Posts Tagged ‘off-camera flash’

On-Camera Flash versus Off-Camera Flash: Part 1

This is part 1 in a series of posts created to show the many benefits of freeing your flash and getting it off your camera.  Although this information may be very basic for some, we have found that there are many photographers who have yet to discover the benefits of getting their flash off their camera.  You will see through a series of very basic images, how an image can come to life by simply taking your flash off your camera and putting it where you want it to be.  I’ve provided a simple overview of the series and then more details on each of the photo.  All photos were taken in Aperture Priority mode using one or two Nikon Speedlights set to TTL.  A MiniTT1 for Nikon with AC3 ZoneController was used on a Nikon D800 camera and FlexTT5s were used to trigger the Speedlights.

Oncamera vs offcamera example two gavin
The first series of images were taken by Heather Simons, our Technical Support Specialist, outside of our office in South Burlington, VT. Our model, Gavin, is the son of our Administrative Assistant and provided us with many creative poses and constant entertainment.  We really had a great time working with him on the images for this post.

DSC_7046 edit_600x400_72dpi

1/500 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160

 

This first image was taken with the flash directly on the camera with the camera positioned directly in front of the subject.  There is uniform lighting across the subject which tends to make the photo look somewhat flat and non-dimensional.

 

DSC_7071 edit_400x600_72

1/320 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160

 

For this second image, the flash was taken off the camera and placed to the right of the subject.  Getting the flash off the camera and placing it at a different angle provides some nice shadows on the left side of Gavin’s face.  This lighting effect just happened to work out perfectly with his expression.  Gavin is quite the ham!

 

DSC_7056 edit_400x600_72

1/250 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160



And for this final image, we added a Speedlight to the left of Gavin in addition to using the Speedlight on his right.  Adding the second speed light provided additional lighting to help balance the light, which worked well with his pose.  When compared to the first image, the light is softer and there are softer shadows which create more depth to the photo.

Oncamera vs offcamera example one gavin

 

The second series of images were taken inside our studio and were a collective effort between Heather Simons and myself.  Again, all photos were taken in Aperture Priority mode using one or two Nikon Speedlights set to TTL.  A MiniTT1 for Nikon with AC3 ZoneController was used on a Nikon D800 and FlexTT5s were used to trigger the Speedlights.

DSC_6898 edit_HSorig_600x400_72dpi_

1/60 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160

 

The first image was taken using an on-camera flash and the direct light is quite apparent.  There are harsh shadows (notice the one on the back wall!!) and the image appears fairly one dimensional and flat.

 

DSC_7033 edit-600x400_72dpi

1/60 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160

For the second image, we placed a Speedlight to the right of Gavin and you can see a shadow on the left side of his face which gives it dimension.  Again, Gavin nailed the pose for the lighting.  We just love the effect we achieved by simply moving one Speedlight off camera.

 

DSC_6940 edit_600x400_72dpi

1/60 sec; f/3.2; ISO 160

And for the final image we kept the Speedlight to Gavins’ right and added one to the left.  This provided great lighting on both sides of his face which worked well for this pose. The image has some dimensionality to it and is dramatically different from the first photo.  This was done simply by moving the flash off the camera, placing it to the side of the subject and adding a second flash to fill in the light.

One thing to note with all of this is that Heather Simons and myself are far from Professional photographers.  In fact, I would say we are quite amateur at best.  We simply were having fun in the studio with a great model that kept us entertained while we created content for our Blog. This entire shoot took about 45 minutes.  The point I am making with this is that it’s really quite easy to free your flash from your camera and put the light where you want it.  All you need is a few PocketWizard wireless triggers and the creative possibilities are endless!

Until the next post,

Heather Ambrose
PocketWizard Marketeer

Bookmark and Share

Upgrading Firmware at the Speed of We-Need-it-Yesterday

New cameras are exciting, especially when they incorporate new technologies that improve camera performance or the user’s creative capabilities. What’s not so exciting is when you take your new camera out on assignment only to find out it won’t perform as accurately and/or consistently as well as your previous camera model. In all likelihood it’s firmware related – causing communication problems between the new camera and your flash triggering system. The language might be the same, but the new dialect causes confusion.

When the PocketWizard product engineers at LPA Design catch wind of new cameras, they prime the coffee machine and, using the earliest available production cameras from Nikon and Canon, begin testing every facet of the camera to determine how well it works or doesn’t work with PocketWizard products before releasing firmware upgrades. During these test trials the engineering team determines what needs to be tweaked or in some cases, completely re-engineered to better ensure PocketWizard triggering devices perform as expected.

A recent case in point is Nikon’s introduction of their newest DSLR, the D810, which replaces Nikon’s popular D800 and D800E. PocketWizard’s engineering team performed exhaustive tests with the new camera to assess and remedy any compatibility issues with the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 radio transceivers. Considering the complexity of the upgrade process, it’s pretty impressive when you hear LPA’s engineering team was able to hammer out the bugs and release a reliable firmware upgrade in two weeks’ time.

Nikon's new D810 with a fully-compatible PocketWizard FlexTT5

Nikon’s new D810 with a fully-compatible PocketWizard FlexTT5

 

A conversation with Patrick Clow, LPA Design’s Technical Support Manager, explains the complexity and attention to detail that goes into testing compatibility issues between new camera models and PocketWizard radios before releasing firmware upgrades. Between Canon and Nikon, PocketWizard’s engineering team must establish complete compatibility between PocketWizard’s product line and about 60 cameras and 20 flashes. And this figure doesn’t include Sekonic light meters and the various studio flash systems PocketWizard radio triggers are compatible with.

As Patrick describes the process – “There are lots of factors in testing: each shutter speed, every aperture, image stabilization, lens choices, camera battery levels, flash choices, rear curtain sync, MASTER devices and modes, zones, shooting modes, flash durations, and lots more.  When you start to multiply all of the factors together, you quickly get into the millions of possible combinations – you couldn’t test them all in several lifetimes.”

“For the numbers geeks out there, we use a pairwise system to generate grids of test setups. They are still gargantuan, so we edit those grids based on our experience, knowing what changes we made in the firmware, and targeted (towards) the cameras we want to test. In its simplest form, each camera gets a bare minimum of 10 hours of testing assuming nothing pops up.  If it does, we often end up testing it all over again.  The latest firmware had 15 new cameras in it, several requiring multiple rounds of testing as we reverse engineered unique behaviors.  We also re-tested previously compatible cameras to ensure continued stability.  It was a really big project.”

In many ways, firmware upgrades involve thinking the process through backwards. “Our compatibility and features are built entirely on reverse engineering someone else’s totally custom, non-standardized and evolving communication interface and then applying precision timing to that hard-won knowledge. Microseconds matter to us. We do things differently from virtually everyone else in the industry and that’s why we can pull off technologies like HyperSync®, or controlling the power level of studio flashes like the AlienBees with a Nikon or Canon Speedlight.”

New cameras inevitably come with unknowns and according to Patrick, Nikon’s new D810 didn’t disappoint LPA’s Engineering team. “The latest cameras had some interesting things going on under the hood.  TTL for the D810 and D4S, for example, acts differently than previous Nikons at a specific focus distance so we had to figure out how to work through that anomaly.  We did it, and we even modified our own firmware so that if Nikon changes that behavior with a future camera firmware upgrade, or releases another camera with the same behavior, we should still be good to go.” Canon’s newest DSLRs came with their own set of issues.  “Even within the same generation or family of cameras, (Canon cameras) can have strangely different behaviors.  In the past we’ve spent considerable effort figuring out these behaviors and making special cases to manage them.”

“With this last round of firmware we went beyond that – we retooled a major piece of our system to be more flexible.  It should allow us to roll with the punches much more easily and add new cameras to the ControlTL system  more quickly. PocketWizard firmware update version 3.700 for Nikon includes full compatibility with Nikon’s D810 as well as Nikon’s D610, the D4S, Df, D7100, D5300, D5200, and D3300. PocketWizard firmware update version 6.700 for Canon has also been released, bringing full TTL compatibility to Canon’s EOS 70D, 1D X, 6D, T5i/700D, T5/1200D, T4i/650D, and SL1/100D. With these two new releases, all currently manufactured DSLRs from both Nikon and Canon perform with full TTL capability when using the ControlTL feature on PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 Transceivers.

Canon EOS 7D with PocketWizard Flex TT5

Canon EOS 70D with PocketWizard FlexTT5

 

In closing our conversation, Patrick made a point of mentioning his support team at LPA and the time and dedication they pour into their respective responsibilities.  “Thousands of hours, several drums of coffee, and a few dozen buckets of peanut butter pretzels have gone into this milestone.   “I just want to give a shout out to the engineers and testers that made it happen: Tim, Steve, Mark, Gary, Andrea, Ryan, Sarah, Zack, Ian, Heather, and Seth (and Steve, Chris and Ashley).  We have a great support team with Lorei, Heather, Nick, Hannah, Deb, and all the great folk at MAC Group!  Thank you!”

For more information on how to update PocketWizard products via USB connection and to view current release notes for Nikon firmware update version 3.7 and Canon firmware version 6.7 visit: http://www.pocketwizard.com/support/downloads/

The PocketWizard MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 are now fully compatible with the following recently released Canon and Nikon DSLRs:
Canon – EOS 70D, 1D X*, 6D*, T5i / 700D, T4i* / 650D, T5 / 1200D, SL1 / 100D
Nikon – D810, D610, D4S, Df, D7100, D5300, D5200, and D3300
* Now with TTL compatibility.

For a complete compatibility list, please visit:
http://wiki.pocketwizard.com/index.php?title=Canon_Compatibility
http://wiki.pocketwizard.com/index.php?title=Nikon_Compatibility  

Bookmark and Share

Tandem Lighting Setups Using SpeedCycler On A Recent SI Photo Shoot

Alexis Cuarezma is a portrait photographer with a specialty in photographing sports figures. Considering the fact he’s named after Alexis Arguello, a three-time world champion boxer from his native Nicaragua, and studied art, graphic design, and photography at California State University at East Bay, this shouldn’t be a big surprise.

Barely a decade into his career, Alexis Cuarezma is an alumnus of the Eddie Adams Workshop (Barnstorm XXIV), and counts the LA Times, the NY Times, Sports Illustrated, HBO, Ring Magazine, SEEN, Boxing News, Fighting Fit, and other publications among his current client roster.

Cuarezma has always been fascinated with light, and as a photographer, he aims to control it to the best of his abilities in the studio as well as on location. While he appreciates the qualities of available light, the images Alexis Cuarezma captures for his clients require more than a click of his heels and a Hail Mary shout-out – they have to be lit.

Alexis Cuarezma honed his photographic skills early on by photographing his kid brother and his little league teammates. In short time he began shooting boxers at their respective gyms, which lighting-wise are as dismal as it gets. In Alexis’ case, this was in his favor – he preferred to light the ring his own way.

Cuarezma’s dramatic lighting techniques ultimately came to the attention of Brad Smith, Director of Photography at Sports Illustrated, who he met at the Eddie Adams Workshop. It was through Brad that one of Alexis’s biggest dreams came true – an assignment from Sports Illustrated.

The ‘good news, bad news’ part of the story is that while Smith loved Alexis’s lighting style, the shot he needed of Stanford University’s Shayne Skov (since drafted as a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers!) was going to be silhouetted and had to be shot against a medium-gray background. Brad’s instructions were basically “You’re going to have to get a grey seamless. You know how to light well, keep it simple and have fun.” For Cuarezma the fun part of it would have been to shoot it his own way. And that’s where PocketWizard radio triggers came into play.

Alexis happened to be on the market for new radio transmitters. The ones he had been using were not reliable when he needed them most, and even when they did work, they were limited in what they could do. The features and user reviews of the PocketWizard MultiMAX caught his attention, most notably its SpeedCycler feature.

SpeedCycler makes it possible to shoot studio flash flat-out at up to 10 frames-per-second by syncing with multiple flash units that can be triggered in a rapid, alternating sequence.  This enables him to capture high-power strobe-lit action sequences far faster than he’d be able to shoot with a single light source.

alexis 5

On the left is the lighting setup I drew out to figure out how many PocketWizard radios I would need and where to place them. On the right is how the drawing looked like in real life

 

But Cuarezma had a different take on the SpeedCycler feature. Rather than using the SpeedCycler feature to trigger identical lighting setups, Cuarezma’s idea was to light and capture the shot according to Smith’s direction – gray background and all, immediately followed by a second exposure that would trigger a second set of lights set up the way he saw the shot in his mind’s eye.

Cuarezma knew his time with Skov would be limited, and if he wanted to please his client – which he did, and please his own creative itch, which he also wanted to do, he would have to go beyond the framework of a conventional portrait shoot.

alexis 4

Cuarezma’s Canon 1D Mk IV can capture up to 10 frames-per-second, or one exposure every 100 milliseconds. Theoretically, by incorporating a PocketWizard MultiMAX radio trigger and four PocketWizard Plus III’s into the equation, he could capture two separate exposures in 200 milliseconds – one exposure lit as per his instructions against the gray background immediately followed by a second exposure lit in a lighting style Alexis Cuarezma can proudly call his own.

alexis 6

Two of the many ”ping-pong- lighting sequences Alexis Cuarezma shot in two frame-per-second bursts, each triggering it’s own lighting set-up. The bottom left shot is the one that ran across a double-page spread in Sports Illustrated. And yes, it’s not against a plain gray background – it’s the shot Alexis lit his own way.

 

After a series of false starts and a firmware update for his Plus III Transceivers, Alexis was set to go, and the accompanying images say it all.

As for the payoff, Sports IIlustrated was delighted with the results of Cuarezma’s first time out on assignment, and they ultimately ran one of his ‘renegade’ images across two pages. And in this business it really doesn’t get better than that.

Alexis 1

The image as it appeared in Sports Illustrated.

 

See how Alexis Cuarezma lit his Sports Illustrated spread using two entirely different lighting setups and PocketWizard’s SpeedCycler feature here.

To see more of Alexis Cuarezma’s work, check out his website.

All images, videos, and quotes in this post are used with permission and © Alexis Cuarezma 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.

Bookmark and Share

Breaking the ‘First Three Song’ Rule with Erik Voake

In time, most photographers turn to video as the next logical step in their careers. Not so with Los Angeles-based Erik Voake. In fact, he did the opposite. At 19 he was already directing and producing indie films and videos about off-road racing, skiing, freestyle motocross, snowmobiling, snowboarding, and other action sports.

Other professional accomplishments he’s amassed include being a co-Producer and Director of Photography on the Lionsgate film “A Day in the Life”, a film dubbed a “hip hopera” staring Mekhi Phifer, Omar Epps, Michael Rapaport, and directed by Sticky Fingaz from ONYX. He was also DP on Larry Clark’s ‘Impaled’, a documentary about the effects of pornography on youths’ sex lives, and he recently produced and filmed a documentary titled “Jonathon” that was screened at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris.

Mac Demarco - Performance

‘Mac Demarco’ – Copyright Erik Voake / Red Bull Content Pool

 

On TV, Voake created the cable reality series “Crusty’s Dirt Demons” a show about the exploits of motocross riders that aired for two seasons on FUSE Networks. But despite his success in the motion picture and TV universe, something was amiss.

Flume - Performance

‘Flume’  – Copyright Erik Voake / Red Bull Content Pool

 

In 2006, not long after seeing the James Nachtwey film documentary – ‘War Photographer’, Voake was offered the opportunity to travel to Bagdad and shoot a documentary on the first deployment of the ‘Band of Brothers’ since World War II (a.k.a. the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, US Army). Sponsored by Sony, it also gave Erik an opportunity to follow the advice of his friend and mentor, photographer Larry Clark, who was urging him to always carry a camera with him because of all of the places he travels and the people he meets. According to Erik, Clark’s advice changed his life.

The still images he captured in Iraq resulted in his first gallery show, which he scrambled to assemble after selling the gallery owner on the idea of a show about the fabled Roxy Theatre. (The gallery owner loved the pictures from Iraq but doubted they were the kinds of images his clientele would want to hang on their walls.)

Smashing Pumpkins - Performance

‘Smashing Pumpkins’ – Copyright Erik Voake / Red Bull Content Pool

 

It was during this time Voake began appreciating the value of traveling light and nimble. Backstage venues are dark, which means you need light, but too much light can be intimidating when you’re trying to gain the trust and confidence of musicians and the lot.

About a week after posting a picture he shot of a band named ‘Chelsea Girl’ on Flickr, Erik got a call from Spin Magazine. They wanted to buy the picture. One thing led to another and before he knew it, Voake had talked them into an assignment photographing a music festival in nearby Michigan, which in turn led to a gig shooting Lollapalooza and the South-by-Southwest music festival. That was in 2009 and Erik Voake has been a music shooter ever since.

EVoake_PocketWizard_4959

Copyright Erik Voake / Red Bull Content Pool

 

“I’m a photographer – not a director, not a producer, I’m a photographer – I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. My mom was an art teacher, and she told me when I started taking pictures, I finally came into my own. When I picked up a camera… I became Erik Voake.”

Voake began shooting portraits of many of the performers he met along the way. His lighting style is of the ‘less is more’ school and he tends to minimize his lights to a ring light or for larger, softer swaths of light, a beauty dish (“Nothing beats a beauty dish”).

EVoake_PocketWizard_7235

Copyright Erik Voake / Red Bull Content Pool

 

For backstage shooting he relies on Canon Speedlites. And for syncing his cameras and lights, Erik Voake relies on his PocketWizard Plus II radio triggers. “PocketWizards radio triggers are all I use and all I need. They work every time. Period.” (Note: The Plus II has been replaced by the Plus III Transceiver)

One of Voakes niftier gigs these days is being an official photographer for all of the Red Bull Music Concerts, which feature some of the biggest bands around. A particularly cool thing about working directly for Red Bull is that he has the run of the arena, and in particular, a green light to set up lights around the stage pre-show rather than have to deal with on-camera flash, or more troubling stage lighting, which can change quickly, wildly, and flippantly.

By rigging the stage and syncing through his PocketWizard radio triggers, Erik is able to guarantee his results. And that’s not easy to do on the concert circuit.

'Tapioca and the Flea'

‘Tapioca and the Flea’ – Copyright Erik Voake / Red Bull Content Pool

 

Another noteworthy detail about shooting the Red Bull Concerts, is that since Red Bull was a private sponsor and was paying the bills, Voake was able to break the number one rule of concert photography, specifically –  ‘No flash for the first three songs!’

As Erik Voake summed it up, “We made music history. We were able to break the ‘first three song rule’, and we got some amazing pictures along the way. At first everybody was ‘Hey, what’s up?’, but it all settled rather quickly and everyone including the musicians notice the difference in lighting quality. And he gives much credit to his PocketWizard wireless triggers for pulling it all off.”

To see more of Erik Voake’s photographic work visit his website.

All images, videos, and quotes in this post are used with permission and © Erik Voake, 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.

 

 

Bookmark and Share

Simon Mackney’s 13-hour day with the British Bobsleigh Team

crop_380-1384962741-2_simonmackneyHere’s a behind the scenes video of Simon Mackney using Plus III Transceivers to photograph the British Bobsleigh team as well as a written account in Simon Mackney’s own words.  Mackney is professional photographer based out of Derbyshire, UK.

“The coach of the Great Britain Bobsleigh team came to us because they wanted images that weren’t your standard boring, normal promotional images.  They already had plenty of those and they were looking for something different.  So we came up with the idea of shooting the athletes with a super hero, film poster kind of style in mind.  We wanted a strong, confident, proud, inspirational, dark, edgy, moody style/look.

The images will be used for a variety of promotional pieces leading up to and during the 2014 Olympics in Sochi.  We used PocketWizard Plus III radios with a Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 studio fast flash duration flash units.  With the combination of the PocketWizard radios, the Einstein E640, the Nikon D4 at 11 frames a second and the fast flash duration, we were able to get the shot we wanted.  The guys busting out of the stock, which we used with Bruce Tasker crashing out of the ice shards, we would not have been able to get the shots without the combo. The PocketWizard radios never let us down and they work really well with all our gear.

mackneyGB0026-e

© Simon Mackney

 

© Simon Mackney

© Simon Mackney

 

© Simon Mackney

© Simon Mackney

 

© Simon Mackney

© Simon Mackney

 

© Simon Mackney

© Simon Mackney

 

Massive thanks to the Great British Bobsleigh athletes Bruce Tasker, John Jackson “Jacko”, Joel Fearon, and Stuart Benson. We had a great, 13-hour long day shoot with the guys at the fantastic 2,200 square foot, drive-in Darley Abbey Photographic Studios.  The shots were taken by Simon Mackney and then edited by Simon and the Mackney team.”

Additional thanks for the following:
Video: Thom our Assistant
Music: Our good friend Artist: rotary; Title: scientific www.soundcloud.com/rotary

And the Mackney Team

Equipment used:
PocketWizard Plus III Transceivers
Paul C. Buff – Einstein E640 to freeze the action and motion
Nikon D4 and Nikon D800E
Capture one, tethered and linked to ipad

Links:
http://simonmackney.com
https://www.facebook.com/MackneyPhoto...
http://www.johnsons-photopia.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/johnsonsphot…
http://pocketwizard.co.uk
http://www.bobteamgb.org

PocketWizard radios are distributed in the UK by JP Distribution.

All images, videos, and quotes in this post are used with permission and © Simon Mackney, 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.

Bookmark and Share

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

IMG_1918 (1)

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.

IMG_0083 (4)

(more…)

Bookmark and Share

Off-Camera Flash with Mirrorless Cameras

Mirrorless

Get Professional Quality Portraits Anywhere!

If you thought a top-of-the-line DSLR was necessary for professional-quality portraits, you will be amazed at the incredible results possible with the current offerings available from compact mirrorless cameras. With full manual controls, RAW file capture, and the ability to use industry standard accessories, you can take advantage of the same tools the big DSLRs use to create beautiful images.

Join host Joe Brady as he puts his mirrorless camera to the test by using PocketWizard PlusX radio triggers and a basic light meter to shape light in environmental location portraits.

Do you shoot only using available light because the concept of fill flash with ambient light continues to be both frustrating and inconsistent? If you want to take control of the light and add shape, depth, and dimension to your subject, this presentation is a must see.

Getting your flash off-camera is the first step towards professional quality portraits. See how easy it can be and learn how to make it work for you!

Date: 25 July 2013
Time: 1pm EDT
Title: Off-Camera Flash with Mirrorless Cameras
Presenter: Joe Brady
Link: http://www.pocketwizard.com/webinar

Bookmark and Share

Cliff Mautner shows you why you need an AC3 ZoneController

May is WEDDING MONTH at PocketWizard. We are bringing you people, ideas and photos that celebrate the craft and tools of wedding photography. 

We love Cliff Mautner. Why? His no-nonsense approach to both photography and education is direct, uncompromising and produces results. And, simply put, his wedding and portrait images ROCK. We asked Cliff to tell us why the PocketWizard AC3 ZoneController plus MiniTT1 (Nikon & Canon) and FlexTT5 (Nikon & Canon) changed the way he shoots – overnight. You may remember Cliff from some work we did with him during the release of the MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 for Nikon.

Those two things – the dimension and texture of the light – create a mood that flat light doesn’t have. By getting the light off the camera, you can create angles of light that give you the texture, dimension and mood that you can reach out and touch. – Cliff Mautner

Cliff uses one light on a monopod off-camera to achieve his stunning wedding photography. The light he chooses to control manually via his AC3 ZoneController creates depth, personality and vibrant colors. Cliff chooses to deliberately avoid flat lighting, using his one off-camera flash to create these scenes where the focus of the photo is clear, and the bride and groom are stars. By using manual control, he can switch lenses, distances and adjust with the ambient light – all the while knowing that the things that normally trick TTL will not affect him.

Here is a mini gallery of Cliff’s images for your enjoyment.

PW_AC3free_300x250We have other good news for photographers in the USA – if you purchase a MiniTT1 & FlexTT5 (or two FlexTT5 units), you can receive a FREE AC3 by mail after purchase!

Yup, that’s right! Until July 31st, you can take advantage of this awesome offer. You never know, it may change your photographic life, too! LEARN MORE >>

Want to learn more about Cliff Mautner? Check out his website and blog:
www.cmphotography.com
www.cliffmautner.typepad.com

Bookmark and Share

Doug Gordon Video on Off-Camera Lighting

Photographer and photo educator Doug Gordon breaks down a bridal portrait session in this 12+ minute video. He explains how he dials in different intensities from his lights directly from his camera with the PocketWizard FlexTT5, MiniTT1, and the AC3 ZoneController.

Gordon’s premise is to have his system as stripped down and foolproof as possible. Stressing the total lighting control he can achieve from behind the camera, Gordon shows how different lighting setups work with slightly different bridal poses to achieve astonishingly different portraits.

You can learn more about Gordon’s workshops on his site, creativeLIVE, and his YouTube channel.

 

All images and quotes in this post are used with permission and ©Doug Gordon, 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.

Bookmark and Share

Chris Arace’s We Are Vacancy

©Chris Arace

©Chris Arace

We love discovering photographers creating great images with interesting use of off-camera flash. Chris Arace is a Detroit photographer who not only uses PocketWizard radio triggers to light his portaits, but his series “We Are Vacancy” includes images of talent actually handholding speedlights. In his own words, here are his thoughts on his work.

An artistic rebellion of faith and spirit. Eager to create. Created to create. Rise against the onslaught of homogenization in culture, we shall. We Are Vacancy.

The above statement was crafted as part manifesto, part inspiration, and part dedication. It provides a tangible concept for me to visualize and create images for this series of shots. The idea was created while on location last year. I often am running at a fast pace on shoots in some diverse and amazing locations. It was not always possible to create personal, compelling imagery under the time crunch of a production schedule. We Are Vacancy allowed a portable, manageable, and very artistic way to satisfy my personal artistic needs.

(more…)

Bookmark and Share