Category Archives: Photographers

Hands free photography

Have you ever wished you could step away from behind the camera when taking a photo? Sometimes you need an extra hand or another body to hold a reflector, flip a bride’s veil into the air or distract the baby or pet of the family. With PocketWizard, taking a photograph “hands-free” is possible when using a remote camera triggered with a foot pedal.  

Putting the PocketWizard Pedal to the Test

Portrait of Kelly Schulze of Mountain Dog Photography
Kelly Schulze of Mountain Dog Photography

To test our new pedal, we reached out to a local Vermont animal portrait photographer, Kelly Schulze of Mountain Dog Photography. For the past 10 years, she has volunteered her time and talent to the local animal shelter, the Humane Society of Chittenden County (HSCC) in Burlington, VT. Her photos are used to promote animal adoptions by sharing them on the HSCC website and on social media. The photos are also displayed as art around the shelter and even inspire local artists to paint portraits of the animals.

Kelly goes to the shelter every Friday to take photos of the new animal arrivals. On the day we met with her, the shelter had gotten 40 new kittens – our work was cut out for us!

PocketWizard Pedal Set-Up

Kelly’s set up included a remote camera triggered with a foot pedal and two lights – one to light her subject and a second to light the backdrop with colored gels. For this, she needed 4 PocketWizard radios. Since we needed to fire the lights at the same time as the remote camera, Kelly needed to use PocketWizard’s unique relay functionality that is built into our radios. To do that, all Kelly had to do was set the Channel on her lights one Channel higher than the Channel used by her remote camera. This set up works with all PocketWizard transceiver radios.

  • Camera was set up on a tripod
  • One PocketWizard was set on her camera attached to the camera using a remote camera cable
    • Set on Channel 1
  • One PocketWizard was attached to the pedal via the miniphone port
    • Set on Channel 1
    • This PocketWizard was placed on a small tripod to keep it elevated off the floor for best radio transmission
  • One PocketWizard for each light
    • Each set on Channel 2 (one higher than the transmitting radios)

Taking Photos with the PocketWizard Pedal

Kelly put her camera on a tripod, set the focus and then got out from behind the camera. She moved the foot pedal so that she could get closer to the animals to engage them with toys and her hands. It was also great for her to be closer to the animals to keep them keep them from jumping off the table and hiding!  After taking some with her foot, she moved the pedal on top of the table to get the animals to take a selfie.

Cat taking a selfie using a PocketWizard Pedal and PocketWizard PlusX

The set-up was portable enough that we could move it to a smaller room where some kittens were housed. In this small space, Kelly appreciated not being stuck in a tight corner behind the camera.

“I love working with this pedal! I find that the minute I go behind the camera, the animal loses interest or will become alarmed by the scary looking lens which looks like a big eyeball. Working with the PocketWizard Pedal, I can stay closer to the animals to keep them relaxed and hold their attention. With only a few minutes to capture each animal, the pedal really helps me move quickly.”

~Kelly Schulze, Mountain Dog Photography



The PocketWizard Pedal is available on Amazon or at the PocketWizard Shop.

Super Bowl Photography!

Who’s ready for some football? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to photograph the biggest event in sports? We talked with Shawn Cullen who works as a photographer’s assistant with USA Today Sports and was setting up on Friday for Sunday’s big event. He explained how he sets up to captures this epic event.

Remote Camera Set-Up

Shawn has 6 remote cameras all set up in the catwalk aimed at key areas on the field.

  • Two at the 50 Yard Line – Both are aimed at the logo in the center to capture all the activity at the center of the field including the coin toss. One remote camera is equipped with a super wide lens to capture the end-to-end field overview including the scoreboard. Shots from this camera are helpful since capturing the scoreboard will give you an overview of the game at any time.
  • One at Each 25 Yard Line – Aimed at the roman numeral logo LIII.
  • One at Each End Zone – Pointing down the field poised to capture a field goal and the trophy presentation.

Custom IDs – A Premium Difference Only Offered by PocketWizard

PocketWizard Plus III radios are attached to each camera. The radios are tuned with a Custom ID which is a private digital code that ensures that only you can trigger your remote camera.  In crowded shooting environments, like the Super Bowl, Custom IDs give you the confidence to know that your remote camera isn’t going to be accidentally triggered by another photographer. While all the PocketWizards are set to Custom ID, they are programmed to different zones. PocketWizard Plus III units offer the ability use 4 different zones. All the cameras are connected to an ethernet cable so that the image editors can have fast access to the images to review and post online as quickly as possible.

Long Range Mode

The radios are all set to Long Range mode to extend the range. The Plus III Transceiver can trigger a remote up to 500 meters (1600 feet). An indoor football stadium is not an ideal shooting environment as there is a lot of noise. Using Long Range Mode nearly doubles the effective triggering distance in almost any environment. 

During the game, the remote cameras will be triggered by USA Today photographer and engineer James Lang. The cameras are all connected through a VLAN network and a video feed from the camera’s eye piece gives James the camera’s view. James remotely triggers the cameras when the action is right. 

On Friday, two days before the game, all the remote cameras are set and tested individually. In fact, USA Today photographers are required to participate in a “Burn Test” where the photographers fire all cameras at the same time to test the network. This is to simulate what might happen at any critical point in the game when everyone is trying to capture the action. This is done so that they can anticipate and correct any issues that might arise.

Shawn and James – good luck at the game, we can’t wait to see your photos!

How to Elevate your Ski and Snowboard Photography

The photo above, orginally posted on Instagram by Andrew Jay (@andrewjaybw), caught our attention: Those colors! That snow! That lighting!! We reached out to him to see if he would share some of his secrets.

“For this photo I used 2 PocketWizard FlexTT5s on 2 Nikon SB-900 Speedlights and a PocketWizard MiniTT1 on a Nikon D5. I used a 70-200mm VRII at 200mm and my settings were: 1/1250, f2.8 and ISO 400. Using the PocketWizards, I was able to use a fast shutter speed with HyperSync to capture the powder spray. To generate the best light for this shot, the subject in this photo wore a small hiking backpack with the speed lights and PocketWizards attached!”

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“I love using remote/off-camera flash – it’s a great way to create dynamic and unique lighting. Photography is basically painting with light and PocketWizards make it possible.”  ~Andrew Jay

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For the sweet shot below, Andrew gave us the following information:

Nikon D3s, 70-200mm at 116mm: 1/250,  f4, ISO200
Made possible with 2 PocketWizard FlexTT5s and a PocketWizard MiniTT1 and 2 Nikon SB-900 Speedlights.

Riding at Night in the snow in British Columbia

Andrew’s secret for the best powder days? Ski and ride British Columbia! One of his favorite mountains is Big White Ski Resort in Kelowna, BC. Check out more of Andrew’s amazing work on his website: www.andrew-jay.com/

Inspired? Hit the slopes and tag us!

#PocketWizard     #MakeitPossible

 

 

 

PocketWizard and the Tutu Project

At PhotoPlus Expo 2018, we loved hearing one of our favorite photographers, Bob Carey, reflect on his humorous and inspiring journey of art as a means of healing. His project – The Tutu Project – is an amazing example of therapy through laughter and art.

We were so inspired by Bob’s passion project that we created a limited edition pink PocketWizard Bonus Bundle and pledged to donate 10% of all sales from this special pink kit. (Read the press release about the product launch here.) Today, we are thrilled to present a donation of $3,685 to The Carey Foundation. We hope it will go a long way to help patients and their families impacted by breast cancer to cover expenses not normally covered by insurance.

We’re so proud to be a part of this feel-good project that is making an impact in the world. Thank you, Bob and Linda, for your tireless efforts to help those in need, and bringing a smile to so many.

If you are interested in supporting The Carey Foundation, check out the website: https://thetutuproject.com/. We also have a limited number of Pink Plus III Bonus Bundles available for $275 (10% of sale price is donated) and Pink G-Wiz Bags for $24. The bags are only available in the PocketWizard online store and 100% of proceeds from the bags will be donated to The Carey Foundation.
If you missed the talk, here’s a shortened version of it. Enjoy!!