Tag Archive for 'pocket-wizard'

Interview with PocketWizard


I’ve been working with PocketWizard wireless transcievers for a good portion of my career using them to fire my flashes and cameras all around the scene I’m shooting.  Recently they featured me in an interview on their blog.
Check it out if you get a chance, and thanks to PocketWizard for the support!

Recent Ads – Salomon


Alexis Godbout Salomon Ad

Last season was quite the interesting one.  It was one not full of a lot of shots due to the low snowpack and just terrible weather in general, however the few good shots I did get last season, I was super pumped on.  This was one of them.  This feature was the entire reason I went on this trip to Montana to shoot urban with Poor Boyz Productions and Alexis Godbout, Matt Walker, Charles Gagnier and LJ Strenio in tow.  Everyone else was doing a lot of spin and tap tricks on this feature but Alexis had something else in mind here.  I was running around in circles, changing the lighting setups between everyone else, then Alexis doing his handplant to right 180, completely opposite from the norm.

Like my caption on the ad says, I brought everything I had to this feature.  (1) Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed w/A head, (1) Alien Bee 1600, (1) Alien Bee 800, (1) Alien Bee 400, (5) Nikon SB 80DX Speedlights and a pile of Pocket Wizard Plus 2’s and Multimax’s.  It was a ton of backlighting with a lot of tricky single speedlight placement throughout that took a lot of trial and error to get it dialed.  Fortunately for me, there was a lot of trial and error going on with the skiers to get the trick they wanted, giving me a lot of time to get my lighting dialed as well.

Nikon D3,Tamron 28-75 f2.8 LD XR Di SP lens, Elinchrom Ranger RX AS SpeedAlien Bees 800, 400, Nikon SB80 DX’s, Pocket Wizard Plus 2 and MultiMaxTranscievers

December Freeskier Magazine – Scott USA campaign, ad 4 of 4


Scott USA collage ad - Freeskier Magazine - December 2010

This ad kind of summarizes my season from the start in November 2009 to the finish in July of 2010.  It was a long season for me as I did extend it a little with the shoot at the Sammy Carlson Invitational in July at Windell’s Camp at Timberline, Oregon.

The highlight of this ad for me is the shot of Dane Tudor during the Sammy Carlson Invitational, right side, middle photo.  It was my first experience with the Pocket Wizard FlexTT5’s for Nikon and things worked out well, very well, better than I had expected.  I had just gotten the beta versions of the FlexTT5’s for Nikon and hadn’t had much time to really play with them so I was a bit worried to try them out but I gave them a go.  The weather dealt us a full house that evening with the low clouds streaming in the valley from the west leaving an epic view with the low cloud layer and the sunset light.  To top it off my first day testing the Pocket Wizard FlexTT5’s for Nikon turned out great.  I had manual hypersync to two Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed strobes at 1/1000 sec. with partial coverage (all I wanted to light was the top half of the frame where the skier would be)  at over 600 feet.

I’m really happy with how the Scott ad campaign came out this season and that I got to be a part of it last season.  I’m looking forward to doing it again this season.

Red Bull Rampage


Mike Hopkins jumping the 45 foot canyon gap at the 2010 Red Bull Rampage in Virgin, UtahNikon D3 / Nikon 16mm f2.8 Fisheye / ISO 200 @ 1/1000 sec @ f6.3 / Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed with A-Head / Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 Transcievers for Nikon

I finally had the opportunity to make it to the Red Bull Rampage this summer.  The Red Bull Rampage is the event of all events in mountain biking.   It’s an event I’ve wanted to go to since it’s inception almost 10 years ago and just never had the time or opportunity to make it.  This year I finally did.  I was fortunate enough to snag a media credential to this event and I shot it my way.  Of course, I shot it with strobes.  I’ve been testing some of the new Pocket Wizard FlexTT5’s for Nikon in development and with the lack of skiing in October, I was stoked to be able to have something this awesome to shoot and test the new gear out with.   I was one of the few that was using lighting out there, it’s a very difficult event to be doing that.  The action moves from spot to spot and at times you could see hoards of photographers and cinematographers sprinting from location to location in between runs to setup the next shot.  The event is pure madness.  From the insane action to the endless clouds of orange dust to the thunderstorms to the desert heat to the helicopters and 3d camera rigs it was just pure madness.  I’m so glad I went, I’ll have some more to share soon.

I’ll have more later about the new Pocket Wizard FlexTT5’s for Nikon.  For now though, I’ve been able to get full hypersync at 1/640 of a second with an Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed with A-Head at full power as well as with Alien Bees 400, 800 and 1600’s with half-frame (only the top half of the frame exposed with flash) hypersync up to 1/1000 of a second and about 1/3 hypersync (only the top 1/3 of the frame exposed with flash) hypersync at 1/1250 of a second.  With the Profoto 7b’s and the Pocket Wizard FlexTT5’s for Nikon I was able to get a seemingly endless hypersync, however the output of the flash is limited  due to the shutter speed cutting off the flash due to 7b’s slower flash durations at full power.

I’m really stoked on the potential of what I can do with the new Pocket Wizard FlexTT5’s for Nikon.  What I’ve only previously been able to do with the 6mp Nikon D40 and D70 with high speed sync, I’m now able to do at 12mp with my D3 and if need be, the 24.5mp Nikon D3x.  They will hopefully be released soon!

October Freeskier – Scott USA – Tom Walisch ad campaign, ad 2 of 3


Ad 2 of 3 in a Scott campaign of Tom Wallisch - October 2010 Freeskier Magazine

This was the 2nd of 3 ads for a Scott campaign featuring their top freeskier, Tom Wallisch (check out the first ad here).  I worked with Tom a lot this season specifically for this campaign and I’m pretty stoked on the shots and that it was based on what we both wanted to shoot as opposed to being confined to a creative breif.  It was a go out, get some epic shots and we will work with it in the end.  It allowed us to produce the best shots we could, which is something I’m stoked on.  You can’t really ask for much more but a blank canvas.

This shot in particular was the primary reason I came out to Minnesota for that trip with Level 1 Produtions.  I knew that feature would produce something I’d be stoked on and it was something I could really spend time with the lighting on.  It was a miserably cold night for the whole crew of myself, Kyle Decker (Filmer for Level 1), Tom Wallisch, Ahmet Dadali and Liam Downey and we had some challenges with some equipment and being extremely visable from a major road but everyone got their tricks, their shots and it was one extremely productive day/night.

Shot in Minneapolis, MN with Level 1 Productions for their new film “Eye Trip

Nikon D3, Nikon 70-200 f2.8 ED VR, Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed, Alien Bees 800, 400, Nikon SB80 DX’s, Pocket Wizard Plus 2 and MultiMaxTranscievers

SLC Tallbike Jousting!


The winner rides away with the loser on the ground...and the crowd goes wild!This was the second time I’ve had a chance to shoot tallbike jousting and this time around I was a bit more prepared for what to expect than the first.  It’s one of the funnest events that I’ve had a chance to shoot, it’s action, rediculous (come on, jousting on tallbikes…really?), costumes and there’s no shortage of carnage.  What more could you really ask for?  We started out at Liberty Park and once everyone came together we all moved out to the location.  I actually got a chance to get ahead to the location this time since I actually made it on time and then found out where we were going!  Chalk one up to being prepared this time!  Check out last year’s photos here.

Continue reading ‘SLC Tallbike Jousting!’

Pocket Wizard Multimax – new 7.5 firmware in long range mode


New Pocket Wizard Multimax with USB portA little while ago Pocket Wizard announced the new v7.5 firmware for their new Multimax units that have the USB port for firmware updates.  Included with the new firmware are a few useful features:

  • Long and short range mode
  • Noise sniffer
  • Signal strength meter
  • Radio relay (Repeater mode)

Since I just got the new Multimax’s at the tail end of my spring terrain park shoot season I was only able to test out a few of the new features.  The signal strength meter is a really good tool for sure to have going, especially in a long range situation which is usually the situations that I’m shooting on the mountain.  A lot of time’s I’m shooting with my 70-200mm lens and am pretty far away from my strobes so being able to see what the signal strength is from my Multimax is a good tool to try and pre-determine if I’m wandering out of the radio signal’s range.

The other upgrade I was able to test out was the long range mode.  I was shooting photos of freeskiers Simon Dumont, Matt Walker and LJ Strenio sliding an urban rail with Poor Boyz Productions a few weeks ago and started wandering out a bit further from the scene and my lights .  As I found my shot I realized I could have a few problems with radio interference with the shot I had setup.  My first problem was being surrounded by some steel chainlink fence, my second was not having line of sight to my strobes, the third was laying up against the steel chainlink fence.  Too add to this I was laying on the ground so I could get the grass in the foreground and to finish things off I was in an urban environment with power lines directly above me.

Simon Dumont sliding a loading dock rail in Bend, Oregon - PBP

I was about 300 feet away, a bit on the middle end of the range of the Multimax’s but with all these factors and radio interference I couldn’t get consistent signal and my strobes were firing a little erratically.  Since this was a perfect time to try out the new long distance mode I began sprinting back and fourth between my shooting location and making sure I had everything dialed with the Multimax’s on the three strobes I had setup on the scene.  The long range mode worked and in a situation I may not have been able to take the shot I wanted previously, I was able to get the shot I wanted with lighting.

I spoke with some of the people at Pocket Wizard and the reason long range mode works is they slowed down the data rates and increased the error correction.  This is supposed to have an impact on the maximum usable shutter speed, however I was able to sync this shot at 1/1000 of a second with my Nikon D40 body.  With that being said, I’ll have to do a bit more testing to see at what shutter speed the reliability begins to degrade in long range mode.

Check back later for a more complete review.

Pre-season outtakes


Joss Christensen and Alex Schlopy hiking up to the snowmaking pile in Deer Valley to build the backy jump

Posting outtakes is something here I usually don’t get a chance to do.  This time around though the shoot was for espn.com and with the instant turnaround time with web, I get to post these while they are still fresh!  This few days of shooting was mainly about one thing.  Fun.  It most certainly was.  These photos were shot at Alta, Deer Valley and Brighton Resorts in Utah after a few early season storms in October and early November.  My lighting was pretty simple in these, some just ambient, but those that weren’t, usually just a few Nikon SB80 DX’s, an Alien Bees 800 and a Elinchrom Ranger RX AS Speed with the ol A-Head.  Of course, add in a pile of Pocket Wizard Flex TT5’s.

Check out the full gallery here

Continue reading ‘Pre-season outtakes’

Skiing Magazine – Germany – December 2009 Cover


Skiing - Next Level Magazine Cover - December 2009 - Skier: Julan Carr - Location: Brighton Resort, Utah

This photo was one hell of a production to pull off.  Last April in the midst of the biggest storm cycle the Wasatch Mountains has EVER seen on record Julian Carr brought up the idea of shooting some cliffs at Brighton at night.  We were fortunate enough to get some help from Brighton Resort to get a last chair up so we could wait for the sun to go down in a nice and toasty lift shack.  I hadn’t shot night cliffs before.  I was super stoked to try it out but it was a bit of trial and error but fortunately I had Austin Holt out to assist me on the shoot.  There was no way I could have pulled this shot off without an assistant.  All three of us went out each with a pretty loaded backpack of photo gear and were out there for four and a half hours with help, we probably would have been out till 2AM without help and who knows how that would have gone either!

This is one of the more unique shots I’ve taken, and although I rolled with my style of using gels, I got to do it a bit differently this year and I hope everyone digs it as much as I do.

The gear I used to put this together was quite the laundry list.

Now I don’t normally talk about something like a headlamp used for a shoot, however in this situation with the night shots, they are pretty important.  The Black Diamond Icon is a really powerful headlamp that is very necessary out in this kind of situation.  A normal LED one just won’t do.  It’s really nuts how much light the Icon puts out.

How to fix your broken Pocket Wizard Shoe


Broken pocket wizard hotshoe footSo chances are at some point your Pocket Wizard hotshoe foot broke off and ended up looking like this. Now it’s an easy enough of a fix but people have asked me what to do so I thought I’d post this here.

So, it’s an easy fix and if you’ve used these things a lot, you’ll want to have a bunch of extra hotshoe feet sitting around just in case they break very easily.
CAS-PW-Shoe LPF037
P/N# 360797

pw_repair_002.jpgRemove the 5 screws, make sure you keep track of which screw goes where, there are different thread pitches and lengths.

Remove the batteries and push the circut board out of the plastic case through the battery compartment. Remove the batteries and push the circut board out of the plastic case through the battery compartment. Pull the broken hotshoe foot out of the hotshoe contact.

All the pieces of the puzzle.  Pinch the outer prongs of the hotshoe contact together and slip the new hotshoe on over the hotshoe contact. All the pieces of the puzzle. Pinch the outer prongs of the hotshoe contact together and slip the new hotshoe on over the hotshoe contact.

Slide the circuit board back into the housing. Make sure you put all the buttons back on and screw it all back together. That was easy huh?

To order parts in the USA, contact Pocket Wizard (MAC Group) directly at:

PocketWizard USA
8 Westchester Plaza
Elmsford, NY 10523

Outside of the USA go here and select your country:

The part you need is:

CAS-PW-Shoe LPF037
P/N# 360797

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