Posts in Category: Tutorial

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Rent or Buy

Some of us photographers don’t have the “capital” to be able to purchase all the gear that we want.  We have our one camera body, several lenses, and some other equipment – a few flashes, stands, and a handful of memory cards.  But to get professional shots at specific events, such as a wedding, you need professional weapons and know how to use them.  Am I ready to purchase a Nikon D7000 ($1,200 MSRP), a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II ($2,400), and a Nikon 85mm f/1.4 ($1,700)?  No way – especially since I don’t do enough paid photography to get a good ROI (return on investment) from said purchases.  I’m at that point where I could only justify improving the gear I own if I were to start marketing myself in order to book more shoots.  So instead of buying the gear I need, here’s a little secret.  Okay, it’s not really a secret, but websites such as,, and come in really handy in these situations.  You can rent pretty much anything you need from them, use it for the allotted time, and then ship it back when your rental period is up.  Last time I rented, I used LensRentals, but this time I chose to use BorrowLenses since their prices are cheaper.  I’ll get to use all three of the items above ($5,300 MSRP) for 4 days.  Total cost including shipping was right around $200.

The point of this post is this: renting gear can be a good option.  Even if you don’t have an event to shoot; if you simply want to give a camera body a test run; if you’ve always wanted to create a really cool fisheye image; or if you’re not a photographer yet and you want to shoot with a friend who is – try renting some gear!

Also, as a bonus, I wanted to post an image for your viewing pleasure that has nothing to do with this post: the Tower of London in (moderate) HDR.  Processed with Photomatix Pro and Lightroom.  Thanks for reading!


New Software!

Thanks to a new friend from church, I just got Lightroom 3!  I had been using Adobe Lightroom 2 to produce most of the fine images you’ve seen on this blog over the last couple months, but I’m excited to have version 3.  There are several updates that you can see here and if you’re completely unfamiliar with the capabilities of Lightroom in general, check out this link – Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.

Some of you may be shocked.  “What?! He doesn’t use Photoshop?”

Well… If you clicked on the links above, you’ll realize that Lightroom and Photoshop are two very different programs for editing digital photographs.  Lightroom is designed to handle large batches of photographs, which it organizes into “catalogs.”  Multiple photos can be imported and then edited quickly, due to the photo strip interface along the bottom of the program, and the same effects easily applied to multiple images (which you can do in Photoshop as well, but not as quickly/painlessly).  This is great when you’re trying to organize/edit/produce approximately 1500 photos from a wedding.

One of my favorite features of Lightroom are the presets – some of which come preloaded; others can be found online for free downloading.  I’ll post some before and after pictures at some point.  If you have specific pictures that you’d like to see the before and after, please LET ME KNOW!  Just to let YOU know, I still use Photoshop.  But mainly for additional touch-ups once I’ve done editing in Lightroom or for other things like adding text or crazy effects.  I’m by NO means a Photoshop expert, but I get by.

“Oh man, should I try using Lightroom?”  Definitely try it out – especially if you take a lot of photos and want software to simply keep the photos organized.  Adobe offers a free trial on their website (see above links).