Monthly Archives

June 2013

Better Lighting Setups for Action Sports Photography

By | Camera Straps, Gorillapod, How To, Photography | No Comments

Photographer John Rathwell is an action sports photographer based in Ontario, Canada. Long hikes, wild weather conditions and tight set ups are all in a days work for John. We caught up with him to chat about how he uses his GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and  GorillaPod Focus on a typical shoot. 

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Three-fingered Assistants

With more and more photographers working alone these days, and lighting as a key aspect of professional photography, it becomes clear that you need to have your lighting systems down.

To give you a little background on myself, I am the owner and photographer for John Rathwell Photography. I shoot action sports for commercial and editorial use. Lighting is key and is what sets me apart from a lot of action sports shooters. I often have to hike into areas and work in non-ideal weather. Keeping my gear to a minimum in size and weight is key for me. It must also be rugged and stand up to a lot of abuse as well as be quick and easy to work with.

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I decided I would give GorillaPods a try, and in a way you wouldn’t think. Light stands have always been one of the most frustrating things to me. They are bulky, heavy and always fall over in windy conditions. Plus hiking in with sand bags just isn’t fun.

I use a GorillaPod SLR-Zoom with a Lastolite Triflash bracket and 1/4-20 adapter. These work great for holding my secondary lights or anytime you need one direct flash. Quick and secure setup and they go low on the ground or high in a tree branch in seconds.

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When I need more power, I turn to my GorillaPod Focus. I have had up to 5 lights on it in heavy wind and it held fine! I have also used it with a softbox and umbrella and no issues at all. I never had to worry about it blowing over like a light stand!

I have started considering the GorillaPod SLR-Zoom and Focus my new 3-fingered assistants. They are flexible  small, lightweight and strong. If you shoot anything outside and are into lighting they are worth a try!

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I’ve also been using the UltraFit Sling Strap. I have used sling straps for years. Any sling strap is better then the traditional neck strap, but the Joby strap is the best one I have ever used. The issue with most sling straps is that when the camera is hanging at the right level at your hip and your bring it to your eye, especially when shooting a vertical shot, the strap is never long enough. So you lengthen it. Then it hangs way to low when you put it down. The Joby designers must have known this and were truly innovative in the design. The strap automatically looses when lifted and can tighten back up instead of just hanging at your hip. Perfect for shooting in tricky locations.

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This shot uses 2 main light sources. The main light sits camera right and is mounted to a tree using a Focus. There are 3 flashes attached to a tri-bracket and a softbox on it. On camera left there is a bare flash held up by an SLR-Zoom on the ground.

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This shot used almost the same setup as the mountain bike shot but both GorillaPodsPods are attached to a chain link fence and both are high above the subject.

Check out more of John’s awesome work on his website or see a video of him in action here

Thanks John for sharing your awesome lighting tips! Need to squeeze a flash into a tight spot or tired of carrying heavy sandbags and light stands all over the great outdoors, check out our GorillaPod SLR-Zoom or GorillaPod Focus

20% Off Father’s Day Sale ENDS TODAY!

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We know how tough it can be find a great gift for dad for Father’s Day. Dress shirts are boring, ties are passé, socks are well, socks. This year get your dad a gift that he’ll really put to good use! Plus, from June 1st through today June 16th, we’re offering 20% off our favorite gifts for Dad!

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Need help finding a gift? Check out our Father’s Day Gift Guide below! 

Does your dad like photography? Try our GorillaPod SLR-Zoom. A super lightweight and super flexible tripod he can take anywhere to capture unique photos wherever his adventures take him.

Is Dad a pro photographer or videographer? Check out our GorillaPod Focus. A professional grade tripod with a ton more flexibility than most, it’s perfect for a dad who’s looking to get creative with his photography.

Maybe Dad is the type to hike a mountain, ride a bike or run through city streets—all to get the perfect shot. He’ll love our UltraFit Sling Strap! Designed to allow you to cinch your camera tight against your body but still have for quick and easy camera access, it is perfect for the adventurous and active photographer.

Or perhaps Dad really enjoys DIY projects around the house or tinkering with his classic car? GorillaTorch Flare has six light settings, magnetic feet and is water resistant, making it the best way to light just about any task handsfree!

Is Dad the outdoorsy type who loves to spend his time camping in the great outdoors? Then GorillaTorch Switchback is for him! A 2-in-1 lantern that can convert into a headlamp, he can use it grilling, setting up a tent, or even on a night hike up Half Dome.

Use code DADROCKS at checkout to receive 20% off these great gifts for the dads in your life! Hurry! Sale ends today!

 

 

How to GorillaTorch Flare for Photo & Video Lighting at Night

By | Artist Profile, Gorillatorch, How To, Photography | 4 Comments

Oakland-based photographer/videographer/rock climber Austin Zimmerman used our GorillaTorch Flare 125 to light an awesome video of his recent trip to Yosemite. The great part about using a GorillaTorch on a camping trip? It also doubles as a photo and video light in case you decide to film your friends climbing at night!  

High Adventure Weekend from Austin Z on Vimeo.

We caught up with Austin after his trip to hear what he thought of GorillaTorch Flare and also get some tips for how to use GorillaTorch Flare to light your nighttime photos and videos. 

Tell us about your project. 

This short film was shot with a Canon DSLR and a Joby GorillaTorch Flare 125 during a weekend trip to Yosemite. A few days before our trip, a member of the Joby crew brought a box of Joby torch lights to the climbing gym where I work. We hooked up a few lucky members at our gym with a Joby light, but a co-worker and I decided we had to take one with us to Yosemite for some “field testing”.

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Tell us about your experience using the Joby GorillaTorch Flare 125.

I was blown away by the quality of light the Joby put out. The Flare 125 provided a crisp, clean beacon of light which really illuminated every detail of the boulder. Everything from the curvature of the rock all the way down to the obsidian crystals inside the granite. I have used external lighting to capture rock climbing footage at night before, but on this trip I decided to leave the bulky L.E.D. panel at home, with no regrets.

 

Tips for using the Joby as external lighting?

Much like uplighting or downlighting in home landscaping, having a powerful concentrated beam of light allows you to pick out the natural features you would like to highlight. The Joby is perfect for filming boulders at night because of the way it accentuates the beautifully sculpted prows and ledges. Those are the types of features that really lend themselves to the camera. The trick is not to point the light straight at the rock, but to pick an angle which highlights those features.

 

Favorite attribute of the Flare 125?

This light is efficient to the max. After three long nights of climbing and gathering footage, the batteries hardly seemed fazed. Even the batteries in our headlamps, which produce less light, had to be swapped at least once each.

 

Best part about filming rock climbing?

A boulder problem is like an intricate and delicate puzzle. I really enjoy that moment of discovery when you unlock the sequence of movement that allows you to ascend a line edges in a rock face. I gain a lot of inspiration from that moment when you see someone transcend mental barriers. For me it is really motivating to watch a film that captures those moments.

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Tips for people new to filming climbers?

Shoot at every chance you get! Even when your friends burn you for it!

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Going camping this summer and need some versatile flashlights? Check out our GorillaTorch line, especially our GorillaTorch Switchback – a handy two in one flashlight that converts from lantern to headlamp! 

Photographing Africa alongside Andre Haramboure

By | Artist Profile, Gorillapod, Photography | No Comments

We sent our GorillaPod Focus with Ballhead X to photographer Ander Haramboure just before he embarked on a photo expedition to Africa. Below he shares his experience and his tips for how get great photographs with zoom lenses in even the most extreme environments! 

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First, can you tell us a little bit about how you got into photography?

Most of the time, I go into photography during my travels. I’m lucky enough to go out several times a year… Photography is part of the travel itself as taking the good pic needs you to sharpen your eyes. Then you discover so many details you would have never seen without your camera. I’ve also met so beautiful people I wanted to shoot! I couldn’t travel without my camera!

 

What projects you currently working on? Can you tell us about the project these photos are from?

This year, I going on the extremities… I just came back for Zimbabwe and am heading to Spitzberg Island… 60°c gap!

I was in Africa to support a local NGO. It was the dry season and animals needed to be counted at the waterholes. Many of them were dying of thirst and it was urgent to have a good “picture” of the situation. I was on the “fire line” and could be very close to the animals! Great views!

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How has the GorillaPod changed the way you shoot?

The GorillaPod is light and discreet. You can bring it with you all the time even in a small bag! It can solve many of the problems that get in your way of shooting anywhere and everywhere, like low light and need for stability stability with zoom lenses.

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What is your best tip for using the GorillaPod?

Without the Gorillapod, you will be limited to “common altitudes”. With it, you can let your imagination express itself! Find the craziest viewpoint of the scene you want to shoot, prepare your camera and only then use the GorrilaPod! Twist it’s 3 legs in many different ways so to find the best stability you can. Mount your camera on the GorillaPod, point, and shoot!

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Can you share a story of a time that your GorillaPod really came in handy from your past trip?

In Zimbabwe, sometimes shooting conditions were really extreme! My zoom lens was heavy and I needed stability to get a clear pics! As you could see on one of the pictures, I was able to block my camera on the bull bar thanks to my gorillaPod ! It helped me to shoot a beautiful group of elephants that were showering the babies at the waterhole.

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What is your best advice for aspiring photographers?

Even if you need it, photography is no question of technique… Photography is question of imagination and sensibility!

Go out and shoot with your feelings, you get great shots!

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Thanks Ander for sharing your amazing photographs and your trip! See more of Ander’s work from all over the world on his website.

Father’s Day 20% Off Sale! Find Great Gifts for Dad!

By | Gorillapod, Gorillatorch, Photography | No Comments

We know how tough it can be find a great gift for dad for Father’s Day. Dress shirts are boring, ties are passé, socks are well, socks. This year get your dad a gift that he’ll really put to good use! Plus, from June 1st through June 16th, we’re offering 20% off our favorite gifts for Dad!

social-poster

Need help finding a gift? Check out our Father’s Day Gift Guide below! 

Does your dad like photography? Try our GorillaPod SLR-Zoom. A super lightweight and super flexible tripod he can take anywhere to capture unique photos wherever his adventures take him.

Is Dad a pro photographer or videographer? Check out our GorillaPod Focus. A professional grade tripod with a ton more flexibility than most, it’s perfect for a dad who’s looking to get creative with his photography.

Maybe Dad is the type to hike a mountain, ride a bike or run through city streets—all to get the perfect shot. He’ll love our UltraFit Sling Strap! Designed to allow you to cinch your camera tight against your body but still have for quick and easy camera access, it is perfect for the adventurous and active photographer.

Or perhaps Dad really enjoys DIY projects around the house or tinkering with his classic car? GorillaTorch Flare has six light settings, magnetic feet and is water resistant, making it the best way to light just about any task handsfree!

Is Dad the outdoorsy type who loves to spend his time camping in the great outdoors? Then GorillaTorch Switchback is for him! A 2-in-1 lantern that can convert into a headlamp, he can use it grilling, setting up a tent, or even on a night hike up Half Dome.

Use code DADROCKS at checkout to receive 20% off these great gifts for the dads in your life!