Category Archives: Tips and Tricks

Shooting the Upcoming Total Lunar Eclipse

The photographers that work for PocketWizard can’t wait to photograph the upcoming lunar eclipse called the Super Wolf Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse. Depending on where you live, it will start on the evening of Sunday, January 20, 2019 and for others, in the early morning of January 21. To check when the eclipse will be happening for you, check out the Time and Date site here.

In preparation, we wanted to share with you our tips and equipment along with some of our favorite links to help you  successfully capture this celestial event.

Plan

Make sure to choose your location wisely. We like to use the scouting app Photopills when looking for the best locations to shoot. They even wrote a guide for the lunar eclipse that you can read here.

Once you know where you will shoot, check the weather to make sure you’re prepared. You don’t want to be out in the cold without a hat or in the rain with no chance of seeing the moon.

Equipment

An iPhone isn’t going to cut it when trying to shoot the moon. For this shoot you’re going to need a DLSR or mirrorless camera. A tripod will also be necessary to make sure your camera is stable as possible.

To further reduce camera shake you will want to use a trigger release. Our favorite is using two PocketWizard Plus III radios. One radio goes on your camera’s hot shoe and connected to the camera with a remote camera cable. The camera is triggered by pressing the “Test” button on the 2nd radio you hold in your hand. This setup will allow you to trigger several cameras at once or even from your warm living room or car while your camera braves the cold.

Try a Time-Lapse

You can also consider a time-lapse. Check out this tutorial on PhotographyLife.com which as some amazing examples.

For this you will need to use a MultiMAX II with intervalometer with a remote camera cable. This will allow you to shoot the whole event in a sequence and then stitch it together in photoshop later. This is a  great option if you are trying to highlight the landscape as well as the moon. For information on how to set up the MultiMAX II, check out the user guide, page 35.

Camera Settings

We suggest you shoot in Manual mode and keep your aperture around F/8 and your shutter speed at 1/250 to freeze the movement of the full moon. You might be surprised as how fast it is moving. Try and keep your ISO as low as it can go and increase as needed. Check your images and adjust your settings accordingly. Visit our friends at B&H for a great tutorial on photographing a lunar eclipse with an in-depth discussion on settings.

Get creative! The eclipse will last a relatively long time. Using a PocketWizard and off camera flash, try a pop of light in the foreground to capture some foreground elements or to capture a rim lit silhouette. Follow this link to earlier blog for inspiration.

Get some good shots? Share them on Instagram and tag us! @PocketWizard.  We can’t wait to see your creative approach!

Basic Troubleshooting Techniques – Plus Series

PocketWizard radios have a well earned-reputation for being the most reliable, feature-packed and easy-to-use solution for remote flash and camera triggering.  And, our triggering distance is legendary. In ideal conditions, our Plus III can work up to a distance of 1600 feet (500m) – that’s a distance of over 4 football fields!

While they are incredibly reliable, we know that sometimes things don’t go as planned. Here’s a video that will help you with some basic troubleshooting techniques.

If you need a little more help than this video can provide, our support team is available to help from 9AM – 4PM EST, Monday – Friday. You can reach our experts at info@pocketwizard.com.

This video covers basic troubleshooting for PocketWizard Plus II, Plus III, Plus IV, PlusX, and MultiMAX radios.

Some helpful timestamps and links:
0:43: Batteries

1:22: Hotshoe
Older Plus & MM Hotshoe
PlusX/III Hotshoe

2:00: Firmware

2:16: Factory Reset

2:31: PlusX only transmit mode

2:39: Sync Cable

3:40: Understanding X-Sync and HyperSync

3:10: Testing your Radios

4:21: Guidelines to maximize your performance

Tell us what’s happening!!
Email Tech Support: info@pocketwizard.com

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 Auto-Relay

Selfies Using Remote DSLR Camera and Remote Flash

Getting together with family and friends this holiday weekend?  Get yourself in the photo using PocketWizards set up for Auto-Relay.

At PhotoPlus Expo in NYC this past October, we hosted an informal photowalk where we showed participants how to set up a selfie using a remote DSLR camera and an off-camera flash using Auto-Relay. Our location was on the High Line, a former elevated train line that has been converted into an elevated walkway, green space and park.

Auto Relay Set Up – Three PocketWizard Radios

PocketWizard Sales and Support Team

In order to take this selfie, we held a PocketWizard Plus III in our hand and used it to trigger our camera in sync with an off-camera flash. This is called Auto-Relay and it requires three PocketWizard radios. Auto-Relay is the only situation where not all PocketWizard radios are set to the same Channel.

  1. We set the transmitting PocketWizard Plus III radio in our hand to Tx only and set it to a desired Channel and Zone.
  2. We set the relaying Plus III for our remote camera to the same Channel and Zone and set the triggering mode to TxRx. We put this radio on our camera’s hot shoe and connected it to the camera with the remote camera cable.
  3. We connected our remote flash with a sync cable to our third PocketWizard Plus III set to Rx Only. We set the Zone on this radio the same as the other radios, but we set the Channel one higher than the other PocketWizard radios. (If we had them all on the same Channel, the timing of the flash would fire before the camera and miss the shot.) We could have used multiple lights – they would all need their own PocketWizard all set up the same.
  4. Making sure all our radios were set to the same Zone, we took our places then pressed the TEST button on the PocketWizard in our hand to take the shot and the magic happened seamlessly.
  5. To capture the best city lights, we used a somewhat slower shutter speed to let in as much of the ambient light as possible.

Settings:
ISO 1250
Aperture: F4.0
Shutter Speed: ¼ sec

For more information, check our our Wiki. Note that Auto-Relay can be accomplished with our other PocketWizard radios in the same manner.

Try it and tag us with #pocketwizardselfie!