Get the Perfect Light Writing Sparkler Shot

Every wedding photographer is always seeking to get the perfect image that will capture the unique setting, timing, and location of the big day. Bobby and Tanya of Frozen Exposure Photography + Cinematography have written up a quick tutorial on how to create unique wedding portraits using sparklers. Check it out and make your own photos shine!

Part 2: Basic Steps and Lessons of Using Tilt/Shift Function

This is part 2 of a series on tilt-shift lenses. Be sure to also check out part 1: Will Learning Tilt-Shift Lenses Improve Your Photography. John Cooper specializes in corporate, industrial, and commercial photography for various business communities in Texas and teaches basic skills to other burgeoning photographers. If you are just starting out, or looking for […]

Part 1: Will Learning Tilt-Shift Lenses Improve Your Photography?

John Cooper specializes in corporate, industrial, and commercial photography for various business communities in Texas and teaches basic skills to other burgeoning photographers. If you are just starting out, or looking for a refresher, check out his advice below. You can also read more tips for architectural photography from John on our blog. Here is […]

Breaking the Rules to Get the Most Out of Natural Light

In photojournalism school, students are taught to underexpose when out in the field in order to achieve the richest colors and most intense contrast possible in a photograph. The trick, conventional wisdom explains, is to bring the exposure back up in post processing. I shot this way for years and it always treated me well. I’m […]

Prime Lens Basics and Why You Should Ditch Zoom Lens Photography

Prime lenses are a not-so-secret weapon favored for their fast apertures, crisp detail, and creamy bokeh.  They differ from the more commercially popular zoom lenses because of their ability to better maximize available light and separate foreground from background with aesthetically pleasing crispness.  They also possess the power to be a catalyst for creativity since […]

A Photographer’s Guide to Modern Urbexing

Jamie MacDonald is an Olympus Trailblazer who shoots nature and wildlife in the Mid-Michigan area exclusively with the Olympus Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds camera systems. He is also a contributor for Small Camera Big Picture. As a nature and landscape photographer he enjoys exploring new areas that have often been abandoned. Learn the tools of the trade to modern […]

Adding Value to Your Image Archive with Keywords

Seán Duggan is a fine art photographer, author, educator, and an Adobe Certified Photoshop Expert with extensive experience in both the traditional and digital darkroom. His Lightroom Viewfinder series provides photographers with the tools they need to effectively use Lightroom for organization, editing, and printing.  Adding Value to Your Image Archive with Keywords by Seán Duggan Maintaing […]

8 Helpful Tips for Firework Photography

Each year millions of people pack up their cars and head to a local destination to watch the sky light up and crackle. Firework shows are not only a desired destination for families but also for photographers looking to capture that perfect firework photo to add to their portfolio. This year we want to help you […]

Destination Wedding Photography : The Checklist

Being a destination wedding photographer is on the bucket list for many budding and professional photographers alike.  The industry is all about connections and referrals; once you have impressed several couples and their wedding parties, chances to be hired outside your region will have grown exponentially.  If you’ve proven yourself in terms of having a […]

The Importance of Being Archived

Our friends at SmugMug really care about photography and the importance of taking pictures in everyday life. This is part 2 of a 3 part series on improving your online life as a photographer, whether that is by improving your website or backing up your files. Here are some tips on how to avoid a personal, […]

Nikon D4s: Thoughts, Test Shots, and Quick Review

Court Leve is a sports, wedding, portrait, and pet photographer. His work has been published in National Geographic Adventure, Powder, Ski, Skiing, Freeskier, Parade Magazine, ForbesLife Mountain Time, Spirit Magazine, Southwest Art, and more. He is a regular contributor to the BL Blog.

Two Lighting Styles in 1 Shot with the Pocket Wizard MultiMax

Alexis Cuarezma is a San Francisco-based photographer who specializes in both on-location and in-studio portraiture. An alumnus of the Eddie Adams Workshop, Cuarezma has done assignments for the LA Times, the New York Times, HBO, and a number of international publications. He recently did a shoot with Shayne Skov for Sports Illustrated at Stanford University, […]

The Bokeh Effect: How Sensor Size Affects Background Blur

Of all the things that photographers argue about in our secret monthly meetings, sensor size and its impact on our work is perhaps one of the most heated topics that can come up. From the true “bigger is better” snobs (“Sensors? Bah! 8X10 film is where it’s at!”) to the ones who prize portability above […]

Calibrating your Monitor: Using the ColorMunki

So often I hear of photographers, both pros and hobbyists , whose pictures live only on hard drives and online. If this is you, it’s time to get printing! As photographers we spend countless hours in front of our computers editing our work to create dynamic imagery that reflects us as artists. Every level adjustment […]

Illuminating the Face, by Peter Hurley: A Review

Back in 2011, photographer Peter Hurley teamed up with our friends over at FStoppers to create a tutorial video called The Art Behind The Headshot. That 4+ hour video more or less became required watching here at BL for anyone shooting any kind of portraiture, not just headshots. In fact, I still refer to it […]

Writing an Effective Artist Statement

Standing consensus says that great art speaks for itself and needs no explanation but a simple and genuine statement has a way to reach out and welcome people to your art. When I attend a curated show or see an installation around town that grabs my attention, I will make sure to read the artists’ […]

The Beginner Videographer’s Guide to Frequency Blocks

Wireless mics are an essential part of documentary filmmaking. The mics are small and easily hidden from view and the wires are minimal. If you’ve seen a reality show (if so, my condolences), sometimes you get a peek at the metal mound protruding out of the backs of people’s clothes. Those are lavaliers and they […]

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BL Blog Archive


  • Welcome to the Jungle // With Filmmaker @danny_schmidt Waiting patiently for the action to start. We wanted to shoot some dynamic footage of dung beetles doing their thing. The Sony #a7sii with @canonusa #35L was just the trick. It's a great lens for this application because of its wide angle and good minimum focusing distance. All mounted on a @dynamicperception motorized slider.
  • Welcome to the Jungle // With Filmmaker @danny_schmidt

Not your typical shot of perfectly arranged camera gear. The daily chore of cleaning, charging, offloading footage in a place with 100% humidity and 100F heat was a serious undertaking. Lots of gear in this pic... Who can name the most?
  • Welcome to the Jungle // With Filmmaker @danny_schmidt - We wanted to make sure our sequence of scientists were as dynamic and exciting as the wildlife we were there to film. Here we are tracking the action with the #SonyFS7 and the #SonyA7Sii on the #freeflysystems Movi M5 with a @smallhd 502 monitor.
  • Welcome to the Jungle // With Filmmaker @danny_schmidt - The #sonyFS7 is a rad camera. The feature set for the price is really unrivaled right now in the camera world. It worked great for us because of the high frame rates, long battery life, and general adaptability to shoot vertite one moment and on a tripod the next. We put our gear to the test out there in the jungle and the #FS7 never faltered even in intense heat and humidity! Check out more of its specs using the link in profile.
  • Welcome to the Jungle // With Filmmaker @danny_schmidt 
Getting ready for a day of shooting in the jungle - @ricksmith_media balancing the #sonyA7Sii with #Canon20mm on the @freeflysystems #MoVIM5 kitted out with the MoVI ring.
  • #blspotlightschmidt - Take a walk on the wildside with environmental cinematographer @danny_schmidt as he explains the difficulty of shooting in the tropical jungles of #Colombia! Tune into the #borrowlenses feed for the next 7 days as he shares his constant battle to stay cool, hydrated, and protected from mosquitos while telling the story of the endangered spider monkey. 
Danny will also choose one @borrowlenses follower who uses #blspotlighschmidt in a new upload of wildlife photography to win a $100 BL gift card starting today thru 5/27
  • Did you get your bonus free Memorial Day rental? Any rental that is set to return Monday 5/30/16 will automatically advance to a return date of Tuesday 5/3 1/16 - more details using the link in our profile.
  • SF native @adriansky is flying high to capture his city by the sea! What projects are you looking forward to spear heading this summer?!
  • It's that time of year to start making your travel plans for an epic summer! What camera system will you use to capture your memories? 
We're loving Sony's new FE mount 50mm f/1.8 [link in profile] paired with the Sony a7SII mirrorless camera for a double whammy of stills + 4K video record!
  • A computer crash could mean the loss of hundreds if not thousands of priceless images and video files 😖 Do you have a backup plan? 🤔 Let @therealdrobo safeguard terabytes of your data with the 5D! Get $100 off your purchase with code BL100 at👊
  • Gear You (really, really) Want When You Need It (because you deserve it!) Did you know we've been shipping the @canon #1dxmarkii for over a week now!! Reserve you're copy today! (link in profile)
  • Borrowlenses renter @leftf0otforward captured this stunning overhead #shotwithbl at the newly opened #sfmoma. 
What did you capture over the weekend? Use #shotwithbl for your chance to be featured on our feed 🍽

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