Last month we wrote about Neil van Niekerk’s review of the PocketWizard AC3 ZoneController. Neil shows no signs of stopping his informative posts. Most recently, he’s posted a great behind-the-scenes article about a recent shoot at the Steinway Piano offices. Robert Wyatt, a pianist affiliated with Steinway, was the subject of this portrait session.
“I used multiple off-camera speedlights and different light modifiers to get portraits with impact,” van Niekerk writes. Two lighting set-ups are documented in his post. The photographer used three Nikon SB-900 speedlights, triggered by PocketWizard FlexTT5 units, including an additional one on his camera.
Ending his article with the following paragraph, van Niekerk explains a psychological benefit of using PocketWizard gear, along with total control over his desired light shaping:
“I chose to work with speedlights… because of how much control the new PocketWizard FlexTT5 allows me. Being able to change the power of each flash from my camera, made the shoot easier … and it makes me look so much more in control and cool in front of a client, when I’m not moving around, hurriedly adjusting my flashes’ individual outputs throughout the session.”
Check out Neil’s new blog and site for more info on his work.
Keith Pytlinski at M5 Photography never stops. His recent post of shots taken in Southern California on the first day of spring showcase his utilization of the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and the FlexTT5 to light a rider just before the rain hit. Check out how he brings the foreground and subject to life against the overcast sky in the below shot.
Pytlinski used only one strobe, and had it held by an assistant, which facilitated fast changes and quick shooting. “The new PocketWizards offer a freedom of shooting with nearly any settings I choose,” he writes. “Shooting all afternoon without worrying about syncing at 1/250th was the best.”
You can see more of Pytlinski’s work at M5 Photography.
Charleston, South Carolina wedding photographer Patrick Hall teamed up with his friend Lee Morris in 2009 to create the photography resource Fstoppers.com. The site has become an online destination showcasing behind the scenes videos of professional photographers at work. Originally primarily a site known for high quality videos, it has branched out to include written articles by guest photographers, and is worth the time of anyone interested in the art and practice of photography.
At long last, we have the final installment of T. Michael Testi’s marathon review of the PocketWizard MiniTT1, FlexTT5, AC3 and AC9 units all for Canon cameras. The first part was a general overview of the products and their capabilities. The second part was a detailed look at the seldom-covered AC3 and AC9 units.
In Part 3, Testi tests his PocketWizard gear at a Gary Thomas Extreme Lighting Workshop to chronicle the Outwest Outlaw Roller Derby team. The venue has spotty lighting at best, and even appears to have unfinished walls. Testi mentions dialing strobe power up or down with his AC3 in several shooting scenarios without completely halting his workflow. He shoots both sports action and more posed portrait work during this workshop.
Testi ends his three part review with the following two paragraphs. They follow in their entirety.
Again and again, I am amazed at the reliability and quality of all of these pieces and how well they work together in any situation. I also love the HyperSync ability that comes with the ControlTL system. This is what allows you to shoot at faster speeds than your camera would normally allow — all the way to 1/8000 second with full power flash. It allows you to capture more creative shots than you can with regular flash.
I also like the fact that everything just works together. There are no cords and no Velcro — just the FlexTT5 and the Speedlite. The ability for the system to work seamlessly with the Alien Bees and the flash unit made this a joy to work with. If you want the ultimate in the ability to control your flash and strobes from right on your camera, then I very highly recommend you add the AC3 and the AC9 to your MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 units.
Thanks for the details, T. Keep up the great work!
One of our favorite shooters, Keith Pytlinski, is still in the game, and still getting innovative photographic results. His Southern California-based M5photography continues to bring exciting sports photography to clients and viewers everywhere.
Pytlinski’s latest shoot involves a Harley Davidson, a Canon 7D, and a variety of PocketWizards. He employed MiniTT1 units, FlexTT5 units, and Plus II units to get some great-looking images with remote triggering. A handy Magic Arm was employed to get some compositions and angles you don’t see every day.
Pytlinski has also gone to great lengths to more fully test his MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 units. The results can be read at his new post entitled “Remote Flash and a New Mountain Bike Shoot.” The story features some great shots and serious details about technical setups with his strobes, camera, and PocketWizard gear. Nice one, Keith!
Be sure to check out M5photography’s site for more great work.
A childhood love of playing sports has been parlayed into a photographic career by Mike Nowak in Southern California. At high school in east San Diego, his love of playing sports was augmented by helping to document those sports. As he got involved with each new athletic endeavor, he would spend some time photographing it, starting with body boarding and surfing. His other major interest was college football at San Diego State. While shooting the players, he learned some portraiture techniques, worked with some other photographers, and began developing his own style.
Darren R. McKean and his wife Fiona run Solway Photographic in the United Kingdom. Darren just wrote us to share his PocketWizard Experience. Here it is in his words, along with some images.
I set up a wedding shoot to promote a Victorian hotel in Dumfries, Scotland on Monday 13th December. Knowing the hotel might not provide the best light, plus a winters day in Scotland, we purchased some PocketWizards, watched the online videos and they really are so easy to use. We are using a MiniTT1 and two FlexTT5 units with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and a 50D with 580 and 430 EX11 Speedlites.
We watched a couple of the tutorials on the PocketWizard Web site and with recommendation from Brett Harkness and Damien Lovegrove we took the plunge. We both found them unbelievably easy to use, especially using exposure compensation in camera. We now can’t imagine being without them and find ourselves looking for new ways to use them.
Thanks so much, Darren and Fiona. We hope you continue to enjoy your PocketWizards!
Solway Photographic blog
With family on the same part of land since 1849, Robert Snow is a fifth generation Floridian. With roots that deep, it’s no wonder he’s drawn to all things water which the coast of Florida can offer. A native of the Tampa area, Snow got involved with photography while in high school. Through a teacher, he found the Southeast College of Photography in Daytona Beach, Florida. Before graduation, he began assisting. “That’s really what helped,” he says. “That really started to open my eyes to this world of advertising, photography, and editorial photography. It was pretty exciting.”
Speak about commercial photography for any length of time with Ken Kaminesky and eventually his deep knowledge of the state of the industry will come to light. This knowledge did not come easily or quickly. Attending his first year of college, he took a photography course and was enamored with darkroom work. Eventually, he left school to concentrate on commercial photography by working for pro shooters.
Rick Denham was first featured last year on our blog. He’s been running intensive workshops on off-camera flash, and is a noted wedding photographer in Ontario, Canada. He recently sent us the following video, along with the description below. Enjoy!
“This was a video shot and produced by Jay Lupish from Captivate Bridal for the off-camera workshop I did back in February. We had 12 students from all over southern Ontario at a small bed and breakfast in Niagara on the lake. We did shoots involving some custom cars, models, bride and grooms, and some food photography, as well. Oh, and by the way, I only use PocketWizards with my Canon 580EX II’s.
Off Camera Flash Boot Camp with Rick Denham Photography from Open Concept Films on Vimeo.
Thanks for sharing, Rick!
Rick Denham Photography
Rick Denham’s blog