Wireless Flash Triggers Demystified

Wireless Flash

For some reason the whole idea of lighting strikes concerns in the hearts of photographers.  So, the concept of taking your flash off-camera makes a lot of photographers start to tread with trepidation.  Taking things to the nth degree, now imagine introducing wireless triggers for your flashes when off-camera!  It’s pretty daunting for many, and I get tons of questions on what to do from Canonistas, Nikonians, Pentaxians and more!  Getting good results with off-camera lighting and using wireless flash triggers can be challenging for sure, but with the right understanding of the gear, and some of the basics of lighting, you can get great shots too!

Wireless Flash

After experimenting with my own sets of various wireless triggers, and the number of questions that have come out in this area, I’d like to set about de-mystifying the concept of wireless flash triggers.  In doing so, let’s separate for the moment the whole reason for removing flashes from your camera (better lighting, more control, etc.), and for introducing the wireless element (fewer cables to trip over, longer range, etc.)  Let’s instead start where most people like to start – talking about the gear!  There’s basically four competitors out there, and I’ll cover the nuts and bolts of each here: Read more

What lenses should I buy?

A great question came to my attention through Quora – the person asked what lenses they should buy to accompany a camera purchase.  They were looking for both a zoom (variable focal length) and a prime (fixed focal length) lens. It occurred to me that many people many have this question, so have taken the time to answer it there, and to cross-post the information here as well: Read more

Planning Your Fall Photo Shoot

Maroon Lake

Fall photo shoots are a lot of fun! Actually, autumn is truly one of my favorite times of year to get out and shoot.  The colors all around are just so powerful and inspiring.  The blend of the amazing reds, oranges, yellows, and such against blue skies, even against snowy landscapes are just amazing.  There are other things to shoot as well though, so even if the colors are past their prime, don’t let that stop you from getting out and shooting!

Maroon Lake

With that sentiment firmly planted, here are four things to be aware of when planning your Autumnal outing:

1.  Watch the Weather –  With autumn come rapidly changing temps.  70 degrees in the morning can become 20 degrees in the evening, so you need to plan your outing and dress accordingly.  My rule of thumb is to dress in layers.

2.  Be Aware of Your Surroundings – Because of drastic weather changes, a colorful hiking trail can become a slippery slope and with the wrong gear, you could be setting yourself up for a potentially life-threatening situation.  Make sure you not only dress accordingly, but make sure you know where you are going, and what to expect.  If you don’t know an area, research to find out what you can expect.

3.  Consider your Gear Selections – If you are hiking in an urban area, carrying a shoulder bag or backpack of gear may offer you an opportunity to catch shots with a tripod and/or flash if needed.  This gear setup would not likely work in that mountain hike though.

4.  Find a Shooting Buddy – This kind of goes hand-in-hand with gear selection and knowing an area.  The last thing you want to do is find yourself in an urban area after dark, alone, and with thousands of dollars worth of gear.  There’s safety in numbers!  The same goes for that mountain hike – if you fall and twist an ankle, your buddy can help you out – or at least knows where you are and can go get help!

This all may sound a lot like common sense, and that’s because it is!  Simply exercise common sense, good safety habits, and have a backup plan for those “what ifs” that always arise.  Sure, still have fun, be spontaneous, but don’t forget to be smart!