Red Bull GRC Action Sports Photography with Garth Milan

Red Bull GRC Action Sports Photography with Garth Milan

Action sports photography has taken me all over the world, and my latest trip was to Sin City, where I spent two days shooting the final round of the 2014 Red Bull GRC series for, you guessed it, Red Bull. The event was just off of the Strip at the Linq Casino and Resort, at the base of the newly constructed High Roller Ferris wheel. Knowing how tough access is at any auto racing event, I knew I would need some serious glass, so before I packed my bags or even booked my flight, the first thing I did was arrange to “borrow” a Canon 600mm f/4 lens from Borrowlenses.com. Whether it’s rally racing, Moto GP, or even the Red Bull Air Race series, I typically always bring a minimum of 500mm of glass to these action-filled racing events. To me, the absolute best part of the Borrowlenses.com service, besides the great selection and customer service, is the fact that they are willing to ship huge lenses and equipment like this straight to my hotel room. This is helpful beyond words, as I always travel with a minimum of four bags, between lighting, computers, clothes, etc., so to arrive at my destination with a huge piece of glass waiting for me like this is beyond revolutionary. Handholding my massive 600mm, I headed out to the event for the first day of shooting. I was immediately thankful to have the 600, as the access was as bad as I expected and then some… but with such a massive lens, shooting directly through fencing is easily possible, opening up a whole...
Traveling Cross Country? Tips to Photograph Your Trip: Part 1

Traveling Cross Country? Tips to Photograph Your Trip: Part 1

Upon embarking on my first cross-country road trip, I went to the internet in search of tips suggested by fellow photographers who have also made this iconic exploration. To my surprise, there were few contemporary articles published depicting the experience of others in relation to the photographic aspect of the trip. In my search, however, I did come across a wonderfully inspiring photographer, Amelia Fletcher, who, with the help of a crowd-funding website, trekked across the country on a sole mission to photograph its landscape and inhabitants. This type of trek, of course, is nothing new. It follows in the footsteps of world renowned photographers such as Robert Frank, Lee Friedlander, Gary Winogrand, and William Eggleston just to name a few (do yourself a favor and look these up!). In this first of a 2 part series, fine art photographer Amelia Fletcher was generous with her time after her trip and answered a few questions for us. Continue reading to discover what she had in her camera bag, how she approached subjects to photograph, and what her best successes and failures were. Tips to Photograph Your Trip: Part 1 BL: What were your photographic intentions and/or goals when you first set out to cross the country by car? AF: My photographic goals were comparable to my other hopes for the trip. I wanted to put myself out there, experience different cultures and ways of life here in the United States, and see this beautiful country we live in as best I could. My hope was that my photos would reflect all of that. Everyone and everything I photographed has some...
Small Business Start Up & Tax Tips for Photographers and Videographers

Small Business Start Up & Tax Tips for Photographers and Videographers

Get a jump start on the impending tax season! If you are considering taking your photography/videography to the next level and becoming a business, you will need to know a few things about taxes. Below is a brief list of things to consider, followed by some links to more in-depth guides. • Determine if your photography/videography officially counts as a hobby or a for-profit endeavor. Here is a guide from the IRS to help you. • If your work is more than a hobby, determine if you should be a Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), an S Corp, or a Corporation. • Get your EIN number. You can apply for one here. • Find a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with existing clients who are photographers/videographers. • Have ready a tally of income, expenses (travel, equipment, props, software, domain costs, and advertising). Even rentals are potentially tax deductible so save your BorrowLenses receipts! • For any independent contractor you hire for more than $600 in one year, you’ll need to fill out a 1099 form for both that person and the government. For more information, check out the following articles: Special Tax Advice: How Photographers Can Get The Right Look From The I.R.S. Photographer’s Corner: Tips for Tax Time The 7 Common Tax Mistakes Made by Photographers 5 Super Simple Accounting Tips for Photographers Wedding Photographer Tax Tips Also check out 5 Important Photography Business Tips to Start the Year Off Right. Disclaimer: The information contained on this post is provided for reference purposes only and is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional tax planner or financial...
Creative Jump Start: Shooting with Fisheye and Ultra Wide-Angle Lenses

Creative Jump Start: Shooting with Fisheye and Ultra Wide-Angle Lenses

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 Jump Start series provides photographers with the informative ideas to effectively experiment with alternative photographic equipment. Creative Jump Start: Shooting with Fisheye and Ultra Wide-Angle Lenses by Seán Duggan On my recent Autumn & Aurora Discoveries workshop in Iceland, I decided to step outside my usual focal length comfort zone and do some experimenting with a 15mm fisheye lens on my full-frame Canon DSLR. BorrowLenses.com is a great resource that makes it easy to take different gear for a test drive and I really appreciate the large selection they have. Sometimes a lens is needed for a very specific purpose but at other times I’ll try out a lens simply because it offers such a different perspective from the lenses I normally use. This was the case with the 15mm f/2.8 lens. Most of my wide-angle shots are made at the 24mm focal length, with occasional images made with a 16–35mm. I knew, however, that the 15mm would offer a much different perspective than the 16mm. It is technically only one millimeter of focal length difference but the level of distortion is significantly more with the 15mm lens. Although the super wide angle-of-view was quite useful for some shots, it was actually the distortion that I was most interested in. Shooting straight at the horizon yielded an image that was very wide with not too much distortion but tilting the camera either up or down yielded a very pronounced curvature of the horizon. Tilting up...
1 Easy Way to Guarantee Your Photography Will Improve

1 Easy Way to Guarantee Your Photography Will Improve

How do you make every day count as a photographer? How do you make every day count for yourself? There is 1 major project that thousands of people start every January 1st that improves their lives and it has nothing to do with going to the gym. Photo-a-Day, or 365 Projects, is the secret to success for many photographers of every level. They are fun, challenging, sometimes mundane, sometimes exhilarating, and always a great teacher. Why do people commit to taking a photograph every day for a year – rain or shine, sickness or heath, inspired or not? I will explain the main reasons why Photo-a-Day goals are healthy, what you can do with the results, and how to get started. 3 Reasons to Start Taking 1 Photo Every Day: Presence, Practice, and Purpose Your only requirement for starting a Photo-a-Day project is the desire to participate. There are 3 main reasons photographers make this commitment: Presence, Practice, and Purpose. Let’s look at each one in detail. Presence In art and in life we’re thinking about the next big thing. A Photo-a-Day goal makes you think about right now. Looking for something meaningful, interesting, or even funny to photograph every single day helps to slow down time. Mindfulness gives you heightened awareness of your surroundings and you start seeing the photogenic in everything. Over time, your eye gets better and more discerning which allows you to walk away from every situation with more winning shots than duds. Your everyday environment may look very different to you at the end of the year than it does today. Practice The daily discipline...
Have All Your Holiday Pictures Become The Same? Try Telling A Photo Story

Have All Your Holiday Pictures Become The Same? Try Telling A Photo Story

The holiday season is in full swing and for many of us it is a time to spend with friends and family, some of whom we may not get to see often. Is it great to have that group shot of long lost friends or 3 generations of family in one frame? YES! But why not test your skills this year at telling a photographic story. Follow these simple steps to communicate just how beautiful, exciting, or sentimental your time was spent over the holidays. Doing so just might jog those memories ever more clearly in the years to come and leave you with something to always cherish. The Checklist A good way to start is by considering what your story or angle will be before you even pick up a camera. Plan ahead the shots which will be most critical, whether they are portraits or wide angle landscapes, that best tell your story. Having a loosely memorized shot list will increase your chances of capturing those key moments as they arise, since there will be many distractions while you shoot. Follow the Same Rules as Writing Whether you are blogging, sharing on social media, making a scrapbook, or submitting for publication your viewers will need to understand the context of your pictures. As you shoot, remember the who, what, when, where, and why. Your goal is to explain to viewers the reasons for your subject’s actions. Variety is the Spice of Life To tell a bigger more compelling story, shoot the subject or event from a range of viewpoints. Understanding beforehand how you would like your photographs to be read...
Personal Bests of 2014 – Get Inspired and Share Yours

Personal Bests of 2014 – Get Inspired and Share Yours

We celebrate progress on all levels – whether you’re a pro trying to stretch your personal limits or a novice who just learned how to shoot manually. We get better every year that we stick to our photographic and cinematic goals. Here are the personal favorites of 2014 from a variety of our employees, friends, and partners from all backgrounds, styles, and skill levels. Check out the images and videos below, see what they shot with, and get inspired. This is one of Seán Duggan’s favorite images from 2014. He took it while deep inside an ice cave that extended 300 meters back beneath an Iceland glacier. His guide provided the perfect sense of scale for this enormous “room”. This is an HDR blend of 3 exposures shot with a Canon 5D Mark II and a Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 lens. Want to get a shot like this? Join Duggan on his next workshop, Winter Landscapes, Ice Caves, and Auroras, in March, 2015. In his worldwide workshops, Michael Corsentino teaches students how to achieve fashion and glamor portraits like this City Girl Fashion editorial he shot in Brooklyn. Corsentino lit this scene with a Profoto B1 Air Flash and an Elinchrom Deep Octa. His work and travels can be followed on Instagram: @corsentino. Travel dominates every year of Michael Bonocore’s life and 2014 was no exception. He ran the second camera for a SmugMug Films production on the adventures of surf photographer Chris Burkard. Burkard documented a group of surfers braving blizzards, high winds, and freezing temperatures in search of the perfect wave. When Bonocore wasn’t shooting slow motion of Burkard in action on...
7 Tips You’ll Want to Know Before Gorilla or Chimpanzee Trekking

7 Tips You’ll Want to Know Before Gorilla or Chimpanzee Trekking

  For those of you who have seen Gorillas in the Mist, in Uganda the vision of sweeping mountains and dense jungle masked in a coat of soft mist is very real. The indigenous people have aptly named the gorilla’s home the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Impenetrable is, at times, an understatement. If you have ever photographed in rainforests or jungles, you have undoubtedly encountered moisture problems. The majority of fellow wildlife photographers know too well about the annoying spot of condensation that appears deep inside the confines of a lens right as the lens cap is removed, often happening at the most inopportune times. One way to deter moisture is to avoid removing your lens from your camera body and leaving it out of your pack as much as possible in the open air. Utilizing one lens may be difficult for those who travel with one body, so bringing along a back up lens is strongly suggested. If this isn’t possible, try putting on an 80-200mm lens and leaving it on until your trek is complete. If you encounter lens condensation while in the field, place your lens in a warm, dry place or in direct sunlight until the moisture clears. No. 2:  Wear Comfortable Hiking Boots and Gaiters One of the most important tips is to bring along ankle-high hiking boots and knee-high gaiters to wear during your trek. On your way to find the gorillas or chimpanzees, you will traverse up steep inclines and scale down slippery slopes for hours – often cutting your way through dense jungle by machete. There is a lot of life in the...
What do Meditation and Macro Photography Have in Common?

What do Meditation and Macro Photography Have in Common?

Macro photography is much like a meditation practice: there must be a willingness to experiment outside your comfort zone, practiced patience, and a dedication to learning. The genre has been a popular niche for decades and now with easier accessibility to the tools it takes to create this kind of photo, there are a few ideas it is best to understand first. With its popularity there is a lot of technical information available that can be difficult to understand when you are first starting out. Whether you are shooting detailed still lives or capturing your environment in a new perspective, there are certain things to consider that will aid in your success and help you avoid defeating frustration. Understanding the most important questions to ask yourself and why its important to know the answers before you even pick up your camera is the first step. Let’s take a closer look at the best tools of the trade, tips, and tricks to get started in macro photography. What Exactly Is Macro Photography? Macro photography has been in pop vernacular for some time now and is the close-up photography of very small subjects captured life size. You will often hear the terms magnification rate or reproduction rates when referring macro photography, which translates the size in which the subject is being captured in relation to their actual size. A ratio of 1:1 is imagery true to life in size, 1:2 is half it’s size in reality, and so on. You can tell the ratio you are able to shoot by reading the markings on the side of a macro lens. For...
Q&A with Red Bull Photographer Garth Milan

Q&A with Red Bull Photographer Garth Milan

Garth Milan is a famous action sports photographer and a customer of BorrowLenses. Milan originally started photographing action sports because of his own interest in skateboarding, mountain biking, and motorcycle riding. This year he did a Red Bull photo shoot with Harrison Barnes and was kind enough to share some insight and images from the shoot with BorrowLenses! BL: What is your background as a photographer? Milan:  I have been shooting professionally since about 1998, and specialize in everything from action sports to portraits and commercial product photography. The diversity in shooting comes from my photojournalism background, which I studied at Cal State Long Beach under award-winning photojournalist Wayne Kelly. I absolutely love all aspects of photography, and still pinch myself daily that I’ve made a career out of my favorite artistic form. BL: How many years have you been photographing for? Milan: I’ve been shooting now for over 20 years! BL: How did you originally get into photography? Milan: I got into it because I was also into all of the action sports that I now shoot. I began taking pictures of my friends, and it just snowballed from there. Once I discovered my love for photography, I switched my college major and completely immersed myself in it. BL: Why do you like renting from BorrowLenses? Milan: My experience was absolutely exceptional with Borrowlenses! From the exceptional customer service I experienced, to their awesome website, BorrowLenses had me covered every step of the way. The gear was top-notch and definitely the cleanest and best-kept rental gear I’ve had in a long time. BL: What goes through your mind when you get an assignment that isn’t motorsports related? Milan: I...