I have a pretty good relationship with the guys over at Borrowlenses.com (an online camera equipment rental business). I’ve used their services in the past, and every once in a while they offer me a free rental … being a social media geek sure doesn’t suck sometimes.
So, a few weeks ago I got an email from Josh over at BorrowLenses asking if there’s anything I’d like to try out. It was perfect timing! I was planning a short trip out to Nebraska to visit family, and was also planning on doing some stock images with my dad. I was originally just going to take a small speedlite setup and some PocketWizards, but after getting the email from Josh I thought it would be a good time to try out some of their rental lights.
I had a small setup shipped out to Nebraska and had everything I needed to do a few stock shoots. They have a good selection of lights, and I opted to go with equipment I was familiar with … So, I pretty much stuck with Alien Bee/White Lightening branded equipment, since that’s what I use in my studio. Here’s what I rented:
- Alien Bees Ring-flash ABR800
- 30″ Moon Unit
- White Lightening x800
- Foldable soft box (32″x40″)
- Two 13-ft light-stands
I still could have gotten some good images without the extra gear, but using them really helped add light that I wouldn’t have had if I only used one speed-light. Plus, I really wasn’t planning on checking luggage for my flight, so having the gear already at the location made it simple to pack light … (no pun intended). The only photo-related things of my own I ended up bringing were my camera/lenses, a light meter and some PocketWizards.
All in all I really like Borrow Lenses, and would recommend them to anyone who is looking at renting photography gear. The process is simple … They ship out the gear, you use it, then you ship it back in the same box and just use the pre-printed FedEx label that came with the shipment. They have a pretty good selection, and using rental gear is also a great way to try out stuff you’re thinking of buying.
In the photo above, the light to the right of the frame (White Lightening x800 with soft-box) is used to fill in the light on the face and brighten it up. The light on the left (ring-light with moon unit) was used to brighten up the background (ambient light wasn’t enough). Some ambient light was helping the image, but the two lights made the colors “pop” more and evened out the light in the scene.