Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Wireless Flash solution #2

So my shoot with the YN 560 III was sort of a disaster. I did get some nice shots out, but somehow I pressed the wrong thing on the flashes and they stopped working mid-shoot. So I raced home to get the old flash system and was a little late for the next shoot. 
You can "feel" the flash providing some back light for this behind the scenes shot.
and masquerading as the sun on this outdoor shot.

After some research it appears that a combination of something that you can accidentally can press could disable the radio on the flashes.
Also, my A99 is still being repaired so I haven't shot since that last shoot :( Instead I went back to working on video projects, doing editing and motion graphics work for a living.
Other then that the flashes worked great. For some reason, by default, they make a totally annoying sound which you can disable quite easily. I am getting my A99 back this week, so I guess, more testing will follow.
That said, I am truly sorry that I didn't get the flashes made by Godox.
They do everything my new flashes do but work with batteries similar to those of cellphones, instead of the AAs which I hate so much. Seriously, I cannot stress how much I hate AAs. They constantly get lost, and take a while to change during a shoot.
I still think that Wifi is a better technology to invest in than radio, so that you could, for example, configure remote flashes using an app on your camera or phone. Imagine that you have you are holding your A99II, impressing your client with the biggest and best camera around, but also have a discrete QX smart lens hidden somewhere for the wide shot or alternative angle, all using same flashes on the same wi-fi network.
This seems to me a technology much easier to implement for Sony than some of the other amazing things that their cameras now do, like in shoot in nearly absolute darkness and provide 5-axis stabilization, do let's hope that they are reading my blog :)


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wireless Flash solution

So, after much pain in using Sony's own flashes and various flash triggers and a lot of failure, I finally managed to ditch my Sony HVL-F58AM (One is now broken) and Pixel Soldier wireless flash triggers (keep on breaking) for something better.
As I don't use TTL, and manually set my flashes for projects such as Heroines of Light  and FEMP, I finally decided to ditch the ISO to Minolta connector (sometimes it gets disconnected and it can get lost) for a system that is made for Canon by Yongnuo. I tested it in some wedding, thanks to Tomer Foltyn and it worked fine.
I got on E-bay the RF-603C trigger and two YN560 IIIs. The advantages of this setup: no more Minolta connectors, no more radio receivers with AA batteries because radio capability is built into the flashes. I broke my Sony flash when it fell of the radio receiver. The YN 560 IIIs are relatively cheap so you can get a bunch of those and not have to take a bank loan if one breaks.
Tomer also tells me that they don't heat as much nor drain the batteries like the Sony flashes. You can also mount one on the flash trigger if you want and point it at the ceiling and the other at the side so you would have solid ambient light and good directional light.
I am anxious to test it on my Tuesday shoots BUT my A99 is actually being serviced right now (stabilizer is broken) so I hope it get fixed by tomorrow. If not, I will use a friends' Canon 5D MkII, a solid camera though the colors are not as good as the A99.
I will post photos of the results of using the new flash system soon.

BTW: Sony, where is the A99's replacement? I hope that the delay will just mean a better camera, well tested and with more features. For that I WILL go to the bank to get a loan.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New and Improved

So, got my Zeiss 50 1.4 lens and it's awesome! And a little heavy :| but I guess that that's the price you pay for quality.
Sony hasn't as yet announced the A99 replacement, but I am trying to save some money on the side for it when it does come.  I seriously need a camera with better video, especially in low-light situations. I applied for a residency, to go on a trip from Riga to Helsinki and do more of my Heroines of Light/FEMP shoots in both stills and video. I will be looking for a female Parkour artist for that one, should I be accepted... Cross my fingers and know in a month.
Sony sort of now dominates the sensor market, and I guess that if I had unlimited budget I would get the amazing A7s, just for video but that would really set me back. Sony, if you hear this, please send me a free unit with a good lens so I could show the world how good Sony cameras can be. I also accept beta pre-production models of the A99 replacement, to be announce sometimes this year.

 first Zeiss test shots

Oh, and I also got my IceLight portable lightsabre as you can see here in our fun Purim shoot...

Saturday, February 8, 2014


It has been a seriously long time as my last post. I actually had some disappointments with my A99 and I was bummed to write about them.

But now is an exciting time for me, so I'm back!

This week my "Heroines of Light" project is going up on the walls of an exhibit. Really pumped to see my creations printed out 100x70cm.

Also, I ordered from e-bay two things that might change my photography a lot! The first is the Wescott Ice Light, a kind of a real life light saber :)

I've also ordered the Zeiss 50mm 1.4 lens so that I could produce shaper and higher quality photos. My current Sony 50mm 1.4 lens has gone really soft and also has some other technical issues that I'd rather not even talk about.

Also, tomorrow I'm continuing with my new project, FEMP. We're gonna do some yoga/meditation photography on the beach. I'm also going to try a new technique that I like to call "The Human Panorama", which is kind of simple really. I use a good lens with low depth of field and I shoot multiple photos of a single person which I stitch in Photoshop to create the final. So, let's say I shoot 12 angles, each containing only part of the person.
 This way, I get a lot of pixels without the need to buy a very expensive medium or large format cameras. I will post results if they are seriously good :)
It is true that printing for the first time in my life left me seriously pixel hungry, I just hope my PC can withstand it.