Photo Finds, June 15, 2012 – Matt Furman

Photo Finds, June 15, 2012 – Matt Furman

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web. The business of photography isn’t an easy one. If you’re a pro, you have to deliver – and you have to do it consistently, day after day. Even more difficult is the fact that you have to stay fresh, flexible, stay in tune with the styles of the day, and evolve with time. Few photographers can do this over any length of time. Matt Furman, a commercial and editorial photographer based in New York city, is one of these few. With a client roster that includes Forbes, CFO Magazine, American Airlines, Billboard, and Barron’s, Matt’s work reflects a sort results-oriented aesthetic that stops far short of being “typical.” I first came across Matt’s work in an interview he did for the awesome website “Feature Shoot.” That article is a must-read, by the way; it gives you an insight into Matt’s shooting practices and the kind of constraints he often works under. Those constraints are what makes his work so interesting. When someone says, “I’m a commercial photographer,” my mind immediately goes to a setup with massive lights (at least six of them) and a whole crew of assistants and gophers. In reality, Matthew often works with just one or two lights, utilizing location, ambient lighting, and other visual tools to add interest and drama to his images. Take his image of AMC network president Charlie Collier, for example (below). Here, Matt uses a zombie dummy from the popular AMC show “Walking Dead” to add that additional punch in what might otherwise be a standard...
Photo Finds – June 11, 2012: Zack Arias

Photo Finds – June 11, 2012: Zack Arias

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web. This week’s Photo Finds is a very specific one. We’re not just going to talk about a specific photographer; we’re going to talk about a specific photographer shooting a specific genre. A lot of you have already heard of photographer and teacher Zack Arias before. We’ve certainly mentioned him on our blog repeatedly, and his lighting workshop on creativeLIVE ranks as one of our top lighting resources to date. He’s also easily one of the most eloquent and honest photographers I know of. That same honesty and eloquence has, of late, manifested itself in a style of photography that’s pretty different from the portraiture that brought Zack his initial acclaim. Yet, despite its difference, there’s something uniquely Zack about it, and that’s why I’m talking about it today. Recently, Zack was named one of the top 50 street photographers around today by Complex magazine. And, despite being someone who’s been following his street photography since he starting blogging about shooting film back in April of last year, it took me a moment to digest that. That’s because I hadn’t really thought of Zack as a street photographer. Yet it’s his images of street scenes in New York, Atlanta, Dubai, and Bombay that are among my favorites right now. I have always equated Zack with his studio work, and my mental image of him is forever linked to white seamless backgrounds with gorgeously crafted light in a studio. Avedon, I once mused, would shoot like Zack if he’d been into urban hip-hop culture. So...
Op-Ed: The New Horizon(tal)

Op-Ed: The New Horizon(tal)

From time to time, we offer up Op-Ed pieces on various aspects of photography for your consideration. Please note that these articles are the personal opinion of the writer, not necessarily of BorrowLenses.com.  Changing habits is tough. I used to, for example, use my iPad in portrait orientation for the most part. Now I’m trying to break that habit. Ditto for things on the shooting side. At one point, I used to have a vertical grip on my 5D Mark II and shoot primarily in portrait mode. Most of what I shot was vertical, and I loved it. Portraiture, I used to think, should only be shot vertically. I even invested in an “L” bracket for my 5D so I could shoot in portrait mode with a tripod more comfortably. Now? Not so much. I’m shooting more horizontals. I’m consuming more content in that orientation too. And, like any self-respecting geek obsessed with the reason underlying things, I wanted to know why. I think I’ve figured it out. 1. Tension and space “Fill the frame.” Every photographer I know says this. Some are starting to move away from that statement in favor of more contextual images, but getting closer to your subject is generally considered to be a good thing. I haven’t changed my mind about that, but I have noticed that there is a marked difference between getting closer to your subject while in a vertical orientation versus a horizontal orientation. Take these images of Dwayne Wade from a past issue of GQ. Here, in the iPad version of the magazine, the example makes much more sense. In...
Tip of the Week – Replicate Photographer Peter Hurley’s Signature Look With Strobes

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

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. If you followed this blog for any length of time, you know that we’re big fans of headshot photographer Peter Hurley. Peter is extremely well-know for his ability to get fantastic shots for his subjects. His ability get a range of expressions through rigorous coaching is, I think, what makes his images stand out from the rest. His lighting setup is also a subject of much discussion. Peter uses Kino Flo lights, which produce a fantastic quality of light. If you’re interested in trying those out, BorrowLenses.com does rent them, though they are in very high demand at the moment. You don’t have to use Kino Flos, however. I wanted some portraits of fellow BorrowLenses.com staffer Alex Huff, so I decided to try and replicate Peter’s lighting style with strobes. Here’s a list of the gear you can use for this kind of shoot. Lights Modifiers Other 3 Einstein E640. Speedlight (Canon 580EXII or Nikon SB-910 will work). Generic strip boxes were used for this shoot; however, the following items would make for excellent substitutes. Profoto 4×6 softboxes for the vertical sources. Profoto 2×3 softbox for the overhead. Reflector for a bit of bounce underneath the model. A Sun-Bounce Micro Mini would do the trick perfectly. PocketWizard MiniTT1 on-camera. PocketWizard AC3 Zone Controller on-camera. PocketWizard PowerMC2 modules...