6 Easy Summer Photography Shooting Tips with Big Results

6 Easy Summer Photography Shooting Tips with Big Results

Shooting in the middle of the day is a photography no-no but sometimes, especially when traveling, you have no choice but to make the most of the harsh light. Here are 6 methods for getting better images in the heat of summer without having to carry a lot of extra tools with you. Turn Your Back on the Sky But Face the Sun It seems counterintuitive but you want your subject to face away from the sun. Light coming from behind your subject separates them from their background in a pleasing way. However, your subject’s face may be dark. To counter this, use Exposure Compensation or Meter specifically for your subject. This may overexpose your background a bit but it beats having a squinting, raccoon-eyed subject. Having a big open space behind you, as opposed to trees or dark buildings, will help keep your subject’s face bright even when they have their backs to the sun. The best combination is to find a location where the sun can be behind or at an angle to your subject while placing them against a dark background – like the very trees you’re trying to avoid having behind you. In short, a great formula for outdoor, high-noon portraits without additional tools is to have open sky behind you and the sun’s direction behind your subject, preferably filtered through darker scenery. Want to improve this even more? Put a reflector in front of your subject. The sun coming from behind them will hit that reflector and bounce that light back into the front of your scene. Seek Out Environmental Reflectors Beach sand, those creepy...
Lightweight Hiking and Travel Alternatives

Lightweight Hiking and Travel Alternatives

Guest contributor Mark Shastany comes to us from the Borrowlenses.com VIP department to share his gear knowledge with the BL community! Shastany is a Boston-based photographer specializing in portraiture, commercial work, and landscape. He recently took a trip to the Catskills, NY and needed a lightweight solution that matched his personal standard of quality output. Mark graciously shared what he chose to bring, why, and what in hindsight he’d consider amending to make his kit more efficient and lightweight for next time! Lightweight Hiking and Travel Alternatives by Mark Shastany For Hiking and travel, you are often limited by the weight and size of the gear you choose to bring. In a scenario like this, there is often a sacrifice to be considered when attempting pro-grade images that are traditionally accomplished with large, heavy lenses and DSLR bodies. However, there are viable alternatives that work out nicely, cutting down on size and weight without compromising image quality. On a recent hike in the Catskills in New York, I performed a field test to find out what worked well for lightweight, high quality hiking alternatives – and what didn’t. Mirrorless systems provide great solutions to the age-old problem of weight vs. performance. For this test, I chose the Sony A7 series (specifically the A7R), Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70 f/4 ZA OSS Lens, Zeiss Loxia 50mm f/2 Planar T* Lens, Metabones adapter, and a Lowepro Flipside 300 Backpack. For night photography or long exposures you’ll need a lightweight tripod and tripod head. The Sony A7R renders images sharply due to its removed optical low-pass filter and high resolution 36MP sensor. The battery life is significantly shorter...
Planning for Safari: Photography Tips and Tricks

Planning for Safari: Photography Tips and Tricks

It’s safe to say that an African safari is on most wildlife photographers’ destination wish list. It is a trip many will never get the chance to do due to the extensive travel and time requirements as well as the significant financial expense. However, for those lucky enough to set out on the incredible journey it’s not as simple as picking a destination, hotel, and plane ticket. There is a significant amount of preparation and planning that must be done ahead of time. Borrowlenses.com advocate and wildlife photographer David Bernstein recently returned from his epic safari trip and graciously shared a few tips he learned along the way. Bernstein started out using a humble Rebel series camera and over time grew into being what he calls a “photo-naturalist”, taking pictures of landscapes and wildlife with an affinity for birds. This article is meant to help you plan for an African photo-focused safari and address many of the things to consider before embarking on the journey of a lifetime. Planning for Safari: Photography Tips and Tricks by David Bernstein Travel Agents for the Win If this is your first safari then do not plan it by yourself! There are many highly-rated travel companies that specialize in organizing African safaris. Their goal is to provide you with an unbelievable experience tailored to what you want and hope to see. I always felt comfortable planning my own itineraries on photo excursions because of all my previous travel experience, however, I decided to use a travel company to plan and organize my first safari and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. They guided...
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...
9 Carry On Friendly Photo and Video Accessories for Holiday Plane Travel

9 Carry On Friendly Photo and Video Accessories for Holiday Plane Travel

Plane travel can be a source of anxiety for photographers. Checking bags isn’t safe for most gear and being able to skip the baggage claim carousels is always a bonus anyway – especially around the holidays. There are a lot of small items to shoot with, including high-quality mirrorless cameras, tiny lenses, and small flash gear. However, it is sometimes hard to skimp on support systems, lighting, and storage in order to save space. Rolling bags, tripods, and light stands all tend to be a pain to try and take on a plane. Here are 9 items that you should be able to take on board with you without having to sacrifice your shooting needs. I say “should” because the TSA is a fickle fish – what flies at one airport may not fly at another and, as always, different carriers will be more strict than others. These are my personal favorite items that I have air traveled with for trade shows, overseas vacations, and for smaller gigs without incident (so far!) on both large airliners and regional jets. AlienBees LS1100 Backlight Stand   This little light stand fits into almost any bag – collapsed it is under a foot and a half and extends up to 3 feet. Don’t pack this for lighting portraits of basketball players but for family get-togethers (especially if everyone is sitting around the couch) it is perfect. Think Tank Airport International V2.0 Rolling Camera Bag  This bag is specifically designed to adhere to TSA standards. It combines the soft give of a fabric body (good for inevitable overstuffing) with the protection of a hard...
Top Ten Tips for Amazing Amusement Park Photography

Top Ten Tips for Amazing Amusement Park Photography

There are few places on Earth that allow you to use the full feature set of your camera skills and most people don’t think that place would be the grand old American amusement park! In prep for the summer season, Kris Rowberry of Great American Thrills shows you how to get spectacular shots while having fun at the same time in his Top Ten Tips for Amusement Park Photography.

Travel Photography Tips from John Batdorff

This is a guest-post from John Batdorff II, a renowned travel photographer and friend of BorrowLenses.com. John is known for his landscape and travel photography, workshops, books and popular photography blog. He has traveled all around the world and, as part of our Tip of the Week series, shares his top tips on what to do if you’re planning a photo trip abroad. Take it away John!  Over the years I’ve learned a few things about travel photography. First and foremost, preparation is critical, and second, nothing ever goes as planned. Managing expectations, mitigating potential problems, and being flexible are key ingredients to ensuring a great experience. Here are few of my tips for planning a successful photo trip: Create a Shot List:  Whenever I’m traveling to an unfamiliar area I like to create a shot list of images I would like to capture. I’ll spend countless hours searching Google images and Flickr in an effort to familiarize myself with an area while jotting down places of interest. A good shot list should help answer questions like, what equipment will you need? Will you need a long lens, wide angle, tripod, backpack, etc? The list should help create opportunities by identifying the best locations and times to shoot, and most importantly, by feeding your creative vision. I like to think of my shot list as a fluid document that adapts and changes as opportunities present themselves. Buy a Good Book: A picture is worth a thousand words, but a good book about local culture and history is priceless. Understanding the people and places you are shooting will help you...