'tutorials' Category

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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Chris Garrison on HyperSync

Photographer Chris Garrison has shared his thoughts on HyperSync technology with us. You can learn more about Chris and his work by visiting his site and his blog



1/800th at f/7.1.

HyperSync(TM) is the single largest game changer for photographers using studio-type flashes. As photographers, we are once again taking part in another evolution of our industry. I consider the introduction of HyperSync technology by PocketWizard to be as large as the digital format transition. We are no longer just freezing motion with shutter speed or light, we are actually painting light onto the frozen motion.


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Five Photography Tips: Jason Lykins

Cincinnati-area photographer Jason Lykins is mostly known as a portrait artist, but provides many types of photography to a variety of clients. He recently was kind enough to share some of his insights with readers of the PocketWizard blog. Be sure to check out his links at the end of his installment in our on-going series, Five Photography Tips.

1. Move! Moving is the most important thing you can do in photography. Forget settings, f/stops, aperture, and ISO, etc. Forget about all of that. When you change your position. When you crouch down to shoot lower, or when you climb up to shoot from above, you are creating drama. You are creating a view the person looking at your image isn’t used to seeing. This will make your image more compelling. This applies to every type of photography, but since I specialize in portrait photography I find it especially pertains to people. Often times when I shoot portraits I start by shooting standing up at eye level with the subject. This gets them comfortable with me, and allows me to build a rapport with them. I then switch to a lower shooting angle. Usually I am on one knee or sometimes even as low as shooting from my stomach. Shooting from a lower position does multiple things. On women it can elongate their legs making them appear to be taller than they really are. On Men, shooting from lower often times gives the sense of power. For both men and women shooting from a lower angle gives a feeling of dominance in the photograph. Of course there are many, many more advantages from shooting from down low, so try it out and I guarantee your images will become more interesting. On the flip side, positioning yourself above your subject will thin them down. If your subject is larger, shooting from above will make then appear to be skinnier. When they lift their chin to look at the camera it stretches the neck and eliminates double chins. Again there are many, many more advantages to shooting from above, so give it a shot to see what it does for your perspective.


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PocketWizard Top Ten FAQ

Our TOP TEN most asked simple questions.

It’s understandable you might get into a situation while working with the MiniTT1® and FlexTT5® and today’s complex camera systems where you’re not sure why something isn’t working as you would expect it. Most of the time, there is a simple solution. We asked our tech support crew to give us the “Top Ten” questions consumers asked to keep their system working properly. Here they are

1. Q: Nothing is working! What should I do?

A: Try these steps:

  1. Check the batteries: weak batteries can cause strange behavior.
  2. Make sure all radios (and cameras and speedlights) are updated to the latest firmware. Try our beta firmware as it often has new fixes ready to be tried.
  3. Factory Reset the radios.
  4. Take your first shot at 1/125th so the system can properly calibrate timing.
  5. Wait about 3 seconds after turning on your radio before taking your first picture.
  6. Take your time! Whenever possible, compose the image with the shutter release half-pressed before taking the picture.
  7. Save your camera’s custom functions, reset the camera, then start adding them back in one at a time.


2. Q: In what order should I turn things on?

A: Top down: Flash, then radio, then camera. Wait 2-3 seconds between each step. Older Quick Guides may have this slightly different, but top down works for all current radios and firmware.


3. Q: My Nikon camera won’t let me choose a shutter speed faster than x-sync. How can I shoot at faster shutter speeds?

A: Nikon cameras require that FP-sync is enabled to shoot faster than x-sync if they detect a TTL-capable device in their hot shoe. Enabling FP-sync is done in the Custom Settings menu. Set “e1 flash sync speed” to 1/250s (Auto FP).

4. Q: The ISO on my remote Nikon Speedlight is stuck at 200. What’s wrong?

A: It isn’t required for TTL operation on the remote flash and has no effect on exposure so the radios do not transmit camera setting information like ISO to remote flashes.


5. Q: I set my speedlight to MASTER and stuck it on a remote FlexTT5. Why won’t it control other flashes when I have a MiniTT1 or FlexTT5 on my camera?

A: The ControlTL® system, just like Nikon and Canon native systems, expects the MASTER speedlight to be only at the camera position so “Remote MASTER” operation is not supported. You need a receiving FlexTT5 for each remote speedlight.


6. Q: My remote speedlights don’t change their zoom when I zoom the lens on my camera. What’s wrong?

A: Zoom tracking is a feature for on-camera flash and would cause some lighting issues if done on remotes. Nikon and Canon native systems do not have zoom tracking for remote or slave flashes either.


7. Q: How can I trigger a FlexTT5 from a PocketWizard module-equipped Sekonic meter?

A: This PW TV episode explains it all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOOq3sX6Ki4

7b. Q: Will you ever have ControlTL in a Sekonic meter?

A: A module with the ControlTL channels is being developed. We do not have a release date for it at this time.


8. Q: What cable do I need?

A: You can use the Cable Finder at PocketWizard.com to find the right cable for lots of different cameras and flashes.


9. Q: Can I combine radio and optical so I don’t have to buy as many FlexTT5s? Can I connect more than one speedlight to a single FlexTT5?

A: Currently you need to have one FlexTT5 for each speedlight you want to control via radio.


10. Q: Is “xxxxxxx” brand/model flash compatible with your radios?

A: Some third party flashes are compatible with our radios – you can read more about our radios compatibility on their respective product pages (FlexTT5 for Canon, FlexTT5 for Nikon). Also, almost any flash can be used in Basic Trigger Mode for simple triggering operation.

Still have a question? See a list of our worldwide distributors, contact us by email, or visit the PocketWizard Wiki.

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Rick Friedman’s Location Lighting Workshops

Photojournalist Rick Friedman has been shooting the photos which show us what’s going on around the world for over thirty years. He has had his worked placed in top publications internationally and been responsible for more than 75 book and periodical covers.

Largely known for his lighting techniques executed on location, Friedman is currently undertaking his aptly named Location Lighting Workshop tour. With over 1000 satisfied attendees in the past year alone, this one-day workshop promises to showcase new ways of working with speedlights and PocketWizard radio triggers. He will instruct using both Nikon and Canon systems. Upcoming dates include:

  • August 22nd & 23rd Calumet, Philadelphia, PA.
  • September 12th & 13th Pocket Wizard, Burlington, VT.
  • September 19th & 20th LensProtoGo Concord, MA. Call 877.578.4777 to register.
  • September 30th & October 1st Calumet, Chicago, IL.
  • October 8th & 9th Midwest Photo Exchange Columbus OH. Call 614.261.1264 to register.
  • October 26-29 PhotoPlus New York.
  • December 12th & 13th Calumet, San Francisco.
  • December 16th & 17th Calumet, LA.

From the official description of the Location Lighting Workshops:

The class explores different ways to achieve the lighting effect you desire for your images. You will learn how to create awesome light with one speedlight and progress to multiple light situations, balancing available light with strobes and mixing speed lights with studio strobes. We will work with infrared transmitters and Pocket Wizards as well as softboxes, grid spots and other light modifiers. You will be guided in color balances, color correction, cross filtering as well as adding and controlling color when capturing your images.

Learn more about Friedman’s photojournalism at his site, his blog and his wedding photography site.

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Frank Doorhof: Fashion at the Skate Park

Photographer Frank Doorhof recently blogged about a session shot in a skatepark. Using Canon gear, Doorhof wanted to test out the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5.

©Frank Doorhof

Among other features, he points out using PocketWizard units were much easier for being mobile, versus the line-of-sight solution he was previously employing. Read the blog post and watch his behind-the-scenes video to see how he overpowered the sun both in the shade and in direct sunlight.

Doorhof concludes his review by saying the PocketWizards were “flawless, of course.” See the blog post for full details.

To see more of Frank Doorhof’s work and writing, visit his site and blog.

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Video 4 of 4 – How-to: Using your Nikon SU-800 as a Master Controller

In the fourth and last episode of Mark Wallace’s latest round of demos, check out this video on how to use a Nikon SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander as the master controller for all your flash needs.

Wallace pairs up the SU-800 units with PocketWizard FlexTT5, and goes into detail on the settings of both for optimal flash results.

For more of Wallace’s work, check out his site.

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Video 3 of 4 – How-to: Using your Nikon SB900 as a Master Controller

In the third episode of Mark Wallace’s latest round of demos, check out this video on how to use a Nikon SB900 as the master controller for all your flash needs.

Wallace pairs up the SB900 units with PocketWizard FlexTT5, and shows a variety of achievable lighting effects.


For more of Wallace’s work, check out his site.

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Video 2 of 4 – How-to: Using the AC3 ZoneController for Nikon

Mark Wallace takes you on an in-depth overview of the PocketWizard AC3 ZoneController for Nikon where you’ll quickly discover the importance of adding it to your equipment list. Don’t miss this great video to get all your AC3 questions answered.

How To: Using the AC3 Zone Controller for Nikon from PocketWizard on Vimeo.

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Patrick Hall and His Fstoppers

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.

©Patrick Hall


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