'remote camera triggering' Category

Erik Seo’s Epic Skiing and Riding Pix Explode off the Page

Without trying to sound cliché, the first word that comes to mind when viewing Erik Seo’s action sports photography is ‘explosive’, and that’s not simply because snow and people tend to be flying all over the place in many of his photographs.

Mostly self-taught, Seattle-born Seo (rhymes with –‘say-oh’) began photographing fellow ski-bums while attending Washington State University with a major in landscape architecture and just enough photography classes on the side to get him hooked for life.

Jen Hudak skiing in the trees at Mt. Asahidake, Hokkiado, Japan

© Erik Seo 2015


For inspiration and visual direction he read books about lighting and studied the work of others in the field whose work he respected. He also shot a lot and pushed himself to see if he could do it even better. Seo decided to shoot full time about 30-seconds after learning his day job had been terminated. It’s a decision he’s content with.

Winter sports photography is as demanding as location photography gets. Challenges include mountain terrain, extreme cold, snow, ice, rain, slippery surfaces with obstructions – not all of which are immediately apparent –  speed, sun glare, or any combination of the above. Add remote-triggered TTL flash into the mix only makes things that more interesting.


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© Erik Seo 2015


Seo’s working tools include Canon EOS 1D  and 5D Mark-series camera bodies with a trio of Canon L-series wide zooms, a fast 85mm and the all-but-mandatory 70-200/f2.8L II zoom.

For flash, Seo uses Canon and Nikon Speedlites, Elinchrom Ranger RX AS and Ranger Quadra flash systems, along with Paul C Buff Einstein flash heads in various combinations depending on the scope and parameters of the assignment.

Tom Wallisch

© Erik Seo 2015


Regardless of whose lighting systems he ends up using, all communications between his cameras and lights go through his PocketWizard remote triggering system, which, as Erik jokingly says, frees him from having to drag along “about 834,234,324-feet of sync cords”.

Erik’s remote triggering system includes FlexTT5 and Plus III Transceivers. He also makes use of PocketWizard PowerST4 Receivers, which enable remote control of Elinchrom RX-series flash systems with PocketWizard ControlTL technologies. Also included in Erik Seo’s PocketWizard triggering kit are AC3 ZoneControllers, which enable three zones of off-camera flash control.

Getting through these challenges requires equal measures of speed, stamina, lightning reflexes, and enough common sense to know when to pull back. (According to Erik it also requires always having a supply of plastic bags and waterproof tape on hand to better ensure moisture doesn’t get into places it doesn’t belong.) It also helps to have camera gear that won’t let you down when things start to rock and roll.


© Erik Seo 2015

© Erik Seo 2015


The combination of bright, high-altitude sunlight and blowing snow can easily push contrast ranges off the charts making fill-flash all but mandatory for revealing detail in otherwise blackened shadows.

To freeze the action Seo often requires shutter speeds shorter than the 1/200th and 1/250th-second top sync speeds of his Canon camera bodies. Using PocketWizard’s exclusive HyperSync® feature, Seo has the option of selecting shutter speeds as short as 1/8000th-second, which is far more effective at freezing fast-moving subjects compared to the native top sync speeds of most DSLR and mirrorless cameras.


Tim McChesney jumping the Death Valley gap in Salt Lake City, Ut

© Erik Seo 2015


“PocketWizard radio’s allow me to craft the light the way I’d like, at any time of day. HyperSync allows me more flexibility in overpowering daylight and punching light into the harsh shadows of my outdoor scenes.”

Erik also makes use of the flexible Quad-Zone Triggering feature of his PocketWizard Transceivers, which allow him to quickly switch between flash systems while adjusting power settings on the fly.


Clayton Vila transferring from one wallride to the opposite side

© Erik Seo 2015


More than just a flash trigger, Erik also uses his PocketWizard system for triggering cameras remotely. “I use PocketWizard radios to control my lighting, but also (use them) to wirelessly fire a second or third camera connected to PocketWizard motor drive cables. It’s always good to have another camera blasting away at 10fps when you only get one pop of flash power per attempt… You never know if you will get more than one opportunity to photograph the action so the more cameras you can have covering the action, the better. Some of my best photos including my cover shot of one of Powder Magazine’s Photo Annual have been captured through remotely-fired cameras.”

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Shot from helicopter at a distance of about 2000′ from remote flash. © Erik Seo 2015


Seo can also testify to the range and accuracy of his PocketWizard flash triggering system. “Last winter I did a photo shoot for Aspen Skiing Company out of a helicopter from a distance of about 2,000 feet from the subject and we were able to successfully HypersSync with my Elinchrom Ranger’s and Paul Buff Einstein flash units.  Both Seo and his client went home happy that day.

“Thanks to people at PocketWizard for creating the tools I need to shape the light to my liking.”

To see more of Erik Seo’s work, check out his website.

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

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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.

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Making Waves, 22 November 2013

Making Waves is a weekly round-up of current posts featuring PocketWizard products.making_waves_logo


Photographer Sasha Leahovcenco, gives an in depth look into his travels to those who have never had their photo taken, “from the end of the Earth” – Siberia.  He took along his PocketWizard Plus II radios and put them to work in -38° C.  Check out the incredible environmental portraits and the behind the scenes video that brings you along for the journey.


Rob Grim

F-Stoppers recently covered Rob Grimm, in this Behind The Scenes look at building sandwich towers.  Grimm, uses PocketWizard Plus II radios in his Chicago Studio to create compelling and eye-questioning advertising campaigns.


Photographer Martin Schoeller recently did some work for TIME for their Dudes of Food series and gives a behind the scenes look of the shoot. Three famous chefs gathered for the shoot and Schoeller decided he wanted to infuse some humor in the “hunter-gather inspired and informed kitchens” the chefs run. He used his Plus III radios to help capture some creative and humorous images.

With sports seasons ramping up all over the world, we came across a blog post that will help all of you sports shooters out there: 
Securely mounting your remote cameras either behind the backboard or above the rafters of a stadium, and making sure they don’t go anywhere, is a top priority for sports shooters. Dak Dillon wrote a straightforward blog post, Simple Guide to Mounting a Remote Camera that is a great resource for any sports shooter interested in using remote camera.  *Attention sports shooters, be sure to check out our current Photo Of the Month contest which is focused on shooting sports.  Submission period ends 12/15/2013.


All videos, photos, and quotes in this post are used with permission and copyrighted by the photographers featured, 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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Up Close and Personal with IED Detection Dogs

© Tammy Hineline

© Tammy Hineline

Sgt. Tammy K. Hineline has been enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps as Combat Camera since 2008. Now serving in Afghanistan, Tammy recently got the opportunity to document the training of some IED detection dogs and to “hang out with some rockin’ dogs and hardworking handlers.”

For the shoot, Tammy decided to go for an unconventional angle that would showcase the dogs at work and give her the chance to try out her new PocketWizard Plus III’s. Her account of the shoot follows.

When photographing Doc, one of the IED Detection Dogs with 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion, I was fortunately able to plan individual shots accordingly. It’s not often that I have the time for extensive pre-visualization, but with training bumpers spread up and down the road for the dogs to retrieve and bring back to their handlers, I was able to spend the time I needed to get the shot right.

The PocketWizard Plus III was perfect for this shot, as I wanted to get a worms eye view but my presence at the camera would have distracted the dog from his task. I also didn’t want to lie in a ditch full of rocks that day. So with the PocketWizard being used as a remote trigger using a CM-N3-ACC cable, and my favorite Canon 16-35mm lens, I was able to set up the shot.

Because I had the bumper to focus on, I set my focus point and left it so I wouldn’t have to worry about any auto-focus adjustments when the moment came.

© Tammy Hineline

© Tammy Hineline

This image was taken at 1/800, f/11, and ISO 200. (more…)

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Remote Cameras Behind Home Plate with the Los Angeles Angels

© Matt Brown

© Matt Brown

Over on The Halo Way, the official photo blog of the Los Angeles Angels, photographer Jordan Murph has put together an educational post on how he and team photographer Matt Brown use remote cameras during games and what you’ll need to set one up yourself.

Why use a remote camera for sports photography? Lots of reasons! “They provide us with different angles from our hand held cameras in case we get blocked,” Jordan writes, “and they can give a unique view from a location that is impossible to physically photograph from, or they can just provide extra coverage.”


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Dave Hahn on Remote Camera Triggering

We’re seeing more and more great work by photographers dusting off their old camera bodies and utilizing them to help cover more action via remote camera triggering. Particularly useful at sporting events, here’s another talented shooter, Dave Hahn, getting different angles for his photojournalism business, CSI Photo in the New York metro area.

We previously covered Dave’s remote camera triggering indoors. Check out all the outdoor images as Dave explains how he executes remote camera triggering in his own words.

©Dave Hahn

©Dave Hahn

Sure, one of the biggest features with PocketWizard Plus III Transceivers is the zones, but when you start looking at some of the additional features the transceivers pack into them, you’d be amazed!

Since you’ve upgraded your DSLR and your Rebel is now collecting dust, you may want to think a little differently. Remote cameras could be the way to go for you. PocketWizard has a couple of great transceivers to start you on your way.

First, there is the PlusX. This is an upgrade from the Plus II with six additional channels. The PlusX is an excellent choice to get you started, and priced just under 100 bucks. But before you dive in, you might want to consider the Plus III. Ed. note: The Plus III, with 32 channels and Quad-Zone triggering, was intended as a replacement to the Plus II. However, the PlusX is a good replacement, as well.


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VIDEO: KelbyTV on Setting Up a Remote Camera Trigger

Scott Kelby is offering a new show on KelbyTV dubbed Photography Tips & Tricks and it’s off to a fantastic, and mighty informative, start.

This first episode “features Scott Kelby, RC Concepcion, and special guest Bill Fortney sharing tips on using Auto ISO, bracketing, and setting up a remote camera in places to which you don’t have access.”


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Scott Kelby Perseveres with Remote Camera Triggering

Scott Kelby's blog


Photography educator and photographer Scott Kelby has recently tested gear while shooting sports photography at football games.

Shooting for the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome, Scott set up a remote camera using PocketWizard Plus® II radios as a trigger. This enabled him to capture dramatic shots of the players running out of smoke as fireworks went off. Then the unthinkable happened! “Epic remote-camera fail,” as he called it.

Thankfully for us, for Scott, and for the NFL, Scott persevered, found the problem, and got it right at his next game! Turns out, all that happened was the sync cord popped out after he tested it. With the sync cord screwed firmly in place, Scott set up his Nikon D3 with his Sigma 15mm fisheye lens on the ground where the players would run onto the field. Every time he took a picture with his Nikon D4, the remote D3 was triggered.

©Scott Kelby

©Scott Kelby


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inciteimages on Remote Camera Triggering

inciteimagesWe genuinely get excited when we see someone posting a photography how-to column on their blog. Here’s one which is worth your time and careful study.

More and more photographers are coming to realize PocketWizard radio triggers can be used for more than just triggering off-camera lighting. If you want to make the most out of your shooting opportunities, why not throw an aging camera up in the rigging or down on the floor of the track, doubling or tripling your coverage with one click of the shutter?

The blog inciteimages explains how Nikon shooters can do just that by publishing a post entitled “How to remotely trigger a Nikon camera using a PocketWizard FlexTT5 and PocketWizard MiniTT1.” Fourteen steps are outlined in the uncredited story. Presumably written by Mark Watson, an Australian photographer, the piece goes into detail on how to get your Nikon bodies shooting in sync with PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 radio triggers.

Even if you don’t shoot Nikon, you can learn something in this informative piece. Enjoy.

Check out more of Watson’s work at his site.

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Justin Olsen Riding and Shooting

Justin Olsen was recently interviewed by Stan Horaczek for PopPhoto.com. Olsen goes into detail about the custom mount he created to secure a DSLR to his chest. Oh, the other part? Olsen does some serious mountain bike activity, like flying through the air, as one of his Canon cameras clicks away.

Why not just use a helmet cam? Well, you couldn’t get images like this, for instance. With the camera lower on the shooter’s body, you get a different perspective than if it was atop a helmet. The action, and the bike in particular, seem a lot closer.

Olsen has a PocketWizard attached to his Canon in order to trigger the camera remotely. Check out his site for more extreme action shots. Great job, Justin!

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