Tag Archives: PhotoPlus Expo

3 Tips to make your Photos Stand Out

Let’s face it – in a world where everyone has a camera in their pocket, it isn’t easy to get your photos to stand out. Especially when you are photographing a popular landmark! 

We Took the Creative Challenge

Two of us from the PocketWizard team wanted to take a photo of the Vessel, a popular new structure in the Hudson Yards area of New York City. We really wanted to make it pop and do something that no one else had done. Here are some results and our 3 tips that might help you make a photo that truly stands out.

Tip #1: Take Advantage of Available Light and Adapt When Light Changes

We worked all day at Photo Plus Expo and managed to make our way to the Vessel around sunset. This was great timing – it isn’t called the “Golden Hour” for nothing! We were hoping to arrive in time to take advantage of that great natural light, however, as luck would have it, we couldn’t get on the structure until after sunset. We had to be flexible and turn our attention to the available light coming from the cityscape.

Tip #2: Augment Natural Light with Flash to Call Attention to Your Subject

Sometimes it helps to visualize your image before you take it. Knowing that the eye will normally gravitate to the brightest spot of your photo can help you compose the best image. We wanted to highlight the geometric angles of the Vessel, but the available light wasn’t enough. One of us hand-held a flash near the top floor of the Vessel and the other triggered that flash remotely from the ground -using PocketWizards of course! We were able to highlight a specific area of the Vessel and bathe it in bright light.

Set the exposure in your camera for the ambient light and then try adding a pop of flash. Adjust your settings as necessary.

See the two pictures below, the first uses just available light and the second adds a pop of flash to the upper left corner. Your eye is naturally drawn to that area, and the light adds dimension and interest.

Tip #3: Change Your Perspective

Walk around your subject and explore different angles and distances. Try a shot at ground level, vertical versus horizontal, wide versus cropped – be creative! The more you can move around, the more interesting perspectives you will find.

We love the look you can get when you get far from your subject and then use a telephoto lens. It compresses the image making the background appear much closer than it really is. 

The E Release Can Help Your Images Stand Out

We created these images using PocketWizard Plus III radios that were upgraded with the E Release, our new firmware that dramatically improves the triggering distance of your PocketWizard radios. This enabled us to try many different perspectives and ultimately get the look we were going for by allowing us to create a lot of distance between the camera and our flash – almost a quarter of a mile! We think the end result is an image that really pops and stands out from the rest.

Try the E Release Today and Expand the Possibilities of Your Creativity

Learn more here!

Elevating your Photos with PocketWizard

Our PocketWizard team connected with students from Mohawk Valley Community College (MVCC) at the PhotoPlus Expo (PPE) last fall.    

Mohawk Valley Community College

MVCC Photography Professor Jerome LaLonde brought his students to New York City to attend PPE to learn a little about the photography industry. The group met with photographer Lenny Christopher, a MVCC alum and former student of Professor LaLonde. Lenny is also a member of PocketWizard’s support team.

Working with the students, Lenny led a workshop teaching them on how to use off-camera flash and the benefits of using PocketWizard to take advantage of HyperSync.  

Lenny Christopher, PocketWizard with Professor Jerome LaLonde, MVCC

High Line Photowalk

One of the highlights of the workshop was when Lenny took the students on a photo walk on the High Line – an elevated park above NYC and demonstrated the benefits of how to use flash creatively to elevate the student’s images. This unique vantage point helped give a different perspective on the busy city and allowed time for the students to play with the PocketWizard radios and lights. It was fun to see the students get excited by flash, and the HyperSync capabilities opened their eyes to new creative possibilities.  HyperSync is a feature patented by PocketWizard and enables the ability to use a flash at a high shutter speed. When used with portraiture, photographers can use a fast shutter speed to control the ambient light and take advantage of using a wide open aperture to achieve a soft background even on a bright sunny day.   

Portraits on the High Line: Upper left and Right by Tammy Matthews and lower left by David Yahnke.

The PocketWizard Off-Camera Flash Challenge

After the walk, Lenny challenged the students to use a PocketWizard to elevate their portraits for a chance to win a set of PocketWizard radios. We asked the students to submit their top photos at the end of the semester for our team to review. The students went back to campus in Utica, NY and had the rest of the semester to submit.  

We saw some amazing images and judging was tough.  In the end we choose our top 3 which are posted below.

The Top Three

The winning image: Paddy by Colleen Szatko-Blush
Instagram: @photoblushny

The winning image is a black and white portrait taken by Collen Szatko, using off camera flash and shot on 120 film!  The judges loved how sharp the image was and they loved the feel and story it told.  The off-camera flash really helped tell the story and helped to accentuate the features of her model.  

Misty Chalk by Nic Phelps
Instagram: @bleedinirisphotog
High Key Toned by David Yahnke
Instagram: @davyank95

Want to learn more about how you can use HyperSync to elevate your photos? Follow this link.  

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!

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!!

 

 

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!”