'behind the scenes' Category

John Flury’s Deliverance of the Luminous People

Photographer John Flury of Zurich, Switzerland takes us through his own wonderful account of how he created the below final image, from concept to final crew wrap photo.

©John Flury

©John Flury

Telling a Story with a Single Picture
Hello, fellow photon hunters, my name is John Flury, I’m a photographer/photo designer from Zurich, Switzerland, and this is my very first article for the PocketWizard blog. My professional background is in commercial and fine art photography, with the occasional wedding gig. But I’ve always had a passion for stories, especially fictional ones. As a kid, I loved to draw, paint, write stories and record them on tape. The love for creation of alternative worlds, where you could slip off to and go on imaginary adventures, has never quite left me. Which is why in every photo project I work on, I try to keep true to myself and what I most love to do, telling stories.

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Patric Söderström on Sports and Remote Coverage

Patric Söderström is well-prepared. His clients, which include Sweden’s biggest news agency, T.T. Nyhetsbyran, and two soccer teams, Mjällby AIF and Kalmar F.F., know when they hire Söderström, he’s going to get the shots they want. Armed with a veritable arsenal of Nikon bodies, lenses, and PocketWizard radio triggers, Söderström is able to cover an entire field of action with a mere press of one button. Here’s what he wanted to share with us regarding his sports photography.

©Patric Söderström

©Patric Söderström

The photo above is a penalty shot during a game between Kalmar FF and Brommapojkarnas IF in Sweden’s highest league, Allsvenskan. It was the last game Kalmar FF’s goalkeeper Etrit Berisha played before getting transfered to S.S. Lazio in the Italian Serie A. Kalmar was down one goal, 1-2, when they got a penalty kick in the closing minutes of the game. Etrit Berisha stepped up and scored, making the game a draw. During the game he had executed some insane saves, and here he saved another point for his team. A great way for him to say goodbye to the fans. It was shot at Kalmar FF’s home stadium, Guldfageln Arena, in Kalmar. I arrived at the arena about 60 minutes before kickoff.

I got lucky with the shot since he placed the ball in the corner of the goal where I had my Nikon D800. It only shoots four frames per second but when you get the shot, you can really crop a lot to get to the intensity of the picture.

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A.J. Messier’s Damian Warner Shoot

Canadian photographer A.J. Messier is the owner of Hogtown Studios in Toronto, Ontario. His clients include Toronto 2015 Pan American Games, Hockey Hall of Fame, NHL, the Royal Ontario Museum, and Save the Children Canada. No stranger to sports photography, Messier takes us behind-the-scenes of his recent shoot of Damian Warner for Nike.

©AJ Messier-Hogtown Studios, Toronto, Canada

©AJ Messier-Hogtown Studios, Toronto, Canada

Subject:

  • Damian Warner, 23 years old, for Nike
  • Canadian Olympic Decathalete
  • 5th in 2012 Olympics in London
  • 3rd in Decathalon IAFF 2013 World Championships in Moscow

I approached Damian Warner’s team about eight weeks ago with an idea of shooting Damian in Toronto. My concept was of him being a mild-mannered urban hipster like a Clark Kent, but with his uniform on he transforms into Superman. They immediately loved the idea, and mentioned to me he had never done a professional photo shoot before they were pretty much up for anything. Damian had just signed a deal with Nike. The logical hook into him, his events, and his Nike gear became my focus. The next issue was how to show Damian doing super human feats while in all the newest and brightest Nike gear and make it look dramatic, fresh, and more importantly stand out from all the other images of athletes over the years.

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Dave Hahn Burst-Fires with the MultiMAX

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.

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.

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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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Riding High for John Rathwell

Canadian photographer John Rathwell is best known for his sports shooting. He’s the kind of artist who prefers capturing a kayak being piloted through rapids over a pitcher waiting for a signal, a surfer in frigid waters over a soccer match, or a closeup of a skateboard humming on blacktop over a golfer walking to the next tee. He recently was kind enough to explain how he got the below photo of mountain biker Felix Wilberg. Here’s Rathwell’s own account of how the shoot came together.

©John Rathwell

Felix Wilberg as photographed by John Rathwell. ©John Rathwell

Here is a shot of downhill mountain bike sensation Felix Wilberg at Camp Fortune in Chelsea, Quebec. The goal going into this shoot was to come out with something really showing the speed and intensity these guys come into banked turns with. I find the sense of motion is left out in action sports photos way too often, and, with flash, it’s so easy to have motion and still keep your subject sharp. The flash duration will freeze your subject, but the ambient light will still continue to absorb into the sensor.

My first few attempts at the shot where at 1/50th of a second and the background was put into an abstract blur. I didn’t realize how fast these guys actually come into the corners. I ended up moving up to 1/100th of a second for the shot to get just the right amount of motion blur in the background.

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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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Basic Vertical Photography with Nick Percell

© Nick Percell

© Nick Percell

Stephen Richert is one tough dude. In 2012, he embarked on a yearlong trip into the mountains of North America where he would climb everyday for 365 days all while managing his type 1 diabetes. The result was the nonprofit, LivingVertical. Nick Percell was the photographer on hand to capture Stephen’s inspiring journey. Here’s how he did it, in his own words.

This first image is actually the last day of Project 365. We were climbing in Red Rock Conservation Area in Las Vegas, Nevada and had to visit this climb everyday until Steve was able to complete it. I knew the lighting wasn’t in my favor as far as angle and intensity, so I knew I was going to need to haul some sort of lightweight lighting that I could use HSS with. I wanted to have a shallow depth of field, f/2.0, which meant I had to shoot at 1/4000s; this helped a bunch with bringing the ambient light down and allowing me to focus the image more on Steve. I took my MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 with me to use with my Canon 580EX II and 430EX II speedlights. Considering all the rigging and such I carry up to the climb (about 70 lbs.), I needed to keep my gear lightweight and reliable.

pocketwizard-nick-percell-bts

© Nick Percell

Once I found a place I could get the shot, I placed a 430EX II about 75 feet from me, slightly below the climber to fill in some of the harsh shadow under him. The second light (580EX II) I ran on top of the MiniTT1 to help balance his left side with the hard light coming from the subject’s back right.

The reliability of the wireless system is crucial here when I’m in a harness secured to the rock and it’s not easy to reach the flash.

This second image was shot about a month before in Zion National Park, Utah. Steve, his wife Stephanie, and I went out looking for new climbing areas in the park, which meant we had to do a bunch of hiking with gear as we looked. When Steve found this line up this face, I knew right away that I really wanted to feature the face of this large textured boulder. When shooting things like this, I really have to try and get what I want quick as he’s climbing with no rope and no pad on rock that’s fragile.

© Nick Percell

© Nick Percell

Again I brought my MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 to take care of the wireless communication. I used a 430EX II flash on both sides of the climber, the closest being about 10 feet to my camera on the ground and another about 125 feet away on a stand. I used the light closest to me as a broader source and the light on the stand zoomed in to 105mm on the subject. I really needed the power out of these lights so I stayed away from the HSS this time, but with the lighting I was still able to darken the sky enough to feature the face of the rock more.

© Nick Percell

© Nick Percell

This third image was taken in Joe’s Valley, a bouldering area outside of St. George, Utah. The boulder we chose to shoot on was almost completely overhanging, leaving it in darkness with the sun coming from camera right. I knew I wanted a better depth of field and I needed to create the majority of light with a battery powered system. I used just a single source because I liked how the shadow separated him from the surface of the rock. As he climbed over the edge of the rock, the sun caught his face and made it possible to bring the background down in intensity.

Connect with Nick Percell on flickr and 500px, catch up with Steve on LivingVertical.

 

All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Nick Percell, 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 re-post elsewhere without written permission.

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Josh Ross Flashes the Bull

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.

©Josh Ross

©Josh Ross

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.

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