A friend who is just getting into photography asked me what was the one piece of gear (beyond camera/lens) that I couldn’t live with out…
It didn’t take but a second for me to respond with “PocketWizards“…and “oh I should blog about this conversation”. Often viewed only as a means to trigger your light kit/flash, I wanted my first set of PocketWizards to try my hand at some remote camera photography. Little did I know at the time of purchase that I’d rely on them for most of my photography work.
As with any facet of photography it really helps to have a subject that you are interested in shooting. Sounds like a no brainier, but I’m surprised at how many people I come across that buy a camera and are out things to shoot after a very short period of time. With action sports there is always something going on and I’ve always had plenty to shoot. But there are certain places you can not or should not go..or certain angles you can’t obtain with a person behind a camera. And this is where my desire for the PocketWizards came in to play. Remote trigger…
I’ve pasted a few examples below of some remote shots that I’ve attempted.
Beyond the remote triggering the camera, I’ve used the PocketWizards to trigger my Boling light kit and my Canon 580ex flash…often at the same time. With my original PocketWizards I was limited to shooting at 1/250th of a second and while that didn’t stop the show, it was often an annoying limitation. UNTIL..PocketWizard came out with technology that allowed me to shoot at any speed. I’ve blogged in the past about someone killing the 1/250th limitation and how great it is…. How fast can I sync? Believe it or not I haven’t found that out….I’ve shot as high as 1/3200th with my light kit. Make sure you read that extra zero on there..its not 1/320th..its 3200. Love that worrying about shutter speed is no longer a problem.
Some examples below…
Now if you got this far and are wondering what my second favorite piece of gear is….wonder no more and read about my love for my Tokina lens here.Read More/Leave Comment
Seems everything we do is online these days which makes it all the more exciting to see your work in print…I’ve got two images in the 2014 Bellwether Spring-Summer catalog.
Click image for a larger view..
Back in February, I blogged about finding my images on a few web pages and even t-shirts. That post is here…
How I found this new one is pretty crazy. Since I don’t speak/read Portuguese my odds of finding this were pretty slim. But I happen to be browsing an online magazine via Flipboard and while the headline didn’t mean anything to me, the image sure did. This is one of the first images that I ever had published…so it’s sort of near and dear to me still.
I guess people still enjoy it Wish they could have given given people the option to click the image for a larger view. Rude!
Anyway I’m off to call my Portuguese attorney.
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Much like how I met Flickr, a friend introduced us. You probably don’t remember it as our initial meeting was a quick one. I was told that you were someone I would get along with so I figured that I had nothing to lose. I followed my friends suggestion and installed you. It may have been a timing thing as I as new to the iPad and you got installed along with a number of other new apps…I clicked your red icon and …well and I didn’t know what to do with you. I’m still someone who loves to sit down with a real magazine and flip through the pages, enjoying the photography first then reading the articles later..so you were going against what I enjoyed from the start. I thought you were just an online magazine type of thing. Not knowing what to do next I un installed you. I was sure you already had enough admirers and were not hurt by my quick rejection.
Not only were you not hurt by my rejection, you thrived! I found out that others were totally into you..so much so that I kept seeing your red icon everywhere. Did I over look something at first? Did you get an “update” that I missed? Maybe I just didn’t give you enough time. Either way, others couldn’t stop talking about you. It seemed people who were into the same things I was…they were also in to you.
Not that you were missing me…But I thought for me the right thing to do was give you another try. I did…opened you up and soon found out that I could use you to view my Flickr feed, 500px, Twitter feed and RSS items. Wow everything I wanted to look at in one spot. But you made it so much more…somehow you made Twitter pretty with full images and the text to go along with it. You made looking at Flickr and 500 px images amazing and I could sit back and flip through all of my contacts images…if I found an image that I wanted to see larger a simple tap took me there. I began to get you…more than that I began to need you. Viewing content any other way seemed…well it seemed horrible. I was hooked.
At first all I did was take from our relationship, but now I’m trying to give back. I’ve created content for you and hopefully for others to enjoy. I tell everyone who will listen about you…probably to a point where they install you just to shut me up. But then it comes…their email telling me how much they love you too.
It might take a while for people to get you and that’s probably a good thing. I’ll be the first to say it took me a while too, but now I’m all in. Oh and you look good on my phone too!
I often get photographers emailing me and asking about my light kit. I’m guessing they are in the same boat I was prior to owning it…Wanting to shoot with a kit but not wanting to take out a personal loan to get it….yet afraid that it will be a pile because of it’s price point. The last email I received was from a shooter who wanted to know about the flash duration and watt seconds..and I didn’t have an answer. Not only did I not have an answer..I had NO idea why it mattered…I even started to question if it was a question I should be able to answer. Which led me to the question at the start of this post.
So while I may not be able to engage a deep convo with you on the tech specs of some of my gear, I’m confident I can show you how to use it.
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I’m guessing every photographer has a group of his or her favorite shots…I’ve got mine, not in a list on paper, but in my head I know which are my favs. I recently had someone who shoots with the Canon Digital Rebel tell me that he cant wait to upgrade to something “better” This got me thinking about my days with Canon’s first Digital Rebel. My kit was simple a camera body and a Tamron 18-200 all purpose lens. My method? Program mode..another word for full auto but you could change the settings should you want to…This all has me wondering if shooting with an entry level camera on full auto takes anything away from one of my favorite shots? Did I do less as a photographer? Is there less quality?
The shot above was from my trip to Ethiopia in 2005… and no the man wasn’t posing for me. He was simply watching a group of Americans and trying to figure us out. He didn’t know I grabbed this shot of him…and yeah it’s way up on my list of favorite shots. And yeah I shot it with that entry level camera and lens in full auto.Read More/Leave Comment
Nice interview with @GarthMilan …
I don’t convert a lot of images to black and white. No reason behind it…maybe I’ll do some more down the road. I thought this one worked out in it’s B/W versionRead More/Leave Comment
The image below is pretty high up on my personal favorite list. Yeah I keep a list..it’s in my head but it’s there. If you missed out on the post containing all of the details on the shot, you can check it out here.
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I’m guessing the challenge with anyone who does something creative is that there are expectations that you are always creating. Whether you are a writer, painter, musician, tagger or photographer…people assume you are in some stage of the creative process. So where does that leave us when we aren’t? Sometimes when I get asked there is a bit of a guilty feeling that I should be creating..or that I at least have something in the planning stages that I will execute over the next few days. The reality with me is that days and even weeks go by where I’m not creating anything. Some of that pressure to create can also come from social media..did I blog this week..should I be more active on Twitter? If you read info from the “experts” the answer is YES.
I don’t think its always a matter of “writers block”…there are creative ideas floating in my head…it may just be a temporary shift in the desire to execute them.
I think Im going to continue to ignore the experts for a bit and not create anything. Which of course you reply “you just blogged..doesnt that count?” I guess it does.
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