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...
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...
One Fisheye to Rule Them All!

One Fisheye to Rule Them All!

After spending some quality time with Canon’s newest L-series lens, the EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM, we can safely say it is the undisputed king of the fishes. It’s so versatile that it replaces at least five other lenses: the Sigma 8mm, Peleng’s 8mm, Tokina’s 10-17mm, Canon’s own 15mm and the Zenitar 16mm. It covers the same focal length as all five of these lenses (for the most part) while being sharper across the zoom range, delivering crisp, contrasty images that are to be expected from a lens bearing Canon’s lofty “L” designation. With this lens in your bag, there’s little reason to consider another fisheye lens, regardless of what camera body you are using. Full-Frame and Crop Sensor Bodies If you’re shooting with a full-frame camera like the 5D Mark II, the 8-15mm provides a full circular 180-degree half-hemispherical perspective (see below for examples). If you’re on a crop sensor, you will not get the full-circle effect as it’s simply not wide enough, and at the long end you’ll be at the equivalent of 24mm. This leaves a bit of breathing room for the Sigma 4.5mm which produces full circular images on the crop cameras (the only current fisheye it doesn’t totally replace).    What is a Fisheye? The fisheye look is characterized by barrel distortion, especially strong on the edges, that renders straight lines as curves unless they pass through the center of the frame. In some cases the distortion is distracting so many photographers opt to use an ultra-wide rectilinear lens (which lacks the fisheye curvature) such as the Canon 16-35mm or 10-22mm in order to produce a...
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,...
Tip of the week: Making sense of PocketWizards, Part I

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

Making sense of PocketWizards, Part I. The increasing interest in off-camera flash has led to a number of our customers requesting PocketWizards to trigger off-camera flashes. The problem is, there isn’t just one single PocketWizard available to rent – there are no less than a half-dozen transmitters you have to chose from and just as many receivers. Since there are several combinations of cameras and lights you could be using, this blog entry won’t focus on giving you the list of things you would need for each imaginable combination. Instead, we’ll focus on the basics of PocketWizards and help you figure out what you’re going to need. The Broad Categories of PocketWizards In essence, PocketWizard’s products can be broken down into two key areas: Standard PocketWizards (also called PWs in the lingo) and ControlTL PocketWizards (ControlTL = Control The Light). We’ll address standard PocketWizards today, with a tip on how to select and use ControlTL PocketWizards in a future tip. Standard PocketWizards These are the original PocketWizards, the ones that are the mainstay of many professionals, if not most. They are both transmitters and receivers (called transceivers) and can be used interchangeably. There are two products in this category. PocketWizard Plus II This is the workhorse of the photographic industry. Relatively small and simple to use, it runs off 2 AA batteries and has four seperate channels it can use for transmission. These are considered to be the most reliable PocketWizard, and they see more use than any other version of PocketWizard as well. So, how would you use this? Here are a few combinations. You have a camera...