Friday, July 31, 2009

Crankworx Colorado Day 1!!

Have you ever arrived on location, only to realize that you have forgotten a couple key pieces of gear?! This is a terrible situation to be placed in! Unfortunately, I packed the wrong gear to shoot downhill biking at Crankworx Colorado yesterday. I usually use my Nikon SB-800 with a Quantum Turbo 2x2 battery pack, and a pair of pocketwizards. The battery pack allows me to fire far more flashes, and a MUCH faster rate! This is extremely important when bikers are passing by me at 25-50 MPH!! The pocketwizard is an amazing tool that allows me to move around, and leave my flash setup at a great distance and reliably trigger every shot. Heres where the disappointment began yesterday.... I ride the chairlift up (leaving my other gear bag in the room with the assumption that I packed everything I need..) Only to hike halfway down the mountain to location, and discover that my connector cord that I need for hooking the flash to the battery, is back at the hotel. My immediate reaction is that I can at least still use all the extra batteries I took, and fire just one shot each time a rider goes by. This would work well unless...... you forget your pocketwizard cord as well... WOW, GREAT WORK GENIUS!!! YOU REALLY DO LOOK LIKE A PROFESSIONAL! Lucky for me Nikon comes to the rescue with their CLS (Creative Lighting System). To use this I use my pop-up flash (at a very low setting) to send an infrared signal to my SB-800. The only issue is that my camera must be close-to line of sight with the signal receiver located on the SB-800. This can be quite tricky in a dense forest. I was surprised though, that many times my flash would fire without even being able to see the flash through the camera lens! This system saved me in the end, and I fortunately came out with great shots. The other great strength of this system, is that I can change my flash power output from the back of the camera! Pocketwizard will be releasing a system like this for Nikon Users soon and there is currently a Canon version available.
As photographers, our greatest strength is the ability to adapt. Whether that be for lighting issues, forgotten gear :( , broken gear, or bad weather conditions! I will be shooting again today, and should have all the gear that I need ( I will be making sure of this....) Look for another update later today or tomorrow morning.


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