'off-camera flash' Category

On-Camera Flash versus Off-Camera Flash: Part 1

This is part 1 in a series of posts created to show the many benefits of freeing your flash and getting it off your camera.  Although this information may be very basic for some, we have found that there are many photographers who have yet to discover the benefits of getting their flash off their camera.  You will see through a series of very basic images, how an image can come to life by simply taking your flash off your camera and putting it where you want it to be.  I’ve provided a simple overview of the series and then more details on each of the photo.  All photos were taken in Aperture Priority mode using one or two Nikon Speedlights set to TTL.  A MiniTT1 for Nikon with AC3 ZoneController was used on a Nikon D800 camera and FlexTT5s were used to trigger the Speedlights.

Oncamera vs offcamera example two gavin
The first series of images were taken by Heather Simons, our Technical Support Specialist, outside of our office in South Burlington, VT. Our model, Gavin, is the son of our Administrative Assistant and provided us with many creative poses and constant entertainment.  We really had a great time working with him on the images for this post.

DSC_7046 edit_600x400_72dpi

1/500 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160

 

This first image was taken with the flash directly on the camera with the camera positioned directly in front of the subject.  There is uniform lighting across the subject which tends to make the photo look somewhat flat and non-dimensional.

 

DSC_7071 edit_400x600_72

1/320 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160

 

For this second image, the flash was taken off the camera and placed to the right of the subject.  Getting the flash off the camera and placing it at a different angle provides some nice shadows on the left side of Gavin’s face.  This lighting effect just happened to work out perfectly with his expression.  Gavin is quite the ham!

 

DSC_7056 edit_400x600_72

1/250 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160



And for this final image, we added a Speedlight to the left of Gavin in addition to using the Speedlight on his right.  Adding the second speed light provided additional lighting to help balance the light, which worked well with his pose.  When compared to the first image, the light is softer and there are softer shadows which create more depth to the photo.

Oncamera vs offcamera example one gavin

 

The second series of images were taken inside our studio and were a collective effort between Heather Simons and myself.  Again, all photos were taken in Aperture Priority mode using one or two Nikon Speedlights set to TTL.  A MiniTT1 for Nikon with AC3 ZoneController was used on a Nikon D800 and FlexTT5s were used to trigger the Speedlights.

DSC_6898 edit_HSorig_600x400_72dpi_

1/60 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160

 

The first image was taken using an on-camera flash and the direct light is quite apparent.  There are harsh shadows (notice the one on the back wall!!) and the image appears fairly one dimensional and flat.

 

DSC_7033 edit-600x400_72dpi

1/60 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160

For the second image, we placed a Speedlight to the right of Gavin and you can see a shadow on the left side of his face which gives it dimension.  Again, Gavin nailed the pose for the lighting.  We just love the effect we achieved by simply moving one Speedlight off camera.

 

DSC_6940 edit_600x400_72dpi

1/60 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160

And for the final image we kept the Speedlight to Gavins’ right and added one to the left.  This provided great lighting on both sides of his face which worked well for this pose. The image has some dimensionality to it and is dramatically different from the first photo.  This was done simply by moving the flash off the camera, placing it to the side of the subject and adding a second flash to fill in the light.

One thing to note with all of this is that Heather Simons and myself are far from Professional photographers.  In fact, I would say we are quite amateur at best.  We simply were having fun in the studio with a great model that kept us entertained while we created content for our Blog. This entire shoot took about 45 minutes.  The point I am making with this is that it’s really quite easy to free your flash from your camera and put the light where you want it.  All you need is a few PocketWizard wireless triggers and the creative possibilities are endless!

Until the next post,

Heather Ambrose
PocketWizard Marketeer

Bookmark and Share

Jaime de Diego Freezes His Subjects in Their Tracks

Born in Stuttgart Germany, but raised since knee-high in Madrid Spain, Jaime de Diego is fluent in Spanish but admittedly awful in German. None-the-less, in the span of the past dozen years Jaime has managed to turn his teen-years passion for motor sports and photography into a career as a sports photographer with a weak spot for motorcycles. Never quite one for sitting about, Jaime grew up mountain biking, skiing, rock climbing and hiking. Throw photography into the mix and you have the makings of a natural-born sports shooter.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.29.42 PM

© Jaime de Diego

Having paid his dues running here, there, and everywhere photographing running, biking, and motorcycle championship races, Jaime has slowly built a client list of equipment manufacturers that actually pay him to photograph their products for brochures and advertising needs. Early on, Jaime came to terms with the fact if he wanted to play with the big boys, i.e., satisfy the needs of his clients, he would have to step up his game.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.30.33 PM

© Jaime de Diego

de Diego first realized he needed wireless triggers while shooting his first assignment for Runners World Spain. Part of the job involved photographing a runner on a dark road at night. Though he got the shots he was after, he vowed to never again light a night scene, static or running down a road using an on-camera flash and the headlights of his car.

Nowadays Jaime shoots in the studio and on location with Canon EOS 1DX cameras, and depending on the particulars of the assignment, Elinchrom and/or Quantum flash systems outfitted with Lastolite light modifiers. Regardless of the particulars, his lights are triggered wirelessly using PocketWizard radios.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.30.21 PM

© Jaime de Diego

Capturing dazzling, in-your-face photographs of runners, bikers, and other fast-moving subjects is not always easy. Even when down-shifting into tight turns, motorcycles move fast and create a dust-up as they blow by your camera and regardless of how bright the skies may be, you need flash if you want to truly stop the action.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.30.39 PM

© Jaime de Diego

When shooting fast-action sports and studio assignments within the sync speed parameters of his camera system Jaime relies on his PocketWizard Plus III and PlusX flash triggers. For shots that require flash sync speeds faster than the 1/250th-second sync speed cap of his DSLRs, Jaime taps into the HyperSync® feature of his FlexTT5 and MiniTT1 radio transceivers s in order to ramp the camera’s top sync speed upwards of 1/8000th-second. Once set to HyperSync, Jaime can stop anything that passes his camera lens as well as shoot at the widest lens apertures. Combined with fill-flash, he can also darken blue skies to near black when needed in order to make his subject seemingly pop from the background.

Screen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.30.11 PM

© Jaime de Diego

Even when shooting stylized portraits and products in the studio, Jaime de Diego incorporates PocketWizard radio triggers into his workflow simply because they are dependable, predictable and simple to use.

The following is a Behind the Scenes video of one of Jaime’s recent shoots using the Plus III Transceiver.

To date, most of Jaime de Diego’s clients are made up of the Spain-based affiliates of larger international corporations such as Adidas Spain, Nike Spain, Under Armour Spain, BMW, and Repsol. Jaime de Diego’s primary goal these days goal is to move into the international arena. Based on what we’ve seen so far, there’s little reason why he shouldn’t accomplish that goal.

(Note – When last seen Jaime was busy brushing up on his German, English, French, Japanese, …)

To see more of Jaime de Diego’s work, check out his website or like him on Facebook.

To learn more about the benefits of getting your flash off your camera and triggering it remotely, please visit www.pocketwizard.com/freeyourflash

All images, videos, and quotes in this post are used with permission and © Jaime de Diego 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.

 

 

 

Bookmark and Share

Webinar: An Introduction to Using Off-Camera Fill-Flash to Produce Amazing Portraits

PocketWizard_Webinar_Oct16

Learning to control an off-camera flash can be intimidating. But have no fear! We’ll show you how easy it is to produce natural-looking results when adding flash to ambient light.

This valuable, professional technique will make you an instant hit with your clients and give you an edge over the competition. And, it will help you to produce beautiful outdoor portraits virtually anytime and anywhere.

Join host Joe Brady as he shows you a step-by-step method to add just the right amount of light to create natural shape and highlights for location portrait photography. A light meter and a pair of PocketWizard radio triggers make it easy. No more pointing the flash up at the clouds, no more blown-out highlights or missing shadow data – just natural, beautiful results.

Equipment List
PocketWizard Plus X and Plus III Radio Triggers
PocketWizard HSFM3 hot shoe sync cables
Sekonic L-478DR Light Meter
Sony a7r with 70-200mm and 24-70mm f4 lenses
Sony HVL-F60M Flash
Canon 580 EX II Flash
Translucent White Reflector
Silver – Silver/Gold reflector

Date: Thursday, October 16th
Time: 1pm EDT
Title: An Introduction to Using Off-Camera Fill-Flash to Produce Amazing Portraits
Host: Joe Brady
View the archive

Bookmark and Share

What’s up Pussycat? Özkan Özmen goes on a Portrait Safari

IMG_1918 (1)

Özkan Özmen at work

Özkan Özmen is a portrait photographer based in Frankfurt Germany with a penchant for photographing subjects that can bite your head off. No, we’re not talking about models and celebrities with attitude here. We’re talking lions, tigers, and rhinos. As Dorothy famously said to the tin man… “Oh MY!”

According to Özkan, he’s always been into things that crawl, chirp, growl, and purr, and it wasn’t long after he began taking shooting studio portraits for a living that he decided to put together a compact lighting kit and try his luck outside of the comforts and convenience of his studio. Özkan Ozmen’s personal project ultimately took him on a multi-continent journey in which he’s captured wonderful portraits of the sort of wildlife most of us only see in zoo and safari parks, though seldom as in-your-face.

Özkan understood the logistics – not to mention danger involved in trying to capture tight portraits of wild animals using lights. Still and all, rather than being technically boxed in by the harsh ambient lighting conditions common to shooting in the extreme locales he planned on visiting, his goal was to light his subjects and select-focus at wider lens apertures similar to the way he would when shooting portraits in his studio.

IMG_0083 (4)

(more…)

Bookmark and Share

Multiple Off-Camera Flash Techniques Webinar

See host Joe Brady as he shows how to put PocketWizard Radio Triggers to use firing multiple off-camera flash units in both studio and environmental on-location portraits. With the addition of the easy to use AC3 ZoneController, you can instantly control and adjust up to three flash zones to create beautiful portrait lighting ratios using both TTL and manual modes — right from the top of your camera!

During this live online video seminar, Joe demonstrated how to take control of light with multiple flash units both alone and with different light shaping tools. Joe also answered questions from the audience live on the studio set.

Check out the archived Webinar and visit the PocketWizard site for more details.

Bookmark and Share

Dom Romney on Wheels or Water

Dom Romney may very well have been born in the wrong country. A native of the United Kingdom, Romney currently lives in Stansted, north of London, and is huge fan of American racing cars of all types. Heavily influenced by his father’s car collection and love of hot-rodding, the younger Romney grew up with it in his blood. Since then, experimental built-for-speed vehicles, classic muscle cars, nitro-based fire-breathing monsters, vintage restorations, and plethora of drag races involving almost anything resting on four wheels have all been photographed by Romney.

Dom Romney 020

©Dom Romney

(more…)

Bookmark and Share

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

(more…)

Bookmark and Share

Kevin Kubota’s Knockout Bride in Action

Photographer Kevin Kubota has posted an account of a very cool photo shoot he recently completed.

First off, Kubota stresses the good things which can happen when you shoot with a photography buddy. In this case, it’s his friend Benjamin Edwards. He details how the two shooters collaborated by taking turns setting up shots of the bride and groom, Jenah and Matt. Mutual feedback was critical to getting the best shots, and a great lesson can be learned from this paragraph of Kubota’s post alone.

The theme for this photo shoot was fairly easy to arrive at. Jenah, it turns out, is “a national team boxer.” What better idea than to put her in a ring, wearing a bridal gown, and have her knocking out her groom? Awesome concept, and great execution, guys.

©Kevin Kubota

(more…)

Bookmark and Share

Dave Schmidt and the British Invasion

The following account was sent to us by photographer Dave Schmidt, whose day job just happens to be working at LPA, the makers of PocketWizard.

©Dave Schmidt

(more…)

Bookmark and Share

Donald Miralle’s View From Above

Photographer Donald Miralle blogged about an assignment for ESPN the Magazine. For a special Photo Issue, Miralle shot the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championships at Penn State.

Miralle has achieved some beautiful images with his atypical camera angle. In the below photo, we see the emotion of both the winning Ohio State Buckeyes in celebration on the left and the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos walking away dejectedly on the right.

©Donald Miralle for ESPN the Magazine.

In a brief but comprehensive listing, Miralle reports he shot the scene with a Profoto Pro-7b with a Profoto Magnum Reflector and 10 degree grid spot positioned over the net. A second Pro-7b was positioned in the stands. He used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with the PocketWizard FlexTT5. The PocketWizard technology allowed him to get his shots at an incredible 1/1000th of a second.

“If you haven’t got one of these yet, go out and do it. You won’t have to use a leaf shutter again to freeze action with strobes,” Miralle writes.

Be sure to check out some really fine photography on his site. His blog is worth viewing, too. Miralle is a talent worth following, and we’re excited to see his future work.

Bookmark and Share