Tag Archives: Remote Flash

PocketWizard Top 10 List of PPE Experiences

We are back in our Vermont home office after four wonderful days in New York City at PhotoPlus Expo (PPE) and we thought we’d share our list of our top 10 PPE experiences.

  1. Our booth looked amazing! Our eagle hunter image taken by the amazing photographer Sasha Leahovcenco stopped people in their tracks. The beautiful image was of course made possible with PocketWizard! 
  2. Our president was also a show-stopper. Matthew channeled his inner steam punk alter ego and donned his top hat to walk the show floor. He won’t soon be forgotten.
  3. We loved hearing photographer Bob Carey reflect on his humorous and inspiring journey of art as a means of healing in his talk at the UniquePhoto booth. (Thank you Unique Photo!) We learned all about his project – The Tutu Project – a wonderful example of how laughter and art can help the healing process. The project helps to provide funds to The Tutu Projecthelp breast cancer patients cover expenses not covered by insurance. We plan to dedicate a blog directly to Bob’s talk shortly – watch for it!
  4. Seeing Bob in action taking one of his iconic tutu photos in the Javits Center was definitely one of our highlights! We love that special pink PocketWizard!
  5. PocketWizard employees are all photographers in our free time. Coming from rural Vermont, we were excited to hit the streets of New York and capture some urban images. Our most memorable adventure involved heading across the East River to capture the moonset over Manhattan. It was worth the early morning wake up!
  6. We hosted a very informal photowalk on the High Line where we practiced taking portraits using an off-camera flash with a city scape background. We all learned a lot and had fun in the process. Look for a blog devoted specifically to what we learned in the near future.
  7. Lenny from our service team conducted another photowalk with students from his alma mater Mohawk Valley Community College. They practiced doing off camera flash and hypersync. Now they are practicing what they learned – we can’t wait to see the results!
  8. With all our photowalks, we got lots of steps in. Our step counters hadn’t seen numbers that high in a while. That allowed us to indulge little…which leads us to our next top experience.
  9. New York food – the best! (Need we say more?)
  10. Finally, one of our top experiences was meeting our diverse group of customers. From seasoned pros to weekend shooters – we loved sharing what we know and learning from our customers. I think some of you know our products better than we do! One line we heard over and over “I’ve been using PocketWizards for years – and they still work!”

One Step to Improve your Photos

Why you need to take your flash off your camera.

So you’ve invested in a Speedlight, but you’re disappointed in your photos. Do they look something like this?

The child is adorable – but we hate that shadow. And his face is pretty flat and one dimensional.

Try taking the flash off your camera. In this next example, we used a single Speedlight and we set it to TTL. We used a MiniTT1 on our camera and a FlexTT5 on our Speedlight.  The flash was simply held to the right of our subject.  Our camera was at f3.2 and we used aperture priority.

This portrait definitely has more dimension! Half of his face is well lit and the other half has a few shadows. In addition to adding some dimension, it adds a little bit of drama which is perfect for this pose.

In this last example, we added another Speedlight to the left with another FlexTT5.

Dimensional lighting with no harsh shadows!

Which one is your favorite?

Remote Flash for Beginners – Rim Lighting

This technique to make a silhouette pop is easy with PocketWizard and your speedlight.

The best time to take a shot like this is either at dawn or dusk, when the light is low but you can still see some environmental details.

These shots were taken at the beautiful Shelburne Farms in Vermont, just a few miles down the road from the PocketWizard headquarters. The moon was nearly full and rising just after sundown so there was still a bit of ambient light.

I placed my light about 6 feet in front of my subjects. In this example, I used a speedlight mounted on a PocketWizard FlexTT5 which was then mounted on a light stand. There is screw mount built right into the PocketWizard radio to make that easy. If you don’t have a light stand, you could put it on the ground or even have your subject hold it. A second FlexTT5 was mounted on my camera’s hot shoe. We set the camera settings to perfectly expose the dark scene without over-exposing the full moon. After some tests, I decided on the following settings:

• ISO: 500
• Aperture: F4
• Exposure Time: 1/200

My advice – take lots of shots, experiment, and have fun! My subjects were thrilled with the results!!