Dave Hahn of New York’s CSI Photo has been covered on the PocketWizard blog previously. Known for his atypical but exciting camera angles used at sporting events, Hahn covers burst-firing in his own words.
Dave Hahn at work.
Over the next few months I will be writing about a few of the differences between the PocketWizard MultiMAX transceiver and the Plus® III radio triggers. As you know the Plus III transceiver is packed with a host of great features for the advanced photographer. But, over the next few months I will be explaining some of the more advanced features of the MultiMAX transceivers for when you may want to step up your game.
In this review I am going to talk about how you can set the contact time of the MultiMAX. Why might you want or need to adjust the contact time of you transceiver? Let’s say you shooting sports, where you know where the action is going to be, such as basketball or maybe baseball. And you’re going to be using a camera as a remote from a location that you would not be able to check to see if you are getting the shot you want. Here is where adjusting the contact time would help. If you camera fires at five frames per second and you would like to shoot 3 frames each time you would simply set the contact time to 0.6 seconds. To adjust the contact time you would go into the menu of your receiving MultiMAX by pressing: MENU(*) B A and using the up and down keys to adjust the time.
One of the key features of the PocketWizard Plus® III is “Quad-Zone Triggering.” This feature traces its roots back to the MultiMAX® where it has proven itself to be a game changer for many professional photographers. With the feature now found in the more affordable Plus III, more photographers have this capability within their reach. So what does it do?
Quad-Zone Triggering allows photographers to assign lights or cameras to one of four zones; A-B-C or D and then they can turn a zone on or off with the simple push of a button on the transmitting radio. This could be used to turn a single light on or off, or a group of lights on or off (you can have as many lights or cameras per zone as you want). It can also be used to turn a remote camera, or group of cameras, on or off. We’ll take a look at each scenario.
Building your Lighting You’re in a studio situation taking portraits. You’re using five different lights; one is the key, one is a fill, two are for the background, and one is for highlights. You want to be able to see the impact of each light and make sure you have the proper power setting. Without Quad-Zone Triggering, this would be a very challenging task unless you had a group of assistants to turn the various lights on and off. With Quad-Zone Triggering you simply select the light you want to turn on/off from the transmitting radio and take a shot. Each light or group of lights (in this case the two background lights) is assigned a zone, either A-B-C or D. Turning on one zone at a time allows you to see just the light from that zone making it far easier to make adjustments.
Multiple Lighting Setup You’re shooting a wedding reception and you want to offer a variety of images and a few different looks to the couple. Prior to the reception you’ve set-up several lights around the room with Plus III’s as the receiver and assigned a zone to each light and/or a zone to groups of lights. Using Quad-Zone Triggering, you can turn the light(s) from each zone on or off at-will right from your camera to change the lighting on the fly and create different images from the same scene.
Continuing from our first story on Josh Ross, this exciting shooter continues to develop as an inventive conceptual product photographer. Here, in his own words, is how Ross put together this exciting shot featuring Gatorade.
This shot was an evolution of my work with a natural splash caught on camera. I wanted to create a shape with the liquid. While out for a run one day, a Gatorade ad in a local store window caught my eye and served as inspiration. I was attracted to Gatorade and the lightning bolt logo because I felt like it allowed for a powerful story that really spoke for itself.
There’s nothing like highly-professional product photography. It gives consumers confidence not only in products, but in brands themselves. When there’s compelling conceptual psychology and movement in product photography, the image strives to reach another level. Here’s how photographer Josh Ross put together this Red Bull photo shoot, in his own words.
The inspiration for this shot was a combination of recent client work and serendipity. I shoot with Dynalite gear. As much as I love my M1000wi pack, it’s not a speed demon when it comes to flash duration. I had recently done a shoot for Senna Cosmetics where I needed to freeze makeup powder falling in the air, and found it impossible to do. I ended up using speedlights. After the shoot was over, I did some research about what my options were. It looked like I could choose another light setup with a fast flash duration—meaning either a very large check, or lower quality lights.
Over on The Halo Way, the official photo blog of the Los Angeles Angels, photographer Jordan Murph has put together an educational post on how he and team photographer Matt Brown use remote cameras during games and what you’ll need to set one up yourself.
Why use a remote camera for sports photography? Lots of reasons! “They provide us with different angles from our hand held cameras in case we get blocked,” Jordan writes, “and they can give a unique view from a location that is impossible to physically photograph from, or they can just provide extra coverage.”
Dana Allen, Managing Director of PhotoSafari contacted us with an interesting story about some recent close encounters he and his coworker Jeff Neu had on the job on the Busanga Plains of Zambia. Being photo pros, this team knows what they’re doing and how to photograph the local wildlife. No one, though, was prepared for what this beautiful female lion was interested in doing with the camera gear.
The talented and always-wonderful Moshe Zusman recently gave a lecture at B&H’s Event Space, demonstrating how to get perfect wedding shots, no matter what kind of lights you have or your location.
In order to get well-lit, white balanced subjects, Moshe recommends setting up a number of color-balancing gelled strobes that compliment the location’s lighting, high on light stands above the room. His assistants, he says, can set this up in six minutes.
At the 2012 Olympic summer games, Reuters is trying something new: robots! Using a system they have been developing since 2009, Reuters will place eleven robotic cameras high in the rafters of the Olympic stadium, a point of view otherwise inaccessible to photographers.
The photographers will then be able to control the cameras remotely using a joystick and fire them via wireless transmitter. Pictures will be transmitted wirelessly into their editing system where they can then be sent out all over the world.
Click here to read the full article on Reuters’ site written by Fabrizio Bensch and see more photos of the robo-cam’s installation. In the shot below we’ve spotted a PocketWizard MultiMAX radio trigger helping to get the angles no one else will.
There’s no expiration date on wisdom, and that’s certainly true in this case. This article might be from 2007, but its wisdom still holds true. Robert Beck has been shooting for Sports Illustrated since 1986 and offered this helpful tutorial on how to use PocketWizard MultiMAX® radio triggers to simultaneously fire five cameras and a set of strobes.
This means every time he triggers the system, “each camera records a beautifully lit image at exactly the same instant, giving you/your editors 2-5 different angles of the same stupendous play.”
In the article, he details exactly how he and his assistant achieve this set up, what equipment is needed, and what settings need some extra attention. All in all, some excellent tips for maximum coverage, vital for high profile sporting events where you just can’t afford to miss a shot!
If you don’t know about it, PocketWizard has a very handy Wiki available for free. A tremendous source of knowledge, here’s just one page worth checking out, especially if you’ll be shooting at an event where many other folks will be using PocketWizards, too.
The Olympics in London this year promise to be one such event: hundreds of photographers fighting for great shots, the airwaves jammed with shooters’ radio triggers vying for clear frequencies.
Whether you’re shooting a wedding with one or two other photographers also using off-camera flash and remote camera triggering, or if you’re in London this summer trying to win a Pulitzer for sports coverage, the PocketWizard Wiki could save you a lot of headaches. Knowledge is good. Enjoy, and check back, as this page is slated to be updated continually.