90 degree tilting viewfinder is also a welcome feature. The GX7 has this crazy 40 FPS mode when using the electronic shutter. However, to use it you are limited to reduced-resolution JPEGs but it’s still a fun option to have. Autofocus on the GX7 is blazingly fast. AF locks onto the subject immediately even in low light where manual focus is often the only option. Continuous AF, however, still tends to hunt around as one would expect with no phase-detect sensors. Overall, the GX7 is comfortable, cool looking, and accommodates a vast array of MFT-mount lenses that are very fast. Pairs well with: Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 Lumix G Vario Zoom Lens Fuji’s X100 set the gold standard for retro design when it first came out. Since then it has continued that tradition, packing increasingly advanced technology into the classically designed mirrorless cameras that take their cues more from rangefinders of yesterday than anything else. The success to the X100 is the “s” variant of...
Moose Peterson’s Shooting Tips for the Nikon 800mm f/5.6 Super Telephoto Lens

Moose Peterson’s Shooting Tips for the Nikon 800mm f/5.6 Super Telephoto Lens

Moose Peterson is a Nikon Legend Behind the Lens, Lexar Elite Photographer, recipient of the John Muir Conservation Award, and a Research Associate with the Endangered Species Recovery Program. Moose has a passion for photographing wildlife and wild places and educating the public about our wild heritage. He has been published in over 142 magazines worldwide and is the author of 26 books, including Photographic FUNdamentals. Moose has shot with a lot of super telephoto lenses and the Nikon 800mm f/5.6 is among his favorites. See why in his quick review with sample images. The Amazing Nikon 800 f/5.6 AFS by Moose Peterson 800mms is a magical focal length that I had longed to see in the Nikon AFS line-up. It is one of Nikon’s sharpest lenses ever. The 800mm f/5.6 delivers such amazing image quality that it’s nearly disconcerting because it shows off any flaws in your photographic technique. You must use proper long lens technique when shooting the 800mm on a fantastic tripod properly situated on Earth. At 800mms, you have a very narrow depth of field especially when you’re shooting up close and personal. 800mm f/5.6 vs the 600mm f/4 The lens itself is just a tad longer and a tad heavier than the 600mm f/4. However, I feel it is also a tad better more balanced and a tad sharper. So with that said, you could go with the 600mm and a 1.4x teleconverter and be in the same ballpark as the 800mm but it’s not quite the same. We are splitting hairs here but that’s what we do in photography – we look for the right...