I have been traveling for the last few months and I usually like to pack light, (carry on only) so bringing a studio strobe like the White Lightening x1600 is out of the question. I recently acquired speedlights made by Yongnuo. Bought a pair of the YN 560 which is 100% manual non TTL version. The reviews were good, and the price was unbelievably cheap, but what really blew me away was how powerful and efficient these little lights are. Perfect for shooting environmental portraits. Paired with a set of Sanyo Eneloop batteries, this set up easily pulls the stage curtain closed on the days when Vivitar 285 were paired with Quantum Turbos. What I really like about the Yongnuo YN 560 is the multiple options for syncing: you can radio trigger one from your camera which will in turn fire the second (or third) one with an optical slave. Another little trick I did was tape diffusion material over the light for a slight softening without bringing a long an umbrella. They come with small stands like the canon speedlights, and the metal base helps when you want to do some unorthodox mounting. Do the math: for the price of one Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT you can buy 7 Yongnuo YN 560’s.
As I write this, it appears that Yongnuo has upgraded the non ttl model to YN-560 II which I will need to check out as well, but for new I highly recommend the Yongnuo YN560 speedlights for travel.
Here are some photos I took with them on the North Shore of Ohau… You can check out an even larger set here:
This year’s Viva la Vida Fest aka the 28th Annual Dia de Los Muertos Celebration in Austin was a colorful and creative display of cultural themes revolving around respect for the people who have passed and are no longer with us. A big bonus this year was the addition of the Minor Mishaps Marching Band.
Here are some photos I took before and during the Day of the Dead parade.
Here’s a fun and cartoon like Hawaii time lapse video I shot during my stay on the North Shore of oahu in August, featuring Captain Carl the Sea Cat (R.I.P)
Waimea Bay is a beautiful North Shore Beach with wide stretches of sand to sunbathe and picnic. During the summer, the waves of Waimea actually subside making the waters suitable for swimming. A rock outcropping in the bay is a popular spot for locals to climb and jump off of, but this can be dangerous and is not advised. Also please heed all postings and lifeguard warnings. Leave the dangerous big waves of Waimea to the pros. Located on the legendary North Shore, Waimea Bay was an influential surf spot during the dawn of big wave surfing in the 1950’s. Adventurous surfers began to challenge the powerful winter waves of Waimea (as well as Makaha Beach on the west side) giving birth to the big wave-riding phenomenon.
Tablet Boutique Hotels recently featured a photo I took at the Hotel Saint Cecilia in South Austin, Texas
for their Table Talk site:
Sister to the hip Hotel San Jose, the Hotel Saint Cecilia, is a private 14-room luxury hotel situated in an old Victorian mansion and poolside bungalows, on one acre of beautifully landscaped grounds.
Dell Stock Images of Austin – Some of my stock images of Austin are included in the current Dell windows 7 sample photo library including the new Dell Streak 7 tablet which is getting a lot of attention at CES this year.
screen cap at :24 from the video
Brian Birzer is a freelance photographer based in Austin Texas