Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Two Cats Playing with Water in the Sink

In my experience, most cats do not like water - at least not on their fur. I was quite surprised when I opened the door to my friends bathroom and I was overtaken by two cats that jumped into the sink.

Since I wanted to wash my hands, I lifted the two out of the sink and opened the tap. Quick as lightning (certainly before I had my hands wet) the two cats were sitting the edge of the sink to ...

Cats in the Sink Playing with Water
Two Cats Playing with Water in the Sink
... play.

Usually the first contact with the cool fluid provokes a disgusted look and a revulsed shake to get it off. But not with these two!

Clearly enjoying themselves and playing with relish these two explored and prodded the dripping and running liquid. Even when water ran over their fur the two just shook themselves a little and carried on. That was definitely a first for me!

Later, they repeated their game in the kitchen and I was told that they will even hop into the running shower - one of them had even fallen into a filled bath tub when curiosity got the better of her. I wonder, if they will learn to enjoy swimming at some point? :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Heads Up!

Here's another photo from the recent shoot with Amy, Grace, and Richard:

Heads Up!

Grace was happily lying on her tummy when she found the carrying-on of the adults so fascinating that she raised her head all by herself for the first time to get a better look.

Given the expression on the face, it seems like she is quite ready to start crawling!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Family: Amy, Grace, and Richard

Recently, I had a wonderful shoot with a young family. Baby Grace is only a few months old. So it is quite important to create a stress-free and familiar environment for her. So we decided to do the shoot in their family home.

It is also much more pleasant if you do not have to travel when it is below freezing outside - I know what I am talking about! And it is very pleasant when the photographer is served tea and delicious cake during work. Thank you! :)

Baby Grace really seemed to enjoy being pampered with a blow-dryer and warm, cuddly-soft towels. I think her pleasure shows:

Baby under Blue over Red

I was blown away by the fact that Amy and Richard took so much time for the shoot. Babies have a different rhythm from adults (or even older children) and the best pictures are created when you immerse yourself into the childs flow. So we took pictures when baby was happy and breaks when she got tired and unhappy. That way the little angel got sleep and I was able to change the "studio" for a new look.

The proverbial icing on the cake, however, was that Amy and Richard where quite open to try unusual takes. That was how we got one of my favorite photos in this session. I was unsure if I could manage to capture tenderness and protective security using hard light and deep shadows:


It was very special for me to have the opportunity to experience and capture loving and tender moments from the perspective of a welcome guest. May the three of you continue to experience so much happiness together!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Using PocketWizard FlexTT5/MiniTT1 with non-Canon Cameras

If you want to use a PocketWizard FlexTT5/MiniTT1 on a non-Canon (make that non-Nikon if you have the recently released Nikon version) camera, you can do so by using Basic Trigger Mode which has been available starting with FW 4.100.

It’s quite simple to set up, if you know the magic sauce.

We will set Basic Trigger Mode in configuration C2. That way configuration C1 will remain available for use in ETTL mode. To keep things simple, we’ll use a MiniTT1 as transmitter and a FlexTT5 as receiver. You can actually use many FlexTT5 to drive multiple flash units. In this case, repeat the procedure for the FlexTT5 described below for every unit.

MiniTT1 (Transmitter)

    1.    Start the “Pocket Wizard Utility” on your computer. The screenshots below are from version 1.35. Other versions may differ a little. You can download the utility here for Mac and Windows.
    2.    Hook up the MiniTT1 to your computer using the supplied USB cable. The MiniTT1 should be turned OFF.
    3.    Go to Configuration C2 >> Channel and set the Standard Transmit Channel. The default is 2, you may want to change it to a different value if you expect to be shooting around other people with PocketWizards.

    4.    Go to Configuration C2 >> Misc and check the box Basic Trigger Mode.

    4.    Now press the button Apply Changes, confirm the question in the dialog box, and wait until the changes have been written to the device.

You are now done with the transmitter.

FlexTT5 (Receiver)

    5.    Now hook up the FlexTT5 receiver unit using the same USB cable. You can leave the PocketWizard Utility running, just remember to turn of the FlexTT5.
    6.    Go to Configuration C2 >> Channel and uncheck Use ControlTL for Receive Channel. Then set the Standard Receive Channel to the same channel you used as the Standard Transmit Channel in step 3. In this example, I used 7.

    7.    Press the button Apply Changes, confirm the question in the dialog box, and wait until the changes have been written to the device.

You are done with the receiver.

Repeat the receiver procedure with any other receivers you want to trigger simultaneously.

Let's test it to see if it works:

Hook up a flash to the FlexTT5, turn on the flash, and set it to M (manual mode). Then turn on the FlexTT5 to setting C2.

Next, attach the MiniTT1 to the hot shoe of your camera and turn it on to setting C2. Then turn on the camera.

If you press the camera shutter release button, the flash should fire. Congratulations, it works!

I tried this using an Olympus E-P1 with a Canon 580 EX II and it works just like a cable - without the wires. ;-)