Posts Tagged ‘strobist’

Strobist’s Take on the New PocketWizard PlusX

The buzz surrounding the release of the PocketWizard PlusX has made us very excited. We’d like to send a huge “thank you” to the entire photography community. The PlusX is the simplest PocketWizard ever, and has already earned over 55 positive reviews.

Here’s what one of the Internet’s favorite photo educators has to say about our latest release.

strobist.com

strobist.com

“Basically,” David Hobby of Strobist writes, “the new PlusX transceiver has everything you really need—and nothing you don’t.”

In his overview, David goes over the PlusX’s features, including design, controls, range, and power. As a longtime PocketWizard user, David is a great source of insight on the newest member of the PocketWizard family. He even notices the rotary dial is much like the one found on some of our older triggers. Good eye, David!

He concludes, “With it’s robust build, significant range, non-obsolescence and 2-digit price tag, I think the PlusX will quickly prove to be PocketWizard’s most popular remote.”

Read the whole post on strobist.com.

 

All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©David Hobby, 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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Jaleel King Rolls with PocketWizards

strobist - jaleel king

strobist.blogspot.com

Photographer Jaleel King has been using a wheelchair since he was eight years old, but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his photography. Over at Strobist, David Hobby reached out to him for some details on his innovative rig.

In short, Jaleel has built a mobile studio setup by bolting an AB800, power pack, and boom right onto his chair. “After a bout with a (not surprisingly) problematic wired-sync setup,” David writes, “he moved to the PocketWizard FlexTT5 platform, with its ability to remotely control power levels on the AB800. That remote control ability has been a lifesaver.”

See images of the rig in action and a video about Jaleel’s journey on Strobist. See Jaleel’s work on his portfolio.

 

All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Strobist, 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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Strobist Working Out with Plus III Radio Triggers

StrobistFlashmaster David Hobby over at Strobist has published Part 1 and Part 2 on his wildly-popular blog detailing a portrait session he did for mezzo soprano Alexandra Rodrick.

Hobby used a Profoto Acute2 1200 60 feet away as a fill light and an Acute2 2400 120 feet away as a rim. It was keyed with speedlights in a Japanese silk lantern. PocketWizard Plus III units were used to trigger the lights furthest from the subject.

His camera was a Mamiya 645DF with Phase One P25+ digital back. His lens was a Mamiya Sekor AF 80mm f/2.8 D.

Hobby explains he wanted to “push against the boundaries a little more, both creatively and technically.” He educates readers about the relationship between lighting distance and depth of field, and how he wanted the light to disperse evenly throughout the scene. The text of these posts are as enlightening as the photo is beautiful. Don’t miss both full texts on Strobist.

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Strobist’s PocketWizard Plus III Review

StrobistThe off-camera lighting resource Strobist has weighed in with a thorough review on the new PocketWizard Plus® III radio triggers.

In the piece, David Hobby writes about his long desire to see just such a product from PocketWizard. He covers many of the new features which make up the Plus III, including the 32 channels, redesigned antenna, and a breakdown of the modes.

Strobist also put a few PocketWizard Plus III units to work on test shoots outdoors. At a field complex, Hobby set up an AB800, walked over 1000 feet away, and began shooting. At over three football fields distant, he had “zero misfires. This thing is scary robust,” Hobby writes.

This would not be a Strobist post without the wit and prognostications Hobby is known for. In closing, he writes, “…the reality is, the PocketWizard Plus III is a game changer which will be very disruptive even to the second-tier remote markets. Their loss, our gain.”

Thanks for the testing and your continued efforts, David. Shooters everywhere continue to thank you.

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Brad Trent, Ocean Master

Brad Trent published Part One of a two part post on Strobist. Trent chronicles a recent shoot he did of singer-songwriter Nadia Ackerman for her new album. Ackerman had an idea for the cover shot, which tied into the title of the album, The Ocean Master. Her idea was to be photographed floating in water. The only problem was Ackerman’s record label, management, and anyone else you can imagine with a stake in her career success provided zero budget.

Location fees and insurance liability issues prevented shooting at any indoor pool in New York. Since it was winter, they couldn’t do it in a river in the Atlantic Ocean. Trent is a pro, and his can-do attitude doesn’t fail him on this shoot.

©Brad Trent

Be sure to read the post and the 23 photos which illustrate it for all the details of this multiple set-up shoot. Behind the scenes photos also show Trent rocking a few PocketWizard Plus II units. Can’t wait for Part Two!

See more of Brad Trent’s innovative work at his site. Follow him on Twitter for frequent updates.

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Tomas Whitehouse’s Self-Taught Journey to the Pros

For someone who’s been a guitarist in a punk band, an actor, and a professional critic of high-quality single malt Scotch, Tomas Whitehouse’s work doesn’t reveal a commercial photography career is something he came to relatively late in his 31 years. This ex-patriot Englishman now living in Finland is full of the unexpected. Physically imposing, he is gregarious, generous, and if you didn’t know him, you could easily think his photographs were taken by someone shooting professionally as long as Whitehouse has been alive.

©Tomas Whitehouse

While studying acting in college, he found himself taking compulsory sub-modules like makeup, theatrical dress, lighting, and live sound reinforcement. Although he loved acting, he was drawn to art and technical aspects of lighting. In order to avoid the massive debt for university studies which he saw his peers getting drawn into, he left school to follow another dream—writing songs and playing guitars. The Birmingham-native ended up playing in the band Farse, which recorded several albums, and became fairly well-known by British youth. By 2004, the UK independent scene was not enabling them to pay their bills, and they were unable to break out of their home country.

©Tomas Whitehouse

After a series of unhappy jobs in a variety of industries, Whitehouse had enough, and felt the pull of international travel beckoning. He brought his first Fuji FinePix S7000 camera, and documented his travels. He became interested in editing and postproduction as a hobby. By 2006 he met his girlfriend in Helsinki and began to transition to professional photography. Finding himself drawn to shoot figure skating events, he was noticed by an editor at the Finnish Figure Skating Association, who liked his work. She began hiring him, and then he discovered David Hobby’s blog, The Strobist. This information resource opened a new dimension to his shooting, and Whitehouse became a convert to the ways of off-camera flash. Soon he recognized he was combining Hobby’s information with what he learned in his theater lighting courses, and quickly felt competent when planning light setups for his own shoots.

©Tomas Whitehouse

It became apparent he was well-ahead of the curve of most other photographers in the area, and he continued to excel. Given Finland’s proximity next to Sweden, the home of Profoto, Whitehouse took advantage of the strong representation the company enjoys in Helsinki. Soon he owned an AcuteB 600R, a D4 head, D4 Ring Flash, soft light reflector, ComPactPlus 600 spare batteries, and other accessories. “Then I had this huge amount of power in a really small box which I could still take to and from shoots, so it opened up a huge door for me,” he says. “You can rely on it, as well as it gives an immense quality of light consistency.” He rents Profoto Pro-B3 units when he “needs bigger guns,” he explains.

©Tomas Whitehouse

Whitehouse picked up work as a stringer for Getty, shooting figure skating. He also worked for Canon, several media agencies, and a range of record labels. Finding himself drawn to larger productions, he enjoys all the preproduction involved in a complex shoot. He sees this as the direction he’d like to continue moving in. “I’ve never been an assistant for anyone,” he says. “It’s just literally from reading an awful lot and getting out there. You really have to get out there and get to know the equipment you’ve got, respect its limitations and make a whole bunch of mistakes. Then you find what you want to do and develop your own style.”

©Tomas Whitehouse

Seeing diversity in personal photography as a way keep his professional practice fresh, Whitehouse shoots in different styles on his own time. He recommends this to all photographers. “I love macro photography, love taking pictures of tiny microscopic things,” he explains. “A lot of photographers sometimes get so consumed by their career they don’t have enough time to create stuff off their own backs sometimes. It’s a shame. I understand it when folks are really busy and their spare time is really limited, but it’s very healthy to have your own personal projects—the stuff you don’t have to worry about working towards clients requirements. You can just go completely crazy with something and really get what’s inside you out and into the picture and manifest it. It’s a healthy thing. It gets harder and harder to make that time, but it’s a good idea to allow the time for it if you can.” Not to be taken lightly, much of Whitehouse’s personal photography is as accomplished as his professional jobs.

©Tomas Whitehouse

Whitehouse is a Nikon shooter, relying on the D3 model for his main camera body. For portrait work, he uses the 50mm f/1.4 lens, which he dubs “my usual choice of lenses.” He continues by saying “I like the small primes, because when you’re using the Profoto D4 Ringflash, everything’s nice and compact and tidy. When you stick a big 24-70mm zoom, everything gets a bit bulky, and it slows me down a little.”

Connecting his Nikons to his Profoto gear, Whitehouse uses four PocketWizard Plus II units. He’ll next be trying the MultiMAX, but the Plus II’s have been working fine. “They’re about four years old, now, and still going strong,” he reports. “Out of all the equipment I’ve had so far, those are the die‑hards. They just refuse to stop working. A few friends of mine said, ‘Yeah, but they’re really expensive.’ It’s not what you get, it’s what you pay for. If you want something that’s going to survive come wind, rain, or nuclear holocaust, then you buy a PocketWizard. If you want to keep recycling all your stuff, or changing it over or upgrading year after year, then go ahead and buy something cheaper.”

©Tomas Whitehouse

Aside from their quality and reliability, there’s another reason Whitehouse uses PocketWizard. “I’ve always been a PocketWizard guy after making too many mistakes with cheap Chinese triggers. I was at an ice tour taking pictures of a figure skating team. I had three or four flashes all with these cheap triggers. Every time the organizers went past me carrying the walkie talkie radio and pressed their transmitter it would fire my triggers and my lights. We call them PovertyWizards. I’ve tried pretty much every brand of Chinese PovertyWizard there was. You wind up buying them over and over. You end up spending more in the end, don’t you? To students at my workshops, I say, ‘You can buy these if you’re just taking pictures for pleasure,” because it’s not so bad if they misfire, or something strange happens during the shoot. But, if you’re ever thinking of doing this for money, and where you absolutely, positively have to rely on your equipment keeping up to your pace, then don’t buy cheap. Buy something reliable, something everyone from all around the world will rate, and tell you, or swear by.”

©Tomas Whitehouse

Whitehouse is beginning a new series of photographic lighting workshops. The first is entitled An Introduction to Flash. Watch his blog for developing details.

Next year will be the European figure skating championships in Switzerland, which Whitehouse already has his eye on. He’s also aiming to shoot more elaborate and theatrical on-location stories. “I don’t care if I’m earning pennies, or if it’s costing me thousands. That’s the stuff I want to do and that’s the stuff that I’m getting sucked into,” he says. He plans on living in Finland from now on, with periodic trips to the U.K. for both work and family visits. Considering how far his technique and vision have developed in such a short time, we look forward to a long and exciting career from this accomplished autodidact.

Tomas Whitehouse Photography
Tomas Whitehouse Blog
Tomas Whitehouse on Twitter
Tomas Whitehouse on Facebook

Written by Ron Egatz

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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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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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