'sports photography' Category

Tom Bol and the ST4 with Elinchrom

Tom Bol has published a story at ProPhoto Coalition on syncing an Elinchrom Ranger with a PocketWizard MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 and the PocketWizard PowerST4. Using this setup enabled him to shoot synced flash shots as speeds from 1/2500 to 1/8000 of a second. Those kinds of speeds enable you to completely freeze any motion you’re likely to encounter at a sporting event.

©Tom Bol

Bol recommends using the slower “S” head instead of the faster “A” head, stating the slower head with longer flash duration allows faster sync speeds. He shot the above photo with a Nikon D300s at 1/2500, f/7.1 at ISO 200. Here’s a handy chart breaking down the compatibility of the PowerST4 and Elinchrom flash units.

Be sure to check out Bol’s full article for complete details. It’s a great read and promises more dramatic photos to come using this marriage of gear.

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Adam Richins’ New Kind of Underwater Work

It’s no surprise PocketWizards are not meant to be used underwater. Photographer Daniel Houghton recently defied the odds by using a PocketWizard Plus II underwater. This is not recommended under any circumstances by PocketWizard, but Pocono Record photographer Adam Richins has found a unique workaround to get some underwater shots while utilizing his PocketWizard gear.

Assigned to shoot a swim meet, his employer didn’t have the budget to buy an underwater housing for his Nikon, so Richins got inventive. Borrowing a fish tank from a colleague, he floated it in the water, and shot through the tank’s glass while lying at the side of the pool. Simple, but genius.

Don’t forget, PocketWizard makes no provisions for units which get wet. Be careful with your gear!

Click here to see a gallery of the images Richins shot, including one of the fish tank setup. Click here for the full article authored by Richins and detailing all his gear and how he put the shots together.

See more of Richins’ work on his site. You can follow him on Twitter and on his blog.

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First Day of Spring with M5

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.

©M5 Photography

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.

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East Coast Super Shoot

For the past three years, our local ski resort, Stowe, has hosted the East Coast Super Shoot, a photo competition for ski/snowboard photographers, which took place last weekend and is co-sponsored by PocketWizard. Five photographers are selected from portfolio submissions and teamed with a skier and snowboarder and given two days to shoot like mad. At the end, they presented slideshows in the brand new Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center in front of an audience of a couple hundred people and three judges. The overall winner received $1000 cash and a photo shoot assignment by the main sponsor, Orage ski clothing.

You can make your voice heard by checking out the SmugMug PocketWizard Gallery. Take a look at the range of images and let us know your favorites. Here’s just one of many images you can vote for.


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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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Reuters and the Slam Dunk

Click on the Reuters logo to visit the story at their site.

Reuters has published “Shooting the perfect dunk,” which is a showcase of some great remote camera triggering. The story by Lucy Nicholson has great photos of the NBA All-Star Weekend Slam Dunk Contest, where players got to showcase their flashiest dunking skills.

PocketWizards were used to remotely fire a camera in the rafters and another courtside. Check out the full story for frozen motion and great angles!

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Vermont Looks at PocketWizards

The Burlington Free Press has a new story about a local business. That local business just happens to be LPA Design, inventor and manufacturer of PocketWizard technology, located in South Burlington.

The article is definitely worth a read, as it gives the seminal history of how the PocketWizard wireless triggering came to be. Who knew, back at a 1995 NBA All-Star game, the fledgling technology would be given its first test after someone’s zealous use of a multitool’s blade?

We won’t give away the full story, but it’s an exciting read, especially for anyone who’s had to scramble and make technology work in a hurry.

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T. Michael Testi’s Detailed Review, Part 3

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!

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Daniel Houghton in the Water

Bowling Green, Kentucky photographer Daniel Houghton recently posted about something we don’t recommend. He was able to use PocketWizard Plus II units to fire his Profoto heads underwater. Yes. Underwater.

Back in October he photographed open-water marathoner Mallory Meade. After shooting Meade from a boat as she swam in a lake, they moved the photo shoot to an Olympic-sized pool. Houghton got underwater and was able to fire his Profoto heads with his PocketWizards submerged.

PocketWizard radios utilize a high frequency radio signal transmitted on at a very low power, which work great when the radios are transmitting through air. Unfortunately, the requirements for a reliable system underwater is the exact opposite of this. You’d need a very high powered, low-frequency transmitter to get any sort of reliable range (think military submarine or whales). In the limited testing we’ve attempted with our radios underwater, your triggering distance would most likely be measured in inches or centimeters instead of meters or feet. PocketWizard does not recommend submerging your equipment in water of any kind.

Be sure to read the full post here, along with the rest of Houghton’s work.

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Philipp Schmidli’s Remote Bobsleigh Shoot

Bobsleigh (or bobsled) is a winter sport where teams of two or four individuals achieve speeds over eighty miles per hour as they shoot down an ice track in a vehicle made of light metal. With these speeding bullets flying in tight confines, sports photography of this kind is difficult, at best.

©Philipp Schmidli

Photographer Philipp Schmidli wrote us about some great new shots he recently got and posted on his German-language blog. He relates the following information about the above photo.

“I took this picture with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 15mm Fisheye Lens and 1x PocketWizard MultiMAX. The PocketWizard was in the “Intervalometer” function, because the range between the start line and the finish line was too large.”

Schmidli experimented with cameras mounted on the sides of the track and strapped to the bobsleigh itself. Glad you had all that gear firmly secured! Quite exciting, Philipp. We also really love the portrait work found on his site. Worth checking out!

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