There are going to be some new features on the Vanished Twin Blogs! We have a ton of product reviews coming up this summer, along with a few new features like: Tips and Tricks, Shooting Set Ups, guest bloggers, and a question and answer section.
When I set up my shots I tend to not think about what I want lit, but where I want my shadows. I build my images by punching holes in darkness, or obliterating it with light. For me it always comes down to darkness and shadows.
I am very organic in my approach to shooting. The client and I will have our pre-shoot meeting and discuss expectations we both have for the session, and what needs to be done to accomplish our goals. I make sure that we also take some time before talking business to get acquainted, especially if the pre-shoot is our first face to face meeting. Pretty straight forward stuff there, but it is the little things that can make a huge difference on the day of the shoot.
On the day of the shoot I do my best to keep the atmosphere as lite and relaxed as possible. When I am photographing children I will always let them check out my camera before I start shooting, and let them touch some of the buttons. Usually once they see a picture of themselves on the back of the camera they get excited and want to take more photos.
Normally when I photograph children I use a small soft box and Nikon’s CLS so I can let the shadows take over the background. I hand hold the soft box in my left hand and the camera in my right armed with a 50mm prime lens wide open. With the soft box close in, the aperture at f/1.8, and the shutter speed around 1/8000, you can let the background be swallowed by shadows and have a very shallow depth of field on top of that. I will use this approach often when I need to work around a cluttered background.
Using high speed sync to push the shadows off the face is one of my favorite lighting techniques. My two go to modifiers to help shape my shadows are the Westcott 60” convertible umbrella and the 28” Apollo soft box. Both of which are very versatile light modifiers with High speed sync.
The wait is over for Nikon flash users! The Cactus V5 on sale are now equipped with the new hot shoe plates. The previously mentioned Nikon SpeedLite models are now compatible with the Cactus V5: SB-28, SB-80DX, SB-600 and SB-700.
For current V5 users, we will ship you the new hot shoe next week. An email will also be sent to you confirming the number of hot shoe(s) required. The replacement of the new hot shoe is simple. If in doubt about the installation please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you again to your understanding and patience in this matter. If you have any questions or concerns, be sure to contact our CS at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The iShoot Sniper is a transceiver unit available from Photoloving.com. The iShoot Sniper features 16 selectable channels, three shooting groups, and remote shutter release capabilities. This transceiver operates on 2.4Ghz, takes two AA batteries, and has one hell of a range.
The company says that it will trigger up to 500 meters distance with a 90% hit rate in open field. I went out with a set of the Snipers and my Nikon sb900 and did some range testing. I was able to get a consistent firing from about 300 meters, and after that it got a bit spotty. Having said that, I was not out in an open field. I was along a stretch of road that was surrounded by office buildings and power lines. I have no doubt that the Sniper can make it to 500 meters on an open field with little to no radio interference. I was happy with the 300 meters and did not try to find a 500 meter open field. The range on the iShoot Sniper is more than most people will ever need from a trigger.
The transceivers were very well packaged, they did not come with any cords, however, but they did come with a stand for the transceiver that looks like the one that comes with a Nikon sb900. If you are just planning on using these units with speed lights then the fact that they do not come with any cords is not a big deal at all. If you are planning on using them with mono lights then make sure you get what ever cables you will need to hook them.
On the top of the iShoot Sniper there is a hot shoe, test button, and the sixteen channel selector dial. On the left of the transceiver we have the three selector switches for choosing between flash or camera triggering, receiver or transmitter mode selection, and your group options. The right side of the unit is where you will find the battery door. The Snipers use two AA batteries, which I think is a great touch.
At the back of the unit you will see your control sockets and led lights. The two control sockets are located behind a rubber door and they are a 2.5mm shutter control socket and a PC sync socket. Above the control sockets are two led lights labeled led2 and led1. These lights will be able to tell you all sorts of information from how much juice is left in the battery, to signal strength. I carry with me the paperwork that came with the units to reference, but it is pretty straight forward with red/bad, green/good.
The Snipers have a maximum speed sync of 1/500 of a second depending on your cameras max speed.
The tranceivers can act as wireless remote shutter control. It can also activate the auto focus, and supports four second delay, bulb mode, and continuous shooting, along with the ability to wake up sleeping flash.
These transceivers pack some great features, but the two that stick out the most are their durability, and reliability. Having been shooting with the iShoot Snipers for about a month now, I have yet to encounter any issues with them. I have taken them out into the wet Portland, Oregon winter, and into signal rich offices, and still I have yet to have a misfire. Being able to be used out in wet conditions is a big plus for anyone that lives in rainy areas. I have run these units through as many obstacles as I could think of to get them to miss fire. I have to say that they stood up to everything I could throw at them as they have a great dust proof and waterproof design.
The iShoot Snipers are a solid feeling transceiver. In your hands these units feel like little tanks with out being too heavy on the camera. The shape and layout of these units are very comfortable when you are using them as a remote shutter trigger.
The only improvement that I would like to see on the Snipers is TTL pass through on the hot shoe. I am a Nikon shooter, and there have been a few time that I have wanted to mount the Nikon SU800 on top of the Sniper to have control of the power levels of one group of flashes, and have another group just fire, as they are set out of line of sight.
I recommend the iShoot Snipers to anyone who is looking for a brilliant weather sealed, solidly built, reliable transceiver unit. Head on over to photoloving.com and order yourself a pair or two.
Just like the title says, I had a great weekend filled with music, mayhem, and murder. It started out with me shooing the In Repose concert down at the Tiger bar in northwest Portland on Saturday night. Great show! If you missed them you can catch them playing at the Ash St. Saloon on April 2nd. Head on down and see a great live show.
Release of their new cd and the premiere of the video “City of the Shrieking Dead” Video Premieres @ 9pm accompanied by a “making of”montage and @ 9:30 is the debut performance of Sweet Teen Killing Machine
Today I am going to write about one of my favorite light modifiers: the Westcott 60” convertible umbrella. The versatility from this umbrella is fantastic, and if I can only use one modifier out on location it is this one. I find it very capable of handling medium sized groups as a bounce umbrella or as a shoot through with no problems.
This umbrella gives a nice, soft, broad bounced light with the black backing on. It does not have as much contrast as a silver bounce umbrella, but you can move it back from your subject to increase the contrast a bit if needed.
When used as a shoot through the Westcott 60” casts a soft, even, light with incredible spread, and also has a very manageable light fall off.
If you need a tighter light source from this umbrella with the black backing on you can close up the umbrella around your light to create a far more focused source that is easy to control.
If our local camera shop carries the Westcott 60” convertible umbrella, I would definitely recommend that you pick one up and give it a try. You won’t be sorry.
Product Updates – December 2010
MiniTT1 & FlexTT5 for Nikon:
Canada: Dealer shipments will begin on 12/21/10.
USA: Product should begin to arrive in dealers the middle of January, 2011.
All other countries currently shipping.
AC3 ZoneController for Nikon: Product should be arriving in dealers in February 2011.
AC9 AlienBees Adapter for Nikon: Product should be arriving in dealers in March 2011.
You can see it on their site here.
If you shoot Nikon you are going to want to check out this review by my friend from Copenhagen, Henrik Delfer. On his site he has posted a very comprehensive review of the Pocketwizard MiniTT1 and the FlexTT5 for Nikon.
Check out the article here.
I had a promo shoot with the band In Repose last night. As always it was a great time working with these guys. Here is my favorite shot from the session:
The set up was pretty straight forward. I found a long tunnel and placed the guys toward the opening. I placed on Nikon sb900 behind them to give them some rim light and light up the back of the tunnel. I placed another Nikon sb900 in front and just a bit to the left of camera for the key light.