Mixing three different lightning systems together. Profoto Air, Pocket Wizard and Canon optical sync.

15 05 2013

20130515-105650.jpg

Hey everybody!

Today I thought I might share a great thing I finally made work yesterday. I’ve tried this a few times before and either it didn’t work of it was unreliable. However, I thought of something different yesterday and it worked just fine. It is also very reliable. I was able to sync a flash triggered by Profoto Air system, another one triggered by Pocket Wizard and finally, I was also able to triggered speedlites with Canon proprietary optical line of sight triggering. All this in sync!!

First, I tried to put the Pocket Wizard TT1 in the hot shoe of the camera and the master flash, a 600EX-RT, in the hot shoe of the Pocket Wizard TT1. That’s the scenario in which I had unreliable results. I then had an idea to put the Pocket Wizard TT1 in a separate hot shoe triggered via a PC cord plugged in the PC Sync port of the 5D Mark III, and then I put the 600EX-RT in the hot shoe of the camera where it belongs. Magic!!! everything fired in sync. I even have TTL with the speedlites!

This setup let me with another option. The hot shoe of the Pocket Wizard TT1 was still unused! That’s why I slide the Profoto Air Remote in it. Magic again!!! Three very different systems, all working together even if they weren’t design to do so!

I’ll try to shoot something worth showing and I’ll come back with some exemples.

20130515-105717.jpg

20130515-105737.jpg

Advertisements




Powering a Canon 5D Mark III with a Vagabond mini!!

3 10 2012

Over the last year, I’ve worked on a few projects as a DP for my friend Chris. Over that year I have acquired a lot of knowledge in video production, which I had never done before.

One thing that I realized is that power comsuption is very high in video mode for all HDSLR ( obviously). That means that you have to change batteries about three times on a normal shoot day. That also means that you have one more thing to worry about on a already over busy day. There are a few solutions out there to take care of that problem, but they often involve a lot of money:

You can buy a battery grip for your camera.
There are very nice but very pricey solutions from Anton Bauer.
Etc
Or…

You can buy an ACK E6 adapter from Canon and a Vagabond mini from Paul C buff and you have a very nice and acfordable battery solution for your HDSLR (around 350$ CAD).
It can be a little bulky, but you now have the opportunity to plug another device in the mini (let’s say a monitor) since you have two sockets.

With only the 5D plugged in, I’ve never depleted the battery more than a 1/3 of it’s power for a total of 4.5 hours of footage (on and off). Pretty impressive!!

And if you’re a photographer, it will double as an awesome battery solution for your strobes, or a great source of power for timelapse photography.

20121203-072151.jpg





Mixing Pocket Wizard and Profoto Air sync

21 02 2012

So, here’s the question I think a lot of people are asking. Could it be possible to mix strobes fired by Pocket Wizard devices along with others fired by Profoto proprietary Air Sync radio system in a studio setup? I was VERY glad to find out last week that yes, it is totally possible. However, if this kind of setup appeals to you, read on to be sure you fully understand how to succesfully mix both system.
First of all, it is very important to understand that a Pocket Wizard radio cannot trigger a Air Sync radio and vice versa, simply because they don’t transmit on the same frequency. So let’s say you have a Pocket Wizard Plus II on your camera and you want to trigger a Profoto acute b2 equiped With Air Sync, it’s not going to work.
The way to make everything work together is to have both systems in parallel at the same time. Let me explain.
To do this, you will need at least a pocket wizard transmitter and one receiver and one Profoto tranciever (Air Sync or Air Remote) and one receiver.
The simplest setup would be to slide the Profoto tranciever into the hot shoe of a Mini TT1 or Flex TT5 and then slide that combo into the hot shoe of your camera.

That way, the pocket wizard will relay the signal to the Profoto tranciever just like it does when there’s a speedlite instead of the Profoto. You can now fire your two systems at the same time without delay. Pretty cool don’t you think? It eliminates the need to attached another PW to your already radio compatible Profoto.

You can see my images here:





Another quick behind the scenes of a simple studio product shot

15 01 2012

Hey all,

Here’s another really quick post about the setup I used to make a few editorial product shots for iStockphoto. At the beginning, this was just a lightning test, so the shots are not that creatives, but I tried to add a little something for the last one. First, Here’s the studio setup.

I used 4 strobes. the key light is a Profoto Acuteb2 AirS 600 with a umbrella. The kicker is a AlienBees B800 with a small square Lastolite Easy box. The fill is a Einstein E640 in a 64 inch silver PLM with front diffuser fabric, overhead. Finally, the background is illuminated with a Canon Speedlight 430EXII with a blue gel. I used a Canon EOS 7D with a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 IS. The flashes were triggered with Pocket Wizards Mini TT1, Flex TT5, Zone controller AC3, Power MC2 or simply by optical slave for the AB800.

And here’s the shots:

For the last one, I decided to try the shortest flash duration of the Profoto Acuteb2 AirS 600 which is supposed to be around 1/6800 at t 0.5. I replaced the AB800 by the Einstein as the kicker and set the Profoto to -4 and Max (fastest flash duration setting). I removed the overhead fill. I’m pretty satisfied with the results. At 100%, the flash tail is still visible, but it is very usable if the subject isn’t moving too fast. For this shot, I used old gliding wax scrapes to «simulate» snow.

So here it is, your comments and questions are always welcome.

www.pocketwizard.com

www.profoto.com

www.paulcbuff.com





Behind the scenes of a simple cross-country ski studio shot.

10 12 2011

Hey,

I’ve been away from the blog for a loooooong time, but decided today to post a short behind the scene article on a simple studio shot that I made for microstock photography.

Since there are not a lot of photos out there about cross-country ski and even less about wax preparation, I decided to do some tests in studio and it turned out pretty well.

It is a really simple setup with 3 strobes. First, here’s the final image.

And here’s the studio setup:

The main light is a Paul C. Buff Einstein E640 in a PLM umbrella with a front diffuser (I Love this umbrella, especially for portrait). Second light is a backlight. Alien Bees AB800 with a 10 degree grid. I had to put a ND 0.3 gel in front because I wanted a pretty small depth of field.

Finally, the background light was a Canon Speedlight 430EX II zoomed at 24mm with a blue gel to give the nice cold color. A small white foamcore was used to bounce some light in the front.

All flashes ecxept the AB800 were triggered with Pocket Wizard radios. On the camera, I had a Mini TT1 + AC3. The Einstein had his own MC2 and the Canon was on a Flex TT5. The AB800 was triggered with its own slave.

The camera was a Canon 7D with a Canon 50mm F/1.4 attached.

Settings:

ISO 100
1/125 sec
F/3.2

Thanks and see you soon with a few more behind the scenes.

www.paulcbuff.com
www.pocketwizard.com