It’s been a while since I’ve done any HDR photography (which is simply a method of combining multiple bracketed images to create one image with a larger dynamic range than a normal photograph), but I just couldn’t help myself a few nights ago. As I’ve mentioned previously, I can’t stand when people use HDR to create some ridiculously phony looking picture (Google it), but that’s just personal preference. I like to utilize it in a minimal way to effectively re-create the image as I remember my eyes seeing it, since our eyes have significantly higher dynamic range than our cameras. Hopefully I was able to do that here. This is the Pennybacker Bridge – the portion of Capital of Texas Highway 360 that spans Lake Austin. You can see the skyscrapers of the Austin skyline peeking out over the horizon just to the left of the bridge in each photo. Enjoy!
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 LensRentals.com, BorrowLenses.com, and LensProToGo.com 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!
Well, there’s a first time for everything. This morning, my wife came across a picture posted on Crate & Barrel’s Facebook page, and thought it looked familiar. It turns out that they posted my picture titled “Green River” without my permission and without credit to me. They’ve since removed it, but I’m still trying to figure out the best way to address this, especially because I’m leaving for Europe later today… Either way, here’s the link to the photo on Flickr – http://flic.kr/p/7LHES4 – and I posted it below. I’ll follow up with the resolution to this conflict in the future, but in the mean time I’ll be in London and Paris! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!