Phottix made a big entry into the field of wireless flash triggers last year with the release of the Phottix Atlas and Phottix Strato. One year on and the Strato has undergone a makeover, boosting it’s features and specifications to bring you a better wireless flash trigger. The new Phottix Strato II Multi 5-in-1 Wireless Trigger, like its predecessor offers a TTL passthrough, 4 separate channels, a 1/250 shutter sync and the ability to function as a remote shutter. This new updated version goes further, boosting the range to 150m, offering 4 groups (A, B, C, D) in addition to the 4 channels, a slight physical redesign for better handling, and backwards compatibility.
What and where a photographer places a portrait subject is often determined by a few different considerations. At times, you’ll simply be carrying out a client brief and have little or no say in the matter. Other times, you’ll only have 5 or 10 minutes to get the shots and have to do it in a boardroom or the corner of an office. Sometimes you’ll have the luxury of being able to create a concept and fully storyboard it and build up a set much like Dave Jackson did with his circus shoot. Other times it’ll be basic seamless backgrounds in a studio or found locations using the natural environment. Every photographer has their own bias and ideas as to what is best. A few days ago, I found myself in the newly opened D Studio in Taipei for an afternoon worth of casual shooting. I’d gone in with one particular idea that I wanted to try expecting that we’d be photographing some Brazilian and Hungarian dancers. I had a concept in mind for the Brazilian dancers that I’m not going to tell you about because I hope to execute it sometime in the future. Why couldn’t I do it the other day? Simply because none of the dancers bothered to show up. Or call and tell us they weren’t coming. Or answer the phone when we called them. It seems to be a growing problem amongst some of the foreign models and artistic community here in Taiwan that they think they can simply blow the shoot off. Fortunately we had a second session booked this time, following the previous week where a different model didn’t bother to show up or call (apparently a dog ate his phone). The second session featured a couple of Taiwanese guys who had a distinct idea as to what they wanted. Most of the shoot involved one of them only with the other deciding he wanted a quick session at the end. In comparison to the foreign talent, the locals are wonderful. Reliable, punctual and full of ideas.
There’s probably not a photographer alive these days that hasn’t at least considered usign off-camera flash. Since Strobist first appeared on the scene in 2006 through to Joe McNally’s book and workshops, Zack Arias’ One Light and more, the secrets and tools for lighting have moved out of the realm of professionals only and within reach of all photographers. Coming with that has been a boom in options for photographers to get their lights off camera wirelessly. What follows is a look at the various options available today to photographers everywhere. It’s important to note that I’m not reviewing any of these today (although I’m happy to if someone sends me any I don’t already have), but just an overview of what is available.
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