Oct 22, 2009

the STROBIST rocks! - Waterproof Case Q&A

I was extremely stoked to be featured on the blog of all blogs in the photography world this week, Strobist. I've followed David Hobby's blog now for several years, so when I opened up my email early Monday morning and read the subject line "Incominggggggg!" (I guess he crashed Platon's site not too long ago) from David Hobby, I was pumped to say the least [link here Kevin Winzeler on Strobist]. It's great to be able to contribute a little bit to the Strobist community and I've appreciated all the positive comments, emails and people checking out my photography and blog thus far.

I've had several requests to break down some of the lighting techinques in the Real Salt Lake video and Triathlon Video which I plan to do in upcoming posts as well as overviewing the post-production techniques involved. Comment within this thread with any specific requests you have and I'll do my best to answer questions and explain how I've done things.

First off, for those long-time followers, I've introduced a new section on my website with behind the scenes videos and photographs. Check it out here: Behind the Scenes Photography I'll do my best to keep this section updated with the latest videos, sketches, still shots and anything else that might help out. Again, feel free to send requests via the blog comments section here.

Since posting the behind the scenes Triathlon photography video, I also received quite a few questions about the "oversized ziplock" bag I was using. So here's a quick run down of the AXP100 Ewa-marine case here, and what I like and dislike about using this particular piece of equipment. It's one of those items in your arsenal that is absolutely essential for some shoots, like this Water Ski photograph or wakeboarding portrait, but can be a serious pain to use!

What I like:
  1. Lightweight & Packable - It folds almost flat, so I often carry it "just in case"
  2. Fits several sizes of camera bodies and lenses (Pro bodies or Consumer bodies alike)
  3. Pocket Wizard, Skyport, or Flash can be attached to body inside the case
  4. Completely waterproof (supposedly to 155 ft) :)
The pain factor:
  1. #1 Complaint: it's really, really hard to adjust camera settings. Once the camera is sealed in the bag, you can forget about turning the wheel on the back of a Canon camera to adjust exposure compensations or drive settings. Adjust your settings before the camera enters the case, period! This is particularly challenging when going under water. If I'm above the water as in the Triathlon shot, I set the camera up in manual mode and dial everything in. If I'm going under water, then Aperture priority gets the call.
  2. No zoom lenses....kinda. It's got somewhat of a telescoping port that would allow a little bit of zoom, but because of issue #1, it's difficult to actually zoom. Zoom lenses that actually telescope out are especially difficult. I use the following lenses in priority (all Canon): 16-35, 24-105 @ 24mm, 35 f/1.4, 100mm Macro.
  3. Focusing can be hit and miss. Forget about manual focusing unless your subject is stationary
  4. Take the strap off. It's a pain to get the camera in and out and make adjustments if your camera strap is attached.
  5. No way to attach it to a tripod. Some hard cases allow this.
I've heard a few mention that you really have put your DSLR into a ziplock bag for a in-water shoot. All I can say is that your insurance deductible must be a lot less than mine. The EWA bag is about the bare minimum I'm confident in using with my gear. A shot of me with the bag in action here


Anonymous said...

Congrats! I really enjoy your photography and I love the behind the scene videos! Keep em comin!

Frozen Forever Photography said...

I just made my housing out of 8" pvc and 1/2" clear plastic. Its big but I can put any lens on and there is still room.

Kevin Winzeler Photography // said...

@Frozen - Let's see some pictures. Sounds pretty interesting. I'd be curious to see how the port and glass look.

Stuicide said...

I was wondering what type of boom/light stand you used for your Beauty Dish in the Soccer video. I have the Alienbee's boom and I don't like it at all. Yours looks really nice and steady.

If you could reply here that'd be great!

Love your work, glad Strobist linked to you.

Kevin Winzeler Photography said...


I'm using the Avenger Combi Boom and love it. HERE