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!!

Welcome to the NEW PocketWizard Blog

Did you know that PocketWizard has been making radio triggers for remote flash and remote photography for over 25 years? While PocketWizard is not new, this blog is. We’re making some changes around here with the singular purpose of getting closer to our customers and building a community of PocketWizard users. We want to share images and techniques that will spark your imagination.

Introducing our New Sales Manager
To help us build our PocketWizard community, we’d like to introduce a new member of our team – our new Sales Manager, Sarah Lavoie. Sarah brings a wealth of experience in sales and marketing and a passion for photography. We sat down with her for a chat about her new role at PocketWizard.

What brought you to PocketWizard?
I have been working as a sales and marketing professional in the medical imaging industry for years and pursuing my passion for photography on the weekends. When PocketWizard decided to expand their team, I jumped at the opportunity. I feel so lucky to have connected with this great team of people creating amazing products – right in my home town of Burlington, Vermont!

What are your first impressions?
The products are rock solid and have stood the test of time. PocketWizards have been around for years and the user base is incredibly loyal. PocketWizard radios that were purchased years ago, still connect and work with the newest cameras and the newest PocketWizard radios. Our PocketWizard radios are made in the USA and we have a local service team that supports our customers with questions and repairs. How great is that? This business model isn’t common today and our customers appreciate that.

Tell us a little about your photography
I would call myself an advanced amateur or hobbyist. I love photography and I love learning new techniques. I spend a lot of time looking at photos from other photographers and studying them to figure out how they captured that epic shot. Then I try to incorporate those techniques into my own work. These days, I’m working on my sport photography techniques as I watch my kids participate in their sporting events.

What is your experience using PocketWizard radios?
I remember seeing the most beautiful wedding photo with rim lighting taken with a remote flash many years ago. The photographer had written a blog about the photo and indicated that she had used a PocketWizard to create it. My first reaction was “what is a PocketWizard?” But that was as close as I got to using one. I wasn’t sure how I could use them in my amateur photography. When I took the job at PocketWizard, I borrowed a set. It has opened my imagination to a whole world of possibilities. For all those shots I hold in my imagination, PocketWizards make it possible – I can’t wait to share my results!

Contribute to our Blog
Got a story to share on our blog? We’d love to hear it! Send it to Sarah at marketing@pocketwizard.com