Posts Tagged ‘PocketWizard’

LPA Design Files Patent Infringement Claim Against Chinese Manufacturer

So. Burlington, VT – January 11, 2011 – LPA Design has filed a complaint for patent infringement in the United States District Court for the District of Vermont against Phottix (HK) Ltd. and Eternal Fortune (HK) Ltd., alleging that the Phottix Atlas wireless flash trigger produced in China infringes upon two patents held by LPA Design. The Vermont-based company, incorporated as Lab Partner Associates, Inc., is the manufacturer of the industry-leading PocketWizard® line of high precision wireless control devices for the professional photography market, including the popular PocketWizard Plus II®.

The PocketWizard technology allows professional photographers to control complex lighting systems remotely from the body of a camera. It is particularly useful in studio, sports and event photography, and has become the industry standard as a result of sustained research and development conducted in Vermont.

“LPA was an early and ground-breaking contributor to the technology and market for professional quality wireless flash triggers,” said Tim Neiley, CEO and President of LPA.

“LPA has worked hard to bring its patented technologies to market through constant innovation and improvement always with a view to the needs of the professional photographer. This lawsuit is necessary to protect our investment in innovation.”

LPA Design holds patents in the United States and throughout the world covering its proprietary wireless triggering technology. The patents in the lawsuit cover technology in radio communications between wireless trigger devices and the innovative auto-switching transceiver introduced for the first time in the PocketWizard Plus II wireless trigger.

The patents LPA Design is asserting include:
United States Patent No. 5,359,375 issued for an invention entitled “Microprocessor Programmable Digital Remote Radio Photographic Control.”

United States Patent No. 7,437,063 issued for an invention entitled “Wireless Camera Flash Synchronizer System and Method.”

Founded in 1990 as an electronics R&D consulting company, LPA Design has expertise in printed circuit board design, RF communications and antenna optimization, and remote sensors. Among other innovations, LPA Design developed the industry leading

PocketWizard line of high precision wireless control devices for the professional photography market. PocketWizard products provide ultra-high precision, wireless synchronization of cameras, flash lighting, and light meters, allowing professional photographers to create unparalleled photographs and achieve unmatched reliability in capturing high value images.

LPA Design is represented by Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC in Burlington, Vermont.

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Ari Simphoukham and the Power of a Photo

The old cliche dictates pictures are worth 1000 words. I disagree. Pictures are worth millions of words, and millions more to each different person viewing the same photograph. Legions of stories exist as testament to the power of photographs and our desire to protect them. Otto Bettmann, fleeing Nazi Germany with two steamer trunks loaded with 25,000 photos — the foundation of the Bettmann Archive — and no clothing, is just one example.

The technology of photography allows us to visually document our very existence for both ourselves and future generations. Previously, only paintings could do this, and their accuracy is always subject to question. The data and testament of a snapshot from any given year is invaluable to people interested in the subject matter of any photograph. A picture can say, “this was me when I was your age,” or “here’s our first home,” or “this was your great-grandmother.” Photographs are nothing less than a bet-the-farm hedge against our inevitable deaths. When times are more uncertain than usual, photographs can document “we made it at least this far. Remember us, this period, and what we went through.”

It is one of these photographs which changed a young man’s life. As America’s war in Vietnam spilled into neighboring Laos, chaos followed. Some estimates cite over one million Laotians fled their country as a direct result of that war. Simphoukham’s parents were among them, eventually winding up in a refugee camp in the Philippines after their son was born in a similar camp in Thailand. His parents knew the value of documenting their odyssey to a new homeland for their son and future generations. They saved and traded on the black market for one family photo to be taken. The image survived the family’s landing in San Francisco and has become a vibrant signpost of their old lives and struggle for success until becoming American citizens. One photograph changed their son’s future.

©Ari Simphoukham Collection. Ari Simphoukham at age two with his parents in a refugee camp in the Philippines, 1987.

The 1987 photo not only sparked Simphoukham’s desire to photograph, but helped him become the man he is today. “In the refugee camp, my parents put together enough money to have that snapshot of us taken,” he says. “Every time I look at that photo it does so much for me. This is who I am, these are my roots. It keeps me grounded as a person. There’s a lot of history and a lot of emotion in that photo. It’s one of the reasons I’m a photographer.”

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 50mm, f/2.5, shutter speed 1/500, ISO 160.

“I started off as an events and senior portraits photographer,” says Ari Simphoukham. While in a fraternity at UC Davis as an International Relations major, Simphoukham was shooting a Nikon D50 all around campus. Soon he was asked to shoot an event by someone who noticed his photography. This led to other organizations asking him to work for them. “Eventually I was approached to shoot senior portaits. I got better and better, and improved my photography while getting paid. It was amazing.”

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 18mm(14-24), f/8, shutter speed 1/250, ISO 400.

A cousin’s friend needed a wedding photographer, and Simphoukham was recruited. “I did it and couldn’t believe how fun it was,” he says. “After that, I concentrated on weddings. I tried to meet other wedding photographers to learn techniques and the business end of it. I improved along the way.” He had found his calling and his paycheck, and eventually left school to pursue his career. “I know this is what I want to do,” he states.

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 10.5mm, f/14, shutter speed 1/60, ISO 400.

Simphoukham took the bold move of dedicating an entire year to learning his craft. “One of the reasons I love doing this is because wedding photographers are awesome,” he declares. “They’re so helpful and so easy to talk to. They’re very helpful, and that kindness made me want to be a wedding photographer even more.” Simphoukham assisted several Bay Area wedding shooters to further hone his skills. Although he still shoots senior portraits, wedding work is where his passion lies. “Weddings are more work, but I feel they appreciate my art more,” he adds.

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 14mm, f/6.3, shutter speed 1/500, ISO 400.

Currently located in Los Angeles, Simphoukham is shooting weddings and expanding his network of wedding photographers. Eventually he sees himself setting up his studio in the Bay Area. These days Simphoukham is shooting two Nikon D3 bodies, one D300 for backup, “and a lot of lenses,” he says. Originally a film photographer, his workflow is now all-digital. He uses PocketWizard Plus II’s to fire his strobes. “Being a wedding photographer is hard because the lighting changes constantly. You have to be on your toes and aware of the light always. The PocketWizards help me control the light because if it gets too dark, I just dial in what I need from the strobes and it’s okay. I can get a very natural look, as opposed to a deer-in-the-headlights direct flash.”

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 85mm, f/3.2, shutter speed 160, ISO 800.

Regarding post-processing work, Simphoukham says, “I find the best photos are not the ones I do heavy work on. The best photos are the ones that are that way straight out of the camera. I think I heard this quote from someone: you can make a good picture better, but you can’t make a bad picture good.” He uses Lightroom and Photoshop for minimal post work.

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 14mm, f/13, shutter speed 1/100, ISO 400.

“When I first started learning about off-camera flash, PocketWizard was the name in radio remote flash. All the good photographers were using it back then. I’m going to upgrade in the future. It just works. I’ve never had a problem with them. The Plus II is simple and it works. It goes through walls. What more could you want?” he laughs.

©Ari Simphoukham. Focal length 85mm, f/9, shutter speed 1/60, ISO 100.

Simphoukham is just as passionate about his client photos. “I try to tell a story with my photography. I think nowadays everyone has a camera, but not everyone has the ability to portray a story with a camera. I develop a story behind the photos everyone can read,” he says. “I’ve been very fortunate to have great clients. When they appreciate my work, I feel great.” How great you feel the day you get married is one of the things you never want to forget. Who better to document that day? Connecting emotionally to photographs is something Ari Simphoukham knows quite a bit about.

Ari Simphoukham Photography

Ari Simphoukham Wedding Photography

Ari Simphoukham’s Blog

Ari Simphoukham on Twitter

Ari Simphoukham on Facebook

Ari Simphoukham on MySpace

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Going Wireless: 5th and Final Winner

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE…

Most swimming photography is divided into two categories: those that use flash on camera and those who shoot available light. Belgium-based photographer going by the blog (en Francaise, naturellement) name “Haristobald”  (EDIT: a.k.a Martin Boland) approached it differently, creatively and produced a hot video showing precisely how he made the images. To boil it down to its most basic description, he used two off-camera strobes and a black background. The lighting is dramatic and so are the photos. Check it out

Watch parts 2 & 3 of the video on his blog.

Deep thanks to every single enthusiastic photographer out there! You are all stars in our book. You made 76 videos during the contest, and your creativity and passion are applauded by us. Thank you all for sharing and participating. Choosing was a very hard process and so many more of you deserve some recognition for your efforts. So, look forward to some post-contest features from other outstanding efforts.

We’d also like to extend deep thanks to David Hobby at Strobist. His passion for teaching, photography and sharing is something in which we are honored to participate with this contest.

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YOUNG MAN, YOU’RE GETTING 2 TO 22…F/STOPS THAT IS

Kevin Eddy got himself into the NM Penitentiary, but alas, it was abandoned. What’s a photographer to do? Well, in Kevin’s case he pulled out his trusty strobe with a PocketWizard attached and set up a downright eerie shot . On the Flickr site, you’ll also see how other photographers rated the shot (a ten out of ten, it seems). Check it out here. Well done!

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Turning up the Heat

The Sun-Sentinel, a Florida newspaper, not only has a great staff of photojournalists but a fun, educational blog. It’s latest entry is by Jim Rassol, who after 21 months of covering the election deserves a break — any kind of break — and one of his first was sports. It was Halloween night and Rookie Michael Beasley was having a little fun wearing a Batman mouthpiece during the Heat’s home opener against the Sacramento Kings. Jim used the ubiquitous PocketWizard, taped with his strobe to a courtside seat, to get an awesome shot of Dwayne Wade. You can find out more about Jim and his colleagues here.

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Frankly, we’d rather be using Daguerreotypes and flash powder…

© Vincent LaForet

Every once and a while a photographer comes along who boggles the mind in terms of artistic ability, commercial success and industry accomplishments. Vincent Laforet is one of them, and if you go to Vincent LaForet’s blog you’ll see what we’re talking about. No grass growing under his feet, as mom used to say.

Vincent recently traipsed off to Beijing, along with a few thousand other photographers, to cover the Olympics. If you think any shooter snuck off to a unique viewpoint, take a look at the results. How did we do it before PocketWizard? Or, imagine if photographers were like those of yesteryear and didn’t play well with others. Thankfully, times have changed.

via Strobist, where David remarks:

Finally, in case you haven’t seen it yet: Vincent Laforet takes a video stroll through Pocket Wizard heaven at the finish line of the 100m sprint at the Olympics. (Patrick Smith, if you are reading this from a public computer, you might want to put a pillow over your lap before you watch it…)

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Holy Surfboard, Batman…


©Mike Mijangos

It’s bad enough when a photographer lives in Hawaii. It’s even worse when that photographer gets to photograph beautiful people in beautiful settings. Heck, most of us would pay good money to be in his shoes, especially when he’s taking surfing pictures with an underwater camera, an assistant holding waterproof strobes and waterproofed PocketWizards!
 
Well, enough suspense. Who are we talking about, and why are we talking about him? The name of the company is MangoTree Photography, founded by owner Mike Mijangos. (Is that Hawaiian for Mango?). He is a wedding and portrait photographer based on the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii. Mike and his beautiful wife Me-Shell have worked with some of the most creative and fun couples from around the world. Check out Mike and Me-Shell’s work at http://mangotreephoto.typepad.com/mangotreephotography/2008/07/more-new-camera-gear.html

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PocketWizard at High Cascades Photo Workshop

If you want to be a snowboard photographer, there is no better place in the world then High Cascades Photo Workshop, held on the slopes of Mt. Hood July 28th to August 2nd.

This year PocketWizard teamed up with the camp to hold the first ever PocketWizard/High Cascades Photo Competition where students submitted their best shot from the weeks photo sessions. The top two images won a pair of PocketWizards.

Jon Herre’s image of a rider on a backlit rail 


©Jon Herre

and Kevin Heitczman’s fill light hand plant top the prizes this year.


 ©Kevin Heitczman

A few more photos are here.

Special Thanks to Kevin English at High Cascades and Trevor Graves at Nemo Design.

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Contest: Going Wireless with Strobist and PocketWizard

By now you all must know that David Hobby over at Strobist is not only a talented photographer, but also a generous educator. We’re excited to join forces with David to offer this exciting contest! Here’s the deets:


Once a month, one free pair of PW Plus II Transceivers will be awarded to the best video on YouTube of a photo shoot detailing creative use of wireless triggering. Video can be live video or, a series of still photos with voiceover and clear explanation of how wireless triggering was used.

 

Creativity with wireless triggering is key to this contest. Show us your best, most creative use of going wireless with radio triggering. And detail, detail, detail! Explain your setup well so everyone can understand what it took to make your vision come alive.

All videos must be tagged “pocketwizardstrobist” to qualify. The judging panel will be David Hobby of Strobist and Phil Bradon from PocketWizard.

In addition, photos may also uploaded to Flickr tagged “pocketwizardstrobist” with link to the YouTube video in the description.

The contest runs mid-July through end of November. Winners will be announced on the 15th of each month, beginning in August.

EDIT: Feel free to leave a link to your video as a comment to this post. Also, we’ve seen great use of YouTube’s video annotations to point out gear use and positioning – great idea! Don’t forget you can always rent wireless gear if you don’t own it yet.


Good luck! Let’s her those shutters clicking. Go wireless! Read more at Strobist.blogspot.com

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A Day at the Beach

Photographer Randall Grant photographed Jessica Gomez on location using PocketWizard at the Dead Sea in Israel for Sports Illustrated’s 2008 Swimsuit Edition.

Links: SI website, Photos from this shoot

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