John B. Holbrook’s Studio Set-up

John B. Holbrook, II has been building up his lighting equipment over the past year. He recently wrote two posts on his blog, Thru My Lens, about his use of the PocketWizard FlexTT5 and the PocketWizard MiniTT1.

His site features iPhone articles and lots of photography. Although we were unable to find an email address for him on his site, we like what he’s doing, and wish him all the best as he works out with his newly-equipped home-based photography studio. Here’s a screenshot below excerpted from his post entitled “Playing With Lighting & Remote Triggers In My Watch Photo Studio.”

 

©John B. Holbrook, II; http://www.thrumylens.org

 

John B. Holbrook, II photography blog

DPB MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 Review

Mark Stagi recently published a review of the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and the FlexTT5 on his Digital Photo Buzz site. He gives a solid overview of what both products do. It’s a great place to pick up what the fundamentals of this triggering technology is all about.

Stagi covers HyperSync technology and gives reasons why he upgraded from the PocketWizard Plus II units he’s relied on for the past two years. Be sure to check out the review and the rest of his site.

Joe McNally’s on the D-low!

We know you’ve been wanting to see more. We know you’ve been wanting to know how they work.

Joe McNally has a set.

Joe McNally did a test.

Please watch this blog, our site, and Joe’s blog for further developments.

AC3 ZoneController Photoshoot – Behind the Scenes at Switchback Brewing Company

Every now and then we manage to sneak out of the office to get behind the lens of the camera.  Our need for an image to launch the new AC3 ZoneController for Canon seemed like the perfect opportunity. We made a few phone calls and put a plan in motion to visit a local  craft brewery. Having always been told to pursue our passions, the opportunity to combine beer and photography sounded almost too good to be true.

Vermont is known for its legendary craft brewery culture, having one of the highest brewery to population ratios in the country.  Switchback Brewing Co. based in Burlington, VT was founded in 2002 when they started brewing their wildly-popular, unfiltered Switchback Ale.  You’d be hard pressed to find a bar in the greater Burlington area that doesn’t have this tasty ale on tap.  Since then, they’ve started brewing a Roasted Red, a Porter and most recently a Slow-Fermented Brown Ale.  The catch with Switchback is they only sell in kegs, no bottles.  So you either enjoy it at your favorite watering-hole or you take a keg home and enjoy it with some of your closest friends.   After getting a tour with the brewmaster and listening to his detailed explanation of what makes his beers different (he’s a former microbiologist), we discovered what makes their brews so good.  But we have to keep that a secret!

The beer is the second reason why we went to the brewery; the classic German copper kettles and lauter tun used in the brewing process was the first.  Switchback has two, 46-year-old, handcrafted copper kettles complete with a copper control panel all purchased from a brewery in Beerfelden, Germany. They were about to be sent to the scrap yard when they were discovered.  Reportedly, it cost more to ship the kettles to Vermont than they were to purchase.


We contacted the owner/brewmaster a few weeks ago and asked if we could come in and take some pictures of the kettles when they weren’t in use.  We wanted to get some shots while the kettles were empty so we could put flashes in them (safety first!).  As luck would have it, that would happen the next day.  We packed up some gear and headed off to the brewery for a few hours.

The image we wanted was pretty straightforward, highlight the kettles with lights on the inside and make sure the authentic control panel was in the picture.  Getting the shot we wanted quickly was important as the temps on the upper deck hovered around a cool 95˚ F (35˚C).  Normally they can easily hit 110˚ F (43˚C) when the kettles are in full operation!

The ambient lights were large warehouse fixtures, which made balancing them with our flashes a bit of a challenge, especially due to the reflective nature of the giant, polished copper and steel kettles.  We started off working to control the ambient lights with two medium soft boxes powered by an Elinchrom Ranger pack and controlled with a PowerST4 Receiver. Our next step was to light the inside of the kettles with a few Speedlites and FlexTT5s, which ended up being a bit of a challenge. One of the kettles was almost twice as deep as any of us were tall.  Needless to say, we were asking more of our light stands than they could offer!  One strategically placed Justin Clamp later and we were in business.

Shooting with a 5D Mark II and 17-40mm lens, we borrowed a ladder to get the perspective we wanted, which was further exaggerated by the wide angle lens.  After adding a few kicker lights around the back of the kettles we added some gels to the mix to give the image a little more punch.  After a few AC3 power tweaks, we were happy with the image and we’re off to do some taste testing.  The final image as seen below and on the homepage of PocketWizard.com was taken with a Canon 5D Mark II; f/8; 1/15 sec.; ISO 800.

Author, Dave Schmidt, VP of Sales and Marketing at PocketWizard, is also an avid photographer.  He along with Ian and Zack, our tech support guys and avid photographers themselves, spent a few hours at the brewery taking the image which is featured on the homepage of PocketWizard.com.

The Caytons and Their PocketWizards

Husband and wife photography team Sean and Cathy Cayton of Colorado Springs, Colorado, have a new blog post about the PocketWizard MiniTT1 and the FlexTT5.

Stating he usually doesn’t do product reviews, Sean calls the system “my new best friend, seriously.” Looks like this wedding photography team is just beginning to enjoy their entry into the world of PocketWizard. Congrats, and welcome, Catyons!

©Sean and Cathy Cayton, caytonphotojournal.blogspot.com

Mark Wallace: On Location with PocketWizard

We’re excited to be working with Mark Wallace from SnapFactory. Our collaboration will bring some great educational tutorials from a great educator, who also is a working pro photographer. Details and the finished tutorials are forthcoming. But…until the finished tutorials are ready, here is a sneak-peek of what’s coming:

Quoth the Mark:

I’ve been shooting a bunch of tutorial videos for PocketWizard over the last three weeks. while we were on location I wanted to give a very quick overview of one of the setups. Here’s a quick one minute video that shows how easy it is to use the new Mini and Flex.

You can see exactly what the flashes are doing by looking at the shot that was taken with Ab, our cameraman, in the shot. The background was much brighter than the foreground and the flashes really make the shot.

©Mark Wallace

©Mark Wallace

Visit Mark’s blog to read about this and more.

Alycia Alvarez Video: What kind of photographer makes wild noises?

Actually, there are two kinds. One photographs animals. One photographs babies. Riverview, FL-based Alycia Alvarez is in the latter category. And, to say the least, she is really hitting her stride. As she points out in her blog she photographs “rattles to rings” i.e. babies to seniors to weddings. At the recent WPPI, Alycia used the new MiniTT1 and some Profoto ComPact R units to capture the warmth, smiles and cuteness of babies. See how she does it and ask yourself, “can you make noises like that?”

Head over to PocketWizard.com to see her gearbox, some bird’s-eye views of the lighting and quotes from Alycia.