Breaking the Sync Limit… Part 2

(Nikon D3s, 320ISO, Nikon AFS 28-70F2.8D@50mm, 1/800th@F10.  Single Dynalite Uni400 set to Full power about 10′ behind Michael to camera left with a 20 Degree spot grid in the standard reflector.  Single Dynalite Uni 400 Set to 1/3 stop below Full Power about 10′ behind Michael to camera right with a 20 Degree spot grid in the standard reflector.  Single Dynalite Uni400JR above the camera on a light stand, reflected out of a half opened 32″umbrella also set to 1/2 power.  All dynalites triggered by Pocket Wizard TT5 transievers from a Pocket Wizard Mini TT1 on the camera.)

Welcome to Part two of my run with the new implementation of the Pocket Wizard Hypersync technology.  As I mentioned in my last post, I have been incredibly impressed with with functionality of the new Hypersync with my Dynalite Studio Lights having been able to achieve a sync speed of up to 1/8000th of a second.  Over the last week I’ve gone into debt in the sense of oweing several of my friends favors for helping me showcase this new technology.  Michael here is one of my good friends who is also a full time commerical product photographer for  The last time I worked on testing out Pocket wizard tech, Michael was a card shark. While that photo was successful, my intentions there were different with this go around.  In a studio environment being able to stop quick movement like the cards using the Hypersync opens up some completely new possibilities for a lot of photographers; which in this case involved completely freezing cards these flying cards.  There was another photo out of this set where Michael is making the same intense face yet the cards are going immediately out of frame to the left.  While I really enjoy that frame and it’s ironc nature, I felt as though the Mysterious Magical qualities of the frame above where much better suited for display purposes.

(Nikon D3s, 3200ISO, Nikon 18-35F3.5-4.5@18mm, 1/1000th@F7.1.  Single Dynalite Uni400JR about 10′ back from camera right set to 1/4 power bare bulb inside of a standard reflector.  Single Dynalite Uni400JR to camera left about 25′ behind Michael with a 10 degree spot grid set to full power.  Both Dynalites triggered by Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 units, fired by a Flex TT1 unit on the camera.)

In the field will never be the same either for me because while I do about 80% of my work using Speedlights, having about 16x more power, coverage, and not having to change batteries is pretty freakin’ nice.  This really comes into play when doing things with very high shutterspeeds like the water balloon baseball, or the saw above.  Michael and I originally wanted to use a chainsaw, but this seemed much better when the combination of Sky, Sunset, and available lumber came into play.  I’ve had liked to have done this a bit earlier during an Epic sky that we had prior to the sunset, as well as a slightly lower ISO but unfortunately it just wasn’t in the cards.  (No pun intended with the earlier photo….well maybe…)  It just never seems like there’s enough light in the day when you’re a photographer, and when shooting fast action in lower than optimal light, the hew Hypersync has proven to save the day again and again.

(Nikon D3s, 800ISO, Nikon 80-200F2.8 Gen 1 PushPull@95mm, 1/500th@F4.  Single Dynalite Uni400JR about 40′ back and camera right set to 1/8th power with a Full Cut CTO.  Single Dynalite UNI400JR set to 1/2 power shot through a 10 degree spot grid about 30′ to camera left at almost a perpandicular angle with Shannon and the Camera.  Both Dynalites were triggered by Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 units by an on camera Flex Mini TT1).

If you’ve read the blog before than you’ll recognize my girlfriend Shannon.  God love her, I know I do; she stood out in 50 degree weather in the middle of a puddle in the parking lot of the Ultrasun USA office park on Tuesday night so I could take these photos.  I’ve done quite a bit of product work for Ultrasun, and their General Manager Brad is a very good friend of mine (whom I probably owe the most of the indebted favors I mentioned earlier) so we were able to use the property uninterrupted.  Shannon was such a trooper, going again and again with the POI until I was pleased with at least one photo out of the many.  Most of the time Poi is shown using very slow shutterspeeds showing quite a bit of motion.  Using the new Hypersync though, my goal was to show the poi as you don’t normally see it; frozen in time with only a hint of that motion that makes it so cool to watch while making it appear that Shannon was lit only by the Poi itself.  Aside from it being cold and my ruining of a second pair of clothes this week, I was pleased with the photos and greatly pleased with the performance of the Hypersync.

(Nikon D3s, 400ISO, Nikon 14-24F2.8G@14mm, 1/800th@F8.  Single Dynalite UNI400JR set to Full power, bare bulb inside of a standard reflector covered in a Full Cut CTB as seen as that light in back.  The stand was removed in Photoshop.  Nadine was lit using two SB-900 Speedlights tandem, each set to Full power zoomed to 200mm with a single full page of CTO folded over for double effect gaff taped too both Speedlites.  The speedlights were directed at Nadine by my friend Geno.  All lights were triggered by their own individual Pocket Wizard Flex TT5 from a Pocket Wizard Flex Mini TT1 on camera.)

This photo was a bear to get.  Instead of an hour and a half we were given only an hour at the very last second, including setup time.  In fact, you can even see the bounce houses in the background on the roller rink that were waiting to be set up as we were finishing.  Nadine here competes at the National level for Speed Skating with her Husband Brandon.  Her mother was an Olympic Speed Skater as well, so needless to say they are crazy fast!  This shoot proved that both Speedlights and studio strobes could be used tandem with the Hypersync with is outstanding new to me!  I mentioned here that I discovered that the Pocket Wizard Flex units were able to handle Triggering my Dynalites and TTL at the same time, which blew me away at the time; this just makes it that much better!

So now you’ve seen what kinds of things I’ll be doing with this new Hypersync.  The photo of Nadine is a little softer than I normally like, partially due to the distortion of the 14mm lens and her speed.  I think it’s safe to say that this opportunity is going to be revisited though as I now know more about the sport of speed skating, and I’d like to do portraits of Nadine, Brandon and her mother.  Geno was invaluable at the shoot as I’d never have gotten off as many frames as I did without him (which totaled 67, including 26 test shots to get the lighting right.  Like I said, we got cut kinda early…). I definitely owe Mike Guio, Tom Klubens, Shannon Moore, Nadine Meek, Geno, and Brad Clampitt a lot of favors though.  Without them, and their generosity with time and talents I wouldn’t have these photos for this post.

I greatly look forward to the potential provided by Pocket Wizard’s new Hypersync with my studio lighting.  If you need studio lighting, or you are interested in some of these nifty Pocket Wizards, may I recommend getting them at Roberts Distributors.  I buy most of my stuff there because they are Good people and they don’t Bull Sh*t me.  Call and ask them questions, they know answers, and have everything you need for your photographic profession, or hobby.  More Soon.