To get the ball rolling for the fall holiday season, I am happy to announce a 25% off sale on all of my fine art prints until December 31st, 2017. How this works is very simple, just take 25% off my standard fine art print pricing, which can be found here, and contact me to order the print.

All of my images are available as Fine Art Prints. You can see which of my images are in the Limited Edition category on my website. Any images that are not shown on the Limited Edition page are considered Open Edition prints. Please note that these prices do not include shipping. If you have any questions about print sizes or available images please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will work with you to make sure the final print is the best it can possibly be and will look great mounted on your wall.

These archival prints are painstakingly created by yours truly on some of the finest papers available. I do not outsource printing to a third party printer because I want to have tight control over the quality of the final print, and I have not found a third party printer that can achieve the same level of quality that I can produce here in my office. The prints are made on Epson printers using a variety of papers including both fine art matte papers and baryta photographic papers. The printer and paper combination is chosen specifically for each image so that image will be rendered with the highest possible resolution and the widest color gamut. Our main papers are Ilford Gold Fibre Silk, Ilford Gold Cotton Textured and Ilford Fine Art Smooth papers.

Below are a few sample prints that I have made in the last few months to give you an idea of just how stunning these turn out when framed up.

Please contact me with any questions or if you would like to look at a wider range of images than are featured on my website.

 

Over the last five months I have been slowly updating and adding tons of new content to my e-book entitled Location Lighting for the Outdoor Photographer. I am happy to announce that I have finished updating the e-book and the new 2nd Edition is now available for purchase on my website. I have updated every chapter in the e-book and have massively expanded a few of them as well, including Chapter 1, which covers lighting gear, and also Chapter 7 (opening spread shown below), which covers Advanced Lighting Techniques.

There are so many lighting books to choose from these days you might be wondering, “How is this one different?” This is the only book that I know of that concentrates on lighting techniques for the outdoor and adventure photographer specifically. This book gets down to the nuts and bolts of using artificial lighting in remote locations. As with my other books, I hold nothing back and tell it like I see it. The opening chapter has a detailed analysis of all the battery-powered strobes on the market today and compares them head-to-head to help you make a smart decision when considering new gear. In that chapter, we also discuss flashlights, reflectors, and Speedlights. I can honestly say that I have not seen any other book on the market today that includes as much detailed and comprehensive information as this e-book does on using artificial lighting for the outdoor photographer.

When I published the first version this e-book, way back in February 2013, Elinchrom’s Hi-Sync and Profoto’s HSS technology didn’t even exist yet. Elinchrom hadn’t brought out the ELB 400 and Profoto had not introduced the B1 yet. Hence, in this new updated version of the Location Lighting e-book, I have massively expanded those chapters dealing with these new advanced lighting technologies and I discuss in-depth how some of my best known Hi-Sync images have been made. There are also step-by-step instructions on how to achieve an accurate flash exposure when using Hi-Sync (HS) techniques. For a full list of all the updated and new sections in the book pop on over to my website for the full description.

If you are looking to take your photography to the next level this book can help you accelerate that progression. For photographers, both amateurs and working pros, looking to take advantage of the new technology built into the latest battery-powered strobes, this book will help you to figure out how to use these technologies and also how to take advantage of them to create new and exciting images. As an example, over the last five years or more that I have been playing with Hypersync and Elinchrom’s Hi-Sync, I have created an entire new portfolio of work that really stands out from anything I did before. Especially in the adventure photography and location portraiture genres, these new high speed flash sync technologies are allowing photographers to create images that were never possible before.

Below are a few screenshots of double-truck spreads from the updated e-book. As you can see this is no fluffy e-book. With 361 pages, this is a full on book and it is significantly longer than many printed books on similar topics. This e-book is high resolution and looks great on any computer, tablet or mobile phone.

To purchase the updated e-book Location Lighting for the Outdoor Photographer visit my website.

Download this e-book and take your photography to the next level. If you’d like to see a sampling of what is included in Location Lighting for the Outdoor Photographer you can download the Introduction and Table of Contents here.

Also, please note that I have increased the price of this e-book to $28 USD, which reflects the incredibly hard work put into it over the last five months. Also note that there is no discount or upgrade offer for the new version of the book because I have added so much more material, revamped the entire book and it took so long to put it together.

I am honored that the image below was included among the winners of the 2017 International Photography Awards in both the Professional Sports/Extreme Sports category and also in the Professional Editorial, Sports category. Strangely enough, I was not informed that one of my images was chosen. I got an email this morning thanking me for entering the competition and then clicked through to check out the winners images–only to find that one of my images was among the winners. That kind of made my day!

There are some stunning images in this years collection of winners. The Mission of the International Photography Awards, from their website, is to “salute the achievements of the world’s finest photographers, to discover new and emerging talent and to promote the appreciation of photography.” In addition to being among the winners on the IPA website, my image along with many of the other winning images will be exhibited in an exclusive show in New York, during the week leading up to the Lucie Awards gala. The Best of Show will then travel to various countries to be included in photo festivals, galleries, and other photography related events. The images will also be published in the “high-quality, full-color International Photography Awards Annual.”

As you can see above, I got third place in both categories. Thank you to the IPA Jury for selecting my image to be included among so many amazing images. It is always a thrill to have your work recognized, and especially so in such a prestigious photography competition like the IPA awards. Check out all the winning images on the International Photography Awards website.

 

  • Alberto - Congratulations, very well deserved. This photograph has inspired me in outdoor lighting in so many ways.

I am honored to be a part of CreativeLIVE’s Photo Week 2017 alongside many of my peers including Joe McNally, Ian Shive, Pratik Naik, Clay Cook, Lindsay Adler, Stacy Pearsall and many more. Photo Week is coming up October 9-13, 2017 and it is a week long series of short 90-minute classes on a wide variety of topics. I will be teaching the following courses on October 12th and 13th:

What it Takes to be a Professional Photographer

Thursday, Oct 12th, 2017
Class starts at 3:00pm PST

RSVP and/or Purchase this class.

Working as a pro photographer takes commitment, passion and tons of hard work. Many think pro photographers are on an extended vacation and happen to take a few photos while traveling the globe non-stop. While many photographers do travel quite a bit, and some go to exotic locations, the reality is quite different than the perception. In this 90-minute class we will discuss what it takes to be a pro photographer including how to perfect your craft, dial in your marketing, build a following and how to find clients that will hire you. By the end of this class you should have a level-headed, realistic view of what a photography career might entail.

Capturing Action in the Studio

Friday, October 13th, 2017
Class starts at 3:00pm PST

RSVP and/or Purchase this class.

With the advent of numerous high-speed sync technologies it is now possible to freeze motion like never before. Action Photographer Michael Clark will discuss how to use Hi-Sync (HS) techniques to capture fast moving action in the studio. Working with a parkour athlete we will walk you step by step through the process to figure out this exciting new technology and discuss how it can be used in the studio and out on location.

All week long, these 90-minute classes by 17 instructors will be streaming on the CreativeLIVE website for FREE. Tune in if you have time. There are sure to be some classes that will appeal to just about any photographer. Check out the full list of classes here.

For full disclosure, please note that all links and banners in this blog post are affiliate links.

Disclaimer: I am sponsored by Elinchrom and work closely with them on some products. I have been testing iterations of the ELB 1200 over the last year and have spent several months working with this kit. Since the Elinchrom ELB 1200 is still yet to be released, this is a preliminary review. I will save the full review for when I get the full production version of this strobe. The versions I have worked with over the last few months are very near to the full production version, which is why I felt confident enough to write up a preliminary review here. This article was originally published in my Summer 2017 Newsletter

The Elinchrom ELB 1200 is Elinchrom’s brand new, yet to be released, 1,200 Watt-second (Ws) battery-powered strobe. Over the past two years I have had the honor of testing out a few different iterations of this incredible strobe kit. All of the ELB 1200s I have worked with have been prototypes, though in the last few months I have been working with a very-near-production version of the ELB 1200 for the Lighting the Spirit assignment for Elinchrom and Red Bull Photography. As I haven’t worked with a full production version of this strobe, I won’t get critical here about any aspect of the kit as some things might have changed in the full production version.

I know many photographers have been waiting for this strobe for a long time and are desperate for any information they can get about it. I have been using the Elinchrom Rangers for over a decade now and they have served me well, but after using the ELB 1200 it is hard to even pull my Rangers out of the bag. The ELB 1200 weighs in at 4.3 Kg (roughly 9.5 lbs), which is about half the weight of the old Rangers. The flash heads weigh 2.2 Kg (4.6 lbs). That makes for a 6.5 Kg (14.3 lbs) kit, with one flash head, which means the ELB 1200 is now the lightest 1,200 Ws battery-powered strobe on the market.

Caption: Above is an image of Chris Sheehan mountain biking under golden aspens on the Alamos Vista trail in the Sangre de Cristo mountains above Santa Fe, New Mexico. To create this image I used one Elinchrom ELB 1200 and one ELB 400. Both had the Action flash heads on them and were set up as a light trap, meaning the lights were pointed at each other and I waited until Chris was in just the right spot to trigger my Hasselblad H5D 50c WiFi camera. 

Aside from being so light, the ELB 1200 is also tough as nails, and damn-near waterproof from my testing. For two months this summer, I worked these units over the coals. I have tortured them in a myriad of ways with water, dust, and sand. We even dropped them a few times accidentally. Elinchrom was aware that my crew and I were going to be hard on them intentionally to see how they held up. This was one of the final stages of the prototype testing to see just how tough they are. I was surprised at how well they held up—in fact I am surprised a few of them are still working at all. I figure in two months time, I put at least a year’s worth of wear and tear on the three ELB 1200 units Elinchrom sent me. They were scratched up, beat up, and well broken in when I returned them a few weeks ago. In fact, my old Rangers after a decade or more of hard use don’t look as beat up as these ELB 1200s did after two months of hard abuse. We even put the ELB 1200 into a running waterfall (as shown in the image at the top of this blog post), and even with a flash head plugged in, the ELB 1200 wasn’t phased by any amount of water we poured over it. From what I can tell, the only way to kill one of these pack would be to violently drop it or submerge it in water.

Aside from the lightweight nature of the ELB 1200 and the build quality, the pack overall is very easy to use and houses some of the most advanced technology of any battery-powered strobe on the market. I love that Elinchrom still offers multiple flash head options for the ELB 1200, including the Action head, the Pro head, and the HS (Hi-Sync) flash head. For me, the Action and the HS flash heads are the main ones I use for my work. If I am shooting at or below the flash sync speeds of my cameras, I am using the Action flash head. If I need to work at shutter speeds above the flash sync of my camera I use the HS flash head. This ability to use different flash heads with different flash durations is what, in my mind at least, makes the ELB 1200 the most versatile flash on the market. With the HS flash heads, I found I could overpower daylight from 60-feet (18 meters) away, which is incredible.

Caption: Above is a shot of Aaron Miller fighting to stay on a tough 5.12c at Diablo Canyon just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. This image was created using one ELB 1200 pack and the HS flash head. The flash head was around sixty feet away from the climber and shows just how powerful the Hi-Sync technology is for lighting a far away subject. 

The ELB 1200 has two different batteries available. The standard “Battery Air” that comes with the ELB 1200 gets 215 full power pops. The larger “Battery HD” allows for  400 full power flashes. Sadly, the larger capacity HD battery is over the limit (in terms of the amount of Lithium contained in the battery) for checked baggage so you will not be able to fly with that battery. But for local shoots or ones where you don’t have to fly, having the extra capacity is a huge benefit, especially since it is only 0.9 lbs (0.4 Kg) heavier than the Air battery.

The way the battery attaches to the ELB 1200 is also quite innovative. To detach it you simply slide the two Elinchrom logos down to the open position and then pull the two adjacent pieces apart to release the battery. Attaching a battery is as simple as setting the pack over the battery and pushing down. It snaps into place easily and to lock it you move those same Elinchrom logo pieces upwards into the locked position.

In terms of performance and light quality, the ELB 1200 is on par with any other battery-powered strobe I have seen. Like the ELB 400, the Hi-Sync technology, when using the HS flash head, has been refined to a level that no other strobe manufacturer can match. With the HS flash head, you can use any power setting on the pack. This means that can literally choose any camera settings and adjust the power on the pack to get the right exposure if your subject is relatively close—as when shooting portraits. I cannot understate how important this is when shooting in Hi-Sync mode. Additionally, I have seen very little if any gradation when shooting in HS mode.

Caption: The 250 Watt daylight balanced LED modeling light built into all of the ELB 1200 flash heads is an incredible constant light source for video applications. We were pretty shocked at how bright it was at full power, and because it is fully dimmable the lighting can be adjusted as need on the fly.

As shown above, the ELB 1200 is also a revelation for video lighting. The 250 Watt LED modeling lamp will stay on for up to two hours depending on the battery used. Because the modeling lamp generates no heat we were able to use any and all of the Elinchrom light modifiers while recording interviews. The modeling lamp is also dimmable and daylight-balanced. It allowed us to get the best lighting I have ever seen while recording interviews. Bill Stengel, the cinematographer that I work with fairly often, was amazed at how great the LED modeling lamp worked for the interviews in our behind the scenes video. We were also both amazed at how bright the LED was at full power. In fact, even with the Elinchrom Deep Octa softbox on the flash head, with diffusion, we had to dim the LED for the interview we recorded in my office. That LED is a major benefit. I don’t see the need to bring along 1×1 LED lighting for video work anymore. And with the Elinchrom modifiers, the light quality of that built-in LED in the ELB 1200 flash heads is better than any 1×1 LED panel I have ever seen.

The OLED display panel on the top of the pack is both simple and intuitive, but it also has deep menus allowing one to customize the pack to their needs. When the Action or Pro flash heads are attached to the pack, the OLED shows the exact flash duration for each power setting, which is quite handy. When the HS flash head is attached the flash duration is not shown because it is a consistent 1/550th second flash duration at all power settings. As usual with Elinchrom strobes, the power settings are changeable in one-tenth f-stops allowing you to dial in the lighting extremely accurately.

Elinchrom has listened to their photographers very closely in the last few years. When the ELB 400 came out three years ago, they sought input from the photographers who work with them closely. I sent them three pages of notes on what I would like to see in the new updated Ranger kit—and the ELB 1200 incorporates about 90% of that feedback. Apparently quite a few of us had similar feedback and requests. I have never seen a company take in so much feedback and put so much of it into a product. Kudos to Elinchrom for all of their hard work on this product. It has been a long wait but I think those that upgrade to the ELB 1200 will find it above and beyond their expectations. And with the $1,000 USD trade-in offer that Elinchrom has announced, there is little to complain about when considering upgrading from the older Rangers to the new ELB 1200. I will be trading in my old Rangers as soon as possible for the ELB 1200.

Of note for those who currently own the Elinchrom Ranger packs: the ELB 1200 is very similar in size, so it should fit into the same bags you currently own. This was a big deal, and something I specifically asked for when Elinchrom first sought out feedback as I have a small fortune in Lightware and Pelican cases to carry my Rangers.

For the location photographer needing a tough, lightweight, and versatile 1,200 Ws battery-powered pack, the ELB 1200 is a top-notch offering. If you are looking to push the envelope of what is possible, especially with Elinchrom Hi-Sync technology, then look no further. This is the strobe kit we have all been waiting for. As you can see in this blog post, and in my Summer 2017 Newsletter, I have literally built an entirely new portfolio of images while testing out this new strobe kit. No matter what I say here in this review, I think the images speak for themselves.

The ELB 1200s will start shipping this month. The ELB 1200 is hands-down the most advanced 1,200 Ws battery-powered strobe I have worked with. It is ultra-dependable, insanely durable, super easy to use and the Hi-Sync functionality is unsurpassed by any other strobe on the market. In short, the ELB 1200 blows the doors off my old Rangers. My thanks to Elinchrom for allowing me to be a part of the testing process and for designing such a stellar product. For more info on the ELB 1200 check out the Elinchrom website. To see how I have put the ELB 1200 to use, check out the Lighting the Spirit blog post.

Order your Elinchrom ELB 1200 via B&H: ELB 1200 HS To Go Kit, ELB 1200 Pro To Go Kit, Elinchrom Li-ion HD Battery for ELB 1200, Elinchrom ELB 1200 Action Flash Head. For those looking to get the most out of the Elinchrom ELB 1200 system, I recommend at least one pack with an extra battery and one HS flash head as well as one Action flash head. This set up will give you the most versatility. If you need a few packs for multiple light setups then I recommend doubling that recommendation so you have every option.

 

This afternoon I was informed that my project Lighting the Spirit, shot for Elinchrom and Red Bull Photography was one of the winners of the Photo District News (PDN) 2017 Great Outdoors photography competition. My series of six images from the shoot were included in the winning selection. My thanks to PDN and the judges, including Louisa Albanese, Justin Appenzeller, Jeff Heimsath, and Cristina Mittermeier, for this recognition. To see all of the winners visit The Great Outdoors web gallery.

My thanks to Elinchrom and Red Bull Photography for this assignment and also my thanks to the stellar athletes including Rafa Ortiz, Rush Sturges and Liamm Field for their incredible effort on this shoot. Last but not least my thanks to the incredible team that helped me create these images including Bill Stengel and Tom Bear. If you would like to see a full behind the scenes accounting on how these images were created check out my behind the scenes blog post covering the Lighting the Spirit shoot.

Yesterday, Nikon announced the D850. For the last decade or more, I have dreamed of a camera that can shoot high-resolution images at 8 frames per second or faster. I was hoping for something that could capture 36 MP images at 8 fps. Well, Nikon went farther than that and introduced a camera that can capture 45.7 MP images at 9 fps–albeit with a grip that attaches to the camera. I haven’t been this excited about a new camera in quite a while. Sure, my Nikon D810 is still an insanely amazing camera. But, the D850 may replace not only my D810 but also my aging Nikon D4 as well. For the type of sports I shoot, namely adventure sports, 9 fps is typically more than enough.

Those of you that read the blog know I am a bit of a geek about camera equipment. The camera doesn’t make or break the image, but having a camera that can solve a lot of the problems for you definitely makes it easier. When I tested out the Nikon D5 last year, I was blown away by the autofocus capabilities of that camera. Having a 45.7 MP camera, that can shoot at 9 fps and incorporates the same AF module as the Nikon D5 is going to be an incredible combination. If you are wondering just how amazingly well the Nikon D5 could track fast moving subjects check out the Nikon D5 review. Nikon’s 3D Tracking AF is so good that anything else seems subpar by comparison.

I have gotten a lot of emails from photographers asking what I think about this new camera. The specs look incredible. We will just have to wait and see how it performs in the real world but Nikon has a great track record and I am pretty sure none of us will be disappointed. Through B&H Photo & Video, whom I work with as an affiliate, I will have the camera to test out next month when the D850 is launched. I will do my normal in-depth, real-world testing and see how it stacks up against my venerable D810. Stay tuned for that review.

In the mean time, on Tuesday, August 29th, B&H and Nikon are streaming a few Live Panel Discussions–one on their own and one with Nikon–both of which will include several of my peers. Click on the image and links below for more info on the Live presentations.

  • William Morton - I’m most interested in it’s low-light performance. Shooting a lot in dimly lit ballrooms (with atrocious overhead lighting illuminating foreheads and noses but not eyes), I’m really hoping for good dynamic range in that dim, contrasty lighting.

T W I T T E R
L I N K S