Özkan Özmen is a portrait photographer based in Frankfurt Germany with a penchant for photographing subjects that can bite your head off. No, we’re not talking about models and celebrities with attitude here. We’re talking lions, tigers, and rhinos. As Dorothy famously said to the tin man… “Oh MY!”
According to Özkan, he’s always been into things that crawl, chirp, growl, and purr, and it wasn’t long after he began taking shooting studio portraits for a living that he decided to put together a compact lighting kit and try his luck outside of the comforts and convenience of his studio. Özkan Ozmen’s personal project ultimately took him on a multi-continent journey in which he’s captured wonderful portraits of the sort of wildlife most of us only see in zoo and safari parks, though seldom as in-your-face.
Özkan understood the logistics – not to mention danger involved in trying to capture tight portraits of wild animals using lights. Still and all, rather than being technically boxed in by the harsh ambient lighting conditions common to shooting in the extreme locales he planned on visiting, his goal was to light his subjects and select-focus at wider lens apertures similar to the way he would when shooting portraits in his studio.
Bruce Vigneault has posted about some high speed sync tests he’s run. Influenced by a photo expedition he did with Moose Peterson at Yellowstone National Park, Vigneault used a teddy bear as a model.
Using the PocketWizard MiniTT1, the FlexTT5, and the AC3 ZoneController, Vigneault experimented with different settings on his Nikon D3s. The shoot is well-documented, and is a great primer for what can be achieved with off-camera flash and PocketWizards.
Vigneault points to a recent Webinar hosted by Mark Wallace, which is all about High Speed Sync. This video inspired him to experiment. Judging from his post, Vigneault now has a firm grasp of what high speed sync is all about.
Nice job explaining what you’ve learned, Bruce! Learn more about Bruce on his site and his blog.
Daniel Milchev flirted with photography as a child in Bulgaria. Now living in Vail, Colorado, Milchev has been a professional photographer for the past four years, focusing primarily on action sports.
Vail, and the Vail-area athletes, remain the big draw for Milchev. “There’s a lot of good skiers and snowboarders and bikers,” he says. Apart from covering the X Games, he feels he rarely needs to leave Colorado due to the abundance of extreme sports practiced throughout the state.
First off, Kubota stresses the good things which can happen when you shoot with a photography buddy. In this case, it’s his friend Benjamin Edwards. He details how the two shooters collaborated by taking turns setting up shots of the bride and groom, Jenah and Matt. Mutual feedback was critical to getting the best shots, and a great lesson can be learned from this paragraph of Kubota’s post alone.
The theme for this photo shoot was fairly easy to arrive at. Jenah, it turns out, is “a national team boxer.” What better idea than to put her in a ring, wearing a bridal gown, and have her knocking out her groom? Awesome concept, and great execution, guys.
This highly informative post is not to be missed, particularly if you’re an Elinchrom user. Bol goes into detail not only how he achieved his sample shots, but the science of what’s going on, and how to avoid unwanted results. He also details the handiness of using the PocketWizard AC3 Zone Controller to set the output on an Elinchrom Ranger.
Be sure you don’t miss this informative post if you’re interested in high speed sync without clipping. Don’t forget to check out the great imagery Bol is capturing when not educating shooters on how to do the same by visiting his site.
Now based in Orange County, California, Garth Milan has moved around the United States since childhood, living everywhere from upstate New York to Puerto Rico to Florida to Washington State. After attending high school in California, he went to Cal State Long Beach to study Photojournalism.
At the age of 19, Milan was a motocross rider and nearly achieved professional rider status. A string of broken bones and other injuries made him reevaluate the odds of earning a living in the sport. Well-into photography by that point, he easily slid into a transition from participant to photographer. “It wasn’t just motocross, either,” he says. “It was other sports like wakeboarding, which was another one I was really into.”
Julian Bleecker’s book project, The Girls’ Skate Book is indeed what the title suggests: photos of women in the world of skateboarding. Bleecker has published a blog post about his use of PocketWizard technology on this book.
Using a combination of PocketWizard MiniTT1 units, FlexTT5 units and the new AC3 Zone Controller, these images capture young women in air-grabbing action for a book of their own—no skater boys allowed. Bleecker concludes near the end of his post, “High-speed sync? This is the future already.”
We love learning about inventive ways photographers put PocketWizard gear to the test. See the Red Bull Illume video below to learn how Vitek Ludvik photographed Olympic kayaker Vavra Hradilek in action.
Ludvik mounted an Olympus E3 to the bow of a kayak using foam and duct tape. PocketWizard Plus II units were used to remotely trigger the camera as Hradilek pushed against the current in some driving water.
Now that’s an inventive way to get some compelling sports photography. If you have any unique ways you’re using PocketWizard radio triggers, feel free to let us know. You might have us asking your permission to share your story with our many readers.
Don’t forget, PocketWizard does not recommend exposing your PocketWizard gear to water. Doing so will void the warranty. PocketWizard units themselves are not waterproof. Please be careful with your investment.
We first profiled Chris Garrison and his amazing photography in November. Since then, he’s continued his amazing photography of athletes in snow and water, or rather, typically flying above snow and water, while pushing the limits of PocketWizard Hypersync technology.
Chris offered to participate in our Five Photography Tips ongoing feature. Here’s the points he felt are important enough to share with other shooters.
The review covers her initial testing of the units after an overview of her experience using off-camera flashes, particularly the Nikon Creative Lighting System’s line of sight functionality and associated limitations. She explains her more recent advanced lighting set-ups with flash units hidden, and gives some wonderful example photos to illustrate this. These creative new shots would be impossible with line-of-sight flashes. New PocketWizard Nikon units to the rescue!
Zettl provides a variety of sample shots (including behind-the-scenes images), both indoor and outdoor, which amply illustrate her methodology and results with the new technology.
“The Pocket Wizards are an industry standard when it comes to consistent, reliable radio triggers,” Zettl writes. “In my initial testing of the product I was really pleased with the results. It was extremely easy to set up the units. I would almost call them plug and play. In every shot, the units fire consistently and accurately. This meant I was able to set my lights and focus on my subject versus worrying about if my OCF unit would be able to see my commander as I moved around,” she also writes.
Zettl ends her review with the promise of “more detailed testing to come.” We can’t wait to see more interesting breakdowns of her workflow as she puts PocketWizard technology to the limits. Be sure not to miss the work on her site, or her own blog.