BL Blog

photography

Behind the Shot: Milky Way

Behind The Shot

Behind the Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Find out the backstory of how Michael Bonocore captured this clear and peaceful image on the outskirts of Mount Shasta. 

C03T9229-X3

 

Photographer/Filmer/Editor: Michael Bonocore (more…)

Instagram Weekly Photo Challenge: Celebrating Workers of All Trades

BL News

See our season recap of all of the best Instagram photos from the BorrowLenses Instagram page where winners received $50 gift certificates. 

Images from Last Week:

Thank you to everyone who submitted a wedding image to the Instagram page last week for the challenge! It was great to see the assortment of wedding images that BorrowLenses fans have captured throughout the summer wedding season. Fans followed the BorrowLenses Instagram page and tagged photos with #BLWeddings. The WINNER of last week’s Instagram contest is Alyssa ShrockCongratulations to Alyssa for submitting the winning wedding photo and winning a $50 rental credit to BorrowLenses. Check out more of her beautiful wedding and portrait photography on her website Alyssa Shrock Photography!

Here are a few of our other favorite images collected. Feel free to comment and let us know what image is your favorite in the bunch! Check out all of the #BLWedding entries here. (more…)

Breaking the Rules to Get the Most Out of Natural Light

Tips & Tricks

In photojournalism school, students are taught to underexpose when out in the field in order to achieve the richest colors and most intense contrast possible in a photograph. The trick, conventional wisdom explains, is to bring the exposure back up in post processing. I shot this way for years and it always treated me well. I’m still a big fan of the ‘underexpose method’ when shooting landscapes and documentary stories. The technique brings out the drama of what you’re trying to capture; old, wrinkly faces look like they belong to lost souls with millions of years of stories to tell, a canyon or mountain scape appears to be straight out of a dream with rainbow-like colors and dark, cloud-filled skies seem to hover over every crevice of the earth. Depth and drama are what this technique creates  — perfect for telling stories with a ‘wow’ effect. (more…)

Behind The Shot: Sparring Bears

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Aikenhead, Sparring Bears Photographer/Filmer/Editor: Lisa Aikenhead

Gear: Canon 5D Mark II, Canon EF 100-400 f4.5/5.6L IS USM lens, Gitzo tripod, Really Right Stuff Ballhead (more…)

6 Website Mistakes You’re Probably Making Right Now

Tips & Tricks

Our friends over at SmugMug.com help photographers from all walks of life put their best memories into beautiful and safe photography websites. They have seen every kind of website, from breathtaking portfolios to always-under-construction blunders. To kick off a new blog series of photography website tips and tricks, SmugMug lists the most commonly made mistakes of the website world. Avoid these and you’ll be on the right track toward making a good first impression! (more…)

Behind The Shot: Apostle Islands Sea Caves

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Screen Shot 2014-02-10 at 11.51.50 AM

Photographer/Filmer/Edior: Alex Fraser

Gear: Canon 5D Mark III, Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, mini-tripod

Settings: ISO 100, f/11, 7-exp HDR

Backstory: The Apostle Islands Sea Caves, along the shore of Lake Superior in northern Wisconsin, are usually only accessible by kayak on calm Summer days. In certain Winter conditions, however (a long cold snap, and a lack of northwest winds), enough ice can form to make them accessible on foot. With the caves open for the first time in five years, some friends and I made the four hour drive from Minneapolis to see the sight.

I shoot with a wide angle lens for 95% of my landscapes, so I was packing light with just my 5DMk3 body and the Rokinon 14mm. The Rokinon is full-manual, which can get a little fiddly up close, but for most landscapes you can just focus at infinity (which for the lens means anything further away than ten feet) with a narrow aperture and fire away. I was shooting 7-exposure HDR (-3 stops to +3) with auto-exposure bracketing in aperture priority mode, so I moved the ISO settings around to match shutter speeds with what I could reasonably hold steady by hand most of the time, but for a few of the shots inside the caves I let the mini-tripod get low and take some longer exposures at ISO 100.

Alex lives in Minneapolis, MN, and shoots mostly sports and landscapes, but he’ll shoot your wedding too if you like his style. He keeps a running gallery of his favorite photos on his 500px page. Check out all of the photos from his Apostle Islands trip.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Behind The Shot: The Line Between (Video)

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Photographer/Filmer/Edior: Long Nguyen

Gear: Canon 5D Mark IICanon 7DCanon 70-200 f2.8Canon 17-40 F4Tonika 10-17 FisheyeCustom SLR M-plate MiniCustom SLR M-Plate ProCustom SLR Glide OneCustom SLR C-LoopF-Stop Gear LokaF-Stop Gear Satori EXPF-Stop Gear Lightroom RollerGlide Cam 2000, Fotopro Carbon Tripod, Manfroto 701 Head, DIY Dolly, Sennheiser MKE 400

Backstory: What’s better than riding your bike? Riding your bike with your friends. Early last year, my friends Christian Wright, Marshall Mullen, and I wanted to shoot a short mountain bike video together. Christian and Marshall had never ridden together, so it was the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. After exchanging some emails and phone calls, I came up with the idea of filming at Christian’s and Marshall’s homes. They were not only known for their riding abilities, but for their dirt jumps and locations where they lived. To many riders, it’s heaven, and their popularity grew over the years due to that.

Usually with most projects, you will have a partner in crime to help you film and photograph. Over the years, I have always completed projects on my own. It’s no easy task, and The Line Between was the hardest project I have produced to date. It was hard to juggle everyone’s schedule since most of us are always traveling, and I did all the filming, photographing, editing, and distributing.

When going in to the project I knew it was going to be tough, but I knew Christian and Marshall were hard workers. It’s always nice working on a project with others who are just as dedicated and motivated as you are. Both Christian and Marshall had spent weeks preparing their yards for the shoot. They worked from sun up to sun down, and every part of the jumps had to be watered, packed, and perfectly shaped. It really is a work of art. When it was time to start the project, I only had a short 5 days to shoot at Christian’s and Marshall’s homes. When I say short, we could only shoot early in the morning and at golden hour (sunset). That is when the light is at it’s best. Our goals were to film 2 days on the backyard, 2 days on the trails and 1 day as back up.

Thankfully we were able to complete what we needed in 8 days. As hard as it was for me, it was just as hard for the riders. Not only did I need them to ride sections over and over to get the footage, but I needed them to do just as much to get the photographs. By the end of each day, we were exhausted. Overall, I thought the project came out pretty well. We all worked really hard together, and we had a blast producing it together. I felt that we all had the right chemistry, and when dots connect, magic happens. You can’t really ask for much more than that.

Check out all of the photos from this project.

Long Nguyen is an adventure/sports journalist, and goes wherever his camera takes him – for the thrill of an adventure and the action of the sport. Long enjoys photographing many things but his emphasis is in mountain biking. He’s feels lucky to have the opportunities to travel the world and meet new people on all of his journeys. Long thanks his family and friends for all of their support & continues to live for the quest for amazing photography.

Check out more of Long’s work.

If you like this video be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Behind The Shot: Just Like A Dream

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Krystle Wright 14

Photographer: Krystle Wright

Gear: Canon EOS 5D MIII, Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM Lens580 EXII Flash

Settings: 24mm, 30sec @ f/4.5, ISO 400

Backstory: Highlining is an incredible sport that involves a strong mentality and of course balance. As I photographed high lining many times, I noticed the intricate movements especially with the arms to help maintain the balance and came up with this idea to strap L.E.D lights to Chris Rigby under a full moon. We were in Consumnes River George in Northern California. The high line is 237ft long titled ‘Just Like A Dream.’ The LED lights were quite bright in Chris’s face so it was a real challenge for him to focus. I would’ve used my pocket wizard to fire the flash though in the darkness, I misplaced a cable so instead I had a friend, Ryan Robinson to press the test button on the flash to pop it off. To get the focus sharp, I had Chris stand where I knew I wanted the flash to hit him and pre set the focus and the rest was a test of patience. No doubt I needed a tripod and I used a trigger to avoid camera shake.

I’m really pleased that this photo turned out the way it did as it’s always challenging to come up with new ideas or concepts to show the sport in a different way.

Also be sure to check out this recent feature article on Krystle.

Check out more of Krystle’s work on her website and Facebook page.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Behind The Shot: Remote Birding

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Anna's Hummingbird Nest

Photographer: Michael Chen

Gear: Nikon D3Nikon 400mm f/2.8D AF-S, TC-14E II 1.4x, Nikon SB-900 SpeedlightsPocket Wizard MultiMAX transceiversManfrotto Magic Arms, Gitzo 3-series Tripod

Settings: ISO 1600, f/9, 1/250 – Flash Power @ 1/16

Backstory: One of the most frequently asked questions that I’ve been getting is how I shot the hummingbird nests with the mother feeding her chick.  Most of the time, I actually trigger a camera remotely using Pocket Wizard MultiMAX transceivers.  A remote camera allows me to keep some distance between me and the nest, lessening the amount of attention I draw to the nest area.  In general, nesting hummingbirds in a suburban environment do not mind a human presence and adapt quickly to a humans that they perceive as nonthreatening; however, one’s presence will draw and hold the attention of predators, such as crows and jays, and make it easier for the nest to be discovered.  The angles I can shoot from are also expanded by using the remote camera, as I can squeeze the camera and lens into places where it would be hard for me to be looking through the viewfinder.

Here, I’ve taken advantage of a nearby tree house-type structure and have placed the still camera on a tripod; the tree house allows me to simply use a tripod instead of having to be more creative in safely suspending the camera up in a tree.  The lens on the Nikon D3 camera is a Nikon 400mm f/2.8D AF-S; the tripod used here is a Gitzo 3-series.  I used a TC-14E II 1.4x teleconverter on the 400mm f/2.8 to fill more of the frame with the hummingbird and her nest, though I ultimately still had to crop off quite a bit of empty space.  Two SB-900 flashes, also triggered by the Pocket Wizard MultiMAX transceivers (using the relay mode function), freeze the motion of the mother and chick, and allowing me to shoot at f/16 for sufficient depth of field to keep everything important in focus.  The flashes are held in place by Manfrotto Magic Arms and allow me to position the flashes wherever I need them.

110403_WLF_0067

After I set everything up- carefully and hopefully unnoticed by predators- all I have left to do is find a place to stay out of sight while being able to observe when the mother has returned to the nest, and then trigger the camera to make some images.  Remaining vigilant and patient at the same time is key to capturing the mother feeding the chick, as while the mother will feed the chick many times per hour, the actual moment of feeding is quick and fleeting; one can easily miss the mother entirely even while positioned close to the nest.

110404_WLF_0415

More of Michael’s hummingbird photos can be seen here and here.

Check out more of Michael’s work on his website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Behind The Shot: Redbull Athlete Profile

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Kenny Belaey - Action

Photographer: Long Nguyen/ Red Bull Content Pool

Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark IITokina 10-17mm Fisheye, Alien Bee/White Lighting 1600, Pocketwizard Flex TT5 , Human Tripod (my friend Thil)

Settings: ISO 100, f/8, 1/500

Backstory: This was a last minute shoot. World Champion trails bike athlete Kenny Belaey was visiting SF to do demo for the Golden State Warriors half time game. Kenny had just gotten off of an injury and this was his 2nd time riding. I had a very limited time window to work with Kenny. When I pulled into our location in Pacifica, I noticed a boulder on top of the hill. I knew I wanted a shot from up there.

After Kenny warmed up we hiked to the top. I peaked over the cliff and ask if he would rear tire stale his bike on the ledge. I really didn’t know what to expect since it was a dangerous maneuver and Kenny was not at 100%. He peaked over the ledge and said let’s do it. Kenny is a talented athlete and great to work with. Wether I saw something he did or vise versa, we were able to make it work. The whole shoot in about 2 hours and we left knowing that we had made some great images.

Long Nguyen is an adventure/sports journalist, and goes wherever his camera takes him – for the thrill of an adventure and the action of the sport. Long enjoys photographing many things but his emphasis is in mountain biking. He’s feels lucky to have the opportunities to travel the world and meet new people on all of his journeys. Long thanks his family and friends for all of their support & continues to live for the quest for amazing photography.

Kenny Belaey - Portrait

Check out more of Long’s work on his website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Behind The Shot: Artillery Mission

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

139999-Z-WG169-001

Photographer: Sean Huolihan

Gear: Nikon D600Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G AF-S ED VR

Settings: 390 Images, 30 sec exposures, ISO 200, 24-85mm @ 24mm, f/10

Backstory: I took this during my deployment to Afghanistan. I had been waiting months for the right nighttime visibility and had never seen a star trail image with a HIMARS launcher and just thought it would make an awesome shot. The final image was composed of 390 stacked photos. I am currently a SGT serving in the WI National Guard and working on becoming a full-time photographer.

Read more about Sean in “Soldier focuses on documenting historic Guard artillery mission“.

Check out more of Sean’s work here.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Behind The Shot: Triple Fogbow

Behind The Shot

Behind The Shot is a recurring feature where we dig deeper and find the backstories that accompany amazing photos. Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

1457700_10151926675700677_259359325_n

Photographer: Daisy Gilardini Gear: Nikon D800ENikkor 24-70mm f2.8Polarizer filter Settings: 1/100 @ f/11, ISO 100, 24mm

Backstory: Since 1996 I have been working on expedition ships to the Polar Region for documenting the climate changes that affect the end of our earth. In the summer of 2012 I was onboard the Akademik Ioffe with OneOcean Expeditions and while cruising through the ice we came across this breathtaking fogbow. During all these years I have seen many of them but never a triple formation. A fog bow is a similar phenomenon to a rainbow, however, as its name suggests, it appears as a bow in fog rather than rain. I was stunned and I waited until I had enough ice around it to  bring more dynamism to the image captured.

Check out more of Daisy’s work on her website.

If you like this photo be sure to share it! Do you have an awesome photo or know of one that we might want to feature? Send us an email!

Learning To Leave The Matrix – A Tip On DSLR Light Metering

Tips & Tricks

With our dependence on LCD screens to give us immediate exposure feedback, knowing how to meter light is at risk of quickly become a fading skill. In this guest blog post you will learn how your DSLR meters light and what that means for your photography. This is a great intro for beginners as well as an easy reminder for the more seasoned shooter. (more…)

BorrowLenses Launches New Education Photography eBook Store

BL News

Technique, knowledge, inspiration – gain it all at BorrowLenses Education!

Visit our Education section to see our newly-launched eBook store, filled with valuable content from professional photographers and educators.

  • Hone your skills and get introduced to new techniques.

  • Discover new and creative uses for gear.

  • Improve your business and sharpen your online acumen.

  • Earn special discount codes and promotions.

Get started at BorrowLenses Education and put what you learn into action!

Our eBooks are for photographers of all levels about a variety of topics including, but not limited to: photojournalism, landscape, lighting, and SEO strategies for photographers. Our eBooks are written by professional, working photographers covering all points of view. Have questions about how to download your first eBook? Please see our handy Education FAQ.

The Best Lenses for Night Photography: A Case for Rokinon Primes

Gear Talk

David Kingham is a landscape photographer who focuses (pun intended?) on the night sky. He set out to find the best astrophotography and night photography lenses for their price point. Discover why Rokinon lenses may transform how you shoot.


The Best Lenses for Night Photography

by David Kingham

Prime vs Zoom

What do you want in a lens for night photography? The most important factor is how much light a lens will let in so that we can shoot at lower ISOs– this means apertures of f/2.8 or greater (f/1.4 being preferred). Most zoom lenses only go to f/2.8 and, while they are perfectly okay for night photography, they are not the ultimate lenses to use.

Enter the prime lens! A prime lens is a fixed-focal-length lens that is designed to have much larger apertures. If you have looked into the major manufacturers’ primes (Nikon, Canon, Zeiss) you may be thinking I’m crazy right now because they are expensive (unless, of course, you rent them)! I went on a search for lenses with the ultimate quality-to-price ratio.

(more…)