Posts Tagged ‘AC3 ZoneController’

Making Smaller Voices Heard in an Ever Noisier World

There comes a time when we read or see something that makes us want to quit our day job, pack our bags, and go do something that actually makes a difference in this world. Few get past their morning coffee before they’re once again off to the office, dreams put on hold. And then there are those who, damn the naysayers and snickers, actually follow through and make the world, in some small measure, a better place to live in. Mark van Luyk, a Creative Director by trade, and his wife, Judith Madigan, an optometrist by trade, did just that. And they’ve succeeded.

BrandOutLoud-5

Judith and Mark stepped out of the corporate world in 2006 and after a year of travel and soul searching, established ‘BrandOutLoud’, which in Judith’s words ” specializes in tailor-made branding and communications for non-profits worldwide.” If you’ve ever browsed through brochures and websites designed and illustrated by and for non-governmental and other non-profit organizations, you know the design and graphics can often be sophomoric, and at times depressing to look at. Mark and Judith were determined to change all of that.

© Mark van Luyk - BrandOutLoud

As a Creative Director, Mark understands the importance of branding – “It’s all about knowing who you are and what you stand for”. He’s also quite aware of the role of powerful imagery when it comes to successful communication. “Showing stereotype (aid) images of tragedy, warfare, or disease evokes helping from the point of view of pity. Besides, the world has seen enough of the sad looking malnourished African child with the flies in the eyes” Mark adds.

© Mark van Luyk - BrandOutLoud

Mark’s approach is to present local aid organizations from remote locations around the world as real people, with dreams of their own being turned into realities. And no matter how humble or simple the endeavor may be, there is a strong sense of pride and dignity in the faces of the people he has photographed along the way.

 

As a result of Mark and Judith’s efforts, small local aid organizations now have the ability to sustain themselves by attracting new supporters and expanding their network of partners, becoming more and more independent. They are able to show their story and get their message across using the newly well-designed communication tools.

So far Mark and Judith have met with much success. Rather than chasing leads, organizations are now seeking them out for their expertise in not only ‘branding’ aid organizations, but for their unique ability to design and supply the elements of entire campaigns, and they do it quite well.

© Mark van Luyk - BrandOutLoud

Due to the remoteness of many of the locations the van Luyks travel to, they must travel light. For this reason Mark narrowed his choices of gear down to his Canon cameras (EOS 5D Mark II and Mark III), a set of fast prime lenses, and four Canon 580EX II Speedlites which he uses grouped together or individually depending on the circumstances – with or without a softbox or umbrella (In addition to stills, Mark also shoots HDSLR video for client and promotional needs). To synchronize his cameras and lights, Mark relies on PocketWizard MiniTT1 Transmitters, PocketWizard FlexTT5 Transceivers, and PocketWizard AC3 ZoneControllers, which he cannot praise enough.

© Mark van Luyk - BrandOutLoud

“I work in the field and I have to think about everything going on around me, and we often have to set up and work quickly.  My PocketWizard system allows me to set my lights the way I want them knowing the images will come out dead-on. “I’d rather get it right when I press the shutter release. Sitting at a computer doing Photoshop is not my idea of a fun time.”

 

Mark relishes the fact he can control the entire creative process from soup to nuts. “Knowing upfront how the image will appear at the end makes it easy for me to capture and compose all of the elements together. I can pre-visualize the picture and how it will appear in print or the web before I fire the shutter. That’s a huge advantage.”

 

The resulting images are strikingly simple, and though ‘advertorial’ in style, don’t come off too slick or condescending to either the subject(s) or viewer(s). Mark van Luyk and Judith Madigan are quite clear on the fact their subjects are real people, with real hopes, dreams, and realities, and they deserve the same level of dignity an respect as the more privileged amongst us.

 © Mark van Luyk - BrandOutLoud

To learn more about BrandOutLoud visit http://www.brandoutloud.org/videos/1/

All images, videos, and quotes in this post are used with permission and © Mark van Luyk / BrandOutLoud, all rights reserved; story is ©PocketWizard. Please respect and support photographers’ rights. Feel free to link to this blog post, but please do not replicate or repost elsewhere without written permission.

 

 

 

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Walter Van Dusen Gets Ready for Hannah’s Big Day

Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 10.58.47 PMThe contact page of Walter van Dusen’s website features a picture of his daughter with a caption that reads “Every wedding that I photograph is preparing for my daughter Hannah’s wedding. That’s how important your wedding is to me”. And he means it. Some photographers approach weddings as cookie-cutter catalog work. New England-based Walter van Dusen approaches weddings with a passion.

With 20 years as a correction officer under his belt, Walter has the steely nerves required to deal with the heightened emotions and meltdowns that often go hand-in-hand with wedding days. Careful to avoid repetitive grip and grin-ish wedding photography, van Dusen makes a conscious effort to spend up-front time in order to get to know the soon-to-be-married couple, and sometimes their families and significant others in their lives.

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What’s up Pussycat? Özkan Özmen goes on a Portrait Safari

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Özkan Özmen at work

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.

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Bobbi Lane on Leaving the Nest

Photographer Bobbi Lane has shared with us many of her secrets for creating gorgeous portrait photography in two Webinars. Here, in her own words, she goes into detail about the most recent session she gave for PocketWizard viewers. 

©Bobbi Lane
©Bobbi Lane

The idea for my portrait of the young woman with the nest and egg and feathers came out of a dream. I am a committed believer in exercising creativity and going through several processes to help develop ideas. One of the first steps in that process is brainstorming with other creative people, then writing down words to trigger ideas, and then letting it rest a bit and coming back to revisit the ideas in a few days. My associate Matt Burdick and I were sitting around one day talking about “what’s cool.” We tossed around a lot of concepts and then I arrived at “feathers.” I’ve been a birder all my life, even worked one summer at a bird observatory/banding station in Manomet, Massachusetts. I find and collect feathers wherever I go. To me, feathers are really cool.

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Dylan Patrick, Thespian Photographer

Dylan Patrick left Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to pursue his acting career in New York City. A few years after graduating from the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts in 2006, Patrick began his photography business in earnest. Finding his love of photography equalled his desire to act, he was soon earning a living as a photographer. Always a fan of cinema lighting, this photographer enjoys using shadows for added drama. Via word of mouth, other actors began to seek him out for their headshots because of the cinematic influences in his work. What actor doesn’t want to look like a movie star?

“Many of my clients, both current and prospective, as well as agents, casting directors, and even other shooters, have told me they love how my shots actually look like film stills,” Patrick says. “I stumbled upon my style on my roof shortly after getting the PocketWizard FlexTT5 transceivers, and I’ve slowly fine tuned ever since. You could say high-speed sync and PocketWizard helped me find my style. I’m always more excited to shoot on sunny days now, and I’m constantly looking for brilliant angular light, which is where a vast majority of the color comes from in my images.”

Currently a resident of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in Manhattan, Patrick hasn’t strayed far from the Great White Way. He was recently kind enough to explain, in his own words, how he created this portrait of a fellow actor on the streets of New York.

Kristin Wetherington, ©Dylan Patrick

Kristin Wetherington, ©Dylan Patrick

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Don Toothaker Dancing with Creativity

Don Toothaker is a Massachusetts photographer who covers a wide range of subject matter. He also conducts classes at New England Photo Workshops. In his own words, Don was willing to take the time to address creativity, light, and how he executed the below photo.

©Don Toothaker

©Don Toothaker

Creativity is a powerful thing. As a photographer, too often I struggle with expressing myself from a different perspective. I know my camera equipment, I feel confident in my compositions, and I am secure photographing a variety of subjects but, despite all of that, creativity remains a personal nemesis.

Every Tuesday night my son takes hip-hop lessons at a local dance studio. The second story studio is large, but like many studios, is mostly bare. Sitting one night watching the class I was struck by the open expanse of the studio, the many windows, and one particular door. I loved the way light spilled into the room each time the door was opened. Looking at the door, the light, and the windows I was inspired to create a particular image. All I needed was a ballet dancer. All I needed was some creativity.

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Back to Basics with Off-Camera Flash

Now that we’ve covered HyperSync© and Remote Camera Triggering in our recent newsletters and blog posts, we’re going back to the basics by focusing on simple off-camera flash using the MiniTT1, FlexTT5 and AC3 ZoneController for both Canon and Nikon. The MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 radios allow you to take full advantage of the simplicity of TTL flash while taking your flash off the camera to improve your images. Add the AC3 ZoneController when using more than one off-camera flash for full creative control right from the camera. We’ve pulled together some existing content from our site which provides the basics of off-camera flash using PocketWizard ControlTL radios and accessories.

The following Behind the Scenes videos provide a quick overview of the MiniTT1, FlexTT5 and AC3 ZoneController in use by a variety of professional photographers.

Cliff Mautner provides a behind-the-scenes look of the MiniTT1, FlexTT5 and AC3 in action during a bridal shoot and gives a good overview of using the AC3 ZoneController in his work flow. The full story can be found here.

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Ben Von Wong Lights an Octopus

©Ben Von Wong

©Ben Von Wong

HyperSync® enthusiast Ben Von Wong keeps getting drawn to rocks and water. In his most recent shoot, no fire was involved this time, but his model had to contend with wildlife. An octopus. Deceased. On her face.

Jen Brook also had to endure lying on cold boulders and wearing clothing in some frigid-looking water. Fortunately, Ben made quick work of the shoot, and shot at speeds only possible with HyperSync technology. Using PocketWizard gear to shoot at speeds of 1/1000th, Ben called on FlexTT5 transceivers, the AC3 ZoneController, and the AC9 AlienBees Adapter.

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HyperSync and the Classic Norton

Dave Schmidt has shared his passion for Norton bikes in the past. Here’s his account of his latest shoot with a Norton motorcycle utilizing HyperSync® technology.

Take One, no flash F/4 1/1000, ISO 100. ©David Schmidt

Take One, no flash, F/4, 1/1000, ISO 100. ©David Schmidt

Personal Experience
We never seem to have enough time to shoot around here but testing the new firmware was a good excuse to take some pictures. It worked out well as our friends at the Classic Bike Experience had a beautifully restored ’69 Norton Commando they wanted some pictures of and dropped it off at our studio for a few days. (We photographed another Commando in 2011 and wrote about it here). Click here for a Behind-the-Scenes look at the shoot.

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Laura Barisonzi’s HyperSync Dance

We’ve been fans of Laura Barisonzi’s environmental portraits for years, and enjoy seeing what she’s up to at any given point in time. She has an ongoing personal project entitled Dance, and she took a few minutes out to share with our readers how she pulled off one of the images. Here’s a breakdown of the process for this shot in her own words.

An image from Laura Barisonzi's ongoing project, "Dance." ©Laura Barisonzi

An image from Laura Barisonzi’s ongoing project, “Dance.” ©Laura Barisonzi

I had scouted this alcove at a Manhattan park location up to a year before the shoot and had it in my head for a long time as somewhere for a dramatic shot. Once I began my personal project on dance, this location was at the top of my list for locations which could convey some of the formality of a theater or stage, but still have the grit and interest of being outside in an urban setting.

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