Immerse Yourself: An Interview with Night & Light Painting Photographer Troy Paiva

Immerse Yourself: An Interview with Night & Light Painting Photographer Troy Paiva

Troy Paiva, AKA Lost America, has been creating light painted night photography in abandoned locations and junkyards since 1989. His documentarian work examines the evolution, and eventual abandonment, of the communities, infrastructure, and social iconography that spawned during America’s 20th century expansion into the cities and deserts of the West. His imagery has appeared in print in over a dozen countries, including three Stephen King book covers, American Photographer, Air & Space Magazine, Hot Rod Magazine, and CNN Online. Troy’s work has appeared in museums and galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Sweden, and San Francisco.

Quick Video Tip for Beginners: Use a Rubber-band for Smoother Pans

Quick Video Tip for Beginners: Use a Rubber-band for Smoother Pans

If you’re just getting started with shooting video with your DSLRs, there’s a better than even chance that you’re not quite used to making smooth movements with your camera. Here’s a quick tip to help you get started with making one of the most basic moves in cinematography: a side-to-side move with the camera locked down on a tripod with a fluid head (like this Manfrotto kit, available from BorrowLenses.com now) meant specifically for video. Gear used Video tripod and fluid head (I used my own, but you can rent a Manfrotto video head and tripod here). I also used my own 15mm rail system, but you can rent one like the Redrock Micro Eyespy from us. This is completely optional. HD-DSLR. I used the Canon 5D Mark III with a 24-70mm lens. A rubber band First, find yourself a rubber band. You want one that’s a bit sturdy, but not so stiff that it has no give at all. Then, set up your tripod and camera and make sure your focal length, exposure, and focus and are all adjusted to your liking. To execute the pan, slip the rubber band around your video head’s handle and pull in the direction you want. Keep a smooth, even pressure on the rubber band, and stop pulling at the end of your pan, allowing the natural tension of the band to bring the pan to an end (or fade it to black in post, as I did here). Here’s a video that lays the technique out. The footage is ungraded (i.e., no post-production techniques have been applied to it as yet). It’s...
Tips for Setting Up Your Kino Flo BarFly

Tips for Setting Up Your Kino Flo BarFly

ABOUT BARFLY Our Kino Flo BarFly 200D 2-light kits and BarFly 400D 1-light kits are professional, energy-efficient lighting systems ideal for filmmakers and photographers alike. They produce 3200K and 5500K (daylight) temperature lighting from florescent, dimmable 55W lamps inside Kino’s signature modular fixtures. Each bank can be switched on and off for full stop exposure changes. The kits also come with: Gel Frames (2 for the 2-light kit, 1 for the 1-light kit). Note that these kits do NOT come with gels. You will have to apply the gel yourself to the provided gel frame using a non-destructive adhesive (also not included). 90 Degree Grids (2 for the 2-light kit, 1 for the 1-light kit) True Match Quad Fluorescent Lamps with padded mini case. 55QK32 55W KF32 Quad Lamps with padded mini case. Light stands (2 for the 2-light kit, 1 for the 1-light kit). AC Power. Heavy Duty Kino-branded  Case. These kits are a fantastic option for those seeking all-in-one kits that produce very natural-looking light that is intuitive to shape because what you see is, generally, what you get. However, they are less intuitive to set up. Please take note of the following tips to prevent bulb breakage and other kit issues. SETTING UP THE BARFLY Kino Flo lamps are aways shipped from BL outside the lamp fixtures to prevent breakage. Inserting lamps into fixture: Insert lamps at a 45 degree angle. It will feel unnatural at first but if you feel any tension at all inserting the lamps, you must restart and try inserting at an extreme angle. They should drop in smoothly. Once down, push the lamps...
Lenstag: Discouraging Camera and Lens Theft One Registered Serial at a Time

Lenstag: Discouraging Camera and Lens Theft One Registered Serial at a Time

UPDATE: Lenstag, the service that collects serial numbers from your gear and keeps them in a registry to be flagged and indexed online if they get ever stolen, now has free apps for iOS and Android in multiple languages. Some features include: gear name auto-complete, picture-taking of your gear right from your phone, easy and immediate flagging, and more. Lenstag aims to curb theft by making it harder to resell stolen items. Download it here: • http://lens.tg/ios • http://lens.tg/android Lenstag is a new, free service that collects serial numbers from your lenses and cameras and keeps them in a registry to be flagged in the unfortunate event that they get stolen. By locking down a serial as belonging to its owner, the reselling and pawning of stolen gear becomes increasingly discouraged. The more people who register the gear, the more effective the registry system is. Stolen serials are indexed online, so checking up on a serial before purchasing in the resell market is easier than ever. We have already registered our gear and want to give a few pointers on finding your gears’ serials. There are a lot of numbers listed on cameras and lenses and not all of them are unique identifiers–be sure you have the correct number! CANON Canon’s Guide to Locating Equipment Serial Numbers is a great, visual resource. Some of the highlights to remember: Don’t confuse company codes for serial numbers. Company codes tend to have letters in them like “‘UV” or “UZ”. Serials do not. Most lens serials will be either on the body of the lens or on the mount. Canon body serials are located on the base...
BorrowLenses Street Photography Package Shoot Off: Leica, Fuji, and Nikon V1 Reviewed

BorrowLenses Street Photography Package Shoot Off: Leica, Fuji, and Nikon V1 Reviewed

Save time while also saving money with our new Photography and Videography Packages. Packages are a convenient way to rent a group of items with 1 click, whether it be a collection of prime lenses or various parts needed for a successful studio lighting setup. Our Street Photography Packages feature mirrorless bodies for their lightweight and inconspicuous (while still stylish) design–great for on-the-go candid shooting. Ben Revzin of ShouldIGetIt.com took three of our Street Photography Packages for a spin to see which set was the most, well, street savvy! See his results in the video review below. The packages reviewed: Street Photography (Compact) Essentials Package – Leica Street Photography (Compact) Essentials Package – Fuji Street Photography (Compact) Essentials Package – Nikon For more reviews on mirrorless systems, be sure to check out Sohail Mamdani’s Op-Ed on the Fuji X100s and his Leica Diary...
Op-Ed: My Time With the Fuji X100s

Op-Ed: My Time With the Fuji X100s

It’s been a while since I first got my hands on the Fuji X100s, and in that time, I’ve carried this little thing with me just about everywhere I go (including on my honeymoon). I’ve also gotten a few questions about it that range from my general opinion of the Fuji cameras, to what settings I shoot with. In this Op-Ed, I’ll answer a few of those questions and also put down some of my thoughts about why this camera has turned out to be the sensation that it has. It’s not a full review – for that you’ll have to head over to the one I wrote for Chase Jarvis’ website. First, the questions…. Is the X100s really that much better than the X100? Yes. Yes it is. Really? Yes, really. Why? Well, for starters, it focuses a heck of a lot faster. In fact, it’s one of the quickest-focusing compact cameras out there. I love the X-Trans sensor in it, too; I trust this thing to put out great images with solid dynamic range and color accuracy. Low-light performance is incredible, all the way to ISO 6400. Manual focusing aids like Peaking are a nice touch, and welcome. Okay. What’s your one key favorite feature? Low-light performance. Love it, love it, love it. It’s that good? Yes. Here, look: That’s at ISO 6400, straight out of camera JPEG. Also, that’s shot at 1/8 of a second and is plenty sharp. Leaf shutters for the win. Cool. Would you replace your DSLR with it? Nope. I know some photographers have, or have augmented their Medium-Format systems with a...
Elephant Discovers GoPro During Piper Mackay Photographic Safari

Elephant Discovers GoPro During Piper Mackay Photographic Safari

Piper Mackay is a world, wildlife, and cultural photographer based in Long Beach, California. Her work is heavily concentrated on the African continent. On one of her recent photographic safaris, Piper and team had an unexpected encounter with an elephant, who approached and poked at a GoPro recording the action from the ground (pictures and a short video below). “On a recent trip to Namibia, we were blessed with the rare sighting of the desert elephants crossing the desert with dramatic landscapes.  I had rented a couple of GoPros from Borrowlenses to grab some dynamic footage for a big project I am working on in 2014.” “We were actually on our way to check out a campsite when our guide spotted the elephants in the distance.  We could not believe our luck! We lined up our vehicles, grabbed our gear, jumped out and waited. Once they passed we raced to get repositioned. One of us hopped out and got the GoPro down just in time. We never thought the elephant would come right up to the camera and then knock it over with her trunk! She looked at us like she was saying, “Next time I will crush it!”  When her companion followed right behind her, we all held our breath as we were sure he was going to crush it.  It was a close call but successful!” Here is a short video of what the nearly-crushed GoPro captured. Want to have experiences like this? Join Piper on her next adventure! Check out her list of programs here. Special thanks to Piper Mackay Photography for sharing these images with our...
BorrowLenses.com on the Set of Wilfred

BorrowLenses.com on the Set of Wilfred

The FX television series “Wilfred”, starring Elijah Wood, needed to shoot new backing plates for their hit show. Cinematographers take plate shots of empty sets using the same lighting as the final scenes. These “plates” can be used later for special effects. Kurt Jones, Director of Photography, decided to use the new Nikon 28mm 1.8G lens. He needed 13 of them to mount onto 13 Nikon D800 bodies. Borrowlenses.com was able to supply the DP and his television series with the tools they needed. The show shot exterior shots of the character, Ryan’s, house on location in Venice, CA. They then filmed all of the interior shots at a full-sized house that was wrapped in Green Screen on a sound stage at FOX Studios in Los Angeles. The plates are shot of the surrounding neighborhood and composited into the Green Screen during the VFX part of Post Production. Day Plates and Night Plates were photographed over a full day of shooting for Kurt and his crew. Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of the equipment at work. Photos courtesy of Kurt Jones/FX. Season 3 of Wilfred will begin airing on June 20th. Kurt Jones’ work can be found on his site and on his Facebook...
One Strobe, One Trigger, One Camera, and a lot of Luck: Behind the Scenes with Von Wong Photography

One Strobe, One Trigger, One Camera, and a lot of Luck: Behind the Scenes with Von Wong Photography

Photographer Benjamin Von Wong set out to the Salton Sea with some dart rope and a crew of chance encounters who were excited to make the trek to help out with this dramatic shoot. Check out the spectacular results below! Luck, Fire, and a Failed Ecosystem by Von Wong Photography, reprinted with permission. Equipment Used Lighting Gear: Profoto B2 Acute PocketWizard Plus III Camera Gear: Sirui Tripod T2205X, sponsored by LOVINPIX Nikon D800E Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 To see more great behind-the-scenes images and some of the technical notes for this shoot, please visit the full Inspired by Fire post HERE. Special thanks to Von Wong Photography for sharing this experience with us! Benjamin Von Wong will be speaking and doing a demo at at Profusion in Toronto on June,...
The Hasselblad Is Here: First Impressions and Sample Shots

The Hasselblad Is Here: First Impressions and Sample Shots

The Hasselblad H5D40 medium-format digital camera is here, so of course we had to give it a go. We pressed a number of our staffers into service as models, and went through an impromptu portrait session. Sample images as well as first impressions after the jump. First, the sample images… Courtney Newvine and Jo Deguzman Alex Huff Andrew Wills Ryan Tubongbanua Shooting with the Hasselblad H5D40 was a mixed bag in that it was at once familiar and foreign. I’ve shot medium-format digital and film before, mostly on the Phase (digital) and Hasselblad 500C (film). So I was familiar with the H5D40’s basic operation. The shoot was set up in our lobby. We used a large Elinchrom 74″ Octa as the light source, with one 500 w/s Elinchrom BXRI monolight in it, plus a second BXRI scraping across the collapsible background for some of the shots. Both were triggered using the Skyport transceiver included with the Elinchrom BXRI kit. Here are a few initial impressions. Flash sync is up to 1/800th. This is awesome, since it completely eliminates ambient light.  The 120mm f/4 Macro lens I shot with is crazy-sharp. The dynamic range and detail are everything that Hasselblad has promised (more on this in future articles about this new platform). Watch your highlights. There’s a handy histogram in the top LCD that shows you this, so it’s relatively easy. Get a tripod. I shot handheld, but this is a heavy platform. If I was shooting at a lower shutter speed (say, like 1/200th), I’d probably see some camera shake. Since the flash can sync up to 1/800th, it didn’t...