Flashing Above San Francisco

Flashing Above San Francisco

Every so often, we get to talk about our friends, whether they’re doing something awesome in front of a lens, or behind the camera. This time around, it’s both. One of our favorite all-round good guys and awesome photographers, Syl Arena, swung through San Francisco a while back and hung out with our very own Alex Huff. Alex has an awesome (yeah, I’m jealous) view of San Francisco from her balcony, and Syl used the opportunity to do a shoot with the new Canon 600EX-RT flashes and the ST-E3 transmitter. Using the 600EX-RT, Syl balanced the ambient light with flash, resulting in a very cool image. The complete writeup, with breakdown and before/after shots, is on Syl’s blog. Syl also has a piece up about a personal project he did recently, called “The Faces of American Coal.” It’s one of those deeply personal series of images that will resonate with you. They’re up close, intense, and searching. Of course, Syl being the consumate teacher, has also broken down his process for taking the images too, so we get the added bonus of seeing what goes into a project like this. Maine-area folks, a quick heads-up: Syl will be at the Maine Media Workshops, presenting on Canon Speedlites from Aug 19-Aug 25. If you’re around and have never been to one of Syl’s workshops, they’re not to be missed. Head up there and learn about Canon Speedlites from a photographer who’s often cited as knowing as much about Canon Speedlites as many Canon...
In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words

Behind-the-scenses, how-tos, and technique tutorials are excellent tools to help photographers get better at their trade. Just as important, however, is listening to and understanding the experiences of the shooters you look up to. Here are a couple of videos along that vein.

Op-Ed: Giving Respect Where It’s Due

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.  I’m going to start this post off by sharing a video created by Zack Arias. Next up, read this post, also from Zack: “Wedding Photographers Deserve Our Respect.” Now, the video here introduces a different topic, but at the beginning of the video, Zack actually talks about tipping your hat to wedding photographers. White the rest of the video is something that you absolutely, positively, mush watch. I won’t even try and summarize it for you – just go watch and read, then come back here. I’ll wait. At first, I thought about just doing what we call a “blurb” post, which just serves to quickly highlight something we’ve seen or heard of. Call it the blog equivalent of a “+1” or “Like.” After all, Zack’s post is in-depth and lays out his argument twelve ways to Sunday, so I didn’t really have anything to add that he hasn’t already said. Then I changed my mind. Good arguments, I think, are made better and stronger by virtue of voices added to it. Every additional experience you relate to support a point of view shores it up further. With that in mind, here’s where I come down on the issue of wedding photographers. I’ve always wanted to be a commercial and editorial photographer. The running joke is that I want to be Joe McNally when I grow up. Being a wedding photographer just never crossed my mind – it wasn’t...
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...
Photo Finds – June 4, 2012: Michael Cali

Photo Finds – June 4, 2012: Michael Cali

Welcome to Photo Finds, a feature where we point you to some of the best photography around the web. When I picked wedding and portrait photographer Michael Cali as the person I wanted to talk about in today’s Photo Finds feature, I didn’t remember right away that he and last week’s Photo Finds photographer, Brad Moore, had something pretty significant in common. Both Brad and Michael have served as assistants to one of the most amazing photographers alive today, Joe McNally. Brad is his former assistant (he works for Scott Kelby now) and Mike is Joe’s current assistant. I first came across Cali’s (apparently, everyone calls him that) work via Zack Arias’ blog, where he mentioned that Cali had been shooting with the Fuji X-Pro1 lately. So I followed the link to Cali’s blog and ended up spending a good hour there, just going through his images. So here’s something interesting to note about Michael Cali. The Fuji X-Pro1 notwithstanding, one cool thing to know about Michael is that he’s a film shooter. Yep, that’s right. The assistant to Joe McNally, who shot National Geographic’s first digital cover, who was among the elite that got to work with Nikon’s D4 before its release, that photographer’s assistant is primarily a film shooter. The thing is, to peg him as a “film shooter” is to sell him grotesquely short. Michael Cali is a photographer – and he’s a damned good one. Film happens to be his medium of choice, but if you look at his images with the X-Pro1, you’ll quickly see that his photography transcends a particular medium. He’s not a...