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photography

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.

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BorrowLenses.com Fun at the 2013 NAB Show: Day Three

BL News Gear Talk

BorrowLenses.com is at the 2013 NAB Show in Las Vegas! If you are here, too, please come visit us in booth #C9550! We have great cameras for folks to try out and other surprise goodies, including a chance to win a free rental from us! Not at NAB? That’s ok – take a virtual tour with us below. Here are some of the shots we were able to take during quick breaks. See more here and here.

Top Ten Tips for Amazing Amusement Park Photography

Tips & Tricks

There are few places on Earth that allow you to use the full feature set of your camera skills and most people don’t think that place would be the grand old American amusement park! In prep for the summer season, Kris Rowberry of Great American Thrills shows you how to get spectacular shots while having fun at the same time in his Top Ten Tips for Amusement Park Photography.

BorrowLenses.com Fun at the 2013 NAB Show: Day Two

BL News Gear Talk

BorrowLenses.com is at the 2013 NAB Show in Las Vegas! If you are here, too, please come visit us in booth #C9550! We have great cameras for folks to try out and other surprise goodies, including a chance to win a free rental from us!

Not at NAB? That’s ok – take a virtual tour with us below. We’ll be posting pictures and videos all week so be sure to check our blog for more fun footage!

Baby Photography and Storytelling

Photographers

Shutterfly provides award-winning photo books, iPhone cases, photo prints, and other great photography keepsakes so that photographers of all levels can share their personalized memories with the world. In their Storytelling series, they share the images and techniques of photographers to help inspire others. In this guest post, Shutterfly shares the work of a creative baby photographer.

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What Does Your Baby Dream About?

Adele Enersen imagined what her daughter dreamt about and used her creative muscle to capture those scenes with her camera while the child slept. The resulting collection of inspiring photographs that show baby Mila as everything from Thumbelina to Rapunzel are bound in the new book, When My Baby Dreams in Fairy Tales. These are her words and images…”

Read the full story here.

We hope you enjoy this guest post and share your opinions, images, and creative suggestions in the comments below! 

Lighting and Photographing White Seamless Background Headshots

BL News

Businesses, theaters, schools, and cooperatives all typically need professional headshots taken for their websites and a perfectly white backdrop with soft, even lighting is often requested. Read about how BL created their staff portraits!

Kodak’s First Canon-based DSLR: A 1.3 Megapixel Slice of Photographic History

Gear Talk

Learn more about the EOS-DCS 3, Kodak’s very first Canon-based digital SLR–a 1.3 megapixel, no-LCD, nearly 4-pound behemoth that cost around $16,000!

Reviewing the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 and Nikon 16mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lenses for Night Sky Landscape Photography

BL News

David Kingham is a lanscape photographer who focuses on the night sky. He field-tested some of our fisheye lenses to see which one is most suitable for this kind of work.

Your Best Photo/Video from 2012

BL News Cool Stuff

BorrowLenses.com invites you to show off your best photo or video from 2012! Go through your body of work from this year and select your absolute best to share with our audience. Read this post for more details on how to participate.

Easy Holiday Photo Booth

Gear Talk Tips & Tricks

Holiday events have a way of filling a room. Being tasked with running a party photo booth for friends and family can be daunting, especially if your budget isn’t big and your space isn’t, either. We put together a simple, fun photo booth using portable items that you can rent from BorrowLenses.com.

BorrowLenses.com iPhone 5 Upgrade Alternative

Cool Stuff Gear Talk

Here at BorrowLenses.com we understand not everyone is impressed enough with the new iPhone 5 to upgrade. For those looking for an alternate upgrade path for their iPhone we’d like to introduce you to our iPhone 5 Upgrade Alternative:

Who needs an iPhone 5 upgrade when you can slap a top of the line CP.2 cinema lens on your iPhone 4. This handy dandy solution knocks out two birds with one stone:
1. No need for a vintage filter app. Enjoy a warm hue, vignetted frame and ample dust spots on a lens adapter magnification screen.
2. Enjoy the optical advantage only the Zeiss CP.2 Super Speed Lens can provide.

Everyone who sees you filming with this bad boy on your iPhone will instantly know you’re a DP on the rise. See some example footage below:

Rent yours today:
Zeiss Compact Prime CP.2 50mm/T 1.5 Super Speed EF Mount
iPhone 4 and iPhone EF mount adapter not included.

More images after the jump…
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5 Things I Learned at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference

Tips & Tricks

Last week we had a great time at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference. As an event partner and sponsor we had a chance to meet a lot of great photographers in attendance. The conference had a great energy to it. With photographers being so active and social on Google+ it was rather effortless to pick up conversations in person with photographers of all stripes and experience levels. It was for this reason alone that attending was an amazing experience. Beyond meeting with great photographers there was a lot of great information shared amongst attendees and speakers alike. The 5 takeaways that I came back with that all photographers on Google+ could stand to benefit from included:

1. Focus on Community
The community on Google+ feels like the Flickr photography community of old. There is a constant flow of photos with many photographers you’ll find familiar and many more that will likely be new to you. It’s a great time to explore and network with photographers of all backgrounds, experience levels and expertises. In fact there are numerous sub-communities on Google+ focusing on various photography niches. Google+ makes it super easy and fast to find information in alignment with your photographic and non-photographic interests.

What made the Google+ Photographer’s Conference so special is the fact that this virtual community became tangible. If you follow someone on Google+ it was all the reason you needed to introduce yourself. It was great to be able to pick up conversations previously confined to posts and comments. Getting out to talk and photograph with your compatriots from abroad made for an extremely special time.

2. Engage
Google+ is a great place to connect with a community, but it’s only as good as you make it. Find great photographers and interact with them. You never know when someone is active online so don’t let it phase you if your comments go unnoticed at first. Keep commenting and interacting and before you know it you’ll be conversing with photographers you thought you’d never talk to.

3. Hangout: Join One, Start One
What sets Google+ apart from other social media web sites is their ability to support group video chats. It is by far one of the most novel features added to a social media site that I’ve yet to see. Conveying text updates in real-time is great, sharing photos is also great, but being able to talk and see each other in real conversations is extremely cool. It has its moments of getting bogged down if your connection isn’t the fastest, but its still a great experience. Over time it will no doubt improve, but in the meantime there is nothing that should stop you from giving it a try.

Guy Kawasaki Presenting at the Google+ Photographer's Conference Highlighting is BorrowLenses.com HQ Tour

Guy Kawasaki Presenting at the Google+ Photographer's Conference Highlighting is BorrowLenses.com HQ Tour

Guy Kawasaki Presenting at the Google+ Photographer’s Conference Highlighting is BorrowLenses.com HQ Tour

4. Chrome Plugins
Above and beyond my previously recommended chrome plugins (see 5 Highly Recommended Google+ Chrome Extensions) Guy Kawasaki shared his 3 favorite plugins at the conference. They may not all be of use to you, but I bet at least one is. Take note that “Replies and More” will help you with Lesson #2 (see above) as tagging someone in your reply will send an email to that person. It’s a great way to reach out to someone above and beyond the average comment.

  1. Do Share allows you to schedule posts.
  2. Replies and More simplifies responding to authors and commenters.
  3. Nuke Comments streamlines reporting, blocking, and deleting comments in a single click.

5. Hashtags to Explore
Hashtags are a great way to see running threads of conversation across broad pools of people that you may or may not yet be following. Some hashtags are used to note photo themes and others to note discussion topics. In either case if you see a hashtag (ex. #gpluspc) click on it and you’ll find posts relating to that topic in less than a second. With a little deeper searching you’re sure to find new people to connect with.
A great photography hashtag list to start with is from Eric LeslieDaily Photography Themes on Google+  You’re bound to find something of interest here and its a great catalyst to start interacting with some great photographers.

Now that you know, we hope to see you on Google+ and be sure to visit us on our G+ BorrowLenses.com page.

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

Tips & Tricks
Figure 1. A panorama taken with the Fuji X100's built-in pano feature.

Figure 1. A panorama taken with the Fuji X100's built-in pano feature.

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]

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. (more…)