© 2012 Tom Bol
We don’t know what possessed photographer Tom Bol to give his speedlights the cement shoe treatment and sink them to the bottom of a river, but we do know that experimentation is always a good excuse to do something just a little bit crazy.
He starts out by giving the speedlights just a taste of what awaits them, by putting them in ziplock bags and placing them in the bow, stern, and middle of the kayak that his wife, Cree, paddles out into the middle of the river. “In order for these flashes to fire,” he writes, “I used PocketWizard FlexTT5’s as receivers on all the SB900s. The radio signal triggers flashes in the boat, no line of sight needed.” Using an AC3 ZoneController, Tom sets all the flashes to group A and fires away. The result is a glowing, yellow kayak.
It’s no surprise PocketWizards are not meant to be used underwater. Photographer Daniel Houghton recently defied the odds by using a PocketWizard Plus II underwater. This is not recommended under any circumstances by PocketWizard, but Pocono Record photographer Adam Richins has found a unique workaround to get some underwater shots while utilizing his PocketWizard gear.
Assigned to shoot a swim meet, his employer didn’t have the budget to buy an underwater housing for his Nikon, so Richins got inventive. Borrowing a fish tank from a colleague, he floated it in the water, and shot through the tank’s glass while lying at the side of the pool. Simple, but genius.
Don’t forget, PocketWizard makes no provisions for units which get wet. Be careful with your gear!
Click here to see a gallery of the images Richins shot, including one of the fish tank setup. Click here for the full article authored by Richins and detailing all his gear and how he put the shots together.
See more of Richins’ work on his site. You can follow him on Twitter and on his blog.
Bowling Green, Kentucky photographer Daniel Houghton recently posted about something we don’t recommend. He was able to use PocketWizard Plus II units to fire his Profoto heads underwater. Yes. Underwater.
Back in October he photographed open-water marathoner Mallory Meade. After shooting Meade from a boat as she swam in a lake, they moved the photo shoot to an Olympic-sized pool. Houghton got underwater and was able to fire his Profoto heads with his PocketWizards submerged.
PocketWizard radios utilize a high frequency radio signal transmitted on at a very low power, which work great when the radios are transmitting through air. Unfortunately, the requirements for a reliable system underwater is the exact opposite of this. You’d need a very high powered, low-frequency transmitter to get any sort of reliable range (think military submarine or whales). In the limited testing we’ve attempted with our radios underwater, your triggering distance would most likely be measured in inches or centimeters instead of meters or feet. PocketWizard does not recommend submerging your equipment in water of any kind.
Be sure to read the full post here, along with the rest of Houghton’s work.