Tip of the Week – Our favorite lighting videos

Tip of the Week – Our favorite lighting videos

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. This week, we bring out our favorite lighting videos. Whether it’s about small flashes or studio strobes, lighting is something we get an awful lot of questions about. So, we decided to put together a short list of our favorite lighting-related video tutorials to help you get going. These are paid videos, but are worth every penny, since the instructors are some of the best in the business. Joe McNally’s “Language of Light”: Joe is easily one of the best lighting instructors in the world, and his “Language of Light” DVD set is pure genius. Whether it’s shooting a family portrait, or hanging off the back of a truck to capture speeding downhill skaters, Joe does it all and does it incredibly well. He’s funny, engaging and eloquent, and while he doesn’t make it look easy, he does help you understand his methods and techniques, letting you learn a lot in the process. David Hobby’s “Lighting in Layers”: David Hobby became famous for starting what is now considered to be the bible of small flash photography websites. Strobist.com has become the go-to site for folks looking to learn about lighting with small flash, and to his credit, David pretty-much gives away a ton of information for free there. His “Lighting in Layers” DVD, however, ratchets things up...
Opinion: iBooks Author – why photographers should care

Opinion: iBooks Author – why photographers should care

Yesterday, at an event in New York, Apple released an update to its iBooks app, along with an all-new authoring application that makes it very easy to create stunning interactive books for the iPad. On the surface of things, this seemed to be an education-related event, with a focus on using the authoring tool, iBooks Author, to create textbooks for sale through the iBookstore. But if you watch the video of the special event, you’ll see that Phil Schiller, Apple’s VP of worldwide marketing, makes a point of mentioning that iBooks Author can be used to create much more than textbooks. This is where things start to get interesting. A few days ago, I posted the following rant to my Google+ page. I just had a bit of an epiphany. I’m reviewing a book for +This Week in Photo (TWiP) and I realized that I can’t really review it – or any other book – in terms of its design and presentation. This one book is available in three or four electronic formats, not one of them alike. How do you a review a book – especially a book on photography – without commenting on its design and layout? I think ebooks are going to have to get to a point where they match print books in terms of aesthetic beauty. Ebooks on photography, for example, really ought to match their printed counterparts. +David duChemin is doing this to a huge extent with his Craft and Vision ebooks, but the big publishers have to get up there and do this too. ePub is a lame format, as is the...
Finally! A new full-frame camera from Nikon

Finally! A new full-frame camera from Nikon

Nikon just announced the D4, and it looks like a doozy, not just an updated version of the D3s. Loads of new features – expanded ISO, clean HDMI out, MUCH better HD video options (1080p at 30, 24 and 25fps). Most importantly, it’ll be the first full-frame sensor camera with full HD capability since the Canon 5D MarkII (the 1Dx isn’t due out till March 2012). A couple of other points of interest. The D4 has an RGB metering sensor, first introduced with the Nikon D7000. The difference here is that besides being an updated version of the D7000’s sensor, the D4’s metering sensor has 91,000 pixels to the D7000’s 2016. Framerate has be upped to 11fps in Continuous High, from 9fps in the D3s. ISO is expandable to 204800. The 91k pixel RGB sensor also features face recognition. You can now record 1080p video in three formats: Full-frame, DX crop and an even smaller crop that uses just 1920×1080 pixels on the sensor. Lots more stuff too, including a headphone jack for monitoring audio, a levels indicator and more. That 1Dx needs to hit the market sooner rather than later, because Nikon has upped the ante with this extremely capable HDDSLR, finally challenging Canon in the video realm. Check out the press release for more details. Here are the specs. UPDATES: Here’s a roundup of D4-related pieces from around the web. Nikon’s James Banfield goes through the video functions of the D4 on DSLR News Shooter. Just in time for the D4, Sony announced a range of XQD cards for the D4. ISO1200 has a lead on a low light video...
How to Visualize and Shoot in B&W

How to Visualize and Shoot in B&W

Black and white photography is one of the oldest forms of photography; yet its popularity seems to have been on the uptick of late. With plugins like Alien Skin’s Exposure and Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2, digital photographers now have some amazing tools at their disposal to create black and white images of varying types. But the problem with shooting for black and white is knowing what will look good as a monochrome image. It can take photographers years to look at a scene and know what it will look like when rendered in monochrome. The old adage of “If it doesn’t look good, just convert it to B&W and call it art,” doesn’t hold very true. Rather, the axiom “GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out)” is much more accurate. You have to know what will stand out as a black and white image, and that’s what this week’s tip is about. Most – if not all – digital cameras out there have a black-and-white or monochrome setting. For example, my 5D Mark II has a Monochrome setting under the Picture Styles menu, as does my Olympus Micro-Four-Thirds camera. Simply select this setting and shoot. Your subject – whether it’s a portrait or a landscape or a street scene – will be recorded as a black-and-white image. Furthermore, if you want to see what an image will look like in B&W when you adjust your exposure, switch to Live-View on your camera. If you have a smaller, Micro-Four-Thirds or Sony NEX camera, this is what you use anyway to take your shots. You’ll get a live preview of what a B&W image...
5 Photographers’ Blogs You Should Read

5 Photographers’ Blogs You Should Read

If you’re reading this blog, chances are that you already have bookmarks or RSS feeds for some of the leading photographer blogs out there like Joe McNally, Scott Kelby and Chase Jarvis. But as engaging as they are (and as much as we tend to read them every day), there are other, less-famous photographers who are nonetheless doing a stellar job in their fields and whose blogs are incredibly stimulating and interesting. In this piece, we introduce you to five of them. Martin Prihoda. Martin Prihoda’s story,  and his fascinatingly Zen-like approach to his life and work – make for amazing fodder. Martin now shoots for the biggest magazines in India, including the Indian editions of Vogue, Marie Claire, GQ and Cosmopolitan. We wish he’d update his blog more often, but go rambling through the archives; they’re worth your time. Daniel Milnor. He’s Blurb’s Photographer at Large and a deeply interesting, quirky and smart guy. Daniel Milnor’s blog Smogranch makes for some marvelous reading as he ruminates on his travels, his deep love of his Leicas (which are his primary cameras) and how much he loves the thunk of the shutter of his Hasselblad. Daniel shoots film (though he has shot with digital as well, he returned to film some time ago and doesn’t appear to have looked back). Check out the entries on his Peru workshops – they’re a very interesting take on what goes into making a good photo book. Drew Gardner: We were introduced to Drew’s blog by way of David Hobby over at Strobist. Drew is… well, it’s not easy defining him. His portfolio has a...

From the “You don’t need a $10,000 camera” department…

Here’s something to remind you that you don’t need thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment to do something truly captivating. David HJ. Lindberg’s video of running through mud puddles (below) was shot with a Canon T21 and a 50mm f/1.8 lens. The Beauty of Mud (4000 fps) from David HJ. Lindberg on Vimeo. We really have gotten to the point where ingenuity, perseverance and creativity don’t need to be accompanied by tons of money. The photo gear that David used (T2i and 50mm f/1.8) can be rented for about $60 for three days from BorrowLenses. We also have the T2i for sale for just $450, if you want to buy it. Bottom-line: You’re not really limited by gear anymore – just grab your camera and lens and get out...
Tip of The Week: Using ND filters for video

Tip of The Week: Using ND filters for video

Every Thursday, 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.

Tip of The Week: Our favorite iPad photography applications

Tip of The Week: Our favorite iPad photography applications

Every Thursday, 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. This week’s tip is a list of recommendations for iPad owners. Since it was released, the iPad has been used by many photographers as a mobile portfolio, a reference tool, and even as – yes, we’re serious – a light source for photography. Some enterprising photographers have released their own apps for instructional purposes and one National Geographic photographer even gave up his website in favor of an iPad app. Clearly, the iPad has a lot to offer to photographers. With that in mind, here are our pics for iPad apps for photographers. We’ve broken this down into three sections: Photographer Showcases, Instructional, and Photo Utilities. Photographer Showcase Visuals by Vincent Laforet: Most people know Vince Laforet for his video work on projects like Reverie, Mobius and Nocturne. But did you know that Vincent is a Pulitzer-prize winning still photographer who was on the staff of The New York Times? This app is a collection of some of his favorite works, and is divided into categories like “Aerials”, “Man & Nature”, “Tilt-Shift” and more. Each image is accompanied by camera settings and commentary on the making of that image. Moreover, you can also buy prints of his images (though be warned, these prints are often signed, limited editions and are priced accordingly). Definitely worth a look! 50...
Tip of the week: Making sense of PocketWizards, Part II

Tip of the week: Making sense of PocketWizards, Part II

Every Thursday, 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. In Part I of this series, we talked about the standard types of PocketWizards, covering the Plus II and Multimax triggers. Now, we’ll tackle the newer, more complex types of PocketWizards, called the ControlTL series. About the ControlTL series ControlTL stands for “Control The Light”, and it’s PocketWizard’s way of giving photographers even greater power over their lighting setup. There are several items that make up the system, from triggers designed specifically for studio flashes like the Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 lights, to small flash-specific triggers like the Nikon SB-900 and Canon 580EXII. The fundamental idea behind the ControlTL series is to give photographers a way to control their lights right from the camera. This means that not only can you trigger an SB-900 from your Nikon D700, but you can also control the power output of that strobe, right from your camera. Now, some of you might be thinking, “I can already control my SB-900 from my D700. What do I need these triggers for?” Well, as we mentioned in part I, the cool thing about radio triggers is that you don’t need line-of-sight to trigger your flashes. Moreover, in bright sunlight, the Nikon CLS system or the Canon Speedliting system break down and become less reliable. Radio triggers do not suffer from these conditions,...