'MultiMAX' Category

Tandem Lighting Setups Using SpeedCycler On A Recent SI Photo Shoot

Alexis Cuarezma is a portrait photographer with a specialty in photographing sports figures. Considering the fact he’s named after Alexis Arguello, a three-time world champion boxer from his native Nicaragua, and studied art, graphic design, and photography at California State University at East Bay, this shouldn’t be a big surprise.

Barely a decade into his career, Alexis Cuarezma is an alumnus of the Eddie Adams Workshop (Barnstorm XXIV), and counts the LA Times, the NY Times, Sports Illustrated, HBO, Ring Magazine, SEEN, Boxing News, Fighting Fit, and other publications among his current client roster.

Cuarezma has always been fascinated with light, and as a photographer, he aims to control it to the best of his abilities in the studio as well as on location. While he appreciates the qualities of available light, the images Alexis Cuarezma captures for his clients require more than a click of his heels and a Hail Mary shout-out – they have to be lit.

Alexis Cuarezma honed his photographic skills early on by photographing his kid brother and his little league teammates. In short time he began shooting boxers at their respective gyms, which lighting-wise are as dismal as it gets. In Alexis’ case, this was in his favor – he preferred to light the ring his own way.

Cuarezma’s dramatic lighting techniques ultimately came to the attention of Brad Smith, Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated, who he met at the Eddie Adams Workshop. It was through Brad that one of Alexis’s biggest dreams came true – an assignment from Sports Illustrated.

The ‘good news, bad news’ part of the story is that while Smith loved Alexis’s lighting style, the shot he needed of Stanford University’s Shayne Skov (since drafted as a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers!) was going to be silhouetted and had to be shot against a medium-gray background. Brad’s instructions were basically “You’re going to have to get a grey seamless. You know how to light well, keep it simple and have fun.” For Cuarezma the fun part of it would have been to shoot it his own way. And that’s where PocketWizard radio triggers came into play.

Alexis happened to be on the market for new radio transmitters. The ones he had been using were not reliable when he needed them most, and even when they did work, they were limited in what they could do. The features and user reviews of the PocketWizard MultiMAX caught his attention, most notably its SpeedCycler feature.

SpeedCycler makes it possible to shoot studio flash flat-out at up to 10 frames-per-second by syncing with multiple flash units that can be triggered in a rapid, alternating sequence.  This enables him to capture high-power strobe-lit action sequences far faster than he’d be able to shoot with a single light source.

alexis 5

On the left is the lighting setup I drew out to figure out how many PocketWizard radios I would need and where to place them. On the right is how the drawing looked like in real life

 

But Cuarezma had a different take on the SpeedCycler feature. Rather than using the SpeedCycler feature to trigger identical lighting setups, Cuarezma’s idea was to light and capture the shot according to Smith’s direction – gray background and all, immediately followed by a second exposure that would trigger a second set of lights set up the way he saw the shot in his mind’s eye.

Cuarezma knew his time with Skov would be limited, and if he wanted to please his client – which he did, and please his own creative itch, which he also wanted to do, he would have to go beyond the framework of a conventional portrait shoot.

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Cuarezma’s Canon 1D Mk IV can capture up to 10 frames-per-second, or one exposure every 100 milliseconds. Theoretically, by incorporating a PocketWizard MultiMAX radio trigger and four PocketWizard Plus III’s into the equation, he could capture two separate exposures in 200 milliseconds – one exposure lit as per his instructions against the gray background immediately followed by a second exposure lit in a lighting style Alexis Cuarezma can proudly call his own.

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Two of the many ”ping-pong- lighting sequences Alexis Cuarezma shot in two frame-per-second bursts, each triggering it’s own lighting set-up. The bottom left shot is the one that ran across a double-page spread in Sports Illustrated. And yes, it’s not against a plain gray background – it’s the shot Alexis lit his own way.

 

After a series of false starts and a firmware update for his Plus III Transceivers, Alexis was set to go, and the accompanying images say it all.

As for the payoff, Sports IIlustrated was delighted with the results of Cuarezma’s first time out on assignment, and they ultimately ran one of his ‘renegade’ images across two pages. And in this business it really doesn’t get better than that.

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The image as it appeared in Sports Illustrated.

 

See how Alexis Cuarezma lit his Sports Illustrated spread using two entirely different lighting setups and PocketWizard’s SpeedCycler feature here.

To see more of Alexis Cuarezma’s work, check out his website.

All images, videos, and quotes in this post are used with permission and © Alexis Cuarezma 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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Robert Beck’s Multi-Angle, Multi-Camera MultiMAX

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!

See the tutorial and don’t forget to check out Robert’s portfolio. An additional source of information on this setup can be found within the MultiMAX manual.

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Special 2012 Summer Olympics MultiMAX Upgrade

A press release has been created for the Special 2012 Summer Olympics MultiMAX Upgrade.

Special 2012 London Summer Olympics Upgrade Offer for Custom ID owners with older MultiMAX radios

So. Burlington, VT – LPA Design, manufacturer of PocketWizard Photo Accessories, is announcing a special MULTIMAX UPGRADE offer exclusively to Custom ID owners.

Special London Olympics Offer:

If you own an older PocketWizard radio with a Custom ID in it, you should take advantage of this special offer to upgrade to the latest MultiMAX. A modern MultiMAX has the following benefits for the Olympics:

  • A USB port for firmware upgrades — we are working on a new firmware to help in multi-user Olympic environments
  • The ability to move your Custom ID to a different frequency. Older radios had the Custom ID pinned to one frequency — if the frequency was crowded you might miss triggers. The latest MultiMAX allows you to move among the available frequencies in your MultiMAX to move away from interference.
  • An ACC port for controlling the “half press” of your remote camera
  • And more!

From now until July 31st, you can upgrade your older Custom ID radio to a modern MultiMAX for $195. Just send your Custom ID radio to LPA Design and we will take care of the rest.

How do you know if you have an older MultiMAX? Hold down “A” on power-up – if your MultiMAX displays version 6.xx or earlier, you could benefit from an upgrade!

This offer is only available for MultiMAX or MAX radios with Custom IDs already installed. It is not for Plus, Plus II, Plus III, etc. This offer is only available directly from LPA Design.

Custom IDs:

A Custom ID is a private channel on a MultiMAX. In hyper-crowded shooting environments, Custom IDs give you the confidence to know that your remote flash or camera can only be triggered by you and not any other photographer. It is not a “private frequency.” It is an exclusive code installed on top of an existing PocketWizard frequency.

No other manufacturer offers such a unique and valuable service. Custom IDs require a special factory-service which is only available by sending your radios to LPA Design.

In anticipation of high demand for Custom IDs at the 2012 London Olympics, LPA encourages any photographer needing a Custom ID to approach LPA as soon as possible.

Custom IDs are $95 per radio, per ID – the same price as the 2008 Olympics special offer.

Turn-around Time / Repairs:

Sending in your MultiMAX for a Custom ID is a great time to get it repaired/verified. Our normal turn-around time is 2 weeks and normal repair charges apply. During the special offer period we will put forth every effort to shorten this time. If you need to get your units prioritized, we offer an expedite service for $50 — your units are put in the priority queue. We cannot guarantee a specific return date, though we try our best to honor special requests. Shipping is your responsibility both ways.

Contact us here for more information:

http://www.pocketwizard.com/contact/inquiry/ 

Olympic Suggestions:
Setup and usage guidelines for mega-multiuser environments like the Olympics will be posted here:

http://wiki.pocketwizard.com/index.php?title=Multiuser_Environments 

(give us a few days to fill it out)

Have fun at the games!

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On Location with Rick Friedman

What happens when you take 16 working pro photographers, a ton of lighting gear, one location lighting expert, and stuff them all into the biggest barn you’ve ever seen? The place really lights up.

LPA recently sponsored and hosted a location lighting workshop for members of ASMP New England with Boston-based photographer Rick Friedman. Rick’s got the energy dial set to maximum pretty much all the time which is definitely part of his success as both a photojournalist and photo educator. He’s also got a bag full of PocketWizard radios which he puts to work in all his lighting work – both with speedlights as well as with studio lights.

ASMP NE and LPA Design's presentation of Rick Friedman's Location Lighting Workshop at the Breeding Barn at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, VT. ©Chris Rakoczy

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G•Wiz Gear Bags

G•Wiz Trunk

PocketWizard is excited to announce two gear bags to organize and transport your PocketWizard radio triggers. The G•Wiz Trunk and G•Wiz 2x are made of durable rip-stop nylon. Padded interiors provide a way to protect your investment when traveling to and from photo shoots.

We’ve listened to our users and answered their requests for a safe, stylish way to assemble their PocketWizard units. Even if you primarily shoot in a studio environment, these contemporary-looking bags will protect your investment from dust, and you’ll always know where they’re located, along with any accessories you find yourself using frequently.

The G•Wiz Trunk features a zippered inside pocket, web loop, moveable velcro padded dividers, durable rip-stop nylon, and measures 7.5″ wide by 3.5″ high by 3.5″ deep. This bag is designed specifically for the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5, plus accessories.

G•Wiz 2x

The G•Wiz 2x features internal cable/battery pocket, external cable stash pocket, hanging strap, mini carabiner clip, and features durable rip-stop nylon. It can hold two FlexTT5‘s and a MiniTT1 or two Plus II or MultiMAX PocketWizard radios, in addition to batteries, cables or other goodies.

Visit your local PocketWizard dealer to check out the G•Wiz collection in person.

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Philipp Schmidli’s Kayak Adventure

When we last checked in with Philipp Schmidli, he was creating inventive remotely-camera photos of bobsleighs in action. Now he’s traded ice for water, and has some great images from a kayak shoot done this summer.

©Philipp Schmidli

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Sankey’s Portraits of the Greenline

The city of Memphis has learned what many other U.S. communities have discovered for quite some time. Greenways made from abandoned railways are a huge public asset for citizens to enjoy year round. They create a sense of community, better the local quality of life, and have the added and real fiscal payoff of curbing illness and medical costs as the populace gets healthier from more exercise.

Despite the objections of local naysayers who couldn’t learn from longstanding examples such as Seattle’s gorgeous Burke-Gilman Trail, the Greater Memphis Greenline is now a reality, and local walkers, joggers, cyclists and in-line skaters can attest, it’s a major hit.

Not to be left out of the fun, photographers have been actively capturing some of the folks enjoying this public asset. Possibly the most interesting project happening on the Greenline is a photo rig built and run by Joe Sankey of Sankey Photography. In a recent blog post, Joe details a bicycle rig which features, among other things

Sankey goes into some detail about how he set up the rig, and the video shows shots captured of fellow cyclists. Both our readers and ourselves love to see interesting ways PocketWizard technology is applied in the field, and this one definitely is not your typical off-camera flash set-up. Nice work!

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Garth Milan, From Rider to Shooter

Now based in Orange County, California, Garth Milan has moved around the United States since childhood, living everywhere from upstate New York to Puerto Rico to Florida to Washington State. After attending high school in California, he went to Cal State Long Beach to study Photojournalism.

At the age of 19, Milan was a motocross rider and nearly achieved professional rider status. A string of broken bones and other injuries made him reevaluate the odds of earning a living in the sport. Well-into photography by that point, he easily slid into a transition from participant to photographer. “It wasn’t just motocross, either,” he says. “It was other sports like wakeboarding, which was another one I was really into.”

MCG PORTFOLIO 27

©Garth Milan

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The Royal Wedding and PocketWizards

Just a tidbit today. Looks like this morning’s royal wedding was going to be covered by PocketWizard units doing remote camera triggering duty, according to Phil Noble, who wrote a Reuters blog post covering the gear to be used.

PocketWizard MultiMAX units as part of the Reuters team covering the royal wedding. ©Reuters

Noble reports, “Many of these will be fired remotely using pocket wizard [sic] wireless triggers and will shoot using wider lenses to give an overview of the pomp and ceremony as the day goes on freeing us to concentrate on the more important tighter pictures….”

Can’t wait to see the images, Phil! Thanks for showing the world how hard you and your team work. Cheers!

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Jim Young’s Hockey Night in Washington

The White House recently hosted a ceremony for the Chicago Black Hawks as 2010 Stanley Cup Champions. First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move program promoting exercise and health for America’s youth was also tied in, with a street hockey game for kids.

©Jim Young for Reuters

Photographer Jim Young, who grew up in Canada, is no stranger to hockey, and wanted to shoot the event for Reuters with some unique remote camera triggering action. Check out his recent post on the Reuters site to see the plastic container he fabricated to protect his Canon EOS 5D Mark II and PocketWizard MultiMAX from all the hockey action.

Nice job, Jim!

©Jim Young for Reuters

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