Tag Archives: E Release

PocketWizard’s Moonshot

You never know when creative inspiration will strike. Our Sales and Marketing Manager, Sarah Lavoie, was inspired by Michael Heeney’s amazing photos from Lone Rock Point and had the creative idea for an epic family portrait at this beautiful location.

Inspired by the PocketWizard’s E Release Range

The new E Release firmware upgrade is a simple way to get incredible range for off-camera flash and remote cameras. The extended range in regular mode is up to 5 times further than our legacy firmware. Sarah wanted to put it to the test by taking an epic family photo in front of a rising full moon. In this case, she wanted to be far away so that she could use a long zoom and she needed a flash to light the family at twilight. A zoom gave her the compression she wanted for the full moon appear closer and larger. PocketWizard Plus IIIs upgraded with the E Release gave her the power to trigger two speedlights from a distance.

PocketWizard Made the Distant Triggering Possible

The speedlights were triggered from a distance of about 2300 feet (700 meters). It is also worth noting that the distance was spread over water and with an elevation rise – both of which are notoriously challenging for any radio triggers. That is, any radio trigger other than PocketWizard!

Behind the Scenes Video with the E Release

Press play to watch this video to see how this photo was taken.

Tips for Long Distance Off-Camera Flash

  • Update your PocketWizard radios with the E Release. Learn more here.
  • Have a way to communicate with your subject(s). In this case, Sarah was so far away that the family could barely see her and they felt like they were posing for no one. They also could not see the moon and needed to know where to stand and when to smile.
  • Train your subject(s) on how to set up and test your flash and radios. Send them with spare batteries just in case.
  • Use technology to help you plan. Sarah used an app called PhotoPills to help her plan when and where the moon would rise.
  • These photos were taken in TxRx Mode – Sarah did not need to use Long Range Mode (LR) to get this distance. When using LR with a flash, you may lose a stop or two of sync speed. Sarah was using a 200-500mm lens on a canoe – she didn’t want to reduce her shutter speed any more than necessary – and she didn’t need to!
  • Be creative – the E Release opens a world of opportunity!
  • Tag us! #whypocketwizard

Explore the Possibilities!

With PocketWizard, we can help you Make it Possible!

Shoot this Look

3 PocketWizard Plus III Upgraded with the E Release:

  • Plus IIIe on the camera
  • 2 Plus IIIes attached to speedlights with a flash sync cord mounted on light stands

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E Release Makes everything that PocketWizard does best even better

Introducing the E Release! The E Release is a firmware upgrade for select PocketWizard radios that improve their reliability, range, and performance. Basically, everything that PocketWizard does best, made even better.

When we needed someone to test our E Release firmware upgrade, we thought immediately of local photographer Michael Heeney. We love his outdoor adventure photography and we wanted to see what he could do to push the limits of our E Release in challenging environments. He did not disappoint.  

Challenging the PocketWizard E Release

by Michael Heeney

Michael Heeney
Michael Heeney

Vermont is my home and it suits my outdoor lifestyle. When I’m not working in my studio, I enjoy rock climbing, ice climbing, biking, canoeing, and basically any activity where I can be outside.

I’ve used PocketWizard radios for my whole career. They are always on my camera. I use them in my studio to trigger my lights and I also use them when I’m shooting outdoors to trigger remote cameras and remote flashes. They are very versatile and they are always in my bag.

When You Only Get One Chance, Use PocketWizard

When I’m shooting outdoor adventure photography, I usually only get one chance to capture the moment. That’s one reason I choose PocketWizard as my trigger. I know that once I set it, I can rely on it. When I’m using remote cameras to capture multiple angles, I need to trust that they will fire because I don’t have time to check on them.

When PocketWizard told me about the E Release, a firmware upgrade for my PocketWizard radios to allow them to trigger from even further distances, even in difficult environments, I told them about a project I wanted to do. We all agreed that it was a perfect opportunity to challenge the upgrade.

The Project

A new rock-climbing area called Lone Rock Point recently opened up here in Burlington and my friend Tim Heaghney was working on an unclimbed route there. Once I heard that, I knew I had to document it.

The spot is gorgeous and gets beautiful light around the golden hour. The golden hour is short, and I knew that the climb was tough so I couldn’t ask Tim to try it again and again. I needed to get it right the first time.

The Set Up – Multiple Cameras for Multiple Angles

  • Main camera with me above Tim showing him climb
  • Remote camera mounted on the rock wall showing the action at a tight angle
  • Remote camera at the base of the rock wall showing Tim from the bottom
  • Remote camera on an island which was at a distance to show a wide angle of the entire scene to really give a sense of place.
Setting up the remote camera on Lone Rock.

It was the camera on the island that I knew was going to be the most challenging. Not only did I have to swim to get it in place, but I had to set it up hours before Tim even showed up. And to top it all off, it was several hundred feet from where I was going to be with my main camera.

If you have ever worked with radio triggers, you probably know that getting them to fire over water or in environments like Lone Rock Point with rocks and other obstacles can be a challenge. (PocketWizard note: water usually dramatically limits radio transmission.) Using the PocketWizard E Release, I was able to capture four perspectives with one click of my shutter. I didn’t miss a shot. 

My Gear is my Lifeline


When I’m climbing, I rely on my equipment to do its job and keep me safe – it’s my lifeline. Same with my camera gear. During a shoot, I can’t be thinking about the gear, I need to be focused on my subject and getting the shot. That’s why I choose PocketWizard. It’s the most reliable trigger I have ever used and now with the E Release, it’s more reliable than ever.

Check out the Video of the Shoot!

About Michael Heeney

Michael earned his B.A. degree in 2002 from the University of Vermont where he studied Studio Art and Art History. From 2004-2005, he attended The New England School of Photography in Boston, where he graduated with honors in both Advertising and Fashion Photography. His client list includes Swarovski Lighting, Comcast, Burton Snowboards, New York Magazine, Gordini USA, United Way, GX Magazine, Anichini, Navali, Edible Green Mountains, Gardener’s Supply Co., and Scarpe di Bianco. When Michael is not working for a client, he enjoys travel, canoeing, rock climbing, archery, going to the fair, feeding stray cats, and adventures, big or small. You can check out his work on his website. https://michaelheeney.com/.

Learn more about the E Release

For more information about our new E Release, a firmware upgrade that delivers significant benefits for photographers including a tremendous triggering distance that is more than double our current range and more than double the number of available channels, check out the E Release Website. The E Release is available now for the PocketWizard Plus III and Plus IV (FCC units only In North and South America).