© 2012 Tom Bol
We don’t know what possessed photographer Tom Bol to give his speedlights the cement shoe treatment and sink them to the bottom of a river, but we do know that experimentation is always a good excuse to do something just a little bit crazy.
He starts out by giving the speedlights just a taste of what awaits them, by putting them in ziplock bags and placing them in the bow, stern, and middle of the kayak that his wife, Cree, paddles out into the middle of the river. “In order for these flashes to fire,” he writes, “I used PocketWizard FlexTT5’s as receivers on all the SB900s. The radio signal triggers flashes in the boat, no line of sight needed.” Using an AC3 ZoneController, Tom sets all the flashes to group A and fires away. The result is a glowing, yellow kayak.
Adam Troup of Inspire Video shared some details about a composite shoot he did with a musician friend on an overpass in Edinburgh.
He knew he wanted to capture cars traveling down below as long light trails so he first did a 30-second exposure of the background. He then brought in Chris, a guitarist, as the subject. Due to strong winds, he had to ditch the idea of using a softbox, and instead positioned one off-camera flash to the right of the camera and another behind the subject as a rim light.
He used PocketWizard radios as triggers and had this to say about the system:
“I absolutely love the PocketWizard ETTL system, as mentioned above I have two FlexTT5 units, a MiniTT1 and the AC3 ZoneController. The AC3 is fantastic, as you can quickly and independently dial in flash compensation if you’re using ETTL or use the dials to alter the power of the speedlights if you’re using manual mode. You can mix ETTL and manual groups, quickly turn off and on each flash groups. It’s just a fantastic system and I love it!”
Check out the full post and take a look at the Inspire Video site to see some of his video work.
All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Adam Troup, 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 re-post elsewhere without written permission.
It always pays to experiment. After an already successful parkour shoot, photographer Neil Davidson decided to throw some flour into the mix – and ended up with some awesome shots. Here’s his account of how he did it.
©2012 Neil Davidson
I recently did a parkour shoot with Kurt and Matt, a couple of local free-runners. One of the things that separates them from other so-called free-runners is that they don’t indulge in somersaults or backflips, ‘tricking’ as it’s commonly known. Their aim, instead, is to traverse obstacles in the most efficient and smooth manner possible, which makes for great images but I’d seen these images with people throwing flour in the air that looked really cool and wondered if we could integrate this idea into a parkour shoot. Kurt travels around Europe doing more performance styled free-running so thankfully they were behind the idea from the start. After five hours of work, it was definitely a fun way to end the shoot!
A comprehensive article has been published on controlling Nikon Speedlights with precision using PocketWizard FlexTT5, MiniTT1, AC3 ZoneController, and a Sekonic L-758DR lightmeter with the RT-32CTL Radio Transmitter Module.
Author Dinil Abeygunawardane has posted a fascinating tutorial on the Visible Range Blog. It’s absolutely worth your time to read. The article details how to set up the above list of gear with Nikon Speedlights and dial in specific light values for different units remotely.
The radio trigger for the Sekonic works with the firmware update for the PocketWizards (at time of writing, still in beta) to make the whole process more convenient. As Dinil writes,”No more running up and down, lowering light stands or opening up soft boxes.” Photos of the lightmeter’s LCD and screenshots of PocketWizard Utility abound.
This is a great job and worth your time if you’re a Nikon shooter. Read the full step-by-step tutorial and check out the rest of Visible Range while you’re there.
Local Vermont television station WCAX is doing a four part series on photography in in the state. The fourth episode in their series features PocketWizard and should air today during the local news. We put together something to show WCAX the kind of photography possible with PocketWizard gear.
Chris Valites, a Technical Support Specialist at LPA, manufacturers of PocketWizard, used this beautiful green motorcycle belonging to another LPA employee. He set the shot up and created the two images in this post.
Bruce Vigneault has posted about some high speed sync tests he’s run. Influenced by a photo expedition he did with Moose Peterson at Yellowstone National Park, Vigneault used a teddy bear as a model.
Using the PocketWizard MiniTT1, the FlexTT5, and the AC3 ZoneController, Vigneault experimented with different settings on his Nikon D3s. The shoot is well-documented, and is a great primer for what can be achieved with off-camera flash and PocketWizards.
Vigneault points to a recent Webinar hosted by Mark Wallace, which is all about High Speed Sync. This video inspired him to experiment. Judging from his post, Vigneault now has a firm grasp of what high speed sync is all about.
Nice job explaining what you’ve learned, Bruce! Learn more about Bruce on his site and his blog.
Photographer Sephi Bergerson has posted about her efforts to pay homage to Joe McNally’s cover shot of his book The Hot Shoe Diaries.
In her post, Bergerson relays her relates her attempts to recreate McNally’s photo and off-camera flash work. Using a Nikon D700, she incorporated a PocketWizard MiniTT1, a FlexTT5, and an AC3 ZoneController.
Bergerson provides full details of her shot in the post itself. See more of her work on her site and her blog.
At about the age of eleven, Richard Pardon was given a film camera by his grandfather in Dorset, U.K., who also taught him to develop his own film. Turning professional about a year ago, Pardon has realized a lifelong dream. “For me, it’s more than a job or a career. It’s like a lifestyle or a passion,” he says. He credits no two days being the same as making photography a rewarding career.
Although his grandfather gave him his start with film, Pardon has learned everything about digital photography by teaching himself. With books and DVDs, a trial-and-error approach has helped him not only develop his technical knowledge, but his own photographic style. He credits his autodidacticism with enabling him to work in different areas of photography, including portraiture, automotive, landscape, and stock work. The road hasn’t been easy, but the work is worth it, he feels.
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.
New England native Mike Kelley was into photography in a big way, but one day something fortuitous happened. While at the University of Vermont, Kelley ran into Dave Schmidt, who is an employee of LPA, makers of PocketWizard. Schmidt is also a shooter in his own right, and was photographing for a local ski resort. He also happened to have a prototype of the PocketWizard MiniTT1® on top of his camera. Kelley noticed, and the two began a conversation.
“I just kept bugging him and bugging him and eventually he caved and gave me an internship at PocketWizard,” Kelley recalls, laughing. After graduating from the University of Vermont with a double major in Environmental Studies and Studio Art, Kelley moved to Lake Tahoe to try his hand at professional snowboarding. This didn’t transpire, but proved fortuitous in a different way professionally.